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Is Cold Calling A Beneficial Way To Drum up Business?

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Cold Calling|Is Cold Calling A Beneficial Way To Drum up Business?Cold calling is a difficult tactic to master when looking to drum up business as it can be seen to may as a harsh way of selling. But for those that have already expressed interest, is it really such a bad idea? With a number of strategies as well as the best times for cold calling, could it be the secret your business needs to drum up sales? In this article, we will be looking into whether or not this is the right way to drum up sales for your business.

Gets Your Business Noticed

Though this is considered outdated by some businesses, the act of cold calling can still be a highly effective way of getting your business noticed. Whether this is with customers or through a long term B2b cold calling strategy, you are getting your name out there to a number of other businesses, providing them with insight into the product or service that you are looking to offer.

Gives A More Personal Touch

Though email marketing and social media are highly efficient ways of drumming up business, there are other options such as cold calling that give a far more personal touch. Though this can generate the initial lead, this can then blossom into more interest and lead to a conversion later on down the line allowing you to develop a relationship between you and the customer. This is beneficial for a sales team as this allows them to take a general interest in a client or business and help to sell them a package that will help them to achieve their long-term goals.

Can Be Used Alongside Social Media Campaigns

Social media campaigns are a great way of drumming up business but using cold calling to contact those that have downloaded an E-book or provided you with their phone number through a website can be the perfect way of drumming up business. Though this will be a challenge depending on the target audience that you are looking to reach, this can be an efficient way of drumming up leads for your business and even acquiring new business later on in the process. Though this is a lengthy process, there is a success rate you gain from cold calls that are yet to be replicated by emails or social media campaigns.

Is Highly Beneficial For Inbound Sales Strategy And Lead Nurturing

Inbound sales strategy is crucial when you have made the first call as you want to be sure you are able to close the sale. Whether this is converting the lead through regular phone calls or you decide to organise a meeting to go over new proposals, this can all lead to your business acquiring new clients. When dealing with b2b clients, it is important to keep this as professional as possible as this is likely to be a long-term investment and even the potential of repeat business for a product or service.

Whether you are looking to use cold calling as a new tactic for your sales team, or you are looking to cut back on the use of this potential outdated sales trick, there are a number of benefits that come along with cold calling.

Generating Social Media Buzz and Trust To Gain Website Traffic

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Increase Website Traffic|Generating Social Media Buzz and Trust To Gain Website TrafficSocial Media is one of the best ways to generate traffic to your website and to create brand recognition. Using social media sources to encourage people to take that big step from moving off of the social media platform they are on and over to your website is not an easy task.

Some people’s perception of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is one that only needs the creation of a Facebook page and a few targeted ads. If only it was that simple.

Facebook is arguably the easiest Social Media platform to encourage people to move from seeing your Facebook page to looking at your website. However, to successfully achieve this user action there are a number of elements you will need to include within your Facebook marketing strategy.

Likes and Followers

Likes and followers of your Facebook page are essentially people endorsing your brand. It doesn’t matter if you are an informational blog website like this one, an e-comm ship, travel website or any other niche, most people will not leave Facebook to visit your website if your Facebook page does not have trust.

Mistakes: Many people make the mistake of using Facebook ads for website clicks. They do this with very little social media content to begin with and no likes/followers. As a result, this type of advertising ends up being a waste of money.

The right thing to do: Start with creating some nice posts that represent your brand. Make sure you have a nice looking banner, contact details, and overall a Facebook page that looks complete and not half done or with important features missing.

To get an idea of how to do this correctly look at your competitors that have a lot of likes and followers as well as lots of comments from people interacting with their Facebook page.

Once you are ready and feel happy then start a ‘Likes and Followers’ campaign before going for clicks directly to your website. You can also use services such as Fast likes that can help build up likes and followers prior to your Facebook operated campaign.

What Happens Once You Have Built Trust On Your Facebook Page?

The next step is to start to real in engagement from other Facebook users. You can start to create posts that ask questions or competitions. Anything that you think will get people within your industry niche to interact and possibly take the next step which is to visit your website if that is your aim.

You can also start to run a Facebook campaign that encourages people to click through to your website.

With people clearly engaging with your Facebook page, hitting the like button, and following your page, now they are inclined to trust your brand – more so compared to starting the Facebook website clicks campaign with no likes or followers.

What About Using Other Social Media Sites?

You can use other social media platforms to harness trust via likes and followers. Instagram is popular if you want to use images, then YouTube is perfect if you want to use video marketing, then, of course, you have Twitter.

Twitter is much more difficult to master compared to any other social media platforms we have mentioned here. It’s a fast-moving platform and messages can get buried quickly. It is extremely useful if you can master influencer marketing.

Plus, news channels and blogs find it useful to announce new content. It’s not impossible to master Twitter, but it certainly takes a lot more effort to get the right mix of posts and getting the timing of those posts right,

How to Draw Traffic to Your Website

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales ArticleAs crucial as it is to have a website in the twenty-first century, there’s little benefit to be reaped from owning a corner of the world wide web if you’re not enjoying any traffic. Whether your website is an online store, a promotional vehicle for your business, or simply a self-styled blog, this article will direct you to new ways in which you can increase traffic to your site. In turn, this traffic will increase your brand’s exposure, your number of sales, and your profits.

Design

One of the crucial elements in any website is the way it looks, the way visitors are able to navigate through the site’s pages, and the way in which you use standard coding features to ensure your website runs efficiently and features high up on Google search results. All this is controlled by the quality of web design you employ. Whether you use an independent freelancer or a web design company, the architecture of your site translates in important ways into both its visibility on the web and its navigability to funnel visitors to the point of sale.

In order to maximize your website’s design capability to attract new custom through additional visitors, you’ll want to hire web designers who’re aware of all the tricks of the trade when it comes to making a website more professional. Not only professional to Google’s complex algorithms, which examine the coding behind websites to decide the ranking of your site in search engine results, but the average web user also. It’s technical for the layman, but if you put the time in with research, you too may be able to make minor adjustments to your website to increase its visibility.

Content

The second tip for drawing traffic to your site (perhaps the most important) is creating content. Content can take the form of the written word, a video, pictures, infographics or any other media you see fit to publish under your site’s URL. Content publication has many benefits for your site, including the simple appearance that your site is active and regularly maintained and updated, which increases user trust and confidence in your brand. It’s also a great way to draw in further Google search results to your specific URL. By publishing different titles and themes and keywords, you can grab the attention of users searching for a wider variety of items related to your brand and product.

An excellent place to start if you’re thinking about upping your content output is to post an FAQ-style list of questions and answers. This way, you’re tapping into the mass of questions asked on Google every day. Readers will be happy you’ve provided relevant answers and may continue to navigate the material on your site searching for your product or service. There’s plenty of other methods, which you’ll be able to run on your own after conducting content marketing research or outsource to professionals in marketing companies to help get your content drawing in a higher hit rate on your site.

Social Media

Aligned with content creation but based elsewhere; on your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, what you publish on your free social media pages should always link back to your website. With so many people using social media every day, it’s absolutely essential that you utilize this huge opportunity to market your site and your brand, though posts that target your current user base in the hopes that they’ll share your content with their list of friends or followers.

It’s in this way that brands expertly draw in a large following to their social media channels and their websites. There are some wonderfully successful examples of viral advertisement campaigns driven by meme-creation and other content that taps into contemporary trends, gossip, and current affairs in order to achieve the virality that constitutes the most successful kind of social media marketing. You should employ a social media savvy marketer to help you manage your social media platforms, creating innovative posts to gain attention for your brand, all of which will boost your website’s traffic.

Collaboration

In the non-digital world, businesses working together tend to boost one another’s customer base with mutual recommendations and guarantees. In the digital world of websites, social media and multimedia content posting, businesses can do so here too. Establishing partners on the world wide web offers one key benefit: the links between your sites help your website ascend those all-important Google search result rankings, with your company finishing higher up the more trusted and relevant links it possesses on its unique URL.

One of the easiest and most practical ways to partner up is by creating a mixture of posts to offer the websites that you wish to collaborate with you. Writing a guest post takes little time but, with the link to your website at the bottom of your post, it diverts interested readers straight to your site while also establishing a data link between your two sites which is mutually beneficial for your partnership. Research the best ways of achieving healthy and mutually productive partnerships before taking the guest post plunge.

Traditional

There’s nothing like a little bit of traditional advertising to get a little bit more traffic flowing into your site, especially traffic that is perhaps rarely on social media and rarely consuming other content on their smartphones or devices. This demographic is best-accessed through more traditional methods of advertising, such as the business card, the television advert, the newspaper listing or the radio shout-out.

With internet-based marketing becoming the norm, traditional, non-digital marketing techniques are becoming ever-cheaper. It means that your expenditure on this type of marketing may well be minimal when compared with the results it yields. Remember to keep whatever message you’re delivering brief, with your website’s URL displayed as simply as possible so that people can recall your site’s address when they require your product or service.

A barren webpage can feel like a failure to a business looking to establish some sales and interest in the digital world, and so the tips listed above should be of value to those looking to increase web traffic to their website, whether it be a blog or an online store.

Making a Start in Social Media Marketing for Your Business

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales ArticleSocial media marketing can seem like a quick win for many businesses, but if you don’t fully understand how to utilize these platforms, the millions of likes and followers won’t mean much if they are not converting. Many businesses are fixated on high numbers when it comes to social presence, but in fact, engagement is an accurate representation of the quality leads you can expect from this form of marketing. By focusing on the bigger picture, you can implement a precise strategy to make the most out of this vast arena. It’s not enough to just upload content and hope for the best, as most people want to be a part of the brand experience plus if you interact and communicate on a deeper level, this can have enormous benefits for your company.

Take a look at the ways to make a start in social media marketing, so that you can utilize its potential.

Understand what you are trying to achieve

When you create content or promotions for your social media platform, it’s naïve to think that if you just pop it up that people will find it. Feeds change every second, so if you haven’t got anything interesting to shout about, it’ll get lost in the ether. Unless you know what you want to get out of the post, you will have no idea how to measure its success. It could be a simple tally of likes, or how many followers you achieved but delving deeper could identify the engagement level and what type of people are looking at your content.

You can’t be good at everything

You will rarely see one brand doing every platform well. There are so many to choose from that spreading yourself too thin will mean that each may fall under the radar in the long run. Looking at how the different platforms work and what type of people they attract will help you decide on where to focus your efforts. For example, young people love Snapchat and Instagram, whereas professionals will be on LinkedIn, so knowing your audience is key to delivering the right message and not wasting your time trying to promote to people that have no interest.

Make it visual

Posts that are wordy can put people off reading them, but if you have a succinct, snappy message with a high-quality image, you will generally grab people’s attention. You can also use free resources such as MailChimp landing pages to create a call-to-action to share on your social media. This helps to give your audience a specific message such as promotional offers, sign up page or competition entry form in a simple way.

There are many things to think about when using social media to target new and returning customers. By utilizing these platforms and creating content that is interesting and shareable, you will begin to see excellent results both in engagement and sales. Like all marketing efforts, this aspect can take time to grow so unless you’re one of the very few lucky ones to get that moment in the viral spotlight, you’ll have to be patient and persistent.

Benefits of Social Media for Small Businesses

Many small businesses are increasingly focusing on the web when it comes to making their brand a success. It’s easy to see why when you take a look at the extreme success of various online businesses and take into account that almost every high street retailer also has a website which allows them to operate online in tandem with their brick and mortar store. Setting up a website gives you an edge. It allows customers to order goods from you from the comfort of their own home. This is the ultimate form of convenience, especially if you offer next day delivery options. A webstore also allows you to operate round the clock. You no longer have to work with strict opening and closing times, as you can leave an online store unmanned and operating twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Then you can open up your brand to a worldwide market of consumers with the simple addition of international shipping options! However, your brand’s online presence has the potential to reach so much further than a website alone. You can also incorporate other forms of media into your business strategies in order to make profit. For now, let’s focus on social media. Here are just a few of the benefits that it can bring to your venture.

Facebook

Facebook is perhaps the most popular form of social media. It has approximately 2.2 billion users active every single month. So, this may well be the best place to start if brand exposure is what you’re looking for. When setting up a profile for your business on social media, make sure to establish that you are a business at the start of the page setup. This will give you access to more appropriate profile editing options that can benefit you as a brand. Perhaps the main benefit of Facebook (besides exposure) is that you can add certain details to your page’s profile which help customers to receive the best possible customer service that you can provide. Your profile can detail your store’s physical location (including address and postcode) so that customers can make their way to your brick and mortar store without hassle. You can also add a contact number and contact email address so that they can contact you easily. Then there’s the instant messenger option that you can activate. This means that customers can easily contact you, you will receive a notification, and you can respond to them as quickly as possible. You can then use your feed to give customers updates and put out announcements, such as sales, new lines, and special events.

Instagram

Another extremely popular form of social media is Instagram. This app specialises in the visual, which is particularly beneficial for online companies who only have visual representations of their goods to sell to their customers until they receive the real deal in the post after purchase. For the strongest Instagram presence possible, you need plenty of followers. The more followers you have, the more likes you will have on your posts. If consumers see that other consumers like something, it becomes increasingly desirable and they’re likely to want to purchase the goods that everyone else likes. However, cultivating these followers and likes is a little difficult to start with when you haven’t yet established a presence. Perhaps the best way to get started is to buy likes on Instagram. This will give your brand a presence, which will in turn generate more attention and more legitimate followers and likes.

Twitter

While Twitter isn’t necessarily automatically associated with brands, it’s an online powerhouse that you should engage with regardless. Twitter’s main benefit for companies is convenient communication. Tweets are capped at 140 characters, so it can be used for short and sweet exchanges with your customers and potential customers. More complex and lengthy conversations can be taken to the inbox feature. It can also be used for short announcements and updates for your followers. However, you can also take a controversial approach which brings mass attention to your brand. Just take a look at Denny’s twitter feed. Their comedic tweets have resulted in the fast food chain amassing 479,000 followers.

If you haven’t started engaging with social media on a professional level yet, it’s about time that you get around to it. After all, some of the most accessed apps have the potential to bring a ridiculous number of potential customers your way and also allow you the resources to keep in touch with them and make further sales!

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Tips on hotel marketing 2019 (including email marketing)

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Tips on hotel marketing 2019 (including email marketing)Promoting your hotel to your target audience, increasing occupancy rates and online bookings, maximising your ROI and engaging with guests can often be an overwhelming task. This is where hotel marketing comes to the fore, because it includes a range of strategies that can be combined into one cohesive marketing campaign. These strategies include internet marketing, social media marketing and email marketing, but basically it’s all about understanding how to make your hotel stand out from the competition.

Larger hotels can afford to employ individuals who specialise in just one of these strategies, building a team of marketers who design specialised campaigns to promote specific aspects of their hotels. Smaller hotels however, usually rely on one or two individuals to organise all their hotel’s marketing strategies. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the concept of hotel marketing and don’t have the backup of a team of marketing professionals, your first goal is to identify your hotel’s target market and then explore the different types of vehicles you can use to run your campaigns (including internet marketing, social media marketing and email marketing).

Who is your target market?

Unless you can clearly identify your target market, any marketing campaigns will likely have limited success, at best. It’s essential that you know the type of guests you want to attract to your hotel, their likes and dislikes, and where they hang out online. Once you have this information at your fingertips, you can craft numerous campaigns to specifically target different sub-groups of this audience, pushing their buttons and giving them every reason to book accommodation at your hotel.

Your target market will depend on your brand, whether it’s young and trendy, modern, conservative or traditional. It will also depend on the size of your hotel, whether it’s part of a big chain or a small and independent boutique establishment, even whether it focuses on luxury or budget accommodation, and it’s location.

Once you understand your brand, you will start to understand your target market and be able to identify the type of holidays they prefer, their budget and their reasons for traveling. For example, your target market might be couples with young children who have a limited budget and like to visit the beach, researching hotels online and avidly reading reviews to help them make their decision.

Alternatively, your target market might be empty nesters or single people who have a large budget and look for luxury accommodation in unique locations and are willing to pay for a one-of-a-kind experience. Then there are groups of friends or large family groups who love company and socialising with others of like mind. If they have children they look for accommodation that offers child minding services and plenty of activities to keep their kids occupied. If they are groups of friends, they look for lots of exciting activities and trips they can do together from one location.

Understanding your brand and your target market is only the first step in creating a successful hotel marketing plan. Let’s take a look at online marketing, email marketing and social media marketing and identify how each of these can have a significant impact on your hotel’s success in a very competitive market space.

Online marketing

With the massive increase of online shopping, it’s no surprise that hotels need to market their brand online to their target audience. Many travellers now research their accommodation online, reading reviews, researching the area and once they have made their decision, actually making an online booking. With more than half of all bookings made online and half of these bookings made using mobile devices, you can understand the importance of online marketing to the success of your hotel. In fact, without an online presence and a professionally crafted marketing campaign, hotels don’t have much hope of outwitting the competition and increasing their occupancy rates.

Online marketing is actually an umbrella term for a variety of marketing vehicles, including email marketing, social media marketing, SEO and video marketing. This wide variety of platforms gives hotel marketing teams the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and find unique ways to engage with their target audience. For example, some people are visual and respond to images or videos better than to text, whilst others are happy to settle down for a good read. All of this information comes from thoroughly understanding your target audience and what motivates them to travel.

One of the most important aspects of online marketing is that it must be tailored to your target audience and it must come across as a personal message, rather than a generic promotion. People like to believe that they are special and by personalising your marketing messages you will be speaking directly to their goals, motivations, needs and desires. Ignoring these needs or simply not understanding what your target audience wants from their accommodation often leads to low occupancy rates, fewer repeat bookings and poor reviews.

Email marketing

Email marketing, if it’s done correctly, can make a massive difference to your occupancy rates and repeat bookings. This is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies available to hotel operators, because it’s estimated that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you receive a return of $38, which is a massive ROI.

Your first step is to put together an email list of potential guests who may want to stay at your hotel and guests who want to be kept informed of any special offers. You can encourage people to sign up to receive your promotional emails by simply adding a sign-on box to your website or Facebook page, as well as asking them in person during their stay at your hotel. Research has shown that it’s much more cost-effective to spend your budget on repeat business, rather than trying to attract new guests to your hotel, and email campaigns are the perfect vehicle for engaging prior guests with an offer.

If you personalise your email marketing campaign to your target audience, you might be quite surprised at how many recipients will make a booking, simply based on the information in your email. This type of marketing is ideal if you know that there is a quiet period coming up and you want to increase your occupancy rates. Here are a few tips for putting together this type of email marketing:

  • Target repeat guests.
  • Focus on peak times.
  • Personalise email promotions.
  • Identify the best days and times to send your marketing materials.
  • Create engaging subject lines.
  • Use stunning photos to increase engagement.
  • Optimise your CTAs to encourage direct online bookings.

Social Media Marketing

With the popularity of social media, using this vehicle to promote your hotel is a given and the most popular platforms are Facebook and Instagram. This is where your guests and potential guests will spend a lot of their time online and where you can engage them with your marketing promotions. It’s well-known that people tend to trust the opinions of their friends, so it’s no surprise to learn that more than half of Facebook users are inspired by holiday snaps they see on Facebook. This is a huge opportunity for hotels to build a loyal following online and to increase their occupancy rates using engaging promotions aimed specifically at their target market.

To make the most out of social media marketing you will need to create a large online following on Facebook and Instagram, both of which can be achieved by adding share buttons on your website and asking guests to write reviews and ‘like’ your online content. Writing quality content with great photos and videos of unique locations in your area will all help to engage your target audience with your promotional materials.

You can even include links to your social media sites as part of your email marketing campaigns, encouraging recipients to visit your Facebook or Instagram page. On the subject of video marketing, you can create videos and upload them to your own YouTube channel or website, even ask guests to create their own videos that they can post on their own Facebook page or allow you to upload them to your website or Facebook page.

Facebook marketing

On Facebook, you can not only post your own content to engage your target audience, but you can also create and promote paid ads that will reach thousands of people, all over the world. For example, you can offer exclusive accommodation offers or discounts to people who have ‘liked’ your page, if they book online within the next five days.

To further enhance your social media offerings, you can now add a BOOK NOW button to your Facebook page and even your Facebook ads, which connects directly with your booking engine. The great benefits of Facebook marketing is that you are only limited by your budget and you receive virtually instant feedback from your ads.

Instagram marketing

With a focus on high quality images, Instagram is the perfect platform for hotel marketing. Travellers and holidaymakers love Instagram because they can view thousands of images that help them to decide on their next trip. You can advertise your hotel on Instagram by including a BOOK NOW button on your Instagram page and also respond to customers enquiries via Instagram.

Although Instagram has mainly been popular with a younger demographic, it’s now becoming popular with an older audience who appreciate its functionality. Here are some examples of images that will engage your target audience:

  • Hotel staff interacting with guests.
  • Guests enjoying themselves at the hotel.
  • Highlight your hotel’s facilities – spa, pool or beach.
  • Guests dining in your restaurant.
  • Local attractions and scenery.
  • New menu items.
  • Guest and staff selfies.

It’s also a good idea to engage with posts from other operators in your area, for example travel operators or local attractions. Don’t forget to use hashtags in your Instagram posts, as this will make your content searchable and you can identify people who use these hashtags, commenting on their accounts and promoting further engagement.

Take home messages

Internet marketing, social media marketing and email marketing are all vital strategies that will help your hotel to engage with your target audience, increase bookings and improve your ROI.

However, you also need to make sure that your website is responsive, so that it opens correctly on all mobile devices and allows people to book online using their smartphones. Also invest in SEO as this will help to increase the visibility of your website in Google and other search engines, encouraging more traffic to your website. If you combine all of these strategies together, you will soon see a significant increase in engagement and bookings at your hotel.