Build a Community of Customers with Facebook Sponsored Posts

Many small businesses have tried marketing with Facebook, and some have experienced lackluster results. If your business meets the characteristics described in my article “Is Facebook Right for Marketing my Small Business?,” Facebook can be successful for your business. The key strategy is to think of your efforts as building a community of customers (of both […]

Campfire Stories and Small Business Marketing

A great campfire story compels the audience to listen, eager to hear what happens next. And they will remember the story, to share with others later. Wouldn’t you love for your marketing to capture some of that feeling? Unfortunately, small business marketing tends to focus on tangible features and benefits, i.e., “Enjoy life in your […]

The Creepiest Marketing Strategy

Here’s a cautionary tale and follow-up to last week’s defense of marketing implementation. Be wary of implementing any marketing communication without an effective strategy. Marketing strategy is really important! Check out this startling example of bad marketing implementation I stumbled across while Googling ‘hallway lighting:’ After reading, “Lighting So You’re Not Clutching the Walls at Night,” […]

Make it Easy for Customers to See Your Marketing Content

When marketing your small business, keep in mind that customers are naturally less interested in seeing your marketing messages than you are in sharing them. One simple way to make it easier for customers to engage with your marketing content is to always think about removing barriers to accessing the content. Let’s say you have a […]

No One Cares about Free Estimates

Have you ever paid for an estimate? Neither have I. And yet the marketing universe is full of badges, buttons and starbursts proclaiming their benefits: Promoting free estimates is like boasting about offering a toll-free number. It’s simply a cost of doing business, and customers won’t be persuaded to buy from you because of either. Instead […]

When Competitors Copy You

If your small business is at the leading edge of your industry, chances are competitors regularly copy everything you do. From innovative products to customer service standards to something as simple as the headline of an advertisement. Here’s one blatant example I found while flipping through Cincinnati Magazine of a competitor copying my client, Paramount […]

Marketing is Not Immune from the Law of Unintended Consequences

Coca-Cola has a bright new marketing campaign in Europe, demanding that people choose happiness over other mood states. As described in Adweek: “The 70-second anthem by Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam (it’s the office’s first work for the brand) introduces a new theme, “Choose Happiness,” and continues Coke’s tradition of casting itself as synonymous with joy. But […]

What is the Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network is part of Google’s advertising universe. Businesses place text, image or video ads on websites that partner with Google. The Display Network can be an effective way to reach potential customers who are interested in your products or services but aren’t actively searching for them. Here are three examples, two from […]

Extend Your Reach with Google Image and Video Ads

Most businesses know about Search Advertising with Google AdWords, and use the service fairly effectively to advertise to potential customers searching for products and services like theirs. Fewer take advantage of Google’s complementary Display Network, which promotes ads on websites whose readers match the demographics of your customers. To see if your business is already […]

Are Your Marketing Campaigns as Good as Your Marketing Plan?

Marketing implementation is just as important as strategy Does your business have a great marketing plan that identifies who your customers are, what is important to them and how to reach them? As important as your plan is, it’s not enough if your implementation team isn’t just as strong. Here’s an example. While shopping for […]