The Top 7 Benefits of Email Marketing (Pay Close Attention to No. 5)

The Top 7 Benefits of Email Marketing (We Love #5)

The numbers show that email marketing is still a widely used, and successful, marketing channel.

However, your small business can use email marketing in many different ways. How do you choose your approach? One way might be the following chart from the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report:

Top Benefits of Email Marketing

Source: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report

Top Benefits of Email Marketing

The chart illustrates the seven top benefits of email marketing (ignoring “Other”), each of which is a worthy goal depending on what your small business is aiming to achieve.

1. Generating More Leads

Encouraging visitors to sign up for your email marketing list is just one way to generate more leads. Another strategy is to encourage your email subscribers to forward your emails on to friends, families, and acquaintances or to share it on social media.

2. Improved Sales

If every subscriber on your list turned into a customer, you’d be in small business heaven. Unfortunately, that’s probably never going to happen. However, you can increase your sales by focusing the right email campaigns on the right people. The secret to doing this is email list segmentation, a process that enables you to nurture each of your list subscribers with the right message at the right time, eventually moving each through your funnel to becoming a customer.

3. Improved Conversion Rates

In order to sell, you need to convert and the key to email conversions is to nurture them using content. Like #2 above, the key lies in email list segmentation however, it helps to know what type of  content to use at each stage of the sales process. Once you nail that, your nurturing efforts will be much more effective and, your overall conversion rates will increase.

4. Reduced Marketing Costs

If your small business marketing budget is tight, you’ll be interested in low-cost ways to promote yourself. Happily, there are a lot of email marketing tools out, many of which offer a free tier of service and low prices when you need more features and functionality.

5. Identifying Better-Quality Leads

The last thing you need is to waste time on bad leads. That’s why, before marketing your small business, it pays to have a lead qualifying system in place. Happily, email marketing itself is a lead qualifying system that demonstrates a prospect’s interest based on:

  • The fact that they signed up for your list in the first place;
  • Whether they open your emails; and
  • If they click on any of the links within your emails.

6. Integrating with Other Media to Boost Response

Integrated marketing is a powerful tool in any marketer’s kit. One of the best integrations for email is with social media where your emails can include:

  • Social share icons;
  • Super-sharable content; and
  • Deals to share which then give a referral reward back to the subscriber who shared it.

7. Shorter Sales Cycles

Email marketing is a great way to get your most convincing content in front of prospective decision makers. If you’re nurturing the right subscribers via email as mentioned in No. 5 above, and you’re using both segmentation and the right content as mentioned in No. 2 and No. 3 above respectively, then you can speed up your sales cycle by getting the right content to the right decision maker at the right time.

Now that’s powerful stuff.

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25 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Videos

25 Tips for Creating Marketing Videos

In recent years, videos have been making inroads in digital marketing, emerging as a powerful promotional tool for businesses to promote their wares in an exciting and engaging way. Though when it comes to video marketing, there’s some pretty definitive ‘rules’ businesses should stick to in order to get their videos right. Get them wrong and marketing videos can be more hindering to a company than profiting.

Fortunately, if you’re a business looking to embark on an effective video marketing strategy, you’re in the right place, as Small Business Trends explores 25 tips for creating marketing videos.

Tips for Creating Marketing Videos

Tell a Story

Instead of being overtly salesy, an effective video tells a story. As the Digital Marketing Institute notes, businesses should utilize the emotive power of video by appealing to their customer’s needs and desires.

Make Sure the Introduction Stands Out

A little like how we are unlikely to click on an email if we’re not inspired by the subject line, an incredible one fifth of viewers click off a video within 10 seconds if they’re not interested in what they see. With this in mind, the introduction of the video is vitally important and should be made inspiring, entertaining and informative, to hook the viewer and encourage them to view the whole of the video.

Create a Stimulating Title

By the same token, your video’s title should be stimulating and eye-catching in order to grab a viewer’s attention. Furthermore, by using relevant keywords in a title, the video is likely to show up on the search engines when viewers search for the topic.

Focus on the Mission and Less on the Product

Instead of being overtly focused on the product and all its benefits, channel the message of the video into the mission of the product. Dove, for example, are hailed are being experts in creating emotional viral videos that focus less on their product and more on their mission.

Don’t Be Boring

Who wants to watch a boring video? It goes without saying, if you want your business’s video marketing campaign to be successful, create exciting and inspiring videos that can never be considered boring.

Get a Little Bit Risqué!

While too much naughty content is unlikely to do the credibility of your business many favors, as Inc. writes, just the right amount can be good for page views — as long as not overdone.

Make it Mobile Friendly

With more and more people using mobile devices to get online, it’s imperative corporate videos are mobile friendly. In fact, according to YouTube, mobile video consumption increases 100% every year! Marketing videos therefore need to be able to be downloaded and enjoyed on mobile devices.

Think About SEO

Quite simply, Google loves video content and an effective video marketing campaign should have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. To ensure maximum SEO value from your videos, accompany the video with a well-written description that is tagged with relevant keywords to help boost the video’s SEO.

Include Your URL in the Video

Displaying your website address in a marketing video is a good way for companies to get exposure and generate traffic to their website through a video.

Educate Your Audience

As the Digital Marketing Institute informs, one of the most powerful ways to implement effective video marketing is to educate viewers. Often videos that offer advice, information, tips and other informative content can be more effective than a solely promotional video.

Make the Video More Atmospheric with Music

Music is a powerful tool on video content, evoking a myriad of emotions. Don’t be afraid to use music in your video that fits the mood of the message and crafts a more exciting and emotive video.

Use Video Content Generated by Customers

Putting your customers behind the camera to talk about how they have used and benefited from your product, can be a powerful way to engage viewers and appeal to prospective customers.

Include a Call to Action

Similar to how all blog posts and content should have a call to action at the end, which invites the reader to take further action, such as signing up to a newsletter, or visiting a website, so too should a marketing video. Ask yourself, what do you want viewers to do when they’ve watched the video and then encourage them to do so without being overtly salesy.

Take Viewers Behind the Scenes

Consumers love to get up close to a brand and video marketing offers the perfect opportunity to take customers behind the scenes and into your business’s ‘natural surroundings.’

Include Tutorial Videos

Posting tutorials that are relevant to your niche is a great way to connect and engage with customers. Tutorials shouldn’t give away all your industry secrets, but should be enough to entice the viewer with informative and useful content, leaving them wanting to learn more.

Keep Them Short

Online viewers often don’t have much time to spare before they’re off looking on a new site and at a new video. In this sense, shorter marketing videos can tend to work better than long ones. As Helen Klein Ross told Kiss Metrics:

“The less you say, the more likely people are to remember.”

Use a Professional Voice

Words spoken with clarity and professionalism will always come out better in a corporate video than an amateur speaker, whose lack of experience speaking on the camera is obvious. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to have an employee that is experienced on speaking in front of the camera record for the video, or even think about calling in a professional.

Use Micro-Video Apps

Along with all this talk of keeping videos short for  the viewer, it’s also true shorter content is a better format for most social platforms. As Forbes notes, short, concise content triumphs over longer forms of content, particularly on social media channels. Video marketers should consider using micro-video apps, which shorten videos to less than 10 seconds, so they’re ideal of sharing on the likes of Instagram and Twitter.

Pose Questions

Strive to create engagement and conversation with your video by asking viewers questions. Ask viewers to leave answers to the questions in a comment section below the video.

Don’t Be Preoccupied with Perfection

Videos for marketing purposes aren’t Hollywood movies and nobody expects perfection. Whilst you want the video to look professional, don’t become too obsessed with perfection that on the 50th take you still haven’t got in right.

But Don’t Forget Production Quality

That said, it’s important a marketing video is produced professionally. From the camera work to lighting, edited to voice overs, it might be a good idea to call upon the expertise of a professional video production company to ensure the video is produced in a high quality.

Use Videos to Help You Create Your Own Effective Video Marketing Strategy

Head to the likes of YouTube to see how businesses are already building videos that have managed to go viral. Featuring the likes of Coca-Cola, these ‘10 Epic Viral Marketing Videos’ on YouTube will give you some pointers on how some of the biggest and well-known brands are producing a video designed to go viral.

Build Hype Around the Launch of the Video

Instead of just going ahead and launching your video, build hype around the video by promoting its launch date on your website, blog and social media channels.

Provide Some Humor

Not all corporate videos need to be serious. On the contrary, some humour can work well in generating more interest in your video. Vidyard gives an example of a humorous marketing video that proved hugely successful — a parody by cloud invoicing provider Taulia of the award-winning commercial series ‘Get Rid of Cable’ by Direct TV. As Vidyard writes:

“The video not only delivers a laugh, but this kind of humorous take on B2B solution can really get your customers feeling connected with your brand and help you stand out in what can be a stuffy market.”

Embed a Video in Landing Pages

Think strategically about where you are going to place your marketing video. Statistics show that embedding videos in landing pages can raise conversion rates by as much as 80 percent.

With video forecast to claim more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019 and 90 percent of customers reporting that product videos help them make purchasing decisions, it is imperative companies create videos that resonate with their audience and ultimately help sell their services and products.

Making Video Photo via Shutterstock

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McDonald’s Frork Promotion Shows Gamble of Humor in Marketing

McDonald's Frork Promotion Shows Gamble of Humor in Marketing

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) has already admitted that its latest innovation is essentially useless. But the company still hopes that it serves an important purpose for its marketing efforts.

The product is called a “frork.” It’s essentially a fork, but with french fries instead of prongs. The purpose? According to an infomercial type video from McDonald’s, you can use it to pick up and eat all the toppings and condiments that fall out of McDonald’s new signature crafted sandwiches.

The video features Anthony Sullivan, “preposterous product pitching powerhouse” delivering a passionate presentation for the new product. But while McDonald’s did actually create a limited number of frorks for this promotion, the whole thing is clearly aimed more at getting attention than promoting the actual product.

Humor is the key for McDonald’s in this case. They’ve created a concept and a video that are fairly ridiculous and aimed at getting customers to laugh while also building just enough intrigue to actually get them to try the new signature sandwiches.

Humor in Marketing

But humor can be a tricky thing for businesses. If people don’t “get” the infomercial or if it just doesn’t strike the right chord with customers, then all of those marketing (and in this case actual product creation) resources will have gone to waste.

That doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t use humor in marketing. But it’s not always as easy as it looks. And it requires a really strong understanding of your audience if you want to be successful.

Image: McDonald’s

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The Benefits of Texting to Promote Your Small Business (INFOGRAPHIC)

How Can You Benefit from Text Message Marketing

Businesses often spend a fortune on digital marketing initiatives, but miss out on a simple-yet-effective channel: text marketing.

A powerful and cost-effective tool, texting can provide more bang for your promotional buck if you use it properly.

UK-based text marketing company TextMagic has compiled data to show why businesses should take text marketing seriously. The firm has also provided some useful tips to make the most of this business-friendly channel.

Text Message Marketing Can Help Businesses Engage Users

According to data, a text message has the estimated open rate of 98 percent, compared to email’s 20 percent. What’s more, 90 percent of the time a text is read within the first three minutes of receiving the message.

Text messages are also found to be more effective for companies that operate their businesses on an appointment basis and face no-shows.

Statistics show automated text reminders reduce no-shows by up to 40 percent.

How Can You Benefit from Text Message Marketing

A well-defined text marketing strategy can prove extremely beneficial for businesses. Let’s understand this in a bit more detail.

For time-sensitive promotions, text messaging can be a great tool to spread awareness. If time is not a critical factor, marketers can combine text and email campaigns.

Another tip is to create QR codes to draw customers with discount coupons or vouchers.

Text messaging can also prove beneficial for businesses interested in boosting customer satisfaction. For this, consider sending an automatic confirmation text after you receive an order from a client.

But to ensure text messaging provides desired results, make sure your message is short and includes important details.

For more information, check out the infographic below:

How Can You Benefit from Text Message Marketing

Texting Photo via Shutterstock

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How to Strengthen Customer Relationships When Time is at a Premium

How to Strengthen Customer Relationships When Time is at a Premium

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. And while the things that go on behind the scenes certainly matter, you can’t focus on them at the expense of your relationships with customers.

Small Businesses Are Built on Relationships

When people think about small businesses, a certain image is conjured up in their minds. They picture a quaint storefront on a main street in a small town. They see friendly storeowners who know customers by their first names and interact with them as they walk in. They picture handshakes, smiles, and promises that are always honored.

See, small businesses are all about interpersonal relations. They thrive on connections and conversations. But somewhere along the way, companies moved away from the heart of small business. With so many different forces and distractions competing for attention, small businesses have started spending less time focusing on relationships and more time dealing with “important” administrative tasks and responsibilities.

The problem with this shift in small business management is that nothing is more important than customer relationships. While payroll, accounting, digital marketing, website analytics, paid media, hiring, and training matter, they can’t take away from the focus on customer relationships. As soon as relationships erode, the business follows closely behind.

Do yourself a favor and conduct a quick analysis on your small business. Are you so wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks and managerial responsibilities that you’re no longer fostering healthy relationships with new and existing customers?

If this is the case, you aren’t alone. It’s an epidemic in the business world and you’ll find thousands of other business owners in the same boat. However, at some point, you have to make the conscious decision to get out of the boat and return to what made you successful: relationships.

4 Ways to Strengthen Customer Relationships

You can’t snap your fingers and wish your way into stronger customer relationships. What you need is a customer relations strategy that targets particular weaknesses in your business and builds on the strengths that you already have. And while every business will have different needs and action steps, the following tips should provide you with a solid footing on which you can build for the future.

1. Use CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term used to describe the handy tools small businesses utilize to streamline the management and nurturing of customer relationships.

“It’s usually a cloud-based system that stores information about your clients, potential clients and contacts in one central safe place that everyone in your team can access and update wherever they are,” small business expert Nadia Finer says. “A CRM can also help you grow your business and keep customers happy by keeping track of interactions and tasks, and giving you a clear view of your sales pipeline.”

What Finer is really getting at is this: CRM makes it easier to manage customer relationships when you don’t have the time to manually handle every task.

As a general principle, most businesses extract 70-80 percent of their profits from 20-30 percent of their customers. One way to maximize the value of your CRM system is to use the built-in analytics tools to keep track of who your most valuable customers are.

As marketing manager Christopher Meloni explains it, “This sort of tracking, with the help of your CRM software, will in-turn enable you to allocate your resources in such a manner that those 20-30% of your customers get the best customer service, always. This is called target-based allocation, and it can prove wonders for you and your business organization.”

CRM can also be used to help you handle customer complaints in a swift manner. By delivering fast responses, you can deal with problems as they arise (instead of letting them fester). Other valuable uses – depending on the CRM system you use – include the ability to analyze customer buying patterns, send out automatic updates, and keep track of who customers are and how they’re likely to respond in certain situations.

2. Invest in Business Intelligence

Are you currently invested in business intelligence? This is the fastest developing trend in small business and you have to make it a priority if you stand any chance of acquiring and maintaining a base of loyal customers that continue to come back time after time.

“Business intelligence for small business helps to gather data about your customers’ behavior and structure it in a clear form so that it can be analyzed fast and easy,” explains Heiko Troster of datapine. “With insights about your customers’ behavior you can make effective business decisions.”

Data is the ammunition of your communicative efforts. When you understand who your customers are and what they want, you can effectively forecast needs and satisfy their desires. You still have to strategically act on the information you have, but at least business intelligence tools can provide you with valuable data that you’d otherwise miss out on.

3. Gather More Information on Customers

Customers want to be known as more than an invoice number or receipt. They want to be seen as individuals with personal lives, needs, and sensitivities. When you have advanced CRM and business intelligence tools in place, you can tactfully gather more information on your customers and gain a fuller picture of who they are and what their needs are. This will benefit you in the long run by allowing you to interact with customers on an individual basis.

4. Reshape Your Social Media Strategy

What does your current social media strategy look like? If you haven’t made a conscious effort over the years to make your social media presence about your followers, then your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles are probably self-serving. All of the content you post is about your brand and you aren’t adding any real value to your customers. Sound familiar?

If the goal is to strengthen customer relationships, you’ll need to reshape your social media strategy and make it less about you and more about them. Make it an avenue for two-way conversations to take place.

“Unlike a one-way conversation where a company typically dominates the narrative and doesn’t really acknowledge or interact with visitors/followers , a two-way conversation directly connects brands and consumers,” says Carolyn Edgecomb of IMPACT. “A two-conversation is a dialogue, where brands speak and listen to their audience, responding directly to their wants and needs.”

The classic rule of thumb is that 80 percent of your social media posts should add value to your brand without directly promoting your products and services. Try your best to meet this goal.

Make More Time for Customers

Forging strong relationships with customers takes effort. But thanks to the technologies you now have available to you – such as CRM systems, business intelligence tools, and social media – it doesn’t have to require a ton of time.

Now’s the time to create a game plan for success. How are you going to handle the many needs of your company without compromising on the customer relationship front? It’ll take some trial and error, but you can find a solution.

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Chocolate Rain 10th Anniversary Calls Attention to Power of Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing Lesson from the 10th Anniversary of Chocolate Rain

This week marks the tenth anniversary of viral sensation “Chocolate Rain” by singer and internet personality Tay Zonday. And this milestone isn’t just about celebrating a flash-in-the-pan online hit. It also serves as an important reminder for businesses.

Chocolate Rain was one of the first truly viral internet sensations. The original video has been viewed more than 110 million times. And the song has been referenced in pop culture all the way from 30 Rock to Spongebob Squarepants.

Even Zonday himself has created spoofs of the song and performed on late night shows and in other venues. Now, Zonday has released a new video commemorating the tenth anniversary of his viral hit.

Viral Marketing Lesson from the 10th Anniversary of Chocolate Rain

For businesses, the lesson of Chocolate Rain is simple. Digital channels have lowered the barriers of entry so that even an unknown brand can capture global attention with the right content. And the payoffs can be huge!

Once you do start receiving some recognition, you can capitalize on it by accepting the additional opportunities that come your way. Because if the 10th anniversary of Chocolate Rain is any indication, viral content can have both an immediate and lasting impact.

Image: Tay Zonday/YouTube

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How to Use Different Types of Content When Marketing Your Small Business (Infographic)

How to Use Different Types of Content When Marketing Your Small Business (Infographic)

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past 6 years, you’ve probably heard about using content marketing to promote your small business.

Even as a solopreneur, content marketing works to bolster brand awareness, build your reputation, attract customers, and keep your website fresh.

However, with all the noise online, content marketing has gotten harder. Back in 2013, there were around 92,000 new articles posted on the internet every day.  Today, there are more brands than ever creating content.

How can your small business compete? By being smart about the different types of content you use.

Your Goals Should Drive the Types of Content You Use

Content has the ability to educate, entertain, inspire, and convince.  And, as the infographic from Smart Insight below shows, some types of content are suited for specific purposes.

To increase your chances of achieving your desired results, using the right type of content can make a real difference. For example, if you’re trying to:

  • Attract attention, entertaining types of content like quizzes, contests and viral videos work best.
  • Inform, use content like ebooks, guides, and infographics to educate your customers.
  • Build trust, use inspiring content like celebrity endorsements, reviews, and community forums.
  • Convert,  then content like demos, case studies, and calculators do the trick.

This is not to say that you can’t use entertaining content to convince or inspiring content to entertain, but playing to the strengths of each type of content can impact your results. Therefore, the best use of this infographic is for planning your content campaigns so they’ll be as effective as possible.

Content Marketing Tips

Want to learn more about content marketing? Here are some handy links:

Content Marketing Tools

Looking for useful content marketing tools to make your more efficient? Here are two links that should help:

 

How to Use Different Types of Content When Marketing Your Small Business (Infographic)

Source: Smart Insights

Creating Content Photo via Shutterstock

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What is an Integrated Marketing Campaign?

What is an Integrated Marketing Campaign?

The first part of this series discussed the basics of integrated marketing and how the method blends traditional techniques with digital parts. The previous article looked at how this modern tool combined the elements of more conventional outbound marketing with inbound marketing.

This second installment looks at how to take a step back and watch how these moving parts interact by looking at a few hypothetical campaigns that bridge the gap between cyberspace, print, radio and television.

Integrated Marketing Campaign Example

Some of the best integrated marketing campaigns encourage customers to support local small businesses. For example, an event promoting small retailers in a place like Pennsylvania could start with a hashtag like #ShopPenn as the fulcrum of the campaign.

YouTube Videos

That twitter hashtag might point to some YouTube videos about specific local businesses in the Pennsylvania area and perhaps even a live event to be held in a public location where shop owners can distribute pamphlets and flyers, all through one centrally organized campaign.

The Sagefrog Marketing Group has long been leaders in the integrated marketing space. Their 2017 B2B Marketing Mix Report highlights the need to use this integrated technique to engage both younger and older demographics.

The survey notes:

  • 55 percent of businesses don’t have a formal marketing plan.
  • The top lead sources have email marketing, social media marketing, public relations and trade show events all sharing space as big drivers for success.
  • Online marketing and trade shows and events have excellent ROI.

Mark Schmukler, CEO and Co-founder of Sagefrog Marketing Group, sees the parts of these campaigns as interrelated and the focus continually shifting.

Pendulum

“I think the whole thing is a pendulum really,” he tells Small Business Trends. “When digital first came along it was so innovative and powerful people thought all the old channels were dead.” He goes on to say that while digital routes are great for measuring ROI, people are looking to drive revenue too and that’s where these more traditional tools come in.

There are more than a few examples that prove Schmukler’s point. Narrowing the focus helps to get the message out across different channels to your target market. Not everyone needs to be on Facebook or Pinterest. Deciding what’s right for your business and target market is critical.

Therefore, it stands to reason a good marketing communications mix might have several elements like:

  • A press release.
  • Product giveaways on social media that tie in with a series of limited coupons.
  • A website that’s updated with new offers.
  • Demos and events where your product or service gets demonstrated.

Here’s another example of a campaign that would have your goods and services flying off the shelves.

Selling Refurbished Computers?

Let’s say you’ve got a small business selling refurbished computers — a nice example that combines digital uses with a physical product. A website would need to be a part of any integrated marketing campaign and it’s a good idea to offer some kind of break on shipping so you can compete with the bigger players in the online space.

A good old-fashioned press release might highlight the fact that you’re going to give a free seminar on the best practices to use in the cloud. Having your logo strategically placed on charging booths at the local computer show makes sure you’re covering all the bases.

Advertising box

The last word here goes to the experts. Schmukler is clear you shouldn’t assume  your small business will get to where it needs to go without thinking outside the traditional advertising box.

“I think there are opportunities for even traditional brick and mortar businesses to look at online revenue streams,” he adds. “What’s hot now is paid social media where I can sponsor a post on your timeline.”

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Small Businesses Learn from IKEA: Build a Complementing Side Business

Why You Should Have a Side Business

When it comes to securing your business’ future and increasing its profitability, diversifying your business is key. Diversifying essentially means to vary your business’ range of products or field of operation — a strategy that small businesses can learn a thing or two about from IKEA.

Why You Should Have a Side Business

Lessons for Diversifying Your Business Portfolio

IKEA, a multinational furniture retailer headquartered in the Netherlands, recently revealed it is considering opening a chain of standalone restaurants.

The furniture retailer that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, has always had restaurants in its stores since the 1950’s when it launched. The restaurants serve bargain meals and snacks, a carefully crafted diversification and customer acquisition strategy that helps to lure in customers for more furniture sales.

“We’ve always called the meatballs [sold in restaurants within their stores] ‘the best sofa-seller,’” Gerd Diewald, who oversees IKEA’s food programs in the U.S., told Fast Company.

“It’s hard to do business with hungry customers,” Diewald added. “When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk” about that wardrobe, sofa or bed and make a decision to buy there and then.

IKEA Food and Restaurant Business

IKEA reportedly serves some 650 million diners a year, across 48 countries around the world. Of these diners, 30 percent visit IKEA just to eat.

Annual food sales for IKEA added up to around $1.8 billion in 2016 and about $1.5 billion in 2013. While these sales figures pale in comparison with IKEA’s main home-goods business’ revenue, which topped $36.5 billion last year, the company welcomes the additional revenue generator.

The retail chain’s executives say they plan to expand IKEA’s food business further and have standalone restaurants dot cities around the world in coming years. Already IKEA has opened temporary standalone restaurants in Paris, London and Oslo.

If you are a small business looking for ways to increase revenue, you might want to follow IKEA’s lead and develop a complementing side business hustle. For a small café, that might entail expanding your offering to include meals or baked foods. For a small restaurant operation with a specialty item like ice cream, it might mean starting to sell your own brand of ice cream retail.

The results of your side hustle and the extra revenue generated can open up new avenues for growth.

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What Is Integrated Marketing?

What Is Integrated Marketing?

At first glance, the statistics seem like they’re at odds with each other — as though someone had mixed some generational marketing numbers up and accidentally placed ones that spoke to Boomers’ shopping preferences beside stats for the Millennials.

Consider the chart from The NPD Group that states 81 percent of Millennials’ retail purchases take place in a brick and mortar store.  Another statistic from Valassis seems to muddy the waters further. It states that 51 percent of respondents between the ages of 18- 34 reported the newspaper was the top source where they spotted deals.

What is Integrated Marketing?

Tech Savvy Generation

It may seem odd to find out that the most tech savvy of all the generations jumps from digital to traditional when they shop, but the concept is old hat to marketing gurus like Mark Schmukler. In fact, Schmukler and other forward thinkers have long championed a concept called integrated marketing that mimics the preference for something old and something new as a preferred way to market both on and offline. Schmukler started his career in engineering and switched to marketing over thirty years ago, so he understands the nuts and bolts of this specific tool.

“I’ve worked in the older ad agencies which practiced outbound marketing and the new digital agencies which are really inbound,” says the CEO and Co-founder of Sagefrog Marketing Group. “We have always believed in optimizing across all available channels.”

Smart Philosophy

It’s a smart philosophy and one that works perfectly with the definition of integrated marketing as a method that combines outbound traditional marketing with inbound marketing. It’s a bridge between older styles where ads on television, print, radio and flyers and brochures got a message out to potential customers. Inbound marketing is primarily digital and designed to draw clients in.

The Inbound version took hold with the introduction of search engines generally and Google specifically in 1998. HubSpot was one of the companies that helped to define inbound marketing in the new digital age.

Those Twitter hashtags that appear during commercials are one common example. They entice people watching television to interact and engage with the brand online.  Most recently, big names like Porsche have used pop-up events at football games and geo-targeted mobile friendly content to let people know these events are coming up and get them sharing the message.

Pendulum Swings

Schmukler is quick to point out there have been a few trends over the years as the pendulum swings back and forth between the marketing techniques.

“What happened was the trend went from traditional to digital and now I see it starting to cycle back. The common thread is about optimizing across all channels. It’s not an either or world.”

For small businesses that listen to the integrated marketing gospel preached by people like Schmukler, the payoffs of integrating inbound and outbound techniques can be large. Core Solutions is an EHR provider that used Integrated Marketing to triple its traffic in less than five months and increase leads by more than 700 percent in only one year.

Good Measure

They did this by combining content marketing with email marketing and social media with measures of more traditional public relations added in for good measure.

Still, there are some things that don’t change when small business is looking to mesh the marketing types together into these integrated platforms. One is the desire to find the best leads and Schmukler has some advice for small businesses on one of the best foundations to start out with.

“You find the highest quality, highest value leads with live venues, tradeshows, networking and conferences in your industry. Digital marketing is good for getting quantity leads and live venues are good for quality,” he says.  “If you’re looking for high value client leads, the live venues are where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.”

Integrated Marketing Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “What Is Integrated Marketing?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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