Branding your business for success

Does your business make a good first impression? Have been in business for a while and still seem to not attract the clients you desire? I see this too often with clients that have not invested any energy, money, or time in their brand. Branding is vital to the existence of your business or propelling you to the next level. Branding consist of your visual presentation, including your logo, color scheme, font, business name, and tagline.  Branding helps with perceived professionalism and creating an identity for your company.

Here is a few things to consider when creating your image.

  1. What colors are used in your industry and why? How do these colors make people feel?
  2. Define your key goals.
  3. Understand your target audience. What font and verbiage will attract this group.
  4. Project the correct content to create the persona for your company. This creates. personality and identity.

Once you have decided on the ideal branding for your company, make sure it is  consistent through your offline on online marketing efforts. Signage. social media, emails, web site, social media, and more.

 

 

Meetingbird Scheduling Application

I recently was sent the link to someone’s scheduling application to figure out the best time for us to meet for coffee or a phone chat. This link was to the app www.meetingbird.com  . The person I met with raved about how he was able to customize meeting times, locations, and more. The application helps schedule meetings faster and cut down on back and forth messages.  Users can sign up through Google or Microsoft Office 365.  Meetingbird’s free plan provides unlimited scheduling and integrations with Zoom and Zapier.  The Pro version costs $9 for each user per month when billed annually and allows users to add their own branding to scheduling pages.  For large group meetings, the application allow users to create Polls to vote on a time that works for everyone. For users that travel across time zones there is full time zone support and the application automatically displays meeting times in the timezone of the viewer so users are able to schedule meetings across time zones with no confusion.

What is your favorite scheduling application?

 

Add an admin to a Facebook business page

If you’re an admin:
  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page.
  2. Click Page Roles in the left column.
  3. Type a name or email in the box and select the person from the list that appears.
  4. Click Editor to select a role from the drop down  menu.
  5. Click Add and enter your password to confirm.
There’s no limit to the number of people who can have a role on a Page. Moderator cannot edit, create, and delete posts.
Keep in mind that if you’re not friends with the person you’re adding, they’ll have to accept the invite before they can start helping you manage your Page.
Facebook roles

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Google My Business gives you the power to attract and engage customers when they search for your business on Google.

Your Google business website has many benefits. It allows you to present your business professionally online, showcasing your photos and business details. Insights shows you how you can optimize your customer engagement for better results. Google My Business allows you to post photos of products or special offers, and add/edit your business details.  It is important to remember to respond to customer Reviews on this platform whether positive or negative for increased Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.  Get started by visiting this link:  https://www.google.com/business/

Most businesses can verify ownership over the phone, via SMS, or request and receive a postcard to their address from Google. Learn more about how you can verify your business here.

Log into your Google My Business account to update your address, phone number, website, open hours, and more to help customers find and connect with your business. Keep your profile updated with fresh photos to make it easy for customers to choose your company.

Instruction to remove photos from Google My Business

  1. Sign in to Google My Business and choose the page you’d like to manage.
  2. Click Photos at the top of the page.
  3. Choose the photo you want to delete in full screen view.
  4. In the upper-right corner of the photo you’d like to delete, click the trash can icon

google-my-business

 

WordPress top plugins

 WP Engine is the world’s leading WordPress digital experience platform that gives companies of all sizes the agility, performance, intelligence, and integrations they need to drive their business forward faster.  The WordPress directory is made up of nearly 55,000 plugins given WordPress users endless options for customizing and optimizing their WordPress site.  To narrow down the list: WP Engine publication, Torque, named top WordPress plugins for the following categories: eCommerce, Maintenance, Optimization, and Marketing.

Here are some of the plugins that made the list:

Easy Digital Downloads- Easy Digital Downloads’ solution is seamless and effortless when selling any sort of media file (photos, documents, software, etc.). This plugin is easily integrated with the most popular payment systems: PayPal, Bitpay Stripe, Braintree and more. There are also custom add-ons and themes available for maximum customization including the Simple Shipping extension which allows companies to easily collect shipping info from customers during checkout, set shipping rates for domestic and international orders, and mark payments as being shipped or not. Other notable features include discount codes and promotions, advanced reporting, and powerful, real-time customer management.

Event Tickets- This is the easiest way for visitors to RSVP or purchase tickets to events. The plugin works by allowing companies to add RSVPs and tickets to posts or pages. Users can easily collect payment by connecting their Paypal account. Event Tickets can also be synced with Events Calendar allowing admins to add ticketing purchasing capabilities to event listings. If support is needed, the Event Tickets developers at Modern Tribe are dedicated to supporting the users and the WordPress community as a whole.

Duplicate Post- This plugin makes it easy to replicate posts at any time with one click. No more copying and pasting every time needing to create the same post. The plugin has over two million active downloads and a five star rating, which makes it incredibly reliable. Install and activate and you can start replicating immediately.

Updraft Plus- Make back up and restoration much more complete and easier to use. With this plugin, backup to the cloud using any service from Google Drive to Dropbox, and then restore the original with just one click. This plugin is essential for any new site.

Ninja Forms-  Ninja Forms is easy to use for beginners and experts alike with built-in hooks, filters, and custom field templates when creating forms to site for any purpose. You have the flexibility to customize forms however you need.

Sidebars- Sidebars are a great way to present pages and other navigation in a way readers can easily see them. Site creators can completely customize the way they look with custom widgets. Display any page, post, archive category, or post type right on the side of your page. Custom Sidebars makes customization easy, also allows for import and export sidebars found that are appealing.

The Events Calendar- This app is perfect for online business specializing in events.  It  is the best way to display a calendar right on the site. The calendar works with everything from small restaurants to huge concert venues. Though the calendar comes with a skeleton style sheet, every piece of it can be customized. The plugin also works with Events Tickets, so companies can sell tickets directly from the calendar itself.

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Selling with location-based data

Location-based marketing on mobile runs on opted-in location data. The vast majority of location-based marketing is powered by opted-in GPS data, received from smartphones. That is, when someone opts-in to share their location with an app, the latitude and longitude data gathered from that app is what powers location-based marketing and analytics. There are other sources that can be used, such as beacons, Wi-Fi, and IP address as well. All of these also require opt-in permission to use.

The two biggest entities using this technology to sell digital ads to location-based audiences are Facebook and Google. The two capture a combined 57% of all digital ad spend in 2018.

Let’s explore how this works.  First data taking in is the location data.  It is then aggregated and then matched to a “point of interest”, which is typically a business. This is one of the most difficult steps in the process, as it requires up-to-date business information, keeping track of which stores open and close, categorizing them correctly, as well as keeping up-to-date footprints of buildings. Many times the next step is to enrich the data, appending other demographic or behavioral insights to it to build out richer audience profiles. Marketers create a method to build or select their location-based audiences using this data. The marketer will want to take action on those audiences, serving ads or content to them across mobile, desktop, social media, or programmatic advertising.

This type of marketing can be specially beneficial for brick and mortar businesses like  restaurants, retailers, and auto dealers. For e-commerce businesses that want audiences that visit specific retail locations like competitors that sale similar product or seasonal, annual, or themed events like conferences and trade shows can also benefit.

A few examples of types of location based data technology.

 

  • Geofencing –Find real-time visitors.  Geofencing is creating a virtual barrier around a location. This can either be a radius around a large location, or a very specific building footprint. The word “geofencing” can also be used to refer to advertising when someone enters that virtual barrier. They may receive an alert, push notification, or an ad within a mobile app based upon that current location.
  • Geotargeting – Find past visitors to their locations. Geotargeting refers to delivering ads to people that were previously in, a specific location. Geotargeting refers to serving ads based upon historical location visits to points-of-interest, rather than serving ads based upon the current real-time location. Also known as geofencing campaigns.
  • Geoconquesting – Find Competitor’s visitors.  Geoconquesting refers to serving ads to people when they are currently in, or were previously in, a competitor’s location or locations. This tactic uses technology such as beacons or NFC to trigger ad delivery, alerts, or content to a smartphone that is within just a few feet of a specific location.

data based tech

 

Communicate to your members for a successful Meetup group

You have created your Meetup group. Now what? How do you keep the excitement going? Or you have had your Meetup group for a while, and it has lost momentum.  How do you turn this around?

Get excitement going before the event.

  • Leading up to the event, add updates with detailed comments on the event’s page. Ask questions to create engagement with members. Make sure to respond to questions.

Send personal messages.

  • Reach out to new members and let them know what to expect at your event.
  • Tell first-timers you look forward to meeting them and will introduce to them the others.

Create reminder messages.

  • Put systems in place for continued communication with the group.  Figure how frequent these will go out.  For my group, I have let them know that I will only send out an email once a month. This way they know how often expect the email and the expect another reminder.

Work the crowd.

  • People will not remember what you said, but how they felt. Be sure everyone feels welcomed and make introductions to newcomers, especially if you notice they look uncomfortable.
  • Ask for help from members or friends for tasks that will not allow you to be a good host.

Celebrate each event.

  • No matter the number of the turn out be happy with everyone that shows up.  The right people will be present.
  • Share photos afterward of the event.  Select images of happy members and highlights.  Let attendees know where the photos will be posted.

 

Don’t keep your Meetup group a secret

The Meetup platform announces new groups to members who have expressed interest in a certain range of topics. If you are an organizer, is that all you will have to do to get the word out about your group? Chances is that is not going to be enough to get people to join the group and be active. There are other steps you will have to take.

Share information about your group on social media.  Use keywords and phrases to attract friends or their contacts on your social sites. Use hashtags to be searchable by new people.  Use groups on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to distribute information about future activity about the group. Tag appropriate collaborators.

Be found on Search Engines. Meetup has a strong presence on the web. use this to your advantage. Use keywords on titles,descriptions, and location indicators to show up higher on a search.

Cross promote with others that serve the same audience. Share your group details at community spaces that make sense like the location where you will be meeting, libraries, and co-working spaces.  Be sure to get permission.

Ask your active members to help spread the word. Have your active members help spread the word about your group.  Take many pictures and let attendees know where they will be posted. Share exciting news about the group.

Invite friends and colleagues that may be interested in the group.  Don’t forget the people you already know and ask them to invite others. 

Have the right members find your Meetup group

Meetup has tens of millions of users and processes more than 500 new groups everyday.  If your a Meetup Organizer, how do you get the correct people to find your group. Knowing how the Meetup platform’s processes and algorithms work can be useful.

If you are starting a new group,  Meetup will publicize new groups to encourage membership to people that may find the group relevant accordingly to information like location, topics, title, and description.

Location- Meetup uses zip code, city, state, and country for groups and members to make a good match. Algorithms look at other groups in the same zip code as you, their members, and where they come from.

Topics- Choosing topics is the best way for members to show interest in future groups. Algorithms match members and groups that have selected the same topic. Organizers are allowed to pick 15 topics to define a group. Meetup will also expand the list of topics to best find members interested in the group. The emails sent to potential members will then reach out to members interested in the topic and tell potential members about the new community!

Demographic- Meetup considers member-entered information like age and gender when promoting groups with a designated demographic. Not everyone that subscribes to Meetup specifies their age or gender, so Meetup may use clues like other groups they are part of, and the age/gender focus they have.

Activity- Member activities like RSVPs, other groups joined, and sent messages are how Meetup determines who is likely to consider joining a new group. New group announcements are likely to go to active, engaged members.

Stay connected after an event