5 Events to Have In July

Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

Events to Have In JulyJuly is a great month to plan some fun and fresh campaigns for your business. Even though Independence Day has passed, there’s still a lot of great ways you can get your customers to celebrate with you!

1. Christmas in July

Everyone loves to celebrate Christmas, but now you can do it without the chilly weather! Host a Christmas in July party at your place of work. Have people dress up in their santa hats and ugly sweaters! Here in Ohio we love our Great Lakes Brewery Christmas Ale and some businesses even save a keg or two especially for this time of year. Don’t forget to promote your event on Save Local Now for everyone to see!

2. Health and Wellness

Everyone likes to have fun and stay fit during the summer. Host a day that encourages health and wellness. Whether it’s a fun game at the office or a field day of activities, anything that encourages friendly competition can make for a fun day. The best activities will also take advantage of the weather. Why not invite customers and clients and go on a company hike! Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

3. Join the Community Events

Is there a fair or festival coming up? Join in on the fun! Share updates on social media and take some time to enjoy the activities. If you’re a retailer or restaurant see if you can set up a tent. You’re guaranteed to get new customers and get more involved in the community. These things only come once a year!

4. BBQ

Don’t forget about the food! Grill out with some hot eats and cool treats. Take your office out for ice cream or have a cookout! Invite your loyal customers over for a BBQ. You could also get a gift certificate to the local ice cream place and have a sweepstakes. Our experience is almost anything you can do with food, will make people happy! :)

5. Summer Romance

Summer is the time for love! Take advantage of that opportunity by offering up exclusives. Have an enter-to-win date night package complete with movie tickets and a gift card to a local restaurant. Promote a special pre-date spa package for your clients. Whatever type of business you have, see if there is something special you can do for couples.

Not only will all of these ideas help build stronger relationships within the staff and with the customers, it will also give you stronger ties to the community. A little planning goes a long way to make some fun for everyone! Best part of all, you can use the Save Local Now platform to promote all these events. So log in, get started, and get out there and enjoy the season!

First Published at Save Local Now

About Grace

Grace RoulstonGrace is one of the Digital Marketing Consultants at $LN. She received her degree in video production and communications from Ohio University. Grace is a film connoisseur and loves to talk movies! She also loves food and horses. grace.roulston@savelocalnow.com

Become a Digital Marketing Superhero: It’s as easy as 1,2,3……and 4

Would you like to know how to get that competitive edge and take digital media two, three, even four steps ahead of just simply using social media? Of course you do! It would be silly not to, so sit back, relax and learn your way to the top of this crazy digital world of ours.

Okay, so you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a website. Do you think that is enough to separate you from the millions of other small businesses? (Psst….probably not). However, the fact that you are reading this blog tells me that you are ready to take things to the next level.

So let’s cut to the chase and jump right into the four steps that will create this much needed separation.

STEP 1: STRATEGIZE TO RISE ABOVE THE OTHER GUYS:

 

 

 

 

 

Ask yourself the who, what, when, where, why and how.

  • Who are you trying to appeal to? (Target Market)
  • In what ways can you effectively appeal to the right clientele?
  • When does your customer base most frequently use social media?
  • Where are the right places to post your content?
  • You are on social media platforms, but why?
  • How can you creatively use social media to engage with your customers?

These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself. It is not enough to simply be on social media, you must have a strategic plan in place to achieve the results that you want.

Whatever you do, don’t be this guy!

STEP 2: UNDERSTAND THAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS ONLY ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE:

Be proud that you have a great Facebook page, Twitter account, Google plus, Instagram, etc. However, to be a big hitter in the game of business and the digital world you must establish something beyond that of social media. Jump on the email marketing boat (Helpful Hints for Email Marketing), become a blogger, create powerful networks with LinkedIn, stick your business logo/icon wherever you go, literally…..be everywhere. Make your name unforgettable!  In fact, “companies that blog 15% or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog” (30 Digital Marketing Statistics You Can’t Afford To Ignore). Whether it be social media, email, or blogging, those without this online presence are at an obvious disadvantage. Bypassing digital marketing is like saying, “I’m not really looking for more customers.”

STEP 3: ANALYTICS IS KEY TO TRACKING SUCCESS

Whenever someone asks me what analytics is or why it is so imperative for businesses to utilize its greatness, I always respond with this analogy: “when you throw spaghetti and meatballs at a wall some of it may stick and some of it may fall miserably to the floor.” Meaning that some things that you post (whether it be deals, events, etc.) get noticed while some may not. Without the analytics, how will you ever know if that 2-for-1 deal you have going on is getting the recognition you’ve hoped? When push comes to shove, analytics will save you time and money!

For a more in-depth look we recently dedicated a post that deals with everything you need to know about analytics and its significance to the business world. Check out the Top Three Reasons you Need Analytics (I am looking at you, small businesses owner).

STEP 4: PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER

You are so close! You have established a presence all over the web; social media, email, blog, LinkedIn and you now have the analytics to track its success. You are not finished just yet, so don’t quit on me!

When it comes to digital marketing the most important thing to remember is to link the pieces of the puzzle together:

  • Post everywhere because “distributing your content across multiple social media platforms and utilizing multiple touch points is vital to building brand awareness and connecting with your audience in ways that seem natural to the people you want to reach.” A Social Media Strategy on Multiple Platforms
  • To effectively engage with your customer base you need to create the perfect posts.
  • Make sure your social media pages are appealing, here’s 5 things you need in order to do that.

Some of the more popular ways that businesses try to establish an online presence is through the use of Constant Contact and Groupon, which are both a good place to start. While they all can help you achieve a pretty decent online presence in their own specified way, it will make your wallets bleed. But if you are looking for a digital marketing platform that can do it all in one attractive and easy to use place then check out Save Local Now……oh, and I forgot to mention…ITS FREE to chamber partners and their members! To learn more, sign up for your free 1-on-1 training! If you’re looking to create that competitive edge I talked about earlier, I know you’ll make the right choice!

First Published at Save Local Now

About Sawyer Dina

Intern Extraordinaire (sawyer@savelocalnow.com). Sawyer is currently a student at John Carroll University, where he studies Marketing & Entrepreneurship and plays on the Varsity tennis team. He loves to travel the world (has been to 15 different countries), gain knowledge, and experience all that life has to offer.

The Importance of Giving Back

Local business is all about community, and what better way of promoting the importance of community than charity. Local businesses thrive because of their community’s loyalty and dedication, so it is of the upmost importance that businesses participate in charity work and promote their dedication to their surrounding communities.

What difference can philanthropy make, and is it worth a small business’ time?  Companies that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors.  People want to see their own communities thrive, and they also want to build relationships with businesses and brands.  If your small business can give back and earn a customer following, why wouldn’t you?  Helping others, while gaining community exposure, is truly a win-win for all.

Research shows that giving back has powerful effects. 89% of entrepreneurs donate money, both personally and through their companies, according to a study by Ernst & Young and the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. What’s more, 62% say giving back makes their companies more successful in the long run (Fidelity Charitable, 2010).

Want to start a philanthropic effort through your small business but don’t know where to start?  Follow these tips to hit the ground running.

Tips:

Build relationships within your community.

  • Look at your community to see what’s important. Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations? etc.
  • Building relationships start by making genuine connections with your customers.  Start conversations with them and try to learn a little bit about everyone who comes into your store!
  • The community is where your business operates, and improving this environment adds to the value of your product or service and increases the quality of life for everyone in the environment.

Get your employees on board. 

  • Giving employees an avenue to give back is important for morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team.
  • If your employees love what they’re doing and feel like they’re making a difference, work ethic and attitudes are bound to improve.
  • Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities for employees, which leads to increased staff performance, fulfillment and, ultimately, increased productivity and sales

Let customers know how you’re giving back. 

  • “I’ve found that customers really want to know how you’re making the world a better place,” says Erin Giles, an Aiken, S.C.-based business philanthropy consultant who helps entrepreneurs find causes they’re passionate about and incorporate their message into their business (Lavine, 2013).
  • Moms and Millennials are particularly interested in a business’ corporate social responsibility platform, Giles says (Lavine, 2013).
  • Don’t be afraid to brag about your philanthropic initiatives.  Post notices around your business and your community to let people know about your efforts and encourage others to get involved.

Some suggestions on how to give back:

  • Churches, little league sports leagues, local chapters of the Red Cross and Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs, donations to scholarship funds, sponsorship of a local sports team, etc.
  • Spreading good will establishes your business as the neighborhood do-gooder and community leader.

Big or small, giving back can only benefit your business and your community positively.  Reach out to those who need a helping hand and broaden your appeal at the same time.  Remember to be creative and have fun with whatever philanthropy you choose to pursue.  It’s sure to bring a smile to someone’s face!

Works Cited

Lavine, Lindsay.  “The Power of Giving Back: How Community Involvement Can Boost Your Bottom Line.”  Entrepreneur Magazine.  26 June 2013. <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226974

“Entrepreneurs are More Likely to Give to Charity.”  Fidelity Charitable. 12 Nov. 2010. <http://www.fidelitycharitable.org/about-us/news/11-12-2010.shtml>.

First Published at Save Local Now

Content Marketing for Small Businesses

A common stereotype linked to content marketing is that it’s only for big business. While this stereotype is….well, a stereotype – it’s a stereotype for a reason. At this point, mostly big businesses are taking advantage of content marketing. So what gives, small business? Take your piece of the pie! The flavor? Mixed berry with a heavy side of SALES.

So, what is content marketing? Content marketing is a technique; it allows you to create and distribute valuable (and relevant) content that will attract a specific audience and, thus, create new business. Why do we need it? Well, today’s modern marketer knows that “selling” doesn’t work the way it used to. These content marketing tips will help ensure that you stay on top of your game, and ahead of the curve.

Now, we all somewhat remember the “four P’s” of traditional marketing (let’s be honest here, I had to look them up): product, price, place and promotion. However, there’s nothing “traditional” about content marketing; in other words, the “P’s” have been updated: plan, produce, publish, promote, and prove.

  1. Plan: Decide what content formats make sense for you and your audience. Blogging, infographics, social media, and video – these are content formats that Save Local Now uses because they make sense for the company and contribute to our overall marketing objectives.
  2. Produce: It’s time to create the content. Put together a detailed content strategy behind Wlleverything you create. Trust me – it will help.
  3. Publish: The home for your content should most obviously be your company website. Share the content on your blog page and your social media sites.
  4. Promote: Your content needs eyeballs on it; reading it, learning from it. Post your content on social media, drive traffic to your blog and your website; make it easy to understand and easy to share.
  5. Prove: Content marketing is an investment; it takes time, hard work and dedication to make it effective. Therefore, analytics are crucial. Track your website and page views, your time spent, search engine results, etc. and compare your results.

Content marketing is an open-ended conversation that you’re having with people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. CHERISH IT. And have some patience! Like traditional marketing, this will take time. BUT – your content, so long as it is high-quality, valuable and relevant content, will appeal to your clientele; they will begin to trust you, start citing you in their own content, etc. When you push it to your social media outlets you will earn shares, “likes,” and retweets. This will help spread your brand; it will allow you to create relationships with people you would have otherwise never reached. Content matters, people – but only if you do it right. And if you do it right? Well, that pie that you’ve been missing out on will soon be yours to share.

Carpenter, Tom. “The 5 P’s of Content Marketing.” Business to Community. 9 June 2014. Web. <http://bit.ly/1n462t3>.

View Original article here.

About Author

Director of Sales + Marketing – (avid lover of beagles) – keri@savelocalnow.com – Put your money where your home is. Keep it local. Trust the experts.* – *We’re the experts.

IMC and Save Local Now

With more consumers turning to new communication forms, it is vital that we marketers embrace the idea of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). This is simply the idea that anyone trying to promote a product or service needs to have a cross channel approach when it comes to marketing. What does this mean? In plain terms, continue to use traditional marketing and advertising, but make sure you mix in some of the new methods like social media and mobile marketing. More than 80% of smartphone users and tablet users use their mobile devices to assist in their shopping process.

Our Time Online is spread between 4 Primary Media DevicesThat means if you’re not using mobile plus other channels, you’re missing a huge chunk of potential consumers. For anyone attempting to market him or herself, one of the keys to success is to have a strong approach with all of your marketing channels. Meaning, don’t slack off on your Twitter account. One chink in your marketing armor can change a consumers mind about your product.

This is where Save Local Now dives in. If you’re already using $LN, you already have a cross channel approach to marketing. You are able to use our email marketing platform, our social media connectivity, our mobile apps, our website and more. Each of our products gives you the ability to have a quick, easy and effective multi-channeled approach to your marketing plan. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a day on your $LN account, and you’ll see the benefits in no time at all.

To start, create a deal or promotion. Once you’ve done that, push it out to your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages. Next, schedule an email campaign. Guess what, you just created your first IMC marketing campaign in a matter of minutes!

What are you waiting for? Go out and start planning your new approach to marketing your business!

Source: http://blog.savelocalnow.com/imc-save-local/

5 Ways to Promote Your Business This Summer

Summertime is finally here! Now that everyone is out and about in town, it’s time to put your small business outside, as well. Here are 5 great ways to market your business this summer:

1. Get OUTSIDE

The weather is nice and you’re sitting inside; air conditioning is a luxury, but that’s no reason to be stuck indoors. Grab a golf umbrella and set up shop outside your store. At the very least, get out some sidewalk chalk. If you’re place is on a strip or a street with other businesses, collaborate with them and start a sidewalk sale! Events like this will support the community and draw in more visitors. Your can create your event on Save Local Now to help spread the word.
Sidewalk Sale Chalk

Parade2. Parade in Style

Does your community have a parade in the summer? Get involved! There are great marketing opportunities in local parades. You can give out special trinkets that relate to your business or brand, or just keep it simple with candy. Either way, you’re guaranteed to get your name out there.

 

Festivals3. Go to Festivals

If it’s something you might enjoy, look into becoming a vendor. Sell products that people can use like water bottles, tote bags or towels with your name on it. It’s a great way to get new customers and hey, you might enjoy some live music yourself!

 

Sale4. Get Patriotic

Start a 4th of July promotion through Save Local Now. Even if it’s not a huge sale, getting festive is fun! Hand out small flags with purchase. Show your customer appreciation and your patriotism!

 

 

 

5. Support Local Sports

Support Your Team
Check your community calendar or show up in the recreational areas or on the 5k run sidelines. Show support for your local teams. Pair up with the local ice cream store and give discounts to the little league teams after a hot summer game. People will really appreciate and recognize your efforts.

The goal here is to help out your community. The more your strive to achieve this, the more people will view your business as a significant part of the community. Set the bar high – it all starts with you! Now get out there and enjoy the summer!

First Published at Save Local Now

Top Three Reasons you Need Analytics (I am looking at you, small businesses owner)

Feat Hed MobileThe good news is that there are plenty of ways to dive into analytics as a small business owner. The hardest part is to decide where to start and how much time to spend on extrapolating data. My advice would be to start small and work your way into platforms with more advanced metrics (MailChimp). There are enough free sites out there (Facebook for one) that can help you understand your customer just a bit better. As far as time commitment goes, after you learn how to use the analytic tab in Facebook, you can check it once a week to see what trends are developing and what messages are working the best. Ah, but let’s get down to why you need to spend time, and possibly money, on all of this collected data.

1. Big box companies are kicking your butt.

Hell, baseball teams are using analytics to get better. Just ask Brad Pitt…er…Billy Beane from the Oakland A’s (Moneyball, a great movie). My point is that smart people with a ton of resources are killing it in the real world and you are quickly being left behind. You’re probably thinking to yourself that you are totally screwed. If you are lazy and hate technology, you are totally screwed. BUT – if you are an entrepreneur, and you need to get your marketing nerd on, then check out these 10 places to analyze web data. If you want to analyze a whole marketing campaign then try Save Local Now (cough, ahem, shameless plug).

2. Big data will grow by 44% over the next decade.

This report suggests that data will soar 44 times over the next decade. Cloud adoption is exploding and more and more data is available to be analyzed.

Data Growth

This represents both an opportunity and a challenge.

The Intuit 2020 report and many other sources support that “those who become proficient in collecting, managing and analyzing this information will gain competitive advantage.” INTUIT 2020

Of course by definition, those that don’t will be left behind. Someone once said “knowledge is power.” It’s at our fingertips, people. Go get it!

3. You can can save yourself a ton of time (eventually).

You must give a little to get a little. It takes money to make money. Okay, you get where I am coming from. In order to harness the power of analytics, you must take time to learn how to use platforms that track data (Facebook, Google, Constant contact, Save Local Now, Hoot suite, etc.) Then you must learn how to use that data to your advantage.

Analytics Header

Think of your data as a report on your virtual storefront. You can now see which device people viewed your product or service on. Email analytics will let you know what time of day it was opened, from which device it was opened, and in some cases, it can tell you where they opened it (which town they opened in or the location of the IP address …but lets not get into that). With just a few pieces of data you can begin to paint a picture of your audience and the type of interaction they are having with your digital store front.

In short, analytics allow you to

  • gain invaluable insights into your customer’s behavior;
  • examine facts rather than assumptions or guesses;
  • make educated decisions on how to improve to your website, App, Email marketing campaigns social media post, daily deals, events calendar, etc.

In the long term, this means more of the right traffic, sales and profit. And more time to enjoy your entrepreneurial success.

You’re welcome.

First Published at Save Local Now

About author

Cody Linck

Regional Sales Director

Cody LinckMy passion is growing local communities, and empowering them with the tools to succeed. My mother and father each own small businesses and have been involved with chambers their whole life. I want to help people like my parents grow into the digital era with a platform that is easy, fast, and FREE to use!

Visit Save Local Now’s Facelift with Modern Look and all Devices Compatibility

Announcing the launch of new modern website of Save Local Now(TM). Some of the new features are better user experience, freedom to use it on any device, better presentation of deals & events. With the evolution of the new website SLN has redefined the digital marketing. So keep you local world with you anytime, anywhere and on any device. Now you can Save Local now more than before.

New Look of Save Local Now

Why Small Businesses Should Maintain a Digital Marketing Presence

Small business is a special niche of our society and economy. Offering the public local choices, local options and the chance to keep the flow of money within the community is growing in popularity as the global economy becomes more and more aware of it’s importance. Most small businesses have a small budget and base most of their reputation on word of mouth. It is for this reason that small businesses should be most concerned with digital marketing over print or more traditional forms of advertising.

Chances are, whether a business is concerned with digital marketing or not, it is more than likely some information already exists online about that business. A recent study by Dimensional Research shows that 2/3 of all people research small business marketing strategies and products online. So if a small business is not able to be found online, chances are they are missing out on 2/3 of their customers! With platforms such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Urban Spoon among others, information about businesses can be found online whether they are correct or not. Looking into what information is on these sites, as well as reviews that might be published by customers, is crucial. If there is incorrect information on the web this could negatively impact a potential customers decision as to whether they will use that business or not.

Marketing Tools used today vs. five years ago

Luckily, today there are many options for maintaining a presence in the digital world and controlling what information might be found online. A small business might create a basic website or even a blog, use social media platforms like Facebook or Google Plus, or use their free Save Local Now account. These platforms can be used to create up-to-date information which will then be picked up by other sites such as the previously mentioned Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. Better yet, they will create an opportunity for customers to interact with the business. Most customers are already using social media as a personal platform and can easily share the information on a businesses Facebook, Twitter, or Save Local Now account to recommend it to friends. Also, if a customer has a negative experience they might be more likely to leave a comment or message on a Facebook page or blog where a business can reply directly than to post a review on Yelp where it is less likely to be compensated for.

The best part about platforms, such as blogs, social media, and Save Local Now, is they are generally free and therefore put all businesses on an equal playing field. As previously stated, small businesses base their marketing on Low budgets and word of mouth so with both of those in mind, they really can’t afford to miss out on platforms that are free and easily sharable.

View Original article here

About Alicia

Alicia BusaAlicia is one of the member engagement managers for Save Local Now. She hails from Northeast Ohio but loves to travel and immerse herself in new cultures. Alicia is the free spirit of the $LN team. Her most important task is to keep the office lively and relaxed. alicia.busa@savelocalnow.com

The #1 tip to SUCCESS on Save Local Now

9products

As you should know by now Save Local Now offers 9 different products to help your small business compete with large marketing budgets. If you aren’t familiar with these 9 products you could always set up a training to learn how these products could benefit your business. But I digress…the bottom line is while some of these products will work behind the scenes and save you time and effort, most of them will gain a whole lot more traction if you follow one simple step. Here it is, are you ready?

**…*…Tell your customers!…*…**

Save Local Now gives you the tools and products you need at a price you can’t beat ( FREE! ) but that doesn’t mean we’re magic. The best way to get people in your community to shop locally is to tell them about Save Local Now!

It starts in your business. Tell all your employees about Save Local Now and that they should use it and promote it to customers and friends. Make sure they know there is an app and a website and even set them up as a user on your account if you want to ( we can help with that ).

Then, make sure both you and your employees are telling ALL of your customers. word of mouth is the best way to get things out but even if you cant personally talk with every customer, make sure they are getting a rack card to tell them a little bit more about how they can save local (right) now! Your chamber should be able to supply you with these rack cards-all you have to do is ask. When you tell people about Save Local Now, your business, as well as the whole community benefits! So make sure you remember this one key tip and spread the word!

View original article here

About Alicia

AliciaAlicia is one of the member engagement managers for Save Local Now. She hails from Northeast Ohio but loves to travel and immerse herself in new cultures. Alicia is the free spirit of the $LN team. Her most important task is to keep the office lively and relaxed. alicia.busa@savelocalnow.com