Why Video Matters More and More to Small Business Owners

Posted by Eric Welch on July 23rd, 2012 | 1 Response

Video Matters

Video. You’ve watched plenty of it. You know how it can influence behavior. You’ve seen what it can do for those companies blessed with big advertising budgets. But what does it mean for you, the small business owner?

It’s no secret that businesses actively using video in their marketing mix enjoy more sales, more reach, and more visibility than those that don’t. If you still need convincing, a simple online search will reveal thousands of articles, studies and statistics which support this simple fact. I could list a bunch of them right here and now, but that would make for a very long blog post. Read More »

4 Home Improvement Marketing Ideas to Increase Job Volume

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on July 6th, 2012 | 2 Responses

For service professionals that conduct most of their business away from the office and out in the field, finding the time for marketing and lead generation can be difficult. However, there are some simple things home services professionals can do in order to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and effectively attract new business while working on existing job sites.

1) Make your service trucks and trailers advertise for you.

Vehicle wraps and truck-side billboard advertising isn’t a new concept but it is amazing to see how many service vehicles lack signage of any kind. Those that do often include the bare minimum of information and do little to address why prospects should consider one company over another. It’s no longer enough to slap the company name and a phone number on the car door and expect the phone to ring off the hook. Read More »

5 Tips for Effective Direct Mail Postcard Campaigns

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on June 15th, 2012 | 5 Responses

http://thedirectmarketingvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kitty_mailbox.jpgEven in today’s social- and digital-media-rich environment, well thought out direct mail campaigns have the ability to capture a recipient’s attention, get them to read and process content, commit to the message, then execute a specific call to action. Done correctly, direct mail can be an affordable small business marketing tool that provides exceptional results.  And, although there is no secret formula for direct mail design and strategy that will guarantee 100% response from all recipients, there are best practices marketers should follow to increase brand visibility, consumer response rates and overall ROI.

Over time, these fundamentals haven’t changed much. When I asked the question on LinkedIn, “If you only had one direct mail marketing tip to share, what would it be?” these five core essential tips for effective direct mail postcard marketing stood out. Read More »

7 Apps for Managing and Growing Business from Your Office on Wheels

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on May 10th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

in car mobile office

By 2013, 34.9 percent of the global population—roughly 1.19 billion people—will conduct business while on the go, according to a Worldwide Mobile Worker Population Forecast published by the marketing intelligence firm IDC. A large segment of this group is in their vehicles daily, managing business and marketing efforts from a makeshift office on wheels.

For those in the home services industry—remodelers, home cleaners, landscapers, roofers, real estate agents, etc.—this is especially true. Smart phones and access to productivity apps offer an opportunity to effectively market, manage, and grow business in between appointments, from virtually anywhere. Read More »

6 Things to Know About Pitching Your Business, Product, or Service–Tips from an Angel Investor

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on May 3rd, 2012 | 1 Response

During this year’s Future Insights Live conference, a few hand-selected attendees had the opportunity to pitch their mobile or web app to a panel of  judges that included, among others, Jason Calacanis, angel investor and founder of the video learning site Mahalo.com, and Jason Nazar, founder of the document resource site, DocStoc.com. After hearing the pitches, the panel asked each presenter questions in order to better understand the apps and the company’s business models.

Through their questions and commentary, they provided the following tips on how to successfully pitch a business and/or product. Although the guidance was for pitching to investors, these same tips apply when speaking to, or marketing to, your customer base. Read More »

QuantumDigital Launches QCards, the First Ever Direct Mail Marketing iPhone App

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on April 11th, 2012 | 2 Responses

local direct mail postcard marketing

It’s official! QuantumDigital just launched QCards, the first direct mail marketing iPhone app designed to help SMBs grow local business while on the go.

Through QCards, users can create, print and mail vibrant, full-color postcards to market their business in local neighborhoods–right from their iPhone. What’s unique about this application is that it offers users the ability to generate neighborhood mailing lists on the fly by using their smartphone’s geo-location feature or by typing in a target location. Service-based business professionals–like house painters, landscapers, real estate agents, or residential cleaners–no longer have to walk door to door distributing business cards or door hangers to prospects surrounding job sites. They can simply take a picture with their iPhone, write a personal message, and even link to their website or a video via QR code, then mail postcards to the neighborhood audience. SMBs can market their business in a matter of minutes; postcards mail next business day so they can start seeing results quickly. Read More »

Small Business Marketing Tips from #SXSWi 2012

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on March 14th, 2012 | 1 Response

sxsw2012

Didn’t get to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin this year? Have no fear. There’s a ton of notes available on Twitter. To make it easier than sifting through all of the information to find useful bits of information, I’ve outlined some helpful tweets from just a couple of the panels that I attended.

Feel free to use the associated hashtags to discover more information about each panel or leave a comment for this post to get a conversation started here. Read More »

5 Mobile Trends Every Small Business Marketer Needs to Know

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on March 7th, 2012 | 1 Response

If you haven’t already, you need to start thinking about how consumers may interact with your business via mobile devices. According to comScore’s latest report, “2012 Mobile Future in Focus,” smartphone ownership nearly doubled in 2011 alone (more than 100 million Americans now have a smartphone) and a growing number of consumers are using them to perform activities such as search, email, social networking, and shopping.

Here are a few highlights from the report and why these mobile trends should matter to you.

Nearly 50% of U.S. and Canadian mobile subscribers used mobile browsers. That means they’re potentially visiting your website while on their smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device with access to the web. If your website is not optimized to look good or be functional on these devices, you could be providing an unsatisfactory user experience or even losing customers.

Tips on getting your site ready for mobile devices: choose blog/website templates that utilize responsive design or that are mobile-friendly; choose an ecommerce solution that offers a mobile version of your store site in parallel with the ‘regular’ version; or use tools like Mobify to create a mobile version of your existing site. Read More »

The Quick and Dirty Way to Generate QR Codes and Track Response

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on February 21st, 2012 | 1 Response

For small business owners that are investigating new ways to optimize and track local marketing initiatives, QR codes can be intimidating. QR codes are high-tech looking. They’re kind of ugly. And, worst of all, they force marketers to examine how traditional media, like direct mail and print, can work with digital media and digital platforms in a seamless way. A lot of small business owners I know are very savvy and open to learning about new technologies. Even so, many are not sure how to actually generate a QR code, when and where to use one, and how to tell if consumers are even scanning them.

This post is dedicated to the do-it-yourself small business owners out there. For you, I’ve outlined a quick and dirty way to generate QR codes and track responses. Read More »

8 Different Uses for Printed Flyers

Posted by Cynthia Fedor on February 3rd, 2012 | 1 Response

Say the word “flyers” and most people immediately imagine colorful pieces of flimsy paper, tucked under a car’s windshield wiper, casually flapping in the wind. Others may picture street team members handing out flyers to folks passing by. Sure, these are typical uses for flyers; but this media type has so much more potential.

Check out these simple flyer printing ideas for business… and feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments. Read More »