marketing plan

5 Reasons to Create a Marketing Calendar

Marketing calendars are essential tools for any business. They’re fluid but organized, there to help you manage your campaigns through a month, a year, or even longer. Whether you use Excel, Google Spreadsheets, or another program, these turn your hours of marketing planning into a simple, coordinated resource. Here’s why you should be creating an updated, widely-used marketing calendar in your business!

1. Unified Messages

Creating a marketing calendar allows your team to stay on top of your branded messages during a campaign. You may have an overall product or service you want to push for a month or a quarter. Organizing and unifying your messages through a calendar can help your social media posts, blog posts, and advertising materials to work together on this goal.

2. Promotions

Along with promoting particular products, using a marketing calendar can synchronize your offers, like discounts and special deals. This allows you to space them out as you need for your business, rather than risking all of them becoming clumped together in one part of the year.

3. Organizing Team Members

From project managers and content writers, to creative team members, everyone will need to stay on top of their job and what must be done to proceed with the project. Coordinate their efforts through the calendar. This helps everyone see what their tasks should be, and how they contribute to each marketing campaign or project. This is not only good for keeping track of who does what; it’s good for helping your employees feel and stay productive.

4. Accountability

Marketing calendars helps managers–both at the franchisor and franchisee level–stay on top of all that work. Creating a marketing calendar holds each team member accountable for thier piece of marketing tasks. You can use the calendar to establish deadlines for each member and piece of the project as well. With the help of this tool, you’ll be able to make sure your projects, posts, and advertisements go out on time.

5. Trends

Each marketing calendar helps you plan for the consecutive year. What worked and what didn’t? While trends come and go year by year, there will be some that resurface. For example, you might see what worked on holiday campaigns, and build on that in coming years. Using a marketing calendar can help you keep better track of how to use this to your advantage.

Put your marketing calendar to use with Divvy! We can help you schedule your marketing campaigns and print projects. Call or contact us today.

Pack-Outs for Your Print Marketing Campaigns

Businesses thrive on marketing campaigns–and what better way to market than signage? It’s visible, usually colorful, and meant to grab attention right away. What could go wrong with branded signage?

Unfortunately in franchises, a lot could go wrong. It’s often too easy for franchisees to create signs and other marketing materials that go off-brand. It might be a color, a font, or even a different offer. While it might not seem like a big problem, it can be devastating for campaigns. For example, if your food-based business needs to advertise a special deal or a new menu item, and one location doesn’t get the right signage, you could lose a lot of customers looking to participate in the offer!

Marketing campaigns and promotions hold no weight if your franchisees aren’t on the same page visually. But that is where Divvy steps in.

Pack-Outs for Your Promos

Divvy easily creates quality marketing materials our franchises need to promote their products effectively. We create print marketing shipments, referred to as pack-outs. You may also know them as:

  • Quarterly marketing build-outs
  • Promo packages
  • Marketing auto-shipments

In these shipments, we print any item you might need for your campaign. These could include flyers, cards and envelopes, apparel, window clings, store graphics, menus, displays, and more. One franchise might only need a shipment of window clings, while other campaigns require all of the above for a large-scale marketing promotion.

The best part about pack-outs is that each shipment arrives at each location simultaneously, with the exact same pieces and materials. Every franchisee will receive exactly what they need for their campaign. This saves each location from having off-brand signs, different offers, and unapproved images. Your campaign will run smoother than ever with every franchisee participating this way!

Shipping Your Pack-Outs

Though it may be easy to print all the necessary products, getting them organized and off to their destinations can be trickier. But not for Divvy! Getting those products to businesses like Port of Subs, Bahama Bucks, and others in a timely manner is where we really excel.

Divvy does not deliver your print collateral back to you (the franchisor) for you to ship. That would be a waste of your time! Instead, we send it out for you to every individual location, saving you time and stress–and making sure everything gets there in time for your promotion to begin.

 

How Pack-Outs Work

Franchises order their promotional items via our web to print storefronts and API. Divvy then prints every single product just the way you need it. Need one location to receive something different from the others? We can do that, too! We will then drop-ship each set directly to every location, meeting your time-sensitive needs.

Divvy has a great deal of experience doing this for large orders covering multiple stores. We help franchises meet their tight deadlines and pull off successful marketing campaigns and promotions by doing everything in one place, where others are at the mercy of multiple shops and their variable or unreliable deadlines. Divvy’s ability to perform these pack outs in one location and ship them out to each franchisee gives us the edge compared to our competitors.

Creating Suspense on Social Media

Creating suspense on social media is easier than you think. You will be ready to create audience anticipation in a matter of these three steps:

Know Your Social Networks.

Each social media platform has unique advantages and disadvantages. For example….

 

Facebook is a consumer-focused social network with high engagement. Fan pages integrate within newsfeeds, allowing content to go viral. It is a good place to post industry-related articles, pictures or videos but a bad place to make a sales pitch.

 

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform for rapid and efficient distribution of information. It is great for joining in on conversations with ‘hashtags’ and news updates. Twitter is a fast-paced platform, and companies often don’t know how often to tweet or how to engage or respond to followers, hurting their online presence.

For more information regarding differences between social networks, click here and here.

 

Remember to consider the demographics each channel attracts. Match your target audiences to the appropriate channel(s) they would use.

 

Don’t forget that each platform has its own culture. Fill out your profiles according to the culture with avatars, cover photos, bios and profile information. Also, use the language your target audience would use to find you.

Make a Plan.

It’s time to make a plan. Whether you are announcing a new store, product or service, there are a variety of tactics you can implement to create suspense on social media, including:

  1. Release countdowns
  2. Giveaways
  3. Behind-the-Scenes and Sneak Peeks
  4. Media Hooks
  5. Fan Competitions
  6. Scavenger Hunts

 

Giveaways are great ways to build your audience, while fan competitions are best to get your fans engaged. Media hooks include the following options: product packaging, branded art, soundtracks, demos, or trailers. If you don’t think a media hook is right for you, consider a sneak peek of how a product is made or a service is prepared.

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is in line with your social network(s) and target audience(s).

Engage with Your Audience.

Don’t forget to engage with your audience throughout the campaign. Anticipation and suspense brings forth mystery and curiosity. Do you know what that means? Your audience is going to be asking questions. You need to be the one to answer them. Don’t let the media – or anyone else, for that matter – tell your story for you.

 

Re-tweet, like, comment and respond to all communication from your audience(s). Become a thought leader by being credible and reliable. You’ll have people begging to know what’s next.

 

If you still need help crafting a plan to create suspense on social media, call Divvy. Divvy specializes in social media marketing. Call 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

 

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Words Per Post | The Perfect Word Count for Your Blog

Words per post refers to the number of words in each blog post. There’s a lot of data out there determining the “perfect” number of words for a blog post, but a lot of that information is conflicting. With that said…

 

How do you determine the right depth for your blog post? Is there a golden rule? The answers to these questions are both simple and complicated.

Determining the Perfect Word Count

Determining the perfect word count is complicated. Some bloggers praise shorter blogs while others support longer ones. At Divvy, we follow a variety of SEO tactics, including each post containing minimum of 300 words.  This is our minimum, but again the perfect word count is complicated. The best answer to the question is dependent upon the content.

 

words per post dependent upon content

 

The depth of your blog posts should be led by the content of your post. Are you answering a simple question? Or offering unique insight? You want to provide enough answers to your readers without getting fluffy or off topic.

 

The best rule of thumb: Offer benefit to your readers.

250 to 300-word posts are good for short, sweet, and straight to the point blog posts. You can offer a quick overview of a concept or answer a simple question in these types of posts. This post, for example, contains 435 words. See how I answered a question without overloading you with information? That’s why shorter posts are more frequent. They are easier and faster to write and still useful to readers.

 

600-word posts allow you to join in on the conversation with greater detail. There is more room for depth, discussion, and creativity.

 

900-word posts require more research, details, and depth than that of the previous shorter word counts. With this length of post, you need to understand the topic and provide more information to your readers.

900-word posts can discuss information on a general subject or detailed information on a specific topic. With this length of post, you can get more specific with points and subpoints.

 

1200-word posts are full of relevant, detailed information. There is no fluff in these posts, only rich content. If you are writing an 1200-word post, make sure that your content will meet the expectations of your readers.

 

As you go about writing your personal or business blog posts, make sure you offer the right amount of information to the person who found your blog. If you don’t, they won’t return.

 

Does your business or franchisee need help with blogging or SEO? Call Divvy at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Our team specializes in these areas. Talk to you soon!

 

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How to Write Irresistible Content

“I don’t know how to write irresistible content.” Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as you think. With a little critical thinking, organizing, and planning, you can be on your way to writing irresistible content. We promise – it’s actually very easy. Follow these 7 tips:

1. Know and Connect with your Audience.

You need to understand what makes your buyer tick. Make that connection. Understand what they require in order for them to want to interact with you and request for more information. Write content that would irresistible to your target audience. The more interesting the information is to your target audience, the more useful it is to them.

 

Find out what particular problem(s) your audience has, and speak to it.

2. Assume your Audience Doesn’t Know what you Know.

Avoid jargon, buzzwords and industry-talk. Use terms that they would use in order to find you. They found you, they have come to you. Now you need to explain yourself clearly to them.

3. Make the Content Applicable.

Don’t just spit information out into the world. Make the content worthy of reading and applying. Don’t just share information. Share how to do what you are describing.

4. Be a Credible Source.

You need to build trust and credibility to get results. Cite your sources and have social proof. Social proof examples include:

  • Statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Endorsements
  • Examples
  • Quotes
  • Anecdotes

Build trust up front. It is worth it.

5. Write…. and Don’t Forget to Design.

Write and design your work so it is easy on the eyes. You spent time gathering information, researching, and planning. Don’t ruin all that work by not designing your content. You want to invite your audience to read and learn more.

 

Avoid writing long sentences. Or follow up with a short one.  Write short passages and paragraphs to invite your reader in.

 

Spend time finding the proper formatting so that your rich content won’t be skimmed over. Or worse – bounced away from.

6. Stay True to Yourself.

Stay on brand. Use your voice. It differentiates yourself from all the other writers out there.

7. Practice and Analysis Makes Perfect.

Go start writing right now! The best way to get better with irresistible content is to practice, analyze, practice, analyze.

 

Share your work! Analyze how well it did. Try something new and analyze it again. Figure out what content is getting looked at and what is working.

 

Do you need help with writing irresistible content? Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in marketing consulting and social media content strategy.

 

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Why Your Business Needs Multimedia Marketing

Businesses need multimedia marketing in order to survive in today’s fast-paced world. Consumers are not solely reading newspapers anymore. They are listening to the radio, watching television, driving by billboards, reading direct mail and surfing the web, too. This developmental change has made it harder for businesses to reach consumers on only one platform. This is why multimedia marketing is essential in today’s marketing and content strategy.

What is Multimedia Marketing?

Multimedia marketing is not as intimidating as it sounds. “Multi” means many and “media” stems from the word medium, creating the phrase that simply means “many medium(s) marketing”. That’s all it is!

Multimedia marketing is sharing one consistent message on multiple channels. One message needs to be supported by multiple channels in order to reach more consumers.

Through a combination of pictures, videos, graphics, social media and the more traditional methods, such as direct mail, press releases, and advertisements, businesses can reach more past, current, and potential customers. An increase in reach leads to an increase in brand awareness, and an increase in brand awareness leads to an increase in website traffic.

Reach

Because a business is sending one message through multiple channels, it is reaching more people. Sending out a piece of direct mail, for example, will only reach those who receive the mail. If you combine that marketing strategy with an infographic shared through social media, you will reach the people who receive the mail and all those who see the graphic online through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Brand Awareness.

The business that masters multimedia content strategy is the business that masters brand awareness. If you are doing it right, you know that each medium has a characterized user. For example, those who read newspapers are typically older, and those who are on Instagram are typically between the ages of 18 and 29. Knowing this, a business can tweak its message to appeal to the different consumers. When a business is able to share a consistent message on multiple platforms, it is able to increase brand awareness.

Website Traffic.

What does an increase in reach and an increase in brand awareness lead to? An increase in website traffic, and thus an increase in leads and potential customers.

 

Do you need help creating a cohesive multimedia marketing strategy? Fill out the contact form below or call us at 801-224-8666. Divvy specializes in maximizing your business or franchise’s marketing efforts.

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7 Blogging Habits You Need to Start

In order to achieve blog success you need to incorporate healthy blogging habits into your daily lifestyle. Don’t worry – they aren’t complicated! In fact they are simple and straightforward. You wouldn’t think these seven blogging habits would be habits at all really, rather they are guidelines you need to be reminded of.

The 7 Blogging Habits:

1. Be True to Yourself.

Don’t let your voice get lost in the vast sea of blogs! Answer this question: Why did you start blogging in the first place? Was it to join in on the conversation? Or to be a leader in your industry? Maybe it was to have a place to publish your writing as a portfolio of sorts. Whatever the reason, remember why you joined the blogging community in the first place. Be sure that all of your posts relate back to why you became a blogger.

2. Write Quality Content.

The key word here is quality. Writing quality content adds to your blog (or your business’s!) credibility. This means you should back up all your claims with evidence. Take your time writing your blog posts to achieve high-quality content. It’s better to take your time writing something that will drive readers to your site than to draft copy with “fluff” that won’t get you or your business any leads.

3. Write Concisely.

“Fluff” is a term used to describe superficial writing, and it should not be present in any of your blog posts. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a blog to find that there’s no useful information available. Readers today have been skimming through writing since middle school and high school. The best way to make sure your readers are actually reading your content is to write concisely. Get your point across and get it across quickly. Avoid fluffy sentences at all costs. Click here to learn how to create a great blog outline.

4. Be Consistent.

In order to increase a following you need to be consistent in these three areas: posts, topics, and brand. You need to post fresh content on a regular basis, and you need to stay on-brand and on-topic in your posts. This means you are always relating back to your niche and you are maintaining consistent voice throughout.

5. Have a Plan.

Life gets busy and when that happens, the blog usually falls behind. Create a schedule or an editorial calendar to stay consistent. Plan out the topics of your posts based on the time of year (i.e. holidays/celebrations) or weekly/monthly features (highlight of employee of the month or DIY Thursday).

6. Engage with your Audience.

All successful bloggers know how important it is to engage with fellow bloggers and readers. Cultivate a relationship with them. They are more likely to share your blog and help increase your following if they see you are trying to put in effort.

7. Join in on the Conversation and Be a Leader.

Join in on the conversation, but don’t regurgitate information.  Be a leader in the industry!

 

Good luck establishing these blogging habits! If you need help with your blog, call Divvy! Divvy provides marketing consulting, SEO, social media, AND blogging counsel. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

An online presence is essential in your business succeeding in today’s world. What worked 10 years ago is not going to work now. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local business on the world wide web. That’s right – your customers are Googling you (or your product/service) and if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a potential conversion.

Having on online presence shows that your business is changing with the times and you aren’t afraid. Instead, you are ready. It shows customers that you are adaptable and more importantly, modern. Today’s consumers are using the internet to ask questions and find answers. If you’re not online then your potential customers are turning to your competitors for solutions. That means you are losing out on business and money. Are you convinced of your need for an online presence yet?

Accessibility

The internet never sleeps. It is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People are now using Google to find out things like “how to smoke salmon” to “how to vote”. Eighty-nine percent of consumers use search engines to research a product or service before making a decision.

The key to being a top result and getting clicked on is to fully utilize your site’s SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO allows your site to be seen by search engines, and thus by consumers. This type of accessibility can’t be replaced by a billboard or brochure.

Ask yourself this: What would consumers ask Google that your business, product, or service would solve?

In addition to SEO, an online presence allows for you to adopt a greater audience. People from all over the world will be able to see your product or service and some of them may even buy it.

Credibility

Today’s consumer relies on word-of-mouth and online reviews now more than ever before. When was the last time you saw a movie without hearing or asking if it was worth going to see?

Establishing an online presence on social media, such as Facebook, and Google, Yelp and other virtual rating websites builds your business’s credibility. These sites allow previous customers to provide a rating out of 5-stars and a summary of their experience with your business.

Why is that important? It goes back to the movie theory; consumers nowadays check social media sites and rating platforms before hiring a company or buying a product. Many consumers are wary of business’s lacking an online presence. Afraid of getting a negative review? That’s a rational fear, but you have the ability to monitor your business’s rating and respond to false or fake reviews, establishing and accrediting your online presence even more.

Reliability

That leads us to reliability. The frequency of your posts on social media, the interactions between your consumers and your business online, and the quality of your content all leads up to one thing: the impression your business has on current, previous and potential consumers.

If you are frequent and professional on your social media, website/blog, and review sites, you are going to leave a lasting positive impression with your followers.

Interactions + Frequency + Quality = Impression

Having an online presence is more than a simple website and Google+ page. It requires brand consistency, frequent postings, quality content, and professional interactions. It might sound like a lot of work, but it is well worth it. Don’t ignore this marketing technique; it is the modern way to built and maintain a successful business.

 

Do you need help with your social media strategy or SEO? Divvy offers marketing consulting for both singular businesses and multiple franchisees. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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5 Steps to Creating Your First Marketing Plan

Beginning a marketing campaign can at first seem overwhelming, but by remembering these five steps for creating your first marketing plan, you can find success for your business.

(1) Plan Your Message

Before you say anything to your customers, decide what you’re trying to say. Why are you providing your product? How will your product change lives for the better? That’s what customers will ask themselves when they see your merchandise, so be sure you can answer their question.

(2) Know Your Audience

A sad, but honest fact is that not everyone will want or need your product. That’s okay, because you aren’t trying to sell to everyone; you’re trying to sell to those who need you. Consider these questions when identifying your audience:

  • What age group will be most interested in your project?
  • Is there a gender your product will most appeal to?
  • How social is your audience?
  • What financial situation are they in?
  • What are their lifestyle habits?

Once you know who your audience is, you can focus on them.  This saves you time and money, while providing the people who need your product with what they need.

(3) Know Your Product

Consider your product’s strengths: what can you provide that no one else can? What makes your product the best? You’ll also need to consider your product’s weaknesses: what will stop people from buying your product? Knowing your product will help you identify opportunities: is there a convention your product is ideal for? Are there conventions you should avoid? Also be aware of threats: who is the competition? How will they be competing? How can you prove to your customer that your product is the best? Once you can answer these questions, you can successfully market your product.

(4) Get The Word Out

After you’ve selected the appropriate budget for your marketing plan, get creative! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google Plus are great ways to engage with potential customers, but they aren’t the only way. Try to create something that will appeal directly to your target market. Consider direct mail advertising campaigns, coupons, book marks, etc. Regardless of the method you use to carry your message, be sure to provide a clear call to action. Most importantly, when you interact with your customers in a personalized way, follow up. Show your customer they are important.

(5) Analyze and Adapt

Finally, keep track of your progress. If you aren’t seeing positive results, it will be necessary to reevaluate your marketing plan. Analyze the previous steps to ensure you’re approaching the correct target market in the right way, and that you’re being clear about what you’re selling and why people need it. Finding the correct approach may take time, but in the end, your business will be more successful with a proven, powerful marketing plan.

 

9 Tips to Help You Build Better Buyer Personas

Understanding customers can be the most difficult job for any business owner. Whether small or large, all businesses must dedicate time, effort and money to figuring out what drives their customers to engage and make purchases.

 

To help you navigate this often tedious process, try building buyer personas. Buyer personas are carefully planned and researched models of your existing customer base. Large companies can afford to spend millions of marketing dollars researching the attributes of their customer, but most businesses need to learn to do that themselves, which is why we’re offering this nine step guide to building buyer personas for your business.

Gender

As obvious as it sounds, you need to know whether your products appeal more to men or women. Are more women buying your product than men? Are they buying it for themselves, or for their spouses? Even if your product doesn’t naturally assign itself to a particular gender, you may find buying trends that are gender specific, helping your figure out a better way to market your product or service.

Age

Age is a relatively easy statistic to collect, and it’s also one of the most useful pieces of data. With age you can assume what types of values your audience identifies with, what channels they’ll be using to communicate, as well as average income and spending trends. If your product is targeted at teenagers, you’ll want to be sure you’re using digital and mobile advertising tools to reach them. If you’re selling something like hearing aids, and you know the people buying those hearing aids are elderly, advertising through the newspaper or television may be more effective for you.

Profession

Discovering a common profession among your customers is valuable. If you were a hardware store and the majority of your customers were construction workers, you would want to market to them differently than an average person buying tools for a weekend project. Professional users are looking for the best tools, while the laymen is most likely looking for the cheapest deal.

Financial situation

Understanding your target audience’s financial situation can be extremely helpful. This does not mean you need to know what your target buyer has in their checking account, but rather how much they are willing to spend. This statistic can help you drive pricing and advertising.

Purpose

Your product is the core of your marketing, so it is crucial that you understand what your customers use your product for so you can market the purpose to them. Some products have a clearly defined purpose, like shampoo, but if you sell fabric that could have multiple applications, you need to find out what your customer does with that product after they make the purchase.

Education

Understanding the education level of your ideal buyers will drive the way you market your product to them. People with more education process information differently. For instance, if you’re selling a technical software to customers with a high level of education, utilizing statistics and even jargon in your marketing message may be a good idea. If you customers tend to be less educated reviews and testimonials may work better than data in persuading them to buy.

Free time

You cannot know your buyer persona too well. Knowing their hobbies, interests, and how they spend their free time can help you integrate your product into their life.

Buying decision

To understand this attribute you need to know what influences your buyers to make a purchase. Is it the price, features, resell value? The reason your customers pay for your products is essential to create effective marketing.

Shopping habits

One last helpful bit of information is what other purchases your target customer makes. This lets you know what else they are looking for, and gives you an opportunity to fill or supplement that need.

Collecting the right kind of customer data can drastically improve your marketing and your products. If you could use help with marketing, whether it’s print, social media, digital or strategy, Divvy by Alexander’s can help. Let us know.

 

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