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Think Marketing IQ Blog

  • Guerrilla Social Marketing - Marketing with Surprise

    Marketing is most effective when it takes consumers by surprise, makes a memorable impression, and pops up where people least expect it. With a little creativity you can add some fun and personality to your brand by incorporating your message into the everyday landscape in a unique way. That is true viral social marketing. Take a look at these guerrilla marketing ideas.

    guerrilla marketing urinal

    Now this would get a guys attention - a truly interactive ad that's memorable and gets people talking.

    guerilla marketing

    Great radio station promotion - giving away Free Air Guitars!

     guerrilla marketing

    This ad is all about location, location, location.

    guerrilla marketing

    Tired of kissing your bosses a__? This company's hilarious entrance banner to a career fair makes it seem like a great company to work for.


    guerrilla marketing ideas

    One of my all time favorites. Mercedes sent out their hood ornament with a suction cup base so any driver could get the sense of driving a Mercedes. Great branding campaign.

    guerrilla marketing ideas

    Think you have an acne problem? A great graphic for a college campus' climbing wall.

     guerrilla marketing ideas

    Rather than a door hanger, this extermination company added some mystery by placing mouse holes under doors.

     guerrilla marketing ideas

    Ever wonder what your car is thinking. These cars in a parking garage are wishing they were a VW.

    guerrilla marketing ideas

    The more you can make an ad interactive, the more memorable it becomes. In this case, people can express themselves by signing a cast. How cool is that?

    guerrill marketing idea

    Here's an ad that spills out of the traditional display case and grabs the audiences attention.

    guerrilla marketing ideas

    This ad is nearly impossible to ignore. Great use of location and emotion to make a point.

    What these images show is that it doesn't always take a large budget to make a memorable impact. The core to real marketing success is in the idea.

  • 3 Digital Marketing Strategies to Generate Free Website Traffic

    One of the first steps in increasing revenue for our clients is to increase the amount of traffic to their website. The fastest way to make this happen is with Google Adword campaigns, however not every company has the budget for it.

    Bullas Blogging BookIn the article "3 Digital Marketing Strategies You Should Not Ignore" by Jeff Bullas, author of Blogging the Smart Way, highlights 3 ways to generate website traffic FREE! Here are the highlights:

    1. Search is Changing

    There are two ways people find your blog or website when searching online. They either click on the paid Google Adwords that are placed on the side or the top of the search results page  (that someone has paid Google to put there) or they clicked on the other links that are called “Organic Search Results”. These are earned through optimizing your website and blog for search engines.

    Five years ago SEO consultants were all the rage. You hired them and put them in a dark room, fed them pizza and pasta and soon your site was ranking on the first page of Google. It was like magic. If you dug a little deeper they were doing things like buying links, setting up domains with the keywords in the URL that were important for your business and other tactics that gamed the search system.

    But Google has started changing the rules. Strange sounding updates for Google that include the words “Panda” and “Penguin” are really code words for “watch out your site is about to drop from page one to page ten”

    Plumbers, painters and podiatrists that were ranking on the first page of Google and had built booming businesses based on old school search engine optimization (SEO) tactics had dropped off page one and the inquiries and leads had dried up. This type of SEO didn’t require creating great unique content that the web needs and loves but just involved playing the SEO game.

    The search game is changing with Google now putting major emphasis on content and social signals such as Retweets, likes, shares and the Google Plus one platform’s +1′s.

    It is no longer about gaming the sytem but adding real value to the web through regular publishing of content that people love to share, link to and embed.

    2. Content is the New SEO

    Google’s updates have made content marketing the hottest trend since “planking”.

    Create, publish and promote great content and Google (read search engines) will start to love you. That content can be a YouTube video, a blog post or a Slideshare presentation or any type of multi-media content.   eCommerce stores are hiring magazine editors to lead the creation of content that is visual, viral and valued by readers and viewers.

    A word of warning here. Google does not like duplicate content (it has new ways of detecting that) so just copying and pasting someone else’s content into your website or blog is frowned upon. It needs to be unique.

    The challenge is to make the content so enticing that people will share it with their friends, family and colleagues. This does take some thought, skill and creativity.

    Content with a good headline or a captivating image will be shared much more on Twitter or Facebook than a bland bit of poorly written  text. You need to think about what sort of content captures your attention and then create that for your customers that is relevant and tempting.

    3. Social is the Turbo Charger for Content

    Social networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and social media (YouTube, Slideshare and Pinterest) provide the platforms to turbo charge your content. It is how people share content.

    Social accelerates the discovery of your content. Before the rise of social web, content was locked up in filing cabinets, hard disks and printed offline articles. Sharing online was limited to sending an attachment via email. This limited its spread as it was private.

    Content needs to be re-purposed (Make a blog post into a Powerpoint presentation and put it on Slideshare or take a printed press release and turn it into a blog post), published online and it then needs to be set free. It needs to be built for sharing.

    Google has created Google+ to measure these social signals of sharing and is embedding and weaving social into search results.

    Content that is shared on social channels is your new SEO.

    Want to Learn More About Content Marketing and How You Can Generate More Leads?

    Contact Think Creative to discover how you can not only increase traffic by 300% or more, but also convert that traffic into qualified sales leads.

    As a bonus, download our Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing that outlines a step-by-step approach on to developing an Inbound Marketing strategy.

  • Inbound Marketing - The value of repurposing content in social media

    inbound marketing content creationThere are over 10 social media sites that give you access from one million people to over 800 million people online. These are sites that require a relatively small investment in order to spread the message about your product or service. And if you are connected to them properly they can increase your search engine rankings by over 400%.

    While you can create new content for each, you can maximize your the value of content investment by repurposing it across all the social media outlets.

    Even video can be repurposed! The video can be added to sites like YouTube and Vimeo, while the scripts can be distributed to all other media. Links can then be added that connect readers to the video.

    At Th!nkCreative we create content, or repurpose existing content, and develop a inbound marketing plan that gets your content to all those channels faster and with less work.

    Contact us today to see how we can increase your social media marketing exposure for less.

  • Social Media Marketing Secret #5 - Make Your Website Social Friendly

    The goal of most social marketing is to drive people to your website to take them from conversation to conversion. To be successful it’s important to make your website social media friendly. Here are a number of ways to do this.

      1. social marketing secretsA bad navigation will leave visitors frustrated and quickly leaving your site. Make sure the navigation on your site is easy to follow and all of the links actually work.
      2. Invite feedback through your site in as many different ways as you can. Add tools (a Facebook “Like”, a Twitter “Tweet, a Digg “Digg” etc.) to invite people to comment and share the information on your site.
      3. Creating surveys is a great way to facilitate feedback. People like sharing their opinion and having a venue to do so. You can also compile the results and repost it on your site and social media networks to engage and educated your following.
      4. Allow people to comment on your sites’ content, whether that is on articles, blogs, or images. Commenting is very engaging and allows people to interact with you and your brand.
      5. You are the expert in the industry and people are going to value your knowledge. Include a resource page on your site with access to articles, ebooks, white papers, etc. for your visitors to read. You can use this resource page as a driving force to your website from your social networks.

    That’s the 5 secrets to making social marketing work for your company. Contact us today to get your social media marketing campaign started!

    inbound marketing guideDownload The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing for Executives to get a step-by-step guide to implementing a social media marketing plan in 5 months.

  • Social Media Marketing Secret #4 - Build a Following

    One common misperception about social media is that as soon as a presence is created on a social network, consumers will flock to the business. While there may be an ounce of truth in this, to be effective and successful you need to actively build your following. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind as you build your social network:

    Social Media marketing secrets1. Create Awareness. How can people follow you if they don’t know you exist in their networks? Let them know that you are out there! A common and effective way of building awareness is to integrate icons within other digital and print marketing promotions. Add social network icons to your website and emails, and include some mention of the networks you are a part of on the next brochure or flyer you create.

    2. Get Involved. Your following is interested in you and your business, if they weren’t, they wouldn’t follow you. Converse with them just as you would at a social event or even running into them at the grocery store. Introduce your network to theirs and build connections with individuals in your friends’ networks. You’ll notice as you interact with your following new individuals with similar interests will begin following you.

    One common method diverse businesses use is to create accounts based upon specialties. If you have a multifaceted business that appeals to several different markets, create an account for each segment and converse on common interests.

    3. Develop an Interactive Environment. Having a community where people can actually interact is key. There are several ways in which you can do this. Here’s a short list of some ideas:

    • Develop a daily/weekly trivia contest
    • Launch a writing contest
    • Add videos and photos
    • Promote events
    • Create discussion boards

     

    You can draw people to your profile through advertising, too; Facebook advertising is a great medium to use. Keep in mind though, if you want to maintain your following, you have to provide something of value!

    inbound marketing guide

     

    Download The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing for Executives to get a step-by-step guide to implementing a social media marketing plan in 5 months.


  • Social Media Marketing Secret #3 - Monitor and Measure

    With traditional media it is hard to measure its effectiveness. For example, if you are running a billboard campaign it is difficult to know exactly how many people are contacting you based on them seeing the billboard. If there is not a coupon associated with a print or radio ad those are just as difficult. One of the greatest benefits of social media marketing is the ability to track. Here are a few ideas to consider when establishing your social campaign.

    1social media marketing. Establish Analytics

    Analytics are an incredibly valuable tool as you launch online campaigns. Track how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming from, what sites they are looking at, how long they are staying, and so much more! There are a number of online social measurement tools, such as Viralheat, that can assist you in monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of your social marketing efforts.

    2. Determine Metrics

    Next, determine what it is you are trying to find out. Do you want to know where your visitors are coming from? How many people are coming for that whitepaper you just spotlighted on your Facebook account? Maybe you want to know if your visitors are looking at a specific page on your site.

    3. Set Benchmarks

    Prior to launching any campaign, monitor your websites traffic. This will allow you to compare and monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing in the weeks and months to come to your websites current traffic.

    4. Monitor Regularly

    Once you know what you want to compare, and have something to compare it to, make it a point to regularly monitor the results. Depending on your audience, you should monitor the results daily, weekly, or monthly.

    inbound marketing guideBy utilizing analytics to monitor and measure the results of your online marketing, you will be able to adjust your efforts accordingly to ensure your goals are met.

    Download The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing for Executives to get a step-by-step guide to implementing a social media marketing plan in 5 months.

  • Social Media Marketing Secret #2 - Invest Time and Money

    Once you decide to use social media marketing, you need to think it through to the end and understand what it takes. You can’t establish a presence on Facebook or Twitter, or make your website social media friendly without investing time and money into that effort. You spend time with writing press releases and designing marketing brochures; the same needs to happen with social media. The only difference is that within social media you are sharing information, listening to feedback and exchanging ideas. It really is an interactive medium.

    It Pays Off!

    In a study done by emarketer.com, they show that the average cost per lead of inbound verses outbound marketing. For outbound marketing, it was $332 per lead. For inbound, it was $134 per lead, a difference of nearly $200! That’s the impact social media marketing can have.

    So what is considered inbound and outbound marketing? Inbound marketing includes blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, viral video marketing, search engine optimization, webinars and RSS feeds. Outbound includes things such as print ads, television ads, cold calling, tradeshows and email blasts.

    Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

    Having a content marketing strategy, also known as a content management strategy, will help you in seeing the same type of results. Content is the catalyst for building relationships with prospects in a social media world.

    social marketing secret

    Content transcends websites and drives the effectiveness of social media. In social media, content is king.

    There is an old advertising saying that goes, “No one that ever bought a drill, wanted the drill. What they really wanted was a hole.” It is crucial to understand that customers are most interested in what your product can do for them, not its features.

    As part of your content management strategy, you want to lead with information that emphasizes and connects with the underlying reasons why people want what you are selling. Articles and press releases, for example, are a lot stronger than typical ads in a newspaper. Within social media you actually have the ability to convey messages to your market through articles. They are more likely to be trusted and they will bypass some of the reservations consumers have when it comes to advertising.

    Cover the Basics

    As you begin writing your content, be sure to cover some of the basics.

      1. Good titles lead to clicks. You really want to make your titles catchy. For example, “The 5 Secrets to Making Social Media Marketing Work for You,” conveys information and is engaging.
      2. Mix your media. Not everyone has the chance to read through articles so mixing media is a great option for your content management. Adding videos and photos makes the information more engaging and easier to scan.
      3. Keep it short. Web posts are meant to be consumed quickly. Twitter has become famous for its bite size bits of information. If you have a lot to say, break it up into numerous part or take a little portion of it and drive viewers to your website where they can engage in more information.
      4. Encourage commentary. Commentary measures success. If you are only getting a few, or not getting any comments, you are missing the boat on engaging people and having them communicate with you.
      5. Include a call to action. Whether it is on a landing page or a subpage of your website, this is what will drive your viewers to act. The goal is to move the consumers from just being part of your network into the next stage in your sales process.

    Download The Essential Guide to inbound Marketing for Executives for a step-by-step guide on how to implement and inbound marketing and social media marketing plan.

  • Social Media Marketing Secret #1 - Planning

    Social media marketing should be thought of as a long-term strategy. When planning your strategy, the key is to start with the desired end result and work backwards. In other words, take a look at all of the social media platforms and discern what is the best option to reach your goals. Determine where you want to direct your fans. Are you sending them to your website, or maybe a blog? Once you get them there, how are you going to capture them as leads? How do you convert those leads into sales?

    Not only will this “think backwards” planning method help you build your strategy, it will give you a time frame to base your strategy upon. Keep in mind that in social marketing there really is not a rush to go from engagement to sales; the idea is to engage your following and build relationships.

    Jsocial marketing strategyim Sterne, author of Social Media Metrics, explains that there are four steps to successful business engagement in social media:

    1. Develop a following.
    2. Get them to like you.
    3. Get them to interact.
    4. Convince them to buy.

    The time it takes to go from step one to step four depends on your product or service and the strategy you plan to implement.

    As you outline your social marketing plan, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Why Social Marketing? Is it to strengthen your brand image? Do you want to capture more qualified leads?

    2. Who are you marketing to? Emarketing.com completed a study focused on U.S. Internet users who use social media. They broke the information down based upon age demographics. The majority of young adults (18-34), over 78 percent, are engaged in social media. Don’t be deceived and think that it is only the youth that are actively involved. Over 43 percent of those 55+ are involved in social media!

    3. How can you reach them best? This is dependent upon your goals and which platforms you choose. CMO developed a chart titled, “The CMO’S Guide to The Social Landmark.” It ranks the effectiveness of various platforms based on some common goals businesses have. What inbound marketing guideplatform will work best for your audience? Where is your target market located in the world of social media?

    Once your strategy is developed, it’s time to move on to tactics. Check back next Monday to hear about how to effectively market on each platform.

    Download The Essential Guide to Inbound Marketing for Executives to get a step-by-step guide to implementing a social media marketing plan in 5 months.

  • Facebook Inbound Marketing - Grow Your Fan Base

    The cornerstone of most Facebook inbound marketing efforts is centered around growing the number of fans for your page. After all, you need followers in order to have any impact. Experience shows that simple action-oriented offers which provide users benefits (what’s in it for them) from clicking "Like", pay off with faster fan growth. Here are a few strategies:

    grow facebook fansInstant Gratification

    Remember, people follow (and share) brands that are current, entertaining, informative, and above all, ones that provide value back. So "fan gate" your page and reward visitors with a coupon code, special offer, or fan-only content. This sort of instant payoff will help earn their trust and loyalty.

    grow facebook fansSticky Welcome Mat

    When you are investing in driving new visitors to your Facebook Page (from ads, your website, and other methods), do all you can to make a quality first impression. By making your default non-fan landing tab a memorable one, your fans will be more inclined to "Like" it and share your page with friends.

    grow facebook fansSocial is Everywhere

    Getting more fans for your Page depends on two things: First, you have to get users to your Page. Second, you have to convince them to click the thumb. Don't skip step one or you'll starve your Page. Feed it with more traffic from online ad campaigns, blog postings, email marketing, and other promotional efforts off Facebook.

    grow facebook fansBe More Likeable

    Having a sexy new page to promote is a great first step, but that alone won't keep the new fans coming and the existing ones sticking around. Thumbs up worthy brands and pages are those that are conversational and speak with an authentic voice. Don't forget to make good company or your charm will likely wear off.

    Th!nk Creative has Facebook applications, tools, and strategies to help you grow your Facebook presence more successfully. From contests to content creation.

  • Strategic Inbound Marketing Thinking

    When you get in front of a client, what do you want to accomplish? What are your strategic objectives?

    Think like an inbound marketing strategists…inbound marketing strategy

      • Would you like to be respected?
      • Trusted?
      • Get referrals?
      • Be perceived as an expert?
      • Would you like to have influence?
      • Brand loyalty?

    What if you could devise a way to accomplish all those objectives, and do them every time your company is in front of a buyer? How much more effective would you be over your competition?

    A proper, well planned inbound marketing strategy focuses on all those areas. It's a proven approach to significantly increasing traffic and dramatically increasing sales leads.

    Find out more about Th!nkCreative’s systematic inbound marketing approach to achieving those objectives and delivering them in a way that appeals to your audience.

    Contact Think Creative today!

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