What is a Social Influencer?

Social Influencer

Have you ever thought about reaching out to a local celebrity or well-known figure to market your small business? Radio DJs and local sports legends are popular figures for such advertising and have traditionally been used for radio spots or TV commercials. David Robinson, the former basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs, for example, does TV commercials for several local companies in the San Antonio area these days.

Over the past few years, however, influencers on popular social media platforms have been an important marketing tool to reach young audiences around a huge variety of products and services. Endorsements by celebrities are nothing new, but more recently, sponsorships paid for by advertisers have branched out to include popular Instagram accounts, bloggers, and You-Tube stars. News anchors, local food stars, and retired athletes are some popular sources for local businesses to reach out to for influencer marketing.

 

 

How Can an Influencer Benefit My Small Business?

Depending on your business type, reaching out to a local influencer could be beneficial. For instance, if you sell garden supplies in the greater Portland-metro area, being featured on An Oregon Cottage could be a great way to put your brand in front of your ideal consumer. Your products would be exposed to a relevant customer base, coming from a personality that is a trusted resource in the Oregon gardening community.

What is an Endorsement?

Conversely, influencer endorsements affect a very particular audience and are sometimes seen as more trustworthy in the eyes of their followers. Influencers are a part of a niche community and are looked to often as experts that have open dialogues with their followers. Social influencers are usually approachable (they are generally more responsive to comments and messages than celebrities who are sponsored for a campaign) and are considered more authentic compared to celebrity-driven marketing campaigns. Here’s an example of the top social influencer on Instagram for 2018, so far (according to CBS News): Huda Kattan.

Using social influencers responsibly could be a creative way to reach new customers, both on a national and local scale. What are your thoughts on this new, socially-oriented trend?

The 411 on Digital Display Advertising

Digital Display Advertising for Your Business

Search network advertising is something most of us can wrap our heads around – it’s what you do when you go to Google, Bing, or Yahoo and do a search for anything that comes to mind, like saying “electrician Portland” or “personal trainer near me.” Google AdWords dominates the world of online advertising, and many businesses stick with it to hopefully reach the most consumers and meet their business goals. But, over time, businesses may gradually include display advertising in their marketing strategy, often to create brand awareness and remarket to consumers they have interacted with in the past.

 

What is Display Advertising?

Display ads are integrated into the background of specific websites where they are visible to users while they play games, read the news, or shop their favorite brands. Have you ever noticed that the moment you think about making a purchase or doing an activity, you start seeing ads for it everywhere? Display ads can be rich media ads such as banner ads, video, and responsive ads. The targeting of display ads continues to improve to help businesses target their most ideal customer. It also gives many local businesses an opportunity to reach potential customers where television advertising may be outside of the current budget.

 

Is Digital Display Marketing for Me?

Display marketing allows you to build custom audiences by targeting users who have shown an interest in brands, websites, or services like yours. You can also target users based on their demographics or online patterns (like marketing to visitors who have already been to your website). Display marketing works to create brand awareness by simply being in the background on sites targeting relevant users.

Retargeting previous customers or shoppers who never completed an online purchase is something you can do with display advertising. Website visitors who are exposed to your ads through the display network tend to spend more time on your site and are more likely to return. Here are some statistics about the importance of retargeting consumers, specifically using display advertising:

  • 86% of shoppers engage in ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline)
  • 72% of users online are likely to leave their shopping carts before checking out
  • Only 8% of those users will return to complete their purchase
  • With retargeting campaigns, 26% of users will return to complete their purchases (or take the next step in the sales cycle, such as calling a mainline to set up an appointment)

Each business and business type have different needs and marketing goals that must be considered when choosing an appropriate digital marketing strategy. How do you think digital advertising could help your business?

When to Rebrand

Feeling Refreshed?

After initially starting a business, the most daunting tasks include creating the logo, slogan, and other branding details. Since your logo is on virtually everything you produce or market, it’s no wonder why business owners will give thousands of dollars to an outside creative agency so they’ll build the perfect logo. As time goes on, even the perfect design and color scheme can become outdated. Whether you are no longer ‘San Diego Blinds’ and now you’re selling to the whole West Coast, or you’re wanting to reinvent yourself in the marketplace to stand out from competitors, updating your logo is oftentimes necessary for your business to continue to grow and stay relevant.

2018-01 When to Rebrand

Change is hard- but it’s good. Consider the merger or acquisition of a new company. It may cost a lot of money, and there’s a lot of paperwork involved and many moving parts. But if you’ve played your cards right, it’s a stepping stone to exponential growth for your business. And speaking of mergers, if you’re merging or acquiring a company, you’ll probably need to update your logo, too. Leo Tolstoy describes change like this: ‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.’ While we doubt he was referring to a re-brand, sometimes the marketing strategy we need to implement isn’t about focusing on countering the competitors, but rather it’s an internal change or shift which needs to occur.

Some signs your logo needs an update?

1. You’ve changed your company’s offerings. It no longer makes sense to have a kayak as your logo if you’re now focusing primarily on hunting gear. Right? It may be time for a completely new logo.

2. You’ve merged or acquired a new company. Like we mentioned before if you’re expanding from a local brand to a regional brand, or you now have a much wider range of offerings, keeping the Chicago Skyline in your logo may limit your customers base to only the Chicagoland area. Consider a shift in your logo that does not limit yourself geographically or otherwise.

3. The colors don’t make sense. Trends in colors, styles, and fonts are constantly changing. More importantly than that, colors can help convey the right message. Maybe if you’re ‘All-American Plumbing’ it would make more sense to have a red, white, and blue logo instead of a green and orange one. Do your colors make sense for your brand?

4. You don’t stand out. If you’re using a bland font, your logo looks like every other logo in your line of business, or your logo is too busy/confusing, there’s nothing keeping a customer from going with whichever brand has the lowest prices or is closest to their home. First impressions are important- what is the impression you’re giving?

It’s impossible to control every outside factor which may affect your business. Industry trends, the economy, the weather, and many more factors can change in the blink of an eye. So whether the business is stagnant, declining or slowly growing, consider focusing on improving internal systems and things you can control. Have you thought much about how your logo – the customer’s first impression – could be affecting business?

 

Authenticity 101

Authenticity.

In a culture curated by filters and seemingly flawless images, what does it mean to be authentic? Is it valuable to you for customers to see your brand as authentic? The way the consumer perceives your brand will ultimately determine whether they become your customer or not. Here are some things to consider when thinking about authenticity.

1. Can your customers see the vision behind your brand?
Your target audience may be broad, or it may be specific. Either way, this group of people has a set of values and standards and will make purchases from brands which align with those values. Do your promotional materials, website, social media and customer service convey those core values? It needs to be obvious you are a business who prides itself on its quality assurance and customer satisfaction, always.

2. Is your brand approachable?
As a kid, we would write letters to the President and our favorite celebrities in hopes to get a response and feel ‘seen’ by them. While you may not be the President, interacting with your customer base on social media is a great way to connect with the people who directly support you. Consider a personal response to a ‘fan’ (read: customer) to show there’s some humanity behind your brand name. It’s also great publicity and branding if your message or tweet back to a customer is shared!

2018-01 Authenticity 101

Can customers easily reach a representative on the phone or do they receive an automated machine? If customers feel a company is too big or too busy to care about them personally, they may also feel as if their purchases don’t matter either. Authenticity can be created by simply having a customer service representative available to personally answer phone calls.

3. Is your brand respected?
Are you seen in the community as a name people can stand behind? Is it possible there’s a charity, school, or organization within your community you could support? It’s worth considering community service projects to get you and your staff involved in giving back. This, of course, needs to be genuine, but the kindness will ultimately tie compassion and generosity to your brand.
Oftentimes we think we are completely authentic by owning up to faults or adding a ‘Meet the Team’ page to your website. While these are great strategies and are recommended, there’s added value in going the extra distance. Authenticity creates depth and personality to your brand, and results in higher customer retention rates, brand engagement, and at the end of the day increases your bottom line. What is your brand doing to become more authentic?

Why One Size Fits All Doesn’t Work

Our Team’s Perspective

Have you ever completed a puzzle? The feeling of snapping the last piece in place is a sigh of relief. But imagine getting down to the last couple pieces, and realizing they were lost along the way? That is exactly how it sounds to me when a business owner has an epiphany about the importance of active marketing. They either don’t have any marketing, or there is no way of measuring the effectiveness of their current marketing. That’s where Louvre Media fits into your custom business puzzle.

Man and woman hands trying to connect puzzle pieces

All puzzles are different in the same way no two businesses are the same. Marketing needs to be customized, defined, designed, delivered, and cultivated. For small and medium sized businesses, the one-size-fits all model doesn’t work, and automation becomes a hindrance rather than a perk.

Go sit down with any marketing agency about your small business’s marketing needs and they will say, “Okay, we have three packages – Package A has this, Package B has the same thing but it’s better, and Package C is our premium package which actually has what you need and is wildly overpriced for that reason.” They probably won’t say the last part there, but most likely it’s true. If they do have a package that works for your business, it probably includes tools that you won’t even use. At Louvre Media, we offer the whole package.

The whole package is designed for you, knowing that your business is unique and has different needs when compared with any other business. Even franchises are different from each other, believe it or not. My favorite part about meeting a new potential client is that I know, no matter what their needs are, I can come up with a solution and a plan that works with their goals in mind. Have a small budget? I can work with that. Don’t know what marketing is, but know you need it? Great! I can get the ball rolling to help your business compete with the big guys. I’ve bought billboards, magazine ads, newspaper flyers, and done countless newsletters, social posts, and so much more. We always say, “if we don’t do it already, we’ll learn how for our clients.”

I’ve been with Louvre Media for more than a year now and I can’t wait to keep learning! Work is a place I love to be now. Every day brings new challenges and fun ways for me help businesses grow and build a foundation. I can easily recommend Louvre Media’s marketing to any business owner because I know that it works and that I have a great team to back me up. We’re the whole package!

~ by Superstar Account Manager Adelaide

What Is Branding?

Branding has many definitions. There are two of these which apply to marketing specifically. The brand is often thought of as the business name/logo, but more clearly defined, it is what people think about when they see your businesses name/logo. Some brands are very identifiable. Think about the “Swoosh”, of course it is Nike, and you think of quality running shoes. When you hear Kleenex, you are most likely talking about an absorbent, disposable paper tissue. You may not even care if it is the Kleenex brand tissue, you just want a tissue.

dreamstime_l_38760737 - Louvre Media

For local businesses, it would take too much money and too much time to create the type of branding similar to Nike or Kleenex. But if you plan to be in business for many years, then you will want to get going on developing a basic core of branding. For starters, your logo (which may include your name), should be everywhere and consistent. It should be on your website, your social media profile, your stationery/business cards, and on giveaways to your customers. Yes, some of the giveaways are useful, like chip clips or pens, and some are less useful, like Frisbee’s or stress relievers, but people still like them and appreciate them.

Better Branding

Improving branding through effective marketing can be done with TV, radio, magazines, mailings, city buses, or billboards. The goal here is to get as many impressions of your name and what you do to as many people as possible. Cost per impression is one measurement that can be used to compare one media to another or within one media. The type of impression matters as well. An impression on a shopping cart may have someone looking at it for an hour, but a billboard on a freeway will only have a few seconds at best to make an impression. The shorter the impression time, the easier it needs to be for the viewer to understand the message.

Branding

Budgets will play a factor in your branding strategy. Knowing your budget as well as the cost per impression will help determine where to start. If you can’t afford television advertising, not that television advertising is for every business, then start small and build as your business builds. Start somewhere! Planning to use 20% of your marketing budget on things which help improve brand awareness will get you going in the right direction. As your market builds, you will want to increase this percentage to grow your brand awareness. Nike didn’t become a well know brand overnight, so don’t expect yours to – yet. (ps – Nike was founded in 1964 to put things in perspective.)

Promotional Materials – How Can They Work for Your Business?

This piece of advertising is often overlooked by businesses today and the benefits are not thought of as much as in years past. It isn’t the effectiveness, as much as it may be just not budgeting for it or for promotional material being more of an afterthought.

Promotional Material is a great way for a business to promote itself for the following reasons:

  • A nice way to say thank you to an existing client
  • A great way to show appreciation to some of your better/best clients
  • Keeps your name in front of your existing clients after they purchased from you
  • Helps drive name/brand recognition
  • Sticks around for a long time

Today’s studies show businesses who use promotional material grow their business more than those who do not. This may be the chicken or the egg question, but certainly something to consider.

Promotional Materials have seen price decreases with the increase of a more global economy. There is fierce competition driving the prices of promotional items down, which has brought prices down for the local promotional companies, who are basically middlemen for these larger, sometimes international companies.

Corporate identity template set. Vector

Be Creative and Have Fun

Promotional Items can be effective with some of the basic things people think about when they think of promotional advertising. Things like pens, magnets, stickers and note-pads.

How about car air fresheners or chip clips, or toys with your brand on it? A little more creative possibly and less likely a chance of getting lost in the shuffle.

Find a way to make your give-away sticky. Make it something someone would use or have around for a while, keeping your name in front of them.

Who can’t afford to give a loyal customer something with your business name on it that costs less than a dollar? That dollar will, or should, give you a solid return on your investment and promote good will for your customers.