Monday, December 26, 2016

Grab Your Beginner's Guide to Content Analytics

If you've been struggling to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing you need Marketing Success: Defining The Factors, A Pocket Guide of Terms. This eBook has the key terms and definitions you need to get real answers on how well your content is working for your business.

As a business-owner you know that time is money. Content creation takes valuable time and if it takes time it should yield the desired results. Measuring your content gives you the date you need to to make adjustments where necessary to achieve those results.

Your content should:
  1. Fulfill your audiences needs
  2. Build brand awareness
  3. Increase your sales
In this ebook you will learn about Key Performance Indicators (KPI), and how to analyze them.

You'll learn
  1. What analytics are
  2. Why analytics matters
  3. How to use content, social and email insights for content strategy
If you want to learn how to use analytics to grow your business download, Marketing Success: Defining The Factors, A Pocket Guide of Terms today!

 Download Today!



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Ultimate Holiday Promo Guide


Just because you're a small business doesn't mean that you can't join in the festivities of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Biz Saturday - it's more of a reason you should.

This simple white paper will provide you with the 4 key steps to prepare yourself to slay on these close out days!

Shoppers know that shopping online:

- Minimizes fatigue

- Increases chances of finding what they want

- Provides a faster shopping experience

With these factors weighing heavily on most people during this weekend. It's an opportune time to make a last ditch effort before Christmas to end the year on a high-note.


This whitepaper will help you generate ideas to:

1. Set Your Goals

2. Determine Your Offer

3. Determine Your Communication Strategy

4. Provide a Smooth Customer Experience


Download Your Whitepaper Now!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Anatomy of an Engaging Social Media Post


We all know the importance of promoting your business on social media but do your posts contain the right features to get your target audience engaged. We can publish 20 posts a day to Social Media but if the posts are not maximized for viewers to see and interact with your wasting your time.

You can maximize the effectiveness of your social posts by including:

1.) Photos - Incorporate a relevant, High-Res. image. Preferably an action shot to get your audience's attention.

2.) Caption - Add captions to your photos that are engaging and show some form of personality. Avoid sounding salesy.

3.) Tags - Always tag your locations and individuals that may be in the photo or applicable to the post.

4.)Hashtags - Create hashtags for your campaigns. By creating a hashtag you can create trackable conversations around your business.

5.) CTA (Call-To-Action) - After your caption, tell your audience what you want them to do. You can even lead them where you want them to go with a link. Be sure to shorten your links using sites like bit.ly, hootsuite or tinyurl.

Are your posts engaging? How many of these have you been including in your social media posts? Drop your answers in the comments.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blogging: There's Always a Story to Tell

By Renee Jamerson



I'm always shocked when clients ask if they should start a blog or even give up on their blogs. A business blog is a great place to tell stories relative to your business, which is known to increase sales and followers. Dr. Paul J. Zak , a Director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies recently discovered that oxytocin, a natural brain hormone, can be triggered by character-driven narratives. Dr. Zak wrote in his Harvard Business Review article, "Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling" that "when you want to motivate, persuade or be remembered, start with a story of human struggle and eventual triumph. It will capture people's hearts-by first attracting their brains."

I once had a client that had given up on his blog after two years. Unfortunately, he used it as an announcement board for his product line instead of making it a place of substance. He could have used it to tell the story of his company's mission, stories about people he'd helped and stories of how his product could help so many others while eventually promoting those products.

The art to storytelling is to tell what your business can do for your prospective client or what it has already done while incorporating a character. We see it on every infomercial, why? It works!

Want to try your hand at storytelling, try this format:
  1. State the desired result that the prospective client is looking for
  2. Tell a story with a character
  3. Declare your CTA or mention your solution (your product or service)
Having a business blog gives your clients something to look forward to other than your products, which can take months or longer to produce. It can even increase your sales if done right.

Do you have a business blog? Do you plan to start one? Drop a comment below.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Is Your Marketing A Success? [4 Questions You Need to Ask]

By Renee Jamerson



Any successful business person knows the importance of evaluation, testing and readjusting for improvement or change. With these complicated business decisions, you want to have some idea of what you should be looking for as warning signs.

1. Did you hit the mark? - Hopefully you started your marketing with an ideal audience in mind. You want to take an assessment of how much of your target audience you actually made an impression upon. Analyze - who were your visitor? What did they read, watch or listen to? Where did they come from? How long did they read, watch or listen? Did they explore other material?

2. Did your audience engage? - Just getting the visit is noteworthy but even more so, the mindset behind sharing or commenting on content. Sharing indicates that the reader viewed the material as valuable. How many shares did it receive? Which items were more likely to be shared? Were their comments? Were the comments positive or negative? Did the comments give insight to what your audience wants?

3. Did your content assist your goal? - Hopefully the content you shared was on purpose and consistent with what you are trying to accomplish, whether for awareness, leads, information, or product launch. How did you perform in those areas? Did you gain any leads, did you sell more product/service as a result of your launch plan?

4. Do you have a Content Library? - Your content should be accessible to you for further use. The content shouldn't just die after deployment? Do you house your content in a place that is accessible? Are you curating your own content? Are you repurposing your content for new goals?

These are just a few of the things that you should consider when assessing the success of your content marketing program.

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I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing and Branding. I have been in the Direct Marketing field for10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their businesses Bubblin'!

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5 Must-Have Content Marketing Life-Savers


Friday, September 23, 2016

4 Things to do Before Creating a Logo

BRANDING



There is the common misconception that the first step to establishing a brand is creating a logo. While creating your logo is definitely exciting, it should not be the #1 item on your list of things to do. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that once their colors are picked and logo is designed they have built a brand, which is far from the truth.

There are 4 key things that every entrepreneur should do before creating a logo and even before launching their business. Let's talk Brand Recognition and Brand Identity! Having the masses connect your logo with your business is Brand Recognition but your logo is not your identity.

The 4 important steps to building a brand identity are:

1. Establish the feeling - Be clear on how you want your brand to be received. Make a list of all the adjectives and emotions you want associated with your brand when it's mentioned or viewed by your audience.

2. Be Clear - Come up with a 7-word phrase (not a tagline) that people can remember. It should be unique as possible, to your brand, telling what you do and why. What have you got that your competitors don't?

3. Connect the Dots -  Know and be able to explain how your business relates to your target audience. Do you have the same deep seeded belief systems? What makes you irresistible? What will keep your business bubblin' in their brains?

4. Know that You Know - Know for sure what you're selling! Are you selling yourself? Your expertise, your individual talents? If so you should be branding yourself. Or are you selling a product or experience?

What are some other things a business should do before creating a logo? Tell me your suggestion in the comments.

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How to Create a Bubblin' Website


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Do's & Don'ts of Naming Your Business pt1


Become a What's Bubblin' Insider Today, to have Marketing and Branding tips delivered straight to your inbox!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

How to Create A Bubblin' Website

by Renee Jamerson



I like to think of a website as a "virtual office space". It's a place to develop a relationship with your target audience. Your website should allow both prospects and customers to feel welcome and create a desire to come back. To create a space that will have your audience coming back, you must factor in 2 components, Content and Audience Engagement.

Content

The characteristics of great content on a website are:

1. Timely - The articles, videos, testimonials and etc. that you share on your website should be fresh. The latest post should be no older than 2 months.

2. Valuable - The content that you post should be of value to your target audience, and not just the customers or client, prospective customers/clients should be able to leave your site with something of value. Whether a fact sheet, a download or even information about the company.

3. Informative - This may seem like the obvious but your content should inform visitors about your business. What do you do and what are the effects on your clients, humanity and your staff?

4. Images - Pictures are really worth a thousand words and the images on your site are no different. They should in some way reflect your target audience, what you do, who you are and tell a story. Yes, the pictures should tell a story they should coincide with its page name on the site. Collectively, if you put all of the pictures into a collage they should tell the full story of your business.

The next component is Audience

Your website must be designed with your target visitors in mind, so if you built a website and now have trouble finding things yourself, don't worry there is still hope (keep reading). For a user-friendly website you must consider:

1. Navigation - Hopefully, you built out wireframes for your site before launch, however your visitors should be able to find their way around the site. If it takes more than 2-3 clicks to get to where your going on the site, the information is buried.

2. Conversion - Is it easy for visitors to make a purchase or download a freebie? Again these forms should not be buried in your site. Follow the 2 click rule.

3. Socialize - Your visitors should have a place to socialize that links to your website, therefore any social media accounts or communities that you moderate should be linked to your site.

4. Bookmarking - It should be easy for visitors to bookmark your site so that they can easily find their way back to you!

5. Tracking - You should have some type of analytical platform (ie. Google Analytics) to collect information about your visitors.

To make sure your website is Bubblin, Grab Your Free Website Assessment Tool HERE!


***

Become a What's Bubblin' Insider and Get Free Tips and Resources straight in your inbox!

***

I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing and Branding. I have been in the Direct Marketing field almost 10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their businesses Bubblin'!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How to use Trending News to Promote A Business

Promotion


I’m sure you’ve noticed lately that tons of people are making the move into the entrepreneurial arena with hopes of turning their passion into a business. But this idea should not only be for the newbies. Established entrepreneurs can pursue passion projects within their businesses.

The other day, I was walking past a business that encouraged “Pokemon trainers to stop in for a discounted drink”. There is a chance that this business owner is a “Pokemon Go” player but since running a business is very time consuming, I assume he happened to notice a lot of traffic in the area due to the fact that there is “Pokemon Dojo” up the street in the park. While I noticed this promotion in front of the business on a chalkboard. If integrated and marketed correctly, this business could be driving traffic from online to their store, by word-of-mouth, as well as passersby on the street.

So the next time you digest some pop news or just news in general, remember to keep your eyes, ears and mind open to promotional opportunities.

For more great tips, delivered straight to your inbox, Become a "What's Bubblin' Insider"! 

Don’t forget it’s your job to Keep Your Business Bubblin'!



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I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing and Fundraising. I have been in the Direct Mail field almost 10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their organizations Bubblin'!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Who I've Worked With...

Click on logo for Client Details

 CWS

(Click Logo)

Conversations With Sissies 

Brand Building & Marketing Strategies

Ledgendz Unisex Salon

 Social Media Managment & Campaign Development
2013

Rebranding: It's Not A Trend

By Renee Jamerson


In a recent article in Target Marketing Magazine, Jay Shapiro addressed the current trend of companies scrambling to rebrand as a new marketing technique. Shapiro stated that it has been traditional practice to standardize a company’s brand in order to build and maintain a stable identity and market position. It seems to be the new consensus that by having a fluid brand you can better customize and attract more customers, sort of an “I’m every (fill in the blank)” mindset.

Due to the wide-reach of online marketing, it is totally understandable why a company would want to present a sense of locality to prospective customers, but rebranding the company may be a huge jump. One thing that the Not-for-Profit sector has under wraps is the ability to be donor (customer) centric without comprising their brand identity.   

Without careful planning you could implement brand-flexibility with frightening results. One NPO learned the hard way that you can’t be everything to everybody. For NPO’s, it’s very important to protect your brand while being donor-centric or risk becoming unidentifiable. Less than a month ago, I sat in a workshop presented by an employee from an International NPO that went from a standardized brand model to a more flexible approach integrating it into their direct mail and online campaigns. The idea was that it would attract the donors they were missing out on by addressing social issues they hadn’t in the past based on location. This had dramatic effects on their fundraising.

Loss of Identity


Their response rates took a nosedive! They lost more than $10 million and more than 50,000 donors. To try and figure out what happened they sent out surveys to their donors. What they discovered was that many of the donors were reluctant to give because they either questioned the future direction of the organization or they simply had no idea why the organization was sending mail, addressing these “new” issues. While the takeaway from this scenario is that they would have benefited from sending that survey to donors before launching those campaigns it suggests a key point...that rebranding isn’t something to be done as a niche marketing technique. Your brand is your identity!

When to Rebrand


This argument is not to say that a company/organization shouldn’t rebrand. A rebrand must be strategically thought out and planned. Had that survey been sent out beforehand, the organization would have had insight into other social issues interesting their donors. For more helpful tips about rebranding check out, Keeping It All Together, Brand and All.

Big Duck conducted a survey from 2012-2014 of 351 non-profits, resulting in more than 50% of the organizations rebranding to establish a “stronger understanding of the organization’s mission and values or to enhance credibility”. Rebranding should be done to bring clarity to your business or to update your brand identity due to staleness.  If you find your brand unrecognizable due to an ill-planned rebrand there is hope, check out our post, Back on Track: Fall In Love with Your Brand AgainThere are marketing techniques for diversifying your customer base and customizing your customer experience, I don't agree with rebranding as one of them.


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I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing and Fundraising. I have been in the Direct Mail field almost 10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their organizations Bubblin'!






Friday, June 10, 2016

5 Ways to Boost Email Response with Direct Mail Strategy


Fundraising


Last week I attended the DMFA's Package of the Year Awards, an annual event in which members come together to vote on direct mail and email campaigns. From personal experience, as well as industry-wide, it is obvious some winning strategies in direct mail crossover into email.

Here are 5 successful tactics that can be used for both print and digital to boost response:

1.  A great teaser – The teaser is that eye-wrangling copy found on the outside of an envelope and can easily become an email subject line. When people peruse their inboxes they are intentionally looking for those subject lines that grab their attention. Of course there are terms and words to avoid that could land you in the spam folder, but with some planning it is definitely worth your time.


2. Sender – Who is this email coming from? You wouldn't believe how many emails I get from people at a companies that I don’t know, and therefore don't trust. While it is highly suggested that the email sender be a company employee, people are highly unlikely to open an email from an unknown person, regardless of the company. To buffer this effect include the person’s title after their name. It's a small change but it adds an air of trust that the person can actually be looked up at the company.

3. Graphics – emails don’t have to be graphic heavy. A simple picture or no picture is always better than too many graphics for the sake of responsive design.

4. Copy - Make the key sentences stand out by underlining and highlighting. No it’s not cheesy it’s eye-wrangling and it works.

5. Finish Strong – Add in a P.S. While originally created to add in something the writer forgot in a letter, these days it’s used to make your call-to-action one more time or stress the purpose behind the email for the last time.

These techniques have been suggested by many of the Direct Mail greats and from my observation they are valuable no matter the medium.


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I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing and Fundraising. I have been in the Direct Mail field almost 10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their organizations Bubblin'!



Monday, April 25, 2016

[Recap] AFP- Digging Out of the Rut - Panel Discussion

Last week, I attended the AFP Panel Discussion-Digging Out of the Rut, moderated by one of my favorite fundraisers, Margaret Holman. It was everything that I expected it to be jam-packed with juicy tips. Everything from approaching Foundations to cultivating Major Donors. The one running theme for the whole discussion however was relation building.

I'm sure you're probably thinking, fundraising well of course, relationship building is important but you'd be surprised how many fundraisers are either too scared to even call a donor or just don't know the importance of making meaningful contact. Some Development Departments are strictly cash driven, treating their donors as if they are ATMs, and there is an annual merry-go round process of mail a letter, get a gift, send the thanks...next!

There has been a major push this year to change the route of present day fundraising and to bring the focus back to the donor; providing a philanthropic experience and not just a transaction.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Relationship Marketing: Play It One More Time


Relationship Marketing

The new-old philosophy of Relationship Marketing is back in the mix. Looking back at the history of Marketing, we've gone from very personal (one-on-one) business, to working more quickly and efficiently thanks to technology all at the expense of that one-on-one interaction. Changing technology keeps on our toes and so we once again the topic of how to build lasting relationships while in a digital world.

In the current "transactional environment", people feel less valuable to businesses/organization. Despite millennials coming up in the information age, even they find those rare one-on-one occurrences refreshing, as long as the personalization is on-point. 

I think it's fair to say that we can't stray away from the digital world without being left behind, but we can make adjustments to the way we interact with our audiences. 

1. Frequent Contact- While it would be totally unproductive to check every notification that goes off when it goes off, it is possible to schedule time to check social media and respond to questions and comments in a timely manner. It's crucial to interact with your audience so make it a priority.

2. Relevant Content- Providing your audience with relevant, useful and timely content is always important. You should keep a toolbox with all the must-haves for great Content Marketing.

3. Live Interactions- Yes, it is possible via Social Media! Try hosting TwitterChats, Facebook Live, or Live Tweeting.

4. Keep The Lines Open- Allow your audience to have input. Offer surveys and polls so that they can let you know what's on their minds. Read their comments and address them in posted Content. Let them know you hear them!

5. Do Your Homework- Don't be afraid to learn about your audience! Research them and look into their buying habits and interests. There are great screening software options available, take advantage.

Relationship Marketing in the digital age is definitely a task to tackle but it's not impossible with the right formula.

Thanks for reading and as always Keep Your Business Bubblin'!


***

I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing. I have been in the Direct Marketing field almost 10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their brands Bubblin'!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Thinx Panties

Thinx Panties Ad

Yes, you read that correct! I looked up one day on the train and there they were in a 1/2 car Ad Campaign; panties meant to be worn as protection during menstruation. Despite how I felt about this device or the placement of these ads, I decided to conduct a survey within a Mommy group that I frequent and was actually shocked to find that at least 1/2 of these women (a group consisting of about 400 females) had heard of and some even owned this underwear.

Regardless to how you may feel, Thinx Panties are What's Bubblin'!



Friday, March 4, 2016

5 Must-Have Content Marketing Life-Savers


According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most prominent marketing strategies now include content heavy mediums. Not just blog posts, but engaging and share-worthy material. Creating content that is on-point 365/24/7 can be quite intense and at times overwhelming, especially if you don't have those "go-to" devices to pull you out of the storm when you're running low on time and creative energy.

Trust me I've been there, so to be helpful I put together an easy-read list of my top 5 bail out tools:

1. Social Media Management System - This is an absolute must, especially if you have more than one social media account. My personal fav. is Hootsuite.

2. Graphic Design Software - Content marketing has become very visual so at this point its almost pointless to even consider Content Marketing and not include graphic design. Luckily there are tons are great platforms that anyone can use to design captivating visuals. I absolutely love Canva.

3. Hashtags- While you can pretty much hashtag anything now a days, as long as you #KeepItShort (see I just did it), it is so helpful to have a file of poppin' yet relevant hashtags that are identifiable with your brand.

4. Topic generator- While i'm not a huge fan of topic generators, they have given me some rough ideas of topics that I could take and make my own. I wouldn't suggest using them word-for-word, as I just don't see how they could be that unique. But they can be helpful during times of writer's block. I rely on Hubspot when this happens.

5. Editorial Calendar - While this should have been #1, I decided to save the best for last. It is always always always helpful when it comes to Content Marketing to have an editorial calendar. We've all heard it before "a failure to plan is a plan to fail".

There you have it! 5 must-have tools to Keep Your Business Bubblin'!

Renee

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I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter Branding, we're all about Branding & Marketing. I have been in the Direct Marketing field for 10 years! I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their brands Bubblin'!





Monday, February 15, 2016

Back on Track: Fall In Love with Your Brand Again

by Renee Jamerson

Many times businesses find themselves snowballing out of control trying to compete with the ever-changing markets, it could happen as a consultant, as well. You start out offering one product or service and before you know it you've evolved into this beast that is so far removed from your original mission that it's hard to figure out how to get back to that passion and drive that was present in the start-up phase.

Making Your Way Back

An easy way to evaluate whether your business has gotten away from it's mission is to looking at your Content Marketing. Does it relate? Are you able to link back to past content? Can you "reshare" old content without leaving your audience wondering, "where in the world did that just come from?" If you can't talk about your business or service with fire, you have left the honeymoon phase and this is a definite "no, no" when it comes to building an eternal love-story in business. But don't worry there is hope.

Trim The Fat 

Now that you know where you stand, you can make the choice to cut back on services that may be costing you money that isn't worth spending! Especially if you hate doing it. If you find that that product/service that you hate is your breadwinner try adapting it into something that you at least like for the time being until you can develop another winning idea that you are passionate about.

Restructure 

A great tactic to keep from snowballing is to plan. I know you may be tired of hearing it but this is where a business plan is very helpful. If you don't have one its' time to get busy and after that develop a marketing plan. These two plans will help to keep you on track and on budget.

Keep it Bubblin'

Renee

***

I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter Branding, we're all about Branding & Marketing. I have been in the Direct Marketing field for 10 years! I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their brands Bubblin'!




Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Easy Start to Video Marketing Success


(Photo credit: Adweek.com)

The newest movement in social media marketing world is video. Due to the immense take off last year of visual platforms such as Periscope, Babl and Snapchat it's no surprise that Video Marketing is the reincarnated tool of the year. With Facebook rolling out FBVideo it is now becoming easier than ever to enhance your Social media presence.

Curate YOUR Content 


If you feel like your being left out of the loop have no fear we have an easy trick for you...use what you've already got! Think about it I'm pretty sure you have a piece of content, whether a blog post, direct mail appeal or e-mail, you know the one, the one that you put out expecting it to bring in the sales or leads that you really believed in but it ended up lost in the online noise. I say break out the red pen and chop that sucker down and hit record! You'd be surprised the new life a piece can take on when you throw a little sound and motion to it.

Dig in the crates and find that piece that speaks to your brands purpose so perfectly you want to tattoo it on your chest (okay, maybe a bit much but you get the point). Edit it down and make it your first video, have fun and remember this isn't new, you've already put this out and your just reiterating it's importance to your audience and don't forget to pin it to the top!

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I am the founder of Bubblin' Banter, a blog about Direct Marketing. I have been in the Direct Marketing field for 10 years. I love everything about it and love sharing advice with others on how to keep their brands Bubblin'!