What Does Diversity Mean in a (VERY) Small Company?

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This post is sponsored by Visa Small Business, but the opinions are all mine, and any comments are all yours.

Having a diverse workforce can be a challenge for small businesses, especially in certain parts of the U.S. or globally. To get the benefits of diversity, you may need to expand your thinking.Flyte Crew Summer 2014

Many large companies must comply with corporate or even governmental diversity mandates.

They are also made up of such large workforces that it’s easy to cultivate a rich mixture of experiences and people.

But smart businesses—of any size—don’t view diversity as a requirement, but rather as an opportunity to grow and succeed. The variety of your employees’ backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings are a strategic advantage that you can tap into.

With that in mind, it may seem that a small business is at a disadvantage. It can be difficult, if you’re running a five or ten person shop, to be diverse. Making matters worse, many small business owners fall into the trap of hiring people who they like, and who are like them.

It gets even more challenging when you are drawing from an applicant pool that’s fairly homogenous. I discovered today that of Maine’s 1.3 million residents, over 96% are white.

What’s a small business to do? (more…)

How Do I Become an Internet Sensation? Follow This One Rule.

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Rebecca Black. Antoine Dodson. Psy. What do all of these people have in common?

Rock concertThey’ve all managed to take a slice of fame, by joining the ranks of a phenomenon of the 21st Century called “Internet Sensations”.

Being an Internet sensation can result in record contracts, television appearances, book deals, advertising endorsements, even lucrative contracts with major cosmetic companies... And of course – cold, hard cash.

The facts don’t lie: Making yourself an Internet sensation can pay off big time.

OK – So, coming back down to earth – it’s safe to say that most of us aren’t pining away each day for our 15 minutes of internet fame (though, not many would turn it down).

But, I’m fairly certain that all small business owners would welcome the huge boost in web traffic, engagement, and overall reach for their brand that being a major Internet sensation commands.

The good news? Becoming an Internet sensation really boils down to following just one critical rule.

And you can apply this one simple rule to how you approach digital marketing for your business – and turn your small business into an internet rock star (or simply generate more leads, minus all the glitz and glamor).

Here’s the deal: It’s all about making a connection. At the end of the day, certain people are launched into Internet fame, because their content makes a connection with people.

Their content is attention grabbing, it’s engaging, and it gives their audience something of value.

Now, in the case of individuals becoming Internet sensations, the value that’s being provided is often entertainment.

And maybe entertainment is something your business can provide as well, but when considering how to engage your unique audience, think about providing content that’s relevant to your business – and that’s also of incredible value to your target demographic.

Content that’s attention grabbing, interesting, and shareable. Perhaps in your case, it’s a how-to make the perfect cupcake video on YouTube, or an Infographic describing how to plan a wedding in Maine, or a #bestpizzatoppings hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

No matter what type of business or industry you’re in, regularly putting out content that truly connects with your audience – and provides them with real value, can go a long way in maximizing visibility for your brand.

Who is  your favorite Internet Sensation? What types of content would your customers love to see? Leave a comment to join the discussion.

Katrina Crowell

Digital Marketing Fan & Future Internet Rock Star

 

 

 

How to Retarget Your Ads on Facebook

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AOC Retargeting AdRetargeting on Facebook is a digital marketing tactic that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. And rightly so – because retargeting gives you a chance to reach customers who are serious about purchasing your product or service.

If you’ve never heard of retargeting, you’ve probably experienced it. Ever looked at—say, a pair of boots—online and then seen ads for those boots at every site you go to after that?


Well, those ads aren’t coming from the magic internet marketing fairy – They’re coming from a digital marketing tactic called retargeting. 

How do you know you’re reaching customers who are serious about making a purchase? Well, it’s because retargeting works by placing a cookie in a customer’s web browser when they hit a certain landing page on your site.

In other words, you’re only advertising to people who have shown an intent in purchasing your product.

If they leave your website without making a purchase, you can then serve them a retargeting ad, promoting your goods or service as they browse elsewhere on the web.

So for example – let’s say you own a store that sells artisan candles. A person was browsing your website, looking at different candles – then left without making a purchase.

In the past, that would have been the end of the story. But with retargeting, there’s still opportunity to get a customer or client.

Continuing with our candle scenario, we now find this person later logging into Facebook to share a status update. It’s here that she sees an ad for your candles in her newsfeed or sidebar. She is reminded of her original intention to purchase, clicks the ad, and buys the candles she was initially considering.

So, in this example, retargeting was able to help save a sale that may have been lost forever.

Pretty cool stuff, huh? And here’s the really awesome thing about retargeting: You don’t have to be a master web coder to run a successful retargeting campaign.

With tools such as Perfect Audience, retargeting is actually quite simple.

Perfect Audience creates a “perfect pixel” for you – which is the tracking cookie that consumers will adopt when they hit your given landing page.

Perfect Audience Cookie - Manual Installation

You simply copy and paste the code that Perfect Audience provides, and place it into the code exactly where Perfect Audience instructs. This part was actually so much easier than I thought it would be – Perfect Audience has step by step instructions, along with pictures that clearly highlight where the code needs to go.

The instructions are even tailored to the platform your website is built on. Really. Easy. Stuff.

From there, it gets even easier (and kind of fun, if you love marketing, like me). You create your retargeting list, which again – is something Perfect Audience walks you through. You’re able to segment your audience into different lists, and also able to have a master list to market to as well.

After that, you’ll select your conversion goal. This is simply, how to track the success of your campaign. It may be purchases of a certain product, registrations for a conference, or sign ups for an email newsletter – whatever it is you want consumers to do as a result of your retargeting ads will be measured here.

 At this point, it’s time to create your Facebook retargeting ads!

This process is also simple and straightforward. The specs for the ads are clearly laid out for you, and preset forms guide the amount and type of copy in the ad as well.

Perfect Audience - Template is Set for you

All you have to concern yourself with here is coming up with attention grabbing graphics and compelling messaging, using the allotted space.

This can actually be a fun process, if you’re someone who’s into copywriting. Last step is to launch your campaign. 

Select your retargeting list, set your budget, and select the conversion goals to track.

Once the data starts to roll in, there’s a healthy amount of metrics available to track.

All of the standard web tracking metrics are in place, such as cost-per-click, to cost-per acquisition, click-through-rate, conversions, and cost-per-thousands impressions (CPM).

There’s also a metric for view conversions, which are people who were served your ad, did not click on it, but did return to your website to make a purchase. 

Perfect Audience believes this metric can account for up to 30% of conversions.

While this is interesting stuff, if you’re looking to review more concrete data, such as conversions resulting from clicks, you can simply remove the view conversions metric from your tracking reports.

If you’re going to run retargeting ads on Facebook, Perfect Audience is a great tool for getting started and from what we’ve seen, can be an awesome tool for building long standing retargeting campaigns.

So, does retargeting work? Well, at the time of this writing we’re using retargeting for the Agents of Change conference. We’ve spent $212 and have sold $9,600 in tickets through retargeting. That’s a 4,500% ROI! (Gross, ‘natch.)

Check them out here! What’s your biggest question about retargeting? Ask in the comments below and we’ll get you an answer! 

Katrina Crowell
Lead Gen Expert & Perfect Audience Fan

Why You SERIOUSLY Need to Come to Agents of Change This Year

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Agents of ChangeThis September 26th, 2014, we’re putting on our annual conference that’s all about how you can reach more of your ideal customers with search, social, and mobile marketing. 

It’s called the Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, and if you’re reading this blog (or email newsletter), then chances are you’re going to love it.

Imagine a full day of some today’s top digital marketers sharing their best tactics and strategies on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and ranking higher at the search engines. Tips for building and engaging an audience. Advice on how to reach more customers on their mobile devices. 

In short: how to build your business in a digital world. 

That’s what you’re going to get at Agents of Change. (more…)

How to Manage Your Email with Boomerang

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Boomerang for GmailDo your proposals get lost in email? Do you ever forget to follow up with someone for an important event? Do you sometimes lose track of email threads? Then read on, because we’ve got a great tool to help regain control of your inbox. 

Today I want to share with you a tool I’ve been using for several months now that has helped me tame my inbox, save time at work, and keep on top of proposals, work agreements, and other important activities for my business.

It’s called Boomerang, and it’s an add-on to Gmail.

If you’re not using Gmail because you want to send emails from your own domain, check out How to Send Branded Emails from Gmail

It’s got a lot of different features, but the one that I find most powerful if you’re a small business owner, or in sales or marketing, is the response tracking.

Have you ever sent out a proposal or request for a meeting and never heard back? Maybe you forgot about it, or it got entered into a customer database that you don’t check as often as you should?

Well, once you’ve installed Boomerang on your computer, you can ensure that you don’t drop the ball. If no one responds to your email, boomerang will send you a reminder at a time and date of your choice so you can act on it again.

Here’s How it Works: 

There are other features as well, including delaying the sending of an email. Perfect for when you don’t actually want a client to respond to you before you leave for the day, or when you want to make it look like you were burning the midnight oil when actually you’ve been catching up on your beauty sleep.

 

Boomerang is free for up to 10 message credits per month. If you want more, plans range from 4.99 – 49.99 a month. I have the $5 a month plan and it’s all I need, and probably the best five bucks I spend all month.

And if you liked this video, please go ahead and give us a big thumbs up and click the “subscribe” button so you’ll never miss another episode. 

Rich Brooks
I am my inbox

Welcome, Katrina!

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katrina-krowellWe’ve got a new hire here at flyte, and we want to introduce her to you all!

Katrina Crowell has joined the flyte crew as our new Inbound Marketer, ready to help you with your SEO, social media campaigns, email marketing, and basically all of your digital marketing needs.

Katrina is a graduate of the University of Maine, and has over 6 years of experience in web content development and social media marketing. She has worked as a ghost blogger, freelance web marketer, and SEO consultant for businesses across a wide variety of industries. And having spent 5 years in the direct response industry, she also loves digging into reports and data analysis.

(Which makes one of us.)

When she’s not crafting a new blog post or sending out witty (or genuine attempts at being witty) tweets, Katrina enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, writing and singing pop songs, watching horror movies/reading horror novels, and working out.

Also, we apparently not only work out in the same gym, but use the same weird, hidden room filled with old-school workout equipment that most members don’t even know about, yet have never seen each other.

So, one of us is obviously lying.

Welcome to the crew, Katrina!

Rich Brooks
Happy Boss

How to Blog for B2B Lead Generation [A Case Study…with Beer]

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Blogging for Lead GenerationHow can you use a blog to reach your audience? To grow your business? Is blogging still a viable option for B2B lead generation?

Today we’re going to see how a single, well-planned blog post can put you in front of your ideal customer when they’re ready to make a buying decision.

Tidestone Solutions is a B2B (business to business) company from Portland, Maine, that offers mid-sized companies business process and accounting software solutions. Their area of expertise is within Microsoft Dynamics GP, 

Kelley Sintz is the Business Development Director and was looking to grow their business within the craft brew industry. She was either unwilling or unable to provide me samples for this story. But I digress.  (more…)

The Marketing Agents Podcast Turns 50: A Search, Social, and Mobile Marketing Podcast

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The Marketing Agents PodcastAre you looking for a marketing podcast? Do you learn best when listening to experts share their best tips and tricks?

If you’re a fan of podcasts or audiobooks and are looking for new ways to market your business and generate more online leads, you might want to check out The Marketing Agents Podcast

This is the free, weekly podcast (Internet radio show) that’s all about how you can use search, social, and mobile marketing to reach more of your ideal customers.

The show is hosted by me, Rich Brooks, and I get to ask marketing experts from around the world (quite literally) how you can grow your business with digital marketing.

The other day we just hit our 50th episode, so I figured I’d celebrate with a look back on those first fifty. Feel free to check out any of the links below (they go to the show notes where you can listen to the show), or if you’re ready to jump right in, you can subscribe (for free!) at iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

The Marketing Agents Podcast - iTunesThe Marketing Agents Podcast - Stitcher

Big thanks to John Lee Dumas and Michael Stelzner who got me to podcast in the first place!

And here are the first fifty! (more…)

How Zombies Helped Me Build My Brand

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Tzombie-rich-brookshis post is sponsored by Visa Small Business, but the opinions are all mine, and any comments are all yours.

By showing your personality and being yourself, you can quickly break through barriers and make business connections that really matter.

Birth of the Undead

Back when I first got started on Twitter in aught seven, I didn’t know what to put on my Twitter bio. So, I played it safe and mentioned only my occupation: I run a web design and Internet marketing company.

After a couple of years I found my voice on Twitter and decided to inject a little more of my personality into my bio; a personality that some describe as irreverent and others describe as annoying. (There is no wrong answer.)

(more…)