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Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Is Social Media Marketing Working for You ?

social media marketing

 

For small business owners, the need to reach out and communicate with consumers is not only a necessity to building a strong brand, but also plays a vital role in building trust. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, then you are aware of the power of social media outlets and their ability to communicate directly with consumers. Tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are among the top performing platforms for social media. You can tap into these resources to network and grow your business to potential buyers. With over 500 million people on Facebook alone, taking the 20 minutes to create an ad and budget is well worth it. However, with everything in the business world, effectively using social media marketing is “easier said than done.” To make sure you’re taking the right steps with your social media campaigns, here are some helpful tips.

A.I.D.A. Think back to Marketing 101 and the basic principles of sales and marketing funnels. The acronym A.I.D.A. stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. A successful social media campaign will build on these ideas and have proven to be quite relevant to today’s social media marketing. Remember that social media is not a point of sale tool, but rather an avenue to reach potential consumers and establish brand awareness. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the idea behind A.I.D.A. The following information is quoted from Josh Peters, an internet and social media consultant with Mashable.com.

AWARENESS

Awareness is social media’s bread and butter. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and other networks are built for this. You can’t easily display your inventory via Twitter, set up a shopping cart on LinkedIn, or fill orders through YouTube. These networks are not going to be your point of sale. Instead, they are your communication and outreach tools — the spokes that lead back to your hub (sales page, blog, site, etc.) where you will be making your conversions.

Awareness can take many forms, but its main goal is getting people to know you exist and that you can solve a problem they might have. At this level, conversations, interaction and content are king. A few metrics you might want to measure around your brand are conversation frequency, increased mentions and sentiment.

INTEREST

Now that you have their attention, you need to get customers interested in your product. You can bolster interest with offers and compelling reasons why you’re better than the competition, and how you can solve customers’ problems. Features and benefits weigh heavily in this level, and social media can help you kick their interest into high gear.

If you’re running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and have some targeted landing pages set up for your products or services, those are what you want to link to — not your homepage. Even if you’re not utilizing paid ads, the same strategy of linking to targeted pages through social media is applicable. A few of the metrics you will want to look at here are CTR (click through rate), retweets (of deals and links), and conversations about specific products.

DESIRE

Social media can help bolster desire through communication and engagement, but to fully satisfy someone’s desire to buy, you need to have a site that is streamlined and optimized. Recently, I tried using a popular car rental site to make a reservation, but it was so difficult to navigate that I gave up, despite having a great discount code. The unmanageable user interface killed my desire in two minutes flat, and my business went straight to the competition. Your site makes a huge impression, and people will judge your company by it.

Take the time to go through your site and optimize the presentation and the shopping cart experience. Testimonials gathered from linkable social profiles are a great asset.

Take the customer from interest to desire with a clean, easy to navigate, info rich, and functional site. Some of the metrics that matter at this level are bounce rate, time on site, pages viewed and incoming links.

ACTION

Now that your customers are itching to buy your product, and their money is burning a hole in their PayPal pocket, you need to seal the deal. At this point, your site is your number one tool, and while social media can influence the action through the previous levels, it’s not going to have the same influence here. You need to make it easy and obvious for your customer to complete your desired action (purchase, sign up, lead form, etc.).

The action is also where you can finally calculate some of your end metrics, like conversion rate and ROI. This is where you can see how everything is performing and the final impact your work is having. Often, these are the metrics that your boss (and your boss’s boss) are looking for.

With so many forms of advertising and marketing being used in business, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed and confused when figuring out where to start. Using the simple principles of awareness, interest, desire, and action you can effectively establish yourself among the social media buzz and start building brand awareness for your products or services. If social media is something you’ve been shying away from, pull back the covers and dive into a world of 500 million strong. Social media marketing is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. What do you think ?

Happy Writing – A.M. Professional Writing Services

 

 

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Advertising and Sales Sheets – 2 Birds With 1 Stone

The Hidden Power of Sales Sheets

Sales Sign
Sales sign hanging

Imagine yourself at a meeting with a potential client. You’re sitting down in a local coffee shop, conversing over latte’s and muffins, and things are seemingly going well. And then the question pops up: “So, what exactly is it that your product (or service) does ? Do you have more information I can look at ?” What do you do ? You can fumble around in your brief case for a business card with your web address and pawn off the response on your website, but the chances of a prospect going home to search the web for more information about your product AFTER meeting with you, isn’t very likely. You could go into a lengthy explanation that might bore your prospect to the point that they lose interest completely. You could drive back to your office as fast as possible to send a hasty email to the prospect who, by then, probably won’t open it. Or you could utilize one of the oldest forms of selling and hand your prospect a sales sheet that answers all of their questions and satisfies their need for more information.

What is a sales sheet ?

Sales Sheet Example 1Maybe you’ve never heard of those two words before or you may think it’s something completely different from what it really is. No, it’s not a sheet full of numbers and stats about sales. A sales sheet is exactly what it sounds like – a sheet that sells. According to commercedictionary.com, a sales sheet is “paper which gives details of a product and explains why it is good.” It’s really that simple. A sales sheet is a one or two page paper that offers insight into what your product or service is and why a customer should buy from you. It’s a presentation piece, a sales tool, a networking tool and, more importantly and often overlooked, a marketing tool! The beauty of having a sales sheet is that it acts as an informative piece of literature for prospects, but also serves as an advertising medium by displaying product and company information, in-turn increasing brand awareness.

But how can it increase brand awareness ?

Let’s say that you sell vacuum cleaners. You meet with a prospect and pitch your latest model, the T120 Super Sucker, and after you’ve done your presentation that client asks you, “Do you have any more information about your products and services that I can have ?” You, being the prepared sales rep that you are (right ?), hand over a sales sheet that tells your prospect all the features and benefits of the T120 Super Sucker, as well as, brief information about your other products and also mentions your cleaning services and monthly vacuum maintenance plans. What you’ve just done is given your prospect the information they requested and explained your business and services to them that they may have not otherwise asked about. Now, you’ve opened another possible sales avenue and helped establish your brand (in the prospects mind) as a full service vacuum company that also offers cleaning and maintenance services. The prospect might take that sales sheet home, read through it and discover a different vacuum that might be suitable for his neighbor, whose been looking for a new vacuum that can handle shag carpets and rugs better than his current vacuum. Now, you’ve just made another possible sale and, through your prospect, have spread your brand awareness. It’s beautiful isn’t it ? Yeah, we think so too.

So, how do you create an effective sales sheet ?

To create a sales sheet, the process is quite simple. If you have a decent word processing program with the ability to add graphics you can create sales sheet’s yourself, for little or no cost. Here’s some tips on creating a sales sheet that will give your product and business the added exposure it needs:

1. Start with your text.

Keep in mind this rule: “People don’t read.” So keep your copy short, snappy and to the point. Start with a one-paragraph description of your product or service. Provide the basics: what it is, what it does and why your customer should buy it.

Focus on your product’s benefits, not just its features. In other words, think of your product/service from your readers’ point of view. You may be thrilled that you just bought a brand new high-end photocopier for your print shop, but what does that mean for me, your customer? Better quality? Cheaper copies? Faster service?

Use bullet points to list key features and benefits. Use powerful, descriptive — but true — adjectives.

Sales sheet example 32. Add our product photos and graphics.

Next, you need a photo of your product. Or a graphic. Or anything visual. In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words. If your product or service isn’t particularly photogenic, use a chart or graph Sales sheet example 2that illustrates benefits or cost savings.

If it’s appropriate, include the price of your product. In some cases, your prices may vary by customer or season, so you’ll want to keep a separate price list.

3. Insert your calls to action.

Finally, you’ll want a call to action. Tell people where and how they can order your product or get further information. Now, it’s time to take all this copy and put it on the page. Because my company is a publisher, we use heavyweight design software. For print publishing, Adobe software is king-of-the-hill. For our sales sheet, we used the latest version of their flagship layout program, InDesign. Adobe’s PageMaker and Microsoft‘s Publisher are both good, affordable, alternatives.

For some useful tips from graphic designers on creating sales sheets check out this article from hubpages.com.

Other uses for your sales sheet ?

Sales sheets can also serve as other forms of advertising and marketing as well. For example, leave them behind at sales meetings for other people to pick up and explore. Use them when you send mailers and email responses to clients. Insert them in pocket folder portfolio’s for distribution to companies when making presentations. Use them at trade shows to let prospects get a taste of your products and why they should buy from you. Sales sheets are a wonderful tool that can be used in a variety of ways. So, next time you get asked, “What is it that your product does ?” hand them a sales sheet and let the power of advertising do the work for you. We promise it’s worth it!

If you would like more information about sales sheets or are interested in having a sales sheet created for you, contact us or visit our website at www.amprowritingservices.com.

Please let us know why you think about this powerful tool by posting your comments below. Your comments are always welcomed! Thanks! Also, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Happy Writing! A.M. Professional Writing Services

Has Social Networking Content Plateaued ?

Study Shows Social Media Content Has Slowed…

Flat Line

As marketers and advertisers, we all know the power of Social Media and its ability to tap into the lives of millions of people. We’ve watched as industries such as Facebook and Twitter have taken over conventional forms of advertising and marketing and transformed them into technology savvy, multi-billion dollar industries. In today’s world, the internet rules almost everything. Industries now have the ability to control who they want to reach, when they to want reach them and how they want to reach them. Social Networks are now a must for business owners and are helping drive sales and increase profits like never before. New businesses are finding it effective and rather affordable to launch Social Media campaigns. For example, Facebook offers ad campaigns (CPC and CPM) for as little or as much money as you want to spend. Twitter has reached over 2 million tweets and is now talking about releasing a new “promotional” platform to help drive even more traffic and followers to businesses. With over 55 million users, it seems that social networks are here to stay and will continue to grow. But in a recent study performed by Forrester, it seems as though the creation of new social media content might have reached its peak. Here’s what the study had to say”

With 500 million people using Facebook and Twitter seeing more than two billion tweets per month, one would assume that social media usage is skyrocketing. New research from Forrester suggests that while participation is on the rise, actual content creation may not be.Forrester’s Social Technographics Profile analyzes consumer social behaviors and trends on an annual basis. Forrester classifies social network users by type: Creators, Conversationalists, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives. In the past year, their research shows no measurable growth in the Creators category — the audience that creates social content.

In the U.S., the Creator audience has actually dipped a percentage point from 24% in 2009 to 23% in 2010. Japan was the only country measured to show a rise in Creators, growing from 34% to 36% in the past year.

When it comes to social media, it would seem then that the average user feels most at home taking more passive actions, and that a majority of content creation is primarily limited to the existing content creator crowd. As Forrester reports, “One-third of online consumers in the U.S. regularly watch user-generated videos on sites like YouTube. But only 10% of U.S. online consumers upload videos they’ve created to public sites.”

Still, social networking is on the rise, according to Forrester. In the Joiners category (those that join social networks), most countries surveyed saw significant increases, including the U.S., which jumped from 51% to 59% between 2009 and 2010.

Can it be ? Is the social powerhouse dwindling ? Take a look at these charts and you be the judge!Social Media Chart

Let us know what you think about this article and the current state and future of social media. How do you feel about these numbers ? Please leave your comments below as they are always welcomed.

 

Be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us Twitter! Also, be sure to check our website and show your support by clicking the “like” button under the social media content. Thank you for continued support!

10 Emerging Social Media Platforms to Help Your Business

September 9, 2010 1 comment

Social Media is King!

It’s no secret that with the evolution of social media, everybody is beginning to hone their computer skills and brush up on technology to keep up with the ever-changing platforms. Pretty much anybody can use and benefit from Social Media is some way. From the average home user who wishes to keep in touch with family and friends to corporations using social media to promote sales, brand identity, marketing, etc., etc., it’s an effective and accessible medium on many different levels. Here are 10 emerging apps involving social media that will hopefully help your business find its mark on the social media map.

Follow this link to mashable.com where you can read the full article and watch videos demonstrating these apps. www.mashable.com

10 Apps and How Your Business Can Use Them

1. Gowalla

2. SCVNGR

3. Whrrl

4. Loopt Star

5. Brightkite

6. Aardvark

7. Quora

8. Help A Reporter Out

9. NewsBasis

10. StatusNet

Let us know what you think about this blog post by leaving your comments and suggestions below. We are always happy to hear what you have to say.


Be sure to find us on Facebook and become a follower on Twitter!

Happy Writing! A.M. Professional Writing Services

Interested in advertising on our blog or website ?

Send us an email at AMetz@amprowritingservices.com or call us at (941)504-3513.

Happy Labor Day from Us to You!

The History and Meaning of “Labor Day”

Putting up a labor day signIn the spirit of celebration, A.M. Professional Writing Services would like to wish everybody a happy and safe Labor Day! But what exactly is labor day for ? To most of us, Labor Day is just an excuse to enjoy a 3 day weekend followed by a short work week. It’s time spent on family picnic’s, watching the start of the college football season (GO NOLES!!), heading to the beach for barbecues and sunburns; whatever activities and ideas that you may have. If you think about it, “Labor Day” means exactly what t says; a day to celebrate labor. But what is the real definition of labor day and what’s the story behind it? According to the U.S. Department of Labor…

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

It had to be started by someone right ? Yes indeed.

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

When was the first Labor Day ?

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

How did it become a national holiday ?

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

The Nationwide Holiday ?

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

So, there you have it. Now with this new understanding and appreciation for labor day go ahead and celebrate and praise the hard-working American’s that make life possible and enjoyable. In the economic turmoil of today, jobs are something that are becoming almost impossible to find. Today, take some time to reflect on your career and understand that you have a direct impact on someone, somewhere and somehow. We’d like to send a big thank you to all of the hardworking people who keep this nation moving and constantly growing. Enjoy today and again, thank you!

Happy Writing! A.M. Professional Writing Services

Starbucks new VIA line reaches $100 million in sales

Putting the “bucks” in Starbucks..

Starbucks via advertising and marketing

For the avid coffee drinker, a trip to Starbucks in the morning is the perfect way to start a busy day. In an almost effortless attempt to retrieve that perfect cup of coffee, Starbucks has gone to great lengths to offers their services to its faithful patrons. Drive through windows, custom frappuccinos and free WiFi are just to name a few. And now, Starbucks introduces a new line of products to consumers which offers the same great taste without the daily trip to the coffee shop. Welcome to Starbuck’s VIA.


Starbucks new via products work on a simple premises: Add the contents of the VIA package (coffee or tea), add water, stir and enjoy. Yes….it’s that easy and yes, it tastes phenomenal. And the best part ? Starbucks has been planning the development and launch of the new VIA products for 20 years.

The Seattle-based chain spent 20 years developing Via, and has supported the product with the single-largest marketing push in the company’s history. Via debuted in September 2009, accompanied by measured media spending of $2 million that year, according to Nielsen. From January through May of this year, Starbucks spent $7 million on measured media touting Via. – Noreen O’Leary

And the pay off ? Starbucks announced this week that it’s via line has produced over $100 million in sales in the last 10 months, a feat that is almost seems impossible. But how did they do it ?!

Advertising, advertising and more ADVERTISING! Starbucks has spent over $7 million in 4 months on advertising the new VIA product and it has paid off immensely for the corporation.

Starbucks initially introduced Via in its stores and in select U.S. outlets. Now, Via is available in about 37,000 locations, including 25,000 food, drug and mass merchandise stores. Earlier this year, Starbucks launched Via into U.S. grocery outlets, and within a few weeks, Starbucks will introduce new products in the American market. By the end of fiscal year 2011, the chain expects to add 3,000 non-Starbucks stores carrying Via.

You can count on seeing Starbuck’s VIA line in stores, literally everywhere. Give it a try…see how $100 million tastes. We think it’s pretty damn delicious.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT OUR FREE ADVERTISING ON OUR BLOG! CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION! (941) 504-3513

Happy Writing! A.M. Professional Writing Services

We’ve been working hard…changes are coming!

Shhhhhh….we’ve been secretly working!

Advertising and marketing top secret project

We admit….we’ve haven’t exactly been “posting” for the pat few weeks. However, what we haven’t told you is that we’ve secretly been working on a new website that has demanded most of our time for the past month.

Tomorrow at 9am, the website will officially be live and waiting for your clicks.

What makes this website so special ? This one was designed completely in-house, with our own design efforts and creative thought processes. We did all search engine optimization ,keyword research, copywriting and design using our own tools and knowledge. Not to mention the new features of the site:

  • A media introduction from our President and CEO
  • Contact Forms
  • Comments and Suggestions box
  • Live twitter feed
  • Preview portfolio views
  • Optional email opt ins
  • FREE e-brochures!

We are extremely excited to introduce the new website tomorrow and we hope that you will take some time to click around and check it out. Please let us know what you think and be sure to sign up for our free e-brochure!

NEW LOGO – CHECK IT OUT!!!

Along with the new website comes a new logo and a new color scheme. Be prepared to see a different theme on our blog tomorrow to compliment the changes.

BE SURE TO HEAD OVER TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TO CHECKOUT THE NEW LOGO!  See the new logo

Happy Writing!! A.M. Professional Writing Services