Don’t Call Me Frank

It’s always great when clients say nice things about you.

Here’s one client that took to video to say a few words about how we’ve helped him grow his business.

Don’t call me Frank, though, eh?

Click here to watch the short video testimonial.

Have You Tried Google Apps For Work?

It’s not that well known in the UK, but we love it.

What are we talking about? Google Apps For Work.

It has so many benefits – for businesses of all sizes.

From working better and more efficiently with colleagues, to saving on the cost of licences for MS Office and the ‘obligatory’ server for your emails or documents, to integrating a whole host of other applications to make your working life and business run and perform better, we think it’s the next ‘garlic bread’. Did we mention it makes protecting your data – such as information about your customers – easier too?

Check out all the benefits and features here.

 

17 Reasons To Send A Press Release

Have you ever thought of using press releases to promote your business to your customers and prospects?

 

Using press releases is a form of PR or public relations.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations says: “Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.”


It adds: “Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.


“It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”

 

So, why should YOU send a press release?

 

Here’s 17 reasons to do so:

 

  1. Media coverage from a press release can drive valuable traffic to your website
  2. It can position your company and its products and services in the minds of your customers and potential new customers more easily than traditional advertising (or online advertising)
  3. It is much cheaper than advertising
  4. It helps to build your brand
  5. You can say things in a press release that you can’t say in an advertisement
  6. Appearing in a local newspaper, business magazine or trade publication (or even on radio or television) gives your business massive credibility amongst your customers and potential new customers
  7. It can help to position you, a member of staff, or your company as ‘the expert’ in your field and give you a competitive advantage. Likewise, it can showcase your products as the ‘best in the market’
  8. It can help generate sales enquiries and new customers
  9. It can help your business get more coverage online
  10. You can use the content of a press release for 1 or more posts on social media
  11. Brainstorming ideas for news stories can highlight successes internally within a business (and even make staff feel better)
  12. A press release can help to create goodwill between your company and your customers, potential new customers, employees, shareholders, and even suppliers
  13. It can help to protect your corporate reputation in case of negative media coverage
  14. It can help to influence buying behaviour of your customers and potential new customers
  15. It can help your company to earn understanding and support from customers, potential new customers, employees, suppliers and even shareholders
  16. It can help tell the world what your business is good at, how your products and services can help your customers and why customers and potential customers should buy from you rather than your competitors (but you have to careful how you do this!)
  17. The content of a press release in a news stories in a newspaper, magazine or online is viewed as far more credible (i.e. true) than anything you can say in an advertisement

 

 

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

We’d like to wish our clients, partners, suppliers and business contacts a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

SEO is on the move as search goes mobile

Few people would argue – particularly within the online marketing industry itself – that mobile search is growing in importance at present.

An ever-increasing array of mobile devices, from smartphones (Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry among them) to tablets including Apple’s iPad and the Microsoft Surface, are putting search at the fingertips of a new generation.

It’s probably the single fastest shift in search habits since the creation of search engines themselves – and certainly the biggest non-Google impact on search in recent years.

And that means you need to be ready to react – or even to proact, if you want to lead the charge towards truly search-optimised mobile sites.

What does mobile mean?

You might think you know what mobile search means for common metrics like average query length – searching while on the move, on a tiny touchscreen keyboard, probably means shorter search queries on average, right?

If you think that, you’re wrong, according to figures published by Yahoo! and based on usage trends on Yahoo! Search for Mobile.

Between 2007 and 2010, the average mobile search query overall grew in length from 3.05 words to 3.6 words, and from 18.48 characters to 22.16.

There are plenty of reasons why this might be the case, but an obvious one is voice recognition – in many cases, searches are no longer manually typed in, but simply spoken into the handset, making it much easier to search for a longer sequence of words, or even for a full phrase in the form of a question.

How long is the tail?

In the same report, Yahoo! revealed that mobile search is still in its infancy, relatively speaking, and that despite the figures above, short-tail search queries are more common than their longer-tail counterparts.

“There are more head queries – queries with high frequency of repetitions, with small number of words,” reported Yahoo!, “while long queries are also increasing on torso and tail queries.”

Mobile search is still coming up, but is very nearly there, making it important to have a comprehensive SEO agency in place to target these more competitive short-tail key terms, and the more relevant long-tail phrases.

But if 2010 seems like a lifetime ago in this fast-moving market, a separate Yahoo! report puts all of this into a much more contemporary context.

Mobile search in 2013

In a one-sheet update on mobile search – covering both Yahoo! Search for Mobile and Bing Mobile – the company predicts that 2013 will be the year in which mobile searches “eclipse” desktop search.

“Mobile search is no longer ‘coming on’; its time has arrived,” Yahoo! states, adding that Android and iPhone searches account for more than 50% of the mobile queries it receives, and that it and Bing together share over a third of the mobile search market.

This last point is worth remembering, because perhaps more than in the desktop and laptop markets, smartphone users are often tied to the search engine provided by default on their handset.

While this may still be Google for Android users, it’s likely to lead to a sustained and substantial share in the mobile search market for Bing, if Windows Phone sales reach relatively high figures.

As such, any mobile SEO campaign would be wise to span not only the appropriate range of query lengths, but also to take into account non-Google search engine optimisation, ensuring strong performance on Yahoo! and Bing, and tapping into this sizeable but arguably less competitive search market for mobile devices.

Get More Work Done – Go On Holiday!

Christmas is now under a week away, and it’s nearly time for everyone to have a well-earned rest!

However, regardless of when you decide it’s time for a short break, a long weekend, or even a proper holiday abroad, it can actually be a time where your productivity increases.

I’m aware this is going to make me sound either mad or miserable, but bare with me on this…

For me, bizarrely, going holiday actually makes me more productive because I’m in a relaxed mood, which allows me to free my mind, think creatively, and plan ahead.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should surrender your holiday to your business – it should first and foremost be for relaxing. I never deliberately set out to work more on while I’m on holiday, but out of habit I always take a hardback notepad and tend to find that I scribble lots of information down, which I can implement when I return.

Prior to going on holiday, I’m usually extremely busy trying to finish things off for clients, and I don’t start to relax until I’m on the plane, train, boat etc. But once I do relax, it gives me the opportunity to delve into a more laid back and creative state. Once this change occurs, I find myself filling up with ideas and I use the notepad to make a lot of notes.

Some of this can be prompted by reading good books relevant to marketing, or listening to audio programmes that include experts talking about various aspects of marketing. Personally, I’m currently reading “Email Persuasion” by Ian Brodie, which is an excellent book on email marketing and well worth checking out.

As a result of my holiday, I find that I ironically get more work done than at times when I’m at work, and under the day-to-day pressures of running my own business.

So, my personal suggestion to owners of businesses is to take regular breaks throughout the year (they don’t all have to be full blown trips to Hawaii, maybe just a nice long weekend away in the Lakes), and see if that results in a rise in your productivity and creativity in a similar way.

For now though, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Cross-selling – Why Existing Customers Are Just As Important As New Customers

When sales fall, most businesses instinctively decide that the best course of action is to go after new customers.

bullseye

While logically it’s a sensible call to make, the reality is there are three options available to counteract the fall:

  • Increase the amount of customers i.e. get more customers,

  • Increase the frequency of purchases of your existing customers, and/or

  • Increase the average spend per purchase from your existing customers

However, research shows that it is eight times more expensive to try and get more customers than it is to get more sales from existing customers.

Look at it this way. It’s easier to sell a football shirt to a fan, than it is to someone who doesn’t care about football or, even worse, supports your rivals. You should be selling to your fans who, in this particular analogy, are your existing customers.

If you look at your existing customer base, as well as your current list of products and services, you will be able to identify opportunities to cross-sell to existing customers, as well as attracting new business. You can do this by creating a simple table, with existing and new customers/clients’ needs down the left hand side, and your products and services across the top.

This helps give you a visual representation of what and where you will be able to cross-sell. Simply tick off what you provide to each customer, and at a glance this table will show you where the opportunities to cross-sell or upsell new or existing services to your existing client base are.

In our experience this is often a quick win for clients to grow the business before going out into the market and looking for new customers or the extra resources that can entail.

You may wish to try it for your business.

Get Our Latest, Free Marketing Tips here.

The Social Reboot

web-design-serviceAs a marketing expert, I spend my days (and some nights) working to improve the customer engagement, branding, and overall image of my clients.

This is a never-ending job as business and marketing is always evolving due to constant developments in technology, methods, and practices, and I need to do my best to keep up for the sake of my clients.

As a result, the last company I come to address the marketing issues for, is usually my own, and I never really get to practice what I preach with Red Flame Marketing.

However, that’s all about to change as, over the coming months, I’m going to overhaul my online marketing, explaining the reasons for my changes as I go, and turn all of my social media channels into pages that I’m proud to have representing my company.

Most importantly, I’m going to demonstrate how you can apply the same techniques to your business, as well as tips on lead generation, blogs and content, and social media etiquette, as we gradually explore the world of modern marketing.

So, consider this the starting pistol, and make sure you are following Red Flame Marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, so you can see the full transformation and the effect it has, as well as exclusive content for users on each page.

Finally, make sure you check back here, as there will be more content on the dos and don’ts of modern marketing and monthly updates on this social media reboot. Meeting regularly to talk about marketing is a good practice to get into, so let’s make this our regular meeting place, as good marketing requires time, effort, and a certain amount of dedication to get right.

Get Our Latest, Free Marketing Tips Here.

10 ways to transform the marketing of your business in 30 days

10 ways to transform the marketing of your business in 30 days

  1. Embrace social media – it’s here to stay and those businesses, even small and medium-sized businesses, that choose to ignore social media will be left behind in the near future

    1. Set up a Facebook Page (not profile)

    2. Set up a Google+ Page

    3. Set up a company Twitter account

    4. Set up a LinkedIn Company Profile

    5. Start to use all of the above

  2. Explore video marketing – the number of videos watched on YouTube and other video channels such as Vimeo will blow your mind. The benefits of video marketing are massive: more traffic to your website, higher profile and awareness of your business, greater credibility and authority, and the biggest, free way to expose your business to your existing and potential customers there is, bar none!

  3. Image is all: get your branding, corporate literature, sales literature, exhibition materials  and website reviewed – professionally – and re-designed to be congruent with who you are as a company and how you want to position your company in the minds of your existing customers and potential customers

  4. Get your website optimised to increase the number of visitors to it, increase the probability that people will engage with your business, and eventually become customers

  5. Get a mobile friendly website – more people now search the internet via their mobile phone or tablet than a PC or laptop! Research shows that consumers are more likely to buy from a business with a mobile friendly website than one that only has a main website

  6. Get a marketing plan – a list of marketing activity that can be undertaken month-by-month for 12 months. You will be amazed at how quickly you will reach the goals for your business with a marketing plan!

  7. Review your existing customer database: can you cross sell other products or services to them? It’s much cheaper to sell to your existing customers than try to find new customers. Can you upsell them i.e. to encourage them to purchase either more products, or products on a more frequent basis, or products of a greater total value?

  1. Review your value proposition i.e. what value do you offer your customers? List all the benefits of your products, services and your business offers customers and how these differ from your competitors. Put these benefits in your sales and corporate literature, on your website and in your social media profiles. Make sure your sales team knows these benefits by heart!

  2. If you don’t sell via the internet, you should. Virtually all businesses can benefit massively from a ‘shop on the internet’. Initially, some businesses start via eBay or Gumtree but eventually need their own e-commerce website.

  3. Commit to investing time and some resources into regular marketing activity – preferably from a marketing plan. Generally, it’s quicker, easier and far more affordable to outsource your marketing than employ someone in-house, at least initially. You will be surprised how quickly regular, focused marketing brings results.

Get Our Latest, Free Marketing Tips Here.

12 good reasons to use social media

 

  1. It’s free to set up and use!
  2. It can add to your existing communication channels to your prospects, customers and suppliers (in fact all stakeholders) and complement these channels
  3. It helps you engage with your stakeholders and keep them informed about your business, products, services, and achievements, quickly and very cost-effectively
  4. You can find new customers, clients, suppliers and prospects on social media – without the usual associated costs
  5. You can use social media to raise awareness amongst your target audiences of your business, its products, services and development
  6. You can showcase your expertise or build your expertise via social media
  7. You can take advantage of ‘viral marketing’
  8. You can create ‘ambassadors’ for your business which can help improve your brand, profile, credibility and profits
  9. Social media is constantly evolving, so there are more and more opportunities to use it to benefit your business
  10. You can use it to find employees – and minimise the chance of hiring the wrong employees!
  11. Like having a website, it is now expected that businesses have a social media presence. It ‘authenticates’ a business and makes it more acceptable to other potential customers, prospects, suppliers or even strategic partners.
  12. Those businesses that ignore social media will lose out!