You’ve Got Mail (No, Really!): Greeting Cards as a Marketing Tool

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By Tricia Allenson

In this fast-paced, increasingly internet-based world, it can be easy to lose yourself in a marketing whirlwind of FaceBook pages, e-mail blasts, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter updates, and—wow! We’re exhausted even reading that list, and there are more platforms available to you than we have time to list out! While social media is one of the most cost-effective and wide-reaching methods of marketing your business, sometimes it’s good to take a step away from the screen and back into the tangible world. If you’re looking for a way to reach out to your client base in a way that’s more analog than digital, consider using a tried-and-true standby: the greeting card.

Making Things Personal

Most customers make their decisions based on emotion and then justify those decisions with logic. They want to be assured that they’re more than just a number in a list. Customer based want to know that you see them as a valued member of your corporate community. And, with the majority of communication happening through screens, those feelings of validation are becoming ever more rare. You can stand out from the crowd through the use of a personalized greeting card. As a result, customers are more likely to feel loyal to your brand. After all, by sending a greeting card, you are both saying and implying that keeping current customers is more important than chasing new business, inadvertently abandoning your current base. You can strengthen your relationship with your base. Besides, in this techy age, who doesn’t love to come home from work and find mail sent specifically for you to read? We know we do!

Top of the Heap

Sending out greeting cards may feel old-fashioned, but there’s a reason this particular marketing tool sticks around. First and foremost, you’re putting your company’s name and logo directly into customers’ homes. However, unlike companies who send out heaps of letters, brochures, and pamphlets, you are leading with a personal touch. A greeting card presents the perfect opportunity to follow up to past conversations as well as providing information about services that this specific customer made find useful. You are not sending junk mail to Dear Valued Customer, but reaching out to an individual and creating a positive association with your brand.

In Sight, In Mind

We often believe the opposite sentiment—out of sight, out of mind—so we can accept that this is most likely also true. People tend to keep greeting cards around longer than other mail. They let them out on tables, display them on mantels, magnet them onto the front of the fridge. This means that by sending a greeting card—versus an easily deleted e-mail, or a form letter, or a flier glanced at and tossed into the trash—you keep your name and brand around for longer.

We so often get caught up in chasing the next best thing, the fastest way to get something, establishing ourselves on the newest social media trend. But sometimes, the older or more traditional way of marketing is worth considering. By taking the time to make a personal connection, you can make your client base feel valued and seen—which means they’ll be more likely to stick around with you for a long, long time (and just maybe even refer new business to you).

Looking to breathe some new life into your marketing strategies? Contact Limelight Marketing Systems today to get started!

THe Magic Mix of Facebook Posting

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By Tricia Allenson

It’s been fourteen years since Facebook first went live on the web. It’s grown from a small east-coast startup to an axis of modern-day communication. Everyone is on Facebook these days, from eleven-year-olds checking their feed in elementary schools to retired octogenarians liking pictures of their grandchildren. 

With such a wide audience already interacting with the site, it’s only natural to consider using Facebook to further your business. One of the questions we get asked most is, "should I post personal information on my business page?" and "can I post business information on my personal page". The short answer to both of these is - yes. However, it can be a slippery slope so proceed with caution and BALANCE.  

Inter-Networking

Facebook operates on people connecting with one another as individuals. This makes it operate differently than traditional paid advertising or marketing. When we write radio commercials or even create targeted Facebook ads, we are working on a business-to-person basis versus a person-to-person one. With Facebook, you’re not presenting but rather looking to engage your audience—in this case, your friends, family, acquaintances, clients, and prospective clients—in a conversation.

Think of Facebook as something closer to attending a conference. What do we do at conferences? We network! We interact with each other as people BEFORE moving onto the shop talk. Facebook can humanize your brand by mixing in a little personal with the professional.

Posting Etiquette

Whether you are posting on your personal page or your business page, be mindful of your content. Too much business-related content and you’ll flood your friends’ feed with unnecessary information; too little, and you’ve lost any gains you may have made by using a Facebook page in the first place. 

Equally important, remember that whatever you post is no longer just your opinion: it is now the opinion of your business. Use the Grandma Test—is this post something your grandmother would approve of seeing? If yes, post or share it! If no, move along.

You want to strike a good balance of the personal and professional. If you only post about your business, people will soon lose interest. Over-saturation is the real deal! We all like to buy from people versus corporations. The more human you can make your business, the stronger your desired clientele will respond. 

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Keep your content varied. Aim for the majority of your posts to be industry-related, resourceful interesting and helpful content, then about a third advertising your products specifically, and for the final 10% of content? Don’t be afraid of sprinkling in some unrelated content such as fun quotes, anecdotes, or something inspiring - - just because.  This is Facebook, after all. It’s hard to go wrong with a cute puppy picture.

Striking the right balance of content can be difficult, but it’s definitely doable and well worth your time. If you’re looking for help on how to walk that line, or in varying your marketing practices in any way, give us a call at Limelight Marketing Systems. We’ll make you look good.



Marketing Makeovers: Updating Your Business Brand

By Tricia Allenson

Just like when it comes to clothing, branding trends change often and quickly.  For instance, we’re currently seeing a tendency towards more minimalistic logos and website layouts.  People are looking for clean, straightforward interfaces. Hardcopy is out, and designs that are more at home on a screen are in.  Today’s customers will quickly judge you based off of your brand and website.  And believe us, they have opinions on everything—even fonts!  

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But how can you tell if your business is in need of some rebranding action?  Here are a few signs that it's time to declutter and bring your company into the current decade

·      You haven’t changed your logo, colors, headshot or website in five or more years.  Now more than ever, life moves quickly.  If you don’t keep pace, it—and, more importantly, your customers—will leave you in the dust.

·      Customers are unclear about your mission statement.  Successful businesses evolve, grow, and change.  Chances are, your brand has failed to keep up.  Rebranding can introduce and absorb new aspects that have become a part of your business.  Again, like with clothes—you’re (probably) not wearing the same pair of jeans you wore five years ago.  So why are you still dressing your business like it’s 2013?

·      You want to reach a new audience.  Perhaps your branding has been successful with your core group of loyal customers, but to grow your business you need to reach out to a new base.  This can mean a certain amount of revamping your current corporate image.  This could take several different forms.  You could create a new brand name, adjust your color schemes, or more.

·      Your industry has changed.  With the introduction and prevalence of the web, there isn’t a single industry that looks or works the same way that it did a decade ago, or two decades ago, or three, or—you get the gist.  We’ve seen the rise and fall of many brick-and-mortar mainstays as retail has overwhelmingly turned to online markets.  Make sure that your current branding is successful in connecting your market to your customers.

·      Your product is great, but your branding falls flat.  The best example of this can be found in auto repair.  Drive through any small town in America and you’ll see them—Tom’s Tires or Greenville Muffler.  Both of these hypothetical businesses offer full service for cars, but you wouldn’t know it to read their names.  Make sure your branding is an accurate reflection of ALL the products and services your business has to offer.

Rebranding can feel like a giant task.  Sometimes it can help to think of it like cleaning out your closet.  It feels daunting at the start, but once you get going you’ll find the results well worth your efforts.  Your business—and customers—will thank you.