Are you like these small business owners?

Are you like these small business owners?

Are you running a small business, non-stop busy with no more time to add yet another thing to your plate? If your like the small business owners in this article you might want to consider hiring Many Streams to handle your marketing. If you would like more information please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

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Survey | Small Business Owners Overwhelmed With Digital Marketing Challenges and Options | 2016

Posted in Online MarketingSelling to Small Business

If you run a small business and feel like you can’t keep up with all the new marketing opportunities you are supposed to embrace, don’t feel lonely. Recent research from two digital marketing services used by thousands of small businesses, Infusionsoft and LeadPages, reveals that most small business owners feel overwhelmed by the opportunities and believe they are under-performing in their use of them.


Nine survey answers that reveal small business owners need help in becoming better marketers

It’s not for the lack of tools and platforms that small business owners and managers believe they are missing the mark on marketing. One estimate suggests that from 2014 to 2015, the number of marketing technology companies almost doubled, from 947 to 1,876. Recently, Infusionsoft, a small business marketing management platform and LeadPages, a platform used for digital lead generation and subscription campaigns, sponsored a survey in which more than 1,000 small businesses answered a set of questions that reveal how small business owners feel about their marketing effectiveness and use of digital marketing tools.

Responses to the following nine questions provide insight into how overwhelmed small business owners feel about their marketing. They also suggest there are great opportunities for companies that focus on educating and inspiring small business owners with the skills and confidence they need to reach new customers and build deeper relationships with the customers they already have.

(The full report can be found here: The 2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report.)

 Are your current marketing efforts effective?

48.5% | No
37.6% | Yes
13.9% | I don’t know

SmallBusiness.com Observation: If your response is, “I don’t know,” chances are your current efforts aren’t effective. Thus, only 37 percent of the respondents believe their current efforts are effective.

 Who manages your marketing?

46.8% | I do (the owner)
23.5% | Someone on my team does
17.3% | We do some in house and contract the rest
6.5% | I don’t know
6.0% | A contractor, agency or third party

 What kind of marketing channels do you currently use?

71.6% | Company website
43.3% | Digital advertising and social media
40.1% | Email marketing
29.9% | Print advertising and direct mail
26.4% | Landing pages or purpose-specific web pages
22.0% | Telemarketing and in-person marketing
13.3% | None of the above

SmallBusiness.com Observation: A respondent could choose more than one channel, but it’s insightful to see how many said their website is their primary channel of marketing. They realize that Facebook or Twitter or traditional forms of marketing should be secondary to the direct-to-customer opportunity that comes with creating your own place on the web.

 What kind of content does your company create to help get customers?

57.8% | Posts on social media
42.6% | Email marketing
36.4% | Publish blog posts or articles
27.8% | Create other kinds of content
22.6% | Don’t create content in order to get customers
19.9% | Send direct mail (print-based direct marketing)
16% | Offer downloadable content on web pages (e.g. white papers, ebooks)

SmallBusiness.com Observation: One thing this question reveals is how broad the term “content marketing” is being applied by small business owners. Almost 58 percent consider posts (and tweets, we’re assuming) on social media sites are “content.” Most “content marketing experts” define social media marketing as being something different than content marketing.

 What do you use to store contact information for your leads and customers and follow up with them?

42.4% | Contacts feature of business email service (like Gmail or Outlook)
24.0% | Customer relationship management (CRM) tool
20.6% | Don’t keep track of this kind of information
19.4% | Email marketing service (like MailChimp, Emma)
16.4% | Use a different kind of system

SmallBusiness.com Observation: The need obviously exists and there are plenty of platforms that would help small businesses. Helping small business see beyond the tools and helping them reap the benefits is a great opportunity for the platform companies.

 Do you have an email list that prospective customers can subscribe to (or “opt into”)?

45.9% | Yes
45.4% | No
8.7% | I don’t know

If you are planning to use digital marketing in your business in 2016, what will be your primary goals?

51.3% | Driving sales
48.4% | Building brand awareness or conveying information
34.1% | Collecting leads
30.0% | Retaining customers
27.5% | Running promotions
21.8% | I won’t be using digital marketing in 2016
15.7% | Gaining efficiency with marketing automation

 In 2016, which marketing channels (if any) do you expect to budget more for?

51.0% | My website
51.1% | Digital advertising and social media
25.4% | Email marketing
23.4% | Print advertising and direct mail
21.9% | Landing pages or purpose-specific web pages
13.6% | Telemarketing and in-person marketing
19.2% | None of the above

 Of the following options, what is the biggest challenge you’ll face in your digital marketing in 2016?

19.6% | Turning leads into customers
17.9% | Generating web traffic
17.9% | Finding time/resources for digital marketing
17.4% | Turning web traffic into leads
17.3% | I won’t be using digital marketing in 2016
9.9% | Retaining customers long-term

 

Shared by Rex Hammock

SmallBusiness.com Staff

Rex Hammock is founder and head-helper of SmallBusiness.com. He is founder/CEO of Hammock Inc. (Hammock.com), a leading customer content and media company. His popular blog, RexBlog, was started in 1999 and you can follow him on Twitter at his one-letter username, @R.
Thanks,
SmallBusiness.com
 http://smallbusiness.com/digital-marketing/small-business-digital-marketing-overload/

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No skill is lost once gained

No skill is lost once gained

In my life and now in my business one thing seems to lead to another! The latest stream I have been taken down and have now added to services offered is that of event promotion. It started out with promoting music for one of my clients via social media and press releases. When they changed to having music only on the first Friday of each month, I had built up a lot of skills, connections and plans for promoting music and therefore events in the Upper Valley. Know skill is lost once gained!

Well that skill wasn’t lost and is now being utilized by others and those skills being further honed. I have promoted three events that have been being put on by different people, and a series of events all being put on by one non-profit, events they want(ed) promoted well to achieve high attendance. So far things are going GREAT!

Are you putting on an event; music or other wise and are not sure how to market it for maximum attendance? Your event will be posted multiple times on 75+ Facebook pages and groups as well as going out to 1000’s via email. Hire someone with the skills to market with Facebook ads competently and with success! Give me a call or send me an email and let Many Streams build the promotion plan and do the promoting for you!

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More than Social Media Marketing

More than Social Media Marketing

Many Streams has added a stream, hence the name. A Many Streams client gets more than just social media marketing when they contract with Many Streams, they get outside of the box thinking that can help improve the business as a whole.

Recently Many Streams began booking musical acts for a client. Since July 1 the Boho Cafe has been open two nights a week with live music! Boho @ Night is raising awareness of the Boho Cafe in general, as well as providing great food and music. Sales during the day are up and the number of people coming in for live music and a bite to eat is steadily rising. Nothing better than sitting down to a meal and listing to live bluegrass, folk and Americana. The first open mic night at the Boho had the highest amount of participants the Open Mic night guy had ever seen for an opening night! Many Streams also books one to two clients a month for a much bigger venue that Boho Cafe has access to, the Junction & Vermont rooms in the Historic Hotel Coolidge. Holding over 150 people these event spaces are the perfect location for bands that get people on the dance floor.

Many Streams promotes the music nights to over 30 Facebook pages, the local Listserves, the DailyUV, local newspapers and a 20 k plus email blast to people who are interested in live music in the Upper Valley. Many Streams also designs posters for the musical acts that don’t have their own, these posters are then resized for use as event cover photos, Facebook and Instagram posts. Many Streams then markets the heck out of the night on social media; designing Facebook events pages, posting info about and videos of the musician(s), posting to the clients Instagram regarding the music and doing Facebook Live from the venue. Many Streams also works closely with the client on the amount of money to spend on Facebook and Instagram ads and Facebook Post Boosts and then designs them.

Since starting this new “stream” Many Streams has received a minimum of 5 messages a week from bands who want to play in one space or the other! We are currently booking into November in the Cafe space! The large space has a band from Maine TCFB a Funk Dance Band and The Shana Stack Band coming up… many others are in the pipeline. A Halloween bash with The Conniption Fits is the planning stages as is a New Years Eve Bash that will be a full package of dinner, dancing, champaign toast and a hotel room with breakfast.

Don’t just hire any social media marketing company, hire one with Many Streams!

How to Keep Your Branding Consistent on Social Media An effective brand consists of a highly interconnected set of business identity attributes.

How to Keep Your Branding Consistent on Social Media An effective brand consists of a highly interconnected set of business identity attributes.
How to Keep Your Branding Consistent on Social Media…
An effective brand consists of a highly interconnected set of business identity attributes. These attributes include things such as your distinct selling points and your core brand values. With the booming growth of digital marketing, consistent brand messages are becoming easier to implement. But most companies are at a loss as how to be more effective at telling your brand’s story in a visual and social media-savvy way.
Full article on Inc.com

Tag You’re It

Tag You’re It

Tag You’re It

 

Taglines are like a never changing headline in the sense that they keep the viewer, reader and consumer informed of who the business is behind a product and/or service. One doesn’t need to see the Nike swish, they only have to read “Just Do It” to know that the advertisement whether it be on television or print is for Nike. A well known tagline can often become better known that the company or its products or services. I have heard many taglines lately that I have heard for years but didn’t remember who they were connected to such as “A Mind is A Terrible Thing to Waste” which the the tagline for the United Negro College Fund. Unfortunately that is not the goal when a tagline is created, though that tagline is memorable and in my opinion very thought provoking and emotionally charged. There maybe reasons such as generational, societal or culture that left me not remembering the organization behind that tagline, but that would be an entirely different paper. Taglines are written to connect people to a company intellectually and emotionally for the long haul. So how is this done? What must be considered when coming up with a tagline in order for it to be both of those things and more? Should be tagline be an attention grabber, a play on words or how about a lengthy explanation?

Should a tagline GRAB attention, yes but it doesn’t need to be the first part of an advertisement to grab attention. Often the attention is first grabbed attention is grabbed by a headline or a picture/graphic, the tagline is the attention that is going to follow the campaign and with luck the company for years to come. The tagline needs to be able to stand on its own, well written it will become the line the company is known for! Your tagline will immediately remind people of your companies mission, the promise you are making to the customer and the world about your band as a whole. The tagline “The touch, the feel, the Fabric of Our Lives” by Cotton Inc is a great example if this. This tagline used first used on television advertisements as part of a jingle is now sung in the heads of millions of people when they see it in print or online. In fact many people sing it wrong by adding the word cotton into the tagline. This tagline brings emotions out in people, pride in country, connection with the heart land and remembering the feel of their favorite cotton clothing. It this tagline the main attention grabber for Cotton Inc advertising, no but it is a large part of what connects the people to the brand.

A tagline must be clean and concise so that you do not need a prehead or subhead to explain your tagline, people will not take the time to read all of that and figure out what you’re saying. “…in the effort to be creative some writers forget the rest of the world is not as clever as they are.” In todays fast paced social media world people do not have time, nor will they take the time to decipher what you mean! It is up to you the writer to say all that must be said in a brief but informative in a concise manner. A local catering service, a client of mine has this as there tagline “Serving excellence at every event” this tag line informs people that they serve and serve at events, the service may be the food or how the staff serves the guests, either way they do it with excellence at every event, no explanation needed. This tagline led to my being able to write a very fun little ad for them that garnered a lot of attention. Making the advertisement even funner is the fact that they cater in the area of Dartmouth College which is where Dr Seuss went to college, and the ad is Seuss inspired, think green eggs and ham, also about food.

“We will serve you in the rain, we will serve you on a train, will we serve your group big or small… Coventry Catering will serve with excellence at them all!”

The ad has pictures of Coventry serving in the rain, on a train and to different size groups, the advertisement has also just run as text, no matter how it is run the response it great. By keeping the tagline brief and to the point Coventry doesn’t need to explain what they do and how they do it. This tagline is the feature in the current wedding ad series that is being run on social media (pictures at the end of this paper) and wedding reception bookings are up 50% over pervious years. It this due to the use of social media for the first time? I would like to say sure it is, since they are my social media clients, however I don’t think i can’t take all the credit! They gave me a great tagline to work with.

A tagline needs to work across time and products  “A good tagline transcends campaign strategy.” I take you back to Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline, no matter where it is, with swish or without people know that Nike is involved just by reading that tagline. Nike has been able to use the same tagline across product lines and over many years. The Coventry Catering tagline is also able to do this, whether advertising for wedding receptions, corporate functions or in home events Coventry’s tagline carries across all services. The work has begun to have people connect that tagline to them, so that know matter where they see it, whether the Coventry Catering name is above, below or no where to be seen they will think Coventry Catering.

Know matter the company or organization a tagline needs to be memorable, attention holding, able to stand on its own all while being brief, clear and to the point. No easy task is this tagline writing! In the end however we can safely say that done well a tagline is worth a million words.

Coventry Catering Facebook Video

On A Train in the rain

 

Me green eyes Rebecca Bailey

Branding

Branding

In the west brands are used on cattle to identify ownership, using brands ended disputes over who owned which animal since they were for the most part free ranging. The brand also affected auction prices, the buyers would see a specific brand come into the auction ring and know who raised it and thus determine whether or not the animal was from a reputable ranch both in breeding and raising of the animal. Today most people when they thing of branding think of a company and the product they produce or a service they provide. Though the concept is the same, the consumer knows when they see the “brand” whether or not they consider the company reputable and worthy of their money or trust.

Branding today is more that a logo or image, it is a feeling that the consumer gets when they think of a company… the perceived reputation, and the memories that come to mind when they hear of the company and/or there products. Branding is a very strategic method of building awareness and creating customer loyalty, that if done well can lead to the aforementioned feelings, and memories, if done well good feelings and memories. By carefully chosen colors and images the branding of a product can lead to its success. A well branded product will be chosen over the hundreds of other products on the grocery store shelves or chosen over the other hotels on site such as hotels.com. That isn’t enough however, a brand is a story, a story that touches people in away that makes them feel as though their life is going to be improved, their problems solved and their social status raised with the purchase of or staying at etc. a brand when well executed makes the consumer not only feel good themselves but want to share that feeling with others. Lets take a step back from the branding on a single product and look at the branding of a company, a company with a stable of products. Yes, we want all of the feelings and messages and reactions mentioned above… but we want people to have those about the bigger picture. A tricky prospect when we consider what happens if one misstep has an effect on the whole.

Chipotle has been experiencing this ripple in the pond effect for several months and is working hard to recover. A company known for fresh vegetables… a healthy alternative to other “fast food” chains, was taken to its knees when one restaurant at a time began to make hundreds of people sick. How does a company keeps its brand from turning people away after this tragedy?  They do it by standing on their original brand! Chipotle closed stores and did the type of deep cleaning that restaurants rarely get after opening there doors. They searched for the source of the food borne illness and in an unprecedented move they closed the resaturates for four hours during lunch for a company wide training on food safety. Chipotle added to their story, their brand their firm commitment, their position of providing healthy food to their customers. In a day-in-age when everyone is trying to figure out their purpose and wanting their chosen companies to have one as well, Chipotle has done a great job throughout these past few months showing that their purpose hasn’t changed and that they stand proudly on it. Without have solid branding that created a ton of followers who were willing to bring others along, Chipotle wouldn’t be in the position they are in today, they could easily be in the position on Blue Bell ice cream who has closed factories, laid of employees and deeply soiled their name and brand.

Thinking back to the west and branded cattle we can see how people can either get behind a brand or turn against one. We expect companies as well as ranches and individuals to live up to the image they put out to the world and nothing is harder to do than repair the image of someone or thing that didn’t have an upstanding image before their down fall. A brand is not just that image, it is what to stand upon and grow from when things don’t go well, it is the spring board for the company to jump from to become great again in the eyes of the public.

12508970_10208458582370665_2429155234667251386_n Rebecca Bailey

Many Streams

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Many Streams is a social media marketing business that is contracted by small businesses and non-profits to empower them with the use of social media marketing.
Many small business owners know that social media is a powerful marketing tool, but they don’t know how to use it correctly and/or don’t time to use social media successfully.
That is where Many Streams comes in! We have the knowledge and the skills to bring your small business to the next level of marketing, social media marketing.