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    On-Demand Webinar: Marketing to Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers

    Last updated 2 months ago

    The Millennial Generation’s expectation of how businesses market to them is different from any other generation before them. This generation, also known as Gen Y, grew up using the Web for everyday tasks, meaning that surfing, searching, and socializing online is part of their daily routine. (As a Millennial myself, I know this to be true.)

    And, what Millennials want from your local business on the Web goes way beyond just being able to find your website when they search online. How your business presents itself, the local and social sites where your business has a presence on (and how active you are), and what other customers are saying about you makes a huge difference when they are deciding whether they want to do business with you.

    So, how do you make sure your marketing reaches this influential (and influence-able) generation? Jenni Williams, senior integrated marketing manager at ReachLocal, discusses just that in the on-demand webinar “Millennial Marketing: Targeting Gen Y, Gen X, and Boomers Too,” providing helpful tips local businesses can use to reach multiple generations online. 

    Watch this on-demand webinar now to learn more about millennial marketing, and download the slides for later!

    About the Author

    Tara Banda writes about how local business owners can reach more customers through inbound marketing for the ReachLocal blog. You can connect with her on Twitter.

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    Giant Marketing for Small Business: Selfies, Videos, and Hashtags, Oh My!

    Last updated 2 months ago

    If you think creative marketing that gets people talking about your brand is only for companies with big budgets and full-time marketing teams, think again! In today’s socially-connected world of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites, your small business now has access to the same online marketing tactics big brands use to build awareness, drive engagement, and even generate leads.

    So, which popular big-brand tactics should you take advantage of for your small business? Take a look at three of the most popular online marketing trends well-known brands are using to drive awareness and social engagement for their products and services. Then, break out your smartphone, fire up your social media pages, and have some fun as you apply the same concepts to market your own small business online. 

    1. Take Smartphone Selfies

    Chances are you’ve heard of selfies by now (and have even taken your own). If you’re not familiar with selfies, they’re simply photos people take of themselves — usually with smartphones — and post to social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Selfies are effective at driving likes, shares, and comments on the user’s photo, and brands using this online trend can increase both awareness and engagement from their fans and followers on social media.

    Recently, brands, not just individuals, have used selfies to promote their products and services on social mediums. For instance, with more than 3 million retweets across the Web, the selfie that Oscar host Ellen Degeneres took at the 2014 Oscars holds the current record for most tweeted photo in Twitter history. Using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and the literal star power of several audience members this selfie generated huge online exposure for the Samsung mobile device (and temporarily crashed Twitter).

    How To Do It:

    While you may not have a live televised audience of millions or a handful of Hollywood celebrities at your disposal, you can still use the popularity of selfies to drive awareness for your own products and services. To create your own star-powered selfie, start by looking for big personalities in your town or city. For instance, politicians such as your mayor or state representative, well-known business people, and local celebrities (think popular bloggers, TV anchors and reporters, radio hosts, and more) can be great people to leverage. For example, you could invite them to a grand opening of a new location or to a charity event you are participating in as a great way to get them interested in supporting your business. Then, by taking your picture with them and sharing it on your social accounts, you can personalize your pages and create buzz among your social media followers.

    Don’t have a local celebrity to share the spotlight? Don’t worry! Consider taking a selfie with your employees during a team outing, with a happy customer, or even with a new product and sharing it across your social presence. Just be creative and this simple online marketing trend can work to your advantage.

    2. Create & Share Unique YouTube Videos

    According to Nielsen’s 2013 data of top U.S. web brands, YouTube is the fifth most-visited website in the United States. And, it’s the top source for video streaming, with 128 million viewers watching video content on the site each month. With video’s immense popularity among U.S. consumers, this online marketing trend can help drive awareness for your business. Videos can also be a huge benefit for search engine optimization (SEO) both on and off your website, which can help boost your visibility on search engine results pages.

    So, how are businesses leveraging video to drive consumer buzz and engagement? Big brands like Coca-Cola, Fiat, and Redbull have taken unique approaches to their online videos, which have gone viral and racked up millions of YouTube page views. What these three videos have in common is an out-of-the-box approach to their product positioning. Rather than delivering straightforward sales pitches about their products, these big brands focus on the experiences and personalities their products represent.

    For instance, Coca-Cola uses a hidden camera featuring real students enjoying the surprises of free soda from a Coca-Cola machine. Fiat takes a lighthearted approach to motherhood with its own version of a hip-hop video, and RedBull’s compilation video glorifies adventure and extreme athleticism. And, each video closes with an important call-to-action message, whether it’s to visit the company’s Facebook page or to watch the next video on the company’s YouTube channel.

    While there’s no way to ensure a video will go viral, these companies also drove YouTube page views by promoting their videos across their social media pages. For instance, Fiat has a dedicated “Motherhood” Facebook page that promotes their hip-hop video and gives fans a way to share the YouTube link and post comments. And, Coca-Cola has its own “happiness hub” Facebook page where viewers can go to post comments and watch additional hidden camera videos that feature Coca-Cola.

    How To Do It:

    The main takeaway when creating your own videos is to focus on the lifestyles and personalities behind the products you are promoting, just like these big brands have done. (Coke: youthful and fun; Fiat: hip motherhood; RedBull: extreme living). And, don’t to be afraid to be creative in your own video marketing. While making videos that take a straightforward approach to your products and services can be helpful to your target consumers, a more entertaining approach can help increase the YouTube page views you’re seeking to drive brand and company awareness.

    Then, once your video is made and posted on YouTube, don’t forget to optimize the video for the products and services you want it to show up for in search. Also, make sure to include a CTA in your video like visiting your website or buying your product. Then, promote the video on your website, social media pages, and even through email to generate views, shares, and discussion from your target audience.

    3. Leverage Hashtags in Social Posts

    The hashtag is a curation mechanism that filters all the posts about a particular subject into one single feed on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. And today, a lot of famous brands are creating their own hashtags to promote their products online.

    For example, Oreo Cookie, a popular brand on Twitter with more than 347,000 followers, uses these company-created hashtags (among others) on their Twitter page: #OreoDeepThoughts, #Ollusions, and #OreoSnackHacks. Each hashtag feed is filled with whimsical images and creative messages about Oreo cookies. By creating and sharing these hashtags with their followers (who can in turn share the posts with their own audiences or create their own posts using the hashtag), Oreo Cookie creates interest and drives brand awareness and engagement across Twitter.

    How To Do It:

    Use this popular online trend in your social media marketing by creating your own unique hashtags. You can start by creating a hashtag that’s associated with your business, a company event, or even a product or service. Use a word or words that are catchy and memorable, rather than a branded term. Then, write and share posts that contain that hashtag.

    You can also leverage generic hashtags that are commonly used on certain social media sites if they are related to your post. For instance, the “throwback Thursday” hashtag (#tbt) is very popular on Facebook. So, if you can tie your company, products or services around nostalgia messaging, you might consider asking your social media fans to post their own “throwback Thursday” photos to your company page. For example, if you own a hair salon, you could post a photo of yourself taken 20 years ago with a message like, “Happy throwback Thursday! What hairstyle were you wearing 20 years ago? #tbt.” By opening up the conversation around the hashtag, you can encourage your fans to share their own photos on your site.

    Keep in mind that you might not want to use hashtags for every post you publish, and that certain hashtags may work better on some platforms than others. Do a little digging on the different platforms you want to use and see which hashtags are popular with other users and brands on the site. Then, when you're ready to share your post, don’t overload it with too many hashtags; three or less is best.

    Now that you have a basic overview of how to use three online trends to market  your small business, go have some fun! 

    What kinds of selfies, videos, or hashtags are you using or do you plan to use in your marketing? Let us know with a comment!

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    About the Author

    Amy Neeley helps small- and medium-size businesses navigate the online marketing world with insights and information featured on the ReachLocal blog. Follow her on Twitter.

     

     

    Your Guide to Small Business Lead Management [EBOOK]

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Driving consumers to your business website is a major marketing accomplishment that proves your top-of-the-funnel strategies are working. And, when a visitor contacts you via a phone, email, or web form, and you qualify them as someone who’s interested in your business, you’ve successfully converted them into a lead.

    But, what are you doing with your leads after you’ve captured them? As a business owner or marketer, engaging with leads after they’ve contacted you plays a huge role in determining whether or not they become customers. That’s where lead management comes in. In order to convince your leads to choose your business, you need to manage, follow up with, and nurture them. In fact, nurturing your leads via email alone can result in up to 45% more ROI when done consistently.

    So what does lead management look like for a small business? In our latest ebook, we share lead management best practices every small business should be using. In this ebook, you’ll learn more about what lead management is and what steps and actions you can take to help convert leads into customers.

    Get the Ebook: Convert More Leads Into Customers With the Power of Lead Management

     

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    About the Author

    Amy Neeley helps small- and medium-size businesses navigate the online marketing world with insights and information featured on the ReachLocal blog. Follow her on Twitter.

    Is Your SEO Strategy Up to Date?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    What many used to consider the fundamentals of SEO are best practices no more. To get found by people searching online today, it’s critical to make sure your SEO strategy is aligned with recent changes in search engines – and with the way people search online today.

    What does SEO mean today, when search engines are getting smarter, people are searching in more places than just Web-based search engines (think maps, social media, and mobile), and businesses are looking for tangible results from their marketing efforts?  

    As a result of these changing demands, SEO strategies have expanded to include a wide variety of onsite and offsite tactics. Now, you can no longer get by with buying links, stuffing keywords into content, and other outdated (and often penalized) tactics that used to be common in the SEO world. But is your SEO up to date in providing what search engines (and consumers) really want when it comes to helping them find relevant, useful content?

    In this on-demand webinar video, ReachLocal’s Sr. Director of SEO Brian Ledis explains what a comprehensive, modern SEO strategy looks like and tips to effectively build a successful SEO program for your business.    

    Check out the video below to learn:

    • The challenges of an outdated SEO strategy
    • The factors of modern SEO, such as content creation and local SEO
    • How to achieve today’s SEO best practices for your business
    • How our ReachSEO solution delivers modern SEO — and ROI
    • Early results of ReahchLocal clients using ReachSEO

    Marketing to Millennials – Free Webinar

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Did you know that the purchasing power of today’s Millennial Generation (also know as Gen Y) is nearly $1.7 trillion? This new generation of consumers, roughly including those in their 20s to those in their early 30s, has surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest age demographic in the U.S. And for your business, reaching young consumers during their buying process is critical.

    That’s because Millennials are now buying houses, taking vacations, raising families, and making other purchases from all kinds of businesses. And how they find these products and services is dramatically different from the way consumers have done so in the past. The Millennial generation knows that phone books were once the standard for looking up a local business, but laugh at the idea of doing it now. Why? The Web. Whether they are looking for a local business, writing reviews, or recommending a product or service to their friends via social networks like Facebook and Instagram, Millennials spend the majority of their purchasing time online.

    But are you effectively marketing to Millennials? If you’re not sure, or if you just want to find out more about how you can market your business to multiple generations of consumers, sign up for our free webinar Millennial Marketing: Targeting Gen Y, Gen X, and Boomers Too. This live session takes place Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 A.M. PDT). 

     

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