February 2015

Viewing posts from February , 2015

Blast Your Brand!

The power of email is undeniable. Reaching out to customers and prospects with tantalizing offers via email works. The statistics vary by industry, but a 10 – 20% open rate is expected for most emails –which means that your message is being received by a large percent of your prospects. Getting an open rate that is consistently over 25% means that you’re doing a great job managing your lists and creating a message that is grabbing your audience.

But could your email campaign be doing even more?

Yes. You could be building brand awareness. Regardless of your current open rate, if you are only using email marketing to communicate offers and sales, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to build brand awareness. By touching your customers with news, products or industry-related information, you will be increasing the likelihood of recall of your brand the next time your prospect is making a buying decision.

Personally, I get a lot of marketing emails. Many of them are deleted or left in my inbox unread, but I still see the company name in the email envelope. Like your prospects, when I am in the market for tires, pet food, a vacation spot OR a great recipe (FREE, no less), I am more likely to visit the sites that send me information that is pertinent to my needs, or have had great offers in the past.

I’m no different than the average consumer, and your prospects are probably average, too! So get busy. Start emailing your customers on a regular basis (NOT DAILY), and you will increase awareness of your brand, services and expertise. As you DO, here are some good guidelines to remember:

1. Contact them with a clear, concise message. Short and sweet is good.
2. If the email includes a link to your site for news or product info, be sure that it goes to that page, not just to your home page. If someone is directed to a page that has no relevance, chances are they’ll leave.
3. Contact them regularly, but ONLY if you have a something to say. “Happy 4th of July” in a subject line probably won’t get your email opened, but if it does, your message should be more than a shot of Uncle Sam with a “From All of Us at XYZ Corp!”. To do so could get you ignored, or even worse – unsubscribed.
4. Your email envelope may be all your customers see. Make sure it says the right message, every time.

One of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of branding emails is #4 –your email envelope. Don’t underestimate the power of that one little line – it’s where you will increase recall and brand awareness. It may include only the FROM and SUBJECT line, but some users have their email formatted to display the first line or two of the email, so never underestimate the power of an interesting headline, too.

Here are 5 points to remember about your email envelope:

1. Your subject line is brand awareness advertising and it should reflect at least one of your brand attributes. For example, if you sell office supplies and you want to be known as the company that has same day delivery, be sure you have that in your subject line.
2. Your subject line should reflect your brand message, but it should directly relate to the email content. Shaking things up with a humorous or to-good-to-be true offer can increase your open rate, but once your recipients catch on it could backfire when they STOP opening future emails.
3. Create a persona that embodies your product or mission and send the email from that persona – every time. For example if your company manufactures fire extinguishers, you may use MisterFlameEnder@USAFire.com. It’s more personal than, sales@xyzcorp.com or xyzcorp@xyzcorp.com, and it should be fairly transparent that the persona is not real, to prevent confusion.
4. Most importantly, include your brand name in your “from” line. As obvious as it sounds, some companies’ domain names aren’t their brand name, and it can cause confusion.

Unlike offer-driven emails, brand awareness is hard to track – which is why marketers tend to overlook this valuable tool when creating a budget. Once you’ve created a template and email persona, branding emails are easy to create and maintain. You’ll be surprised at the long-term benefits!

Need help implementing an effective email marketing strategy? Holland can help. Call Bryan Holland at holland advertising : interactive at 513.744.3001 or email him at bholland@hollandadvertising.com

Want To Build Your Business With Referrals?

Getting referrals for your business can be one of the least expensive ways to build your business. There are many benefits to referrals that go beyond just the added revenue they generate. Referred customers tend to be better customers, and because they are somewhat informed about your business it makes it easier to start off on the right foot.

Some businesses suffer from a lack of referrals for one simple reason – they don’t ask for them. Asking clients for referrals should be done on a regular basis, yet many companies don’t. It’s easy to understand why some business owners don’t like to ask for referrals – they may lack what they consider the sales acumen necessary to get a “yes”, or they may feel it’s an imposition on the client. WHATEVER the reason, you need to view asking someone for a referral as a genuine opportunity for them to help a friend benefit from your service.

Getting to a “yes” is surprisingly easy once you ASK for the referral. In most cases your clients will be glad to help, especially if it’s at the right time – which is immediately following a successful sale or positive experience. It’s this kind of relationship building that strengthens your business and keeps it growing. Remember that the worst that can happen is that your client says “no”. If they do, it’s a great opportunity to open a dialogue about what you could be doing to improve the way you do business.

Aside from asking, there are other ways to get your company referrals, and they can be easy to implement and highly effective.

      • Start a blog and add fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. If potential clients view you as the expert in your field they will have no trouble referring you to others.

• Never underestimate the power of social media. Shares, likes, comments, etc., all raise your word of mouth value. Positive interaction with your brand will keep your business on everyone’s minds.
• Refer other businesses. Chances are they will be glad to do the same.

• Believe in your products and services. Your enthusiasm will spill over to your interaction with your customers.

• Don’t let complaints go unresolved. You may end up reading about them in an online review about your company and by then it’s too late to solve the problem. A complaint is an opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer into your biggest advocate!

• Contact your customers frequently. Touching customers with new ideas, follow-ups and information will keep you top of mind, and make it more likely they will refer you to new clients.

• Offer a guarantee of satisfaction. When you do, it builds confidence in your business, making customers more likely to refer you.

• Implement a program that rewards your clients for referrals. For some companies it can be as simple as a coupon, for others it may be a monetary reward. Either way, it should be something your client values, and it should be commensurate with the value of the referrals.

• Educate your clients about your products and services. The more they know about your company’s capabilities, the more likely they will be to refer you to a prospect that needs your services.

• Acknowledge new referrals. THIS IS A MUST. A thank you note or email, call, or reward can go a long way to get additional referrals. If a customer referred you once, they will likely do it again.

• Give people the tools they need to make it easy to refer you. Cards for them to hand to others, Facebook shares, a referral page on your website – these are all tools that make it easy for you customers to refer you.

All of the above suggestions will increase both your brand awareness and referrals, but remember – the most powerful tool of all is to ASK. Ask for referrals, ask for repeat business, ask your clients how you can help them – and tell them you value their business. You’ll be surprised how willing they are to sing your praises and grow your business.

Need help implementing a referral program? Holland can help. Let us craft a message and referral program that will get your clients talking – about YOU. Call Bryan Holland at holland advertising : interactive at 513.744.3001 or email him at bholland@hollandadvertising.com.

You Need Social Media!

Social media is used by business throughout the globe to further their relationships with customers, increase awareness of their products, mission and brand, and increase sales. But what about YOUR business? Have you considered social media, but think it really doesn’t apply to your business sector? You may be wrong! With a strategic vision for what you hope to accomplish, social media offers the unique opportunity for smaller companies to level the playing field like never before. While some business owners may be skeptical of the effectiveness of social media, others have realized legitimate returns through greater brand awareness, increased web traffic, enhanced customer service, better relationships, and higher sales.

Holland Advertising : Interactive Partner, Mark Holland, offers his top 10 reasons why your business should utilize social media and all it has to offer.

    1. Social media can be cost-effective, with a focused plan. Yes, memberships to social networks are free, but time is not, and neither is developing a winning strategy on how to make them work for your business. A significant time investment for strategic planning up front will equal big wins down the road and ensure that you’re constantly on track to meet your goals.

    2. Your customers are always connected. More people communicate with friends via social networks more than with personal email. Social media sites account for more than one out of every 4 minutes spent online. This boom in online activity has caused a huge shift in the way companies attract and interact with their customers.

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Zero Moment of Truth, CTR, KPI, Between the Page!?! Do Digital Advertising Terms Have You Confused?

Holland Advertising : Interactive Has The Answer, And It’s All In One Easy-To-Use Document.

It’s Holland to the rescue! We’ve compiled a list of digital advertising terms in a convenient, printable document. We understand that with the online and mobile advertising changing almost daily it can be hard to keep track of all the new terms, and it seems as if just as soon as a term becomes popular, it’s gone!

To help end the confusion, our Glossary of Digital Terms will be updated periodically to reflect the newest terms and trends. Be sure to check our website periodically to see what’s new.

Fill out the form below to download the Digital Terms pdf.

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Are You Happy With Your Website’s Google Rankings?
If Your Answer is No, Then You Need To OPTIMIZE!

With a shiny new website, it’s easy to think, “If we build it, they will come.” Not true. In fact, unless a customer knows your EXACT web address, without optimization chances are they won’t find you at all. Everyone has heard the terms keywords and optimization, but after years of interaction with clients (old and new) we find that many have little idea about the benefits of SEO.

What IS SEO?

SEO is a process in which we take your website and by using keywords within the copy and meta tags, alt tags and page titles, (found in the HTML source codes of the site) help increase your rankings in search engine (such as Google, Yahoo and Bing) results. The higher the ranking, the more likely it is that your potential customers will find you when they search for the terms within your site.

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Want to connect with your customers? Blog!

Blogging is an easy way to drive traffic to your site via search engines, share valuable info with potential customers and show your talents as the expert that you are!

Blogging is inexpensive and easy. Blogger or WordPress are great blogging websites that are easy to use, and they give tutorials to help you get started. Setting it up is the easy part – the writing part is where things can get a little complicated. Here are 9 quick tips to remember when you start your business blog.

1. Create a plan – then follow that plan.

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Do you want to drive more business to your website, increase your local presence, or expand to a national audience? Do you want to share your expertise with others, increase awareness of your brand and generate business leads? If you’re blogging for your business, focus your efforts so that your message is clear and keep your posts focused on your goals.

2. See what’s out in the blogosphere – then find your niche.

As you start this process monitor what other bloggers in your industry are writing about, and how well their blogs are fairing on the web. It’s pretty easy to recognize successful blogs, they tend to be comment and discussion heavy, and appear on the first page or two of searches. You will also learn what NOT to do in the blogosphere, and how to differentiate your blog, company, and product or service from your competitors.

3. Plan to post regularly – but don’t overdo it!

Once you start your blog, you will find there is a rhythm to creating blog posts, but DON’T overwhelm your subscribers or email a link to your blog to everyone on your email list. Less really is more – the more you blog, the greater the chance your message will get watered down. A good plan is to start blogging two times per month, and if you have some great news or a new idea to share then strike while the iron is hot.

4. Use keyword-driven copy.

If you post twice monthly, be sure to use keywords to drive surfers to your site. You can optimize on a blog by blog basis, just be sure the keywords are the same for both your site and blog. With SEO, your copy needs to be 400-600 words long with the keyword density of 1-3% or a minimum of 5-7 times within the document.

5. Use social media to share your blog!

You’ll get more shares, likes and subscribers when you repost in Facebook and other social media sites. Put links at the TOP of your blog, so readers don’t need to scroll to the bottom to find them!

6. Link!

Include hyperlinks to articles, pages within YOUR website, or even other blogger’s articles within each post. This helps get your blog the attention of the search engines, directs readers to delve deeper into your website, and increase awareness of your blog. Be sure that the link is to RELEVANT information, not just your product page. Thoroughly read any other blog you link your blog to, including the comments. You may read a blog that sounds great, but creates a bit of controversy that isn’t well received and may have negative comments. Feel free to comment on other blogs as well and share your link in the comments, but don’t be offended if the writer deletes it – they may not follow the same blog etiquette as you!

7. Use visual elements.

It’s a fact that readers are more likely to open an article that has a visual element, and when it’s shared on social media it generates more interest than just a link. Be sure the images you use are not copyright protected.

8. Pay attention to your blog!

Encourage comments with questions within your blog and reply to comments as quickly as you can. We’ve all read blog posts that have questions in the comments that are never answered. Blogging can be a two-way discussion if managed properly and the result will be more shares and subscribers!

9. Keep it short, but content is king!

A good blog grabs the reader’s attention and leaves them with the impression that the blog contains valuable insights and information. Successful blogs have followers due to the relevant, insightful information they share with their readers, and their readers then share their content with others. Don’t just blog for the sake of blogging! Here’s a great article showcasing the top 10 business blogs – it will inspire you! http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/10-top-business-blogs-and-why-they-are-successful/

Hopefully your blog will prove successful and help you achieve your goals. Let the experts at Holland Advertising: Interactive help you get a greater ROI on your marketing investment. Call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001 or 877.865.0977 or visit HollandAdvertising.com.

Do you need a change of address?

The Internet is about to get a bit bigger! ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), has approved the expansion of Top-Level Domains, or anything to the right of the dot such as .com, .org, .ca, .uk, and .net. There are currently hundreds of gTLDs (generic TLDs) awaiting approval, and when they become available they could change the way companies register their domain names and how they use the Internet to market their brand.

What does this mean?

The new gTLDs will have names that can apply to a number of products, brands, and business sectors. For example, if you are a real estate agent then .realestate would be a natural choice for your website domain name, as would .home, .forsale, or .apartments. If a restaurant wanted to be high in search engine rankings, then .restaurant or .food would be natural choices for their domain. Potentially, search engines will prioritize websites based on their domain, making it easier for them to be found by surfers. This change will NOT change the way the Internet works, but it will change the way people will find information on the Internet.

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Measure Your Marketing Efforts With A Digital Dashboard!

One of the best trends in digital advertising is still an unknown for many businesses – the digital dashboard. What is it? It’s an easy-to-use central place where you can see, sometimes in real time, the effectiveness of all your marketing and media efforts. A dashboard collects information about all your website and social media presence stats, and can tell you how well your company is trending and how to more effectively spend your marketing dollars. It can help you track your digital campaigns from Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, and Email Marketing Websites (ListRocket or Constant Contact). You can also track your traditional media – television, outdoor and radio – using media-specific phone numbers and landing pages.

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Effective Immediately! Facebook Relaxes Rules For Hosting Contests.

They have amended their Terms of Service regarding hosting of contests and giveaway promotions on your facebook company fan pages.

Previously, there were a lot of rules and red tape involved with running a contest legally on your facebook page – namely the requirement of facilitating it through a 3rd party application pre-approved by Facebook for that purpose.

This discouraged many businesses from using this tactic and many of those who tried were not following the rules, “winging it” and executing it outside the guidelines…. at the risk of being shut down by Facebook.

Most of the barriers have been lifted as of yesterday! With only a few easy-to-follow rules, you can now easily leverage your creativity to host giveaways, contests, and other promotions directly on your facebook page.

From a Facebook spokesperson via AllFacebook.com:
“This capability makes it even easier for smaller businesses to help build awareness for a new product, promote the opening of a new location, sell inventory, or advance other business objectives. Say, for instance, a local pizza parlor wants to give away free pizza for a month to the 100th person to like its post. Now the business can do this right on its page (and increase awareness of the post via promoted posts) without needing to work with a third-party to build an app.”

Would you like to test this tactic, but need help with the setup and execution? Holland Advertising : Interactive can help! We’ll use our Fresh Ideas and Experienced Execution to bring you a Greater ROI. Contact Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001 or 877.865.0977 or email Bryan at BHolland@hollandadvertising.com for more information on how you can leverage Facebook to actively engage your customers and sell more products and services.

Do you have a Google+ page for your business?

You may think that your social media and web presence is “fine” and that you don’t need any more social media icons on your website, but Google+ is catching on. Create a Google+ business profile and see where it takes your web presence. Chances are over the next few months you’ll notice an increase in traffic to your page.

Right now, any SEO expert will tell you to get in on the trend, before your competitors establish their Google+ presence. Since the trend is new, there are a few benefits to setting up your page and inviting customers and potential customers to interact with your brand. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is dominated by info that is uncluttered by ads and non-relevant information. The information is professional and customer-focused, plus it allows for more direct contact with customers via text and video.

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