Public Relations, Your New Name is Outreach

During the past decade, successful marketing strategies have been rewritten and dramatically so. With audiences moving away from traditional media to ‘new’ media channels, the inexpensiveness of online content creation and the ability to attract qualified leads via search engine optimization it was possible to create ones own marketing ‘gravity’ to attract prospects without relying on the media or anyone else to push them. But, that too, is beginning to change. Continue reading “Public Relations, Your New Name is Outreach”

It’s Pay to Play Time with Facebook

We knew it would happen eventually. They are taking away that which Facebook business page owners have been taking for granted for years. For some marketers it will require no change in execution but a great deal of change in expectation. For others, it will be a crushing blow of the uncontrollable loss of their singular or at least most effective marketing presence.

It has been taken for granted that content posted by a Facebook business page will be seen by all of its fans who visit Facebook within the few hours following and some even later. But that’s all about to changed. Continue reading “It’s Pay to Play Time with Facebook”

Facebook & Google Advertising working together

John W Ellis of Crescent Interactive[Editor’s note: I’m excited to share this guest post from John W. Ellis of Crescent Interactive, a Nashville, Tennessee PPC and SEO consultancy. A successful hands-on practioner of SEO and PPC for more than a decade, John is a frequent blogger, article contributor, speaker and consultant able to empower companies seeking to improve and expand their online marketing efforts.]

For over 10 years, I have been managing PPC (per-per-click) advertising. By far the most utilized PPC resource has been Google AdWords. At Crescent Interactive, although we are familiar with multiple channels and platforms, we spend the vast majority of our time in Google Adwords.

For those not familiar with AdWords, these are the sponsored ads that show up in Google search results. Yes, searchers do click those ads. In fact, that’s where Google makes the volume of its revenue.  Continue reading “Facebook & Google Advertising working together”

Social Media Management Case Study | Boomer’s Drive-In

imageBoomer’s Drive-In is a single location restaurant located in Bellingham, Washington, a small town with a university population nearby. Boomers had enjoyed consistent revenue growth for over a decade but never fully utilized online marketing nor social media. Boomer’s Drive-In had three social media goals: 1) to capitalize on their ever growing sales and market share; 2) to be positioned for the future with regard to the ever-increasing role technology plays in marketing and 3) to offer existing and new customers new ways to become more connected with and part of Boomer’s continued success.

Boomers turned to a new marketing service, Whatcom Marketing, who was providing social media management services. Whatcom Marketing assessed the situation and advised not to expect any significant benefit from a social media effort for about three to four months.

imageWhatcom Marketing began managing Boomer’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as building out their profiles in online directories and on customer review sites. The Boomer’s Drive-In web site was also optimized for better search engine performance. Initially, Boomers did not expect many people were searching online for “burgers” or even for “boomers.” But once traffic monitoring had been put in place, they discovered two-thirds of their web site visitors were coming from search engines.

imageIn just the second month, Boomers reported sales up more than 13% from the same month the previous year. This also beat the record for that month for all years prior by 8%.

After five months, Boomer’s Drive-In realized a return on their investment with Whatcom Marketing of more than 6000%. Their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter have more than quadrupled and are engaging (commenting, sharing, etc.) with the content being published. Boomers made no other changes to their marketing efforts during this time.

Knowing online marketing channels tend to be quickly replaced by others in the future, Whatcom Marketing is currently working with Boomers to capture customer contact information and implement a strategic email marketing strategy.

 

Whatcom Marketing was able to create real results for Boomer’s Drive-In and other businesses in other industries. We would welcome the opportunity to help you take your business to the next level. Contact us today.

 

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(360) 223-1438
info@WhatcomMarketing.com

Product Launch Case Study | On Water Designs

On Water Designs of Bellingham, Washington, led by Tim Niemier of Ocean Kayak fame, came up with a high-quality and high-performance yet low-cost solution for paddle board enthusiasts limited by the portability and storage requirements of paddle boards that are typically longer than ten feet. The Origami Paddler is a solid board uniquely designed to fold when not in use. When folded, it is easy to ship (conforms to UPS and FedEx shipping requirements), transport (take in your car, not on it), carry and store. When unfolded, it outperforms inflatable boards, its only real competition.

imageSince the folding boards could be shipped directly to the customer, there was no need to create a reseller network. That meant Niemier needed to be able to market and sell the Origami Paddler direct to the marketplace. Something he had never done before.

Niemier came to Whatcom Marketing seeking marketing ideas to directly reach his best prospects and generate awareness of and interest in this new product. It also needed to be accomplished with the least amount of cost. Whatcom Marketing developed a strategy utilizing online marketing channels in order to garner a sufficient number of “pre-orders” to fund the initial production run. In essence, a self-funding bootstrap product launch was planned.

In anticipation of the expected attention this campaign would receive, a marketing and sales support infrastructure was created across multiple social media platforms and a web site was built. This provided the means for prospects to learn about the Origami Paddler, discover its unique benefits and start sharing and discussing it.

A press release launched via PRWeb’s online distribution platform marked the launch of this campaign. News outlets worldwide covering sports, water sports, gadgets and inventions were attracted to the press release and began writing about this game-changing new product. Tim Niemier quote A 2-minute product video produced by Whatcom Marketing received over 2000 views within the first month and over 6000 views after only four months.

Email addresses of interested prospects were collected via social media channels and the product web site. Monitoring the online chatter and making contributions to discussions about the Origami Paddler in online forums worldwide fostered additional interest, ensured accurate information was exchanged and enabled immediate collection of market feedback about product messaging and design.

After creating pent-up interest and demand for a product no one knew to even ask for previously, emails and social media announcements were sent out announcing orders were being accepted. No one had actually seen the product, outside of the videos and a pictures. But enough interest had been created that the orders submitted were enough to cover the expense of the initial production run and product delivery. The product was successfully launched with minimal expense and time and the sport of stand-up paddle boarding revolutionized.

 

Whatcom Marketing was able to create real results for On Water Designs. We welcome the opportunity to help you take your business to the next level too. Contact us today.

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(360) 223-1438
info@WhatcomMarketing.com

Guest post at Crescent Interactive’s blog

Crescent Interactive logo

I have been one of those cobblers whose kids have no shoes. The Whatcom Marketing blog has been sorely neglected while I have been busy creating content for others. I need to take my own advice (“eat my own dog food” as some people say) and fix this.

But in the mean time, I have been graciously invited to provide a guest post on John W. Ellis’s company’s blog. So wander over to the Crescent Interactive blog and check out my latest along with John’s gems of online marketing wisdom.

 

Businesses Turn to Social Media During Harsh Weather

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The very Northwestern corner of Washington State is mostly at or near sea-level and as such rarely sees temperatures below freezing. So it was very inconvenient and uncomfortable to endure temperatures in the teens with near zero wind chill during the last 24 hours. With several inches of ice and snow mixed in, it made for a “better to stay home than go out” scenario.

Local businesses have recognized this and many chose to let staff and customers stay home. This also created the need to communicate this news to them before they set out. Conventional news channels were utilized but more significant was the tremendous uptick in the volume of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets by local businesses in the last day. More than twice the norm by my tally.

I can’t see it from my vantage point but it would be very interesting to know how this burst of activity from the business side of the equation affected the level of engagement from the customer side.

Anyone care to share whether they saw customer responses and other means of engagement from posts or tweets that you would be closed due to the weather?

Opportunity for Budding Restaurateurs

Periodically I receive information about media opportunities for specific industries or businesses run by owners with specific backgrounds, challenges or unique solution sets. Today I received the following which someone out there may qualify for:

A new Food Network series is looking for FOOD ENTREPRENEURS. Specifically, people who have left their previous career to start a new restaurant (or similar business).

  • Must have little-to-no prior professional culinary experience.
  •  Must be planning to open a brick-and-mortar space where there will be walk-in customers (restaurant, bakery, sandwich shop, etc.).
  •  Must be aiming to open between now and autumn 2012.

Those chosen will receive culinary & business coaching from Bobby Flay (a chef, restaurateur, and fixture on the Food Network) as well as invaluable national publicity.

Those interested that fit the guidelines please email the following: Outline your timeline, budget, menu, team, and especially what’s at stake for you in this endeavor (why you are doing it and what risks, financial as well as personal, you are taking). We are highly interested in the “human-interest” angle of your story.

We’ve also set up a Twitter account- https://twitter.com/#!/RockShrimpProd and a Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bobby-Flay-Project/285496171463077.

We’ll be accepting people’s stories through February, and are casting nationally.

For more information or question, contact Heather Brigss.

Heather Briggs
Rock Shrimp Productions
O: 646.747.4735
hrb@embassyrow.com

Is this opportunity for you?

 

Owning & Protecting Your Company’s Online Assets

This week was an interesting one for online marketers. Two earth-shaking, paradigm-changing revelations occurred.

  1. We discovered that Google isn’t perfect as their “new” personalized search results are poop (hello Bing?).
  2. We discovered that Facebook is registering declining numbers in some global markets.

Whether you agree or disagree about the importance of these specific points, they serve to remind us that what works today for online marketing isn’t necessarily going to be what works tomorrow. As the steward of your company’s online assets (blog posts, pictures, videos, etc.), it is crucial that you create an infrastructure that takes this into consideration.  Continue reading “Owning & Protecting Your Company’s Online Assets”

The “Been There, Done That” Social Media Dilemma

Social Media trapsI came across a wonderfully succinct article recently about the ways companies have been known to sabotage their own social media efforts. Now, I don’t want to scare you and provide yet another excuse for not making an effort (or hiring WM to do it for you !!), but having the knowledge of what to avoid should provide you with a sense of comfort and encouragement. And if you already encountered these and bailed as a result, maybe knowing you’re not alone will give you confidence to stick your toe back in the water.

The article provides 6 ways to go wrong. I want to revisit these with my own basis for why you may find yourself falling into these traps and how to recognize and avoid them.  Continue reading “The “Been There, Done That” Social Media Dilemma”