Posts in General Marketing FYI
Marketing with Purpose

General Mills Canada made a bold marketing move earlier this week. Beloved cereal icon Buzz the Bee has temporarily been removed from all boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios (in Canada) in an effort to shed some light on diminishing bee populations. It’s all part of their #BringBackTheBees campaign… General Mills has teamed up with Veseys Seeds to give out wildflower seeds. The goal is to plant one flower for every Canadian citizen, which will (hopefully, over time) promote a bumper crop of bees. Bees are vital to the agriculture industry (all food production, not just honey), so the issue (and this campaign) is drawing quite a bit of attention. #BringBackTheBees is informative, good for the environment, good for the global economy and pure marketing genius! What’s not to love?

Purpose-based marketing (commonly referred to as cause marketing) is gaining popularity among national brands attempting to reach millennials (a group that tends to gravitate toward socially conscious causes). But small businesses can be a force for good too! And millennials aren't the only ones seeking to conduct business "purposefully." We love cause marketing  for a few reasons: 

  1. It's Relevant - Your brand can participate in timely conversations about newsworthy topics that your customers care about.
  2. It's Engaging - Cause marketing gives you an opportunity to connect with other brands. Through collaboration you can reach a new or larger audience. 
  3. It's Credible - Traditional advertising and promotional strategies feel like a sales pitch, and no one really likes being sold to. Cause marketing feels more sincere, especially if your cause is directly related to your brand and target customer. 
  4. It's Fulfilling - Your business can and should give you a sense of purpose, but creating positive change in the world can make that feeling all the more fulfilling.

Bee the Change You wish to See

Like General Mills, we all have the power to be the change we wish to see. Need help creating or executing your purpose-based campaign? Entrepreneur.com  has some great tips, and our team would love to get involved. Email Kendall@RootedID.com to schedule a complimentary consultation. 

Learn More about Local Bees & Honey Production

Diminishing bee populations aren’t just affecting Canada; the problem is pandemic. South Carolina's honey production and commercial beekeeping industry has suffered as a result. Read more about the impact of diminishing bee populations on agriculture here, and click below to learn more about local honey production and bee initiatives...

Photo from thebeecause.org

Photo from thebeecause.org

Know of another local bee initiative that deserves some attention? Comment below or email Kendall@RootedID.com to be added to the list.

Can You Afford A Marketing Agency?

Hiring a marketing agency…. That sounds expensive, right? It certainly isn’t the cheapest option available to small business owners, but it may be more affordable than you think.

Small Business Marketing Options

Every successful business reaches a point in which the owner can no longer do everything on their own. When that happens, the options are to hire one of the following:

  • Intern
  • Freelancer 
  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Agency

But the question is, which one? 

Let’s consider the “leading value” of each option…

  • Intern – Affordable
  • Freelancer – Flexibility (avoid commitment or overhead)
  • Marketing Manager – Availability
  • Marketing Agency – Expertise

We could make a decision based on those characteristics, but a more thoughtful analysis may reveal that those leading values can be rather misleading. 

Let’s draw some comparisons…

HIRING AN INTERN

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Meet John – John is a full time college student who is eager to build his resume. What he lacks in experience he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. 

Proficiencies – Social Media, Blogging, Microsoft Office Suite

Salary – John works part time for $10/hour. He makes $800/month.

John writes 2 blog posts a month and posts to social media profiles several times a week. He is doing a pretty good job, but website traffic could be better. John has expressed an interest in email marketing and graphic design, but “learning on the job” makes it difficult to gain any marketing momentum.    

HIRING A MARKETING MANAGER

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Meet Sarah – Sarah is a college-educated professional with 3 years of marketing experience. She’s organized, clever and fun to work with. 

Proficiencies – Social Media, Microsoft Office Suite, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Blogging 

Salary – Sarah works full time for $18/hour. She makes $2,880/month ($34,560/year), and there are other costs (benefits, taxes, software subscriptions, etc.) associated with her employment. 

Sarah writes 2 blog posts a month and posts to social media profiles several times a week. She creates good content, but without graphic design experience, she struggles with visual aids. Sarah uses Microsoft Word to create flyers, but it’s a time consuming process... Sometimes she pays freelance designers to help out when she needs something to look more professional. The best thing about Sarah is her availability! Her coworkers love that she can help out with customers and administrative duties, but those things tend to distract her from marketing tasks.   

HIRING AN AGENCY

Rooted+ID.jpeg

Meet the Rooted ID Team – The Rooted ID team is comprised of professional designers, copywriters and marketing consultants who are passionate about the small business community. Experience and complimentary skill-sets ensure that marketing initiatives are executed efficiently and effectively.

Proficiencies – Graphic Design, Copy Writing, Website Management, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Web Design, Blogging, Branding, Marketing Strategy 

Cost – $1,200/month.** 

Rooted ID writes 2 blog posts a month that enrich site content and enhance SEO. They post to social media profiles several times a week and manage Facebook advertising. The monthly fee also includes website management, some graphic design (up to 3 ads or 1 flyer per quarter) and other general marketing support (advertising recommendations, etc). 

Please Note: John and Sarah are not real people. If they were real, they would probably be super cool, but since they are not, you cannot hire them. You can, however, hire Rooted ID. Schedule a complimentary call to learn more. 

**$1,200 monthly marketing fee is based upon services rendered in the hypothetical example. Fees and monthly marketing services vary from client to client. Monthly marketing services start at $300/month. For detailed rate information, please contact our office for a proposal. 

Keep Your Mailer Out of the Trash

Printed pieces can be expensive. Direct mail can be REALLY expensive. And if all of it ends up in the trash, you’ve basically flushed money down the toilet.

Today we’re going to share a few marketing mailer tips… Specifically how you can keep them out of the trash can (at least temporarily).

Today’s post was inspired by a recent FedEx delivery. Our office doesn’t receive a lot of snail mail, and we weren’t expecting any packages. We were surprised to be getting anything at all, and we were even more surprised by its contents…

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Sprint paid to FedEx a personalized letter and flyer about the new iphone. 

So why is this significant? Well we opened it for one. Had this been an over-sized postcard, it would have ended up in the trash without a second glance. 

When it comes to mailers, an envelope can work to your advantage.* You may not be able to FedEx every marketing piece, but simply thinking outside of the business envelope can help to get you noticed. Invitation sized envelopes work well, and if you have the time to hand address it, I can pretty much promise you that it will get opened. 

Soooooooooooo I have one more funny Sprint story before I sign off… My husband and I are longtime Sprint customers, and last December we received (what appeared to be) a hand addressed Christmas card from Sprint’s CEO. Of course it wasn’t actually hand addressed (under close scrutiny you could tell that it was a cleverly designed font), but I determined that only after opening it. My husband and I thought it was so funny, that we actually displayed Sprint’s Christmas card with the others that we received from friends and family. A marketing piece hung in our house for about a month, and was the subject of several passing conversations. 

Kudos to Sprint on the creativity! 

Ready to put some creative thinking to work for your small business? Email Kendall@rootedid.com to schedule a complimentary call. 

*Direct mail (postcards) can be an extremely effective marketing tool. Cost, message and target audience should be considered when deciding between direct mailer or targeted mailings. 

Lifestyle Content Marketing for Small Business

We talk a lot about content marketing. If you are new to the marketing game or need a refresher, here’s a quick definition…

Content marketing is the process in which a business creates and distributes content
in order to attract or engage a target audience. 

Pretty simple stuff right? Believe it or not, it’s the grease that keeps your marketing machine going.

Attract Your Target Audience

The key phrase in the above definition is “target audience.” Reaching a lot of people is good, but reaching the right people is better. Effective content marketing starts with a clear understanding of your target customer and what your brand offers them.

Engage Your Audience with Lifestyle Content 

Content marketing is not a new practice. Marketers have been creatively touting the benefits and features of products and services for years, but big brands (and small businesses) are really stepping up their content marketing game in order to maintain consumer attention. 

Traditional content marketing employs promotional marketing messages. For example…
A company that manufactures surfboards announces the launch of a new product via social media. They share helpful tips as to how to use/get the most out the new board. 

Lifestyle content marketing takes target audience interests into consideration and is less promotional in nature. For example…
A company that manufactures surfboards regularly shares information about contests, videos of accomplished surfers, etc.

Effective marketing strategies use a combination of the two.

Learn from Lifestyle Content Pros

Patagonia produces phenomenal lifestyle content. Their Facebook page is a great example, but they have taken lifestyle content to a whole new level with Worn Wear - a channel that is specifically designed for user generated content. Patagonia encourages loyal customers to share their stories, and it is marketing gold! The channel clearly promotes the brand without marketing/promoting a single product. The channel also presents opportunities for promotions like the “Worn Wear Swap,” an event where Patagonia lovers can trade vintage Patagonia clothing.

Ready to explore what content marketing can do for your business? It all starts with a clear understanding of your target customers and the ability to articulate your brand message. Schedule a complimentary call to learn more. 

Holiday Email Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

Tis the season for email marketing! Your inbox is likely overflowing with messages and offers from major retailers. We’ve been harnessing the power of email marketing for some of our clients as well. Most of those messages have pertained to Cyber Monday or other seasonal deals, but we’re also encouraging small business owners to think outside the box when it comes to email marketing. A mix of traditional offers and creative content will help to keep your audience (prospects and customers) engaged. 

TRADITIONAL EMAIL MARKETING TACTICS

  • Share coupons or offers.
  • Reward customers with free shipping.
  • Announce a seasonal sale.
  • Share an end of year newsletter.

MORE CREATIVE EMAIL MARKETING IDEAS

  • Create and share a useful gift guide.
  • Advertise special discounts/deals for locals.
  • Announce seasonal products or special offerings.
  • Announce extended store hours.
  • Promote a holiday event.
  • Promote upcoming events and activities that will occur in the new year.

Interested in implementing email marketing strategies for your small business? We encourage all business owners to consider their brand promise and target customers carefully before deciding on any particular initiative. Let's discuss what makes sense for your business. EmailKendall@RootedID.com to schedule a complimentary call. 

Get More out of Your Event or Promotion

Happy Halloween, everyone!

We took a brief blogging hiatus last week, and I'm a bit late on the draw this week as well... Food for Thought posts usually go up on Thursday, but I stepped away from the computer a little early yesterday to participate in a team building happy hour at Mex 1.

Have you been to Mex 1 yet? They have a DELICIOUS margarita! 5 out of 5 Rooted ID team members would highly recommend it.

A Succesful Halloween Event

We've spoken a lot about Halloween marketing over the past few weeks, and while it's a little late in the game for a Halloween-themed marketing push, I wanted to share a great event example with you. Mex 1 recently hosted a pumpkin carving contest. They provided the pumpkins, tools and best of all, they scooped out all of the pumpkins prior to the event! You can get the details on their Facebook page... The contest successfully increased store traffic for the evening, and I guarantee that happy participants will stay tuned for future events and promotions. This is what we like to call a "captive audience." 

The Take Away

Events are a great way to increase foot traffic, but their value isn't limited to a one-time or short-term boost in sales. Use special promotions and events as a means to introduce potential customers to your brand. Get the most out of your "captive audience" by keeping them engaged. 

Maintaining a captive audience takes time, effort and some general know-how. If you would like to learn more about what a full-service marketing agency can do for your business, email Kendall@RootedID.com to schedule a complimentary call. 

Marketing Your Small Business with a Mobile App

“Small businesses can really take advantage of the perception that apps are only for large companies. Home Depot has an app, but people don’t expect Joe’s Hardware to have an app. It’s an impressive thing for any business to have, like a website was 20 years ago. It sets your company apart, and it puts you on the same playing field as the big boys.” So says Michael Schneider of app development company Mobile Roadie. 

We have already been touting the benefits of having a website that is optimized for mobile devices in past posts. But, that isn't what I am talking about here. According to almighty Wikipedia, "A mobile application (or mobile app) is a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. They are usually available through application distribution platforms, which are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World."

In layman's terms, think Angry Birds, Word with Friends, etc. But, I am not suggesting that you create a game for your small business (although there could be some applications for such an idea). Rather, I challenge you to think about how design and development of a mobile app could actually become part of your company's marketing strategy. Following are some reasons to do so according to a recent post on appitventures.com...

  • Be Perceived as Helpful - Imagine how powerful it could be if you create an app that people actually want to use because it helps them in some way and them connecting it to your brand.
  • Generate Additional Revenue - Comscore found that 4 out of 5 smartphone users use their device to shop. Consider promoting and selling your products through a mobile app.
  • Stand Out from Your Competition - Think of how you can do something unique and go above and beyond to solve your customer's problems.
  • Build Relationships - Create brand advocates by giving your mobile app users special treatment (notifications about new arrivals, special contests or coupons, etc.). 

In today's world, creating a mobile app for your small business may be the perfect way to make your brand even more appealing and accessible to your target customers. To learn more, contact Jennifer@RootedID.com.