Harnessing Technology to Maximize your Business Returns!

How your business can keep pace with digital innovation.

In today’s world technology is a fundamental piece of your business strategy. The challenge facing businesses in this changing digital world is how to harnesses these technologies and use them to your advantage. The right use of technology helps companies become more efficient and productive as well as connect with their customers and track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the technology tools that we can harness to improve our business.

1. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) – Social media is much more than just posting on your company page. How many of us are really utilizing social media to grow our sphere of influence? Engage our target audience? Build our customer base? I think most of us can do a better job of this. Interacting with your social media community is just s important as posting relevant content.

2. Social media management tools (Hootsuite, etc.)  – You can utilize social media management tools to schedule and manage your social media posts. Some tools also allow you to see your level of engagement as well as respond to and interact with your followers. Tools like this boost efficiency and maximize your time investment.

3. Social media analytics You can utilize social media analytics tools to see how well you are engaging with your friends, targets and community. Track what tactics work best for driving results, engagement and traffic to your website which generates leads. Use these insights to tailor your strategy accordingly.

4. Email distribution systems (Swit Pages, Constant Contact, etc.)  – You can use a third-party platform to send out emails, track who opens them and see who is clicking through to your website. This tool can be highly effective and a simple way to get the word out about your company and/or product.

5. CRM (Salesforce, Act, etc.) Utilize a CRM system to track the prospects and customers in your sales pipeline. You can see your pipeline intake as well as the timing of those prospects coming in. Analyzing how long it takes the average lead to be converted into a customer is valuable information.

6. Marketing Automation System (Pardot, Sharp Spring, etc.) – This is where you can use your database to target your audience by engaging with prospects and leads through an automated workflow. These workflows incorporate touch points along the way to convert them into customers.

7. Google analytics A great tool to track where your website traffic is coming from, how long they are staying on your site and what pages they are looking at. It can also track your AdWord campaigns and their effectiveness.

8. Content aggregation tools (like Flipboard, Feedly, etc.) – I love these, they help you find content that could be applicable to your customers/targets and connect with them. You can use this for 3rd party content for your blog and you can use it in your social media, etc. 

9. Analytics tools (BrandGo, etc.) – You use these analytics tools to track the effectiveness of all you marketing and sales efforts and see what is working and what is not. Use this information to ensure you’re hitting your KPI’s.

 

These are just a few of the technology tools that you can harness to maximize your business returns! At Brand Iron, we use modern technology and analytics to produce measurable financial outcomes for our clients. See how at brandiron.net or call 303-435-1901.  

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#technology #marketing #marketingwithtechnology

Tips For Setting Up A Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Tis the season for seasonal marketing campaigns. What will your company do to prepare for the holiday season?

The holidays are fast approaching, which means new opportunities for seasonal marketing campaigns. Over the next few months companies will be preparing for the seasonal rush. This year holiday sales are projected to top $1 trillion. Your company should take advantage of these opportunities by setting up a seasonal marketing campaigns. Don’t wait, because these opportunities will come and go before you know it.

Marketing around the holidays may seem easy since there is tons of content to share, but this flood of content can make it tough to get your message seen. We put together some tips for you to keep in mind while preparing for the holidays.

1. Time is of the essence: Timing is everything during the holidays! We advise you to start early and end late. Each year people start preparing for the holidays earlier and earlier. Shoppers are not only looking for inspiration, but they are actually making purchasing decisions far in advance. Establishing a touchpoint calendar early is important to provide your audience enough information to make a purchase decision before the holidays. So plan in advance and be thoughtful with each marketing touch.

2. Set up posts that “drip” into each other: This means creating posts that build off of each other. Radio stations use this type of drip all the time when they want listeners to tune in at a certain time. For example, you may create a post that only contains teaser information. The goal is to pique your audience’s interest so they want to learn more. You can use a countdown to tell your audience exactly how much time they have before a target date or tell them to stay tuned for the next round of information. These drip posts work well for contests or promotional information that contain time sensitive information.

3. Create a seasonal special: Use the holidays to your advantage by setting up seasonal promotions, contests or limited time offers. Prepare for these promotions with introductory posts or sneak previews that set up and frame the larger campaign as well as grab the attention of your audience early. If promotions and specials aren’t enough, try running a photo contest or something out of the box to set you apart from all the holiday discounts.

4. Quality over quantity: This may seem obvious, but during the holidays it is more important than ever to only share information that is essential to your audience. The frenzy surrounding the holiday season means people are bombarded with content. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm your audience with promotional content during this time as it may do more harm than good.

5. Don’t forget about smaller holidays: Everyone tends to focus on the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving but overlook the smaller holidays. Holidays like New Year’s and Valentine’s are a great opportunities to keep a marketing campaign alive and your company on your audience’s mind.

6. Support a charitable cause: This time of year is called the season of giving for a reason. Supporting a charitable cause is a great way for your company to give back to the community that supports your business. Rally your team and followers to get involved and give back in some way, either through volunteering, donating. Don’t forget to spread the word of these actions through social media and press releases.

 

Use these tips and tricks to take the holiday season by storm. Brand Iron can help you prepare a seasonal marketing campaign. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help.

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#seasonalmarketing #holidaycampaign #tipsfortheholidays #marketingfortheholidays #marketingtips #seasonalcampaign

10 Tips for Companies with Small Marketing Budgets

How to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Are you a small business that doesn’t have the resources to spend on marketing? No worries –– there are plenty of ways to maximize your marketing efforts on a budget. Marketing is an area that small business owners don’t want to ignore. It helps you put your brand in front of your target audience and grow brand awareness in order to close sales. We put together some tips on how to stretch your marketing dollars while strapped for cash.

1.  Social media: Ramping up your company’s social media is an easy way to build brand awareness. Sharing original and repurposed content is an great way to distribute engaging information, while gaining a loyal following.

2. Website: A well-designed website is crucial for any small business. It is important that both the frontend and backend are designed correctly to create a clean, direct and easy-to-navigate site. Since your marketing efforts will be driving people back to your website, the website must be able to can handle the traffic by redirecting them to important pages. Don’t forget to have a form and/or call-to-actions so you can capture leads and connect with them!

3. Sales deck: Sales decks are a shortened version of your company’s pitch deck. It should properly package your company showing long-term goals, any important statistics, and how you will reach those goals and objectives. Most small businesses are constantly talking to investors and trying to get funding, so having a strong sales deck is worth the investment.

4. Informational video: Creating an info video is a great way to visually explain your services, product offerings, or process to your audience. These videos can be short whiteboard videos, self- promos, tutorials, you name it. Once you create the videos you can share it on multiple platforms.

5. Press release: Nothing is better than free media. Submitting a press release announcing a launch or new product line is an excellent way to get your brand out in the light.

6. Blogs: Writing original blog content is a easy way share the voice of your brand. You can write blogs about specific products and services, industry trends, tips, or anything you think your audience will find interesting and share it on multiple platforms.

7. Repurpose content: Don’t create more work for yourself. For one example, if you’ve written content for a press release, repurpose it by turning it into a blog or a social media post.

8. Never. Stop. Networking: You never know where your next lead or sale is going to come from. Follow up with leads, and show them you’re interested in doing business together. Go to networking events and use business cards that you collect to help grow your email list. It’s worth taking the time to make genuine connections.

9. Business Cards: You may not think of business cards as marketing per se, but this is an easy way to get you and your business recognized. A clear and well-designed business card can make quite an impact and go a long way in helping your marketing efforts.

10. SEM/AdWords: Running a paid search engine marketing campaign is a cheap and effective way to promote your brand. With Google AdWords PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The key is to solidify strong keywords that will drive people to your website.

With these 10 tips, you can maximize your marketing efforts which will help grow your business. It takes time and resources to make your marketing work for you but if you keep these nine things in mind you’ll be off to a great start! Brand Iron is here to help you develop a strong marketing strategy that will elevate your brand in the market. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help!

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The Benefits of Targeted Touchpoint Marketing

How to effectively engage with your audience. 

In today’s world, we are bombarded with content and information everywhere we look. As a business you only have seven seconds on average to capture the attention of your audience before they make the critical decision to either keep reading or move on to the next thing. Making contact with your audience, which is called a touch, must be both interesting enough to keep your audience reading and frequent enough to nurture, and eventually close, a qualified sales lead. Generally, it takes 7-15 quality touches to move a prospect to the point of closing.

Fifteen touches may seem excessive, but it will help generate and nurture more qualified leads, and it’s generally spread across a year. Consumers are used to having access to mass amounts of information and expect to be given all the facts before they reach the final decision-making stage. Targeted touchpoint campaigns help grow your brand’s reputation while nurturing leads by giving them information relevant to them. Here are some ways you can effectively communicate with your audience and expand your brand’s reach with these different touches:

  • Blogs
  • Calls
  • Case studies
  • Direct sales
  • Email marketing
  • Networking
  • Press releases
  • Social media
  • Website traffic

Incorporating a variety of these touches in your marketing calendar gives your company a significant advantage to actively engage leads and eventually close sales. We’ve seen warm leads slip through the cracks and fall out of the sales funnel because they have not received enough valuable information to make a decision. It’s important to stay in front of your audience by educating leads through consistent, attention-getting touches.

Brand Iron can help you stay in front of your audience with targeted touchpoint campaigns that identify, attract, and develop brand awareness among prospective leads. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how our services can help!

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#marketing #branding #targetaudience #emailmarketing #socialmedia #blog #directmail #pr #blogs #targetedtouchpoint

It’s Time To Sell Your Business… Here’s How!

I run a networking group for private equity and real estate investment firm executives. During our meeting last week I was surprised by some of the key takeaways. The main topic we discussed was the fact that private equity firms are looking to invest, but can’t find companies to buy. When they do find a company to acquire, they are crazy expensive due to the low supply. Needless to say the sentiment in the room was that it is a great time for companies to sell, and here’s how to do it!

  1. Prep your business for sale:
    •  Clean-up your account and books
    • Make your sales and marketing scalable and repeatable
    • Have a rock solid executive team
    • Be on a positive revenue track
  2. Package your story:
    • Put your story into a management presentation
    • Make sure you have your company’s proformas as well as financial story including revenue, profit and cash flow
    • Make sure to highlight why your company is not just unique, but better than the competition
    • Make sure you tell your story in a way that is compelling and really highlights the value that you bring
  3. Hire an investment banker:
    • Hire an investment banker that you like and trust to represent the sale of your company
    • Make sure this investment banker/banking firm will market your business and get competitive bids
  4. Prepare yourself for your own future:
    • Are you willing to stay on and run the company as part of a transition period?
    • Do you know what you would do if you were done working? (Better make sure you have a plan to keep busy and stay mentally active)

Now with these tips in mind it’s time to explore the idea of selling your business. The market is hot and the prices are as good as they have ever been. Prices are close to what they were during the “dot-com” era. Have fun and reap the rewards for all your hard work over these years! Brand Iron can help package your company to get acquired, visit www.brandiron.net call 303-534-1901 to see how our services can help!

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#businessacquisition #sellyourbusiness #investment #brandstrategy

The Power of Technology and Lead Generation

Use the power of technology to transform and accelerate your company’s lead generation.

Historically, lead generation was done by word-of-mouth and later relied on print media. It was a laborious task and very time consuming. Over the years lead generation techniques have been constantly evolving. Utilizing new advances in technology for lead generation can help immensely. Let’s take a look at some tools that will help you generate more leads and track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Pertaining to your Database:

1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)- A tool that allows you to manage and analyze your relationship with both current customers and prospects to forecast your sales and examine your sales pipeline.

2. MAS (Marketing Automation Software)- Automate your marketing efforts through email, landing pages, social media and online campaign management.

3. E-mail distribution systemsHow you manage your email campaigns and track the effectiveness of each email and the messaging within.

For your Website:

1. Landing pages– Track leads by creating landing pages that redirect visitors to a page with more information on a specific product or service.

2. Web forms- On your homepage, landing page or blog, add a web tracking form to gather crucial information like name, email, company, location, phone number, etc. so you can easily stay in touch with them moving forward.

3. Videos- Utilize this content-rich medium to captivate, engage, inform and compel your audience to take a desired action.

Social Media:

1. Content- Utilize content aggregation tools like Flipboard and Feedly to seek out real time content that can be used for social media posts, blog inspiration, or any number of other things.

2. Schedule management tools- Social media management tools allow you to schedule your posts months in advance. Whether you’re at work, sleeping or living your life you can still engage with our audience by scheduling out your posts.

3. Unfollow tool- Manage your follower base to maintain follower/following ratios and ensure connections are mutually beneficial.

4. Schedule management toolsSocial media management tools allow you to schedule your posts months in advance. Whether you’re at work, sleeping or living your life you can still engage with our audience by scheduling out your posts.

Analytics:

1. Website analytics tools- Use website tracking and analytics tools to see how visitors are finding your website.

2. Online tracking tool This tool helps determine what SEO, SEM or adwords tactics are working.

3. Email analytics toolsTrack the effectiveness of your email campaigns by seeing who is clicking through and what content is grabbing the attention of your audience.

4. Results dashboards Utilize tools like BrandGo to track ROI and the performance of your marketing initiatives to ensure that you are getting the maximum return on your marketing activities and investment.

This is just brief overview of the different types of technological tools that you can use to help generate leads and track the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Harness technology and drive your brand to achieve the results you have been seeking. Brand Iron is a value creation agency that can help you use these technologies to reach your goals and complete your objectives. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help.

 

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#branding #leadgeneration #technology #poweroftechnology #marketingtools #generatemoreleads

The Importance of Strategic Partnership

How strategic partnerships give you a competitive edge.

Utilizing strategic partnerships is one of the most effective strategies a successful business can have. So what is a strategic partner? They are another business or individual with whom you enter into a symbiotic, or mutually beneficial relationship with. I have strategic partnerships within both business to consumer and business to business channels. This helps grow our business at a low cost. Business who do not leverage these working relationships are making more work for themselves. Below are a few examples of the different kinds of partnership you can develop to help elevate your business to the next level:

1. Promotional Partners- Work with a partner to host a joint event. These types of partnerships work well if your companies cater to similar audiences or audiences who build off each other. If you’re an American Express customer, you’ve see this type of partnership in action all the time. Partners host events that create a unique dining experience, entertainment, or sporting event all in the hopes to create a perfect experience to draw new business. This is powerful in reaching a new audience you may otherwise not had access too.

2. Referral Partners- When complementary businesses or individuals refer new customers and perspective leads to each other. Technology partners use this type of referral all the time. A company like Microsoft refers business to a Microsoft certified partner who can implement a particular product or service and vice versa. These referrals are powerful because there is a pre-established feeling of trust towards the company and it makes the sales process much smoother.  

3. Data Partners- Two strategic partners exchange databases in order to bolster their sphere of influence. Besides the benefits of growing the size of your company database, you can also run co-branded campaigns via email, print, or online. These partnerships dramatically increase the reach of your brand and boost overall brand awareness.

4. Joint Venture Partners- This type of partnership usually comes as the result of doing years of business together. Both companies share the costs, risks, and rewards of a mutual investment or business venture.

5. Business Partners- These partnerships usually take the longest to form. They’re the final step to solidifying a good strategic partnership. After going through the different “dating” stages of strategic partnerships, you are now ready to formalize the relationship by becoming true business partners working together as actual partners.

Now that you know about the different types of strategic partnerships, what do you plan to do to take your business to the next level? Regardless of your industry, working with a like minded strategic partner will give your company a competitive advantage. Brand Iron can help expand your brand’s reach and diversify your growth initiatives. Call 303-534-1901 or visit brandiron.net to see how we can help.

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#venturecapital #growth #strategicpartnership #brandstrategy

Brand Champions: Create a Winning Brand by Focusing on a Winning Culture

Tips for establishing a strong brand champion. 

The strength of any initiative comes from the team that drives it. When good won’t cut it, you need people who can deliver great. To achieve your goals you need to surround yourself with people who have the right attitude and determination. Once you have this, it’s up to you as their leader and Brand Champion to focus your team’s potential and curate results.

One of the responsibilities of the Brand Champion is to set the company’s tone. Inspire a culture of positivity and unity so that the team is aligned with the bigger company picture. This unity is both what holds a company together and ensures both its goals and objectives are met. It’s also important to provide clear direction through open communication and strategic planning. Here are a few things that Brand Champions do to create a winning culture:

  1. Understand the ideal Brand Experience.
  2. Establish unified company goals and objectives.
  3. Create a long-term plan incorporating company objectives with attainable goals.
  4. Create team incentives to meet goals and objectives.  
  5. Celebrate the “wins” and teach when you “lose”.
  6. Be a leader and guide the way to success.
  7. Keep a positive attitude and have fun along the way!

With a dedicated team and strong leader anything is possible. Use these steps to help create a winning culture, unite your team and meet your goals. For more information on how you can achieve your anything and be the brand you want to be, contact us at www.brandiron.net or 303-534-1901.

#brandchampion #brand #companyculture

The Rise in Semi-Flat Design

Digital trends are influenced by all kinds of things like media, user experience, fashion and technology just to name a few. Digital design is never static. Design tools and technology is constantly evolving and what styles are popular evolves with it.

Over the past year we’ve seen a decrease in photo-realistic designs and a boon in simplistic, 2D designs. Color gradients and curvy fonts have also gone by the wayside in many industries. Big players like Netflix, Ebay, and Paypal have all made the shift toward a cleaner, more simple design. Simplicity has its benefits but comes with the risk of being seen as flat and boring.

        

Thanks to Material Design, Google’s new design language, we are now seeing two-dimensional designs come to life. Flat designs have evolved into a semi flat design with some light, depth, and shadows. A semi-flat design adds smooth shading and a level of complexity that flat designs are lacking. Through Material Design, Google has created a sweet spot for brands to design their logos, and interface to have subtle depth while still maintaining the clean, sleek feel of flat design and we love it! 

                          

Project: Listener’s Playlist

Author: Anzi

Our design team is always looking for the best way to incorporate these trends into our clients’ brands and design elements. Brand Iron can help revitalize your brand by incorporating these design trends into your brand’s look and feel. Fill our the form below if you love this design and need help from Brand Iron to incorporate this look to elevate your brand to a new level.

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The 8 Must-Dos When Rebranding A Large Business

Rebranding a large business is no small task.

There is a certain process you must follow in order to achieve your desired results. Below are eight steps the Brand Iron team takes to helps clients reach their goals and objectives:

Find Your Achieve Anything

Knowing what you’re trying to achieve with your rebrand is integral to finding success. This is what we call your Achieve Anything Plan. Are you rebranding to increase revenue? Expand your geographic reach? Because you’ve expanded your offerings? Defining your Achieve Anything Plan is the foundation of your new brand.

Brand Differences and Value Propositions

What has changed about your brand that requires a change in strategy? A new position in the marketplace or a new key difference between you and the competition are things that require a change. Recognizing these strategic brand value points will help you to compose your new and improved Brand Value Proposition.

Determine Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve decided to rebrand, who are your target audiences? Has your target clientele shifted? Is it completely different? Either way, it’s time to develop brand personas for each audience so that you can effectively market to them.

Determine Your Strategic Brand Content and Mood

Good creative isn’t just creative –– it’s developed with a strategic focus and direction that will appeal to your targeted audience. Make sure to refine the content in your marketing so that it will engage your target audience and compel them to take action.

Develop Your Brand Assets

Make sure your brand’s look, feel and message will resonate with your target audience. Make sure that feeling carries over throughout all your marketing campaigns.

Develop Your Online Brand

Tailor your messaging for online use. Ensure you website is updated and visually appealing. Develop your site so that it displays well on mobile devices. Set up your calls-to-action to engage your audience.

Brand to Market

Once your brand redevelopment is complete it’s time to take it to market. What are the most effective means to do so? The key here is to utilize an integrated approach to reach your targeted customers. Using multiple mediums with a scheduled approach leads to a much higher return on your invested time. Consistency is the key to breaking through the clutter and connecting with your audience.

Brand Analysis

Now that you have rebranded and taken it to market, it’s time to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Make sure to track your email campaigns, website traffic and social media efforts to see what mediums and messages are working, and which ones aren’t.

Utilize these eight must-dos when rebranding your large business and you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of Achieving your Anything! To find out how Brand Iron can help ignite your rebrand, contact us at www.brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901.