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Hudson, NY 12534

Ryan's Sales and Marketing Blog

4 Happy Holiday Marketing Tips

Posted on 12/05/2016

It’s no secret that the holiday season is the greatest spending time of the year, and for many businesses—both large and small—it’s a time with the most financial growth. However, customers don’t often just walk into a store out of chance.
More often than not, they come pre-decided on what they need and what they want to look for… all based on how your business reached out to them. This holiday season, don’t let your business miss out on the biggest spending time of the year. Stand out from the crowd by trying these four happy holiday marketing tips.
1. Start now and start quickly.
The best thing to do for your holiday marketing campaign is to start now and start quickly. If your business doesn’t have a plan in place yet, put one in place as soon as possible—the sooner the better. That way, you’re ready to launch whenever the time is right for shoppers.

Your goals can always be adjusted later on, but organizing for the holidays earlier sets up an outline your business can easily follow and adhere to when promoting its brand. Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, your company can still continue to share its product or service throughout the rest of the holiday season.
2. Get creative.
Let’s be honest, holiday ads tend to be a little… repetitive. Ad fatigue happens when consumers have been exposed to the same type of message too many times and no longer "see” the ad. But that doesn’t have to be the case for your business! Avoid the holiday fatigue this season by putting some creativity into your marketing and advertising efforts.
Update your public promotions with new messages, colors, borders, images or buttons. If necessary, try hiring outside work to help get the creative juices flowing for your business. When you stand out amid the crowd, consumers won’t feel exposed to ad fatigue, and will be much more likely to engage with your company.
3. Be social this season.
One of the greatest marketing tools your business should take advantage of this season (and every season, for that matter): social networking platforms! Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are no longer just about brand awareness—they drive real, measurable sales right up to your doorstep.
Take advantage this holiday season by sharing your promotions and holiday sales through your social networking platforms. Engage with audience members through challenges, hashtags and surveys. Be careful though; if your small business doesn’t yet have social media, don’t use this time as a trial run. Only take advantage of social networking if you truly plan on continuing use of it post-holiday season.
4. Share some sales.
Finally, don’t forget to host and share all your promotions or sales this holiday season. Get in the spirit of giving by offering deals customers can take advantage of, then promote those through local advertisements, social media and targeted marketing. Take advantage of personalized messages through email marketing, or go old-school with direct-mail postcards and flyers.
Advertise your sales on a consistent basis so consumers are exposed throughout the holiday season; don’t drench your audience with advertisements all at one time, only to be left with a weak marketing campaign later on. Outline your marketing and advertising campaign to have a clearly organized message of your sales during the season.
This holiday season, be sure your small business stays on the forefront of consumers’ minds by following these four sage marketing tips. Not only will your business succeed for the holidays, but you can continue that growth on into the New Year.


Dealing with Bad Reviews

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
If you have been in business for any length of time, it is likely that you have at least 1 customer transaction that was less than perfect. A bad review across online channels today can potentially cause a lot of harm. The natural reaction is to fight back, but that will only make a bad situation worse. If you get a bad review here are the things NOT to do…
  • Do not ignore the review.
  • Do not deny that the issue existed. It may have seemed like nothing to you, but because your customer posted it, it was a big deal to them.
  • Don’t argue with the customer, or try to prove you are right and they are wrong.
  • Don’t pay to have "a cleaner” remove the bad review or write phony reviews to counter the bad one
And here are the things you should do…
  • Do respond. Consider how you would want someone to respond to you when things do not go as planned. Do it tactfully. Take the high road. Be a professional. Acknowledge the issue and encourage the poster to re-engage to resolve the issue.
  • Do apologize. Frequently an apology is all that the poster wants. Acknowledge you understand how they feel. And do what you can to make it right. Provide direct lines of communication and personalized attention to show you care and to get the conversation off line and not in the public eye.
  • If you are able to satisfy the customer, ask them if they would mind posting a follow-up review indicating how the issue was resolved and their level of satisfaction.
Unhappy customers are an inevitable reality for every business. And although unpleasant, addressing these issues head on can be game changing for the company. They may reveal blind spots in service or where improvements can be made—a true silver lining take away after a stormy experience.
Now is the time to grow or start your blog.
Articles and statistics touting the benefits of blogging are ubiquitous. You know you probably should be blogging, but how and what you should write about plague even the most seasoned marketers.  Like many things, getting started blogging can be the hardest part. Use our 11 suggestions to keep your blog going on a regular basis. .
Perform a Website Audit
Many website owners take the Ron Popeil approach with "set it and forget it” and while that may work for roasting chickens, it is a terrible web strategy. If it has been awhile since you reviewed your own website, summertime is an ideal time to do it. Read on to see 10 things to look for when you are doing a website audit.
50 + 2 Improperly Used Words in Writing
Using the wrong words in business communications can be more than just embarrassing, it can damage your credibility and could even be a cause for rejection of your proposal. The way we speak and the way we communicate in the written word, are frequently different. Below you’ll find 52 frequently misused and abused words in business writing. Most you are likely aware of, but some may surprise you.
accept, except
accept – (verb) To agree with, take in, receive. Example: We accept your proposal.
except – (preposition) Apart from. Example: All committee members are present except for Ms. Brown.
Resizing images for use on the web
We have all visited a website where the images load very slowly one line at a time or we’ve seen horribly scrunched and skewed images being forced into a size they were not meant to be. Using properly sized images on your website not only makes your website look more professional, it makes it load faster which is paramount for visitors looking at your site on a handheld device.  There are a few things we consider when we are resizing images for use on the web; file size, file type, desired dimensions and cropping.
File Size
Most photographs taken with a phone or digital camera are well over 1 MB (megabyte) in size. While 1MB isn’t extr...
What website analytics reports should I be looking at?
We talk to a lot of clients and prospects about what is working for their business and what is not. When it comes to their online presence, we can fairly objectively evaluate their success level by looking at a few key reports on Google Analytics. If you aren’t currently using an analytics program to evaluate your own website, we would strongly suggest you add some as soon as possible. Google Analytics is free and provides a comprehensive overview of who is looking at your site, how they found your site, what they did once they were on your site and more. While Google isn’t the only game in town, it is one of the largest. 
You can sign up for a Google Analytics account by going to ww...
Tips for effective networking
Face to face networking events are often a necessary part of life as a business professional. They let you meet like-minded individuals, make important business connections and get your foot in the door of potential clients.  Here are a few things you can do to make your next networking event a success. 
  1. Ask questions – apply the two ears one mouth principal; listen twice as much as you speak. Asking open ended questions, like "Why” or "How”, require more than just a yes or no answer and help you build rapport with your new contact.
  2. Be a connector - instead of focusing only on making your own ...
Google's Mobile Friendly Update - What it means for your business
Google has been rolling out lots of changes to apps, Google Play and the presentation of mobile search engine results all in preparation for a larger algorithm release that is scheduled to be released on or around April 21st.  As we learned from past Google algorithm changes (Penguin and Panda), these updates can greatly impact where your site ranks in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The update set to be released on April 21st is focused on providing a better search experience for mobile users. To accomplish this, Google will be "expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” So what does that mean to business owners? If your website isn’t mobile-friend...
How to inspire great user-generated content
One of our weekly marketing tips this month focused on User Generated Content; content (text, images, videos, reviews, podcasts, etc.) created and posted by your fans or customers.  This type of content works well to help create a steady stream of fresh and unique content for your website or social stream.
User generated content (UGC) statistics from Crowdtap, also show that Millennials consider UGC 20% more influential and 35% more memorable than branded messages. Millennials are also 50% more likely to find UGC trustworthy as opposed to branded advertising.
So, how can you harness the power of UGC? One easy way to obtain user generated con...
Websites 101: Basic Structure Overview
There are 5 basic types of website design structures: Fixed Width, Adaptive, Responsive, Parallax, and Mobile. In a world rapidly moving toward being able to access any information on any device, a discussion of each follows.
Fixed Width – traditional web design where the website is created as a fixed width and is designed to start at the edge of a user’s browser or float to the middle of the browser window, assuming the browser window is larger than the fixed width of the website. Most fixed width sites are designed to view properly on monitors that have a screen resolution of 1024 pixel width or larger. This would include most desktop, laptop, and tablet co...


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