i7 Marketing Blog

Jan 20

Small Business Branding Through Events

“If your brand doesn't support social causes, it's missing out on a huge audience.” – Matt Petronzio

If last year taught us anything, it reminded us that everything keeps changing all the time, some things faster than others; and that adapting to the change can take some time, and that adaption must be done sooner than later if you want to remain relevant. Sometimes your business or you as a business professional will be forced to change something about your business or the way you conduct business simply because trends have overtaken your industry and have upgraded it to a new level of difficulty or added more obstacles for you to avoid.

In order to brand your business better, you have to adapt to certain trends, or raise awareness in such a way that will reach hundreds, thousands, and millions of people across the US and around the world. According to Mashable, 90% of Americans are more likely to trust brands that support social issues. Consumers knew brands support a certain cause before, but never like they can know now. Today there are businesses that are growing around certain social issues or make a very public announcement that they donate a part of their earnings to certain organizations that help make other people’s lives better.

This way, a word about your business can spread widely through social media and people who may be interested in that cause will become your customers even if they don’t have need for the specific product you’re selling, they will be your ambassadors as a force for change.

In 2012 Constant Contact published research that showed 77% of business were using social media to promote their events, and they noted that another 14% are going to do so in 2013. Today, most every business that is sponsoring an event is promoting it through social media. Brands engage their audience mostly on Facebook concerning the event itself, but Twitter is close behind. Furthermore, many attendants at an event will tweet live from the event using an event-specific hashtag that makes it easy to search for the event and everything about it in real-time. Add to this live broadcasts that some events also have as an option and you have an even wider audience that is talking about it in real time and is telling the world about it at the same time.

Hosting or sponsoring an event is not just for big brands. Even if a big brand is creating/hosting an event, it doesn’t mean you can’t participate, or be present, or be part of the creating process. But as a small business or startup you can support your local community by sponsoring or hosting various events in your town, which also allows you to gather with other local businesses around the same cause or purpose that will show your local consumers that you care about your community, and that you want to not just sell them products, but also make their lives better or happier.

Now combine a social cause and an event, and you will not only raise awareness about that cause, but you will also bring in other people who may be more interested in a concert or a conference built around your industry or product. Now just imagine all those people together in one place, gathered around the same goal, enjoying themselves, promoting the cause, and live-tweeting about everything they’re seeing and experiencing to the entire world.
So make it a goal this year to sponsor an event or a cause that will raise your brand awareness, show what you are passionate about, and meet your customers needs.

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Dec 22

Three Marketing Practices to Win Social Media In 2015

New Year’s is right around the corner and you’re probably wondering what you can do to help your business gain a better reach online and on social media. Well, we could write about all the accomplishments and improvements in social media, or updates to search engines that occurred this year, but it would take too long and you will only need a few tips to get the year started.

John Wieber writes for Business2Community and he lists five things you need to know to be better at social media in 2015. Here are three tips we think are the most beneficial to any small business or startup.

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Dec 16

Things You Need to Know This Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing and big brands and small business alike are all taking this time to give great deals, offer great service, and provide an awesome experience. And if you’re not one of those, it’s still not too late to join in. Remember that holiday season is a great time to impress new customers, affirm your relationships with current ones, and have a great time buying and selling gifts for loved ones.

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Dec 09

Keys to Monitoring Your Social Media

If you’re a small business owner who is also doing his own marketing and social media postings, you are always looking for ways to see where your company’s name is mentioned, who is looking for your services, and who is talking about something related to your industry. Subscribing to newsletters and publications takes care of the last part, but when it comes to social mentions, that can sometimes be a messy business, especially because you have other things to worry about at the same time, one of which is keeping your business afloat and getting those sales.

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Dec 02

Search Engine Wars – Yahoo vs Google. Which is best for you?

Search engine marketing is still a better marketing option than social media. Of course, social media is a great way to connect with your audience and address their needs and concerns. But what social media doesn’t do is allow users to search for you and your products and services in a quick one-stop shop. Search engines do that, and most people often need immediate listings for all shops, including contact information, reviews, and price listings. Search engines list the best results within seconds, allowing you to check all the results and make your decision within moments. But this post isn’t about social vs. search engines. It’s about search engines you should focus on in your marketing efforts.

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Nov 25

3 Things You Need to Know Before you Take Your Small Business to Social Media

Why would you want to brand your business on social media? Because your consumers are there. It’s important to remember that social media is a way to market online, and also to make your business, products, and/or services more personal to your consumers or potential customers.

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Nov 17

3 Things Not to Do on Social Media

A recent interview Entrepreneur.com did with a few other experts shares some things not to do on social media, specifically Twitter.

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Sep 03

How to Individualize your Marketing Message to Reach Your Audience

Our goal here at i7 Marketing is to ensure that your business is reaching its maximum potential in connecting with your current customers as well as reaching new ones. Over these next few weeks we are sharing our approach to marketing that make up our seven pillars of marketing – thus i7 Marketing. Last week we shared our first pillar on how to identify your marketing strategy and goals. This week we move toward the marketing message that needs to be created.

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Aug 26

How to Identify Your Marketing Strategy and Goals

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. – J.P. Morgan

Our goal here at i7 Marketing is to ensure that your business is reaching its maximum potential in connecting with your current customers as well as reaching new ones. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing our approach to marketing that make up our seven pillars of marketing - thus i7 Marketing.

Pillar Number One:

Identify your business goals and practices with a clearly stated, comprehensive look at where you are and where you want to be.

The foundation of any business is knowing what they are all about. It begins with their mission statement. It answers the questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Why are you doing what you are doing?
  • What are you doing?

Take a look at the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America. Here is the mission statement of the USA. You may have never thought of it this way, but that is exactly what it is.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This statement identifies:

  • Who they are: The people of the USA.
  • Why they are doing what they are doing: Forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility…
  • What they are doing: Creating a constitution to help govern society.

As you examine your business do you have a clear understanding of your mission and a statement that reflects that mission?

Secondly, clear objectives and goals are critical to your success.

We at i7 Marketing walk you through your goals and make sure that they are S.M.A.R.T. goals. Everyone wants to be the successful, but do you have the tools to get you to where you want to be?

Specific: What do you want to accomplish? Use clear and precise terms so there is no confusion. The classic example of a bad goal is: “Lose weight.” This is a noble goal, but not specific enough. A specific goal: “Work out three times a week.”
Measurable: If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist. This is at least true in the sense of knowing if you actually achieved your goal. “Lose 20 pounds.”
Actionable: Do you have the ability to make this happen? Do you know what steps to take to make this happen. “Join a gym.” or “Buy Equipment.”
Realistic: Can you accomplish what you have chosen to do? Is becoming Mr. Universe a realistic goal? Probably not. But running a 7 minute mile is realistic.
Time-bound: What is the deadline for this goal? Effective goals are constantly reviewed and revised. Choose a date, time-frame, or schedule for your goal. Open-ended goals have no accountability, no urgency, no follow through, and usually no success.

Taking all this into consideration a good weight-loss smart goal would look something like this:

By the end of the year, I will lose 20 pounds by working out three days a week at Gold’s gym, and I will be able to run a mile in under 7 minutes.

That is a SMART Goal for physical fitness. However, in terms of a marketing plan for your business, have you identified what your goals are and where you want to be? Do you have the ability to make it happen? Have you used SMART goals in deciding where to put your efforts and research. We at i7 Marketing desire to see each business succeed in their field of expertise.

Our Expertise in Marketing Lets You Focus on Your Expertise.

Join us in the coming weeks as we discuss our other Pillars of Marketing:

2. Individualize your message and your means of sharing your market message. What makes your business uniquely suited to meet your customers’ needs? – How to Individualize your message to reach your audience.

3. Incorporate your message into a whole-business approach for clarity and for momentum. – How to incorporate your message into a whole-business approach.

4. Integrate your message, goals and practices into a strategic plan that outlines your potential market opportunities with the resources you have available. – How to Integrate your message, goals and practices into a strategic plan.

5. Implement the best strategies for reaching those goals. - How to implement the best strategies for reaching your small business goals.

6. Invite your customers to learn more through providing information and a clear benefit. - How to invite your customers to learn more about your small business.

7. Incrementally review your goals and strategies and build on success. - How to incrementally review your goals and strategies for maximum success.

We are an internet marketing and SEO company offering integrated marketing solutions, specializing in online strategies for connecting you with your customers. Identifying and implementing best practices for your business are what we do best. Be. Found.

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Aug 18

4 Strategies to Improve Your Outcome with Social Media

How profitable is your social media strategy? This seems to be a prevalent question many executives must answer before approving a marketing budget. Yet this may be the wrong question to ask, according to a report by Forbes in May, 2013.

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