How to leverage Instagram for your benefit
Have you wondered where all your Facebook followers have gone?
If you’re a retailer – or just an average user – you may notice that you’re seeing more ads, political content, and puppy pictures than usual. And most important, fewer younger users.
That’s because the graphics-based social media platform Instagram has swooped in and begun dominating social users.
Instagram clams over one billion monthly active users. ONE BILLION. That’s a tough figure to ignore, and it illustrates why so many smart retailers are taking notice.
Instagram’s early days offered a somewhat rudimentary vertical display of pictures. Period. Ultimately its potential grew, and combined with forward-thinking strategizing of its leadership, it now has become a major player in advertising and marketing.
What drives most of Instagram’s appeal are “influencers,” or celebrities and others who have massive followings. Not willing to mess with the litany of issues that keep making Facebook more of a chore than a pleasure, these high-profile dazzlers maintain captive audiences. Some may be compensated to plug a product, but others are self-financed, and they honestly promote their favorite clothing, cosmetics, household décor, and just about anything they think of.
In a pleasant turn of events, sophisticated consumers are no longer automatically averse to email solicitations. Perhaps the years have instilled patience and discretion, leaving them more open to opening an email even if it isn’t from a colleague, romantic interest, or their mom.
That said, there is a method of madness to employ when crafting a direct mail campaign strategy – or really, any form of communication between your business and a current or prospective customer. And it’s something few really think about.
Let’s start this with an illustration. When you open your email app and peruse the cascading list of incoming mails, what’s the first thing that catches your eye? Chances are it’s a sender address that is recognizable. This is where we start with productive, successful marketing.
A “sent from” name can be an automatic invitation to the trash bin. Consider this one:
It goes without saying that an email with this sender name isn’t exactly inviting. And truthfully, it’s more likely to come from a larger company with a robust list of email accounts linked to their domains. Even then, with the glut of spam out there, it’s not likely to be read.
Do you have a single email account linked to your domain name, with your actual name as the prefix? That’s not a winning strategy. Add a few more. Even dedicated customers may not react to an email coming from a name they don’t recognize.
The color king chooses classic blue as its color of the year
If there are fifty shades of gray, count on triple that for an old favorite: blue. Pantone gets this and, in typical fashion, is not afraid to lean on it for its 2020 “color of the year” designation.
The marquee source for go-to color advice, Pantone Color Institute™ supplies designers, graphic and print artists, and hobbyists with definitive hue-related tips and hints. Its licensed shades offer industry standard consistency as they create vivid, sublime, or subtle colors. For 2020, Pantone has selected classic blue as its annual designee.
And classic it is, as this version of blue is a compelling blend of rich and neutral, dark and medium; its utility in home interior design, clothing, and art is unlimited. Blue is making a comeback in the second decade of the 21st Century, and Pantone is celebrating in style. This is a win-win for designers of denim clothing, and an intriguing potential boost for designers of modern furnishings.
Among shades on the master list of Pantone blues that sing the blues are navy to royal, French to robin’s egg, and sky to Copen. Classic blue seems to be a happy medium with contemporary significance. Find it in bed linens, tapestries, furniture finishes, artwork, and even kitchen appliances. Blessed with versatility, it’s still a really gorgeous shade you’ll want to focus on and work with.
Seeing is believing
Consider this eye-catching paint job, courtesy of none other than classic blue:
Classic blue velvet offers a rich, romantic feel to this velvet upholstered chair:
And casual is as casual does, with this high-top sports shoe reaping the benefits of Pantone’s honored color:
What’s hot and what’s not? That never-ending question drives buying decisions of vendors everywhere, including ecommerce players eager to cash in on upcoming trends. With a new year kicking in, we’ve centered in on an extravaganza sure to fill your mind with a dizzying array of considerations: the Las Vegas Market Winter 2020 event.
Scheduled for January 26-30, 2020, this annual marquee fiesta offers a glimpse into the hottest, best-selling, and promising product lines in home goods. A special presentation by Las Vegas Design Center, it draws attention to LVDC, the Southwest’s premiere home furnishings and design resource. Las Vegas’ state-of-the-art campus of the World Market Center will host, bringing buyers and shoppers to more than 30 designer showrooms with more than 4,300 brands and lines and 500 unique temporary exhibitors just minutes from the infamous Las Vegas Strip.
Assisting your difficult perusal through product lines will be experts in home fashioning and design offering top-notch tutoring in trends, methods, business advice, and everything related to interior décor.
Discover the best of the West with exhibitors eager to show off their wares in a tempting venue where you can develop merchandising plans, solicit tips on price and quality, and just explore through a vast wilderness of home products.
As another year slips by, marking the end of a decade, it’s time to wax nostalgic about the evolution we witnessed in the ‘10s, and prepare for an even more energizing landscape for ecommerce in the ‘20s.
These aren’t the Roaring Twenties romanticized in history books and pop culture, but rather a digital form geared toward harnessing the avalanche of opportunity available through Internet channels. It’s not likely that anyone in the Flapper days foresaw social media – although they would have loved it – but embracing the festive, carefree demeanor of that era is not a bad way to approach your business pursuits as we say goodbye to yet another year and decade.
So what trend-setting developments are we likely to see come January? What ingenious tactics and offerings will pose tempting ways of boosting your business?
Let’s start with customer engagement. If your patrons love you, put them to good use by involving them in social media campaigns. Hashtags go a long way on Twitter and Instagram, so why not come up with a catchy phrase involving a product you sell or your business name, and let it fly?
#AtlanticTradersHolidaySale – that hashtag generates a discussion of your personal shopping space. Sound fun? Try it!
If you’re not up to speed on how to execute hashtag campaigns or even use them effectively, GoDaddy has a great tutorial.
Another way to work customers’ and potential customers’ personal lives into your web is to entice them with personal touches. Social media “customer care” demonstrates your interest in serving them in a way that matters. Put simply, it’s not sufficient to set up Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Instagram accounts. Reaching out to customers and being responsive to their input will get you places. Be sure to monitor and respond to ALL comments made to your Facebook posts. If someone has a complaint, apologize for their experience and offer to fix it. If someone gushes over your product or service, thank then back with equal enthusiasm.
Particles will take a little winter hiatus so we can enjoy time spent with family, outdoor adventures, and cozy relaxation during this winter holiday season.
We wish you and yours the merriest of holidays and look forward to an amazing 2020!
We'll return with brand new content you won't want to miss on Thursday, January 9th.
It doesn’t take care of itself.
Approaching the second decade of the 21st Century, it may feel redundant to refer to “online marketing.” The bulk of commerce arguably has moved toward Internet transactions and advertising for some time, and it’s becoming rare to think of marketing as shaping up anywhere but in cyberspace. That makes it all the more urgent to tailor functions for the virtual platform; to consider the web your home space for growing a business.
Consider sectors once thought to be averse to Internet that have formed a presence online. Insurance used to observe stealth, cautious marketing and underwriting activities anywhere but in an agent’s office – or, in the early part of this century, over the phone. Now it’s possible to shop, ponder, and instantly bind coverage from an iPad.
Shopped for groceries lately? Increasingly, that’s taking place through online orders managed by third-party sites, as is food delivery. Booking travel, flagging down ride shares, and even applying for college is becoming a fully virtual experience. This has one lesson for ecommerce vendors: your business is an online entity, and must be treated accordingly.
Following are resources for fine-tuning your marketing and sales functions on the internet. Consider each carefully, assessing its value to your business in terms of affordability, comprehensive features, and ease of use.
Maybe the last thing you envisioned spending a ton of time on when you decided to become an ecommerce seller was marketing. Sure, you recognize the word. You understand there is a basic need to connect with potential buyers. But is it really necessary to dedicate so much of your precious time and energy on an intangible?
In a word, yes.
In the absence of a physical presence that people drive by on the regular, your cyber business is virtually invisible. This is not a comforting thought, and it should wake you up to the pressing need to expand outreach. Marketing your e-business can become less painful—and, dare way say, even enjoyable—with the right attitude, the right goal, and the right strategy.
Storefront businesses endure Chamber of Commerce socials and mixers, talking up their offerings. Think of digital marketing as an expansion of those with a bigger payout. Direct outreach to consumers is mostly free when it’s conducted online. All you need to do is arm yourself with the best practices.
Here are some tried-and-true tips to employing ecommerce marketing in a way that offers a good return on investment:
Particles is a taking a short little break to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday spent with friends, family and all the food and festivities you love.
Check back on December 5th for brand new content!
When it comes to promoting your business, email continues to be one of the most important ways to reach customers and increase sales. Although it may seem that social media is catching up quickly, the numbers show that email marketing continues to be more effective for businesses to communicate with their customers.
A recent survey found that only 41 percent of people, and only 30 percent of Americans, trust social media. Four in ten people have deleted a social media account in the past year. Conversely, email use continues to grow, with a whopping 3.8 email users in 2018. That number is set to grow to 4.4 billion by 2023.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why your email list is still the most effective way to reach customers in 2019.
It’s Cost Effective
The average business owner reported a return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent on email marketing in 2019. That’s up from $38 for every $1 spent in 2018. If you focus on fine-tuning your message and determining what’s most effective for your audience, that number could increase exponentially.
It Requires Permission
Unlike Facebook, where people are bombarded with ads from companies they’ve never heard of, people who choose to receive your emails do so willingly. They’ve already expressed an interest in what your business has to offer. Requiring a double opt-in, or adding an extra step for customers to receive your emails, narrows it down even further. Research has shown that requiring a double opt-in can increase ROI by an average of 13%.