Onward and Upward!

Unfortunately, I’ve been very lax on keeping up with my blog lately. 2019 has already been a busy year. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into growing the business and signing on new clients. It’s an exciting time and I look forward to what the rest of this year has in store.

Looking forward is my theme right now. If you are not looking to grow and improve, then what’s the point? As a business owner, you should always be looking for new opportunities to expand. One thing that’s always worth reviewing is your marketing system. What is your budget for the year? What are you hoping to accomplish through marketing? What new ideas can you implement to improve your marketing efforts?

If you don’t already have a blog for your business, now is the time to start one. It’s a great way to improve organic SEO for your website while also engaging past and current customers with strong content. If you do have a blog, make sure you are getting the most out of it with regular posts, SEO strategies and unique content.

The other area where you want to look for more opportunities is social media. As new social platforms develop and other classic ones like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram continue to evolve, it’s important to keep up with the times and understand everything that you can do with these services. Between targeted ads, boosted posts and regular activity, you can really reach a lot of people without having to spend an arm and a leg.

Considering newspaper and magazine ads will cost you hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars to run, that same kind of budget spent on blogging and social media marketing can generate so many exposures and leads. It’s also a more targeted approach that ensures your marketing is being seen by the people most likely to use your products or services.

Even if you are already very active with your blog and social media, there are always more ways to utilize these resources and keep expanding on your approach. Keep looking for ways to improve and grow your business and your marketing plan. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you really set your eyes on success.

For help with your marketing or for a blog consultation, contact NextGear Marketing today for more information.

Is 2019 the Year You Shift Your Blog into the NextGear?

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a little while since I posted my last article, but the holidays kept me busy and it was a nice break. I hope everyone out there had a great holiday season.

Success in 2019

2019 is upon us. I hope to make this my best year ever and I expect all small business owners are looking to do the same. The new year brings new motivation to try new ideas, implement different strategies and seek out exciting opportunities for business growth. You have a fresh marketing budget to work with and it’s time to shift things into the NextGear.

Yes, that’s a purposeful play on words because NextGear Marketing is here to help you with your marketing needs. If you need custom content, advertising, print marketing, graphic design, consultation or copywriting, let us be your resource. Our rates are affordable and our service is personalized to your specific marketing objectives.

Business Blogging

At NextGear Marketing, one of our specialties is blogging for small businesses. If you already have a blog on your website, we can help you get the most out of it with custom-written articles, social media integration, links, tags and other effective SEO strategies. NextGear can manage your weekly blog (or whatever frequency you wish to post).

If you don’t have a blog, NextGear Marketing can get you started on the right foot with a custom blogging package. A good business blog will increase organic site traffic and improve SEO while engaging past, present and future customers with informative and relatable content.

You could task someone in the office to manage your blog, but are they content experts? Or, you could outsource your blog to NextGear Marketing and benefit from our approach at a fraction of the price it would cost you to hire someone on staff (and also much less that other larger marketing agencies would charge for a blog package).

Whether you want to get started with a great blog package or any other marketing needs you have, contact NextGear Marketing today for a no-obligation consultation.

Turning Luck into Opportunity

With a lot of unpleasant things happening in the country right now, it’s easy to understand how everyone has gotten caught up lately with something as fun a lotto fever. We all like to dream of what we’d do with hundreds of millions of dollars (or $1.6 billion in the case of the crazy MegaMillions jackpot the other day). Though the odds of winning are obviously astronomical, it’s still a fun escape from the day-to-day drudgery.

Luck vs. Opportunity

A few weeks ago, I posted an article that talked about the concept of luck when it comes to marketing. Though luck (or fate, if you prefer to look at it that way) can happen, you cannot depend on it to grow your business. You have to get out there and create your own opportunities.

However, there is something from the lotto experience that does indirectly apply to marketing, and there is a slightly different way to look at the concepts of luck or fate. Please bear with me. First, let’s think about the “luck” involved in winning a lottery jackpot. Some people do always play the same numbers, but I’m really thinking about the majority of us who just get “quick pick” tickets with random numbers drawn. In this case, it really is a matter of being at just the right place at just the right time for the machine to spit out the exact numbers that will later get spit out randomly (well, we’d like to hope) by a different machine the night of the drawing. That’s pretty much the definition of luck because, in theory, it’s completely random.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is not random. In fact, it takes a ton of strategy to get your brand developed effectively and then positioned in front of your target audience through various media. Yet, in a way, you are still aiming to get your marketing message in front of the right person at the right time. When they decide to purchase your product or service being advertised, you may be putting a little bit of luck on your side.

Often, marketing has an aggregate effect on consumers. They see your brand in multiple places, they hear good word of mouth or they see your products or services being used. Maybe they are a past customer that keeps coming back because they like what you have to offer. Over time, they develop a positive association with your brand that ultimately compels them to buy.

The Right Place. The Right Time.

Even in the aggregate method, it’s still a matter of being seen at the right places at the right times by the people who are most likely to be interested in your particular products or services. Then, there will be other cases where the first time someone sees your marketing, they are immediately hooked and sold right then and there. These instances are much more rare, but they can happen with an effective marketing approach. This is especially true in the world of direct response marketing when you have a strong call to action that sparks a decisive response from the consumer.

How you get your marketing messages out there is a different topic for a different day. I highly recommend you go back through this NextGear Marketing Blog archives and you’ll find plenty of articles on a variety of strategic marketing topics that cover many different media outlets. The point is, when you get the word out there a lot (and that word is appealing to your target audience), you have a better chance of turning the concept of luck or fate into real business opportunities.

Making Mountains Out of Molehills

We’ve all heard this saying: “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” It’s good advice (most of the time) to not overreact or blow things out of proportion.

I’m getting ready to embark on a vacation to the Lake Tahoe area along the California/Nevada border. It’s right in the middle of the Sierra Mountains and it is truly a beautiful place. So, you could say I have mountains on my mind right now and that’s the inspiration for this post.

The Problems with Overreaction

When it comes to marketing, it is very important not to overreact to negative occurrences or to build something up as bigger than it really is. However, you can eventually make mountains out of molehills in a marketing sense. I’ll explain that later, though. For now, let’s look at the problems with overreaction as it relates to managing a marketing campaign for your business.

First, there is the concern of overreacting when something bad happens (or nothing happens at all). You put out a good marketing campaign and work hard to put good strategies and materials in place. However, you get one negative response or no responses immediately. The worst thing you can do is panic. Remember, most marketing is a long-term process that takes time to build up and catch on.

If you overreact right away by pulling the plug on the campaign or changing to a radically different direction, you may never see the results you are looking for. Yes, it is important to study the data and responses that come in to see what is working and what is not. Then, you can fine-tune and adjust your marketing efforts over time to produce the best possible return on your investment.

Blowing Things Out of Proportion

Next, there is the hazard of blowing something out proportion. Let’s say you are just getting started on your social media campaign and building up your Facebook following. It will take some time and a lot of effort to get as many followers as you desire and to keep them engaged. However, a good Facebook campaign will not be all you need for a successful business. It is just one facet of your overall marketing plan. In other words, don’t invest all your time in just one direction. Today’s marketing is all about diversity and reaching potential customers from as many angles as possible. Put the work in to make your Facebook page great, but be careful not to overlook all your other marketing opportunities through various media. Good marketing takes both a “big picture” perspective and a “small picture” attention to detail to be effective.

How to Make Mountains Out of Molehills

Lastly, I mentioned that you can actually make a mountain out of molehills, and that ties in directly with my previous point. A good marketing campaign will incorporate many different media and a comprehensive strategy. If each component of your marketing plan is considered a “molehill,” you can eventually build them up together over time and you’ll end up with a “mountain” of a business. McDonald’s began with just one little burger shop and look where they are today.

This will give you all something to think about while I am away enjoying the mountains. If you have any questions about marketing or need help with your online or print marketing campaigns, contact NextGear Marketing today. We’re here to help you take your business to the next level.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Marketing Risks

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Every time one of these dates rolls around, we all feel that little chill running down our spines thinking about Jason running wild at Camp Crystal Lake.

It’s okay to be afraid of machete-wielding maniacs, but when it comes to your marketing, fear should not be a deterrent. Now, of course you don’t want to go broke trying every marketing idea you can think of and hoping one sticks. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things and take a few marketing risks from time to time.

Perhaps it’s exploring targeted ads, boosted posts or sponsored posts on social media to try and increase website traffic or direct response activity. Maybe it’s time to rethink your website approach. Consider rewriting some of your core content to freshen things up or start up a business blog. Maybe you already have a blog but you play it pretty safe. Take a few chances, talk (carefully) about controversial topics relating to your industry and see what you can do to get more eyes on your articles while also sparking more online conversations.

Also, don’t give up right away if something doesn’t generate immediate results. Most marketing efforts take time to produce meaningful returns. Give it some time to marinate and make adjustments as needed to fine tune your approach with any given medium you are exploring.

There is always something new to try when it comes to marketing, so don’t be afraid to take a few risks from time to time. You just might discover a game changer.

For help with your marketing approach and a web content consultation, contact NextGear Marketing today!