October 18, 2017

Benefits of Using Mobile Marketing to Grow Your Business

Small business owners and marketers are always in search of high-impact, cost-effective methods of increasing revenue. As any marketing expert will tell you, the highest impact method of increasing sales is to gain additional business from your existing customers – they already know your product or service, they hopefully have already had a positive experience with your company, and it’s much less expensive to market to existing customers than to large demographic groups in an effort to gain new customers.

However, even marketing to an existing customer base can be costly – particularly in today’s economy when advertising costs are continuing to increase and positive results from an advertising campaign are harder to achieve. In such an environment, business owners and marketers are seeking ways in which they can designate specific targets for campaigns, increase customer response, and carefully track the results of every campaign in order to maximize ROI. Mobile Marketing provides the ability to achieve all of these goals. Below are some of the top benefits of utilizing Mobile Marketing to promote your business:

  1. Immediacy – Mobile campaigns are easy to create and execute; messages are delivered to recipients within seconds.
  2. Affordability – No need to pay for postage, printing or air time, just a nominal per text message fee; prices are very modest and they decrease as volume increases.
  3. Distribution – Reach out to people all over the world. Delivery is almost always guaranteed, unlike email, direct mail, and other forms of advertising.
  4. Response Rate/Effectiveness – The average respose rate is approximately 15%, versus 2 – 3% for other advertising mediums such as direct mail.
  5. Personal /Targeted – Content is targeted to individuals who have opted to receive them; the medium provides the ability to customize the brand message to a diversified audience.
  6. Mobility/Reachability – Messages reach recipients wherever they are. No need to be by a TV, radio, computer, or mailbox; phones are within our reach 80% of every day.
  7. Interactivity – Provides the ability to reach customers ‘on-the-go’ and create highly effective two-way communication.
  8. Marketing Campaign Integration – Provides the ability to integrate new, innovative forms of advertising/promotion with existing strategies to enhance their interactivity and impact.
  9. Quantifiable – Campaign results can be tracked thru downloads, page visits, customer opt-ins, and a variety of other methods as well dependent upon the mobile marketing method being utilized.
  10. WOW Factor – The mobile marketing medium is still so new the largest percentage of potential customers have not yet seen it firsthand, this allows your firm to establish itself as a leader in your industry and insures your messages will achieve higher impact with their target audiences.
  11. Viral Potential – The ease with which mobile marketing messages can be shared increases the potential for your message to be shared with new audiences/potential customers at no cost to you.

Flatland Studios Announces New Client – Charming Bottles

Flatland Studios Marketing and Public Relations Agency of Wichita, Kansas today announced the signing of its newest client, Charming Bottles.  Flatland Studios plans to assist Charming Bottles with expanding its brand awareness by supplementing their existing marketing efforts with consulting in the areas of lead generation, email marketing, social media marketing, and effective content creation.

“We are extremely excited to work with Charming Bottles.  The Charming Bottles team has done an excellent job with creating a product that is not only compelling, but exciting. ” said Rachel Tate, Director of Business Development.

In a time when informal text messages and e-mails are the primary source of communication, Charming Bottles delivers a unique gift idea by building on the “message in a bottle” concept.  Such a gift idea speaks volumes to the receiver and shows much thought and consideration has been taken to create a powerful message. The impact is long lasting and message in a bottle will always create an emotional response.

“It may say I love you for the very first time, happy anniversary, or happy birthday to a friend.  I believe a message in a bottle is a one of a kind gift that a person never forgets.” said Ellen Ray, Owner of Charming Bottles

About Flatland Studios
Flatland Studios is a Wichita based unified marketing agency founded by James Barfield and Brock Brown to provide cohesive marketing strategies for businesses that incorporate all elements of the evolving marketing landscape to maximize customer acquisition, brand recognition, and customer experience for their clients while providing superlative service. Flatland Studios offers free monthly marketing workshops to small businesses and organizations. For more information, visit www.flatlandstudios.com or call 866.544.0503.

About James Barfield
James C. Barfield is passionate about being the voice for organizations: from businesses to nonprofits. Nearly a decade working intensively in the family business, Wichita women’s clothing store Barfield’s Boutique, has provided the hands-on training to turn him into a small business veteran. James has worked as the marketing coordinator for the prestigious non-profit organization The Kansas African American Museum and is active in several Wichita organizations including: Prince Hall Freemasons, American Marketing Association, Young Professionals of Wichita, and the Rotaract Club of Wichita. James balances his hands-on business savvy with formal education, currently majoring in business management with a minor in marketing. James is also trained in project management, negotiation, and he is a certified green belt in Six Sigma. James is the co-founder of Liberate Humanity, Inc., a humanitarian organization dedicated to sending aide to families of natural disasters across the world.

About Brock Brown
Brock Brown studied and graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a B.S. in Business Information Systems. He also holds a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from Friends University of Wichita, KS. Since then Brock has become a content management expert working as a Content Management Project Manager and Implementation Specialist at Cessna Aircraft and the Textron Corporation. He has also filled the roles of Solutions Consultant and Business Development Manager at the Hannon Hill Corporation who has produced the award winning Cascade Server Content Management System used by respected organizations such as Duke University, British Petroleum, China Mobile, and the US Department of Justice. Since then Brock has lead several companies of his own while assisting others in utilization of modern marketing concepts by implementing low cost marketing tools and modern marketing concepts to reduce the cost of new customer acquisition and increase brand recognition.

Marketing Tactics vs. Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy Involves Much More than a List of Marketing Tactics…

Again, it comes back to answering the question “Why?” Why should we be doing this?

Social media strategies involve much more than just putting the accounts together and sending out a press release saying, “Hey, we’re now in XYZ social media site.” The members of these social media communities don’t care that you announce your presence. What they care about is if you give them valuable, quality content.

So what does a social media strategy involve? What should you be looking for? How do you avoid failure? These are just a few things you should consider before wildly deploying social media marketing tactics.

  • Answering the “Why?”:  Your social media strategy should fully answer why you’re using a particular tactic. Is it because your audience is there and interacting already? Is it because the potential for branding and exposure is there? Do the research.
  • How to Deploy:  How do you gain respect in social media? Do you go in guns blazing, or do you sit back and get a feel for what you’re about to embark on? Is it an approach of asking questions first and then offering advice? Do you want to ask for submissions from the audience or start by writing valuable content? Your strategy should fully answer these questions before you start.
  • Defining Your Goals and Measuring:  How do you know your efforts were successful? What is your company expecting as a return on your time and resources spent on your marketing efforts in social media. If there isn’t a clear set of goals to be measured for your efforts, how can you justify your tactics? Do you have clear ROI for your social media efforts?
  • When to Re-evaluate?:  Companies forget to define when they should re-evaluate their efforts. They get into the mode of “we’re doing this and we’ll just keep doing it because we have the budget to.” What if something isn’t working, and you aren’t meeting your goals? What if something else is working really well? Set points in your strategy for re-evaluation. Remember, nothing is ever set in stone when it comes to social media marketing.

Flatland Studios Announces New Client – Martin Leadership & Management Development

Flatland Studios Marketing and Public Relations Agency of Wichita, Kansas today announced the signing of its newest client, Martin Leadership & Management Development, LLC.  Flatland Studios plans to assist Martin LMD with expanding its brand awareness by supplementing their existing marketing efforts with consulting in the areas of lead generation, email marketing, social media marketing, and effective content creation.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Greg and his team at Martin LMD. He is a dynamic individual who offers a great amount of management and leadership insight. He is passing along knowledge that is critical for businesses struggling to overcome these tough economic times.” said Brock Brown, Marketing Consultant and Co-Founder.

Martin Leadership & Management Development partners with small and medium size business owners to provide quality leadership and managerial development through coaching, teaching, mentoring and training.  Martin LMD helps these businesses identify opportunities to stimulate growth and create sound results that are key to success in an increasingly competitive business world.  Martin LMD provides affordable leadership and management development services that exceed our customer’s expectations.

“Our vision is to be a company known nationally to develop leaders and managers that drive success.” said Greg Martin, CEO of Martin LMD

About Flatland Studios
Flatland Studios is a Wichita based unified marketing agency founded by James Barfield and Brock Brown to provide cohesive marketing strategies for businesses that incorporate all elements of the evolving marketing landscape to maximize customer acquisition, brand recognition, and customer experience for their clients while providing superlative service. Flatland Studios offers free monthly marketing workshops to small businesses and organizations. For more information, visit www.flatlandstudios.com or call 866.544.0503.

About James Barfield
James C. Barfield is passionate about being the voice for organizations: from businesses to nonprofits. Nearly a decade working intensively in the family business, Wichita women’s clothing store Barfield’s Boutique, has provided the hands-on training to turn him into a small business veteran. James has worked as the marketing coordinator for the prestigious non-profit organization The Kansas African American Museum and is active in several Wichita organizations including: Prince Hall Freemasons, American Marketing Association, Young Professionals of Wichita, and the Rotaract Club of Wichita. James balances his hands-on business savvy with formal education, currently majoring in business management with a minor in marketing. James is also trained in project management, negotiation, and he is a certified green belt in Six Sigma. James is the co-founder of Liberate Humanity, Inc., a humanitarian organization dedicated to sending aide to families of natural disasters across the world.

About Brock Brown
Brock Brown studied and graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a B.S. in Business Information Systems. He also holds a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from Friends University of Wichita, KS. Since then Brock has become a content management expert working as a Content Management Project Manager and Implementation Specialist at Cessna Aircraft and the Textron Corporation. He has also filled the roles of Solutions Consultant and Business Development Manager at the Hannon Hill Corporation who has produced the award winning Cascade Server Content Management System used by respected organizations such as Duke University, British Petroleum, China Mobile, and the US Department of Justice. Since then Brock has lead several companies of his own while assisting others in utilization of modern marketing concepts by implementing low cost marketing tools and modern marketing concepts to reduce the cost of new customer acquisition and increase brand recognition.

Flatland Studios Accepts Partnership with Constant Contact Email Marketing Solutions

Flatland Studios accepts partnership with the Constant Contact Partner Program (NASDAQ: CTCT) as a Solution Provider Partner. Flatland Studios will now be able to provide its clients with easy-to-use email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools to help them create and build strong, lasting customer relationships.

“Flatland Studios uses low cost marketing tools and modern marketing concepts to reduce the cost of new customer acquisition and increase brand recognition.” said James Barfield and Brock Brown, Marketing Consultants and Co-Founders. “The Constant Contact online marketing tools give our clients a valuable addition to our core services. Because of the tools’ ease-of-use and affordability, membership in the Constant Contact partner program provided a great solution to meet our clients’ marketing needs.”

Flatland Studios will now use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools, which are specially designed to help small businesses and organizations drive participation and strengthen relationships. These tools include:

  1. Email Marketing for quickly creating professional-looking emails, managing contact lists, measuring campaign results, and reviewing new list member;
  2. Social Media Marketing for turning fans, friends, and followers into customers. Harnessing digital word of mouth from Facebook, retweeting offers on Twitter, or posting a review on Yelp keeps the conversation going and generates a powerful buzz for small business;
  3. Event Marketing for efficiently promoting and managing registrations and RSVPs for meetings, functions, seminars, and events; and
  4. Online Survey for gathering feedback that helps meet customer needs, generate new ideas, and help grow a business or organization.

Quote from Senior Vice President of Constant Contact…

“Our tools are all proven to help small businesses connect with customers and build successful relationships with them,” said Rick Jensen, senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at Constant Contact. “We are pleased that Flatland Studios chose Constant Contact to provide its customers with our online marketing tools, and we look forward to working together to be an even bigger factor in their customers’ success.”

About Flatland Studios…
Flatland Studios is a unified marketing agency. We help you identify new opportunities for your brand, create more meaningful brand experiences for your audiences, and develop stronger relationships with your customers. With a foundation built on insight and optimization, we enable you to measure brand interaction and the impact of your marketing effort has on business performance in real-time.

Rachel Tate Of Flatland Studios Becomes A Certified Constant Contact Email Marketing Instructor

The designation of Certified Instructor has been given to Rachel Tate who is employeed by Flatland Studios Marketing and Public Relations in Wichita, Kansas.  Rachel completed the Presenter Training for ‘The Power of Email Marketing’ through the Constant Contact Experts Program for the designation.  With over 10 years experience in marketing, public relations and business management, Rachel has been trained to conduct seminars and workshops designed for small businesses on the subject in the area.  Rachel serves as the Director of Business Development for Flatland Studios.

About Flatland Studios

Flatland Studios is a Wichita based unified marketing agency providing cohesive marketing strategies for businesses that incorporate all elements of the evolving marketing landscape to maximize customer acquisition, brand recognition, and customer experience for their clients while providing superlative service. Flatland Studios offers free monthly marketing workshops to small businesses and organizations. For more information, visit www.flatlandstudios.com or call 866.544.0503.

Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO? It is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. What exactly does SEO do? It is the method of analyzing and constructing individual web pages, as well as entire sites, so that they can be discovered, analyzed, and then indexed by various search engines.

SEO can make the content of your web pages more relevant, more attractive, and more easily read by search engines and their crawling and indexing software.

Why would this be of great importance to you? Would it be important to you if customers were unable to find your telephone number or find the address of your business? I do not think that many businesses could survive for very long in this situation.

This situation could apply to a web site. Can potential customers locate your current web site easily? Traffic to your web site could be extremely low. Potential customers might not even know that your site exists.

“Wait a minute!” you say. “We have a beautiful web site, and we include the web site address in all advertising campaigns. Why would people be unable to find our site?”

Of course, your current customers and persons already acquainted with your business would be likely to find your web site without difficulty. Wouldn’t they?

Are you absolutely sure that your advertising has reached enough potential customers? Did you consider that some people simply do not read the newspapers? How about people who didn’t get the issue of the magazine where you placed an expensive ad?

Top 5 Reasons You Need A Content Strategy

  1. Quality regular content builds trust. There are undeniable SEO benefits of persistently talking about the same topics. But it’s at the human interaction level, rather than technical level, where the benefits of content marketing are most interesting. Talking frequently and in  detail about particular topics creates credibility which leads to you being trusted. Trust is the first step on the path to transaction.
  2. Companies need to use people to tell stories that resonate. People do business with people they trust and like. Shared and personal experiences can underpin relationships and can be effectively used to build engagement. Advertising in the 1960′s looked to profile particular people and sell them solutions to their problems and this has largely remained the same in marketing today.
  3. Broadcast PR is dead. All communication needs to be two-way. It’s not enough to tell all the time, you need to listen, react and respond. Social has spread right through all facets of modern business and modern marketing. In CRM, companies like Salesforce.com have bought into social media with outfits like Radian6, whilst the latest version of Google throws back recommendations from your contacts in amongst your search results.
  4. The web finds liars out, quickly. Social media has balanced the playing field and created an outlet for disaffected customers. Whilst great viral commentary can make a business, one bad experience can destroy it as let-down customers realise they are not alone. Best to be open and transparent from the start.
  5. Content converts. Most business to business products and services are conceived to solve a problem for a particular type of customer. Addressing the problems and offering ways to solve them, minimise their impact and disruption and actually remove them from the equation is a powerful way to drive trust and transaction. In B2B, there isn’t a transaction as such, but white papers, downloadable content and subscriptions emails are great ways to obtain data which can be followed up later.

Using Facebook to Establish a Brand

I don’t know about you but it seems like everywhere you turn someone is talking about Facebook. Individuals, companies, organizations – just about everybody has a Facebook account or fan page. From a marketing perspective, Facebook has always fascinated me and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all about community.

People like to belong. When you belong to a group, Like a page, or follow someone, it has meaning. Many people like to judge their worth by the number of Facebook fans they have or number of Likes they receive to their pages. This seems to be a good metric. After all, the more fans or likes you have the more popular you are. Sounds a little like High School doesn’t it? Well, the fascination with Facebook is here to stay and there are a few ways to use Facebook to your advantage. Begin with the following steps:

  1. Create a Fan Page. Start with the creation of a fan page. By developing this virtual real estate, you create a community that allows your prospects, customers, and friends to interact, develop user generated content, and gain access to special offers.
  2. Build Your Community. Having a fan page is great but the real goal is to build a community. You want people with common interests to interact with one another. The common interest could be you, your company or products.
  3. Create Unique Offers. You want those who Like your page or become your fans to have access to special content or offers. This not only encourages them to take an initial action but to keep coming back for more.
  4. Experiment with New Features. Facebook is continually adding new features and modules. Experiment by customizing your pages and adding a variety of features that engage your audience and enhances the community.
  5. Promote your Fan page. If you want to build your community quickly and leverage your fans, you must promote your fan page. Use your website, blog, emails, and email signature to let people know that you have a fan page and there are benefits to joining. The more you promote, the more you’ll convert.

The key with any social media is getting started and to keep contributing. Once you launch your fan page, don’t stop there. You should continually develop the community through original contributions, moderation, and interactivity. View other fan pages and see how other companies are creating value.

When focusing on creating value, keep in mind the goal of your fans. Help them solve a problem or learn more about their needs. Facebook is a great tool for getting closer to your prospects and customers and is a community you can’t afford to be without.

Benefits of Social Media Optimization

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding social media these days. If you still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon and aren’t sure why so many people are making such a big deal about it, here are several benefits of social media for your business.

Establish a brand and raise awareness…
Since the majority of the population is already visiting social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, getting your brand name all over those networks can help let people know that you’re around. If you have yet to create a company image online, social networks are the place to do it. Create a fun YouTube video that entertains and informs. Funny videos tend to make their way around the Internet a lot faster than any other kind, so when making a video, keep in mind that you want it to be interesting enough for your target audience to want to share. Using Facebook and Twitter to create a fun online community that your customers will want to visit will increase brand loyalty and drive traffic to your Website, allowing you the chance to make more online sales.

Spy on the competition…
Follow your competitors on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll be able to see what they have up their sleeve. Just make sure to offer a better deal than whatever they have going on.

Pitch products in a more human, interactive way…
Since people visit social media sites to get personal rather than be bombarded with ads, discuss your business in a fun way and engage your customers with questions. Ask their opinions and entice them to respond back. This way you’re making a valuable connection that will help increase your number of return customers.

Bring attention to your products…
Featuring a product on a social media site is one of the fastest ways to bring attention to it. Offer a promotion along with it for your online community members and watch your sales skyrocket.

Increase customer loyalty and trust…
Speaking to your customers in a personal way will make them feel like their talking to a friend, not a company. This will help increase their trust in you, which will make them do business with you rather than your competition. It will also increase the chances of customer recommendations.

Listen to your customer’s opinion…
Social media sites are an awesome way to see what your target audience is saying about your company or your products. Take their constructive criticism and use it to enhance your product to better meet their needs.

Conduct market research…
Listen to what your customers say about your products and track what links they click on and you’ll begin to see what your customers like and respond to. People love to express their opinions on social media sites, which will allow you to hear the truth. Then you can use your new-found information to tweak your product or service to please them as well as continue to post more information and links that they will enjoy.

Increase customer service…
Social media networks allow your company to answer your customers’ questions and concerns directly in a timely manner. This will improve customer satisfaction and also save you money on long distance customer service phone calls.

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