Why Not Use Vine to Make Short, Sharable Videos for Your Biz?

You might have heard about Vine, the latest video app available form Twitter, and wondered how in the world a six second video clip could possibly do nay wonders for your business!

You’d be surprised!

In fact, smart business owners are using Vine to share these 6–second clips to help them brand, announce, introduce and otherwise promote their businesses in a way nothing else does.

Marketers are always moaning about ways to use Twitter for their business; well, here you go!

A couple of recent examples would include RedVines, Urban Outfitters and Nintendo.

How to use Vine in your business

While still in its infancy, companies are finding innovative ways to use Vine to get the word out. Here’s just a few:

  • Employee introductions — Makes short videos of your best employees. This is terrific way to market your brand, and not simply your products and services. And don’t limit this to management: allow clients and customers see the people who answer phones, load delivery trucks and work the cash registers too. These are the ones they deal with!
  • Behind the scenes clips of your office — Give a glimpse of what goes on at your company, showing different departments or tasks to let your customers get a peek at your office environment. Holiday Vine videos may well be the card de jour this coming season!
  • Your latest promotions — Using Vine as a way to make an inexpensive commercial that is concise and right to the point. According to IAB, 10–15 second spots were the most popular ads. Show off your newest product or advertise your services through a cleverly–cut Vine video.
  • Vine your company announcements — You’re your Tweets about anything to do with your company far more exciting with a Vine video. You can introduce new team members or promotions, and highlight awards or special recognition in an engaging fun, and sharable way!

And even more from Publiseek.com :

  • Show what your product looks like from different angles.
  • Shoot a short personal introduction of your company owners.
  • Record short and crisp customer testimonials after they have used your product.
  • Use Vine to send out 6 sec coverage of your launch or event.
  • If you are a realtor, send out a quick walk through of the property that you have listed. (walk fast!)
  • If you are in fashion business, create a 6 sec video showing your latest, hottest outfits.
  • Share your website design or show how your new app or game works.
  • Food establishments can show menu items and specials.
  • Show your work process by recording its different stages.
  • Interior decorators can use Vine to show what the room looked like before and after.

Vine is trending hot right now, and is a great opportunity to catch some attention with clever, funny and informative short, looping videos that are drop dead easy to make! Grab that Vine before it swings away!

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5 Surefire Tips for Location Based Marketing

As business moves more and more in your local direction, you will want to make sure that you’re doing all that you can to ensure that not only is your business being found locally, but that you’re winning the space!

Here are 5 great tips to help get your location based marketing on track!

Optimize and complete your listings — According to Yext, businesses are losing out to the tune of some $10.3 billion dollars a year as a result of missing or sketchy listings. This one should be a no brainer. Take the small amount of time it takes to get your business listed correctly on sites like Google+ Local, Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, MapQuest and others you are using. Not only does this ensure you’ll show up in local search, but the correct images, addresses, phone numbers and additional information can result in actual money coming in. Small price to pay!

Ask for and reward reviews — Anyone that loves your products or services and is willing to express that to you should be asked to do a review. Certainly regular customers will have no problem with this, but even first—timers can be persuaded to do so, particularly if you grease the wheels a bit with a reward of some sort. Sometimes this can be as simple as a link back, a shoutout, or a coupon.

Incentivize your local business — Incentives have become expected when it comes to location based marketing. The competition is stiff, and it is incumbent upon you to provide a reason for customers to come back again and again, and to refer others to do the same.

Coupons and geo—based local apps — According to Entrepreneur, “location–based marketing works in two directions. One, you can PUSH ads out to people based on their location. Are they in the same vicinity as your retail stores? That can help you avoid wasting money. Two, you can PULL people in who are in discovery mode. The Blue Fog Market is a new deli around the corner from my office. When I looked for a place to eat nearby, Yelp showed me they had a deal for a free cup of Blue Bottle Coffee with purchase when I “check in.”

Coupon apps are still viable, and people will use them to find deals in your local area! There are many such apps and companies out there, and you’re not limited to Groupon and Living Social.

Being responsive — Understanding that engaging and being responsive to customer and prospects needs and concerns via social media or through email or a website review is key to your success with location based marketing. This sword cuts both ways, so not only should you be mindful of how you reply, but how fast. Concerns left stewing for days or weeks can become infected, and that will not be good for the health of your business!

Location–based marketing is a great way to add value to people and money to your bottom line. Start winning your local area today!

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When it’s Smart to Build a Smartphone App for Your Small Business

You may have been pondering whether or not it’s a good idea for your business to spend the time and money needed to develop and implement a mobile app for your business.

Does a mobile app even make sense for your business? What would it cost? Who’s going to update it? These and many other questions need answers before you can really make an informed decision. Let’s look at some of what you need to know.

The Pros and Cons of developing a mobile app for your business

Pros:

  • More than 50 percent of adult Americans are using smartphone technology
  • Keeps your brand prominent in the marketplace
  • Increases customer retention and loyalty, as the app is always in front of them
  • Users spend more time on apps
  • Usually load faster than mobile sites
  • Available offline, though they would need to login to purchase, or perform any other action.

Cons:

  • A mobile app needs to be made for each platform, iPhone, Android, Windows, or any other platform
  • Mobile apps require ongoing care, both as regard fresh content as well as technology updates
  • Not as easy to optimize as a mobile website
  • Mobile ads may well serve the purpose
  • Can be wildly expensive! While there are some Do It Yourself solutions, they are minimal in functionality and hard to update.

We all know that there are as many uses for an app than you could ever imagine, but some are better than others. Here is an example of how apps were developed in the health care market. Making sure your app is useful and not a mere novelty will go a long way toward helping you make your decision.

While it’s pretty much a given that you need a mobile version of your website, the question of whether or not you need to shell out what could be big bucks for an app is one you need to look at carefully.

Take the time to weigh the pros and cons for your business before you leap into developing a mobile app!

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7 quick and easy ways to get more client referrals

Everyone is always on the lookout for ways to get more client referrals for their business. However, according to GrowThink.com some 58.6% of us don’t even ask for them! Client referrals are not something that comes around by merely wishing it so, but rather is the result of a clear, focused and consistently implemented strategy.

Here are seven ways we’ve found to increase client referrals, and they are surprisingly quicker and easier than you might imagine!

  1. Ask your best customers — These can be your best business evangelists. People who are already in love with what you do won’t need much coaxing to sing your praises.
  2. Offer incentives — Discounts, freebies, upgrades or other incentives appropriate for your business are a great way to get people to give client referrals.
  3. Over–deliver on first–time customers — When you get a new customer, a great way to get them talking to their circle of contacts is to over–deliver on them. This can come in many ways, but make sure they view your business as a cut above the rest.
  4. Engage your customers — Find creative ways to engage with your customers and perhaps find a way you can benefit one another. The key is to get them talking, and being open to ideas. Create an online community for your customers, such as a blog or Facebook group.
  5. Be gracious and hand out perks — Become really good at saying “Thank You”, and also in understanding when a well—placed perk will help you. An unexpected gift card or a thank you note can work wonders.
  6. Enlist your staff — Getting your employees in the game can multiply your efforts. You will usually have to come up with some way to reward results, but it can be very much worth it!
  7. Create a loyalty program — A customer loyalty program, preferably online, can help you create excitement and engagement. Reward interaction as well as purchases, as this can lead to more people becoming involved.

Consistently working a client referral plan takes some determination, but at the end of the day can produce great results with a modest outlay.

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How to bring innovation into your small business

While on the surface it would make perfect sense that the smaller, more agile entrepreneurial companies among us would be by far the most innovative. You would think this would be true. And you would be wrong. It’s not for a lack of trying or desire. It’s simply that smaller businesses lack the R & D budgets, the staff, and the vision that larger companies can commission. Clearly, the challenge for small business innovation is to break past the glass ceiling keeping it from innovating, and actually get into the game! Less than half of small businesses were brought into being as the result of a “new idea”, according to a study by Erik Hurst and Benjamin Wild Pugsley of the University of Chicago. They contend that most new business is another “Me–too” venture, offering the already crowded marketplace another grocery, plumber or florist. Little innovation required, and consequently little growth.

So how does a small business get from the morass of just another business to one that is offering new and exciting products and services people are clamoring to try?

4 Tips for creating a culture of innovation in your business!

Reward and encourage innovation — Give your staff perks and tangible rewards for coming up with and helping to implement new and innovative initiatives. Creating some excitement around finding new and better ways to better your business should benefit them as well.

Know what your market needs and wants — Keep your finger on the pulse of current trends and ideas within your market. Attempt to not only keep up, but be on the leading edge, which is only possible if you are watching and listening!

Connect with existing customers — In order to truly understand what may be a great idea for your customer, you need to talk to them. And more than that, you need to keep the conversation around the customer’s problems, and shape your ideas to provide those solutions!

Be open to new ideas — Don’t be afraid to try new things. A great example of this in action is Behance.net, a Web–based platform for creative works, where artists can show their work regardless of their resumes, hoping to turn more ideas into reality.

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