If you’re a small business with BIG goals, Small Business Saturday is a day you won’t want to miss. It’s a day founded by American Express to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. You might have noticed it’s becoming an essential part of the holiday shopping season for entrepreneurs across the country. Keep reading to find out how you can get your store and even your whole neighborhood ready for a day of shopping small.
Now that over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017, it’s never been easier to find nearby small businesses where you can use your Card, #ShopSmall, and support your community. (americanexpress.com)
- Plan to host a shop small event at your retail location to bring everyone together! Come up with a special deal for your customers – like 50 percent off if you show a receipt from another participating shop in the area. Collaborating with other stores will only increase your sales and allow you to make valuable connections, too.
Create a Facebook event and make sure to mention all that you’re offering customers.
- Give out Shop Small swag. Tote bags, posters, balloons, and so much more are available for any small business to enjoy. Grab some shop small merchandise from your local “neighborhood champions.” These are essentially ambassadors in your community ready to spread the word about all things Small Business Saturday. You can find the champions in your area here.
- Make sure to promote your business on social media leading up to the day! Let everyone know that they should #ShopSmall during their holiday shopping this year. Create your own marketing materials using the Shop Small Studio for free. It’s an amazing tool where you’ll be able to design custom graphics with Shop Small branding.
- Work on freshening up your checkout area. It’s important for customers to feel that they have a clear path to where they need to go. It sounds simple, but can be absolutely essential for an influx of shoppers. Put out some type of greenery for an organic and inviting vibe. It also helps to light a large candle with the warm holiday scent of your choice. You won’t regret making this space comfortable for your new clients!
If you’re shopping on Saturday, you’ll want to use the American Express Shop Small Map to find all the participating businesses near you. Join organizations across the country in supporting your local small business! Where will you be shopping this year?
Interested in promoting your small business after Small Business Saturday? Contact Image Marketing Consultants to get the results you want this year and beyond.
There’s one platform that’s taking over the image organization game. If you’re constantly brainstorming ideas for your next big project, looking for the best DIY inspiration, or hoping to expand in your small business – Pinterest is your new best friend. You’ll be pinning and advertising your company in no time when you sign up. If you’re not already familiar with Pinterest (you’re seriously missing out), it’s essentially a virtual vision board where any user can compile images in separate boards they setup. Pinning to these boards takes little to no time and simply means that you’ve placed an image you LOVE into a group of similar items. Sound simple? Keep reading for 5 Pinterest tips you’ll need to implement into your marketing strategy before the new year.
Set up organized boards that relate directly to your business:
If you’re promoting a pet company on pinterest, you’ll want to organize your boards to best fit your target audience. Think about what your customers do with their pets. Are they at the dog park on weekends? Do they often buy treats and accessories from your store? Start with the main products you offer, and expand from there! Try organizing an accessories board with your dog collars, toys, and clothing. Make sure your images are high quality, cohesive to the board you’re using, and eye catching.
Create and pin brand specific content to advertise your products/services:
You can actually design your own pins using platforms like canva.com. Make sure to use fonts and colors that represent your business! Once you’ve made your pin, you’ll click “create pin” in your account and link your website, etsy shop, or shopify to the pin. If you’re unsure of what to post first, it’s fun to promote a promo code on your graphic for new customers to enjoy. Still hesitant? have the Image Marketing experts design content that you can use.
Use secret boards to your advantage:
Secret boards are exactly what you’re probably thinking – it’s a tool for you to keep secret boards on your profile if you’re not ready to make them public quite yet. This can be helpful if you’re trying out new top secret products!
Join group boards:
There are so many other small businesses out there that you can connect with on Pinterest. Group boards allow users to support each other whether you’re starting your own or requesting to join another group. It will allow you to share pins with other small businesses like yours! Pick groups that are related to your niche and you’ll find a community perfect for you.
Enable rich pins:
Drive traffic to your account with rich pins! “Rich Pins are a type of organic Pin format that provide more context about an idea by showing extra information directly on the Pin.” (pinterest.com)
Check out these rockstar pinterest accounts for inspiration.
Anthropologie: Notice how they feature boards like home “decor and design” or “travel guide”
Their content is brand specific and relates to everything in their store.
Birchbox: This brand knows exactly how to reach their target audience with beauty tutorials, hair inspiration, and lifestyle tips.
Martha Stewart Living: This account features really high quality photography of food for recipes, DIY projects, and of course Martha Stewart!
Pinterest has an amazing help center if you’re trying any of these tips for the first time.
Image Marketing Consultants specializes in creative content design and social media management for clients, regardless of industry or domain. If you are interested in learning more about how we can craft a branding, creative, or social media marketing strategy for your business, contact us!
A Public relations crisis can be the death of a business if not handled properly. Small incidents such as misspelled social media posts all the way to a scandal involving illicit activities can tarnish the reputation of a company in the public’s eye.
Legally, companies must protect their customers. Socially, this duty expands beyond safeguarding their best interests to doing so in a way that maintains a positive brand image at all times. Small public relations incidents for businesses, if not handled swiftly and professionally, can cause a revenue-declining backlash that is hard to recover from.
In August of 2018, one sick employee contaminated a batch of food at a Columbus, Ohio area Chipotle restaurant. When word of the contamination spread, Chipotle faced a significant amount of negative attention in the press. It took over a week for the company to own the fact that the incident, while not directly their fault caused harm to the very people they are supposed to delight.
The response from Chipotle’s senior management team was emotionless at best. Rather than getting out in front of the problem, taking actionable steps to solve it, and apologize for their mistake, Chipotle fell silent.
This silence, in conjunction with additional instances of bad press, caused consumers to harbor a lot of distrust with the brand. Revenues have declined by 5% over the past year, and have yet to make a return towards the green.
These incidents often happen, regardless of industry or the size of the company. To recover from a fumble, companies in trouble can follow three fundamental steps to recover from a public relations nightmare, regardless of the incident’s scale.
- Own It – mistakes happen. Regardless of whether the incident is the direct fault of an employee or not, owning the event is crucial. The public associates the locations and employees of the company as being one and the same, and anything that occurs between those key things falls under the responsibility of the business.
- Apologize – saying “sorry” helps. Apologies further demonstrate the sense of ownership and remorse that is important for building and repairing trust with your clientele after a crisis incident.
- Make Amends – seeing is believing. Saying sorry is one way to correct a problem, but it is often just the first step in a more extensive journey that involves making it up to those wronged or harm. Words are a powerful tool to make amends, but they require an act demonstrating the sincerity of such to have an impact.
These three steps to help recover your business from a PR nightmare may seem like common sense but are forgotten frequently in the heat of the moment. Finding a trusted partner who can ensure that your business’s positive image is maintained at all times, even when you are busy putting out metaphorical fires at your company, is one way to ensure that any unforeseen “black swan” events do not cause any irreparable harm or damage time-honored hard work.
Do not wait until it is too late to have a crisis management plan in place. Neglecting to plan ahead can be detrimental to your business, just as Chipotle experienced in August.
Image Marketing Consultants specializes in protecting and maintaining positive public relations for clients, regardless of industry or domain. If you are interested in learning more about how we can craft a public relations or marketing strategy to protect your business’s image, reach out, and a member of our team will schedule a time to discuss the future of your business in this ever-changing world.
There are many ways to get on TV nowadays (scandals, PR nightmares, crisis’s of one form or another)- if you’re a business owner; it’s better to be on TV for the right things, rather than the wrong. Getting exposure for your business on local or national television programs seems hard at first, but in reality, it is easy when you have chosen the right public relations partner.
The process of getting your business on TV usually involves purchasing advertisements or commercials. While these seem like the natural thing to do when trying to grow your business, you must remember that these types of marketing campaigns are ones that people will do anything to avoid being bothered by.
For viewers, TV commercials interrupt the show that they were watching, and may not be all that relevant for their interests. If viewers aren’t actively engaged with the ad, there is a chance that they will not remember it at all, let alone frequent your business to help recoup some of the money spent on the campaign.
This type of marketing is expensive, especially for what you get. The opportunity to purchase advertisements on television is attractive at first, but often the budget that a small or medium-sized business can afford on a video falls short of what more prominent and established companies such as Coca-Cola and Home Depot spend on higher quality recordings.
Instead of trading off quality (lower quality videos) for quantity (showing those videos on television), consider television appearances that are more natural, especially ones that viewers want to tune into. Rather than trying to get airtime between the shows that viewers are watching, why not get on the shows themselves? Appearing on television segments that compliment your business is one way to gain exposure in front of those that are the most interested, without breaking the bank.
These segments often feature local businesses; products made locally, or promote the newest trend on the market. If your business falls into one of these categories, you are already at an advantage. Tapping into these creative alternatives to commercials is one-way build meaningful connections with potential customers. Naturally occurring television segments on news shows capture the attention of those interested for less money than the alternatives.
Now armed with an understanding of the benefits surrounding appearing on television segments rather than commercials, you can work on securing your appearance slot.
One way the easiest ways to get noticed as a viable candidate for one of these coveted spots is to find a local public relations consultant that is well connected with local media stations. Some media companies do not accept unsolicited segment suggestions- requiring that you go through a third party. This third party should be well connected to secure a prime-time segment spot as well as one or more appearances in other areas as well.
The value of using a person or company like this goes beyond the connections shared with the station. Experts with knowledge in public relations and marketing are able to offer suggestions that will frame your business in the best possible light to promote your goals. One of these techniques may include strategic ideas such as coming up with a promotional campaign that will be featured on the show that allows you to demonstrate your product to the audience, and also track how many customers it generated after seeing your segment.
Once you’ve made it on the big screen, it is essential to understand how your strategy helped to grow your business and this method is one way that can do so in an accountable manner. Regardless of what marketing strategy you choose to gain exposure for your business, make sure that you select a partner who has your business in mind at all times. Forming partnerships with marketing and PR firms that are able to deliver growth and exposure for your company will ensure that you have access to the brightest minds who take your business’s strategic growth to heart at all times.
Image Marketing Consultants is a growth-oriented advertising agency specializing in creating public relations strategies that have helped national businesses beat their sales and marketing goals. If you are interested in having your business featured on local or national television, contact us to speak with a member of our team to propel your business into the television spotlight.
Before I dive into any dish I’m about eat, I almost always take out my phone to take a picture of it for my Snapchat story.I make sure I take pictures with my friends at events to ensure there’s at least one quality picture I can share with my followers on Instagram and Facebook. This is an example of an era of visual culture that we’re all a part of-something that marketers should be taking advantage of.
We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words,” but now visuals are becoming even more powerful. It is nearly impossible for users to consume all of the content that is being posted throughout all social media platforms. The average human attention span has decreased. This makes it extremely difficult for companies to share all of their product and service information to their consumers. Incorporating visuals can help businesses with this new phenomenon to catch their consumers’ attention quickly, while ensuring the point gets across to them within seconds. Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without relevant images.
Tips When Posting An Image read more…
You can’t seem to go anywhere anymore without feeling that urge to post a picture or video to show all of your social media followers what you’re doing. However, you don’t want your Instagram page to seem too excessive with frequent posts. Stories have become a useful tool to be able to share what you’re doing at the moment until the post disappears 24 hours later. You can even create categories and highlight certain stories onto your page, that stay forever. This trend is beneficial to businesses in order to constantly engage their followers with images and videos that spark their interests. However, there is a science behind all of this to get the most amount of views and reactions to your Insta story.
Consumers can see right through advertisements and be made to feel as though they are being forced to purchase a product or service. The concept of public relations is used to create a personal relationship between your company and the consumer. It’s not simply a sales pitch manipulating your consumer to buy from your business and increase sales. Rather, it works to build a buzz and reinforce a positive brand image. There are various services offered through public relations that can strengthen a company’s presence just as much as advertising can!
This summer, we have the pleasure of working with Katherine, our newest intern! Katherine lives right down the road, calling Meriden, CT her home. She will be starting her junior year at Endicott College, pursuing a degree in marketing and communications with a minor in business.
We asked Katherine a few questions to get to know her better:
It’s so hard to believe that my last day as an intern at Image has arrived. Since January, I’ve been a part of such an amazing team and have gained so much knowledge and experience in the field I want to pursue. While it’s a sad moment to be leaving such a great company, I’m looking forward to graduating and starting my life! For this blog post, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned in my few months here.
IMC is comprised of different teams that all come with their individual unique strengths; it’s the root of our success! But this is also where our different titles come into play. IMC is composed of our PR team and our graphic design team, all led by our President (and founder), Kate! In today’s blog, we decided to break it down and take a closer look at what life is like for our PR team- specifically, a closer look at our digital marketing coordinator, Amanda! Do you want to know what it feels like to be a digital marketing coordinator for a day? Let’s take a look at a day in the life of Amanda’s daily routine.