Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Branding As Strategy

Few local business owners have the time and resources available to dedicate to their branding they way that big corporates least up to they same level. But there are plenty of things that larger corporations do well that small-business owners should consider implementing as they strive for long-term survival:

1. Establishing strong brand positioning

Defining a market position is the most critical step in developing a brand. You must know who you are before you can get to where you want to be. Brand positioning characterizes the way a company wants its target audience to think about its brand. It is the core message you want to deliver in every medium, and it creates clarity, consistency and continuity in the way the organization speaks to the market. Essential to an effective positioning statement is the concept of narrowing rather than broadening a company’s focus. The secret to a good brand-positioning strategy is a clear message that talks about your strengths and explains to customers why your product is the best in your category or industry. Reformation Productions offers what we call a Identification Session as one of the first steps in the Straight Line Marketing process. This process is so important and so impactful that we offer it at a discounted rate to new clients. As we go through this long, intense session, 90% of our new clients gain a full understanding as to what Straight Line Marketing is all about and how it can work to grow their business.

2. Using market research to create a strategic plan

This is what we call the LISTEN stage. When most of us think of market research, we think of statistics, focus groups and expensive surveys. In most cases, that is overkill. Market research needs to answer only a few key questions — the simpler, the better. Big businesses take feedback and apply it to a strategic plan. They evaluate sales and segment performance, predict sales growth, compile market trends and consumer insights, identify key drivers from the previous year’s successes and failures, set firm marketing objectives for the coming year, estimate costs and craft tactical programs and marketing initiatives to achieve those objectives. Good planning allows companies to continuously measure, refine and optimize their marketing mix. You should demand that all programs have financial benefits and amplify sales. Spend wisely, and know your cost per generated lead.

3. Everything you do communicates, so be consistent across all materials and every aspect of the brand

The perception of your company and brand is defined by the interactions people have with your company and your communications. Your message must be consistent and compelling at all points of contact with customers. Take a look at any coupon, print ad, television commercial or Web site for IBM Corp. Every message is marked by a vivid blue color, graphic elements influenced by the geometric shape of the logo, a single-minded tagline, uniform font type in headlines and the same tone across all printed material. We cannot express how important consistency in communications is to your success. This is part of the THINK stage in Straight Line Marketing. It's evaluating everything from the two previous stages and turning it into a campaign concept that incorporates the right brand messaging.

4. Being unique is crucial, even if you’re coming in second

Companies that grab market share first often grab the glory, but they aren’t always the last one standing. At one time, The Procter & Gamble Co. was second to Union Carbide Corp. in marketing disposable diapers. Dell Inc. unseated Compaq Computer Corp. by marketing to the upcoming college generation. The secret to second-mover advantage: You can’t propose just a me-too idea; you need a unique angle to spin. Me-too businesses rarely survive. They usually end up in price wars because they don’t have anything unique that establishes value in the minds of their prospects. They are left with only one competitive weapon: price. Unless you have a significant cost advantage over your competitors, you will lose. We'll help you determine what your edge will be as part of the IDENTIFY stage.

5. Speak to the consumer and create value

Does your marketing material directly address the value of doing business with your company? Can it answer any consumer’s basic question, “What’s in it for me?” Some companies forget communication is about getting consumers to see brand benefits for themselves. To get that across, a brand must speak from the consumer’s point of view, not the marketing department’s. Remove all those meaningless benefits from your Web site and other communications materials. Replace them with the added value customers are after. Determining which marketing tools you should be using is part of the SPEAK stage. The tools you select, the programs you develop, everything from your website down to your listing in the yellow pages or your ad in the Neighborhood News should be crafted on purpose and with meaning.

Let Reformation Productions help your business function with the expertise and experience of the big corporations. Call our new business team at 404.862.8814 or visit us online at today.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The 4Ps

The 4Ps.... taught over and over in marketing school as a way to differentiate your brand. There are always considerations other than price and product functionality in the buying decision. The challenge is to define them. When you do that you are defining your brand. Your brand is not your logo. It is not your slogan. It is something more intangible. Your brand is every part of the buying decisions that is not Price or Product/Service.

What a customer buys when they are buying a product or service is the total package of benefits associated with the selling organization, the people who work there, its image and reputation, and the way it does business. These are much more than the features, benefits, price and tangible aspects of a specific product or service, something that adds value to the transaction. I've worked with many banks and credit unions over the years: Bank Of America, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, SunTrust, Fleet Bank, MBNA, etc.... so let's use banking as an example - when a customer chooses a bank for a cash management system, he or she buys that bank's experience and track record, the quality of the people who developed and maintain the system, the "image" of how that system is perceived and how easy the bank will be to work with. There are always considerations other than price and product functionality. The most important point is that that what a customer buys transcends the product itself. The challenge for those responsible for sales and marketing, therefore, is to capture the power of this notion and define that "something more: so customers can easily see it and the value it brings to them. It is the "something" that ultimately determines from whom the customer buys and how much is paid. The "something" is at the core of the organization's brand.

These ideas are at the core of the 4Ps model, an important conceptual tool. The 4Ps - Product, People, Past and Process--represent those resources of a company that can be differentiated from one institution to another. Often these differences have evolved over time with little intention or planning. For instance, one bank has a reputation among its customers for being helpful to new businesses. Where did this notion come from? A policy? A particular group of employees? A specific, well-known and publicized incident? With some thought, some veteran employees of this bank might be able to trace how this perception came to be, but most likely they will report it "just happened." On the other hand, if management is aware of the importance of differentiating the bank from its competitors, it can specifically create, develop, communicate and manage notable differences that the customer will perceive as valuable around the bank's products, people, past and processes. (See definition of the 4Ps at the end of this article.)

Plainness and a Promise

The origin of the 4Ps stems from two compelling problem areas in marketing: selling a commodity and selling a service. A commodity is a product that is fundamentally the same from one vendor to another. Steel, potash, sulphur, nails and screws are commodities. A service, on the other hand, doesn't exist at all until it is delivered; it is intangible and cannot be experienced by the buyer in making a buying decision. The commodity exudes undifferentiated plainness; the intangible service presents a promise, an uncertainty. A bank has the unique distinction of offering a number of commodity-type services.

Theodore Levitt of the Harvard Business School has written a number of articles on product differentiation. (Harvard Business Review, January-February,1980 and Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1981) which have contributed to the 4Ps concept.

What A Product Is: Beyond the Obvious

Levitt has developed a product diffentiation model that opens a new perspective as to what a product is. This model defines a product on four different levels: the generic product, the expected product, the augmented product and the potential product.

The generic product, as Levitt presents it, is the product itself--the cash management system, the letter of credit, the term loan--whatever it is the customer can use to help improve the business. Even though these generic products are found in most banks, they are not necessarily the same. Slight differences in product design may make one bank's lock boxes more attractive than another's. This is the most obvious area for product differentiation as anyone who has ever seen a development team laboring long and hard to generate creative nuances for a new product will report. But there is more to a product than its parts.

The expected product includes those aspects that relate to delivery, terms, support, new ideas for product applications, all of which are one step removed from the product itself, but without which the product simply could not be successfully sold. The augmented product refers to Levitt's notion of adding something to improve or modify the product for a particular customer. Developing a report on how much money is saved using a cash transfer system, for example, is a vehicle for demonstrating
what the vendor will do for the buyer. Augmenting the product goes beyond the product by exceeding the buyer's expectations. Finally, the potential product is "everything that might be done" to attract and hold the customer. This includes making suggestions for technical changes, reporting the results of surveys regarding product usage and attitudes of customers, installing new technologies to better use the product, and advising customers on business conditions, feasibility of business plans and employment of experts in specific technical areas.

Levitt's model is a useful framework for defining the various levels of product a customer can buy. Most important, as a development source for the 4Ps, it introduced the idea of moving away from product as a cluster of defined features, benefits and prices, into a more expanded view of what can be sold. In a bank, the idea of building more value into a loan or a trust account or any product or service is compelling. Every bank has the same products; an expanded view would include the unique value of people who service the product, the manner in which it is installed and how customers interact with the bank as well as the success the bank has had in the past. All these elements can be made to be different from the competition.

Reducing Uncertainty

Most bank products are services provided for customers. This brings into focus the other marketing challenge faced by banks, that is, selling services, and the associated problems of convincing customers that an intangible that customers can’t see, touch or feel will improve their business operations.

Another business writer provided some insight into how intangibles, such as services, can be made tangible. Warren J. Wittreich, in a classic article on selling professional services (Harvard Business Review, March-April, 1966), succinctly outlined the issues. To be successful, Wittreich writes that uncertainties surrounding who the customer is dealing with, how the service will be implemented and whether or not the money is being spent wisely must be dealt with. The degree to which a professional who sells can persuade the customer that he or she (and the bank) understands the problem, has solved similar problems in the past and has a way to do it or process which is logical and easily followed is the degree to which the customer's uncertainty can be reduced. The seller can sell him or herself by demonstrating command of the methods to be used, familiar relationships key people who are resources in solving the problem, and knowledge of and preferably involvement with related success stories. When people who sell do this, Wittreich writes, the "high bidder often wins" because there is much more value in dealing with certainty than uncertainty.

Wittreich's article was a forerunner of the many articles and books written about the service culture, excellence and customer orientation. Today, corporations are attempting to develop new ways to add value to the customer relationship while still maintaining low costs. Consumers are aware of the competition and are attracted to banks that provide what they need with the most added value. Among many examples, combined statements with summary information, account information accessible online and even advice about markets, investments and other specialized knowledge-based services are the kinds of developments banks have to make to give the customer more for his money. In fact, as the age of disintermediation accelerates, the types of services offered and the resources surrounding those services should be more important to banks interested in keeping market share. The concepts provided by Wittreich are an additional essential ingredient of the 4Ps, offering a wider view of
what has to be sold when selling these types of services.

More To It Than Talking Product

As a final resource for the 4Ps, a recent Sales Competency Study (Miller and Maginn, 1987) isolated the activities of high performing sales people in banks. In general, people who excel in selling in banks mention a variety of activities that revolve around themes of specificity, initiative, involvement, planning, focusing and analysis. Of critical importance to these individuals is the concept of selling yourself, of bringing more to the table than the competition, of creating an image of personal value to the customer. From a series of focus groups with these individuals, it became clear that high performers considered themselves a virtual product of the bank, an extension of the institution and behaved in a way that lead customers to recognized them as such.

These individuals were good at selling the resources of the bank, but they were also excellent at selling themselves. In Wittreich's words, they were good at reducing the customer's uncertainty in the way they responded to problems, in the genuine interest they displayed in the customer's business, in their understanding of the customer's needs, in their knowledge of how the bank does business and how resources within the bank work, in demonstrating their experience with solving similar middle market business problems. In the 4Ps model, the Relationship Manager is one of the resources the bank has to offer. Those sales people who recognize this can develop ways to differentiate themselves from their counterparts at competing institutions. A firm knowledge of the bank's resources--the 4Ps--and how to talk about them in sales situations represents a personal strength and an expanded view of what can be sold to the customer.

The 4Ps—A Practical Model

The 4Ps represent a synthesis of concepts from different areas of marketing and sales literature. From selling commodities comes the concept of looking beyond the generic product and into the arena of what additional value is delivered or can be delivered to the customer along with the product. From selling services comes the idea of reducing a customer's uncertainty by making the intangible more tangible--talking
about personal knowledge and experience, the process of working together, and related success stories. Finally, from the Sales Competency Study comes the high performers' conviction that they, as individuals, add value to the relationship by demonstrating what they know, who they know and how to get things done.

The 4Ps model is not a difficult concept to grasp. Yet, when faced with the task of defining what products are really different, what individuals are valuable, expert resources, how doing business is more user friendly than the competition and what success stories are worthy of corporate legend status, many bank Sales Leaders and Relationship Managers struggle. While many of the 4Ps can be tactically defined at the work unit level using local heroes and successes, the real work of defining the 4Ps is for the corporation's directors. It is up to them to clearly specify what the bank should be known for and to clarify how their products, people, process and past are better than the bank down the street. This is one of the primary objectives of what we call the Identification Session. For us, this 4-6 hours session is so vital that we offer it as a first step to companies at an extreme discount. It's our "free oil change" to bring customers in the door. After this session, the value of Straight Line Marketing is without question. Often times the second step within the Identify stage includes a Branding Workshop... to carry what's been identified, defined, uncovered and developed to the employees and preparing them to share it with the customers.

The 4Ps

The 4Ps represent resources of an organization which, when created and managed, become differentiators defining the brand. That is, they describe what the total offering of an organization is.


The features and benefits of the product. This is the baseline of differentiation. To be competitive, the features and benefits of a product have to convey valuable differences to buyers. When there are no or minimal differences, the other Ps in the 4Ps model must be used to differentiate the product or service.


One resource is the combined experience of the organization with the type of issues the buyer is facing. For example, if a customer is having trouble defining the kind of leasing arrangements to use, having a reputation as “the bank that helps small business get started in leasing” is a definite way to reduce uncertainty.


The individual or team working with the client represents another facet of the total offering. As a product, the individual or team literally has features and benefits. The level of expertise, ability to get things done, experience with similar clients, and even industry status represent examples of potential features of individuals that can help reduce uncertainty.


How the organization does business is a strong potential area for differentiation. If the actual buying, delivery and implementation process is efficient and user friendly, it can be a major differentiator. Careful definition of this process, especially for intangible services, can bring a sense of security to an uncertain buyer.

References for this blog post:
Levitt, Theodore, "Marketing success through differentiation--of anything." Harvard Business Review, January 1980.

Levitt, Theodore, "Marketing intangible products and product intangibles." Harvard Business Review, May 1981.

Miller, N., and Maginn, M., "Business Development Competencies for Bank Relationship and Sales Managers." Lending, Winter, 1987.

Wittreich, Warren J., "How to buy/sell professional services." Harvard Business Review, March 1966.

The 4Ps are infamous is college courses on marketing. The bring a lot of insight into what branding is and how it can be developed, nurtured, defined, and encouraged. Now the positive attitude in this blog post is optimistic. But there is another side to branding. The scary, dangerous side is knowing that all companies have a brand.... whether they choose to develop, control, and management it or not. I've often defined your brand as "what people say about you when you aren't in the room"... it's the character of your company if we excluded your actual products or services. And left to it's own devices, your brand could be working against you. Everyone has an opinion... what are your customers opinions about you? And how are you responding to is?

Reformation Productions
Contact Rachel Bennett or Jeff Robertson to discuss your company and how Reformation Productions can serve you and your brand.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In It To End It

Most of our blog posts are educational; not this one. From time to time, you'll see our V-logs, where we highlight local businesses we are working with and the opportunities that we've been given to work within the community, helping making it stronger for local commerce.

This blog, I want to tell you about an opportunity we had recently to partner with another local business owner in his efforts to support charity! I'll admit, we were late to the game. Rachel Bennett, our Director of New Business, met Jerry & Judy Pilet, owners of Fernando's Mexican Restaurant, the first restaurant in Dacula to offer Mexican cuisine and margaritas, just last week. In our discussions, he let us know he had plans to hold an event, "Party In Pink," that very weekend and that all proceeds would go towards breast cancer research. We immediately asked how we could help.

Jerry, who also owns Del Rio Mexican Grill in Dacula, has supported charity numerous times before. Through a relationship with a few Avon sales agents, he decided to join the fight against Breast Cancer and support Avon's Walk For Breast Cancer campaign by hosting an event on Sunday, July 12. He decided to talk with local musicians about donating their talent; give out door prizes; have t-shirts made that they could then sell for the charity; and even donate all, gross proceeds from the restaurant during the 5-hour event to the cause! Talk about above and beyond!

Our support came in the form of Public Relations- promoting the event, developing some creative, photographing the event, and then bringing attention to the cause by celebrating what Jerry took on himself to pull together. As you can tell, we were very impressed and inspired by the heart shown by Fernando's and all that contributed to making this event a success.

When we arrived, Jerry and Judy were talking with Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks, who had come out to show support for what Fernando's was doing within the community.

Tommy Knight, a local musician, was just setting up to play his set to a patio full of supporters, all enjoying tremendous Mexican food....all for the cause.

Fernando's staff was extremely well attentive and celebratory. Each wearing the "Save The Ta-Ta's" shirt that Jerry had made for the event. These were for sale to the public as well, with all proceeds going towards Cancer Research.

Door prizes were donated in different sizes and from different community businesses. In between musicians' sets, one of the girls from Avon would call out ticket numbers to announce door prize winners. Supporters could also buy raffle tickets for items, as well as, donate money directly to the cause.

Before too long, Joe and Wade Hall, a duo that frequently plays Fernando's on the weekends, took their turn on the patio entertaining supports and we decided to sit down for our own delightful, Mexican meal.

I haven't been told how much money was raised yet, but the place was packed all day. It seems people from all over the city came out to support Breast Cancer Research and to thank Jerry for putting on the event at Fernando's.

One of the many things that we enjoy about specializing in small and regional businesses, as Reformation Productions, is getting to witness community business owners coming together to help each other and, in this case, coming together for a cause much bigger than our individual selves. It thrills our hearts, as a company, to be able to work with business owners like Jerry Pilet as they seek to serve others and provide in the ways that they can, with the opportunities, resources, and gifts that they've been given.

We encourage you to visit Fernando's at 465 Dacula Road in Dacula whenever you're hungry for some great Mexican food. You can let him know we sent ya! You can also friend them on facebook by at

For more photos from this event, you can visit the Reformation Productions page on facebook.

Don't forget to subscribe to our blog on the right. You have a few choices to subscribe: NetworkedBlogs (which is common and via your facebook login) and also via Google subscribe, RSS, etc.)


Think In Straight Lines

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Co-branding bliss

Would you like your product or service to have a stronger market impact? Do you want to reach new customers or reduce the risk of failure for a new product introduction? Co-branding strategies can help you achieve these goals and more.

"Co-branding" is a marketing term that describes the cooperation between two distinct brands to leverage the assets of both brands.In a co-branding strategy, brands work together to create a market presence that neither brand alone could readily achieve.

Barnes and Noble engaged in a co-branding strategy when it began including Starbucks coffee shops inside its bookstores.The company could have developed a proprietary Barnes and Noble brand cafe, serving Barnes and Noble brand latte and Barnes and Noble brand scones. It's certainly a large and powerful enough company to have done so. But the Barnes and Noble brand means books, not coffee and food. A Barnes and Noble-branded cafe would mean little to consumers. The Starbucks brand, on the other hand, stands for certain qualities that hungry or thirsty bookstore patrons find appealing and familiar.

Barnes and Noble and Starbucks are in no way competitors. The association of the brands therefore harms neither, and both have new customers and have extended their relationships with consumers. Starbucks increases its distribution, and Barnes and Noble keeps customers in the store longer. Co-branding benefits both partners in this marketing marriage.

Co-branding can offer a higher return on marketing investment than other strategies such as brand extension. If you'd like your business to offer a product in a new category, for instance, you could spend years building up that product's brand attributes in the marketplace. Adopt a co-brand, however, and you can reduce the time and marketing dollars needed to develop and nurture a completely new product line for your business.

Let's say I've owned an office supply company for 15 years. Over that time, "Edd's Office Supplies" has come to occupy a particular niche, with a brand that appeals to downtown legal firms. One day, I realize that adding a courier service to my business might expand its market presence and extend its relationship with existing legal firm customers.

But "Edd's" means notepads, pens and ink, not couriers. "Edd's Courier Service" would be an unknown for my targeted audience, and it would take a long time and much advertising for the new service to establish its own brand identity. If I reach an agreement with an established courier company that already caters to the same downtown legal firm audience I'm seeking to expand, I've got a built-in name recognition factor to work with. "Edd's Office Supplies Featuring XYZ Legal Couriers" becomes a smart way for two strong, noncompeting brands to expand their businesses - another marketing marriage made in heaven.

Clearly, co-branding can be a shrewd strategy to increase customer access points and distribution, as well as provide additional sales opportunities. If you decide to pursue this strategy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Recognize that the co-branding effort must be mutually beneficial to both brands. You want to be certain the association will strengthen customer relationships with both brands and not dilute the brand of either party.
  • Find a brand that complements your own brand. For instance, "Edd's Office Supplies," which concentrates on the downtown legal firm market segment, shouldn't co-brand with a courier firm specializing in transporting medical records. It wouldn't be appropriate for Barnes and Noble to co-brand with McDonald's, since the bookstore's brand does not communicate the same speed-of-service attributes as the fast-food chain. Instead, it found a brand that complements its book-buying environment.
  • Think of co-branding as a long-term strategy. Co-branding isn't meant to be a quick fix and should not be confused with promotion. A promotion, such as a limited-time offer of a free Coca-Cola with every hot dog purchase at your diner, is meant to bring in a few extra customers for a short period of time. Co-branding works over the long haul, building your brand and business in a more permanent way.
  • Anticipate investing time to work effectively with another company. Your firm's culture differs in many ways from that of your co-branding partner, and it's sure to have a different organizational structure and procedures. Both parties need to be flexible and understand these differences for co-branding to go smoothly.

    Co-branding is similar to a marriage because it's a union of compatible companies working for a common goal. And like a marriage, both partners gain something by working together that they never could gain separately.-Edd Johns

    Contact Reformation Productions to build a proactive strategy that's right for you. Should you consider co-branding? Who would you co-brand with? Give us a call.
  • Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Developing a Small Business Marketing Budget

    Many small business owners feel like they're running their business on a shoestring budget, and of course, that wasn't the intention when they set out to follow their passion in their own business. Just like many young families have to pull back the reigns on spending and follow a budget, the smart business owner must develop a plan and then stick to the plan in order to become profitable. The Small Business Administration offers some help with budgeting in all areas of business expenses but determining the ideal marketing budget doesn't seem quite as straight forward as other expense areas such as rent or salaries.

    You will find many different formulas for the ideal amount to spend on marketing including a percentage of sales, a flat dollar amount, or matching the competition — and of course the ideal amount will depend on your industry, the age of your business and how competitive your marketplace is. But one thing is for sure, everyone know that you have to market yourself in order to stay in business. To be proactive and not reactive, to maintain control of your business and not let your business control you, to be strategic, effective, and smart - you must set a budget for this instead of trying to wing it.

    One approach is to determine the value of new clients and how much you're willing to spend in order to acquire those clients:

    For example, a physician wants to add a new service to his practice for which he will charge $1,000 (it’s a cash procedure – no insurance.)

    This is a one time procedure and we’re ignoring the upsell potential as well as the fact that the patient will likely return over the next few years for other types of procedures. This physician is really good and expects to get lots of referrals from his patients but we’ll assume only one referral for every two patients (0.5). His practice overhead is roughly 50% so his profit is 50%. He wants to perform this procedure three times per week over the next twelve months which means 150 new patients (he’ll take two weeks off for vacation). He only wants to pay for acquiring ONE new patient out of every three (0.33).

    This physician can easily see that spending less than $3,500/month to advertise and market this new procedure will net a profit of, at the very least, over $75,000 per year, and he knows that it will be even more when those new patients remain his patients and come back for more procedures. In other words, for every $1 he spends on marketing, he’ll make at least $3.

    Now with your number in hand, it is especially important to focus those limited dollars on the most cost effective methods of reaching your prospects — and even more important to track the ROI of those efforts. -D. Hibbs

    Reformation Productions specializes in helping local business determine the most cost efficient and yet effective ways to market themselves. It's a process we call Straight Line Marketing. Contact us today to find out more by calling 404.862.8814 and asking for Rachel Bennett, our director of new business.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Confirmed – Social Media has Major Impact on Local Business Search Engine Marketing

    We’ve been clear that social media has an impact on local business search engine marketing for some time now, but with social media still being a relatively new marketing tool in its infancy, how much of an impact it’s had in total for businesses has been a bit unclear… until now.

    MarketingSherpa, an external research firm and publisher of marketing know-how, recently released and presented the results of their Search Marketing Benchmark Report that included 2200 survey respondents and reviewed best practices to improve search and social media marketing integration. The key finding of the survey per the Company is “search and social media have incredible synergy”.

    The survey showed that 64% of the organizations surveyed do indeed integrate social media with search engine marketing, with those organizations in the strategic phases being much more likely to integrate the two. Also, the report indicates that social impacts organic search performance where “search marketers who integrate social media achieve a 59% better rate of conversion”. This is far from insignificant. In fact, it’s quite significant. By integrating social with search, it:

    -Provides a means to produce and facilitate more relevant content that’s search engine friendly.

    -Gives a means for creating a solid brand with expert status and authority that helps build customer loyalty and perceived business credibility.

    -Allows for more traffic via inbound links to a local business website.

    -Increases the business’ number of search engine listings.

    Now that we have more solid concrete evidence as to how much of an impact social has on search, how can a local business implement a strong social media campaign? Important elements include:

  • The right content.
    Hire a writer or use one of our Social Marketing Media Management services if you need to, but be sure to keep your content fresh, new and relevant to your local business target audience.

  • Keyword focus.
    Be sure to incorporate your SEO keyword strategy into your social media campaign, being mindful of using them as naturally as possible to keep readers engaged.

  • Consistency in motion.
    Blog and microblog on a regular basis to keep this information coming for your audience, and to continue to build your links and search engine friendly content.

  • Complete profiles and pages.
    To successfully build a brand image that states authority, be sure your profile pages, be it FaceBook, Twitter, and so on, are very professional, brand relevant, complete and accurate to support your local business.

  • Utilize synergy between social media venues.
    Take advantage of the synergies available between all of your social media campaigns to boost your inbound links. Post your blog links on all of your social media sites, for example, use your Facebook link in your email campaigns and email signatures, and so on.

    If you’re not currently set up on at least Facebook and Twitter, get your local business page set up yesterday so you can be in with the majority of businesses who see results from the social and search strategic integrations vs. the minority who don’t integrate the two.

    -Chris Marentis

    Ask us about Social Marketing Media Management services available by Reformation Productions.