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6 Back to School Marketing Ideas

Summer may not be quite over yet, but back to school time definitely signals the beginning of fall for many of us. As the season turns over, it provides a great excuse for new marketing campaigns for your small business.

Here are 6 marketing ideas for getting ready for back to school:

Offer Exclusive Deals or Back to School Discounts

The back to school shopping season is super competitive, so students and parents are always looking for the best prices for the items on their lists.

If your business sells clothing or school supplies, make you stand out with a sale on essentials. If you operate a coffee shop, cafe, or bakery, you can still get in on the back to school buying craze by offering special deals for parents and students in the morning (like breakfast and coffee) or after school.

Be sure to promote your deals through in-store signage, newsletters (email marketing), and on social media. We recommend starting these sales around August 1, but note that most people tend to procrastinate—so starting now is okay, too.

Show Your Love for Local

Small, local businesses are part of the integral fabric of every community, so be certain to capitalize on the local advantage. There are tons of ways to do this, including hosting fundraisers for local sports teams or music programs, throwing shopping nights that benefit schools, and donating items for raffles.

By reaching out to local public schools, you can take advantage of participating in events that will be planned with or without you. Schools must fundraise to generate money for programs, so why not fundraise in collaboration with your business?

If not yours, it will be someone else’s.

Get Social Online

Busy people (like parents) are generally huge lovers of online shopping. Shoppers are increasingly turning to social media over small businesses’ websites in order to get the most up-to-date information on sales, events, and special store hours, so it makes sense to focus your marketing efforts on public platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Offer your followers a discount when they mention a special code that you post on social media, or when they tag their friends, comment, or re-post something.

Tip: continue to offer deals after back to school. Let your followers know that sales and special deals with your business are not just a one-time offer.

Specifically Promote Back to School Essentials

If you operate a clothing boutique, a cool idea is to create Pinterest boards and lists of the season’s must-have back to school trends, essentials, and gear.

On Instagram, you can post daily images (up to 4-5 times per day at different times) of your top 10 trend picks for fall, or the newest and coolest school gear your small business is carrying.

Incentivize Customers with Gift Cards

A great example of this is what Old Navy routinely does—they provide their shoppers with coupons on future purchases when they spend a specific amount in-store.

Back to school is an expensive time for students and parents, so thank them for choosing to shop with you by offering gift cards for your business when they spend a certain amount during a specific window of time. At the same time, collect their email information to add to your newsletter list.

Then, when you have new merchandise and sales, or when the holidays are approaching, email a reminder or newsletter to these gift card holders and give them a reason to visit you again.

Collaborate with Other Local Businesses

There is strength in numbers when it comes to successful small businesses. Get together with other local stores, coffee shops, and restaurants for back-to-school promotions and events.

When you collaborate with other local businesses, it also means great cross-promotion opportunities through email marketing and social media. It’s a win-win!

And remember: these suggestions are not just for back to school…use them to formulate fall or holiday marketing campaigns, too!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

9 Tips to Ensure Social Media Marketing Success

Social media marketing is relatively new, which means we’re still trying to figure out what makes an effective campaign and what doesn’t. (However, there are some things we’ve nailed down.) Here are 9 tips to fall back on when trying to achieve success with your social media marketing:

Find Your Tribe

This means not simply marketing to everyone on Twitter or Facebook (because there are a lot of us), but instead, deciding who would like to know about you, your products and services, and your business. Who do you want to reach? Who’s most likely to want to connect with you?

Find them—they’re your tribe. And then market to them.

Be Original

Finding a unique way to brand your business on social media is imperative, because otherwise your business will look exactly like all the other guys—which really dilutes the pool of those who might be interested in your products and services.

Find out what you can do to make your business stand out and be new and exciting—then do that. Don’t copy your competition; stand apart from them.

Regularly Engage with Your Audience

Responding to comments and questions from members of your tribe is imperative to social media marketing success. If you’re not engaging with the people who want to hire you or purchase your products, you’re losing out on clients and customers.

Instead, be sure to engage your followers and develop a relationship with them on social.

Plan and Strategize

Stop posting on the fly, guys! Well, you can do that too, but the main objective is to post with mindfulness geared towards a set outcome. Be organized, be specific, and be relevant. Make a plan and figure out how to measure its success.

Be Flexible

This means being able to jump to Plan B without much of a hitch, and in today’s competitive online marketplace, having the ability to not only roll with the proverbial punches, but also know when you should is key.

Be Consistent

Consistency is important, folks. This kind of goes together with regularly engaging with your audience, but it’s more than that. Make sure you post at relevant times of day, and if you’re using Twitter or Snapchat, you need to be posting several times a day.

See our blog on how often to post to various social media platforms HERE.

Use Original Photographs

Stock photos may be an easy way out, but who ever said incredible social media marketing was easy?! If you can take in-house photos and edit them to post on social, then do it. It makes a HUGE difference.

For an example on how to do this correctly, check out Field House Brewing, and take a look at their socials.

Respond Quickly to Questions and Comments

Again, this goes back to regular engagement, but it takes it one step further—one of the easiest ways to lose a social media following (especially if you’re a start-up or small business), is to ignore your tribe.

No ignoring! These are your customers, and remember, business is more competitive now than ever before. If you can’t pay attention to your customers, they’ll find another business who will. Trust us.

Be Professional

Consciously develop a consistent brand voice and don’t make your business social media platforms a place to post personal information. No swearing (unless it’s on-brand, which it might be, but very rarely—see Thug Kitchen), no spelling mistakes, no grammatical errors, no misinformation.

Be a pro.

By following the advice we give above, your social media marketing will be much more effective than being inconsistent, flying by the seat of your pants, and copying what other brands are doing.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

 

A Basic Social Media Guide for Your Small Business

Because it’s all about the basics. Right? You need to start somewhere, so here’s a brief outline of why, what, when, and how to get social media working for you and your small business.

Why

The why is easy: because it’s free internet marketing, and the internet today accounts for more sales and revenue for small businesses than ever before. (In fact, to see stats on this statement, contact us for a copy of our e-book on the subject.)

By finding your tribe online and consistently soft-selling your products or services, your reach will be greater, because you’ll be building a community of like-minded people who love what you do.

Period.

What

It’s not necessary to try and build a social media presence on a dozen different platforms. We recommend choosing 2-3. Each business has their own unique vibe and wants and needs, which means your business may thrive on Twitter and Facebook, while another’s may do better on Instagram and Snapchat.

Think about which platform might be better for your small business (what are other similar small businesses doing?), and start with that.

When

Consistency is the key when it comes to social media. It depends on the platform you’re using:

  • Facebook: 1-2 posts per day
  • Twitter: 5-10 posts per day (including retweets and comments)
  • Instagram: 1-2 posts per day
  • Snapchat: unlimited

Most social media platforms have algorithms that identify a business as either marketing responsibly, or spamming their followers. That’s why it’s important to try and deliver good quality information on a consist basis, and not just post for the sake of posting.

Which brings us to:

How

As with traditional marketing, successful engagement comes from quality over quantity. Everyone is fairly savvy when it comes to brand messages (especially millennials), and it’s obvious when a small business is desperate to reach people versus providing useful insight or information.

Use relevant images, hashtags, and tags to specifically and intentionally place your message where your tribe is hanging out, and keep in mind that the soft sell is where it’s at—gone are the days of hard selling your products and services.

Because everyone has access to everything online, you have to be competitive and smart about how you want to relay information.

So there are the basics! Let us know if you want help with social media management; we offer competitive pricing and a great service—just ask our clients! They’re listed on the bottom of our homepage.

If you’d like to receive a free copy of our e-book on social media marketing, contact us, and we’ll email one to you right away.

Happy social media marketing!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Marketing Your Wellness Business Authentically

Fact: digital marketing can be overwhelming. As a relatively new way to gain exposure for your small wellness business (I mean, internet marketing is only about a decade new), there aren’t really any guidelines to follow or tried-and-true approaches that work for every business.

There are lots of suggestions, though, and this blog post will offer a few of those. But it’s important to remember that what works for another business may not work for yours, and to get the most bang for your buck, the main suggestion in the blog post is to be authentic.

What does it mean to market your wellness business authentically?

Authentic marketing involves knowing a few things and then actively using that knowledge to gain the most exposure possible, while staying specific to your business and what your business offers.

Here are some ideas:

Know Your Customer

This makes a huge difference to how successful your marketing campaigns go. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How would you describe your wellness business in 5 words?
  • Are you’re a B2C (business to consumer) business, or a B2B (business to business) business?
  • Who is looking for what your business provides?
  • Where can you find these people or businesses? (Is your target demographic more likely to hang out on Instagram or LinkedIn?)
  • Are you accessible to them in those places?

Be Unique

Now that you’ve answered the questions above, you should have a pretty clear idea of who you’re targeting and where they’re hanging out. This is vital knowledge!

But now you must do two more things:

  • Find your competition.
  • Be different than them.

It’s okay to borrow marketing tactics, and it’s totally cool to emulate practices that other businesses do that you deem successful, but in the end, the way you market your business should be unique.

If your wellness business is just like the other guys, it’ll blend in and be competing against other companies who already might have a good client base.

Be different.

Have Fun

Having fun is maybe the very best piece of advice we can give you when it comes to authentically marketing your wellness business. People are drawn to those who take life lightly and have fun doing what they love to do—and honestly? If you don’t have major passion for what your business is offering, no one else will, either.

So get excited, and show people you’re pumped to do what you do—happiness is infectious, and people that are happy attract more customers and do more business.

 Reinvent the Wheel

You’ve heard the adage “don’t reinvent the wheel”, right? Well, we’re here to tell you that reinvention is necessary when it comes to creating a thriving small business. If you want to market authentically, then you need to operate your business authentically.

This goes back to our point above on being unique.

So yes, send out monthly newsletter. Yes, create social media contests. Yes, actively engage with your target demographic on social media. But include something in those interactions that other businesses don’t! Have different conversations, and know where you’re comfortable drawing the line between fun and professional—then toe that line.

Because YOU are unique—and unique sells.

Be Grateful and Show It

Our last piece of advice when it comes to authentically marketing your wellness business, is to actively be grateful and thank your customers and clients for all the business and support and local collaboration.

How often do you thank others for following you on Twitter? Or send a message to a business who complimented you on a photo? Or sent a customer an email thanking her for her business?

People love to be acknowledged, and businesses that actively and intentionally radiate gratefulness are loved and respected.

So be different while also being authentic and true to yourself, and success will come. If you truly love what you do and you convey that excitement and authenticity within your day to day marketing efforts, your customers will take notice.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

5 Fresh Ideas for Spring Marketing Campaigns

Guys! (And girls!) It’s mid-February, the snow is almost melted, and we really want warm weather and longer days. Right?! So we started thinking…what’s next? And the answer? Spring marketing campaigns!

(This is where you cheer.)

While we were geeking out over what to write on this, we decided to get simple and back to the basics. In other words, here are 5 fresh ideas for spring marketing campaigns that should work for most small B2C wellness businesses (because we know you’re probably thinking about this, too):

Spring Stock Sales

Have new and exciting inventory? Create a major buzz by marketing your new products or services on your website and on social. People get excited for spring! It means a change in wardrobe (no more boots!), fresh air, and new, local crops.

If you’re in the food biz, you can market the in-season produce you’re now carrying! You can show more skin in your spring ads, if you’re in the business of natural skincare or organic hair and beauty products.

Get excited about your new stock or services, and throw an online spring-opener sale.

Winter Blowout Sales

Get rid of your winter stock to make way for fresh, springy stuff. You can do this by offering a flash 48-hour online sale, with unique promo codes one can only see on social media.

Get people into your space and taking last year’s products with them when they leave—while increasing the number of Facebook likes or Twitter engagement along the way.

spring marketing campaigns

Spring into Contests/Giveaways

Another great way to kick-start a springtime campaign, is to create a fun and exciting contest or giveaway. By limiting your contest to social media, it drives traffic to your fave platforms and creates other avenues of brand loyalty and awareness that aren’t limited to in-store.

March Madness Events

March is all about sports, so what better way to offer deals and discounts if your job is to promote activity through sports? If your niche market is the Vancouver sports group, then a March Madness sale is for YOU.

The first two weeks in March are traditionally the time to do this, so try offering great sales on your product online.

Spring into Sunny Weather

‘Cuz the sunny weather is what’s it’s all about! We crave warmth and sun (and let’s be honest—we all need a major hit of vitamin D at about this time of year), so why not play on that to create a colourful, fun campaign that targets your online consumers?

Use any of your social media platforms to launch a great sale that gets us excited! And that’s that. 5 fresh ideas for spring marketing campaigns. Get creative, get psyched, and get your product or service moving in a BIG way.

Because spring is all about movement, freshness, fun, and new routine. Good luck!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

How Does Influencer Marketing Impact Your Business?

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2017! This year promises to be an exciting year for digital marketing, and specifically influencer marketing. If you have yet to implement influencer marketing into your 2017 strategy, then you’re not making the most of your marketing efforts.

Here are 3 reasons why you should definitely be considering influencer marketing when it comes to promoting your Vancouver wellness business:

Influencer Marketing is Free

Social media marketing is technically free also, except for the cost of the ads, and if you have one, the social media manager. But influencer marketing is 100% free—and can garner better results than any other marketing move your business might make this year.

Influencer marketing is basically a word-of-mouth referral or endorsement made on social media or another type of popular media avenue, such as television. As a brand or company, sometimes this kind of free advertising will simply fall into your lap. For instance, if a celebrity happens to try your product and then sends a positive tweet about it, you’ll probably see an increase in your sales.

But how do you intentionally implement influencer marketing? What happens when it doesn’t just happen organically?

You can straight-up ask for endorsements made on social that tag your company and/or product OR you can engage relevant people on social by tagging them in posts that relate to their brand. If they like what you posted, they might share your post.

(So you need to craft your message carefully.)

Influencer Marketing is Highly Effective

In recent studies, it’s been found that influencer marketing generates more than twice the amount of sales that paid advertising does. This is huge news! But it’s not surprising—after all, we’re all very tuned into what everyone else is doing, and we inadvertently seek to keep up with The Jones’.

If you have to make a choice between 5 products that supposedly do the same job, what do you do? How do you make your decision? You ask around, right? Because people trust their peers more than they trust an ad campaign.

In fact, Kyle Wong (contributor for Forbes) writes “social media has fundamentally changed the balance of power between customers and brands.” Do you agree? Brands used to drive consumers, but now arguably, consumers drive brands.

Influencer Marketing is Accessible Like Never Before

When we think of the term ‘influencer’, we usually think of celebrities. But influencer marketing has evolved to include not just celebrities, but the little guys, too!

In today’s social media landscape, it’s completely possible to accumulate a large number of followers and be considered an expert on any given topic—without having the celebrity status. This means that the mom next door who has 50K followers on Twitter has the same influence on a brand as someone who might be famous, considered an expert, or someone with an ‘in.’ 

What does this mean for your small wellness business?

It means that influencers are more accessible than ever before, and if you can build and foster relationships with people that love your products and will publicly support them, then you’re making use of influencer marketing.

(As a side note, it’s also possible to pay for influencer marketing, or exchange product for social media mentions.)

We encourage you to have fun with this new way of getting noticed, and if you truly feel that what you’re selling has value, then we believe others will, too. You simply have to ask them to talk about it.


 *If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

5 Ways to Streamline Your Digital Marketing Practices

Let’s face it: marketing ain’t what it used to be. With digital marketing being the new norm and our big world getting smaller and smaller, stuff happens fast. Like, faster than fast. This makes it easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed when it comes to implementing good digital marketing practices for your own business, or for your clients.

But here’s where we encourage you to take a deep breath: we’ve come up with a few ways to streamline your digital marketing efforts so that scheduling content is a cinch.

(Okay, maybe not a cinch, but a whole lot easier.) Here’s how:

Create a Content Calendar—Then Use It

Creating a content calendar can be a huge time saver. It may not seem like it the first time you do it (disclaimer: it can take hours to plan out posts for just two weeks), but here’s what you need to do to make it work:

  • Only schedule two weeks at a time. Why? Because news moves fast, and social changes on a dime. Don’t waste your time and energy scheduling more than 10-14 days ahead, because we promise, you’ll end up replacing some posts and creating more work for yourself.
  • Plan a few posts a day, not the entire two weeks in one sitting. If anything can make you feel like your eyes are bleeding onto your keypad, it’s scheduling social. Make it easy and plan your calendar in increments, not all at once.

When you go to transfer your posts from your calendar to Hootsuite (or whatever platform you use to schedule media), it will be fast and easy—but the actual planning process that happens at calendar stage can be daunting if you try and do too much at once.

Also, make sure that content calendar that you’ve just created is actually used to schedule with. There have been so many times that we’ve spoken to businesses who take the time to plan, then ultimately end up ditching the plan and scheduling rogue.

What’s the point in spending valuable time crafting posts if you don’t end up using them? (Answer: there is zero point. So use them!)

teamwork

Share an Editorial Calendar with Your Team

An editorial calendar is not to be confused with a content calendar. Whereas a content calendar holds all of your crafted content that will be transferred to your social media accounts, an editorial calendar is one that shows various tasks and the associated due dates and team members who are in charge of completing those tasks.

Sharing an editorial calendar can make your life much easier, but make sure you store your calendar in Google Drive or somewhere that makes it easy for your team to all make real-time edits. Saving a doc and passing it around is NOT a time-saving activity.

Streamline Everything

As in, have a copy of everything that you typically send clients updated and ready to go at all times. This way, when a new client is looking for more information on your business or someone wants a copy of your team’s latest social media strategy ideas, you can simply attach what you have ready.

(And not have to type and retype everything out for everyone under the sun—because typing takes time.)

Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Create

As you work on digital marketing for your business or clients, make sure to make a mental note of what works for you and what doesn’t. If you think something would be easier to complete or produce better results if it were done in a different way, then make that change!

Don’t compromise your competency and effectiveness because you allow yourself to play by another’s rules. Make your own rules!

Take Advantage of Others’ Ah-Ha Moments

Additionally, if you stumble across something that has worked well for others, don’t hesitate to try it for yourself. As the adage goes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. (Unless the wheel sucks—and then definitely reinvent it.)

Good luck, and Happy New Year! Cheers to an amazing upcoming year in digital marketing.


*If you’re interested in having your social managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

How to Increase Web Traffic Via Better Content

Content is king. Video is king. A picture is worth a thousand words.

When it comes to increasing web traffic, we hear all of these cliche revelations constantly. But which adage is correct? Well…all of them are, but only if the quality is high and the content is relevant.

So how do we make sure we’re producing high-quality, relevant content that will increase web traffic? Here are three simple ways:

Newsworthy Content Trumps Evergreen Content

Sure, evergreen content (content that’s always relevant and safe, such as healthy recipes) is great, but newsworthy content grabs people’s attention–especially if it has a great blog title and hook. Within almost every evergreen idea, there’s a newsworthy chunk of information to draw from. To increase web traffic, try and find that new and interesting twist to your topic, and be sure to expand on it to create interest.

Web traffic

Great Branding Increases Curiosity

Right now, if you think about it, we bet you can come up with half a dozen brands that you love to stalk on social. Some that come to mind for us right now, are Krokodile Pear, Chalkboard Magazine, Field House Brewing, and Well + Good.

If you click on the links above and peruse their websites and social accounts, you’ll see one huge thing in common: they all have excellent branding. This means that not only are the logos and photographs and web lines and everything else visually attractive; it also means that they are consistent.

By being consistent with original and exciting and visually attractive branding that stands out, you increase web traffic, and the amount of time visitors hang out on your website.

#Truth.

Branding is part of your content; don’t let your business make the mistake of forgetting that!

Videos Need to Be Short and Sweet

Nobody watches videos that are over a minute long. In fact, according to various online marketing sources, the best length for a marketing video in order to increase web traffic is under 30 seconds:

Content

Photo courtesy of The Next Web.

That’s not to say that you can’t make a longer video (we do it all the time for ourselves and our clients), but it does mean that your video should be sweet and direct. There’s no time for extra frames, because unnecessary frames make people stop watching. (Fresh + Fit provides video marketing to our clients, so if you’re interested, ask us about it!)

If viewers like your video, they’re more likely to watch more. But if it feels like the video was dragging, they won’t bother. It’s as simple as that! By providing better content, you not only increase web traffic; you increase your conversions–which is what digital marketing is all about.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Marketing + Developing a Plant-Based Business

On Thursday March 24th, Jennifer Browne (director of Fresh + Fit) will be moderating a panel on the topic of marketing and developing a plant-based business. If you own such a business or are considering a start-up, you should totally attend!

Here’s the info:

Who

The Vegan Project is the force behind this event, and the four panelists include:

What

The topics will all focus on what our panelists feel are the best ways to market and promote a plant-based business. With collective (and successful!) experience that ranges from 2008 to present day, these business owners have plenty of success and advice, but also less-successful experiences and subsequent suggestions to offer.

Whether you’re seeking knowledge on digital media practices that might be more effective than yours, or have a specific question to ask one of the panelists, we’ll make sure everyone’s heard and leaves inspired and motivated to improve their business and/or business concept.

When + Where

The event will take place on Thursday, March 24th at 7pm, and will last approximately 90 minutes. The venue is The Juice Truck on 28 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

We hope to see you there! For more information on this event, please leave a comment on our contact page, and we’ll be sure to get back to you right away.

Happy Sunday!