Create Your 2018 Marketing Calendar!

Happy 2018!

I always love the beginning of a new year, I love the idea of a fresh beginning. This is a great time to start planning your marketing for 2018. Take the time to create a quick marketing plan for the year.

The process can be simple…

Make a list of all major events and holidays that affect your business throughout the year, organize it by month.

Take each event and work backwards. List out how you’ll promote it, no need to get granular keep this highlevel. The idea is to keep you on track!

For example:

  • Create Valentine’s Day Flyer – Due Jan 15th
  • Create 5 Social Media Post Post Due Jan 20th
  • Create 3 Email Blasts – Due Jan 20th
Use this sample Marketing Calendar to stay on track

I always suggest working a month ahead. Take Valentine’s Day—in mid January, you’ll start preparing flyers and menus in order to have your emails and promotions ready to go for the last week of January. Once the flyers and menus are done you can start to promote your event on Social Media and via email marketing as well as adding events to local directories like opentable, your local chambers and asking other partners to help you promote.

Lastly, what I feel is one of the most important steps that most owners overlook because of timing, is to make a few notes on each event, how did it go? Was it successful, what marketing initiatives worked?

How does Facebook determine which ad to show?

I am constantly asked by clients “how does Facebook determine which ad they will display?”

Facebook uses an auction method to determine which ad will take the available inventory (ad space available). However, the auction isn’t solely based on whom bids the highest. Facebook aims to deliver a good experience for their users so they continuously monitor as they login to Facebook a million times a day. Facebook also takes into account how interesting and relevant they think the users will find each of these advertisers’ ads, and how likely they would take an action such as clicking or making a purchase after seeing the ad.

Facebook auction then ranks each eligible ad by its Total Value, and the ad with the highest Total Value will win the auction. Total Value is a numeric value calculated using several factors including the bid you submitted when you set up your ad, Facebook predictions about how the people in your audience will react to your ad, and how relevant Facebooks thinks your audience will find your ad.

Check out Facebook’s  E-learning course for more information on this:

4 Tips for Organic Growth on Facebook

4 Tips for Organic Growth on Facebook

1. Use Video: Incorporate video into your Facebook strategy, by uploading videos directly to Facebook and not just sharing  YouTube link.

2. Go Live:  This feature is new and still underutilized by pages. According to Facebook users spend 3x more time watching live video than nonlive videos.

3. Share from and tag other Facebook Pages:  Are you friendly with other business that complements your business or vendors? Plan to cross-promote content with those businesses.

4. Create an Ambassador Program: Build out your own program to engage users that are already sharing content. It’s a great way to build your online presence through word of mouth, increase your reach and reward your loyal customers,



Is your marketing holiday ready?

The holidays are fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your marketing for the rest of the year. For restaurants, now is the time to start promoting gift cards sales and holiday parties. For retail, clearly, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are BIG. You can apply the tactics I explain below for restaurants to any business.

  1. Map out key dates: List out all the important dates on a calendar, I personally like to use a paper one for this exercise
  2. Review past promotions: Look at what promotions you did last year, did they work, do you like the collateral you used, do they need to be updated?
  3. Check out the competition: Subscribe to your competitor’s newsletter, see what the big guys are doing, no reason to reinvent the wheel.
  4. Prioritize your promotions: List out all the promotions you’d like to do this holiday season, see what is feasible.
  5. Craft your social media calendar: Mark your calendar will all promotions and their end dates, these end dates are very important to create urgency around your promotions.
  6. Figure out what & where to post: Determine what collateral you’ll need and where you’d like to promote. You need to reach customers in all locations—we are so distracted we are receiving up to 250 marketing messages a day—so frequency will help drive your point home. Plus some customers may never see your email but follow you on social media or only see your email and never see your social and others may only stop into your location so it’s important to hit all fronts. This also includes reaching out to location partners, like chambers, anyone you can cross promote with on social media. It’s a great way to increase your reach.

Good luck this holiday season, if you need help planning your holiday campaigns please reach out, we can be hired hourly to help with projects 


3 Tips for Posting on Instagram

With over 500 million users, there’s no doubt that your business should be on Instagram. Are you making the most of your business’s Instagram? Check out these 3 tips to help give your biz a boost.

Tip #1: Use “Thumb-Stopping” Content 

Your post needs to be high-quality, eye-catching & relevant.
Make sure you only share high-resolution photos and videos that are in-focus, eye-catching and tell a visual story to the user.
Tip #2: Expand Your Reach with Hashtags
Hashtags (a keyword preceded by the # symbol) help Instagrammers to discover your content, even if they do not follow your account. Hashtags should be relevant to your content and help Instagrammers to stumble across your post when searching for specific keywords or topics. You can use up to 30 Hashtags in a post, I recommend 5 or so in the main copy and the rest posted as a comment.
Tip #3: Complete Your Business Profile 
Make sure you set-up a Business Profile on Instagram (as opposed to a personal account) so your business can reap the full benefits of insights and advertising.
Include as many store-specific details as possible, such as store hours, business address and a phone number.

5 Steps of Successful Email Marketing

If you’re a small business owner, you can’t afford to leave the success of your email marketing to chance. Check out these five key steps below that lead to successful email marketing & click here to download the complete infographic.

1. Plan your email marketing strategy
2. Design an email that drives action
3. Create email content without wasting time
4. Measure the impact of your email marketing
5. Grow your email list from scratch

Need help creating a successful email marketing campaign? We’ve got you covered.

Create a Custom Audience for Your Facebook Ads

Custom Audience allows you to reach people who have a relationship with your business whether they are existing customers or people who have interacted with your business on Facebook or other platforms.
You can create audiences using the following data:
  • Upload Customer Files: use customer files to match your customers with people on Facebook and create an audience from the matches
  • Website Traffic: create a list of people who visited your website or took specific actions using Facebook pixel
  • App Activity: create a list of people who launched your app or game, or took specific actions
  • Offline Activity: create a list of people who interacted with your business in-store, by phone or through other offline channels
  • Engagement: create a list of people who engaged with your content on Facebook or Instagram

Click here to learn more

3 Tips to Get More Out of Your Facebook Ads

Running a Facebook Ad is a great way to generate awareness and interest by extending your reach to thousands of potential customers for your business.

Use these three tips to get the most out of your Facebook Ad:

1. Keep your post short and sweet

Tell your story in 90 characters or less to prevent your message from being cut off on smaller screens. With over 40 percent of Facebook’s users accessing the site solely from a mobile device, it’s important to keep your text clear and concise.

2. Be strategic with your images

Just your logo isn’t going to cut it here. Give your audience a look at your product or service in action. Help them picture themselves doing what you’re promoting.

3. Create a compelling call to action

Tell people why they should click on your ad. What’s important about your offer? Is it new? Does it have an expiration date? Tell people why they need to take an action right now.
Need help creating a successful social media and/or email marketing campaign? We’ve got you covered.


Why Using Facebook Live For Your Business Is The Smart Move.

Why Using Facebook Live For Your Business Is The Smart Move.

If you consider the “breaking news” trend that is social media these days, it’s not hard to imagine how that same methodology can apply that same method to create immediacy and buzz around even the most ordinary product or service. Given the stats that show elevated performance for video content there is no reason not to leverage this tool to your advantage.

Below are just a few ways you can turn your video into an experience and an event, while allowing your audience to connect with you in real time.


Brand Experience

This first tip works best for brick and mortar businesses who also sell online. It is often hard for online customers to really get the vibe of your store. Using live video you can convey the look and feel not only of your store but your merchandise as well.

This is a case of, video is good, live video is better. The organic and immediate nature of a live feed event makes for a much more intimate and engaging experience, thus it’s appeal.

Expand Your Events Beyond Your Doors

Live events trump recorded events every time. You may host quite a few live events at your business that are well attended.  No matter how many come to these events you are still restricted by physical limitation and customer proximity.  Using live feed video, you increase your attendance “virtually” in an almost unlimited capacity.


Here are some ways you can maximize these events:

Ask your viewers to use the “Invite” button during the event, and use it yourself to bring as many people into the feed as possible.

Watch the emojis; they will tell you if you’re audience is engaged or getting bored.

Depending on the length of the video, you can save it and share the video on your page later for even more views.

Market the event on all of your social media pages prior to the stream.

Engaged Feedback and Interaction

Using your social media channels with a live Q & A helps you keep your finger on the pulse on the mood and trends of your customers. People tend to pay more attention to interviews and Q&A sessions if they are happening live, lending an additional layer of authenticity to the proceedings because they aren’t scripted.


It should be noted that planning is crucial to this kind of event. Be prepared for things to go wrong and ready to adapt accordingly. This kind of event is not for the feint of heart and should be approached by someone with at least a working knowledge of the live interview process.

Here are a couple of other ways you can use Facebook Live to increase your reach, engagement and the overall experience of your business with your customers.

Teach online classes

Stream your product launches

Feature your company leaders or key employees

Video live and record for later use

Create live teases or sneak peeks into products or services

Give your customers exclusive content available only on live

The ways you use Facebook Live are virtually unlimited. Get creative and get busy!







Using Instagram Stories for Business

What exactly is Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is the photo and video sharing app’s disappearing content offering, which allows users to share photos and videos in slideshow format. Separate from users’ carefully curetted profiles, it’s intended as a space for more raw, real-time sharing. Stories go beyond the usual filter options—though those are there too—offering text, drawing, stickers, and other features for creativity. In short it’s a cleverly addictive and infinitely powerful marketing tool for business.

Here are 5 examples of how you can use Instagram Stories for your business.

Humanize your business by showing a “Day in the Life of”

Using both photos and video to create your Instagram story allows you unlimited flexibility as well as the forgiveness of on the fly videos which are often unplanned and less “slick” then your daily Instagram offerings. 

Doing this allows your fans a peek behind the curtain so to speak. By giving them the gritty street view of your business you allow them become part of the process, which in turn leads them to advocate for your business.


2 New York City restaurant Union Fare uses Instagram Stories to share video from their restaurant’s operations using informal captions. The videos give viewers an inside look at the restaurant and some of the delicious food on their menu. If a hungry viewer happens upon these videos at lunchtime, you better believe they’ll think about heading there for some grub.

Repurpose that content!

You know that blog that you spend time and money on, only to see it ignored? Watch it rack up the view when you add live video, quippy copy and funky stills. Adding your personal touch gives your audience a chance to see the quirky side of your business that is infinitely relatable to them personally.


1 The popular lifestyle magazine Real Simple, publishes condensed simplified versions of their online content with using no more then 3 slides and a 30 second selfievideo which they then post on Instagram Stories. These are easy to put together and can be done with an infinite variety of topics

Tease them

A long time marketing tool is the teaser. Instagram Stories has re-imagined this marketing tool with it’s ability to “live broadcast. One of the most effective ways we have seen this used it in tandem with Facebook’s Live.  Post an Instagram story to notify people about a Facebook Live broadcast to pique people interest and to drive more traffic to your Live video broadcast. The bottom line is that if people like your Instagram content, they’ll probably like your Facebook content as well. Use one platform to promote the other and get more engagement on both sides.


3 Food Network uses Instagram to promote their Facebook Live video at Amorino USA which showed viewers how to make gelato roses. They posted a simple, one-slide story with brief text and a drawing embellishment on it to direct their Instagram followers to their Facebook page.

Go from static to electric

This is an amazing tool for showing your product in action with out all the weight of marketing hanging on it. This light weight agile way to demo your product allows your  viewers to see the product in action and get a novel idea for how to use it.


2Vitamix, a popular blender brand, uses Instagram Stories to show their blender in action. This video shows a pumpkin-inspired, blended dessert being created from start to finish in their test kitchen.

Celebrate your successes

Instagram Stories is an awesome way to showcase your company’s milestones, events and successes without sounding overtly promotional or boastful. You are inviting viewers to celebrate your success alongside you. This goes back to humanizing your business. Your successful and you should be proud of that. Sharing them as exciting events you invites your customers connect with what you do and be excited too.



3 Southwest Airlines created a lengthy Instagram story to describe the retirement of their 737-500 planes. They used a short video to explain the purpose of the Instagram story and then continued to add a mix of content related to the 737-500s.


Examples sourced