Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't miss your targets in 2015!!

A new year can mean a fresh start for business owners, with holidays presenting not only a time to rest and recuperate, but also a time to plan for the year ahead. If you want to make sure you don’t miss your targets in 2015, keep on reading!

Use Christmas holidays to plan

For those of you who are lucky enough to have holidays, they present a great opportunity to plan. Use this time to review the year that was – look at the goals you set, analyse your financial position and set new goals. Don’t have time to plan over the holidays? We can review your business for you! A great way to kick off the New Year is a Business and Marketing Health Check. Click here for more information.

Try something new

A new year presents the perfect opportunity to try something new. Freshen up your store, or introduce new products or services to your range. Have you thought about selling online, or utilising social media as an additional selling tool? Why not embrace digital technology and launch a new website, or start a blog. The options are endless.

Review your website

Speaking of websites, when was the last time you updated yours? For those of you who said within the last month or so, kudos to you! We would always recommend keeping your website not only up to date, but up with the times! If your website is looking a little drab and outdated, why not give it a face lift? We specialise in what we like to call, “re-skinning” websites, it’s a cost-effective way to utilise your current website content and present it in a more contemporary way. Check out the website comparison below.



The PJL Group website was not particularly outdated, but the information was repetitive and the images and content made the website very slow to load. We re-skinned this website, giving it a more contemporary look and feel, as well as updating and summarising the content to present a less cluttered look. Click here to see the new website.

Automate your systems

Running a business is about working smarter, not harder. With the advance of digital technology, many systems have been automated to allow for more time to be spent on the more important things. Take cloud accounting for example. Our lovely clients, Yates Baker Mclean, introduced us to cloud accounting around 12 months ago, and it has literally changed the way we do business. Not only can we view our accounts in real-time, we can set monthly targets, automatically allocate transactions and produce reports at the click of a mouse. And for payroll? An absolute breeze!!

Market your business effectively

Whether you use traditional media such as newspaper or new media such as social media and the internet, marketing is one of the most important actions you should take if you want to grow your business. Depending on what industry you are in, how you market your business will differ. It doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs to be effective. Click here for information about our marketing services.

Leverage partnerships

One of the biggest learning's for us to come out of 2014 is to leverage those partnerships. Setting strategic alliances with key stakeholder groups and industry influencers is gold. Like the old saying goes – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Think about people or other businesses you know offering a complementary product or service. Have you thought about networking events or cross-promoting? Talk to us today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Social Media Tips for the Silly Season

As marketers, we would always recommend that our clients plan their Christmas Marketing early, as a part of their 12 month calendar. However, we understand that time gets away and before you know it, the silly season is upon us and we’re putting that tree back up and pulling out those Christmas lights!

If you've left it to the last minute..yes we mean you…social media is your friend.
We have put together some quick and easy ways for you to promote over the Christmas period to ensure your business is #1 on the Christmas wish list.

Promote your Christmas specials
The most obvious way to use social media during the silly season - promote your Christmas specials and offers. Think about your product/service of the week, take a photo, write a call to action and promote across all platforms. Psst…. Secret Santa Tip - Did you know you can boost & pre-schedule Facebook posts? Ask us how today!!

Cross promote with other businesses
In order to increase your reach, why not cross promote with a complementary business. For example, if you’re a mechanic, why not promote holiday travel safety with the local tyre dealer? If you’re a hairdresser, why not team up with the local beauty parlour? Support each other and encourage people to shop locally!!

Make it “Christmassy”
Don’t forget to add just a touch of Christmas spirit to your social media pages. Design a banner with a Christmas message, or use this area as an additional promotional tool for your Christmas specials. Psst… Secret Santa Tip - Canva is a fantastic free tool to design some banners yourself. 

Add a personal touch
Throughout our work with our clients, we have noticed that posts which receive the most reach (on average) are the personal ones. Ask your team to identify a hot product, and post as an ‘employee pick.’ Don't forget to make it 'Christmassy!'

Make Christmas easier
Christmas is hard. Planning what you’re going to buy for your family and friends, organising Christmas lunch and dinner, sorting out where the in-laws are going to sleep. OK, now I’m beginning to feel dizzy. Take a little stress of your customers. For example, if you’re a supermarket or butcher, post some yummy festive recipes featuring your produce. Tyre dealers and mechanics, why not post a simple car safety check-list for holiday travels. Images are also gold, why not put together some gift ideas, segmented in terms of target audience, for example Christmas Gift Ideas for Her. The options are endless, you just need to think outside the square, and put yourself in your customer's shoes.

Don’t forget #hashtags!
Hashtags are used to hyperlink search results and ultimately increase engagement. Use hashtags such as #christmasgiftideas #christmasshopping #christmas #giftideasforher and so on. This will ensure you’re registering in these search results. Psst…Secret Santa Tip - Check out trending hash tags and see how you can incorporate them into your Facebook posts. Work smarter, not harder :) 

Last but not least.....respond in a timely manner
We all know Christmas is a busy time for everyone, but don't forget to respond to your customers enquiries across your social media platforms. If you don't have time, assign one of your staff to do this on your behalf!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Do you want your online presence to stand out?

If you want to be known as the subject matter expert in your field, making sure your online presence stands out from the crowd has never been more important! Your online presence goes hand in hand with your online reputation, and we have provided some techniques to use to ensure you build your competitive advantage and increase your reputation & credibility online and above!

Create conversations

The digital space allows you to create conversations with your customers outside your place of business. Spaces like social media and your website should not just be about blasting promotional messages to your audience. You should post unique & interesting content which will form relationships with your target audience. For example, try posting interesting articles, blog posts, videos, photos or curate content from other experts in your field. People also love a feel good personal story!!

Be social

Being social is one of the best ways for businesses to establish trust and credibility online. People want to be able to ‘google’ you, or in fact ‘facebook search’ you. If you are not in that space, chances are your target audience will find your competitors. Many of our clients are concerned about how to use social media, so in many instances we manage it for them. However, there are some social rules that one needs to follow, such as listening to your customers and engaging with them, responding to any questions or complaints in a timely manner and being upfront and honest. If you want to know more about our social media services, contact us today.

Start a blog

A blog will help build your profile within your industry, presenting you as a subject matter expert. They also help build your SEO, which means attracting more traffic to your website. Bonus! Write about what interests you and your target audience, comment on industry updates or share your tips on how to achieve something. Blogs are really easy to set up, and can deliver real results for your business. How often should you blog? It depends upon the business but we recommend at least monthly, if not fortnightly. We develop & manage blogs as a part of our social media service, contact us today.

It’s all about that content 

In order to build trust and credibility with your customers, you need to offer website content that is valuable to your prospects and builds your subject matter expertise. It is important that you know your target market, and tailor your content around their FAQ’s.  Make sure you’re offering valuable information, not just promotional messages. Prospective customers also appreciate if you go over and above with your information. For example, if you’re a building company, why not provide helpful hints and tips for DIY home repairs or finding the best supplies. 

Collect testimonials

How often do you check the reviews of a product before purchasing? Providing testimonials gives your prospective customers confidence. People are increasingly researching products and services online and there are plenty of ways you can collect testimonials. For example, sending your customers a survey monkey, or asking your customers to complete a feedback form in-store. The more the merrier! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How can retailers use social media to grow?

Communicate with your customers
The most common barrier we find that prevents customers from purchasing in-store are caused by retailers insufficiently communicating with their customers and their employees, particularly if they are constantly busy. Social media provides an additional avenue to communicate with your customers on an interpersonal level, which increases engagement and loyalty.

Promote social engagement in-store
An opportunity that many retailers may be missing is promoting and encouraging social engagement in the store. American company, Nordstrom, started using its Pinterest fan base to identify popular products and encourage social engagement. These “most-pinned products” were then promoted in-store with special signage and unique merchandise designs. Other companies have used designated hash tags, encouraging customers to share images of themselves in-store by offering incentives.

Increase brand preference
Social media is all about defining your business’ personality. By doing this, your business will appear more ‘personable’ and ‘humanised’ and your customers will find you more relatable.

Share new products/services
Social media is a fantastic outlet to let your customers know when you have new stock arriving, or decide to offer them a new service. The visual nature of many platforms allows you to post images and allows your customers to share them.

Promote upcoming events
Are you having a sale? Social media is the perfect place to promote it. What about a special event? Facebook allows you to set up events within your page, driving foot traffic to your store and giving your customers something to look forward to!

Promote exclusive deals and offers
For retail outlets, using social media to offer special promotions to loyal followers not only allows instant sales, it also allows you to measure your effort based on the response. Encourage your followers to share the promotions for greater impact.

Share ‘employee picks’
This will not only personalise your business, it will make your employees feel special and that their opinion is valued. Plus, customers love recommendations!!

Integrate your social media platforms
It has never been easier to integrate your entire marketing campaign online, particularly with the use of hash tags and links. Encouraging your customers to visit your other social media networks and website is the most efficient way of driving online traffic, allowing your customers to connect with you on a range of platforms no matter which one they use.

Which social networks should you be using to grow your business?

Research shows that Australian businesses cannot afford to stay out of the online conversation, however only 66% of retailers said they have a social media strategy. So what’s stopping you?

The most common issue our clients have is a lack of both time and an understanding of how social media can work for their business. However, with the right management and effort, social media has proved that it can increase customer satisfaction, brand preference and drive sales. In fact, 40% of social media users have purchased items online or in-store after sharing or ‘liking’ them on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. So, how can you use social media to grow your business?

First of all, it is important to understand the social media networks that are most suitable for retailers.

Facebook is a large social network and is fantastic for retail businesses in terms of brand exposure and customer communication. It is a great place to engage existing customers and offer sales and promotions. Facebook advertising is a major benefit of the network as it allows you to direct traffic to your Facebook page or website. Why should you be on Facebook? If Facebook were a country its population would be the 3rd largest in the world, and in August 2014 there were 13,400,000 Australians on Facebook!

Instagram is a photo sharing network that allows businesses to post images instantaneously ‘on the line’ (ahh the Internship).

Pinterest is an online collaging resource for sharing inspiration and bookmarking links. It is the perfect place to display your product range, engage viewers through high quality images and give them free reign to browse and examine potential purchases.

YouTube is a video-sharing website popular for user-generated content, video clips, vlogging and tutorials.

Linkedin is a professional networking site which allows businesses to connect with other like-minded business, as well as acting as a recruitment device.

Twitter enables businesses to send text-based posts of up to 140 characters, allowing them to quickly respond to customers. It also allows you to provide a link, which can drive website traffic.

All these social media platforms not only also provide retailers with a wealth of information about their customers, it also allows businesses to easily measure ROI, both of which is extremely difficult through traditional media.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Is your business ready for take-off?

We have been inspired by the sudden appearance of bright canola fields out here in country NSW, and although we were prepared to see the beautiful yellow hues emerging from the fog and grey skies, it got us to thinking about businesses and sudden growth.

The big challenge for businesses is what is called the ‘take-off’ phase. Many people work so hard to grow their businesses, and when they finally take-off, a lot don’t have the plans in place to handle the sudden growth. It’s a great problem to have, but can be a problem if not properly dealt with.

Focus your growth on specific target markets
Everywhere you look, you see opportunities, however it is vitally important to focus on a specific target market rather than chasing every opportunity that presents itself. Try to do one thing really, really well as opposed to trying to do too many things.

Identify areas that will need changes to cope with growth
In order to cope with growth, there may be areas of your business that need changes, particularly with regard to resourcing. Aspects of your business like accounting, marketing and social media are common gripes of business owners. Diarise your day-to-day duties and keep track of everything that takes up time better utilised on other aspects of your business. Why not employ administrative support, or look to recruit external help for your marketing?

Take the time to re-visit your goals and objectives
Now that your business is growing, you should be achieving your goals and objectives. Right? Have a think about why you went into business and what gets you out of bed every morning. Now is the time to re-analyse your goals and objectives to ensure you are achieving what you set out to do. You may discover that you will have new goals based on opportunities that have presented themselves.

Adloyalty offer Business & Marketing Health Check that will assist your business through this growth period, give us a call today!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kick Start Your Financial Year

It’s that time again, and businesses should be thinking about ways they can boost their business. We have prepared some helpful tips and tricks you can begin actioning to kick start your business into the new financial year!!

1. Know your customers and tailor to them
Most businesses think they know their customers – but do we? When was the last time you sought feedback or sat down and had a 5-minute conversation with your customers?

Actively seeking information about customer needs and expectations is critical to your future success. Remember, they have the answers to what is holding your business back.

2. Provide value, don’t just sell
People love to buy, but they hate being sold to. Are you guilty of selling to your audience rather than creating an atmosphere conducive to buying?

Are you asking the right questions to be able to understand how you can add value? If you understand what your customers are looking for then you can present these key messages as a solution. The greater the value, the easier it will be to prompt your target market to take action.

3. No more than three clicks
If it takes more than three clicks to find out how to buy from you, you’ve lost potential customers. Whether it’s from an email campaign, your blog or even from the homepage on your website, people need to be able to purchase within three clicks.

How many clicks does it take from your homepage to your sales area? Is it clear and easy to get there? And during clicks one and two, are you giving people enough information to be able to make a decision? Go and check!

4. Stand out from the competition
Chances are I can buy what you offer from someone else. You need to have a clear reason why I should buy from you rather than your competitors.

What makes your business unique? List the ways you’re different from your competitors. Then, once you’ve got a full list, cross off all of the things that your competitors also say they do! It doesn’t matter whether they actually do it or not, if  they also say it, it’s not unique in the eyes of your target market. Whatever is left is your point of difference – that’s what you need to keep marketing! 

If you’re clear on what makes you different, ask yourself “Is this actually important to my target market?” If it isn’t, put some work into making yourself stand out. Remember, if you’re perceived to be different to your competitors, they’ll no longer be in competition!

5. Keep it consistent
Whatever you do, whether it be social media, newspaper advertising or radio, keep the message consistent. Consistency helps increase your brand preference which ultimately leads to more people knowing about who you are and what you do.

6. Measurement is the key to success
There is no point developing a fantastic marketing plan if you don't look at the results. Measurement is the key to determining whether something is working, or whether it isn't. In other words, measurement can ultimately save you time and money on something that isn't delivering results!!

Simple questions like "where did you hear about us" is an example of measurement.

Growing Your Business Online

These days, nothing is more important to businesses than a strong online presence. Social media presence, and more importantly, a website provides an additional selling platform for your business. The average Australian spends over 10 hours online each day. How many people do you know that spend this much time browsing through a store? If your business isn't online, you could be missing out on potential leads.

We aren't just talking about social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, we’re also talking about websites. A website is the most basic form of online presence your business should have. When people are looking for a business, what do they do?? They Google it! If you’re business isn't there, potential customers may walk through your competition’s door. 

If you want to grow your business online, having a website is the first and most important step you should take. Not only are websites cost effective advertising methods, it provides a greater return on investment over time.

1.       Market your website!!
The single most important step when establishing a website is marketing it! So many businesses establish an amazing website, and expect customers to be able to find it instantly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Simple things like having your website on all of your stationary, signage, advertising and your email signature are easy ways to effortlessly market your website. It is also important to investigate search engine optimisation and other ways to market your website online through key search engines such as Google.

2.       Make sure you have an Analytics program
There is no point investing in a great website and not measuring the results. Programs such as Google Analytics is a free program that enables you to investigate how visitors locate your website, how long they stay on your website, which pages they are looking at and most importantly, the bounce rate. You can also find out where your visitors are located!!

3.       Provide key information at their fingertips
Now that you have people landing on your website, you need to remember, your customers are going to your website to find a solution. Whether that be to buy something they need, or just to find out more information about your business before they enquire. The first 7 seconds that a potential customer is on your website is crucial, so remember to provide everything they need on the homepage so they don’t have to go looking for it. This includes contact details, business hours, easy to read menus and a clear indication of where they can find further information on a particular product or service.

4.       Provide valuable, useful and UP TO DATE information
How many websites have to been to only to find they have “Merry Christmas 2011” or “Business Award Winner 2009”? Having an up to date website positions your business as a valued resource. It is essential that your website provides relevant content, sells your services and positions you as a subject matter expert. Think about your customers, and potential customers, and what they would want to know, after all they will be the one’s looking to your website for that solution.

5.       A picture speaks a thousand words
If you’re having trouble putting pen to paper, why not try images, an infographic, or even a video? Online tutorials are really popular, and provide value for your customers. Again, think about your customers and what they want to know and see.

6.       Make your website mobile friendly
I read a statistic the other day that said there are more than 6.8 billion people on the planet, 5.1 billion of them own a mobile phone, however only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush.* Despite being quite a worrying statistic, it identifies the opportunity for mobile websites. Other less worrying statistics I found were 94% of people research a product or service on a smart phone, 67% of people say a mobile friendly sites makes them more likely to buy a product or use a service, and 48% say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly with 40% saying they turn to the competition.**

*Source: Mobile Marketing Association Asia.

**Source: Compuware 2011