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Is Print Media Relevant for Your Retail Business in 2022?

With “digital” being the biggest buzzword of the 21st century, not paying attention to print media is only normal, especially for new retail stores. Many businesses tend to rule out print advertising because it’s expensive and difficult to track. 

However, promoting your business in reputed newspapers and magazines can be highly effective in tapping into new audiences and driving engagement. 

Let’s discuss why print media is relevant for retail businesses in 2021 and how you can use it to achieve business growth. 

Should Retail Businesses Use Print Media in 2021?

Coming straight to the question, “Is print media relevant for retail stores in 2021?” The answer is a big YES, and it will likely never become obsolete. Print media will be relevant and valuable where there is a physical customer experience. 

Ask yourself this. Have people stopped reading newspapers and magazines? Have brochures become obsolete? While people tend to consume the majority of information online, print media isn’t going anywhere. 

Besides, print media isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar retailers. Amazon, the world’s leading eCommerce company, readily places ads in newspapers to reach a broader audience. 

Moreover, the digital advertising space is crowded, as every retail business is advertising online. By leveraging print advertising, you can stand out from the competition and reach consumers via a new channel. 

So yes, print media is relevant for retail businesses in 2021. However, it isn’t the same as it was before. Running standalone ads may not be as effective. Almost 80% of smartphone users make a purchase online at least once in six months. Mobile has become the new shopping platform, and therefore, your print ads need to complement your digital advertising campaigns. 

QR codes do an excellent job of bridging the online-offline gap. You can create a custom QR code with a QR Code generator, include it in your newspaper or magazine ad, and link it to your website, landing page, or product page. This way, you can use print ads to support your digital marketing campaigns to achieve better marketing outcomes. 

Key Advantages of Print Media and Advertising

Now that we have established that print media is still relevant, let’s discuss the key benefits of using print media for your business. 

Build Reputation and Relationship

Inarguably the biggest benefit of print media advertising is that it facilities reputation development and relationship building. When you appear in a reputed newspaper or magazine, your credibility increases significantly. Therefore, print media is a highly effective strategy if you want to build a reputation in a local community. 

Cost-Effective Marketing

While print advertising may not be as cheap as Google display ads, they’re still fairly inexpensive. And unlike digital strategies that require a lot of optimization, print media ads are easy to implement and execute. All you need to do is develop a visually appealing advertisement and submit it to the advertiser. 

Most retail businesses tend to support their digital advertising strategies with TV ads and digital signage, which can be exorbitant, especially in competitive locations. Print media advertising is a cost-effective alternative that helps you enhance your advertising efforts without hurting your wallet. 

Long Shelf Life

Long shelf life is another major benefit of print media. When you run a digital ad, there’s no guarantee that the same user will see it again. Hence, it’s easy for users to forget your brand. TV ads are persistent, but you can’t run them forever unless you have a colossal advertising budget. 

Print media ads have the longest shelf life. People who are fond of reading magazines keep them for months or years. This means your brand has multiple chances of coming in front of your audience. The same goes for newspapers. People keep a newspaper for at least a day, so they’re likely to come across your ad more than once. 

And the more often a user comes in contact with a brand, the more likely they are to convert. In fact, marketing fundamentals state that a prospective buyer needs to see or hear a brand’s marketing message at least seven times before making a purchase. 

Control over Appearance and Placement

Another big advantage of print advertising is that you have complete control over how it looks. You can determine its size, placement, typography, and other attributes. You don’t have such control in digital advertising. 

If you use display ads, Google will show your ad on any website based on its algorithm. You’ll have no control over how your ad looks or how big or small it appears. This greatly reduces the impact of your advertisements. 

Increased Attention Span

The digital age has killed the human attention span. The average human attention span is eight seconds, almost the same as a goldfish. Information overload – too much information – is the biggest reason for this declining attention span. Therefore, when you market yourself online, you have only eight seconds to grab people’s attention. 

Thankfully, print media has longer attention spans than digital media. People tend to read printed materials slowly and deeply instead of skimming through them like they do on online platforms. 

Non-Invasive and Engaging

How many times do you see an ad online and feel good about it? People hate ads online. In fact, close to 800 million internet users use ad-block tools – 17% of all internet users. Thus, when you run an ad online, there’s a 17% chance that an ad-block tool will block it. Clearly, that’s a wastage of your advertising dollars. 

Print media ads aren’t invasive, and they don’t adversely impact the user experience. And if your advertisement is engaging, it can encourage instant action. You can include QR codes in your ads to enable readers to connect with your brand instantaneously. 

Effective Local Targeting

Lastly, print media advertising works great if you want to target a local audience. Suppose you have opened a new retail store and want to promote yourself to potential customers in your city. You can place ads in local newspapers to reach a large local audience in less time. Print advertising is one of the fastest ways to reach a highly targeted audience. 

How to Leverage Print Advertising to Boost Brand Awareness and Sales?

There are many advantages to using print media advertising for your retail store. But how do you get started? 

Here are six helpful tips to make your print media advertising campaigns more impactful. 

Find the Right Publications

The publication you work with is the biggest factor to consider when investing in print advertising. Ensure that the publication you choose has an audience that fits the profile of your target customers. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you need to find publications whose audiences are interested in fashion.

There are many niche magazines available. These include Cosmopolitan in fashion, Wall Street Journal in business & finance, and Sports Illustrated in sports. 

Try to Provide Value

The golden rule of marketing – don’t sell; educate – applies to print advertising too. Instead of asking people to buy your product, try to educate them about how your product can make their lives better. 

Unify Your Message

Print media can be slightly expensive. So, when you find a slot in a popular newspaper or magazine, it can be tempting to include as many details as possible. Avoid cramming in too much information, and keep your message short, to the point, and memorable. 

Use More Visuals and Less Text

If you’re not sure how to keep your message snappy and avoid information overload, here’s an effective tip. Try using more visuals and less text. Also, make your design simple and sticky and include white space. Select colors wisely and use a clear, bold font that is easy to read. 

Leading companies like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Apple are all known for their minimalist ad campaigns. Remember when McDonald’s launched a campaign to tell people that it offers Wi-Fi? The campaign included nothing but French fries forming a Wi-Fi signal, along with the McDonald’s logo. 

Integrate Your Print Campaign with a Larger Campaign

Running a print media ad as a standalone campaign isn’t the right strategy. To make it more effective, use it as a part of a broader campaign. In fact, it’s never the right approach to use advertising channels in isolation. An advertising strategy should be integrated, with print media complementing digital media and vice versa. 

As discussed, QR codes can help you bridge this gap. You can put up QR codes on your print campaigns and link them to landing pages, appointment booking pages, product pages, etc. 

Track Your Campaign’s Performance

The final tip is to track the performance of your print ad campaign. There are several ways to do that. You can closely monitor how your sales have increased after launching the ad. If you sell online, tracking direct website visits can also help measure engagement. And if you are using QR codes on your ad, you can track how many times the code has been scanned. 

Wrapping Up

Print advertising isn’t going anywhere, and ignoring it means missing out on potential awareness, engagement, and revenue opportunities. If you’re a new retail business, make sure that you have a print advertising strategy in place that complements your primary marketing campaign. Also, bridge the online-offline gap and provide an integrated experience to your customers.

7 Major Things Ignored While Planning a Business

Planning a business takes a great deal of care and attention to detail. It is easy to skip a few steps or ignore something significant if you rush to get your business going. Any one of these omissions could turn your business into a failure before it has even started. Here are 7 significant things ignored when planning a business that can result in failure.

1. Failing to Do a Business Plan

Unless you write a business plan, you will be unable to assess the viability of your new business, let alone whether or not it would be profitable. There are several components of a good business plan, most of which are mentioned below. A good business plan is the foundation of your business blueprint: your justification for starting the business, how it is to be developed and its ultimate objectives.

If you are constructing a piece of furniture, you need a plan to follow. A list of materials and how they are to be put together is crucial. You will likely use this plan to establish whether or not it is cheaper to buy the piece or make it yourself. The same approach applies to planning a business. You need to define a course of events from concept to completion. You need to evaluate your cost and establish whether or not you need financing. If so, you will have to present your business plan to prospective lenders such as your bank.

2. Ignoring Your Financial Planning

Financial planning is a critical aspect of a business plan. Therefore, you must consider the following:

  1. Raw materials and any employee costs
  2. Profitable selling prices or fees for goods or services
  3. Projected income over specified time periods

– and more. Check over your initial business plan and the cost of each step.

Image courtesy of Pexels

Many people who are starting a new business fail to take financial planning seriously until they circumstances force them to do so. Every new business needs a cash flow projection, particularly if you are looking for financing. You will have to assess your income and expenses. Also, you have to be able to present a projected balance sheet. You must prove that your business is worth investing in, and that you can repay any business loan offered.

3. Ignoring Market Research

Before you do anything else, you must make sure there is a market for your product or service. Many businesses fail because people have ignored market research and end up finding that they have no customers or clients to sell to. You can easily avoid this. Simply carry out some market research – this can often be done online. Market research is a critical aspect of planning a business, no matter what your business is offering.

Check out forums and social media. Ask “what if you had…” and look for responses. Check out Amazon for products similar to yours, and then look at their reviews and questions asked by users. This may give you ideas on how to adapt your products to provide solutions to the issues people are having with existing products.

You could use a Facebook Business Page to present an online questionnaire. Design the questions to find out the potential responses to your new product. Never ask for personal details – just questions that can help you analyze the potential market for your product or service. It is absolutely crucial to ensure that your business has a market and that you have people interested in your type of product.

4. Ignoring the Competition

Choosing to ignore the competition when planning a business is a fatal error. If your competitors are selling the same products or services as you, how do you intend to compete with them? If your business plan and financial analysis say you must sell at $20 and your competition is selling the same at $16, who will they end up buying from? You see why ignoring the competition should be avoided at all cost, right?

Another aspect of the competition is the market saturation of your area. Before even considering starting up a business locally, you must check out who else is offering your product or service in your projected geographical area. Find out who those businesses are, what they charge and whether or not there is any possibility of you competing with them at their price level.

Also, keep in mind customers tend to be faithful. If your competition offers a good and reliable service, why should they switch to you – unless you are undercutting them with the same or better service? You have to offer an excellent reason for them to switch to you.

That could be a price advantage, a better product or a more comprehensive service – or even all of these. You could offer better guarantees or warranties, more design or higher specification or some other reason to persuade them to buy from you. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: “What would someone have to offer you in order to persuade you to choose another supplier?”

5. Ignoring Online Marketing

Ignoring online marketing when planning a business is a cardinal sin in this electronic age. Many people – in fact, likely most – will look online for what they are seeking. Whether they’re searching for a service or a product, they will check Google Local for businesses that provide them with the desired means.

Many will go straight to Amazon for their product needs! You must get registered on Amazon and get your own Facebook business page. Advertise on Facebook and sell on Amazon. Increasing numbers of people go online to find what they want.

Many people use Amazon and get free delivery in many cases (without paying for Amazon Prime.) They can check out the reviews for their product and make a purchasing decision based on these reviews.

You don’t need to have a website, although that would be beneficial. What will help you is to:

  • Get a Facebook page for your business.
  • Get your products offered for sale on Amazon.
  • Register with other social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter: Tweet new products or updates to your Twitter followers.
  • Run a blog – there are free blogging applications available for you to use. You can keep in touch with customers and clients by blogging about fresh news, special deals, and other helpful information.

Never underestimate the power of the internet. You can be sure your competition is using it.

6. Ignoring SEO Techniques in Internet Marketing

If you decide to use a website or blog to promote your business, then you need to understand some basic SEO principles. The focus of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lies on to the improvement of your website design and ensures that your site’s content is listed on Google as well as other search engines. Keywords are essential, but you should not overuse them. When planning or running a business, you should be able to elaborate about your passion for said business and draw your audience in this way.

SEO is necessary, and Google itself will teach you a lot about it. Check out the Google Webmasters Support site to learn more. It is not difficult to follow, but if you feel you need help with SEO, then include some expenditure on it in your business plan.

Here Are Some SEO Techniques That Should Not Be Ignored:

Use of Keywords

Google will use its LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) algorithm to establish the theme of your web content. This tool analyzes the vocabulary used on each web page to decide for itself what that page is about.

However, it would help if you never write for search engines. Write for your readers, and Google will decide itself what you are writing about. Excessive use of keywords gets punished, and in many cases, all you need is about 1% keyword density. If you keep using the same keywords repeatedly, you won’t just annoy Google but also your readers.

Social Media Connects

Never ignore the power of social media. If you don’t have a Facebook business page, then get one. Also, make sure you have a Google+ page. Not only does social media connect with an ever-increasing number of potential clients or customers, but they can also connect with themselves.

People talk about what they see and also Retweet or Share specific posts that interest them. Not only can you use social media to connect with people interested in your product or services, but they can share also that information with others and vice versa: have your content go viral and you will receive a massive amount of free advertising.

Not just that, but make sure you have your website links on your posts and tweets. You may then get links passing all around the web – that is impressive SEO!

These are just two SEO techniques that are used to ensure that your web pages are displayed when potential customers are searching for products or services that you can offer. Never ignore SEO – but use it wisely to make better use of what it can offer.

7. Ignoring Financing

Ignoring financing can end your business before it even begins. You must make sure you have enough money to start. If you need to borrow funds, then your business plan must be good enough to persuade banks that you are a reasonable risk. Only ever get financing from banks or recognized business angels or financiers. High-interest short-term loans can result in you losing everything.

That’s why your business plan should be adequately prepared – even if you have to pay to have it done. Financing is crucial, but never borrow more than you need to get started. Check whether you qualify for any “startup” government business loans. There are of course other ways to acquire financing for a new business: Check here for some more ideas.

When planning a business, it is vital to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Your plan should certainly take into account the reasons why some businesses have failed, but it should also consider why many have succeeded. Avoid failure and follow proven success.

The 7 tips discussed in this article should help you avoid the major factors ignored by those who failed, but they should also point you in the right direction for success.

How to Spot Fake Social Media Influencers

When it comes to paid marketing channels, influencer marketing tops the list. Today, consumers usually like to do some research before making a purchase decision. Although, for most consumers, seeking the opinions of influencers is usually the case. Their opinions or product reviews influence the purchase decision of the consumers.

So, it’s no surprise that brands are leveraging their influence to reach their target audience and increase sales. But what if the follower base of the influencer your brand has partnered with is fake? To be more precise, what if the influencer is fake and all his/her followers were bought?

Brands all over the world have drastically increased their investment in influencer marketing. After all, the revenue generated from influencer marketing is equal to or more, than other paid marketing channels. But partnering with influencers costs, especially if they have an enormous follower base and are sought after in their industry. But if the influence is fake, all that money goes to waste, because the influencer doesn’t have a genuine and engaging follower base.

Since these influencers have no genuine followers, brands get nothing out of the money they invest in them. Although, it’s not just money. Influencer marketing campaigns require extensive planning, preparation and the dedication of your social media teams. All these resources go to waste, which further leads to setbacks in your marketing plans.

In this piece, we are going to discuss some effective ways to identify fake social media influencers. Let’s get right into it.

The Impact of Influencer Fraud

Being a victim of influencer fraud can be disastrous for brands with the biggest impact being the financials. While major, more influential brands may recover, small and emerging businesses might not be so fortunate. Small businesses have limited resources and influencer fraud can just bleed them dry.

Also, the money isn’t the only thing brands lose. The time spent by your social media team could have been put to better use to drive engagement, boost social media presence, and increase conversions. Fake influencers don’t offer genuine engagement, because they have no genuine followers.

Partnering with influencers can also damage your brand reputation. Users do not consider fake influencers credible, and if your target audience finds that out before you do, they will raise questions about your credibility.

How to Spot Fake Influencers?

Now that you know why influencer fraud is a major concern, let’s dive deeper and discuss ways to identify fake influencers.

Analyze Follower Profiles

The easiest way to identify fake followers in an influencer’s follower base is by checking the follower profiles. You can start by looking for follower profiles that do not have a profile image or a bio. Genuine users customize their user profiles with all relevant details, a profile picture, along with a unique bio.

Follower profiles that do not have the relevant details or even the minimum of a profile image are usually fake followers. If these followers comprise most of the influencer’s follower base, they are most probably fake.

Another thing to note is that fake followers also use images of other genuine profiles. In that case, you can simply perform a Google image search using their profile image to verify their credibility.

Check Follower-Engagement Ratio

The follower-engagement ratio is another important statistic that you can use to gauge the credibility of an influencer. Genuine influencers that have spent time and effort usually have an engaged follower base. So, the first thing that you need to check is how much engagement the influencer gets. If the engagement is poor compared to the size of the audience, it is advisable not to partner with them. Even if the influencer hasn’t intentionally bought followers, poor engagement statistics are not great to start a partnership.

Analyze Engagement Quality

Engagement quality is also an effective way to identify fake influencers. While some only buy followers, others go far as even buying engagement, although the bought engagement is usually generic. Just look at the comments on the influencer’s posts. If most of the comments include “nice”, “looks good”, or “great pic”, the audience is most probably fake.

It’s one way to still identify possible issues even if the influencer buys engagement and passes the follower-engagement ratio test.

Check for Sudden Spikes in Follower Growth

Analyzing the follower growth of influencers can also help you identify fake followers. As fake influencers buy fake followers, their follower count will have sudden spikes showing a drastic increase. Using a third-party analytics tool, you can analyze the follower growth of influencers and identify such sudden spikes. It will help you verify if the influencer has bought fake followers or not.

Look for Bot and Inactive Accounts

In the last decade, every social media platform has witnessed a massive increase in automated bot accounts that inflate the follower counts of users that pay for them. These bots follow multiple accounts but don’t have many followers themselves. Therefore, you can use the follower-following ratio to identify automated bot accounts.

We can also conclude a high number of inactive accounts means fake followers for the obvious reason that the user/follower no longer uses the account or the social platform itself. The other reason is that Twitter has been updating its algorithm which has led to multiple bot accounts being abandoned because of the security updates.

Wrapping Up

Influencer fraud is a major concern for brands and marketers, but by analyzing the right metrics, you can identify them with ease. The foremost thing that you need to do after you identify them is to avoid partnering with them. You can also create a blacklist so you don’t have to do it all over again.

Another thing to note is that manually analyzing followers is not always possible. Imagine going through millions of social media accounts. Sounds exhausting, right? In such cases, you can use a third-party tool like FollowerAudit to identify fake followers for you.

5 Tips to Get Better Results From Your Google Ads

Google ads (formerly known as “Adwords”) is an advertising platform offered by Google that allows advertisers to show their products or services on the search engine’s pages. When someone clicks on one of these ads, they’ll be directed to the advertiser’s website. It might seem like it would be easy to set up and manage a campaign for your business with this kind of advertising – but there is more than meets the eye!

If you’re looking for some tips on how you can increase your return from running Google Ads campaigns, read on!

1. Use a Budget That Is Appropriate For Your Industry and Product

When it comes to budgeting for your Google Ads campaign, it’s important to be realistic about how much you’re willing to spend. You’ll want to consider your overall marketing budget, and also think about how much you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad.

Be careful when you are setting your average daily budget. Bear in mind that the price your setting is averaged over the course of the month so you may even spend double it over some days but your entire monthly spend will not be more than your daily budget multiplied by 30 days.

If you’re not sure how much to spend, try starting with a small amount and increasing it gradually as you see results.

Having said that, make sure your billing is in line with your competitors, if they are spending $3 per click and you are spending 25 cents for the same visitors, do not expect to get many clicks.

2. Try Some Remarketing Tactics to Reach Those Who Have Already Visited Your Site

Google Ads remarketing is a feature of the AdWords platform that allows businesses to show ads to people who have visited their website before. This can be a great way to reconnect with potential customers who may have been interested in your products or services but didn’t make a purchase.

To start using remarketing, you’ll need to create a remarketing list. This is simply a list of all the people who have visited your website. These are created by adding a tracking code to your website. You can then create an ad campaign that will show ads to these people on Google and across the web.

When creating your ad campaign, you’ll need to choose a goal for it. Some common goals for remarketing campaigns include increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and getting more leads or sales.

Once you’ve chosen a goal, you’ll need to create ads that are relevant to your target audience. You’ll also need to come up with a budget and schedule for your campaign.

Remarketing can be a great way to increase the return on investment from your Google Ads campaigns. If you’re not currently using this feature, give it a try and see how it can help your business grow.

3. Consider Using Negative Keywords to Avoid Targeting Irrelevant Searches or Competition’s Products and Services

One of the best ways to make sure that your Google Ads campaigns are effective is to use negative keywords.

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are words or phrases that you add to your campaign to prevent your ads from being shown when someone is searching for those terms.

For example, if you’re selling Mercedes cars, you might want to add the keyword “photo” as a negative keyword. This would mean that your ads wouldn’t show up when someone searches for photos of Mercedes cars.

Adding negative keywords can help you save money on your advertising budget, because you’ll be preventing your ads from being shown to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. It can also help you improve the quality of your website’s traffic, as people who are searching for negative keywords aren’t likely to be looking for a business like yours.

4. Conduct A/B testing on Both Copy and Landing Pages

Test out different variations of an ad or offer to see which one provides the best results! This will help you maximize your return from running AdWords campaigns by giving you more information on what works best for you and what doesn’t

Add a compelling call-to-action that will encourage people to click through and learn more about what you’re advertising!

5. Get Professional Help With Your Google Ads

When it comes to something as important as advertising your business, it’s always a good idea to get professional help. This is especially true when it comes to Google Ads – a platform that can be tricky to navigate at first. A good AdWords consultant will be able to help you create campaigns that are effective and profitable, and they’ll also be able to give you advice on how you can improve your results over time. If you’re serious about running successful Google Ads campaigns, then it’s definitely worth considering hiring a professional consultant.

Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that can help you drive more traffic to your website and generate sales. However, it’s not always easy for small business owners to navigate Google Ads campaigns on their own. If this sounds like you, consider hiring a Google ads consultant or agency who will be able to provide guidance and expertise in areas such as creating copy that maximizes clicks-through rates and landing pages that convert visitors into customers.

Do some of these tips sound familiar? Which ones have been most helpful when trying out new digital marketing strategies with your ads? Let us know!