How to Be a Small Business with a Big Presence in the “D”

How to Be a Small Business with a Big Presence in the “D”

Small Business Big Presence

Building a reputation as a “player” in the metro Detroit business community has been a small-business challenge for years, but it needn’t stay that way, says Kelly Oles, Corporate Partnership Development Manager for Palace Sports and Entertainment.

“Under our new management, there are affordable print, broadcast, and event options for small businesses that are surprisingly affordable,” Kelly says. “People shouldn’t be scared off by the perception that partnering with the Palace is beyond their budget.”

Small businesses with a modest budget might consider:

  • Banner ads on the Palace website or advertisements on the new Pistons mobile app.
  • 30-second pre-game spots on the Piston’s radio network, which covers 92% of the state.
  • Holding a Holiday Party or Business-to-Business networking event at the Chairman’s Club. Events can be packaged with a game, if you wish.
  • Contract for a suite for a single game, or a concert.

Those with a bit larger budget might consider:

  •  Buying ad space in the Courtside Quarterly magazine, which is sent out to season ticket holders, suite holders, and the CEOs of the Corporate Sponsors – approximately 15,000 people per issue.
  •  Partnering with the Palace for a VIP party in one of the clubs—such as the new 300Club. Cost includes a ticket to the game, food service and beverages, and your choice of a cash or open bar.
  •  Indoor and outside signage, logo rights, and other sports marketing promotional vehicles.

Remember that Palace Sports & Entertainment includes DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadowbrook Music Festival, where there are also options for seasonal or one-show advertising online and in print!

For more information on how your small business can gain a big presence in metro Detroit, contact Kelly Oles at 248-377-8478, or email her at koles@palacenet.com

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Blog your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog Your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog your way to stardomEver since sites like WordPress were birthed, people have been launching blogs and linking to them in their social media networks.

Or at least they do it for a while.

Then the blogger runs out of topics, moves to a new job, or just gets bored with the whole thing. The blog fades into obscurity, and the business owner figures all the other social media “stuff” will take up the slack.

Not so, says Jeff Bullas, a globally recognized social media star and technology expert, and he’s joined by others such as Adam Singer of Future Buzz and Darren Rowse at Problogger.

They all say your blog should be your “online home,” and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn should be “outposts” – the places you have a presence. A strong blog following adds to your Search Engine rankings, and to your social media presence.

Your blog should be given priority for three reasons:

  1. Old articles are still read years later, and are thus given long life by the search engines. Old tweets, Bullas says, “live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.”
  2. Each blog post contributes to the cumulative results of your site. This is not so for Twitter or Facebook.
  3. Social Media sites are tools to share content. Use them to attract subscribers to your blog. Focus your community building efforts on creating a blog people actually want to read.

Follow these tips to get on the road to Social Media Stardom:

  • Blog regularly – at least once a week.
  • Make it visual – images make things more understandable, and can increase recall by up to 89%.
  • Use a conversational, personal style. Use first person, tell stories, avoid “lectures.”
  • When you motivate your reader, you create action. Ask thought-provoking questions, or activities that involved both sides of the brain. Our brains pay attention to things that are out of the ordinary.
  • Design your content to elicit an emotion. People remember things they care about – things they feel.
  • Solve a problem that is common to your customers or prospects. Leave the sales talk to someone else.

 

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How not to write sales copy for bulk sending

If you are considering an e-mail blast, newsletter campaign, or other written communications with potential customers, it is very important what you DON’T write.

Obviously, you should know (and if you don’t, here’s a tip) that using unsolicited lists is wrong. I won’t belabor the many reasons why, but they range from breaking the law to breaking down a good relationship. Your lists should be clean, and going to those who have at least given tacit approval they want some form of marketing communications.

So – you have a good, clean list. And you really, really want to sell something. Now obviously, you can’t write each piece to each individual customer. So you are going to need to use some genetic copy, along with some assumptions when you write.

But those assumptions could cost you, as shown in the excellent piece “How Not to Write A Sales Letter.

Quick Tips (for how you should write):

  • Don’t assume you know their business needs. Yes, I know this breaks a rule of marketing – that you need to know your audience and what they do. But really, with a 1,000-contact list you’re going to have to write somewhat differently.
  • Yes, despite Marketing 101 rules, you ARE going to talk about yourself. Because you are offer what you do or sell, and are trying to find if someone will bite.
  • Don’t say you are excited, grateful, enthusiastic, or happy. They DON’T CARE how you feel.
  • Don’t question why you are writing what you are writing within your writing.
  • (Don’t use repetition or alliteration)
  • Don’t get cute!
  • Don’t put in feature/benefits that are commonplace and used by everyone. That’s not a feature.
  • Nail ’em on the first sentence. In the newspaper biz, we called this the lede graf (yes, newspaper jargon was deliberately misspelled). You should stick with who, what, where, when and why, but do so in a manner that takes the customers need into consideration. Again, they don’t care about you, but they might care how your product or service solves their problem.

That’s it for this week!

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It’s 5:00 somewhere: building your web presence locally

Some of our recent blog posts have emphasized the need to get your web presence up and running – today – with some tips on how to write your content. But when you are thinking about how to market your product or service, you need to consider your location.

Just as in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.

We’ve seen many small businesses make the mistake of optimizing their brand-new site without any attempt to localize the content for search engines. And while that might be fine if you are selling commodities worldwide and have a well-know brand, it probably won’t work for you if you are a barber or landscaper. (Can you say road trip?)

Yes, you want to compete in your target market. And that market might by the entire Metro Detroit region. But the search engines need to have an idea of where you are, and what you offer – so that local searchers can actually find you.

That’s kinda important.

If you a new business, or are very small, or have a product or service that people won’t travel a long way to obtain, localizing your content is key.

So consider using both within your on-page copy and the meta information very specific geographical locations. Carefully think about (or imagine) who your customers are, where they are living & working, and if they will make the trip to your business. You can even localize down to the street level, if that will work for your business. And with the increasing importance of mobile, that is absolutely vital to some kinds of business.

Perhaps you should consider individual webpages optimized for specific sub-locations, such as cities and towns within a larger metropolitan region?

If you are contracting out your SEO copywriting and web design, did they ask you what your target market is? Did they find out the common names for the locality you are in? What about those lesser-known names for addresses such as “three lights south of the Mixing Bowl” (local nomenclature for a large intersection of highways in Metro Detroit).

Did they ask you any questions at all about how far you expect your customers to drive? Be realistic. After all, not a lot of people are willing to drive a couple hours one way from home or work to their dentist.

If your web content folks didn’t ask these questions, well, that’s just embarrassing.

Read more about localizing your content at Search Marketing Standard

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Use of “that” when writing

Beware of “that” when writing.

When writing marketing copy, you must entice the reader. Compel them, energize them, and speak to their needs and your solutions. Marketing copy writing must be bold, confident, assertive.

All too often, it is not. It is passive, weak, mealy-mouthed. Passive writing hedges, prevaricates, and in general avoids direct speech. Fortunately, there is a sign of passive writing. The word ‘that’ is like a canary in a coal mine. It is often a warning indicator of passive verb use, especially of “to be.” Let’s look at some examples:

“The new olive oil & tarragon cooking spray, that will be available today, is a great bargain.”

Hmmm. So the cooking oil is available, but you don’t sound sure. What? Let’s try a rewrite …

“The new olive oil & cooking spray is available today, and is a great bargain.”

Which (a word for another day) sentence is more confident? Which is more bold? Often, the word ‘that’ is simply overused. Obviously, there are many places where ‘that’ is a perfectly acceptable word. Such as when it is used as an adverb: “The soup wasn’t that awful,” or as a demonstrative adjective: “That car is fast.”

You can easily improve the confidence of your writing and reduce your word count by looking for ‘that’ and eliminating it.

It’s that simple.

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