Alliteration- one of my favorite and fun marketing tools

al·lit·er·a·tion
əˌlitəˈrāSHən/
noun
  1. the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

How to use this simple and popular use of language-  In recent years alliteration can be found all over social media and in mass media.  #TBT ( Throw Back Thursday) where people post pictures from the past, Hugely Popular.  #MCM ( Man Crush Monday) where you post pictures of men you think are attractive.  And a recent popular marketing trend- Taco Tuesday, selling Taco’s everywhere! There are so many of these, just look around and you will be amazed. There are so many ,because they work, they are fun and memorable!

 

How can you use Alliteration in your marketing?

 

First- use caution attaching the word to the name of your business.  These slogans can be very catchy and if you only want to use it for a specific time or promotion, it may stick.

Second- don’t force it, brainstorm with friends, make lists of the words of products and services that apply to your business to help you create something you like.

 

Alliteration can draw attention to a certain day of the week to build business on a slow day (ex.  Taco Tuesday)

Alliteration can highlight certain products- check out our runway of running shoes

Alliteration can generate social buzz for your business while tapping into socially conventional hashtags ( #MCM man crush Monday tag us with your man and be entered to win him tickets to Fenway)

 

Why do I want to do this?

Creating ideas and slogans is fun, and unless you hire a marketing pro like me, its free

Creates an easy to remember slogan to help customers visit you

A well timed and creative Alliteration can generate sales, social buzz and a growing data base

Examples:

Are you a fitness trainer or own a gym? Promote Wednesday Workouts. Wednesday is typically the day of the week where the will power and resolve to work out will start to fade.  This well timed promotion can encourage people to tag your business, hashtag and post their Wednesday Workout.  You will gather all these addresses for future marketing.  You can  reach out with personalized training offers, day or week passes to your facility or boot camp.  The opportunities are endless.

Perhaps you own a landscape company or nursery  and you want to get the DYI crowd to come to your business.  Promote  Shrub Saturdays, where your team talks about local plants, care of them and some helpful “insider design tricks”.  Everyone who attends is in the Shrub Club ( Alliteration to a Rhyme- bonanza) gets to save X percent on purchases. People can hashtag your nursery when they plant something and post it.  From all posts one person wins a fall clean up!

 

A simple word play that can take your next promotion or event to a whole new level. Try it.  Alison drives an Acadia and is Attracted by Alliteration!

 

 

It’s a Snap are you using it for your business yet?

Snapchat is all the rage, people of all ages are on it.  Are you? Are you using it for business yet? Gary Vaynerchuk has been a strong voice for the success of this social media giant.  He predicted its success years ago-he was right.  It is a main stream communication tool.  I know what you are thinking- there are too many I cant keep up. I KNOW!

However as your marketing advice giver I need to hit you with the facts.  Here a few things you can use Snapchat for your business:

  1. Communicate one on one with fans
  2. Demonstrate products, share advice and information to build trust and sell  ( the fitness industry has embraced this and does a great job)
  3. Create a customized snap chat filter for a special event or promotion ( Dunkin Donuts just started doing this, go try it the next time you grab a regular -NE coffee reference)

 

But wait I don’t even know what to do with Snapchat.  Ok, let’s back up.  Go to the Ap store and download the Ap.  Create a name and profile, start playing with it.  The big button at the bottom, when you push it takes a picture, hold it down and it records a 15 second video. Once you have your picture or image you can draw something or type something-use the keys in the top right corner.  Ready for more? once you have an image or video you like you can swipe the screen to find filters.  What are filters? Some will change the image to a soft filter, black and white, Sepia etc.  Some will add a location icon, you can add the time, speed or temp to your snap.  Here is the important info for businesses: when swiping for filters – local or national companies that have targeted your location as being important to them will have a filter.  Here are two national examples from Under Armor and Lucky Charms. This is a great way to have snapchat fans in your desired geography promote and share your message in a fun way. Advertising is becoming more subtle and friendly, by being a part of peoples lives-not just to hit them over the head with BUY THIS!

 

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The last thing you will want to play with and know about is the face and voice changer filters.  People love these because they are fun, make you look attractive or silly.  National advertisers are already into this.  Taco Bell had one that turned your face into a Taco.  I wish I saved that one.  Side note- even though the premise of Snapchat is to have it disappear, you can screen shot it, download it to your camera roll and now with the new update you can save the ones you love to your memories.  Currently this weekend as I am working on this post the Olympics created  some of  these filters.  They are changing it everyday with different sports themes to encourage people to watch the Olympics on the NBC family of stations.  And that reminds me, you can now place a :15 second snap add into peoples feeds.  NBC has been doing that for a couple weeks to prep people for the Olympics.  Another smart way for them to brand their channels and encourage viewership of the Olympics.

Here are some fun filter examples: I made you a silly video to highlight some of the fun filters.

 

 

When it comes to attracting new clients and customers, it is worth trying everything, especially the tools that cost very little and have great sizzle and appeal. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat they are all tools to communicate your brand, your message on your time.

Give it a try, let me know how it works in your media mix, snap me back with your questions or feedback.

 

 

Back to School- what’s your plan?

We have all seen the Halloween candy in the stores, that means its August and time for back to school shopping and prep.  If you live in a major metropolitan area like Boston you know that this time creates a huge swing in population, traffic, and economic boom.  If your business attracts young adults,  you need to be talking to them today…..because they are coming!

 

In Boston over 250,000 students return to more than 35 colleges and universities.  They are bringing their appetite for learning and a whole lot of other stuff.

Some Important Facts:

 8.8 billion dollars will be spent on clothing in August( 2014 census)

77.2 million children and adults are enrolled in school (Oct 2014 census),  nursery school to college. That is 25.6% of the total population!

40% of the 18-24 are enrolled in college (2014 census)

52.1% of college students work while in school, of that 20% of them are working FULL TIME while going to school.  Money to spend! 

 

Some ideas to capture these students:

Be talking to them NOW….Radio, coupons, college papers , geo- targeted offers for towns where they live both dorms and off campus housing.

Create discount offers so new students can  try your business, if you can get a couple of them hooked on what you do or offer the word will spread.  Word of mouth is a powerful tool for advertising but you have to plant the seed with smart marketing!

Compliment all mass media messages with social, be consistent.  New people to the area will need that frequency,  to remember you and find your business.  Returning students will probably only need a reminder of you have been the long enough.

Talk to local colleges about including coupons  or information in welcome bags or packets.  New students read this to get acclimated quickly. The stronger the offer the more traction it will get.

 

Welcome Back Students!

 

(research sourced from US census data)

 

 

 

Facebook Live for your business

My #1 priority is to help my clients grow and attract new customers.  Right now I am talking to  my clients about Facebook Live.  As a full service Marketing Professional, I keep on top of all marketing trends to educate my clients.  Clients are  busy being great at what they do, that they miss an easy solution. Most clients want to find affordable ways to make their business stand out and Facebook Live is just the thing.

#1 its free-you broadcast a live from your business Facebook account

#2 you can do it yourself, your employees can do it, anytime

#3 it has a live interaction, so you can answer questions during the broadcast and it also has great shelf life- people can still watch it later because it lives on your Facebook page

81% of people are going on line to research a product, service or business, it is important to find ways to get noticed.  I have talked about using social media for your business in previous posts and  Facebook Live is a great new tool to build a one on one relationship with your existing  customers and potential new customers.

Here’s how you can use Facebook Live to showcase your business.

Retail Business: take a tour of the showroom, present what new merchandise has just come in.  You can create a virtual showroom to entice customers to come in.

Fitness Coach or Gym: build a relationship with potential clients. Show the work out space, demonstrate simple exercises.  Answer questions live and present special offers.

Service Business: Facebook Live can show you doing “your thing” in action.  You can invite a satisfied customer to join you and share their story to highlight real world success.

Auto Dealers: Take potential customers through a test drive of a new model.  Show people how to do the simple things they need to know-like change the time in your car🙂

Below is a link to a local pre owned auto dealer using Facebook Live to showcase cars and do special promotions.

https://www.facebook.com/midstate.autogroup?fref=ts

Adding Facebook and Facebook Live to your traditional media mix is an affordable way to build a one on one relationship with your customers.  It costs nothing but your time and passion.

A few things to think about before you “go live”.  Think of it like television, you are speaking directly to your audience.  Think about the goal of the “live episode” and do your best to stay on course. Remember its live, you may stumble with your words and that’s ok.  You will get better and your following will build.  A little quirkiness will be endearing and work well.  My most popular video to date had a cameo of my dog in it, real can make you likable.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes…and ACTION!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snapchat- a commentary: is it the new TV and the new ads

I have recently jumped back in with both feet to Snap chat.  I love it.  It has changed some of my habits with media, which I find an interesting thing to “watch”. I would consider myself a busy, hard working adult.  I am by no means the busiest but lately  I only have about an hour of “chill before bed time” these days.  My old habit is to watch TV in bed, this has been my favorite thing to do for YEARS.  I still love TV, however on certain nights of the week when there isn’t a favorite show on, I will just go deep on my social.  I will watch all the snap stories, scroll forever on Instagram, search around Twitter etc. I am beginning to watch my  habits change, this evolution has occurred over the last 6 month or so.  And I find it fascinating.  If you told me last year I would trade in my precious TV time for watching strangers (and friends)  on Snapchat- I would have told you, you are nuts. I will continue to monitor this from a marketing and time spent perspective to see where this takes me. I am a student of life and this is very interesting.

Additionally,  just in the last few weeks, Snapchat has added ADS to your story feed.  When I first heard the news, I thought “ugh” but  I have experienced it for the past few weeks and  I like the ads.  The creative is very good, lively and fun-like Snapchat. I think that is the KEY- the creative should match the environment.  If you hate advertisements, you can tap through it, which I think is good for the user feeling in control.  This is not as good for the advertiser.  I will be interested to hear more about the data in the coming months  and percentages of people who swipe by or view the ads.The cool factor will carry the wave for awhile, but in the end the clients need for a strong ROI will override the cool factor.

When the discussion turns to the ROI for clients the term target-ability will come up.  Snapchat is a younger tool, Snapchat started out for kids and today more adults and businesses are prime users. I wonder when the UBER target-ability will come into play. Many of the ads that I am served are not directed at me.  Although I am very flattered they think I am so young and hip.  That being said, many of the messages are wasted on me because I am not 15. I can still appreciate a good ad, but I will be very curious to see where the target tool will go with Snapchat.  They have a lot of information about the user, so the ads could be incredibly targeted- some day.  This product continues to get a lot of press, chatter and attention- more to come.

 

 

Half year-check in & Happy Fourth of July

Happy FIRST of July.  The year is about half over for the year 2016.  A nice long weekend is coming up, as we observe July 4th on Monday and many businesses are closed.  It is a great time to assess the plans you made in the beginning of the year and see how you are tracking.  I am spending some time reviewing my work plan and life plan to see how I am doing today.  This is not  time to say ” bad Alison”,  but to look at -what is working, what needs a tweak and what do I need to completely revamp and re-energize.  To be honest with yourself and understand that: things come up, plans change, customers needs change-today more than ever our business culture needs to recognize the shifts and adapt towards them or with them.

One of the areas I am working on is,  this,   sharing opinions, ideas  and knowledge with you.  This,  on line page that goes into the universe.  Sometimes it strikes someone and they enjoy it and gain some nugget of info- that brings me joy.  Sometimes,  I am just clicking away for my own enjoyment.  But I like to do it, I think it has value, so I want to continue to find away to make this more of a priority.  This is one of the things that seems to fall off the list when life gets busy.  I need to find a away to make this more manageable.  So what does that mean? Shorter messages, setting an alarm in my phone ” time to write something” – not really my style.  I like to write when it strikes me.  I am sure, I am not alone with this,  I follow many people on social media who talk about this topic.
I will give this some time to marinate and hopefully something will come to me that will help me improve on this for the later half of 2016.

So- HOW are you doing with your business plans for 2016?  What one small change could you make today to help get you moving the direction you desire.  The year isn’t over.  You have time to effect WHATEVER you put your mind to .

 

Have a Happy Forth of July- God Bless America

Things I say and believe

Happy Friday. I hope everyone had a productive week and is ready to recharge for the weekend. I think we all have things we say ” all the time”, things that we  become known for saying.  I thought I would keep things light and share some of my “sawhill-isms”. Things I learned and adopted as my personal code from an early age in marketing and sales.

  1. Be kind and respectful to everyone. The intern today could be the CEO who hires you in 10 years.
  2. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Look your best, show up on time and be prepared-always!
  3. Do business with people,  who do business with you.  Whenever possible I like to return the loyalty and buy goods and services from my clients. I just believe with my whole heart is the right thing to do.
  4. Do everything with a smile.  Dealing with people can be tough some days. Handling every situation, both good and not so good with a smile, will keep things moving forward in a positive direction.
  5. Do the hard things.  Most people get tired, lazy and bored- they will give up. Send the thank you notes, remember birthday’s and anniversaries, pick up the phone or drive over, offer assistance and ideas with out expecting anything in return to your best customers (that comes back to you 10x), actually listen, with your ears and heart-you will learn so much.

 

I will continue to share my “sawhill-isms” and I would love to hear some of yours.  Have a great weekend!