Monthly Archives: February 2015

3 Best Marketing Practices for Your Growing Business

Inbound and outbound marketing are very different ways of engaging with your customers. One focuses on broadcasting a message while the other is a much more personalized experience, but both methods are necessary to succeed in today’s market. The best companies differentiate their marketing efforts, meaning that they use both inbound and outbound marketing techniques. Here are three examples of today’s strategies on inbound and outbound marketing.

Know Your Audience

Take for example President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. His staff used inbound marketing to increase his reach to younger voters, but rather than trying to create the sort of rallies that draw a younger crowd, they took their pitch to where their prospective audience already was – social media. The Obama campaign was active on twice as many social media platforms as the campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and provided nearly four times as much content.

PO Screen Shot

Take a Stand

Another way to use inbound marketing to grow your business is to take a stand on an issue. It could be directly related to your business, such as a restaurant that does not serve GMO foods writing about associated health risks, or it could take a broader approach, like Oreo did in 2012 when the company released a series of gay rights ads on Facebook during Pride Month to commemorate the cookie’s 100th anniversary. Not all the reactions were positive, but it got people talking. Over 143,000 people “liked” the post and over 18,000 people commented on it.

Oreo Screen Shot

Create Engagement

According to Variety, almost 70% of people record television shows on a DVR so they can avoid commercials. Rather than fight it, Netflix-rival Hulu came up with a different strategy – choose your own experience. Before watching many shows or movies on Hulu, viewers are asked which ad experience they would prefer, like PayPal’s “People Rule” campaign that gave viewers a choice between ads centered on the service’s speed or its security. By introducing a choice, viewers were engaged with the ads in a way they never would have been had they aired on television.

Reaching your audience, talking about issues that matter to them, and creating ways for existing and prospective customers to engage with your company will help take your marketing efforts to the next level. To learn more about how SMG can help you develop successful outbound and inbound marketing strategies for your company, visit our website!

Top 3 Ways to Properly Use Hashtags

Ahhhhh, hashtags… If you or your brand have been on social media at all in the past few years, then we can only assume you’ve been confronted with the use and misuse of hashtags. Plus, in recent years, it’s been almost impossible not to see multi-million-dollar campaigns with hashtags as their main focus on a daily basis. What exactly is a hashtag? A hashtag symbolizes a trending topic (such as #SuperBowlXLIX or #JeSuisCharlie) that makes itself visible on social media by placing a good old pound sign ‘#’ in front of the topic. By using a hashtag, a social media user can click on the link created by the hashtag and see additional articles, posts and images concerning the same subject.

Carrie Underwood

Hashtags are incredibly popular for social media marketing use; however, they can be very overwhelming and confusing. This is why it is so important to use them properly – especially if you are a brand trying to obtain and maintain followers on multiple social media platforms. Take a look at our top three ways you can properly use hashtags in your social media marketing strategy.


1. Use Sparingly – Since hashtags symbolize trending topics, it’s important to remember that in a Facebook or Twitter post, you should not go “hashtag happy”; not every word is in itself a trending topic. Limit the amount of hashtags to an average of one to three per post, depending on the length and content. For example, let’s say if you are posting about a giveaway your brand is doing during a football game, your post could go something like this:

“Don’t forget! Submit a picture of your favorite game-day traditions and you could win tickets to the Wildcats’’ next home game. #GameDayGiveaway #GoWildCats”

2. Look to Other Trending Topics – Although implementing your own trending hashtag can be forward-thinking, sometimes picking up on an already trending hashtag can make you incredibly visible across multiple social media platforms. However, you have to make sure you complement the hashtag with rich and meaningful content that will stick out amongst the rest. For instance, if you are adding to the trending topic #GoldenGlobes, you’d want to add thoughtful and critical remarks about the films and television shows that were featured, and stay away from typical or convenient remarks like “We loved to watch [Insert Actor’s Name] win an award!” This would get lost in the messy clutter.


3. Ensure They Are Crystal-Clear – If you take away only one thing from this blog, let this be it! Making sure your hashtags are understandable is of the utmost importance. So many times we find ourselves re-reading hashtags to make sure we understood them correctly; this is because either there are too many words included in the hashtag, the letters are all in lower-case, or they are not used properly in the sentence or post. To ensure your hashtags are read properly, it is best to separate each word in the hashtag with a capital letter (for example, #BringBackOurGirls is much easier to follow than #bringbackourgirls). It is also important to keep the hashtag fairly brief when possible. For example: #LetsGoGreenBayPackers is way too long. #GoPackGo would do just fine! Remember, it’s incredibly important to re-read your hashtags before you post and make sure others can comprehend them before you deploy them on social media.

Of course, hashtags can work seamlessly in various areas of your brand’s marketing efforts. They incorporate and create trending topics in a slick, easy way that can link your brand to other brands and people focusing on similar issues and topics. If you use them properly, you will undoubtedly start to see a growth in your number of followers, shares, likes, pins, and re-tweets!

#HappyHashtagging, everyone!