Tag Archives: Stray Media Group

Phases of the M.O.A.B. (Marketing on a Budget)

Building a marketing strategy that works for your business (and budget) is as essential as it is challenging. It must be as unique as your business and molded according to what you can afford, while ensuring you’re hitting all the crucial components you need to grow your company.

How can you have an effective marketing strategy on a budget? Working your plan through a series of phases can help you succeed.

Start with what you know you absolutely need in order to function as a business. Every business will be different, and your plan will be determined by the amount of resources available to you through your marketing budget. Typically, this would include a website, social media activity, basic SEO and maybe some office essentials like business cards.

The key to phase one is to have a foundation that opens the lines of communication between you and your target audience. If your budget is a little bigger, the first phase of your strategy may reach far beyond the few aforementioned components. If your budget is on the smaller side, maybe you’ll be able to start with one or two of these and build on them as your company grows.

Wherever you are, start with the essentials your customers will need in order to find you and learn more about your business.

As your company grows, so should your marketing budget and strategy. Enter phase two! Break through the plateau at the end of phase one by putting more of your budget into expanding on what your current strategy includes.

Maybe your initial budget only allowed you to have a one-page website with a company description and phone number, but you’re ready to transform it into a several-page site complete with a blog, photo gallery and product videos.

If you started with a Facebook page to establish a presence on social media, enhance your strategy by increasing the frequency of posts and activity, and exploring other social media platforms on which to create business pages to increase your reach.

Look into upping your SEO game in phase two if your initial budget in phase one only allowed you to do the basics. This will help you be more easily found by potential customers and like-minded audience members across the web.

Continuously reshape your strategy to expand and cover more bases as you grow. Use phase three as a time to continue to expand your current efforts, while also exploring other marketing avenues to research and invest in that will allow you to reach more of your target audience.

Again, every business’s strategy will be different, including its timeline from one phase to the next, level of growth and avenues for marketing. Start where you can and always be reworking your strategy so it’s in line with your ever-developing company.

At Stray Media Group, we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes to help them find the marketing strategy that best fits their needs while being conscious of their budget. Our goal is to help you succeed within the means that you have, so you can work on growing your company to its full potential.

Contact our team to learn more about how we can help you define and execute a marketing strategy for your business today.

Email Marketing

5 Quick Tips for Stellar Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a tricky business. There is a fine line between a recipient looking forward to receiving your awesome content regularly and doing the eye roll of the century at yet another useless email that they instantly trash.

These lovely people have given you the wonderful marketing gift of allowing you into their beloved inbox – don’t abuse it by overwhelming them with annoying daily emails that they couldn’t give two hoots about. Or even worse, having content they would actually love, but sending so often that they completely glance past it.

Rather, honor them and the opportunity they’ve provided you by consistently offering valuable content that people welcome with open, loving eyes. We’ve got 5 quick tips to help you get a fabulous start.

 

Score with Your Sender Name

Make sure your business’s sender name is something unique and easily recognizable. After all, it is the first thing they will see! Once it’s set, don’t try to get fancy and experiment with a bunch of different options. After a few emails, your sender name is easily recognized by recipients; changing it up could cause them to trash your beautiful message if they have to question for even a second who it’s from.

 

Subject to Stunning Results

What is the second element of your email viewers look at? The almighty subject line! Make sure to keep it classy, sassy and concise, while also portraying how this content will offer value of some kind to their life. Are you solving a problem they have? Giving away some goodies? Let them know in a fun and enticing way while keeping it short and sweet. The goal here is to stun them so hard they can’t help but click that bad boy open. Get creative with it! Here are some great tips to help you get started.

 

Let's Get Personal

Regardless of whether you’re sending to 2 or 2,000 people, when writing content remember to focus on the individual vs. the masses. Additionally, today’s handy-dandy email marketing tools, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, make it super easy to get personal with your audience by inputting their name into the email message to give it that extra touch. Keep it classy, though, and don’t overdo it by littering the email with their name all over the place – that’s creepy and warrants some opt-outs.

 

Value Above All Else

Put the highest emphasis on what kind of value you are providing your viewers. You can have all the flashy, fascinating subjects and graphics, but if you aren’t presenting content that offers value to their lives, you will quickly lose your audience. Know your customer, their challenges, and how your service or product can truly change their lives in a positive way. They will thank you by continuing to click those links open and share your content with others, because they truly believe in your business. Win-win-winning. Get some killer content tips here.

 

Test for Success

Okay, so you’ve crushed #1-4 and you just cannot wait to hit that send button – we totally get it, you did fabulous work and you want to share it with the world; kudos! Before you take that step, give yourself a chance to test once, twice, three times if need be to make sure everything looks perfect before you send it off to the masses.

Proofing is your best friend here – there is nothing worse than spending all your time and effort to create killer content just to have the only thing your audience remembers be that misspelled word. Trust us, a second set of eyes or even just taking a break and looking at an email with fresh eyes will make all the difference in the world. Test for the best!

 

We hope these quick tips get you sending super awesome emails that inspire those viewers to click and learn more! Too busy actually running your business to even begin thinking about where to start? We feel you – give our team at Stray Media Group a buzz and let us take that piece of the marketing pie off your plate. We look forward to making your email marketing dreams come true!

 

#RunHogWild

#RunHogWild with Team SMG!

It’s that time of year, when we invite you to #RunHogWild with our crew! Join us on September 22nd and 23rd for the Stray Media Group 10K at the 6th annual Grand Forks Marathon. It’s shaping up to be the best year yet, with the great swag they’re known for; fast, fun, flat courses; and local hospitality that can’t be beat. Whether you are with a group of friends or pounding the pavement solo, our 10K distance is the perfect course for runners of all levels, ages, shapes and sizes.

Register for the Stray Media Group 10K Now!

Don’t miss our booth at the SCHEELS Health & Fitness Expo and packet pickup on Friday, September 22nd, from 10AM-7PM. We have some awesome prize drawings and sweet photo ops awaiting your arrival!

#RunHogWild with Stray Media Group!

We’re pumped to see you out on the course, so register today or at the Expo! Looking for the latest news for the race weekend? We’ve got you covered here.

Why 'Good Enough' is Never Good Enough

Good Enough Syndrome

Ahh yes, the ever-present ‘good enough syndrome’ as we like to call it. What exactly is it, and why should your business steer clear? We’re going to take on the subject head-first in this installment of ‘Powered By Creativity’.

Good Enough Syndrome

When people say “it’s good enough,” to us marketers it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Why? Because we see the potential in businesses and where they could be if they would ditch this attitude and begin settling for nothing less than excellence. When we all explore possibilities outside of what we’ve always done and strive for excellence – that’s when great things happen.

BRAND IDENTITY

Made up of every component your business has, from your name and logo to your tagline, “brand identity is how that business wants to be perceived by consumers,” (Investopedia). Just like how you decide to present yourself to the world in your day-to-day life, businesses must also step into their metaphorical closet and decide what they want to be perceived as by those who encounter them on a daily basis.

Here is where it can be extremely dangerous to come down with a case of the ‘good enoughs’. Compromising how your brand is represented to the world – whether it’s a poorly designed website that doesn’t work or a print ad that lacks a call to action – is a missed opportunity to connect and engage with potential customers.

While solidifying brand identity is no easy feat, it is essential to define who you are as a business and what you want people to identify with regarding your brand. Is your business more of the sleek suit and tie variety? Or perhaps a more fun, happy-go-lucky vibe? Pick a lane and stick to it, all the while ensuring your entire marketing strategy presents your unique identity to the world in a professional, well-thought-out manner.

CONSISTENCY

How do you ensure your brand is represented as it should be at all times? Consistency, consistency, consistency. Quality control is huge here – every single item, from your business card to your storefront sign, needs to exude the look and feel of your brand. Regardless of what material or medium it is, it needs to be made clear to any person who sees it that it’s your business – without making them think twice.

Consistency and quality control are essentials to a solid marketing strategy

We often see people develop the ‘good enough syndrome’ when it comes to consistency. Perhaps you are on a tight deadline and choose to go with the “free” graphic design services that tabloid offered you, even though they don’t know anything about your brand (learn why this service is never actually “free”). Or maybe you’re trying to save some budget dollars and have your niece build you a website for free (seriously, never actually “free”).

Whatever the case may be, it all comes down to this – is it serving the brand you’ve worked so hard to build in the right way? Is it up to the brand standards you’ve worked so hard to set up from the beginning? If it’s anything short of excellent, it’s NOT good enough.

USER EXPERIENCE

Why is all of this such an important part of your brand? It all comes down to the relationships and engagements you make with your audience. After all, that’s what marketing is all about – connecting with people and communicating what you have to offer that will improve, simplify or enhance their lives.

Marketing is all about connecting with people at the right time and place.

If nothing on your website works, your billboard has a fuzzy picture with no call to action, or your logo hasn’t been updated in 10 years – this all affects the way a user experiences your brand. Consumers are smarter than ever these days. When you say, “ahhh, I guess that’s going to have to be good enough,” people notice that and their perception of your brand gets knocked down a couple of pegs.

Opt to have marketing pieces so undeniably excellent – on par with brand identity, consistent messages, beautiful design – that they can’t help but see your dedication to the brand and consider you a trustworthy source that deserves their business.

Find yourself in these predicaments from time to time, but not sure where to begin? No sweat; that’s what we’re here for. We love this stuff and have an eye for where your business can be. All it takes is some T.L.C. for your brand and a dedication to striving for nothing short of excellent. Give us a call to discuss your marketing strategy and how we can help.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing 101

What is inbound marketing, and why should you care about it? Inbound is the new, shiny tool in the marketing shed when it comes to sharing with others what your company is all about and why they should care about you. In the digital world we live in, businesses can’t afford to give inbound marketing the side eye; rather, you should opt to embrace this immensely powerful tool to give your company’s marketing strategy a boost.

The 2-Way Difference

This form of marketing focuses on a two-way communication system, engaging and informing consumers about your products or services while simultaneously receiving information from said audience. Inbound is all about establishing and maintaining connections with customers, rather than trying to give them a hard sell like the traditional methods (although both have their place in your strategy).

Customers want solutions to their problems. Inbound marketing strategies give the people what they want by providing answers to questions, innovative solutions to problems, and rich content that engages an audience and leaves them with a delectable taste in their mind’s mouth when it comes to your business.

The Mediums

Inbound is chock-full of digital mediums to explore in your marketing strategy. A few of our key favorites we like to get people started with are:

Websites are an absolute must if you want to make it in today’s marketplaces. Without a dependable online hub for your audience to visit, your company will quickly be forgotten and consumers will travel to the next competitor that has what they’re looking for.

Blogs are an exceptional way to help engage customers, build your credibility, and do some essential SEO in the background to boot. Providing rich content that solves problems positions you as a credible, go-to source and leaves an audience coming back to you for more. Plus, blogs are great for building a strong SEO foundation to help you stand out and be more easily found by potential customers.

Social Media presence is a vital ingredient in the well-rounded marketing cocktail, too. It offers wonderful platforms to receive customer feedback and to showcase what you have to offer, and even allows you to share that hilarious meme your followers will get a kick out of.

Use It or Lose It

What makes inbound marketing even more wonderful? Analytics. These digital avenues provide exceptional data on who is coming to your material, what they’re doing during visits, and so much more. Wielding this information to your benefit is made easier than ever before with fabulous tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to give them what they want. It’s a win-win.

Ready to get your inbound marketing strategy up to snuff? Our team can help get you started in the right direction. Give us a call today for more information, and to set up a time to chat about implementing these innovative solutions into your marketing strategy today.