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Archive for the 'advertising' Category

LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates”; Tips for Restorers on Content Marketing

alt="linkedIn content marketing for restorers"
LinkedIn recently announced the addition of “Sponsored Updates” to their product suite, allowing members the opportunity to get their content in front of other LinkedIn members that are a match for the content of the update, even if those members are not following their company profile.

In the constant battle to win the content war, LinkedIn, much like Facebook, is offering another way for members to get their content put in front of the right people, and hopefully clicked on and read (while the social media giant makes a pretty penny of course, watching companies battle for market share via their platform).

Facebook, unfortunately, learned a hard lesson about going too far with using the personal information of their members for their former “Sponsored Stories” advertising product, ending up in a lawsuit that was said to be a potential revenue loss of $103 million. Facebook would then modify and re-market the same idea of paid advertising for content, slimming their 27 ad unit options to half the amount and making other modifications.

Done correctly and consistently, like any paid social media initiatives, the LinkedIn “Sponsored Updates” could be a great boost for companies as part of a larger integrated campaign for the product or services the paid update’s content is steering the B2C or B2B audience to. And, creating content that is compelling to the audience and speaks to their needs will always draw in higher click-through and conversion metrics.

As part of “expanding their content ecosystem,” LinkedIn’s new Sponsored Updates will allow for content to appear in the homepage feeds of targeted, prospective business partners or customers. Updates can be seen on both PC and mobile applications and will be marked as “sponsored” to the viewer.

For those purchasing the product from LinkedIn, you can choose either CPC or CPM pricing and track the effectiveness of the content through analytic tools provided by LinkedIn.

Tips For the Restorer:

By now, you have probably heard about content marketing and how it can help you boost your business. Creating viable content that keeps people watching your page, sharing your posts and hopefully, recommending and using your company’s services and products, is key to content marketing success. Be sure to share more than just about your restoration company–remember, it’s not all about you !

What do people really want to read about?

About themselves of course, and the things that affect them ! There is certainly a time and place to share content about your restoration company in your content marketing strategy-but be sure to engage and share things that your reader will find interesting. Instead of talking about the fact your restoration company performs mold remediation, share information about the dangers of mold in the home, for example. You’ll see your likes, retweets, shares and more start to improve!

And when your restoration company does great things, be sure to share that too. Did your company get involved in a community event? Did individual team members do something above and beyond? Share it! This is a great way to express your reputation-online!

And of course, be sure that social media is a piece of your overall integrated marketing plan, versus your only sales and marketing method! In today’s over saturated world of communications, restorers must have an effective strategy and accompanying plan utilizing several communication outlets to break through the clutter of communication in order carry out that strategy so they can predictably grow their business not only from a mass marketing perspective, but also through their 1:1 direct selling efforts.

If you’re a restorer looking to predictably grow your business, Business Development Associates might be the solution you’re looking for. Although we’re not a perfect fit for everyone, we’re helping many restorers across the country to predictably grow their business using a proprietary and proven marketing and sales system that generates millions in new business. For more information, call 847-386-6556 or email info@theBDAway.com.

Insight Into The Customer Lifetime Value of Your Digital Customers

A recent study from marketing company Custora, who analyzes customer retention and acquisition, provided insight into the lifetime value of customers, based on the digital medium from which the customer came.

The study shows shows the varying Customer Lifetime Value of digital customers, with PPC (Pay Per Click), referral and even e-mail topping the list, beating out Facebook and Twitter in regards to obtaining a higher quality customer.

alt="Customer Lifetime Value Chart"

For customers seeking a product or service via the search engines directly (IE: Google) or click on ad specifically of what they are looking for, these results are easy to account for because those channels utilize the intent graph (the consumer is looking for something specific). Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter will have to use their graph searches to redirect the customer to the product or service they seek.

Another result that came out of this study is that rural area customers tend to be more valuable and loyal over time, as their choices of vendors are more limited due to their living area. The Wyoming customer, for example, is 28% more valuable than the average American.

Tips for the Restoration Contractor:

While this study proves to have compelling information to help you see where valuable customers through digital efforts can come from, it’s important to incorporate a variety of digital and non-digital tactics to not only prospect for new business, but also, to make sure that they will be the kind of customer you want. The study makes a strong point for digital marketers to not put all their eggs in one or two baskets, in particular, Facebook and Twitter, who have made great strides to provide advertising, targeting tools and other strides in order to build a stronger (and more profitable) user community.

While SEO and PPC can bring in several to handfuls of leads a week, are you finding that those customers are jobs you are wanting to take on? Recently, we spoke with a prospective client who was receiving numerous leads a week through their PPC efforts, but 90% were the types of jobs they did not want, and thus, their return on investment was not what they had hoped for either.

On the flip side, we also have restoration contractor clients who see decent work come through their digital marketing efforts. But, it’s part of their overall marketing mix, and contributes as another source of business. As we mentioned before at the beginning of this blog…don’t put all your eggs in one (or two) baskets!

The most effective way to ensure a steady and predictable stream of work is to make sure that you not only have the right tactics in place (SEO, PPC, Direct Marketing Tactics, etc.), but also, the right sales reps in place and a dynamic way to hire, train, coach and manage them. Check out this article on “How Managing Your Salespeople is Different From Your Techs” to give you a flavor of what we are talking about.

And most of all, you’ve got to have a strategy as the foundation of your marketing plan, that supports the tactics and the sales force.

If you’re a restoration contractor looking to predictably grow your business, you should take a few minutes to visit us at www.gobda.com. While we’re not the perfect fit for everyone, we are a sales and marketing consulting agency helping restorers all over the country through proven and proprietary programs that help them to generate millions in new business. Now doesn’t that sound like an egg you want to have in your basket?

Facebook Modifies Ad Offerings for Enhanced (and Simpler) Advertising for Marketers

In a press conference yesterday, Facebook announced that it will be simplifying its product offering when it comes to advertisements. The first step will be taking their current ad units from 27 to half that amount and helping marketers match the the type of Facebook ad they will need to their advertising goals such as in-store sales, online engagement and more.


Other changes include:

1) Removing the “Questions” ad product for Pages, as marketers can simply use the posting function to ask a question and receive comments.

2) Removing the “Online Offer” ad product, as marketers lean towards using the “Page Post Link” ad to drive people to promotions on their respective websites.

3) Marketers will no longer have to purchase “sponsored stories” in addition to the ad itself. Facebook will automatically include social context to a “Page Post Photo” ad which will eliminate the extra step of creating sponsored stories.

4) All ads will look more consistent as well, in efforts to have a more cohesive visual look. This not only reduces the number of types of ads, but, Facebook is also hopeful this will help marketers optimize their ad campaigns for digital and mobile.

The changes will start to appear in the coming weeks with a full roll-out over the next six months, and are a response to many marketers complaining that Facebook advertising “was too complicated for the marketers to figure out”, according to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Director of Engineering and Design for ads.

As Facebook continues to deal with the growing pains of being a publicly traded company and the ongoing balance of creating both happy Facebook’ers and investors, advertising will be one of several (if not many) challenges they will face.

Tips For Restorers:
For the restoration contractor engaging in social media, choosing whether or not to advertise on Facebook or any social medium, can be a challenge on several levels. It’s important to remember that in social media or any marketing and sales activity for that matter, that you ask yourself these primary questions:

“Who is it that I want to engage with through this activity?”
“What are my goals out of engaging in this activity?”
“Is what I am saying relevant to target?”
“Is this the best bang for my buck?”

Social media is a moving target, but, by answering the above questions (and whatever other questions necessary), and disciplining yourself to be consistent in your efforts, you are setting the path towards success (and more sales!).

If you’re a company in the restoration and cleaning industry, and looking to find a predictable way to grow your business using a proven sales and marketing process that includes social media and a host of other activities that fit your marketing mix, Business Development Associates may be a good fit for you. Contact us at info@theBDAway.com or call us at 773-777-9956.

Mobile Technology Adaption Growing in Small Businesses

A recent Constant Contact survey shows a strong trend among small business owners who are using mobile technology to not only conduct business, but also to promote their business, with conducting social media marketing (73%) and email marketing (71%) at the top of the list.

Other uses include engaging in advertising through social media outlets, as well as having a mobile-friendly site. A smaller percentage of the survey participants use tablets for point-of-sale purposes and use mobile apps to manage their business. 82% using a calendar/time management app tops the list of types of apps used, with others reporting app usage in customer communications, GPS/mapping, accounting/invoicing, travel planning and industry news updates.

In regards to social media advertising, a whopping 97% of those surveyed utilize many of the “biggies” of social media for advertising dollars: YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For those that have mobile-friendly sites, 70% of participants reported that it’s not only mobile-friendly, but also social-media optimized. Other characteristics of these sites include:

-A Menu (44%)
-Individual Product Listings (40%)
-Videos (39%)

And, when it comes to what type of mobile device is choice among small business owners, iOS is still heads above the Android. (66% to 39% respectively). In tablets, iPad beats out the Android tablet, 49% to 15% respectively.

Now, not all small businesses are behind the mobile trend, and for various reasons, with the top reason (56%) being that their customers have not expressed demand for mobile communications. 28% said mobile is not relevant to their industry/business.

For the restoration contractor, there are many opportunities for both their sales and marketing force plus their operations team to benefit from the many advantages of mobile technology. Learning curves, costs of the technology itself and having very little time to learn and adapt to mobile technology are just some of the reasons why contractors, much like the non-mobile users in the owners surveyed, have not employed this trend into their own businesses. But, as any business knows, it’s vital to stay ahead of the curve for business trends that have a direct impact on best servicing their customers.

In an ever-increasing world dependent on technology, it will be critical for small business owners to adapt to mobile changes before their customers start demanding it-and for the company, to adapt to mobile technology before they get left behind while the competition roars ahead.

If you are a contractor or a company in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry, and have found that what was working to grow your company from point A to point B is not working to get you to point C, Business Development Associates, Inc. might be the solution for you. We are helping companies across the country predictably control the growth of their companies with proprietary sales and marketing programs that are generating millions in new business. Email us at info@thebdaway.com or call us at 773-777-9956 today!

Upcoming Seminar: “5 Stages of Small Business Growth for Restoration Contractors”

Join us at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, for this exciting seminar presented by the President of Business Development Associates, Tim Miller.

Business growth often triggers other business challenges. Business owners tend to approach growing their company as one long continuum from the day they open to the day they retire. When in fact, there are distinct stages of growth, with different challenges, stressors, and potential outcomes. Growing companies can greatly profit from advanced knowledge of the challenges they are likely to face at each step.

This course will explore the five stages of growth for a small business while applying it to our specific industry. Detailed explanation of what each stage looks like, and suggested steps to successfully navigate those transitions, will be included in this course.

Upon Completion Of This Course, Attendees Will Be Able To Gain:
• The Ability To Identify Which Stage Your Business Is At In The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth
• What Obstacles Are In Their Way Of Growing Their Business At The Current Stage The Business Is In
• Suggested Steps To Be Taken In Order To Move Their Business To The Next Stage Of Growth
• What The Future Stages Of Growth Are To Come, and The Challenges, Stressors and Potential Outcomes of Each Stage

This course will be presented twice at Contractor Connection on Wednesday, May 21st, from 1PM-2PM and again from 2:15-3:15PM.

You can learn more about the upcoming Contractor Connection conference in San Antonio, Texas, by clicking here.

Unable to make it to San Antonio? Check out another upcoming workshop held in Columbus in August: “Sales Mastery for Restorers.” You can learn more by clicking here!

Upcoming Sales Mastery Course For Restorers: A New Way To Deliver Outstanding Results!

Business Development Associates, Inc. will be presenting “Sales Mastery for Restorers”, a one-day course that will teach show you how to increase sales by implementing a powerful, real world selling system that has been customized for the restoration salespeople and their targets! The course is hosted by Totally Booked University and Jeff Cross, Senior Editor of Cleanfax Magazine.

It has never been more important to maximize the ability of your sales team to deliver business. Most restorers agree that the average water loss is $3,000 with at least a 50% profit margin. That means that every sale you don’t bring in is costing you $1,500 or more! Plus, sales salaries and expenses add up quickly and you need to deliver a strong return.

Sales training isn’t new. But sales training designed from the ground up just for restoration contractor salespeople is! There is no other program like this available anywhere!

Now,you’ve probably sent your team to sales training events and they come back enthused, but the effect quickly wears off. That’s because training as an event always fail. Training as a process, however, delivers powerful, consistent and increasing results.

If you’re looking to grow your restoration business, you need a highly effective sales program in place. There’s simply no better or faster way for your company to grow to the next level.

Details:

Sales Mastery for Restorers Course-Click Here to Register!
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
8 A.M.-4 P.M.
Cleanserv/Interlink Supply Classroom
Columbus, OH

This course will be taught by the creator and instructor of Sales Mastery for Restorers, Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Miller is a highly regarded sales and marketing expert in the industry, and brings 30 years of experience and a unique perspective to help businesses solve their problems and grow to the next level. He is also a published author in several trade magazines, a featured columnist in Cleanfax Magazine and speaks at multiple industry events and conferences throughout the year, where he leverages his business experience in both the restoration industry and his other entrepreneurial ventures, including his own construction company in New Mexico.

Click Here to Register-Space is Limited!

Free Webinar: Generating New Business

Register today for this free event, happening on February 27th at 3PM EST!

Brought to you by Cleanfax Magazine, this webinar will provide multiple guidelines and best practices for marketing your business in 2013 so you can position your company for growth this year.

Included on the panel of thought leaders will be Tim Miller, President of Business Development Associates, Inc. Other presenters include Chuck Violand, Steve Marsh and Jeff Cross.

See you at the webinar! Click here to register now!

What Happens When the Predictable Becomes Unpredictable?

As we all know, last Sunday was the one of the most anticipated days of the year, the 47th Superbowl. And, in a blog from last week, we discussed the idea of unpredictability and that while in the 47 years of the Superbowl game occuring, you never know when something can go awry, or, when the lights may go out (pun intended here). Many have referenced Superbowl 47 as the “Blackout Bowl.” For advertisers, they’ll remember the Blackout Bowl as the event that almost turned the lights out on one of, if not their biggest, marketing expenditure of the year. (On a side note, kudos to the companies that took advantage of the opportunity and leveraged social media to create engagement during the blackout!)

But lights out at the Superbowl for 34 minutes? Most folks would think that would never happen. David Letterman, the famous late night talk show host, joked that his 9 year old son said the lights must have gone out because of Beyonce’s hair dryer. Others ventured conspiracy theories that the blackout was an opportunity for the 49′rs to make a comeback.

In our blog last week, we discussed how even something like the Superbowl, that happens like clockwork every year, is not 100% predictable. And there are companies that will spend a large portion of their marketing dollars on a significant event like this in hopes that it will be the turning point in their sales.

Ironically, something unpredictable did happen during the Superbowl that really drove the point of the blog home. So, what do you do when the predictable sources of business you count on become unpredictable? And to that, the “predictable” sources, when you really look at them, are out of your control. For the restorer, this can equate to:

-The weather (the old saying “you can always count on the weather” doesn’t always ring true in our industry)
-Program work that can be there one day and vanishes the next
-Fire chasing, which current legislation moving through the system may make this type of work no longer feasible

This is just to name a few of the “predictable” sources of business that we see restorers rely on. But more often than not, what they really want is to predictably grow their business. They just don’t know how. In that case, it’s important to seek out solutions will grow you to the next level. Plus, you will need to have the proper systems, procedures, people and processes in place to do so as well. If you’re looking to know more about the different stages of business growth, click here for more information.

You can also visit www.theBDAway.com for more information as well.

The Unreliable “Chicken Dip” Of the Restoration Industry

Superbowl weekend is upon us, and it’s time for many Americans to feast down on an array of game snack favorites, including the ever popular buffalo wing and what has become the current champion of SuperBowl snacks: Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Now, we’re defining the Buffalo Chicken Dip as the most popular football snack due to its popularity, evidenced by being the most searched keyword phrase on Google as compared to its game day counterparts, such as guacamole, chili, nachos, etc. According to a Wordstream research study on the seasonality and trends of keywords, “buffalo chicken dip” and “chicken wings” for that matter, have a direct correlation between the beginning and end date of the season and the increase in the search of those keywords.

“Buffalo Chicken Dip” for example, increases in keyword search significantly in September, peaks in December and again in February, which is the beginning and end of the regular football season, and then of course, the Superbowl.

As a restorer, you also have seasonal peaks that are busier than others. Or, as the owner of Wordstream would phrase it, the “chicken dip” of the restoration industry-when your business will have spikes due to seasonal changes. As consultants specializing in the restoration industry, we know that for most restorers, while weather can be a great source of sales for the year, it’s also highly unpredictable.

While vendors who sell wings might throw a lot of money at PPC and SEO during this football season, restorers might also be spending or thinking about spending their marketing dollars to capture some of that winter weather business when searches for your services might be peaking. PPC and many types of SEO techniques might lead to some increased activity if you have the time and resources to dedicate to it. Take caution though, you’re essentially counting on something unpredictable (i.e.: the weather,) to be a driving force of your sales and now, you’re spending dollars online to capture business from an unreliable source.

Now, if you do have the time and resources to properly implement a PPC campaign or advanced SEO, great! But let it be another piece of your overall sales and marketing strategy versus betting your hard-earned dollar on a horse that could go lame. Take a look at the recent NHL lockout, which caused many vendors to were bite their nails at the lost business (and if the NHL season didn’t start, probably lose some fingers eventually).

For every Bruins game that was cancelled, for example, bars and restaurants around TD Garden lost as much as $1M for every game cancelled. (In our industry, “The Winter that Wasn’t” is probably conjuring up similar nail-biting memories for you right now.)What would happen to wings and chicken dip if football (heaven forbid!) had a lockout? How many vendors would be biting nails then because they assumed that football would be there every season as their biggest source of income. We’ve found the same to be true with many restorers we talk to in regards to how they count on weather-related work every year as a substantial part of their income and in many of those cases were very disappointed with the season that wasn’t.

We’ve talked to a lot of restorers that have tried individual tactics, and while some had gotten a job or two out of it, the ROI they had received when it was said and done did not cover the expense of the tactic itself. Or worse, they got zero ROI. And we can usually attribute that to having no strategy driving and directing the tactics. Having your strategy, tactics and sales force all working towards the common goal, along with having an overall plan that predictably grows your business, versus counting on the “chicken dip” season of the year, can create incredible growth and success in your company.

For now, enjoy the game on Sunday, and see you next time on the BDA Blog! (By the way, If you’re interested in learning how to predictably grow your business and not count on weather, programs or good luck to be the main sources of your company’s growth , click here!)

Wall Street, Restorers and How Social Media Impacts Buying Decisions

A recent survey by the Brunswick Group stated that 57% of the roughly 500 investors and sell-side analysts surveyed said they were most influenced in their investment decisions by the information they obtain directly from the company. 85% said that information directly from the company was amongst their top three most influential sources in their final buying decision.

Now, social media in regards to influencing their decisions is not totally off the table. About 14% of those surveyed said that digital and social media ranked among their top three influencers in decision making. That’s pretty powerful, but, it still points to the fact that social media has a long way to go in being the end all be all of decision making. But, it’s certainly something that should not be ignored.

The same is true with those deciding to do business with a restorer. We find that when talking to current and prospective clients, the question of social media will come up as well as other tactics and whether they are the right marketing method.

In the restoration industry, there are typically various targets that a restorer will go after: consumers, insurance professionals, plumbers and a slew of other folks that can refer business. And with anyone you are marketing to, especially those that are unfamiliar with your company in the first place, you’ll need a certain number of exposures in order for your message to break through the incredible amount of messages being received everyday by your prospect.

What was the traditional rule of “7” in marketing exposures varies now due to the rise of social media in our everyday professional and personal lives, and of course, the increased amount of messages the average prospects comes across daily. So, there’s no magic answer. Some still say 7, but others will also say 10 or even more.

The good news here is that social media can be one of the many ways you reach out to your customers in an attempt to gain brand awareness recognition. But, it’s important to take note of the Brunswick survey, as the principle of having key ways to provide your company’s message through direct means is crucial. This includes having a dynamic sales force in place to deliver your message correctly.

And, if you translate your message so effectively, consistently and frequently you can then reach what some might call the “holy grail” in marketing: immediate, unaided brand recall. For a restorer, that means that when your customer needs restoration services, they immediately think of your company and because you have done such a phenomenal job selling and marketing to them, you “own” that position in their mind of the “go-to” restorer.

So, does social media and putting all your eggs in that basket as a communications platform equal the end-all be all of reaching the holy grail? For now, no, but it’s definitely another platform that is rising in terms of influencing buying decisions, whether it’s a an IT firm trying to influence a Wall Street investor or an insurance agent or adjuster deciding whether a restorer’s services are right for them.



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