» Benefits of Social Media

Check out the results of a survey, summarized in eMarketerand Mashable yesterday, that outlines the benefits of embracing social media marketing.  Respondents were from the Marketing Executives Networking Group.

Customer engagement took first place, with 85% of surveyed executives citing it as the main benefit of using social media marketing.  Only 21% of executives, however, think that it is a “great lead generation source”.  That means most of those surveyed do not think social media directly impacts sales.

Regardless, the majority of respondents agreed that there are numerous benefits to engaging in social media marketing, given it is low in cost, it can be used a source of feedback and results, and it allows for direct customer communication.

Although this was a small survey, I think the take away message is that it would be beneficial to utilize social media marketing as one of your marketing mediums for 2009.

What do you think the benefits are for using social media marketing?  Do you plan to incorporate more of it in 2009?

» Looking for someone on Twitter?

You can now use Twitter People Search to track them down! Twitter is much more useful when you can find the accounts of your friends, colleagues, competitors or companies that interest you.  So whether you are searching for a friend or for WeddingWire, just click the “Find People” in the navigation bar at the top of your Twitter homepage and search away!

Not into Twitter yet?   Sign up for your free account today and let the fun begin!

Follow us on Twitter!

» Become WeddingWire Rated Before the New Year

Want to become WeddingWire Rated? Get 3 or more of your past clients to review your services and you become eligible to place the WeddingWire rated logo on your website! It’s a great way to let your past clients speak on your behalf – especially before the flux of new brides hits in the New Year!

Visit the Marketing section of your WeddingWire account today to get started!

» New WeddingWire Contest Hits Denver

WeddingWire is teaming up with Colorado radio station, 92.5 THE WOLF, for the Denver’s Best Engagement Story contest. Listeners can submit a quick story about how they got engaged and will be entered to win a Rocky Mountain Bridal Show prize pack courtesy of WeddingWire.com!  The prize pack is valued at $2500 and is complete with numerous gifts, including free services from the following vendors:

We would like to thank the vendors in advance who have donated their services for this contest! The Rocky Mountain Bridal Show will take place Sunday, January 4th from 11am to 4pm at the Colorado Convention Center.  Click here for more information on the show.

Interested in being part of WeddingWire contests?
WeddingWire will be launching contests like this in different markets throughout 2009.  If you are interested in donating your services in return for advertisement with WeddingWire and our contest partners (TV, radio, etc.), please email us at vendors@weddingwire.com.

» Google Adwords and Anayltics

Interested in learning how Google Analytics and Google AdWords works? Here are three useful Google slideshows I found in a Mashable blog post this morning that you might find useful as you prepare your marketing plans for the New Year:

  • An Introduction to Google Analytics – A quick explanation of what Google Analytics is and how it works.

  • Google Analytics: Measuring Interactions – Demonstrates how Google Analytics measures website interactions (beyond pageviews).
Google Analytics

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: barcamppune bcp5)

  • Google AdWords- A demonstration of how Google AdWords works. It provides tips and suggestions too!

» Inbound Marketing: an efficient way to market your business

With the current state of our economy, many companies are turning their efforts to Inbound Marketing because it is a more efficient way to market their business than traditional, Outbound Marketing.

Let’s take a look at the difference between the two types:

  • Outbound Marketing: Main goal is to find customers.
  • Inbound Marketing: Main goal is getting found by customers.
Outbound Marketing Inbound Marketing
Trade Shows Blogs
Telemarketing Facebook
Print Advertising Search Engine Optimization
Direct Mail Pay-Per-Click

So why are companies now using more Inbound Marketing tactics? Here are a few reasons I found:

  • It costs less. Inbound Marketing is all about creating good content and talking about it. This can be done by starting a blog, creating a Facebook fan page, posting videos on YouTube, or using Twitter. All of these examples are free and can draw a significant amount of attention.
  • Better targeting. With Inbound Marketing you can be more selective when choosing your audience instead of targeting the masses.
  • It’s an investment, not an ongoing expense. If you invest money in creating content that puts you in the high rank of Google’s organic results (which is free), you will be there until someone else displaces you.

With the New Year only weeks away, it might be helpful to take a look at your own marketing plan and see if you can incorporate any of these Inbound Marketing tactics!

For more details on Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing, check out this great blog post from HubSpot.

» Email marketing, the right way.

With over 1/3 of all engagements projected to happen over the holidays and the New Year quickly approaching, now is the time for you to hone in on your marketing efforts! Over the next few days I will cover some different ways to help you do this.  Today, let’s take a look at email marketing.

Emails can work as a means of advertisement.  According to a recent MediaPost blog, email marketing is still the highest ROI channel and earning $45+ ROI for every dollar invested (DMA, 2008).

As mentioned in the blog, the key to email marketing is there is a right and wrong way to approach it. The wrong way involves sending the same email, multiple times. This tends to increase your list churn and drive readers away, making it very hard to earn back their respect.

The right way is to make sure that each email counts.  Here is my take on a few good tips from the MediaPost blog that you can use to help you do this:

  1. Get the tone right – Position your products and services so that they meet the need of your customers during the realities of our time (i.e. down economy, low budgets, etc.)
  2. Realize that discounts are not the only motivator – Although discount emails can sometimes work, they tend to fall into the “wrong way” category if they are repeated too many times.  Try providing helpful tips, value information, and timely offers in your emails.  These can boost your response and protect your margin.
  3. Integrate online channels – Use emails to spark a conversation that will continue to other social mediums, such as facebook, twitter, etc.
  4. Ask for feedback in each email and every source of contact with your customers – It is key for you to monitor customer feedback and experience. Make sure you listen to what the customers are saying and communicate back with them. This is only going to benefit you in the long run!
  5. Thank your customers – Send helpful tips and special offers to good customers and new buyers.  This is a great chance for you to encourage your customers to tell their friends about you!

These tips and others listed in the MediaPost blog can help you become a smarter marketer and assist you in crafting your emails the right way!

Feel free to share any other email marketing tips you have personally had success with!