New Upbeat Marketing Blog!

Thank you for your interest in Upbeat Marketing’s Blog!

Our blog has been transferred over our new website.  For the latest and greatest posts from Upbeat Marketing, please visit http://www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com/blog.

For questions about our services, please contact info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or call 512-222-7141.

Thanks!

Suzanne Feezel
Owner, Upbeat Marketing

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Starting a Business or Art Project Without Funding? Try Kickstarter

Have you ever wanted to start a creative business and/or art project, but you didn’t have the initial funds to get it started? There is an answer for you without necessarily taking on that second job. The answer is crowdfunding. The definition of crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

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Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows you to opportunity to raise funds if you are feeling inspired to start a project. With Kickstarter you are basically asking for the support of your friends, family, acquaintances on Facebook or anyone online who might be interested in your project to donate funds to help you reach your project’s financial goals. The creator of the project sets a financial goal, sets levels of giving and often some type of gift or incentive is offered for contributing if the project goes forward.

Kickstarter’s crowdfunding approach requires that you have a well thought out and comprehensive plan for your project. It also requires you to put yourself and your ideas out into the public for evaluation. People will be able to tell how legitimate your ideas are based on the work you have already done and the work you will potentially do. Because of this, you have to be prepared to accept the disappointment if you don’t successfully reach your project’s financial goals. All of your backers will be refunded if you don’t meet your goal which eases some people’s minds before they decide to give. You also have to be prepared to follow through if you successfully raise the required funds.

A great example of a successful Kickstarter campaign was done by Horse Cycles, a small bicycle company based in Brooklyn, NY. The bicycle company wanted to purchase machinery they needed to move into larger scale production of bicycles and accessories. This new shop equipment would enable them to manufacture bikes faster, offering the bikes at a more competitive price. Not only did Horse Cycles reach their goal of $25,000, but they surpassed it by almost $15,000. You can view Horse Cycles’s Kickstarter page here.

horsecycles

By offering their new line of products as a type of gift for backing their project, the Kickstarter campaign was successful.  Potential backers could see a finished product already made, and customers were able to receive the product the campaign was raising funds to produce. Keep in mind it helps to be able to show some success and hard work before you ask for money to expand your business or art project.

So, if you feel inspired and need funding to back your project, you should consider going the Kickstarter route. Remember, a simple ask for backing could help you achieve a dream you never thought possible.

Posted in Blog, Business Growth, Creative Solutions, Grassroots Marketing, Insipiration, Productivity, Social Media | Leave a comment

Tips to Help Your Twitter Presence

As a small business or non-profit, social media is a great way to connect with people that may have never heard of you before. That’s why having a good Twitter presence is essential for you no matter what business you are in. In this blog post, we have compiled a simple list to help you utilize Twitter more effectively.

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How good is your Twitter bio?

Your bio is an important part of your Twitter account mainly because it is the first thing people see when they click on your profile. Since your bio has to be short just like all messages on Twitter, consider making it fun while still informative. If your business’s brand offers room for a touch of humor, take advantage of it here. If you are a non-profit, stating your mission and/or vision is the best route to go.

Use hashtags to participate in conversations

Find Twitter #hashtags that are relevant to your business or cause. You can even create your own Twitter #hashtags, too. Search for Twitter chats relevant to your business and participate in them, or start your own chat.

Follow people who are likely to follow you back

If you are a small business or non-profit, you most likely don’t have a significant amount of funds for advertisements. So, you want to maximize your efforts on social media to reach the largest audience. This means following people that have a good potential to follow you back. Bigger companies and media outlets with many Twitter followers aren’t necessarily going to follow you back since there is no real incentive to do so. Try to grow your followers by following people who are influential and relevant to your business or non-profit but who don’t have many thousands of people following them.

Use lists to organize your favorite people and conversations

We all know that Twitter can be overwhelming at times. There are conversations coming and going in all directions simultaneously. To remedy this chaotic feeling, organize the people you follow into conversation-specific lists. The next time you login, you can click on a specific list where you’ll find tweets from all your favorite people who tweet about a particular topic related to your business or interest.

Remember to follow people who follow your competitors

If people on Twitter follow your competitors it’s likely they’ll be interested in your business as well. Take some time to look at the profiles of your closest competitors and view their followers. Follow any relevant followers yourself and you may see follow backs.

Include your Twitter profile in more places

Promoting your Twitter handle on your website and business is essential to gaining more followers. Not everyone or business has a Twitter account, so people won’t know unless they go look for it themselves or you tell them. Make it easy for people to find you by placing your handle on your website, business cards and materials. Include a link to your Twitter profile in your Gmail signature and in any of your email marketing related to your business.

In conclusion:

Remember to be creative, consistent and frequent with your tweets – this will increase your chances of people following and retweeting you. If you go through and complete the list above, you will increase your likelihood of being successful on Twitter.

Upbeat Marketing specializes in managing Twitter and social media accounts for clients in all industries. Contact us at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512-222-7141 to learn more.

Zachary Hunt
Account Coordinator
Upbeat Marketing

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Connect with Your Customers and Show Them You Care

Today, companies are investing countless dollars into marketing and advertising efforts to stay afloat and experience success in this market. However, a campaign can fall short simply because the company hasn’t left space for customer connection.

Customers want to connect with their favorite brands – and brands often become a favorite by doing just that. Below are four ways that your company can show your customers you care, and hopefully soon you will find yourself on the top of their favorite brands list!

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1. Hear Them – Listen to your customers and engage them through social media

There are more tools available than ever to help you engage your customers and learn directly from them about their needs and wants – but, are you using them to listen or just to talk?

Listening to your customers will not only show you care, but it will also provide you with valuable information on how you can keep them engaged with your brand. A new way companies have successfully used social media to connect to their customers is through Google +. Consider holding a standing Google Hangout to hear from your customers and answer their questions and concerns directly. Google Hangouts allow up to 15 people to communicate at once and they can be viewed by an unlimited amount of people live. Then, you can share the chat through YouTube to connect with your customers who missed the live feed.

2. Reward Them – Show your customers that you appreciate them

Companies that make it a habit to recognize and reward their loyal customers are investing in one of the most profitable business strategies out there. Many studies reveal that when a customer is recognized and rewarded they will spend more money with the company and are more likely to tell their friends about their positive experience.

Loyalty programs that solely reward customers for their purchases made are dated. Today, companies are also rewarding their customers for non-purchase interactions like online engagement. They have rightly recognized the power of word of mouth marketing to increase revenue.

3. Thank Them – Tell your customers that you appreciate them

Get old-fashioned on your customers and drop by for an in-person visit or write a handwritten thank you card to show your appreciation. Don’t bother getting a hand cramp writing a ton of generic thank you cards, they won’t mean that much. Instead, make your thank you cards personal to them and to take it a step further you can even add a small personal gift. For example, if you know one of your customers just lost her mother to breast cancer, make a donation in her name to Susan G. Komen.

4. Connect Them – Connect your customers to potential clients and peers

Connecting your customers to potential clients, peers and industry influencers is a great way to enhance your personal connection. This communicates that you believe in what they are doing and that you take a personal interest in their success. If it results in them taking a personal interest in your success, that is just icing on the cake!

Upbeat Marketing would love to give you more insights to build stronger relationships with your clients. Give us a call at 512-222-4171.

Thanks for reading!

Lauren Perkins

Account Manager

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Yahoo Acquires Tumblr and Revamps Flickr: What Does This Mean for You?

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Earlier this week Yahoo purchased Tumblr, the social media and blogging network for $1.1 billion dollars. Also this week, Yahoo released a new interface and overall look for Flickr, the photo sharing website. This is definitely a big week for Yahoo, but what does it mean for its users? And if you don’t already use these sites, should you? In this blog post, we will look at both Tumblr and Flickr to see how these sites could help your business and even your personal work.

A General Overview:

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Tumblr is a social media network or blogging network. It is made up of over 108 million blogs. When you use Tumblr you can post your own blog, follow other blogs, reblog them (or reshare them) and click a heart icon to like them. It has become an online hangout for younger audiences due to its ad-free nature.  And to be honest Tumblr is quite fun to use.

Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite and online community. If you want a place to store your company’s images for people to view, Flickr is perfect. The main reason is that you can join groups and tag your images for people to easily find them through Google and Flickr search results. Flickr is great for your personal and/or family photography, too.

Should you use these services?

Tumblr had 184 million unique visitors and 12.1 billion pageviews last month according to Quantcast. Tumblr has also outperformed Facebook and Yahoo on mobile devices in terms of views. A business should use Tumblr if their target audience is younger (say ages 16-30) and there is something visual about the business. Think: food, architecture, design, photography, etc. The options are limitless, and connecting with an audience to your product or your taste in products can go a long way to gaining trust.

Now that Flickr has a new interface which basically is more photo-centric, the website really makes the images stand out and “pop”. We should all be using Flickr for our businesses and personal lives. The interface is more appealing and professional looking than Facebook’s. Another reason to use Flickr is with the release of the new interface this week, Flickr is offering a terabyte of free space to all users which is the equivalent of shooting half a million photos using your iphone or a 6.5-megapixel camera. It’s hard to beat that!

In Conclusion:

Yahoo is making big strides to connect with younger users who use Tumblr. The purchase of Tumblr is not dissimilar to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram. Both Tumblr and Instagram don’t actually make a substantial amount of revenue primarily because both services don’t feature advertisements. The present day culture admires this no-ad stance, and it is the general appeal of Tumblr. Time will tell if Yahoo decides to start featuring advertisements on Tumblr. The overall feeling is that Tumblr will work autonomously to retain its original appeal and grow its base even more. We’ll just have to wait and see if advertisements start popping up, but this shouldn’t stop you from utilizing Tumblr and Flickr to better connect with potential customers.

Upbeat Marketing specializes in blogging, social media and online content creation for clients in all industries. Contact us at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512-222-7141 to learn more.

Zachary Hunt
Account Coordinator
Upbeat Marketing

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The Benefits of Google+

Picture-3-28-2013Google+ has increasingly become more attractive for businesses to use. This is great news due to Google’s influence online. Google+ was named the second largest active social network in the world in early 2013. Even though Google+ is still behind Facebook, there are more people on the network than Twitter and Youtube. In this blog post, we will outline the pros of using Google+ for businesses of all sizes. Surprisingly enough, Google+ has the capability to help any sized business looking to increase their brand awareness.

Brand Discovery & Search Rankings

Simply put, Google+ makes for better brand discovery. If we take what Klout CEO Joe Fernandez recently said about the impact of rising consumer influence on a brand’s story and overall success as true (Click here to watch the video), it is strongly encouraged to increase the number of places your business is found online. In basic search results using Google, a Google+ profile will feature recent Google+ post activity, number of followers, information and +1 activities from friends and/or people the user trusts (for example, if a friend gives Coca Cola a +1 (similar to thumbs up on Facebook), the user will see this). Also, if the person searching online is already following your business in Google+, your business’s content will appear higher in the Google search results.

Google+ Hangouts

In Google+ Hangouts, businesses can video chat with anyone from anywhere in the world. You can host internal meetings as well as interviews, live Q&A’s with the general public, offer exclusive deals, etc. The possibilities of creating interest in your business seem endless if you approach Hangouts in a creative way.

Google+ Communities

Google-CommunitiesIn Google+ Communities, users share their interests with one another to create a vibrant online community and to discuss and critique the subject matter. This offers great opportunities for businesses to listen to consumer opinions and needs as well as finding out about their target market. Google + Communities are also a great way to identify and connect with brand influencers.

In summation, Google+ is an excellent place to connect with potential customers while getting your brand out into the world. It’s important to remember Google’s influence and that joining and participating in Google+ could be highly beneficial for your business and brand from a search result perspective.

Upbeat Marketing specializes in brand management and online marketing for clients in all industries. Contact us at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512-222-7141 to learn more.

Zachary Hunt
Account Coordinator
Upbeat Marketing

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New Client: Mother’s Milk Bank

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At Upbeat Marketing we have had mothers on our mind, and it’s not just because Mother’s Day is around the corner. We are excited to welcome The Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMBA) at Austin on board as a new client.

We look forward to working in partnership with Zeehive, a local creative ad agency, to address their need with a strategic and creative solution.

The Need

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription, primarily to premature and ill infants.

Unfortunately, due to a chronic milk shortage, only 50% of hospital requests for donor milk are being met.

Realizing there is a large supply of milk that has not been accessed due to lack of awareness, MMBA engaged our team to help them grow in their ability to provide this life saving resource to infants in need. MMBA has hired Upbeat Marketing to conduct market research and develop a comprehensive strategic marketing plan. Following this research and planning, we look forward to partnering with local creative agency Zeehive to design a creative campaign that will increase awareness and engage new donors (breast milk and financial) to act for the sake of these children.

Our Approach

Market Research – The “Who”

We will kick off the research phase of this project with a thorough analysis of the market and competitor landscape, current donors demographics and current promotional campaigns. This will help us identify “Who” is MMBA currently reaching, “Who” they desire to reach and “Who” they are potentially missing. We will conduct five focus groups with various sub-groups of nursing mothers and distribute an online survey to reach the general public both donating and non-donating. Our market research findings will set the tone for the creative marketing decisions ahead.

Creative Strategy – The “What”

Once we gain insight into the target audience, we move on to the “What” of MMBA’s communication. In other words, what is it that MMBA wants to communicate exactly? Our creative team will work to identify the key messages that we want to share and the best methods for sharing this message with the target audience.

Creative Development – The “How”

Our creative team will then move forward designing the “How” of the communication. In other words, after we develop what we’re going to say, we explore “How” we are going to share it in a unique and compelling way.

Our hope is that guided by a strong foundation of research and strategy, our creative campaign will increase awareness for The Mothers’ Milk Bank, and as a result the milk deficit would one day become just a memory.

To learn more about our research, strategy and creative services, visit our website at http://www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com or contact us at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512-222-7141.

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