77 Local Marketing Ideas for Australian Businesses That Can Do Wonders

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Don’t have many bucks to spend on your small business or start-up? Establishing an efficient marketing strategy is sometimes a challenge for small business owners in Australia because they are unable to allocate considerable funds for marketing; most of them operate on a shoestring budget. You don’t have to break the bank to market your small business in Australia.
Moreover, very day, we hear from small business owners who think they need special skills to reach their customers. Many of these Australian small business owners eventually get overwhelmed by the number and the complex marketing options available, and end up sitting on the sidelines because they are confused where to start. In this article, we will look at 77 local marketing ideas for small business owners in Australia.

 Positioning and branding

1.        Build brand identity
Building your business brand identity can have a big impact
2.       Add emotion to your brand
Emotional branding is defined as the successful attachment of a specific emotion to a brand.
At one of the Business Marketing Association (BMA) conferences in Chicago, Jay Baer asked a room full of roughly 1,000 B2B marketers, “Are you more interesting than my wife?”

Can you think of the people you have had an emotional connection with in your life? How did they impact on your life? Now think about the brands and see the common threats among them.
It is true for brands as it is for people: to break through in modern marketing, small business owners in Australia need to be more interesting and relevant in the moment.

Brands need to connect with people in the way a close friend would—through emotion—in order to build, long-lasting, and quality relationships. There are huge opportunities for retail stores to take advantage of emotional branding.

According to one research, smell is powerful when it comes to persuading someone to buy a product. Stores using certain scents in their stores have been found to have a 30% increase in sales.

A study by University of Wollongong and Murdoch University in 2012, emotional branding is becoming widely used globally. According to Dr Steve Bellman of Murdoch University’s Audience Labs, marketers are tapping into customer’s feelings to market their brands. Another study shows men who show love for their brand beer purchase 38% more beer than the average. 

Therefore, emotional branding can lead to substantially more sales without companies having to rely on discounts and promotions. On the flip side, however, creating that emotional connection can be a difficult task.

How brands can connect emotionally

ü  By telling a story that inspires an emotional connection: according to Beth Comstock, General Electric Chief Marketing Officer, you can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything. Every brand has stories to tell.

Example: look at this video by Google. In it, you well sense deep emotional connection with the product.

ü  By allow their audience to be the real heroes: imagine who emotionally connected your brand would be by showcasing how your product has changed lives. Simply give your audience a voice, a platform and face to be heard.

ü  By being authentic: don’t be afraid to embrace your inner geek. Remain who you are and don’t try to be like who you are not. At Bizify, we try to remain true to ourselves. We try to help startups find their feet and we intend to remain true to that mission.

ü  By embracing the opportunity to surprise and delight: surprising and delighting customers can be an effecting marketing strategy. Use social media and mobile to spark moments of happiness in customers and you will be surprised at its effectiveness. Coca-Cola has really perfected this art. 

3.       Create an irresistible value proposition
A value proposition is a statement that explains what value you provide to your customers and how you do it uniquely. Establishing a substantive value proposition is critical if you want to stand above the crowd. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs loose out because they fail to articulate a unique value proposition.
Be clear on what your business stands for. What is your promise? How will you put out a consistent and passionate messages that attract the right candidate? This will also help you to hire the right people and develop products and services that are aligned with your unique value proposition.

4.      Be careful with launching too many brands
The big problem for many businesses is they think more brands will make them more successful but they have neither the architecture nor the capacity to manage a multiplicity of brands well. Businesses can increase profits by deleting none-performing brands.  Even though revenue may fall in the process, reducing the number of brands will be beneficial in the long run. 

Multiband strategies are likely to suffer from diseconomies of scale because of the hidden costs. By letting go off weak, declining and marginally profitable brands, you will be freeing resources to make your few remaining brands better and more attractive to customers.  Thus, killing some brands in your portfolio may sometimes be the best way for your business to serve the customers. 

5.       Package your products
Packaging is an important element when it comes to marketing. How you package your products can attract or repel customers. Is your packaging visually attractive through shape, color, design and does it communicate the right brand ideals. If not, it might be time to revamp the way you package your products.

6.      Create a slogan
Let us consider Apple for example. As they became big, they adopted the tagline “Think Different.” This was a perfect fit for their marketing strategy because a large portion of their customers didn’t want to use PC’s like everybody else. Choose a slogan that is consistent with your brand and fits your market slogan.

7.       Take care of your staff
You need to build your reputation to attract the right staff and customers. So treat your staff well because they are one of the most important people in your business. Ex-employees are important for leads and new business. Also, reward them for not only making sales, but for being great ambassadors for your business.

WEBSITE, social media AND BLOG

8.      Post Daily Content for Continued Growth
One of the easiest ways to grow your social media community the whole day is to post consistently. Studies show that different audiences react to different posting frequencies, so you need to make sure that you have tested the optimal frequency with your own audience and look at the engagement levels in comparison with your other audience. The minimum post frequency on Facebook should be once a day and 4-6 times a day on Twitter. Also be mindful of the time of the day you post to increase engagement. You can automate the process by using tools like Buffer and Sway.
9.      Use Images When Posting to Facebook
Including photos in your Facebook and Twitter posts will generate more engagement. According to various studies, posts with relevant images generate 50% more likes than the average text post. When you want to post about an offer or an announcement, include an image. This will significantly increase click-through rates.
10.    Increase Exposure of your Communities With Social Buttons
Embed social media share buttons within your site and within your marketing communication to increase engagement. Does your blog have social sharing button displayed prominently within the posts to encourage leaders to share the article. Some of the places you need to consider include:
·         Footer of the website or blog
·         Header of the website or blog
·         In your newsletter
·         In your email signature
·         Within your blog posts

11.     Run a Launchrock Campaign
What is a Launchrock?
A Lauchrock is a free service for gathering email addresses of people who want to get an early access to the launch of a new product, service, app or really anything. A lauchrock can be an effective marketing tool because it encourages word of mouth. One can integrate social buttons within the subscription process which is a very powerful component when it comes to turning a campaign into a viral marketing channel.
Here is an example of a launchrock

The idea is to offer a free give-away or some other offer which works on friend-bring-a-friend model.  Make sure the message has a powerful incentive.
12.     invest on infographic
Over the last few years, infographics have become very popular. A professionally designed infographic is a very potent traffic generator. A professionally designed infographic can cost you anywhere between $100 and $2,000 but will be worth the investment. 

13.    Write amazing headlines
The headline of a blog post carries a lot more weight than what many people think. No matter the quality of your content, a bad headline can drive away visitors. Here are some tips for optimizing your blog titles:
·         Use every day, simple language
·         Keep it short and catchy. Leverage common psychological traits like fear, urgency, desire, etc.
·         Use negatives such as Never Do This, Don’t, Avoid, etc.

14.    Create Micro Content
Many people are now suffering from information overload, which means that they have less time and patience to consume content. A growing trend which Australian marketers and business owners should consider is the creation of micro content for easy consumption. A great service that has mostly been used is the Vine and SoundCloud.

15.    Host a Twitter Q&A sessions
One way to keep your social media fans engaged is hosting a periodic Twitter Q&A sessions. The idea is to encourage your community to ask questions and seek clarifications concerning your product, industry or business. You can provide answers, take their feedback and even create a blog post from that. Over time, more people will begin to take part and slowly your brand and audience will grow.

Customer service

16.    Identify and anticipate customer needs
Contrary to what many people think, customers don’t buy goods and services from firms, they buy solutions to their problems as well as good feelings. If you thought that customer needs are logical then you are dead wrong. On the contrary, most customer needs are emotional. When they feel that you care and you know their problems, they will love you for it.

17.    Treat your customers like buddies
Customers are not mere money dispensers. They your most important people and sometimes they can act as your brand ambassadors. You better like them and form deeper relationships with them. Be honest with them, give them a smile instead of a grin and sincere replies. Avoid arguing with customers even when you know they are wrong. You can easily solve disputes amicably and to their favor.

18.    Commit to quality customer service
Exceed your customer expectation by delivering exceptional customer service. Focus on their needs and guide them to appropriate solutions to their problems. Once you know what they want you will be able to deliver the right products. In return, they will appreciate your knowledge and expertise. Listening to feedback from your customers and measuring the long term impact they are likely to cause.

19.    No excuses: dogs don’t eat homework
One of the major blunders small business owners make is when they become defensive whenever there are blunders. When you deliver on a promise, you raise the customer’s confidence in you. Let your word be your bond no matter what happens. You customers will appreciate you and would want to do business with you.

20.   Get involved in corporate social responsibilities
Now more than ever, customers want to do business with brands and businesses that show a genuine concern for the communities and environments around them. Think about supporting local charities and environment. You are in the business of changing the world, not just making money.

21.    Provide tailored services.
Treat each client as an individual. Each has different values and needs that require personalized services. So tailor your marketing messages to target specific people with specific needs.

22.   Offer free premium products
 Give your customers free samples of premium products. For example, you can allow them to sign up for premium products for say 30 days before they can upgrading. Allowing your customers to test premium, quality products might entice them to upgrade or do more business with you.

23.   Establish processes that are customer friendly
Take a great look at your processes and structures and try to find if there are structures that are too rigid and which can be potential customer service roadblocks and eliminate them. Establish your company as one that is easy to deal with.

24.   Provide plenty of opportunities for customers to signup
Are you working hard to grow your audience? There are many opportunities for customers to sign up. Don’t just rely on one method. Use all the possible tools in your arsenal to grow your database. Promote your email list in your website or newsletter, include a signup form in your social media and virtually every documentation you give the customer. Also include a link to sign-up page in your email signature.

Products and Services

25.   Give your product or service something unique
Some of the most successful products and services in the market are unique. If you look carefully, there is always something unique about them and makes it hard for others to copy them. Make your product stand out in terms of functionality and design. Even introducing a unique packaging can do wonders.

26.   Make sure products deliver what they promise
It is easy to lose clients and damage your reputation if you are in the habit of overpromising and under delivering. Make sure your products deliver on the promises your marketing materials promise.

27.   Develop apps
Develop an app if your business can benefit from them. For instance, Uber has an app that makes it easy for customers to find a taxi and make reservations. Apps are very useful for the business and the customer.

Strategic marketing

28.   Strategic alliance
A strategic alliance can be defined as a formal arrangement between two companies. This is used to develop the strengths and meet the business needs of the companies involved. For instance, a graphic design company can partner with a digital marketing company to enhance customer the needs of the customers. This also leads to more sales as a result of cross referrals.

29.   Reach out to influencers
Make a list of key influencers in your local community and target market and send them a discount or free sample for your services. E.g if you own a store that deals with spare parts, you could target garages and send them free samples or offer discounts for your products. Your generosity will get them talking.

30.   Video is a powerful new marketing tool
Be proactive in your marketing. Film yourself offering tips, strategies and showing someone how to do something. Make explainer videos about your products and services and share on social media.

Local advertising

31.    Use local leader newspaper
While you wouldn’t be betting that you will get a return on investment on those little local ads in local newspaper, they could be good for some businesses such as motor vehicles and apartments.

32.   In-store signage
Use in-store banners and posters to promote your products and services or announce your value proposition. You could close a lot of sales using this method if you are getting a lot of people who are making inquiries or right in the edge of buying something.

33.   Street banners
A small business on a popular highway can use a street banner to market a product. You can attract a lot of attention from people walking on the street and develop a connection with you potential customers.

34.   Online Directory Listings
There are many online directories for Australian business to consider. They can also help you to be found in search engines.
Examples of online directories in Australia include:
·         Directory
·         White Pages
·         Sensis
·         Yellow Pages
·         True Local
·         Business Listings
·         Local  

3 Terrifying Mistakes of Online Marketing and SEO

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Internet marketing can be a goldmine if done correctly. But it can also be your worst nightmare if you don’t apply proper tactics to utilize its opportunities; you might find yourself spending a fortune working on marketing strategies that never produce results.  I have stumbled many webmasters who spend a fortune on SEO and online marketing yet with little results. These people end up dejected and discouraged and some even call it quits. By learning to avoid some of the terrible mistakes these webmasters and business owners make, you will be saving yourself a lot of precious time and money.

SEO is not a fixed or rigid set of formulas. SEO is dynamic; in fact, SEO strategy and change are synonymous. Most times, failure when it comes to SEO and Online marketing comes not because you have done anything wrong but because you have failed to adapt to the new changes. For example, prior to Google’s Panda updates, one-page microsites dominated the search engine results simply because they had links pointing out to the irrespective of quality of the links. 

The focus was thus on the links rather than the quality of their parent content.  As a result of the changes, only sites with strong quality links can get ranked high on the search engine while those with bogus links pointing to them are downgraded or even banned.

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to get ranked if your site has poor quality content. How do you know maximize the chances of being ranked?

·       Check that the quality of your inbound links is high (i.e the parent site has quality content). Also, the more the inbound links the better.
·       Check that the quality of your content is not only accurate, but also grammatically correct.
·       Check that you format your text responsibly (avoid excessive use of bold, italic, colors, e.t.c)
·       Publish unique content that will also be useful to the clients. Offering advice based on personal experience is an added advantage.

2.  Failure to define your audience
A lot of people don’t know that this is a grave mistake. It is difficult to succeed without a goal. Clearly, it is very hard to reach your audience if you don’t know who they are in the first place.

Who is the marketing intended to reach? The content-who is supposed to read it? are you targeting adults, children, sports fans, women, men? There are endless categories and niches that a business can choose to concentrate on. For instance, this article is targeting business owners, bloggers, SEO consultants, and those who want to make money from home writing irrespective of their gender or age or geographical place. 

The problem with most business owners is that they always assume that wider and bigger is better than narrow and deeper. Even if that is the case, you’re better off knowing what your audience is than working on a blank slate. One mistake you definitely can’t afford to make is to try and appeal to everyone. In other words, it is better to try and be a favorite for only 5% of the population-instead of being just one among millions of their options for the whole populations.

If you don’t know what your target audience is, nothing will change no matter how much time and resources you spend on marketing.

3.  Buying Backlinks may be the worst decision

This looks like a mistake-right? I don’t think so. If SEO strategies could be weighed, Backlinks would weigh more than any other SEO strategies, but this does not mean that other SEO strategies are useless. A lot of caution must be taken when hiring a SEO consultant to build links for you. 

Links are like paths leading people to your site. The more you have them the better for your site. However, if the ‘paths’ seem unnatural or manipulated, irrespective of their quality of the parent site, it will do more harm than good for your site. Companies that are serious about their success should not view online marketing as a short time venture. Thus, buying backlinks can be counterproductive at times due to the volatile nature of the organic search algorithms.

Point is, your online investment should be like stock prices. That is, its returns should grow over time but if the contrary happens, it means that something is really wrong. 

15 Powerful Email Subject Line Strategies to Win Email Marketing War and Increase Open Rates by 203%

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Millions of emails hit inboxes every day. Many of those emails are either ignored or deleted straightaway without even opening them. That is why having compelling email subject line is critical.

There is no point of having thousands and even tens of thousands in your email list when only handful of them actually open your emails. It does no good to you or to your business to have a mammoth email list, but microscopic open rates.

Getting your email to be opened and read in a crowded inbox is a big challenge, but a powerful subject line can make all the difference between being ignored and converting your leads.

Oh, subject lines. So challenging to write, yet so vital to the success of your email campaigns.Poor open rates is an issue that is confronting many internet marketers. There is both a science and an art to composing persuasive email subject lines that not only acts as baits for users to open your emails but to also take action once they open them.

In 2012, Epsilon’s fourth quarter email analysis showed that the average open rates was 27.4% and the average click through rate was 4.5%.

In other words, almost ¾ of people that you send emails don’t open them and when they open, only less than 5 in every 100 will bother to click any of the links.

That is a big problem for most internet marketersThis article explores powerful email newsletter subject lines strategies to win the email marketing war and tremendously increase your email’s open rates by as much as 203%.

I am going to show you how to write irresistible email subject lines that get prospects to open the emails. Along with this, I will also give numerous examples on how this can be done and how some people are using these strategies to achieve tremendous successes with their email campaigns.

In a nutshell, here is what you are going to learn today:

  1. Calculating the Open Rate for Your E-Mail Marketing Campaign
  2. Best Practices for Email subject lines
  3. Case Studies: Best email subject lines for increasing open rates
  4. How to time your emails to increase open rates

Calculating the Open Rate for Your E-Mail Marketing Campaign

If a five-year old came to you and asked, “What is email open rate?” what would you tell that kid?

Don’t scratch your head. Here is a simple graphic by Echogravity to explain it

Thus, email open rates measures the number of specific interactions with an email server after the e-mail is sent and it is expressed as a percentage of non-bounce rates. Your email is only counted as open when the recipient clicks a link in the email and enables the images in your email to display.

So email open rates is calculated by taking the number of emails opened and dividing it by the total non-bounced emails.

The good news is that you don’t need to scratch your head over this. All email marketing providers like Mail Chimp,  Vertical Response, Benchmark Email etc provide email open rates metrics.

6-Steps to Improve Email Open Rates

You can improve your email open rates by following these six steps

Step 1: Be ultra-specific and useful—make sure the subject line is useful and relevant to your customer needs.

Step 2: Identify yourself: let them know who is sending the message

Step 3: be visually different: your subject line should standout visually. Use things like square brackets and don’t overcrowd the subject line.

Step 4: send timely emails: the timing is important. We’ll look at this in more details at the end of this article.

Step 5: Include a Call to Action *CTA*: ask questions to make your readers take action.

Step 6:Test your subject lines: Use A/B testing to test your emails to see which subject lines work best.

Best Practices for Email subject lines?

Now that you know what your email open rate is, it is time to improve it. According to Hubspot, having an open rate of lower than 15% should be a cause for alarm. Acquiring those emails isn’t easy, so you shouldn’t take open rates for granted.

According to MailChimp’s exhaustive recent study, using clever subject lines can tremendously increase your open rates. And beyond just a fancy subject line, you must offer an in-depth content for your subscribers to open through the links and even take action.

So the first step towards improving your email marketing is to learn how to write attention-grabbing email subject lines. This video by April Bowles-Olin will teach you how to write compelling email subject lines.

One of my favourite pieces of advice from April is when April urges marketers to send themselves a test email to see how the email compares to other emails in their inboxes and see whether they would click on that email. The idea is to be brutally honest with yourself so that you can wear the shoes of your subscribers.

Let us look at some of the best practices for good email subject lines that sell.
According to Mailchimp researchers, the best subject lines are unusually short, evocative, and descriptive and give recipients good reasons to open their emails. When writing best email subject lines, it is important to keep the audience in mind and to test the keywords and phrases so as to maximize subscriber engagement.

Tips for writing irresistible email Subject Lines

Enticing your audience to engage with your email is a struggle for many marketers and small business owners.  Here are 5 tips to writing irresistible subject lines.

1. Cleverness vs. Clarity

In most cases, branding and marketing is about standing out, coming up with something catchy and being memorable. However, the email subject line is not the right place to practice this. 
Your recipients don’t want unwanted surprises. They want to have a clear understanding of what to expect when they click on your message. So the subject line should have a worthwhile messages.
Look at the below examples.

Email A is not clear. The subject line doesn’t provide clarity and the message is ambiguous at first glance. Email B on the hand is short, precise and very clear.
AWeber Communications conducted a research in 2011 and discovered that an email subject line that is clear gets 541% more clicks than one that is ambiguous or one that is trying to be clever.

In other words, when it comes to email marketing, remember this simple statement:

Clarity is GOOD
Cleverness is BAD

Just ensure the recipients clearly understand the content of the email by the subject line. That alone can great increase the number of customers who click your CTA. 

People don’t actually want to try to figure out what you are trying to tell them. They simply do not have that time.

Here are examples of clever and clear email subject lines

Clever Subject Lines

  • ABC Associates’ Always Awesome Amber Adams
  • It’s finally here
  • Look no further than your favourite site
  • The early bird catches the worm
  • Great gifts to stir you up

Clear Subject Lines

  • 10 awesome gifts  for her this valentine
  • Increase your conversion rates by 200% using these strategies
  • 5 ideas to improve your kitchen
  • Why I paid $10,000 for my web design and how it has paid off

2. Use actionable language
One way to trigger action is to use actionable language. You don’t necessarily have to use verbs—though it certainly helps.
I received this email from edX. This is one way to use actionable language effectively.
Use actionable verbs like “download”, “take”, “enrol”, “Book”, “reserve”, “buy” etc.

However, you don’t have to rely on verbs to use actionable language. This give you more room to play with words. For example, “Don’t Miss This Season’s Thanksgiving Coupons.”

3.  Personalize when possible
Email segmentation is the best strategy for personalizing your message. The following data from eMarketer shows the importance of email segmentation

You notice that highly segmented email and targeted subject lines have 39% higher open rates and lower unsubscribe rates. This in turn increases sales leads and greater customer retention.

Before sending that email, ask yourself the following questions:
·        Who are the recipients?
·        What are the likes and dislikes of the recipients?
·        What excites my subscribers? What are their fears?

4. Embrace convention, be obvious
Emails need to be conventional. It may be boring but that is the only way to get people to open them. Every component of the email need to be clear to the recipient.

Ø Make your links obvious: creating, big, conspicuous and clickable (tappable) buttons is the way to go. Make them wide enough so that they can be tapped with a thumb for those on mobile devices. Ensure the texts are bold and links are in contrasting colors. Do not have too many links and let them be well spaced.
Ø Make the benefits of opening the email obvious: don’t bandy words. Go straight to the point. This brings us to the next point.

5.  Align Your Subject Line Copy and Email Copy
It is crucial for your CTA and landing page to align. The same principle applies when crafting email subject lines and the message body. Readers should be able to read in the email message what the subject line promises. If there is a mismatch, you aren’t going to receive high click-through rates and at worst, most people will just unsubscribe.

6. Say less 
Don’t write extra-long subject lines. Don’t write blocks of paragraphs. Be very specific and cut the extra wordings. Your email message and subject line should be scannable. Keep it short: 50 characters or less works best. In a study involving more than 200 emails, MailChimp found that email subject ines with 50 characters or less have higher clicks.

7. Don’t use urgency in every single email you send out
 If every other email you send is urgent, then people eventually become used to your antics and you lose credibility. Say it is urgent only when it is truly urgent.

 In any case, it is better to point out the importance of the message or offer rather than its urgency unless it is time-bound.

To wrap this section up, I found this interesting infographic by Unbounce and I think you should look at it.

Case studies: 10 Best Email Subject Lines that Increased Open Rates

Here are 101 best email subject lines that increase open rates by 203%. Study them and notice the patterns. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, they have all the elements we have discussed so far.

Timing is everything

The time you send your email also affects its open and click-though-rates. Know your audience and use A/B testing to find the right time to send email. The time aspect is the final piece in the 203% puzzle. If you get your time right, you can experience as much as 60% higher open rates.

When Nathan Williams sent emails within 24 hours to new signups, he experienced 60% open rates. Having said that, you can’t be absolutely sure what the best time to send emails should be.

So it is just a matter of experimentation and trial and error

Here are some resources to help you get started:

Ø KISSmetrics infographic on the best time to send emails
Ø According to Rick Stamberger, the best time to send emails is when your audience is most likely to be online. This depends on industry and geographical locations.
Ø According to Kevin Gao, founder of comm100, Mondays are not the best days to send emails, as well as weekends. So your best bet is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Ultimately, you are going to have to test it.