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Birding Business

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This month’s bird

The Hairy Woodpecker

April 2011 Newsletter

Advertising and Marketing Newsletter

A Monthly eMail Newsletter from Birding Business

Each month we will provide our subscribers with some of the latest information on promoting their company as well as special advertising opportunities with Birding Business.  This month the focus will be online opportunities.  Topics are highlighted in this email, the complete information is in the White Papers section of our web site.  We’ll start with an overview of the online marketing world.  As you try to digest the numbers, think about what it was like ten years ago and ask yourself if you are keeping up.

Promote, Promote, Promote!!!

If you’ve already received the April issue of Birding Business you’ll have an inkling of what this edition of the newsletter is all about:  Taking Advantage of Promotional Opportunities.

The retail landscape has become so intensely competitive lately that every store, large or small, must keep an eye on what every other store is doing. Don’t think the shoe store across the street isn’t your competition – they’re after your customer’s dollars too. And consumers these days have limits on how much of their disposable income they are prepared to spend on fashion or function. You deserve your share of that cash flow, but you won’t get it if you don’t go after it.

Every retailer in every kind of business has some opportunity, somewhere, somehow, to take advantage of a creative advertising or marketing event. It doesn’t matter if that opportunity comes from a supplier’s product promotion or another company’s initiative, if it’s good for them it can be good for you, too. Right now a major motion picture studio has created, without even knowing it, a superb opportunity for a nature products retailer to take advantage of a new release that no shoe store, beauty salon, optician or anyone else can get as much mileage from as you can.

The cover story in the magazine is about a feature film by 20th Century Fox titled “RIO”. It’s an animated movie about a bird. The basis of story isn’t really important here, but recognizing how you can cash in on it is. There are any number of ways in which a store with a nature focus can tie in a promotion of their own with 20th Century’s promotion of the film. They have started a heavy duty advertising campaign in advance of its April 15th release which will introduce the picture to a national audience, bringing increased attention to the world of wild birds, and stores in our industry can create their own promotional program to ride on its coattails. Establishing an image in the public’s mind of a connection between your store and a major motion picture can raise your profile in the neighborhood, and a partnership with another local business trading on the same theme will get you double the impact.

For example, make a deal with the local theater where the film will be showing to offer a discount coupon to each ticket holder on opening night. Perhaps the theater will work with you to offer a discount ticket price courtesy of your store, with the theater splitting the cost of the discount with you. Or maybe the theater will give out gift coupons for your store offering a 10% discount on any single purchase redeemable for 30 days. In return you can put up a poster in your store promoting the film at your local theater.

Running a couple of ads in the local paper or radio station in partnership with the theater is also a great way to raise your visibility.

There are a dozen other ideas that can set you apart from other retailers, making you stand out from the crowd. The local newspaper or cable TV station is always looking for a 15 second bit to feature home-town news about a local business, and there isn’t any other store that could put together a promotional package with another local business that ties in so well with a theme like this. The hardware store on the corner or the gas station down the block could never get that kind of mileage from a similar nationally advertised event, and you don’t have to be a member of a chain or buying group to make it work. There aren’t a lot of events in which you can step above the crowd like this, but here you can. Other opportunities come up from time to time as well and those, too, can be used to your own advantage. All you have to do is think about it, and do it. Come up with your own angle, and keep coming up with new ideas every month. Your store can become a household word in your neighborhood and your local news media can make you a star… free!

Online Advertising Forecast

Borrell Associates has forecast total online ad spending will grow almost 14 percent, from $45.6 billion, in 2010, to $51.9 billion, in 2011, while local online ad spending is expected to grow nearly 18%, from $13.7 billion, this year, to $16.1 billion, next year. The fastest-growing segments of online advertising are the local sector, anything targeted (that's us), and everything involving social media.

Borrell is a leader in localized online advertising.  (http://www.borrellassociates.com/).  If you have a store and have not considered localized online advertising, Borrell is a good source of information.  By the way, Google offers local online advertising and recently selected one of its top executives (Marissa Mayer) to head up a new business focused on location services.

Don't think online advertising is important - According to MagnaGlobal (http://www.magnaglobal.com/) Online advertising will overtake newspapers as the world’s second-largest ad medium behind TV by 2013. Internet ad revenue may reach $117 billion by 2016 on a worldwide basis.  As a familiar comparison, Twitter's advertising revenues are forecast to reach $150 million in 2011.

Web Doctor

Three tips for improving your web presence.

Keep it fresh 
If your web site is over three years old, it is due for a face-lift.  New technologies can improve your positioning and the effectiveness of your site. Daily or weekly updates will help your ranking with google.

Let the Source Be With You
Most web browsers will let you look at the code used to create the web page.  On Firefox, it is View/Page source.  There is a world of information available when looking at the code.  Sites with a lot of code tend to show up lower in the search engines.  Ask your web developer to take steps to reduce the amount of code that the search engines see.

What’s in a Name?
The title of your web site is one of the most important elements in good search engine optimization.  Place key words in front of your company name.  For example, 'Acme Manufacturing  | Bird feeders and houses' is not as good as 'Bird Feeders and Houses | Acme Manufacturing."

Promotional Tip

Do you like to write?   Want to get more exposure for your company?  Want to make a little coin in the process?  Then consider writing for Yahoo.

Yahoo recently acquired a company called Associated Content.  Anyone can become a writer for the Yahoo network, which includes Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance, omg!, Shine, Associated Content, and other leading websites. The Yahoo! network reaches more than 600 million unique visitors each month. It’s free to sign up. If your articles are used, you get paid, or you may be contacted for a special assignment.  Your articles can include a link to your web site and can help establish you and your company as an expert in your field.

Social Networking

It looks like social media is here to stay.  We'll discuss social media in a future issue; in the mean time you can visit our Facebook page.

CSI Marketing

What can groupon do for you?

Have you heard about groupon?  It’s an online coupon service based on regional offers.  Groupons are offered in over 100 cities.  Its free for users and does not cost advertisers a dime unless someone pays for the coupon.   The majority of the offers are for personal services, attractions and events.  The largest user base is female, 20-40 years of age and active in social media.  Maybe not the typical buyer of bird feeders but maybe a way to reach a new audience with no risk other than a little time.

Most of the groupons offer a big discount of 50% or more.  Could a store come out ahead by selling a feeder at a 50% discount, then selling sunflower to fill it?  It’s the add ons and repeat business that pays.  

Advertising opportunities with Birding Business

Birding Business can work with you to develop your online marketing campaign.  Products include our own web site, Birdzilla.com to reach the consumer, apps and social media.   Contact Felix Schilling to discuss your needs. 817-731-9352