Monday, February 25, 2013

How to Use Offers and Promotions to Increase Sales

While we have many ideas as to how to increase sales that I've already written about, here's an idea we've been using for a couple of months that I haven't yet touched on on the blog. If you're a regular reader, you've probable seen my call to action button encouraging new customers to sign on with us, by taking advantage of a special two weeks free promotion of our services. Here's how to use offers and promotions to increase sales from your existing audience and potential audience.

1. Specials for new customers - To attract new customers, offer specials specific to them. Offer a 10% discount for first time buyers or free week-long trials. This works for retailers and for businesses selling services as well. If you offer an incentive, you're more likely to attract and close quality sales.

2. Specials for existing customers - Always remember to take good care of your existing customers and they'll take care of you! Meaning, if you give them something special every so often to thank them for their patronage, they'll keep coming back for more. You'll be their go-to for products and services they want and need. If you're selling services, maybe you can't consistently offer services for free, but you can offer expert advice as needed. Your customers will appreciate these gestures, which will help to consistently retain and increase sales.

3. Monthly promotions - If you have the resources, consider offering a different promotion each month. This will attract different types of quality buyers and clients each month. You'll consistently meet with interested buyers and increase your sales.

4. Membership perks - If you have the ability to do so, or already have a membership program for your business, consider offering special promotions specifically to that audience on a regular basis. Use the membership like a loyalty program to offer promotions that are designed to retain members.

Do you have any other ways to incorporate offers and promotions into your sales strategy? Include them in the comments below!

*Offer expires March 31, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to: Create Strategic Partnerships in the Blogosphere

We live in an exciting time. Bloggers have let go of the ‘I work alone’ mentality, and have cleverly formed strategic partnerships to join networks to grow their business or message. For bloggers who wish to gain more and maintain loyal readers, here are two ways to do so! Creating a blog and gaining an audience can be a tricky task; therefore, being able to build relationships as a blogger is the key to increased traffic. Here's how to create strategic partnerships in the blogosphere.


Attaining loyal followers will grow your blog. In some ways, they will end up doing more for your blog than you will because they will share, comment, and like actively, which will give your blog the coveted third-party endorsement. Building relationships with other bloggers grants you the potential to access their communities, which will help increase traffic. If they like your content, then they will recommend your community to their community allowing for countless opportunities to expand your network.

How do you reach out to other blogs? – The best way to build these relationships is by:
- Commenting on blogs, but make it less business and more personal talk because if they like what you have to say, then they will click through to your blog and hopefully join your community
- Offer to guest post on another blog OR invite blogger to create guest content on your own site. It is best to keep in mind of the blog’s focus and less about the community, then at the end of the post you can leave with a short background of yourself and what you do with a link back
      • Confronted with a relevant audience 
      • Establish credibility for your content
      • Increase traffic
      • Attract readers
      • Potential for new clients/sales 
      • Opportunity for MORE guest posting & partnerships/joint ventures  
- Reaching out to bloggers by mail, can become challenging, so avoid form letters, spam, sales pitches, campaigns and connect to them about how you feel they are a good fit for your community!
- Relevancy of your community and the blogger’s community is essential
- Invite bloggers to share and connect about their experiences in an interview
- Create top 10 or 20 or 50 blogs list to release to your community

The focus here is to connect, but this second point is equally as important as the first— having great content.


You have probably heard this all, but having content that is not only appropriate to your audience, but distinctive from all other blogs will allow you to attract more readers and expand your blogging network. By delivering unique podcasts, or videos that are beneficial for your viewers will exponentially drive traffic to your blog.

Here are a few ways to improve content:
- More & frequent posts
- Great content! Create unique titles; intriguing tone of voice; well-organized
- Enhanced content! Use images, links to related posts and other blogs
- Switch it up! Play with the length of your posts, include videos, podcasts, web T.V. shows or info  graphics

There are many examples out there such as the sites like Go Mighty, IFB, or Chictopia have come to realize the strength of coming together and sharing a common idea and goal. Bringing many voices together creates power and a deeper message to share with the world.

Please comment below if you have any other ideas to help gain further partnership in the blogosphere!

Written by: Kristin Chou

*Offer expires 2/28/13

Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 Marketing Goals Check-in Checklist

Photo courtesy of

Now that we're half way through February (can you say summer?), I thought it might be a good time to check in on my marketing goals and thought I would share my checklist with the Insights Blog readers. Below is a 2013 marketing goals check-in checklist that will hopefully help me and you stay on track to accomplishing your goals for 2013.

1. Am I blogging as frequently as I should?
2. Am I posting to social media sites as frequently as I should?
3. Are my posts, blog and social media alike, driving quality traffic?
4. Are my call to action buttons on my blog posts converting?
5. Do I need to add more lines to my lead generation forms on my landing pages to identify quality leads?
6. Are my landing pages effective in converting readers to leads?
7. Are my offers and/or promotions driving leads?
8. Are my print ads, display ads and mobiles ads driving clicks and leads?
9. Is my blog traffic increasing month over month?
10. Is my content resonating with readers and potential customers?
11. Am I and is my team attending enough networking events?
12. Am I staying on top of industry marketing trends?
13. Is my overall messaging positioning us as leaders in our industry?
14. Does my target audience trust me to deliver quality content?
15. Are the ways I'm measuring my goals effective?

After answering all of these questions, I'll be able to tell what, if anything, needs to be adjusted within my marketing strategy to drive more qualified leads. It also helps me to decide where I should be budgeting my time and resources.

If you have a checklist you'd like to share, please add it into the comments below! Also, please let me know how you're doing on accomplishing your marketing goals in the months to come.

*Offer expires 2/28/13

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Incorporate Keywords for SEO into your Blog Posts

A lot of businesses use their blogs to rank high in organic search results. Blogs are a useful tool for ranking organically in search for the keywords your audience is searching on, but some businesses aren't sure on best practices. We all know you should have a keyword strategy, but it shouldn't overpower the content you're offering on your blog. Strong content is what will make readers trust you and eventually turn into customers, but search will help those potential readers find you. You need a good balance between strong content and keyword use. Here's how to incorporate keywords for SEO into your blog posts:

1. Do your research - Using Google Keyword Tool, research the keywords you believe your audience is searching on. Take a look at the search volume for those keywords as well as the suggested keywords. Also take note of the competition for the keywords you typed in and the suggested keywords. Decide which keywords make sense for you to go after based on the search volume and competition level, and begin crafting blog post titles based on those keywords. You'll want to include the keywords in your blog post title, URL and in the body of your blog post, so think about that as well when you're crafting your keyword strategy.

2. Make sense and remain enticing with your titles - Make sure your blog post titles makes sense when you include keywords. If you're just throwing keywords into your title without looking at the title as a whole, you're going to lose readers and long term interest. Internet readers recognize an SEO play within a title and will know that a blog post isn't going to offer them any real value when they see it. Fit your keywords into your title naturally and remain enticing with your titles because effective titles will help you attract and retain readers on your blog. A strong title that includes keywords will bring in qualified leads. For more on creating enticing blog post titles, read this post.

3. Organically incorporate keywords within your posts - Once you've drawn your reader in via your creative headline, incorporate your keywords organically throughout your posts. Don't throw keywords in where they don't belong because you will lose readers and trust from potential customers. Maintain a balance between keyword inclusion and quality content within your posts to attract and retain qualified leads. Also, review your work to check if your keywords and the quality content you've created work together to tell your point, and accomplish your goal of ranking higher for search. Always measure your success and adjust your strategies as needed.

Have any SEO tips to add? Please share them in the comments below!

*Offer expires 2/28/13

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#BrandBowl finds the Winners of the Super Bowl Ads

What did the Fans really think of the ads from Sunday's big game? #BrandBowl finds the winners of the Super Bowl ads and the results are broken down below!

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl this past weekend, I am pretty sure that you stayed seated for the Super Bowl commercials that everyone raves about. You have to admit, these ads have almost become as popular as the big game itself!

As mentioned in our last post, has hosted the #BrandBowl for the last four years. Brand Bowl 2013, produced by and Points Local, uncovers what fans really think of the best and worst ads on game day.

Now today is the day, is excited to reveal this year’s winners!

Overall Winners
1.    Volkswagen – “Get In. Get Happy”
2.    Bud Light – “Lucky Chair”
3.    Calvin Klein – “Concept”

Most Loved Brand (Measured the most positive sentiment)

1.    Taco Bell – “Viva young”
2.    Doritos – “Fashionista Daddy”
3.    Dodge Ram – “God Made a Farmer”

Most Talked about Brand (Brand with the highest number of overall tweets) 

Bud Light – “Lucky Chair”

As for a couple of notable statistics for the fifth annual Brand Bowl we have:

What are your thoughts on the Super Bowl commercials? Was the Go Daddy commercial a little too uncomfortable? How about the Taco Bell commercial?

Add your thoughts to the comments below!

*Offer expires 2/14/13

Written by: Kristin Chou

Friday, February 1, 2013

#BrandBowl on A Social Showdown Between Super Bowl Ads

Since I know most of you love social media, advertisements and maybe even the Super Bowl, I wanted to tell you about Brand Bowl on! For the past four years, has hosted #BrandBowl, which is a social/digital experience that measures sentiment of the commercials aired during the big game.

Here's a little bit more about Brand Bowl from the site:

"Brand Bowl was built to gauge public reaction to the brands advertising during the Super Bowl. By monitoring Twitter, we can measure people's opinions and rank the brands accordingly. The brand with the top 'Brand Bowl score' on Sunday night will be the winner of Brand Bowl 2012, and is allowed to date the head cheerleader."

Here are the results from Brand Bowl 2012. Do you agree with the general consensus on the Go Daddy commercials? Are you surprised by the winner?

"Those crazy tortilla chips have done it again! Doritos is now a dynasty in the Brand Bowl, winning for the second time in three years with their 'Crash The Super Bowl' spots. Meanwhile, M&M's garnered the most positive sentiment with their sexy-dancing candy. Yowza. You can melt in our mouths anytime, pal. Finally, piling up the most negative sentiment was Go Daddy. The people agree: 'Go Daddy Go Away.'"

During this Sunday's game, encourages people to tweet about the commercials good or bad, so be sure to join in the discussion, by tweeting using the hashtag BrandBowl. It's a great way to show your advertising and creative expertise, which will help you to gain quality followers and generate exposure for yourself, and/or your business.

Follow the conversation at to see what brands are winning and losing, who's tweeting about what, and what the team has to say in the live blog as well. 

What brand do you expect to win Brand Bowl 2013? Tell us in the comments below!

*Offer expires 2/14/13