How to Advertise on Twitter

When I first heard about Twitter, I was skeptical.  However, I’ve really come around to it, and in some senses it has really come around to more pragmatic users.  Specifically, if you have ever wondered what it is that twitter can do for your business, especially something measurable and tangible, they have the answer to that question for you.  Over at their advertising blog they have announced a product aimed squarely at the small business market.

Last month, twitter partnered with American Express to offer its small business card members and merchants the chance to use Twitter advertising.  Initially, only a small group of had access, but access is expanding.

So what’s good about this? Read More

NeoMedia Releases Barcode Marketing Best Practices White Paper

Mobile barcodes (the most common of which are QR Codes) are an easy way for small businesses to market to the ever-growing mobile consumer. They have their smartphones on them at all times and their ability to digest and react to content via their mobile device is growing at a staggering rate here in the U.S. So it makes sense for a small business to adopt some sort of mobile marketing campaign.

To use barcodes to reach out to the mobile consumer by just sticking a bunch of them on your flyers and business cards may not be the best way to gain the increased attention your business is looking for. In short, mobile barcode placement has to make sense, the code’s destination has to be optimized, and it should invoke a reaction or engagement from the person who scanned the code.

Now that’s just what I think mobile barcodes should do for your mobile marketing campaign. NeoMedia Technologies has released a June 2011 edition of its Mobile Barcode Best Practices that “offers detailed insight on how to create and manage your mobile barcode campaign to achieve maximum success.”

In the White Paper (that you have to scan the barcode in this post to access…clever) NeoMedia offers 11 useful tips that anybody looking to tap into the mobile marketing industry should adopt. And it’s not just for QR Codes either, whether you are using Microsoft Tags, Data Matrix or QR Codes, the NeoMedia barcode white paper does a nice job of giving an overview of how best to implement a solid barcode strategy to supplement your mobile marketing campaign regardless of what code you use.

Like I mentioned earlier, the clever folks over at NeoMedia have restricted access to the white paper to those who scan their QR Code to reveal the pin needed to view/download the document…And I’m not about to give it to you either, so you’re going to have to do some work for yourself:

1. Scan the barcode in this post using your favorite QR code reader, or download NeoMedia’s free NeoReader application here to reveal the pin number.

2. Visit the NeoMedia’s Mobile Barcode Best Practices website and scroll to the bottom to enter the pin from the code.

3. Download, enjoy, and make sure your business implements some of these tips to ensure you are getting the most out of your mobile marketing campaign.

    ShopSavvy Teams with ShareSquare for Easy QR Code Campaigns

    It looks as if the past couple of weeks have been good for ShopSavvy, the mobile app that lets you scan product barcodes and see if a cheaper deal can be found locally or online. Just last week I did a story about ShopSavvy and Dropbox teaming up to save and sync your barcode scans to the cloud. Now ShopSavvy has announced a collaboration with ShareSquare to make QR Code campaigns simple for your average small business owner looking to market to the always connected, mobile consumer.

    Backstory: Last year, ShopSavvy announced its ability to scan QR Codes in addition to just product UPC barcodes with its “Scan with ShopSavvy” program. The program was directed towards small business owners, retailers, and advertisers looking to take advantage of QR Code technology in marketing and advertising campaigns. Any business/organization that signed up for the program, received special QR codes that when scanned, would direct users to the businesses special mobile landing page for more information about the product…and of course, encourage users to download the ShopSavvy reader (if they were using another scanner),

    Fast-forward to today: ShopSavvy has tapped ShareSquare, a pretty big deal when it comes to QR Coded mobile marketing campaigns, to give its mobile landing pages more “oomph”. What does all of this mean to you? As a small business owner, retailer, or marketer, if you decide to sign use the “Scan with ShopSavvy” Program, your QR codes will have even greater functionality, as ShareSquare offers an intuitive self-serve CMS that empowers the marketer to craft an effective QR code campaign in minutes.

    “Many marketers have experimented with QR codes only to make mistakes that have undermined or crippled their campaigns,” said Alexander Muse, co-founder and CEO of ShopSavvy. “ShareSquare removes the guesswork and enables agencies and brands to deploy a mobile-optimized experience tailored to their campaign objectives.”

    Check out a demo of ShareSquare’s mobile capabilities by scanning the QR code in the pic above, or watching the video:

    Let’s face it, seems as if everybody is browsing the web via a mobile device. If you want to drive some of that traffic to your business, website…whatever, you need to adopt some sort of mobile marketing campaign or at the very least, make your website “mobile friendly”. QR Codes make it stupid-easy for mobile consumers to find out more information about your business. With apps/services like ShopSavvy, your entire marketing budget doesn’t have to be wrapped up in hiring a brand-name agency just to reach out to those potential clients/customers/consumers who just so happen to have a smartphone handy.

    [via: PRWeb]

    Don’t ignore the basics – a website that works

    Are websites still necessary for a small business? 

    Only if you want someone to know how to that you are open for business, what you do, who you are and how to contact you.  Today’s consumer goes online for information.  If you aren’t there to be found you put the burden on yourself to reach each and every potential customer.  And when you do contact the customer, they don’t have the ability to confirm your message or contact information.  A simple website provides reassurance and serves the role of the old yellow page ad.

    Is it something that you can do ‘eventually’? 

    Ideally, staking your claim to a URL is part of the business start-up process.  Your website is part of your marketing and getting the right name and right website address will ensure that your customers can find you.  The cost of getting your domain name (web address), web hosting and the design of basic website can be the most effective marketing return-on-investment available.   Don’t be concerned that your starter website doesn’t have all the bells and whistles from the beginning.  It is most important that you secure your domain name and that the basic who, why, how and where are answered.  A more ambitious web strategy can come later; be sure to claim your space.

     Be sure to get the affiliated email addresses and use them in your business.  You can forward the email to whichever account you prefer to use, but don’t waste the opportunity to reinforce your business name in all of your communications.  Using a free email service in your business communication shows that you aren’t investing your own trust in your business.