It is harder to make money from banking. How about marketing?

For more than a decade bankers have fretted about the threat posed to them by the banking arms of supermarkets. The likes of Walmart and Tesco have thousands of outlets that customers visit millions of times a week. Their networks dwarf those of ordinary banks; small wonder the bankers were scared.

Yet now the boot is on the other foot. Banks and other financial institutions are learning to crunch the data they hold on their customers. Instead of being supplanted by supermarkets, banks my sway shoppers.

A leader in this field is Cardlytics, a private American company founded in 2008. It has developed technology to analyse transaction data held by banks and to use this information to sell targeted advertisements to retailers and others. A supermarket might, for example, be interested in customers who spend $100 or more a month at rival grocers but who have not entered its own stores for six months. It might then offer these people a 20% discount on their next shopping trip at its stores.

Cardlytics would insert an advertisement to this effect into these customers’ online-bank statements, ideally under a relevant transaction such a payment to rival retailer. Customers can accept the discount online by clicking a box. This connects the discount coupon to their debit card, so that the discount is automatically rebated to their account when they meet the conditions (by, for instance, shopping at the store within a certain period of time).

The potential revenues are alluring to banks, which are struggling to maintain profitability in the face of low interest rates (which depress their margins) and consumer legislation that has outlawed or reduced many of the fees they are able to charge. Cardlytics, which recently struck an agreement with Bank of America and is now working with 327 banks that reach 78m households in America, says it is able to charge retailers an average advertising fee worth some 10% of the price of the purchase made by the customer, which is then split with the bank. It also claims mouth watering rates of “click through”.  Some 15-20% of customers accept offers, of which about one third are actually redeemed. By contrast click-through rates in most other online-advertising media are less than 2%, and in some cases as low as 0.2%.

Other firms are also trying their hand in these areas. Card networks such as Mastercard and Visa have begun mining their data to provide targeted advertisements. So have some banks. Citigroup, for instance, monitors the credit-card transactions of its customers in some Asian countries and uses the information to send text messages offering special deals. A customer buying clothes at around lunchtime, for example, might be offered a discounted meal at a nearby restaurant.

Although these initiative offer financial institutions a way of exploiting the vast troves of data they hold, they also raise the risk of a consumer backlash over privacy. In most cases firms offer customers the opportunity to opt out of such offers. They also promise anonymity: Cardlytics says the banks it works with never reveal the individual identities of any of their customers. Even so, customers may yet balk when pesky ads invade the sanctuary of the bank account.

Source: The Economist, October 27th – November 2nd

5 Mistakes You Have to Avoid when Marketing Yourself on Twitter

Too much focus on you: When the focus is too much on what you offer in terms of your products and how good your product and services are, you become boring.

Posting too many links: The main purpose of Twitter is sharing valuable information and news. That is why there are so many messages posted within seconds. So instead of always posting a link to a website, you can post motivational quotes avoiding links, you can also give feedback about an event you have been involved in. When sharing a link, it has to be very interesting information that you believe would help your followers.

Not answering questions: Answering questions on Twitter is a great way of branding and marketing yourself. When someone asks a question and you answer they will be pleased. You have saved them a lot of time and effort doing the research. When you include this strategy on Twitter you will achieve a lot of credibility within your industry.

Not listening: When someone tweets about some information, provide a listening ear. You can retweet and reply by offering feedback.

Not showing gratitude: When someone retweets your information, favourite your information what you have to do is to is to thank the person for doing that. These are your evangelists spreading your message for you. It is very important to appreciate the effort they do, because there are a lot of information on Twitter but they chose to retweet or favourite your tweet.

Focus on being valuable on Twitter. When the above mistakes are avoided you will definitely build credibility, build your brand and grow your business online.

How Social Media Marketing can help Brand Building

Social Media is a great platform in building your brand and this is mainly due to the fact that you can really engage and build relationships with your audience. As there are different platforms online, each platform has its unique way of helping you build your brand.

Depending on the service you are offering to your customers you might not have to be on all the Social Media platforms. However when you are on a platform ensure you are consistent with your brand building activities.

To understand how Social Media Marketing can help brand building we have to have a look at the different platforms and how you can use them effectively.

Twitter: This is one of the fastest platforms on Social Media. There are a lot of people there and it is a great platform to really engage with people. Join industry experts, comments on their tweets retweet what they post about. Answer questions as well.

LinkedIn: On this platform the audience are Business Owners and professionals. To build your brand you have to engage a lot. Apart from your connections there are several ways of building your brand. You can join up to 50 groups and in each group there are a lot of discussions going on. This is an opportunity to join discussions, comment, post relevant articles and be useful within the group. Not only do you join discussions, at the same time you can also build relationships within the group and have some more connections. LinkedIn also has an answer section where people ask and answer questions. You can answer questions, ask questions and provide good insights. There are ways to even connect with those who asked the questions and build better relationships and get more business.

Quora: Use quora to answer questions and build up your expertise. People want to work with those who can provide solutions. This really does build your brand. The key here is being consistent.

YouTube: Create some videos and post them on YouTube. Videos are a great way to really engage with your audience. You are seen as an expert in your field. Videos not only does it build your brand, when you give great and valuable content you will be sought after.

Social media is one of the most effective ways in building your brand. Focus more on being consistent in providing valuable information and you will be on your way to really growing your business,as you will the sought after person within your industry.

How do you define Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is more than having different accounts with these Social Media Platforms.

These platforms are like marketplaces where people interact with each other. This tells you that Social Media Marketing is about people.

The focus is to build relationships and engage with these people. When they are treated right and with respect they would reward you by telling everyone in their community about your services.

On the other hand when they feel that your services are pushy they will just ignore you.

The best form of marketing is word of mouth and that is from people who know you. So for your Social Media Marketing to be effective the audience online must know, like and trust you for them to want to deal with you at any level.

These are some of the ways you engage and build relationships with people on Social Media:

  • Offer solutions by answering questions
  • Engage in conversations
  • Ask a question
  • Share information valuable information from other websites
  • Share your own insights
  • And many more

When you engage in the above activities consistently, you will definitely achieve a much greater success in Social Media Marketing efforts.

7 Ways To Build Your Business With Linkedin

As a Business Owner it is a must to find new business and the best Social Media Platform to enable you to do that is Linkedin.

Here are the 7 Ways To Build Your Business With Linkedin

  • Have a 100% profile completeness on Linkedin.

  • Keep updating your profile with your network. As you do that it reminds them of who you are and might need your services.
  • Get your clients to recommend you so that potential clients can find you in the service provider directory
  • Keep connecting with people you meet at networking events by connecting with them on linkedin
  • Work hard to add new contacts to your existing contacts.
  • Expand your network by joining groups outside your niche on Linkedin. So if you are marketing consultant do not only join marketing groups but also other niches such as dentistry etc.
  • Display your expertise by going to linkedin answers and answer questions.

Would you implement these Linkedin strategies to grow your business? Leave your comments below.

3 Ways Corporations Can Win With Facebook

Do you want to have an impactful Facebook presence?

You can learn from big companies such as Coca cola on their Facebook approach.

In this post I will be sharing with you the 3 ways you can win with Facebook.

#1: Have Clear Goals

Planning and having a strategy is very important. You can begin by having some goals and plan for the future.

Have a Facebook page with some goals in place.

Ask yourself why a Facebook page. What is the purpose? Do I want more customers, do I want to increase traffic to my website or do I want more sales. The clearer you are with your goals the more beneficial
Facebook would be to you.

Have a team who would invest time in your Facebook efforts.

Coca cola generates more Likes by asking their fans whether they like coke. This means that anyone who likes “the coca cola like button” likes coke.

#2: Be available

Ensure that your community managers are actively engaging and interacting with your audience all the time

Your managers must be available online daily. Responding to questions posted on the wall. When your fans see this interaction they are motivated to buy from you and recommend their friends to buy from you.

#3: Take action

Your community managers’ job would be to get some feedback and make some improvements. Instant response to feedback is very important to maintain the relationship with your audience.

Do you think you would incorporate the above strategies in your Social Media Approach? Leave your comment in the box below.

4 Ways To Selling With Social Media

Do you sometimes wonder why your social media efforts aren’t working?

Maybe you’ve wondered, “Why does company A gets business from social media while I seem to be wasting my time and resources on blogging and tweeting and no one reads them.

Social media is very new and it can be very confusing and time consuming.

If you want to get a better ROI (return on investment), you need to make sure that your marketing includes these four steps:

  • Client Attraction: How to attract the qualified list to your website.
  • Client Retention: How to keep the people who have visited your site.
  • Client Conversion: How to get people to buy when they visit your site.
  • Client Measurement: How to know which social media strategy is working.

When the above model is adhered to social media would no longer time consuming and confusing.

#1: Client Attraction: How to attract clients

In Social Media you must set up a strategy with your message you are ready to share. You must find out what your potential clients are interested in and communicate with them.

This might you joining groups in Facebook and Linkedin and having conversations or answering questions they need answers to.

Client Attraction Tips:

  • Profile Branding: Set up a blog, a youtube profile or use social networking sites to build profile. Having a profile alone is not enough. You will seen as an expert and more credible by having custom made backgrounds on Twitter and Facebook. On Linkedin having a complete work profile.

  • Focus: There are a lot of social networking sites. Focus on one or two and engage effectively then move on to the next one.
  • Consistency: Blogging once with no strategy will not be good enough. Have a plan of being consistent once a week, month it depends on you. Customers expect consistency and they cannot see that they can easily go off to your competitor.
  • Links back to your site: Always have links back to your site so your prospects can learn more about you.

#2: Client Retention: How to keep clients

When prospects visit your site have some information on there where you can collect their email addresses and continue to communicate with them. You can get them to like your facebook page on your website. Relationships are built that way and they are more likely to purchase your services. It is important that your subscribers receive a lot of value from you each time.

#3: Client Conversion: How to get clients to buy

According to the Hub Spot Inbound Marketing Report it shows that Social Media sources of leaeads are higher to achieve sales.

Social media continues to grow as a lead generation tool for businesses.

#4: Measurement: Making wise decisions

Measure where your social media leads are coming from. You can download a free software Google Analytics. This tool will show you where your traffic is coming from.

Conclusion

Social media is still very new. The most important thing is to focus on one or two networks and make sure all your social media campaigns has a combination of attraction, retention,conversion and
measurement. With all these four you will definitely improve your ROI