Learn More About Email Marketing at this Las Vegas Event

Email Innovation Summit

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cheapest ways to launch a campaign. According to eMarketer, in 2019 more than nine in 10 or 90.9% of Americans used email. And it goes on to say nine in 10 internet users also send emails regularly.

The goal of the EMAIL INNOVATIONS SUMMIT in Las Vegas is to more effectively use email and optimize your campaigns for even better ROI. After all, email still delivers the highest ROI in digital marketing.

The three-day event will teach you how to be more innovative with email using cutting edge acquisition techniques, email design, wearables and more.

In addition to real-world applications on how to use email more efficiently, there will also be a track for teaching you how to launch your own email consultancy. It will include integration from RFP to implementation, how to talk to your IT department and getting executive buy-in.

When you attend the summit, you will also get a 3-month complimentary membership to the oldest and most trusted community of email marketers in the world.

The summit is taking place from June 1 – 3, 2020.

Click the red button and register now.

Register Now



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Image: emailinnovationssummit.com

This article, "Learn More About Email Marketing at this Las Vegas Event" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Learn More About Email Marketing at this Las Vegas Event

Email Innovation Summit

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cheapest ways to launch a campaign. According to eMarketer, in 2019 more than nine in 10 or 90.9% of Americans used email. And it goes on to say nine in 10 internet users also send emails regularly.

The goal of the EMAIL INNOVATIONS SUMMIT in Las Vegas is to more effectively use email and optimize your campaigns for even better ROI. After all, email still delivers the highest ROI in digital marketing.

The three-day event will teach you how to be more innovative with email using cutting edge acquisition techniques, email design, wearables and more.

In addition to real-world applications on how to use email more efficiently, there will also be a track for teaching you how to launch your own email consultancy. It will include integration from RFP to implementation, how to talk to your IT department and getting executive buy-in.

When you attend the summit, you will also get a 3-month complimentary membership to the oldest and most trusted community of email marketers in the world.

The summit is taking place from June 1 – 3, 2020.

Click the red button and register now.

Register Now



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Image: emailinnovationssummit.com

This article, "Learn More About Email Marketing at this Las Vegas Event" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

10 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Time as a Small Business Owner

increased productivity

Small business owners only have a finite amount of hours each day. How you use them can have a major impact on your overall success. If you want to make the most of your limited time, you need to increase productivity in new and creative ways. See what has worked for members of the online small business community below.

Transform Your Day with a Morning Routine

A productive morning helps you set the tone for the rest of the day. If you want to get more done on a regular basis, a set morning routine can help. In this post and podcast on the Duct Tape Marketing blog, you can learn all about creating the right routine for your business.

Clean Up Your Bookkeeping

Constantly working through messy bookkeeping documents can waste a ton of time. If your want to improve your finances and save time, going through a thorough cleanup process is a must. This Acuity post by Kenji Kuramoto includes tips for doing just that.

Improve Employee Performance

If your team can get more done each day, you can save time on your own tasks while still keeping up with your business goals. So how can you improve performance across the board? In this SMB CEO post, Ivan Widjaya goes over some of the top strategies you can try.

Rapidly Master Social Media

If you’re not already a social media master by the time you start a business, you need to learn the ins and outs quickly so you can make the most of those platforms. If you don’t have a ton of time to lose, this Pixel Productions post by Hermit Chawla might help. You can also visit the BizSugar community to see what other business owners are saying.

Measure Your Marketing Impact

Lots of business owners spend too much of their time on marketing. If you want to make the most of your day, you need to focus on the things that make the biggest impact. That means you have to measure what works and what doesn’t. In this SmallBizDaily post by Tobias Foster, you can learn a few easy steps to measure your impact this year.

Blend Work and Leisure Travel

Travel can benefit your business in a number of ways. It can open you up to opportunities in new markets, help you make valuable connections, and give you a change of pace that may boost your creativity and motivation. If you’re interested in enjoying your travels on a personal level while still growing your business, read this Smallbiztechnology.com post by Ramon Ray.

Increase Traffic with Push Notifications

Increasing traffic to your blog or website can be really time consuming. Instead of trying to balance ten different marketing channels, why not try something that can provide an instant boost? Neil Patel outlines how he’s used push notifications to drive traffic in this blog post.

Chart and Track Google Trends

Keeping up with the latest online trends can make a big impact on your SEO strategy. But constantly checking in on Google Trends can be time consuming. So using tools like Python can help you keep up without wasting time. Learn more in this Search Engine Land post by Hulya Coban.

Understand the Purpose of SEO

Some business owners may overlook certain aspects of marketing simply because they don’t understand them. But if you’re not making an informed decision, you could be wasting tons of time on less effective techniques. If you need help when it comes to SEO, check out this Mostly Blogging post by Janice Wald. Then head over the BizSugar community to see commentary from members.

Look at New Business Opportunities

Some businesses allow you to earn an income without actively providing service on your own time. If you’re interested in starting a new business in your spare time or want to add another revenue stream to your current operations, Nellie Akalp of CorpNet goes over how to start a vending machine business in this post.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "10 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Time as a Small Business Owner" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

10 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Time as a Small Business Owner

increased productivity

Small business owners only have a finite amount of hours each day. How you use them can have a major impact on your overall success. If you want to make the most of your limited time, you need to increase productivity in new and creative ways. See what has worked for members of the online small business community below.

Transform Your Day with a Morning Routine

A productive morning helps you set the tone for the rest of the day. If you want to get more done on a regular basis, a set morning routine can help. In this post and podcast on the Duct Tape Marketing blog, you can learn all about creating the right routine for your business.

Clean Up Your Bookkeeping

Constantly working through messy bookkeeping documents can waste a ton of time. If your want to improve your finances and save time, going through a thorough cleanup process is a must. This Acuity post by Kenji Kuramoto includes tips for doing just that.

Improve Employee Performance

If your team can get more done each day, you can save time on your own tasks while still keeping up with your business goals. So how can you improve performance across the board? In this SMB CEO post, Ivan Widjaya goes over some of the top strategies you can try.

Rapidly Master Social Media

If you’re not already a social media master by the time you start a business, you need to learn the ins and outs quickly so you can make the most of those platforms. If you don’t have a ton of time to lose, this Pixel Productions post by Hermit Chawla might help. You can also visit the BizSugar community to see what other business owners are saying.

Measure Your Marketing Impact

Lots of business owners spend too much of their time on marketing. If you want to make the most of your day, you need to focus on the things that make the biggest impact. That means you have to measure what works and what doesn’t. In this SmallBizDaily post by Tobias Foster, you can learn a few easy steps to measure your impact this year.

Blend Work and Leisure Travel

Travel can benefit your business in a number of ways. It can open you up to opportunities in new markets, help you make valuable connections, and give you a change of pace that may boost your creativity and motivation. If you’re interested in enjoying your travels on a personal level while still growing your business, read this Smallbiztechnology.com post by Ramon Ray.

Increase Traffic with Push Notifications

Increasing traffic to your blog or website can be really time consuming. Instead of trying to balance ten different marketing channels, why not try something that can provide an instant boost? Neil Patel outlines how he’s used push notifications to drive traffic in this blog post.

Chart and Track Google Trends

Keeping up with the latest online trends can make a big impact on your SEO strategy. But constantly checking in on Google Trends can be time consuming. So using tools like Python can help you keep up without wasting time. Learn more in this Search Engine Land post by Hulya Coban.

Understand the Purpose of SEO

Some business owners may overlook certain aspects of marketing simply because they don’t understand them. But if you’re not making an informed decision, you could be wasting tons of time on less effective techniques. If you need help when it comes to SEO, check out this Mostly Blogging post by Janice Wald. Then head over the BizSugar community to see commentary from members.

Look at New Business Opportunities

Some businesses allow you to earn an income without actively providing service on your own time. If you’re interested in starting a new business in your spare time or want to add another revenue stream to your current operations, Nellie Akalp of CorpNet goes over how to start a vending machine business in this post.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "10 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Time as a Small Business Owner" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Coronavirus and What You Should Do Now

What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Coronavirus and What You Should Do Now

Coronavirus has made its way to the U.S. And the CDC recently released guidance for businesses that are concerned about its potential impact.

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a virus that causes a wide range of symptoms. Mild cases include cough, shortness of breath, fever, and respiratory issues. Severe cases can lead to viral pneumonia, which cannot be treated with antibiotics. It’s part of the coronavirus family, which has mainly impacted animals in China to this point. It has since spread to several countries around the world, including the U.S.

For businesses, the spread of coronavirus may also impact the workplace. It’s possible that your employees may need extra time off to get medical attention for these symptoms, or to care for loved one who have been affected.

However, it’s usually better to deal with a few absent employees than the alternative. If people feel pressured to not miss any work and an infectious disease spreads around your office or facility, employees may miss significant time and put others at risk. For the good of your team, customers, business, and the community, it’s best to exercise caution when it comes to employees showing symptoms.

The CDC statement reads, in part, “All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.”

What Small Businesses Can Do Now

More specifically, the CDC recommends that businesses adopt flexible sick time policies and avoid making employees adhere to limits or obtain doctor’s notes. Place posters or literature around your office or business to explain any policy changes to employees and make sure they know to take time off and let a supervisor know, if needed. You may need to take alternative measures to make up for a potential loss of man hours, like outsourcing or asking some team members to be on-call.

The agency also stresses the importance of proper hand washing and environmental cleaning. So make sure sufficient cleaners and hand washing stations are present around your facility.

The coronavirus outbreak could prove potentially even more troubling. Especially to business owners or professionals who travel on a regular basis. Do you or a team member take frequent trips? Heave they flown recently to countries where there have been outbreaks? Then look out for symptoms. And contact a healthcare professional right away if you experience any.

Overall, businesses need to take the risks of coronavirus seriously. And plan for potential absenteeism. This may become necessary if employees need to get medical attention. Or if they need to assist sick family members. However, the CDC also notes it’s also important to maintain confidentiality. Protect the privacy of those who may be dealing with coronavirus symptoms. And never make determinations based on other factors like race or country of origin.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Coronavirus and What You Should Do Now" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Node.Js: Pros And Cons Of Choosing Js Developers For Your Business

What is Node JS?

Node.JS logo

Branching out from the traditional frontend tool that is Javascript, Node.js is a runtime environment used to adopt and implement Javascript in server-side programming. Node.js is an open-source project that enables developers, Node JS developers for hire, to utilize Javascript tools and functionalities for both frontend and server-side processes and development. Node JS for frontend developers helps ensure seamless connection and processing in the server-side end of the development.

NodeJS and NodeJS developers have increased over the years and have shown to be a strong development tool for modern software solutions.

Why Choose Node JS Developers for Hire?

The post Node.Js: Pros And Cons Of Choosing Js Developers For Your Business appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.



RSS Business Feeds

What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Coronavirus and What You Should Do Now

What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Coronavirus and What You Should Do Now

Coronavirus has made its way to the U.S. And the CDC recently released guidance for businesses that are concerned about its potential impact.

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a virus that causes a wide range of symptoms. Mild cases include cough, shortness of breath, fever, and respiratory issues. Severe cases can lead to viral pneumonia, which cannot be treated with antibiotics. It’s part of the coronavirus family, which has mainly impacted animals in China to this point. It has since spread to several countries around the world, including the U.S.

For businesses, the spread of coronavirus may also impact the workplace. It’s possible that your employees may need extra time off to get medical attention for these symptoms, or to care for loved one who have been affected.

However, it’s usually better to deal with a few absent employees than the alternative. If people feel pressured to not miss any work and an infectious disease spreads around your office or facility, employees may miss significant time and put others at risk. For the good of your team, customers, business, and the community, it’s best to exercise caution when it comes to employees showing symptoms.

The CDC statement reads, in part, “All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.”

What Small Businesses Can Do Now

More specifically, the CDC recommends that businesses adopt flexible sick time policies and avoid making employees adhere to limits or obtain doctor’s notes. Place posters or literature around your office or business to explain any policy changes to employees and make sure they know to take time off and let a supervisor know, if needed. You may need to take alternative measures to make up for a potential loss of man hours, like outsourcing or asking some team members to be on-call.

The agency also stresses the importance of proper hand washing and environmental cleaning. So make sure sufficient cleaners and hand washing stations are present around your facility.

The coronavirus outbreak could prove potentially even more troubling. Especially to business owners or professionals who travel on a regular basis. Do you or a team member take frequent trips? Heave they flown recently to countries where there have been outbreaks? Then look out for symptoms. And contact a healthcare professional right away if you experience any.

Overall, businesses need to take the risks of coronavirus seriously. And plan for potential absenteeism. This may become necessary if employees need to get medical attention. Or if they need to assist sick family members. However, the CDC also notes it’s also important to maintain confidentiality. Protect the privacy of those who may be dealing with coronavirus symptoms. And never make determinations based on other factors like race or country of origin.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What Your Small Business Needs to Know About Coronavirus and What You Should Do Now" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Help! My Brand Went Viral: 16 Small Brands That Made It Big

When you think of viral marketing, your mind probably wanders to that Oreos "You can still dunk in the dark" tweet, which garnered an enviable 40,000 retweets and Facebook likes during 2013's Super Bowl power outage.

Or perhaps you think of the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches," a video with more than 67 million views to date.

When these global brands go viral, it's not a huge surprise.

Global brands have agencies and well-staffed marketing teams standing by to handle the good, the bad, and the ugly that can result when they go viral. But what happens to the little guys? What happens to small brands that hit on marketing gold, kind of by accident?

Below, we're taking a look at how small brands have handled their 15 minutes of viral fame. Some struggled, some succeeded, but all of them earned a spot on this elusive roster. Here's what they did, and what you can learn from their stories.

16 Small Brands That Went Viral

1. Dominique Ansel Bakery (The Cronut)

Picture of a cronut Image Credit: CNN Traveler

Pastry chef Dominique Ansel was not a doughnut devotee. The French-born, New York-based bakery owner had tasted a few, but he was far more familiar with the croissants he had grown up eating. When someone pointed out that he didn't have a donut on the menu of his New York bakery, Ansel decided to head back to his roots and invent a new kind of pastry.

Enter: the Cronut.

Ansel's new confection really gained steam after a food blogger from Grub Street tried a Cronut and documented the experience. Traffic to the bakery website rose by more than 300 percent, and hundreds would line up every day to get their hands on the trendiest pastry around.

Viral best practice: Focus on quality, not quantity

Each batch of Cronuts took Ansel's team three days to prepare. They could make about 350 Cronuts every day in their bakery, which meant the numbers were limited.

By managing the output of his pastries and avoiding the draw of producing more than his team and facility could manage, Ansel created controlled demand that he could meet without sacrificing the quality of his product.

Four years later, you'll still find a line outside of Ansel's bakery before their 8:00 A.M. opening. But the true secret to his success? Ansel claims that he's had one Cronut every day since their invention. I'm really hoping that's the key to my next promotion as well.

2. Eva Kor and Candles

When my colleague, Kayla, was in college, she went to a nearby Holocaust memorial museum run by Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor.

Hearing Kor tell her story at Candles during the tour touched so many hearts in the community, including Kayla's. Kor's story is why a visit to Candles is essential to anyone visiting the area.

In 2017, BuzzFeed did a profile on Kor and the impact of Candles. At the time of this post, the profile video has 15 million views on YouTube alone, and over 100 million views on Facebook.

BuzzFeed's profile gave Kor a global platform to share a story of bravery and remembrance. A visit to the cherished local museum became a viral topic that captured the hearts of millions, just like it had in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Viral best practice: Local stories can capture the hearts of millions

A large number of people in Terre Haute will enthusiastically tell you about their first time at Candles. Now, millions of people know about Candles and get to spread that message. Additionally, to keep Kor's legacy remembered for future generations, in April 2019, two Indiana natives teamed up with PBS to release a documentary about Kor.

Everyone has a story to tell. Candles' story is one of bravery, passion, and perseverance, feelings to which everyone can relate. By telling your story, you could capture the hearts and attention of the masses, as well.

3. ALSA (The Ice Bucket Challenge)

Ice bucket challenge screenshot Image Credit: Iconosquare Blog

In 2014, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association launched one of the most successful viral campaigns of all time. Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates were a handful of the celebrities who took the challenge and dumped buckets of ice over their heads to raise funds and awareness for ALSresearch.

By the time the videos had stopped filling newsfeeds around the world, the campaign had raised more than $220 million for ALSorganizations worldwide. Awareness of the disease rose and it reached the fifth most popular Google search for all of 2014.

In 2015, a year after the the ice bucket challenge went viral, money from the campaign was said to fund research that identified a new gene, NEK1, that contributes to the disease.

Viral best practice: They looked outside their target audience

True, most of those who made a donation during the video craze have never made a second. But overall A.L.S. contributions have stayed about 25 percent higher than the year before the challenge, and the average donor age has dropped from above 50 to 35.

By shooting outside of their target demographic and trying alternative marketing tactics (video) that might normally take a backseat to more traditional fundraising efforts (galas, email marketing, etc … ) A.L.S.A. was able to bring in millions in one-time donations, raise brand awareness, and gain an overall contribution baseline of 25 percent. I'd say that's enough incentive to shake things up in your next campaign.

4. Roman Originals (The Dress)

Picture of Roman Originals dress Source

What happens when your company isn't even the one behind a viral sensation?

"We woke up one morning and had the world and media coming down upon us," says Peter Christodoulou, the co-founder of Roman Originals. It started with a wedding photo posted online. A young woman was pictured standing next to a bride, and no one could agree on what color her dress was.

What followed was an international debate dubbed #DressGate.

Christodoulou explained that his company had hoped to sell 200 of the lace-detailed dresses per week, but the UK-based retailer sold 3,000 in just 10 days. Celebrities, global brands, and just about everyone else was tweeting, sharing, and talking about "The Dress." At its height, the controversy sparked 10,000 tweets per minute.

Viral best practice: Other brands can and will capitalize on your success

Brands around the world capitalized on the craze and amplified the popularity of "The Dress." Dunkin' Donuts, Legos, and Tide were just a few of the brands that came out with clever dress-themed ads of their own.

A few months later, Christodoulou said his company "won the social media lottery. We've had a brilliant year … Hopefully our spring/summer 2016 range will be well-received."

While the line might not have sparked the global frenzy the original $74 dress had, Roman Originals showed the marketing world that virality can happen to anyone. And retailers everywhere showed that jumping on trending topics can do as much for you as it does for the company that originated the trend.

5. Blendtec

In the early days of YouTube, there was some interesting content floating around — cat videos, sketch videos, and, of course, a guy in a white lab coat blending a whole chicken and can of soda.

 

Tom Dickson, CEO of blender company Blendtec, saw early on that YouTube could be a great marketing tool. With the platform's emphasis on funny and quick content, the infomercial series "Will It Blend?" was the result of a minimal marketing budget and an experiment.

The series was built around Blendtec's flagship high-speed blender. To show the blender's power, the CEO decided to advertise that users could even blend household items. So, he put on a white lab coat, found a box of matches, and turned on a camera.

Dickson puts everything from golf balls, Amazon Echos, and my personal childhood favorite, Thanksgiving Dinner, to the test while cheesy game show music loftily plays in the background. (Spoiler alert: It always blends).

Gaining billions of views and great interest in the high-speed capabilities of a Blendtec blender, the company has now flourished into one of the most reputable brands in its industry. Popularity of the series led to the company's CEO appearing on an episode of NBC's "How I Made My Millions" , a show about startups that quickly found great success.

Viral best practice: Leveraging YouTube to create content that connects to the platform's audience

Having little resources as a startup, Dickson stumbled upon a hidden gold mine. His story shows how adoption of YouTube as a digital marketing platform can skyrocket a company, even without a high budget or television ad slots.

Eventually, themed content, such as holiday episodes (Christmas Dinner smoothie, anyone?) began rolling out to expand its reach among YouTube's audience.

Today, you can still go back and watch the "Will It Blend?" series on their YouTube channel. And of course, you can still purchase the blender and produce a few videos of your own (something else that became popular in light of the show's success).

6. Metro Trains Melbourne (Dumb Ways to Die)

Dumb Ways to Die show screen capture Source

Are you already humming that catchy little song in your head? You're welcome for that all day.

Melbourne's metro system didn't have a safety campaign in market before "Dumb Ways to Die" (DWTD). They had information at stations, but nothing that was really influencing safe behavior or showing that the company cared, so they brought agency McCann Melbourne on to help.

Metro Trains' Chloe Alsop explained, "We kept coming back to the same thing: it's really hard to get hit by a train. A wrong or careless behaviour is required." Without a serious tone or tugging at heartstrings, an impactful, memorable, and shareable campaign was built.

By April 2014, the campaign had been viewed 77 million times on YouTube. The accompanying game became the No. 1 free app in 101 countries, and in six weeks, DWTD had garnered an estimated $60 million in earned media. The most important stat that came out of the campaign? A 21% reduction in railway accidents and near misses following the campaign.

Viral best practice: Launch outside your target market to build buzz

McCann created the original campaign using North American voices and characters because "the video had to go viral first, later it would catch the attention of the real target audience."

Today, the campaign has become a franchise used by metro transit around the world. The takeaway for us? As McCann spokesperson John Mescall says, "It used to be ‘Think global, act local.' That's no longer true; we need to think and act global."

The next time you launch a campaign, try thinking about where you might launch outside of your target market to build buzz.

7. Invisible Children (Kony 2012)

Kony 2012 campaign materials Source

Invisible Children was around for eight years before Kony 2012 turned them into a household name. They got their start by showing a short film called "The Rough Cut" at high schools and community centers around the United States.

The goal was to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, a war criminal responsible for a decades-long civil war in Uganda and surrounding countries, and most maligned for his kidnapping and use of children as sex slaves and soldiers.

The group flipped Kony 2012, a 30-minute YouTube video, to public on March 5, 2012. It was not their first or their last video but it was their loudest. In six days, it garnered more than 100 million views becoming (for the moment) the fastest growing viral video of all time. As the days passed, however, criticism of the video, the organization, and its founders grew.

The San Diego-based company wasn't ready for the deluge of attention, traffic, or critique the video brought upon them. Invisible Children's co-founder and star of Kony 2012 received the brunt of the criticism, culminating in a public mental health breakdown a few days after the video's infamous launch.

Viral best practice: Have a PR plan in place

In 2015, three years after Kony 2012 ignited the internet's attention, the company shuttered most of its US operations. Joseph Kony is still at large, and Invisible Children's downsized African programs have honed their focus to early warning systems and defection messaging.

Kony 2012 is still a divisive subject, but it's also a cautionary tale for organizations whose aims to go viral may not match their infrastructure or readiness. Site traffic, man-power, and the lack of a PR agency/strategy all contributed to the chaos in the days following Kony 2012's launch.

8. Netflix's Bird Box

During the winter of 2018, it was pretty much impossible to access a Netflix account that didn't have an ad for a thriller starring Sandra Bullock plastered across the home page. We'll touch more on that a little later. First, some background history.

When Netflix released its original movie "Bird Box," the movie was watched by 45 million viewers in seven days. In tandem, viewers took to social media with memes and reactions. While the social media attention could be a huge culprit of some of the movie's widespread attention, it also could be something else.

Netflix's marketing team has an effective strategy outside of traditional marketing channels: the platform's own user interface (UI). Netflix decision-makers have complete control over what viewers see when they log in, so when "Bird Box" released, they made sure viewers knew about it, pushing the ad in the homepage slot.

Screenshot of Netflix homepageTo illustrate, this is how much space a homepage ad takes up. Users see this every time they want to watch or search for something. Someone who watches Netflix after work everyday sees this ad — at least the movie title — at least 5X a week.

Mix an ad that's virtually impossible to ignore with automatic playback, and viewers with more time to stream content due to the holiday season, and the result is a perfect viral storm.

Viral best practice: Leveraging UI to be advantageous in a campaign

Netflix recommendations are tailored to what viewers want to see, but everything else about homepage design is decided by the company's team and gives great potential for their original content to go viral. For a streaming service with over 100 million subscribers, it's excellent exposure.

Sometimes, the perfect aid to a campaign starts with what you can do in your own wheelhouse. Marketing for "Bird Box" created interest for viewers with an auto-play ad on the site homepage. Maybe you can leverage one of your popular webpages, e-books, or social channels to similarly shine light on an upcoming product or service launch.

9. Sphero (Makers of BB-8)

Daisy Ridley posing with BB-8 Source

How did a small, Boulder, Colorado-based robotics company become the creator of spherical droid BB-8? Sphero was part of the inaugural class of Disney's Accelerator tech-development program, which helps companies expand creatively using Disney's impressive resources.

They happened to be in a meeting with Disney CEO Bob Iger as he was scrolling through offerings for Force Friday, a September 2015 toy and merchandising event held in anticipation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Iger asked the crew if they could make the rolling droid, BB-8, and they spent the next 10 months working on the product in time for a Force Friday launch. They sold more than a million robots in 2015 alone, more than doubling their all-time selling record.

Viral best practice: Use social media in new ways (and it doesn't hurt to have Disney on your side)

Sphero hit the jackpot with their Snapchat marketing campaign for Force Friday. The droid's creators waited in lines with throngs of Force Friday patrons, snapping the hype and excitement of fellow fans.

They leveraged the cast of The Force Awakens, along with Snapchat influencers at five flagship Disney stores around the world to build buzz about the movie and their robot.

It's been labeled the first global product launch using Snapchat, and the results were impressive with 10.3 million views, 4.76 thousand screenshots, 69.1 million seconds watched, and 411 thousand social engagements.

Sphero also handled media requests and newfound attention with Brandfolder, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform that kept their product photos, company information, and tech specs easily accessible and accurate. For your next product launch, how could you leverage social media in unexpected or nontraditional ways?

10. Niantic Inc. (Pokemon Go)

Screen capture of Pokemon Go Source

Are you still recovering? Is it still too fresh to talk about?

Niantic Inc. was as surprised as you likely were when Pokemon Go became a global obsession. The company had prepared their server load for game launch with a 'worst case' estimate of five times the normal volume.

What they got was an astounding 50 times the expected traffic —within 24 hours of the game's launch. But frustrated players and downed servers eventually gave way to 2016's hottest trend.

Viral best practice: Focus on quality and innovation

After launch, the creators of Pokemon Go ironed out those kinks and continued to innovate on their product. They still release special, limited-time offerings like their ghost-themed Halloween event which saw a 1.3 billion increase in Pokemon caught by players, and a user spike of 13.2 percent globally.

Niantic also resisted the urge to monetize things too soon on a large scale. Instead, they focused on "core game mechanics, learning things on the technical side, the ops and customer support side, the community and marketing side."

A more natural way for them to monetize early on? Quigley says, "We're encouraging people to get out and about in their neighborhoods, their cities, their communities —what more natural way to integrate someone into the game than to have these paid sponsor locations that are interleaved among their other locations?"

Pokemon Go is a success story of a company that wasn't expecting success but, by focusing on creating a quality product and resisting the urge to monetize too soon, was able to create not only a global sensation but a lasting one.

11. Popeyes' Chicken Sandwich

So much has been said about the Popeyes chicken sandwich storm that exploded on social media in 2019. According to the CEO, because of taste and word-of-mouth, they just got lucky.

After a well-performing tweet, it seemed as if overnight, everyone had to get their hands on this sandwich.

Craze over the chicken sandwich grew to be so large that Popeyes ran out of chicken, drove sales up 16%, rose profits 13%, and caught the eye of their competition. Additionally, the response was so great that competitor Chick-fil-A got involved.

Needless to say, Chick-fil-A's response to Popeyes's turn in the chicken sandwich spotlight backfired.

Viral best practices: Use social media user-generated content to spearhead a campaign.

In essence, the CEO was right: they were just lucky. One viral tweet about the chicken sandwich inspired others to post their reactions, participation from competitors only helped, and online tutorials were popping up everywhere.

Now, the team at Popeyes knows their audience behavior, and they've learned that posting on social media, where their audience is active, is the way to drive sales. Take the creation of their clothing line, for instance.

Announced on Twitter as a thinly veiled response to Beyonce's athleisure brand Ivy Park, That Look From Popeyes was a real launch, and every item sold out. Social media is at the forefront of their campaigns, mixing pop culture into their brand to be more relatable to audiences.

The chicken sandwich wars showed that knowing your audience and connecting to them can yield great results. Though every tweet might not go viral, you'll build a loyal customer base that feels understood by your brand with consistency and relatability.

12. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity Source

You know it, you love it, and you're embarrassed by it when your mom asks what it is. Your answer is invariably, "It's like Apples to Apples … but different."

This self-proclaimed "party game for horrible people" did not come from some hip Silicon Valley incubator. Instead, it was the brainchild of eight friends who'd known each other since grade school in their hometown of Chicago. They had no major outside investment, unless you count their one small crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and it took them a while to even have a business address. "Our main priority is to be funny -- and to have people like us," says game co-creator Max Temkin.

Viral best practice: Know your brand voice (and stand by it)

Cards Against Humanity has always taken an unorthodox approach to marketing. You can download the full game for free on their website (something more than 1.5 million people have done). They once ran an anti-sale for Black Friday where they priced the game, normally $25, at $30 a box. With a tagline of "Today only! Cards Against Humanity products are $5 more. Consume!" the company inexplicably sold more cards. Their marketing strategy (or anti-strategy) would make most marketers cringe, but it works for them.

2016's Black Friday campaign featured live video of the company "digging a holiday hole" and asking people to donate to its "cause." They raised close to $30,000 with the stunt. Most recently, they launched their first-ever Super Bowl ad featuring nothing but a potato and a clever article about why the ad "failed."

Cards Against Humanity is one of the clearest cases of knowing your brand voice and sticking with it. Their copy, creative, and campaigns are uniquely their own, and uniquely unapologetic about it, just like their game.

13. Chubbies

Chubbies on Instagram Source

Love 'em, hate 'em, or loathe 'em, Chubbies is here to stay. The founders were four Stanford buddies who bonded over their mutual love of short shorts. Says co-founder Tom Montgomery, we noticed that "If you had a really cool pair of shorts, people would talk about it." They decided to test their idea for Chubbies out at a Fourth of July beach party before going all in. They donned their "Chubbies," headed to Lake Tahoe, and quickly found "the shorts struck the same emotional chord with other people that it struck with us."

Their website launched in September 2011, just a few months before winter, giving them time to prepare for the busy spring months. Chubbies' team spent that time building up inventory and marketing to their target audience: fraternities.

Witty emails, unapologetic copy, and bro-friendly photography set them apart, and their guerilla-style email tactics spread their name and their product through college towns everywhere.

Viral best practice: Build a strong narrative before you go viral

In 2014 they raised a $4.4 million round of funding and a steady growth curve followed. They've expanded beyond their signature shorts but continue to build the brand around what made them successful in the first place -- the weekend. "We're constantly building this brand around the weekend and the feeling you get around Friday at 5 p.m. When a guy throws them on, the stress and rigors of the work week can be put on hold for a bit."

That connection to their brand identity creates a strong narrative in their marketing efforts across channels. They speak to their audience unwaveringly, and their audience responds.

14. James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)

Cover of A Million Little Pieces Source

Author James Frey had an explosive product launch in 2005. His book, A Million Little Pieces originally marketed as his memoir, was catapulted to overnight success after being named on Oprah's television book club.

Two million copies were sold, making it the fastest-selling book in the club's 10-year history. It topped the New York Times Best Seller list for 15 straight weeks and was published in 28 languages by 30 different publishers all over the world.

Unfortunately, months after Oprah lauded his bravery as well as his book, it was revealed that his memoir was more fiction than fact. Winfrey publicly chastised Frey on her show, famously asking "Why would you lie?" Frey was dropped from his publishing house and he was hit with lawsuits from many readers.

Viral best practice: It's never too late to refresh your brand

Frey continues to write books, with successes like I Am Number Four being made into movies. Even Oprah apologized for how she turned on him so suddenly. While he enjoys renewed success, Frey maintains a life decidedly out of the spotlight. The lesson here? Well, make sure your marketing isn't full of lies, and be prepared to stand by your content if Oprah ever picks it up. But it's also never too late to reinvent yourself and still have a successful career, even after a bad viral moment.

15. Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club on Instagram Source

At this point, Dollar Shave Club's (DSC) inaugural video is legendary. My first reaction to a shaving subscription service was, "huh?" But with a single video, DSC flawlessly spoke to shaver pain points, poked fun at themselves, and announced to the world that they were ready to shake up a previously forgettable industry

Co-founder Michael Dubin wrote the video, starred in it, and had a friend shoot it in a single day for less than $4,500. It crashed the company's servers 90 minutes after it went live and catapulted the company to become the second-largest men's razor seller in America.

Viral best practice: Don't be afraid to poke fun at yourself

That video has been viewed over 22 million times, and DSC has 1.1 million subscribers and growing. They earned a $615 million valuation in 2015, and in 2016 they were acquired by Unilever for $1 billion dollars cash. They continue with successful marketing, expertly branded packaging, and a unique presence in an industry that has finally been woken up. All thanks (in part) to a video that poked fun at the company while educating their consumer.

16. Chatbooks

Screen capture of Chatbooks on YouTube Source

A four-minute viral video? It goes against every 15-, 30-, and 45-second best practice in the book, but boy did it pay off for Utah-based subscription photo service Chatbooks. The video educates its viewer on how to use a relatively new app that turns your photos into albums so you don't have to.

Why was it so successful? They nail their buyer persona. The video features a busy, realistic mom. She speaks to the audience with all the advice, sarcasm, and "I get it, I've been there" relatability that you'd look for from a fellow cool mom. It closes with a catchy tagline: "done is better than perfect."

Chatbooks sold 1 million subscriptions in its first 18 months. It's racked up over 1 million views on YouTube and the company is pushing 200,000 "likes" on Facebook. They continue to put out honest, pain-point driven videos featuring the same now-recognizable mom.

Viral best practice: Get detailed and personal with your personas

It's easy to phone in your user personas. Instead of just targeting "moms," Chatbooks clearly thought through how that mom thinks, what she worries about during the day, how she's spending her time, and how photos figure into her hectic schedule. The result? A video their target audience couldn't help but share.

The Next Time Your Boss Asks for a Viral Campaign …

It's nearly impossible to know what will go viral, and trying for that elusive result will usually come across as forced and futile.

Instead, research your target audience, decide if you can expand that audience, and create campaigns that are thoughtful, actionable, and relevant. But before you launch, make sure you're prepared for the maelstrom that could follow. It's always smart to have a PR plan in place should the worst (or the best) happen.

Check out the webinar below by HubSpot Academy featuring a member of BuzzFeed's video team, and how she's managed to amass more than half abillion views from her content (with the right defenses for potential backlash).

As a final send-off, keep in mind that you shouldn't expect every piece of content you release thereafter to be equally successful. Continue to create content that resonates with your audience and you'll do just fine.



via Business Feeds

Top Story: What Your Small Business Can Learn from Apple

most recognized companies

How does one of the largest and most recognized companies in the world (Apple) make its money? More importantly how has it stayed on top for all these years?

In this week’s roundup, an infographic by SellYourMac goes beyond asking how Apple makes its money. It looks at how Steve Job created a culture of dominance. According to the infographic, it is by creating great designs, high quality products, exceptional marketing, bold leadership and innovation.

These are all concepts any small business can follow in order to keep a company growing and remain a leader.

To go along with theme of longevity, the roundup also looks at the oldest companies in the world. Would you believe there is a company in Japan that is 1,428 years old? How can you build a company with the same longevity?

The weekly roundup highlights articles that show small business owners how their companies too can realize great potential. While you are at it, take a look at the rest of the news in the roundup.

Success Stories

Creative Selection – Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age

Creative Selection Steve Jobs is a business icon whose influence beyond his company Apple is still felt today. Much was written about him and his legacy after his death, and since Jobs’ passing Apple has transitioned into a new era under current CEO Tim Cook.

How Apple Makes Its Money

Apple is a brand with instant name recognition. And this recognition is responsible for making it the first U.S. publicly traded company to reach a market value of one trillion dollars. How Apple Makes Its Money So, how does Apple make its money? A new infographic from SellYourMac asks this very same question.

What Are the Oldest Companies in the World?

When entrepreneurs start a business, their goal is for it to keep running forever. With that in mind, have you ever wondered about the oldest company in the world? A new and incredible infographic (with some great graphics) from Businessfinancing.co.UK thoroughly answers that question.

Finance

Things Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know About the SECURE Act

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE) is part of the government’s spending bill that includes numerous provisions intended to strengthen retirement security across the country. It is designed to open up opportunities to segments of the workforce that was previously not covered in retirement plans.

Management

How Leaders Can Better Track the Health of Their SMBs

The first quarter of the new year is a time to set goals and implement changes that will transform your business and help you achieve even greater success in the year to come. But while setting lofty goals is nice, executive leaders must also consider how they will keep track of business health in 2020.

Sales

Motivational Sales Quotes to Inspire You

Sales is a challenging vocation. But if you keep yourself and your team fired up, the rewards can be awesome. So how do you get motivated? Is it with upbeat music? Or some exercise? Maybe a few words of praise? How about some motivational sales quotes to inspire success! Success is dependent on the drive and attitude of each individual salesperson.
Startup Stories

Why was Philadelphia the Perfect Place to Launch Hospitality Tech Startup xtraCHEF?

Philadelphia’s culinary and hospitality scenes are booming. In fact, VISIT PHILADELPHIA and the James Beard Foundation have even announced a special partnership to drive foodies to the city. Here’s more proof. xtraCHEF is a cloud-based, mobile-friendly restaurant management tool based there.

Other Small Business News

29% of Small Businesses Will Start a Website This Year

Kudos if you have a website for small your business because many small business owners still don’t have websites for their businesses. According to the latest survey from Visual Objects, about one-third of small businesses (29%) plan to begin using websites for the first time in 2020. Needless to say, a good website can work like a well-oiled machine to generate leads.

Only 32% of Consumers Feel Comfortable About Private Companies Using Facial Recognition

Only 32% of consumers feel comfortable about having their face scanned by private companies. This means a significant majority aren’t at ease with companies using facial recognition. Facial Recognition Statistics The stats come from  a study by the business app recommendation engine, GetApp. The survey asked 487 US consumers about their views on facial recognition technology.

Diverse Small Businesses are More Successful, Data Shows

Employees in your small business often have a direct impact on your business success. If you have a diverse team on board, your business is more likely to be successful. According to the latest data compiled by SCORE in the form of an infographic, small businesses having diverse teams are more innovative and better perform financially.

PRO Act That Threatens Freelancers Nationwide Passes US House

The controversial Protecting the Right to Organize Act (Pro-Act) passed by Congress continues to divide opinions with critics claiming it would tilt the playing field in favor of labor unions at the expense of employers and employees. The bill passed 224–194 with 12 not voting on February 6 mostly along party lines.

69% of Employees Say Working at Home Improves Their Mental Health

Today 69% of employees in the United States say working at home improves their mental health. And a whopping 90.4% of employees believe working flexible hours can help with their mental health. Almost half of employees (46%) say they don’t feel like they have enough support at work. That specifically applies to their mental health. A separate study by FlexJobs, reiterates the benefits.

20% of Remote Workers Struggle with Loneliness

More people are working remotely and in most cases they are doing it alone. This is responsible for 20% of remote workers saying they struggle with loneliness. This according to the 2020 State of Remote Work Report by Buffer and AngelList.

Small Business Operations

Does Your Small Business Create a Personal Prison or Provide Financial Freedom?

For many small business owners, starting a business is a dream of financial freedom; doing what they love and working when they want. Unfortunately, more often, it becomes a personal prison where they are required to work more hours than any job and serve customers they dislike.

eCommerce

Amazon Seller Certifications Highlight Women and Veteran Owned Small Businesses

There are currently more than 8 million sellers on the Amazon Marketplace, with nearly 120,000 signing up just in the past year. This makes it one of the most popular spots for small business owners and side hustlers to make money online. But it also makes it one of the most difficult places to really stand out.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Top Story: What Your Small Business Can Learn from Apple" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds