Displays that Wow Your Customers

Product displays, if executed well, are guaranteed to stop customers and generate interest. When marketing to the show livestock audience, keep in mind that exhibitors often play more of a role in feeding decisions than you may assume, so your display should cater to a younger demographic. During the breeding season, cattlemen may prefer a display that educates them about the challenges products help them overcome. Every product and audience is different. The following are a few tips to keep in mind as you hone in on your merchandising skills:

LOOKS MATTER
Make sure your display fully embraces the product brand. BioZyme® invests a great deal of money and energy promoting brands to the end customer, and therefore, it would be in your best interest to stay consistent with the respective brand look. Because of the diversity in types of dealers within our networks, we are happy to discuss options in customizing a display to fit your space.

COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
Communicating a clear understanding of what a product does is key to successful selling. Remember that communication is not limited to words: both the visual and written language of a display must also carry a cohesive message. A successful design is one that will seamlessly integrate with the rest of your marketing campaign (and in this case, the national marketing campaign efforts of BioZyme brands).

PRODUCT IS KING!
Ultimately, every display has one goal: to sell product! Displays that overwhelm the product defeat their purpose at retail. Make sure that your display is making the product the star. If your retail area does not have enough space to showcase every product, make sure you are highlighting those small pack products (Vita Charge®, Vitalize and the new Sure Champ® Spark) as conversation starters so you can lead in to telling customers about the larger mineral products available as well.

ADD VALUE FOR YOUR CUSTOMER
Every new display project is an opportunity to create value for your customer. Value can be created through timely placement (putting the right product out at the right time), added education or a sales promotion or bundled products.  Consider a display that can be changed according to time of year so your customer benefits when most appropriate for their business.

For help with your store displays, contact Katie Vaz, Marketing and Communications Manager, at kvaz@biozymeinc.com or 816-596-8782.

Measuring Return from Sponsorship Opportunities

BioZyme® began its youth investment strategy in 2007. That year, we sponsored two Junior National beef shows – Angus and Hereford. Today, we sponsor 13 – World Pork Expo, Hereford, Angus, Simmental, Shorthorn, Gelbvieh, Red Angus, Maine and Chi, Saler, Charolais, Limousin, Mini Hereford, and Brahman. The reason we choose to make this investment is simple. Youth are the future. The next question that always gets asked is how does this investment provide return.

In the ag world, it is common to get calls from the locals – FFA, 4-H, local cattleman’s association – asking for sponsorships or for you to be a volunteer. Association trade shows and exhibitions also turn to sponsors to get their program off the ground. In most cases, these organizations will ask for a modest amount ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in exchange for some type of advertising, like logos or banners.

Deciding what to sponsor can be tricky, as certain opportunities may be a complete waste of money, while others may pay off in gold (i.e. marketing your company to potential customers). In addition, sponsoring an event for someone who already sings praises about your dealership enhances that relationship, and because you are helping him or her meet a goal, they sing even louder.

Obviously making sure these choices are a good investment of your time and money is important to your checkbook. Whether you’re being recruited to provide time or money, ask yourself the following questions before deciding to invest:

  • What is the target market for this event?
  • What kind of exposure do I get for my investment?
  • Can I get this kind of exposure without this investment?
  • Do I get direct access to the audience?
  • Does it make sense for me to be there?
  • Which business goal does it help me complete?
  • Are other sponsors my competitors?
  • How does this enhance my credibility with who/what I’m helping?
  • Why wouldn’t I do it?

After you decide to invest, don’t forget to assess the results. Some metrics you should consider analyzing include: sales activity, lead generation, lower customer acquisition cost and/or attitudes toward your brand or business. BioZyme looks to Sure Champ® sales as our metric to measure success. The below graph shows the investment is paying off in more than just goodwill.

At the end of the day, the key to managing sponsorships is ensuring you get the “best bang for your buck”, while minimizing risk to your brand or business. I am sure the sponsors of the 2012 ING NYC Marathon did their due diligence. Unfortunately, they could have never predicted an event the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy. City officials, sponsors, as well as race organizers were divided on whether or not to proceed. It was a difficult decision to cancel, but the right decision. So, whether you are a title sponsor for a major event, like ING, or a smaller sponsor at a local event, setting your objectives, ensuring you have the right sponsorship partner, leveraging the association beyond just a sign, will yield better business in the long run.

A Real, Genuine Relationship

While many of our “Know Your Customer” articles focus on gathering data or technology that effectively helps you stay in front of your audience, we never want to undermine the value of a genuine customer relationship. Our animal nutrition industry tends to be more relationship driven as many of the people who own, manage or support businesses, like your dealership, are also in the business. This results in easy conversation, a real understanding of customer needs and a true comfort level between the business and customer. While we may be preaching to the choir on this one, we want to offer a few techniques to ensure your customer relationship is genuine and true.

Be patient in building new relationships.
Relationships take time. Resist indulging in disingenuous schmoozing, as it can be a severe put-off. Instead, take the time to get to know your customer, and share a little bit of yourself. Most importantly, remember that the product and service you provide is paramount in building a relationship. At the end of the day, no amount of personal connection can substitute for great product and service.

Understand the business.
We have a vast amount of segments within animal nutrition. While you may be an expert in the cattle business, equine or rabbits may not be your forte. You don’t have to be a professional, but learn to speak the same language as your customer, understand what keeps them up at night, and cater your interaction and products accordingly.

Go the extra mile.
As you grow your business and your customer relationships, there will be times that you’ll have to make a decision on when to adjust or expand your products and services to cater to the needs of a customer. The benefits of offering customized solutions are two-fold: 1) customers remember the times you came through for them and 2) it may open up additional revenue streams and new product offerings you had not previously considered.

Treat every client as your most important one.
Simply put, happy customers are more likely to make referrals. Provide all customers with your best service, regardless of whether they are a large ranch that run thousands of head or a family just getting started showing. You never know whom your customers may know or to whom they will refer you.

Respond promptly.
When a customer calls, emails or messages you on a social channel, acknowledge the receipt of the communication as quickly as possible, even if you do not have the answer they are looking for. You will give them comfort by simply acknowledging the receipt of their request and by communicating that you’re on it. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we often see dealers worry about having the right answer, and as a result, they forget to acknowledge they are looking for a solution.

Be more than a contact.
Despite the importance of collecting an email address, cell phone number for text messaging services, a social handle etc., these types of communication can often be misconstrued, especially during stressful situations. Consider a phone call or an in-person meeting to put a face (or voice) to a name. Often the phone gets a bad reputation when using it to ‘get on the same page’, but if used for good news, a phone call is a great way to build a better relationship with your customer.

Show up.
Every customer segment in your business has events they attend. Your show audience gather at the county fair or local 4-H or FFA events, your equine customers at rodeos and your cattlemen at field days. Seeing your face and knowing you care enough to attend these events to show your support or learn more about their involvement will not go unnoticed. Consider participating in those events, offering your time or sponsorship. With every new technological advance in communication, there is nothing more important or powerful than face-to-face interaction.

May 2016 – Letters From Lisa

Sure Champ® has experienced significant growth during the past six years. What has driven this success? Supporting young people involved with livestock. I know you are wriggling your nose right now, and thinking this lady is nuts. While whether I am nuts or not is debatable, my response is not. We may believe helping young people doesn’t grow sales or pay bills. However, an investment in youth is an investment in our future. And, making an investment in the future doesn’t always pay off right before your eyes or even in your lifetime. The pay off may be after you are long gone.

BioZyme®, under the leadership of Bob Norton, started supporting youth involved with livestock in 2007 when it became the title sponsor of both the Junior National Hereford Expo and the National Junior Angus Show. Why? Bob believes helping youth matters.

As I was working on this letter, Bob asked what I was doing and when
I told him my topic, he said, “It’s pretty simple to answer that. Livestock families are unique and special and extremely important to the welfare of our community, the state and the country.”

Young people involved in livestock learn from the show ring and the pasture:

How to respect others.
How to receive criticism and how to ask the right questions to improve.
How to work hard and push just a little bit longer.
How to evaluate livestock and to defend themselves verbally in front of a judge.
How one small tweak can be the difference between a win or a loss.

That sounds like the perfect applicant for every position we have at BioZyme. On a broader scale, without this type of a workforce in our future, our country will never reach its full potential.
If you are still asking why we do this, let me reiterate that these young people are our future. More importantly, they are agriculture’s future. For them, the livestock experience matters. And making kids feel like they matter, well… that matters to us.

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Pricing 101: your pricing strategy

Pricing is the most important aspect of your business. No other factor has a higher impact on improving profits. A 1 percent improvement in price optimization results in an average boost of 11.1 percent in profits. That’s no small change.

The following are methods commonly used when determining how to price inventory. Read through these pricing options and compare them to how you currently price items in your dealership. Keep in mind the services your dealership provides when trying to match the best method for you moving forward.

Value based pricing: It’s all about the customer

To consumers, price is a number of how much they value what you are selling. For example, if I needed a new winter hat, I could get one from the local Goodwill store for a dollar, or I could go to Macy’s and buy one for $25. If I only cared about covering my head, Goodwill would win, but since I care about my fashion sense, Macy’s wins. A customer’s willingness to pay is contingent upon the value he or she places on the product desired. Essentially, value based pricing cuts through the red tape of this scenario to determine the true willingness of a customer to pay for a particular product.

Unfortunately, the most common pricing strategies and methodologies forget about the customer. Instead, people in charge of pricing justify price points based on internal reasons or simply adopting existing market prices. Newsflash: customers don’t care how much something costs you or your competitors to make. Customers want to know how much value they are receiving at a particular price.

Value based pricing requires a lot of research. But it allows more interaction between you and your customer. Plus, unlike pricing done by market norms, this method focuses on isolating qualities that distinguish your product from a dozen similar products on the market.

Value based pricing models utilizes customer data, as well as breakdowns of the relative value of different features within your offering. You’ll also need to conduct an analysis of competing goods, because once you have the data, you’ll want to know the other options consumers have open to them. In the end though, you have the greatest amount of data to make an informed decision about your profit maximizing price.

Pros of value based pricing

1. It helps you develop higher quality products.

Value based pricing not only determines a more accurate price for the end product, but the process will also benefit your business. Taking on a consumer perspective will also help you discover what customers are really looking for. Products and features will be driven by consumer demand, which raises perceived value, thereby resulting in a higher price.

2. It allows you to provide phenomenal customer service.

Much of the customer data in value based pricing is collected through customer surveys or interviews. In past newsletters, we have stressed the importance of building relationships with customers and providing them quality customer service. Your customers will perceive that you are providing the best service available and building repeat business instead of a one-time customer. The customer will trust that you are providing the most bang for his or her buck.

Cons of value based pricing

1. It takes time and resources.

The method takes time; both while building relationships with customers and researching competitors’ prices and services.

2. It’s a science, just not an exact science.

Value based pricing is more of a process that requires consistent dedication, not just a “set it and forget it” mentality. Think about it, willingness to pay differs between different customers, regions and even offers. A 100 percent accurate prediction is impossible, but we can get pretty darn close.

Summary: Value based pricing should be a part of almost everyone’s pricing strategy. When done right, value based pricing provides increased opportunities to provide customer service and motivates you to provide a higher quality product.

Cost plus pricing: The oldest and simplest method of setting prices

Cost plus pricing is the simplest method of determining price, and embodies the basic idea behind doing business. You buy something, sell it for more than you spent buying it (because you’ve added value by providing the product), and the difference between your price and costs equals profit.

A lot of companies calculate their cost, determine their desired profit margin by pulling a number out of thin air, slap the two numbers together and then stick it on a couple thousand widgets. It’s really that simple. This method involves very little market research, and also doesn’t take into consideration consumer demands and competitor strategies.

Pros of cost plus pricing

1. It takes few resources.

Cost plus pricing doesn’t require a lot of additional market research. Cost of product is something businesses are mostly aware of by adding up different invoices, labor costs, etc. Businesses can then take the total costs and place a margin on top of them that they believe the market will bear. Cost plus pricing is especially helpful when you have no information about a customer’s willingness to pay and there aren’t direct competitors in the marketplace.

2. It provides full coverage of cost and a consistent rate of return.

As long as whomever is calculating the costs per item is adding everything up correctly, cost plus pricing ensures that the full cost of the product is covered, allowing the mark-up to generate a positive rate of return.

Cons of cost plus pricing

1. It’s horribly inefficient.

The guarantee of a target rate of return creates little incentive for cutting cost or for increasing profitability through price differentiation. This inward facing approach discourages market research, including watching your competitor’s prices. Plus with no research, you have minimal data on your customers’ perceived value of your product.

2. It doesn’t take into account consumers.

Perhaps the biggest downfall of cost plus pricing is that it completely disregards the customer’s willingness to pay. To make money, a customer must be involved. They’re the most important part of selling anything, so any pricing strategy that doesn’t take customer value into account is creating a vacuum that’s sucking all of the profit out of the business.

Furthermore to be blunt, customers don’t care about how much something cost you. They understand there are costs associated with doing business, but consumers care more about how much value you’re providing.

In summary, cost plus pricing isn’t ideal for most businesses, unless you truly cannot spend some extra time on the most important aspect of your business – your customers.

Competitor based pricing:  logical, but ineffective

Competitor based pricing is a lot like a bad case of plagiarism in a college class. Because you don’t want to do the work yourself, you look at your competitors’ prices for similar products, and set your prices similarly.

Imagine stacking all of your competitors on a totem pole with the most premium or luxury brand on top and the bargain brand on the bottom. You then decide where on the pole you fit, place yourself in there and set your price accordingly. This is not the way to do business.

Pros of competitor based pricing

1. It’s fairly simple.

If you’re in an industry with even one or two direct competitors, you can implement a reasonable competitor based pricing strategy. In most industries, marketing and product managers will then have to do relatively little research to find a price.

2. It’s low risk.

It’s rare to royally screw up using this form of pricing, and chances are if your competitor has never filed bankruptcy, neither should you.


Cons of competitor based pricing

1. It leads to large missed opportunities.

You will miss the opportunity to work closely with your customers and provide them true customer service if you just sell a product without any extra perceived value. You will likely lose profits and not take advantage of improving your product or business. Maintaining a lower price than your competitors isn’t always the best way to attract consumers, and as Lisa’s chart on page 2 showed, prices are not a priority like customer service and communication.

2. Formed by group consensus and lacks personal responsibility.

Competitor based pricing operates off the assumption that businesses already in the market have the correct answer and that every decision competitors’ make is intelligent. However, if a large portion of companies all use this tactic, then with time, competitor based pricing can lead to the entire industry losing touch with demand.

Summary: Competitor based pricing should be a part of everyone’s pricing process, but not the central pillar. As we alluded to before, competitor based pricing also gives you too much of a “set it and forget it” mentality. Pricing is a process that requires data and attention. If you’re not changing your prices and differentiating your product over time, you’re not sustainable. Yes, you should know what your competitors’ prices are, but knowing your customers and their demands is more important. If you take elements of all three of these pricing strategies, you should see increased business and an increase in your profits.

April 2016 – Letters From Lisa

’P’ for price

Pricing is one of the four P’s of the marketing mix, the pillars that support and sustain your business. The first is Product; the second is Place (distribution); the third is Promotion and the fourth is Price. All four of these factors must be implemented before you can succeed in business.

I am going to focus on price, which some people consider an afterthought to the other three. But, I argue price is the most important factor, and it’s critical to your business that you get it right. Remember price is the only element in the marketing mix that produces revenue; all other elements represent costs.

Without proper pricing, your gross margin will suffer and that will translate into less profit than you deserve and ultimately limited cash flow. Limited cash flow will eventually impact the sustainability of the business.

One trap that is easy to fall into is thinking that the price must be as low as possible to get any traction with sales. This just isn’t true. We routinely survey our end-user customers to see what matters to them in their purchasing decisions. What they say about price and its importance will surprise you. The following is a list of the top 10 factors to provide proof and understanding of the definition of value, or in other words, why you don’t need to assume your prices need to be kept to the lowest number possible to close the sale.

  1. Product makes a difference in animal’s health & performance.
  2. Product is easy to feed.
  3. Product is consistent in quality.
  4. Knowledge of product by sales personnel.
  5. Reliability of product supply.
  6. Personnel respond quickly to requests.
  7. Ease of contacting the right person for help.
  8. Product is packaged in useful quantities.
  9. Problems are resolved quickly.
  10. Ease of doing business.

So, instead of worrying about keeping prices low, worry about the items highlighted in yellow. Focus your energy on educating, having inventory, responding quickly and making doing business with you easy. If this is your focus, you can use value based pricing, which means believing that you can sell at our suggested retail price plus the freight to get the product to you. No smirking without giving it a try.

To end, I’ll quote Lawrence Steinmetz who wrote a book on sales called “How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors.” “The first thing you have to understand is the selling price is a function of your ability to sell and nothing else. What’s the difference between an $8,000 Rolex and a $40 Seiko watch? The Seiko is a better time piece. It’s far more accurate. The difference is your ability to sell.”

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Understanding The Value

Without an understanding of what all is included in a bag of BioZyme mineral, it is possible your customers feel they are comparing apples to apples when, in fact, they are not. BioZyme mineral prodcts contain a host of things other mineral brands simply do not offer:

AMAFERM®
The key ingredient in all of BioZyme’s products, Amaferm® is a natural feed additive, that acts as a prebiotic increasing digestibility to 
maximize the energy value of feed.

OPTIMIN® Proteinates
The nutritional success of any organic trace mineral depends on the ability of the organic escort to hold onto and protect the metal from undesirable reactions. Optimin’s superior chelation stability maintains the integrity and keeps the organic mineral in its original form during digestion. Optimins are soluble and ready for absorption, especially when they are needed most – under stress or during difficult dietary 
digestive conditions.

PRICELESS Attributes of BioZyme Mineral Products

  • Research proven vitamin and mineral levels
  • Exceeds NRC requirements for respective production stage
  • Highest ingredient quality and consistency
  • No least-cost formulations as BioZyme manufactures to the ingredients, not the guarantee

An Inside Look at how the Value Pencils Out

Pricing is an issue of which 99-percent of all dealers struggle. However, Doug Underwood and his Area Sales Manager, Ben Neale, contest this issue with testimonials to demonstrate the benefits of including BioZyme® products in their customers’ nutritional programs in order to prove its value and thus price accordingly. 

Underwood has been selling BioZyme products for more than five years and became a dealer when he needed access to the supplement and mineral lines for his own cows. After using it for 19 years on his Polled Hereford seedstock, Underwood was a convinced of its worth. When his local dealer retired, he decided to establish his own BioZyme dealership at his farm near Campbellsville, Kentucky.

Many of Underwood’s customers were familiar with the products, but to continue to educate them as well as new prospective customers, Underwood and Neale have hosted field days to talk about how and why BioZyme products work. Underwood says when he hears the question of expense, he focuses his selling points around Amaferm®.

“That is what sets this brand apart from other mineral products,” Underwood says. “It’s one particular ingredient that makes a big difference in cattle. They have a much better feed intake and appearance. That’s the positive result you get from Amaferm.”

Neale’s territory covers Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi, so he’s on the road working with dealers like Underwood. In addition to field days and producer meetings, he says BioZyme has many marketing tools available to help dealers explain to producers how investing in premium products will increase their bottom lines. When Neale visits with dealers, he encourages them to think about inventory control. “Our price list shows buying 22 tons at a time is the best way to achieve greater margins, but if you have to sit on inventory for 6-10 months that may cost more money if operating on a line of credit,” Neale says. “So, we try to focus on flipping inventory faster. You can still turn a profit if you buy 5-10 tons at a time, and the product remains fresh for the customer.”

Underwood says the time he puts into selling a value-added product like those BioZyme provides is worth it. Even when cattle prices are down and it seems like input costs and supplements, like BioZyme, don’t make sense, he encourages fellow producers to try the product. Their return on investment will become apparent when they wean heavier calves or when cows settle on the first cycle. And he says, he would never lower his prices to match a competitor. “When they start comparing ingredients and prices from the local feed store, I have to show them what Amaferm does for them instead,” he says. “The math will speak for itself. If I can get a cow bred on the first cycle instead of the second I’ve saved 21 days at maybe $1.50 per pound and gain another two pounds per day for those 21 days for a total of 42 lbs. at weaning for an additional $63 per calf. The benefits BioZyme products provide for the additional cost pencils out in the long run.”

Neale says dealers should remember when faced with price comparisons from other mineral products they should focus on the ingredients BioZyme provides and how the ingredients found on the tag are not found in any other product. That’s what the extra pricing goes toward – better ingredients plus Amaferm in the mineral bag.

Neale says he talks to customers about Amaferm and how this prebiotic increases gut health, increases feed efficiency and helps animals recover faster from times of stress. The added benefit, he says, of two products in one bag is also a good selling point during price discussions.

Another benefit of the Neale-Underwood team is that ASM’s like Neale can help dealers grow their business outside of an established customer base. Neale is working with Underwood to recruit sub-dealers and build a network from customers who are two or more hours away. 

“I am working with Doug to build upon his strong local relationships,” he says. “It’s new for both of us but without the availability of stores in his area he has to network with breeders and others who can help grow his business.”

“Real business is successful when someone sees a return on investment not on price,” Neale says. “We want customers who use these products to understand and believe that as well. When you talk with someone who’s going on a diet, are they going out to buy and consume healthy food or junk? It’s the same with cattle. If you want higher returns then you have to be conscious of what you’re feeding them. You may have to pay more to be efficient.”

“Just let the product speak for itself,” Underwood says.

4 Myths to Debunk about Pricing

Pricing tends to be looked at as this ominous figure in business that’s so difficult that most are left paralyzed. As one of the least studied branches of marketing, pricing has become a black box for many dealers, who simply adopt existing prejudices and misinformation.

Put simply: if pricing is a black box, you’re losing money. A lot of it.

Therefore, let’s dispel some of the most common myths so you can be catapulted into action and start capturing all of that lost cash you’re leaving on the table. Increased revenue makes every business owner happy.

Myth #1:
We need to accept market or competitor pricing

Basic microeconomics teaches that in perfect competition, individual companies cannot affect market prices. In other words, businesses must accept the equilibrium price, where the demand curve crosses the supply curve. While this is a convenient way to calculate price, this theory doesn’t correctly reflect how the real market works. Prices in any market span across a range, rather than fixing on only one point. Product and service differentiation through brand, quality, etc. can all affect where your business lies on this range.

TRUTH: No matter the density of your industry, product and brand differentiation can take you well above the market standard.

Myth #2:
The only way to increase volume of sales is by decreasing price

It may sound too good to be true, but it is indeed possible to raise prices and increase volume at the same time. As Lisa states in her letter this month, price isn’t the only factor that attracts customers. Focusing on giving customers a reason to pay a higher price for your product or service is crucial, whether that be greater quality or better service. A powerful tool is market segmentation. Most products have a target audience, whether it’s the progressive cattleman, the bargain hunter, the show segment or the hobby horseman. Creating different classes for your product depending on quality or services can expand the number of customers you cater to, thus increasing buyers. Additionally, sometimes lowering your price can actually deter people from buying your product. Think about it. If I came up to you and said I’d sell you an Apple MacBook Air for $100, you wouldn’t buy it, because you’d definitely question the quality.

TRUTH: Volume is created by customer segmentation, charging different sets of customers different prices, and thus increasing volume and revenue.

Myth #3: 
We need to charge lower than everyone else

This is quite possibly the biggest misconception. A race to the bottom is one of the worst ways to compete, because you end up underpricing and losing out on your customer base. Your customers begin to question the quality of your product, but needs to buy the product. So they continue to shop around, and you lose customers. Lower prices equal lower revenue rates, which means the number of sales must increase to cover the loss. Obvious, yes, but it needed to be stated. Additionally, a lower price tag doesn’t mean customers will automatically flock toward your product. For example, if BMW suddenly sold its cars for $35,000 instead of whatever ridiculous dollar amount they’re priced at now, would that necessarily increase its revenues? Possibly in the short term, but in the long term they would begin to compete with cars made by Honda and Toyota who already have that market cornered. BMW would also lose out on the consumers that put luxury value in the premium pricing of their cars.

TRUTH: Underpricing is rarely the solution to any pricing woes. You end up dropping into a different segment of customers and lose out on cash from your current customers.

Myth #4:
Pricing isn’t important

Pricing is the most important aspect of your business. Period.
A 1 percent improvement in pricing results in an average increase of 11.1 percent in operating profit. No other business lever has that impact – not cost optimization, volume increases, or anything.


TRUTH:
Pricing is, bar none, the lever in your business that has the highest impact on the most important cell on your end-of-month spreadsheet – your revenue. You need to take it seriously.

Source: http://www.priceintelligently.com

Promote Where it Matters Most

It is very apparent that organic reach for Facebook posts has been taking a hit over the past few years. Even as recent as this year, with Facebook limiting the reach of “promotional posts,” the percentage of followers a company reaches organically continues to decrease. While it is possible to slightly improve this percentage through higher quality content, Facebook advertising offers more effective ways to improve post viability, for a price of course.

Facebook advertising allows companies to choose a post and have it distributed in the news feed to anyone they want, based on interests, demographics, etc.

Before you get started, it’s important to have specific goals and understand the different options and ad types available to promote a post on Facebook. There are many reasons to boost a post, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing brand engagement (shares, comments, likes)
  • Boosting website traffic
  • Promoting new content or blog posts

Use your budget most effectively by following these guidelines for boosting a post on your Facebook business page:

MAXIMIZE TARGETING OPTIONS

It’s easy to boost a post. It’s hard to effectively boost one. The key lies in who you are targeting. Based on the goal, you have the ability to target anyone you want on Facebook. When boosting a post, Facebook offers specific targeting options including: audience (fans and/or friends of fans), location, age, gender and interests.

If the post is focused on information only relevant to current fans, it’s important to target only those people. On the other hand, if the goal is to interact with potential new customers, that needs to be reflected in the targeting.

FOCUS ON QUALITY IMAGES AND VIDEO

There is no way to stress enough the importance of having a high quality image or video tied to a post. When boosting a post, especially to users who might not be familiar with the brand, the image will be the first piece they see. It needs to be eye catching and engaging at the same time.

If using an image, make sure it is appropriately sized. If these dimensions are not followed, Facebook will resize them, causing images to look less attractive. An image 1200px by 900px is a safe bet. You can find ideal image sizes for all the Facebook Advertising campaigns at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide/post-engagement/photo. It is important that all images are high quality to avoid blurry and distorted messages. Most importantly, if you plan to pay for a boosted post, you must follow the 20% text rule. While organic posts do not need to follow the 20% text rule (only 20% of an image can include text), boosted posts do.

UNDERSTAND ALL AVAILABLE OPTIONS ON FACEBOOK

Facebook offers a variety of different advertising options. While they make it easy to boost a post and move on, it’s important to know what options they have and see if there is one better suited for the target audience and goals. Visit www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide for a breakdown off all the different advertising options.

While boosting a post may seem as simple as pressing a button, there is a lot more to consider in order to effectively use it and see results. To avoid irrelevant clicks and visitors, advertisers need to understand who they are targeting, what the goals are, and why users should care about the post.