Can Guerilla Marketing work for small, local businesses in West Cork?

When we talk about marketing strategies for local businesses, we often refer to SEO, social media, email marketing and newspaper advertising. However, it's good to broaden your potential marketing streams and think about new ways of getting your message in front of potential customers. Many businesses find a mixture of traditional marketing like newspaper adverts, in conjunction with more experimental strategies can work well. 

That's the idea behind guerrilla marketing - it's taking an unorthodox approach to translating your brand message to customers. 

Below we've outlined some ideas for local businesses to incorporate guerrilla marketing into their arsenal for the coming months. 

1. Do Something Unexpected

Recently, Cleary's Pharmacy in Skibbereen came to us with an interesting idea - they were moving their premises across the street and were looking for a way to alert customers of this fact. Their ability to think outside the box and do something unexpected led to a fun photoshoot and window display for their old premises that literally pointed people in the right direction.

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This playfulness and unexpected humour paid off for them, and the feedback for the campaign was excellent. As the people behind The Southern Star newspaper, we were also able to promote the campaign in the paper and to our large social media audience. 

2. Free Samples

It's the oldest trick in the book, but that's because it really works. Free samples are the best way of getting your product into the hands of your potential customers. Find a high-traffic way to give away free samples - whether it's by setting up a stall outside your business, getting involved in a local event or contributing to a goodie bag, take the opportunity to spread the word about your business. Below is a clip of Huckleberry Doughnuts in Cork City who used National Doughnut Day as an opportunity to increase their brand awareness. 

3. Have a laugh

A key component of guerrilla marketing is playing on humour and being able to have a laugh at yourself. Remember, you're trying to attract attention to your business, so slipping in a joke or two can be highly effective! 

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Need some help? 

We're here to help you implement your next marketing campaign, whether it's big or small. We offer graphic design, printing and digital services for businesses all over West Cork (and beyond!), so get in touch today to make your idea a reality.

Does Facebook Live work for West Cork businesses? 5 reasons why you should try it.

Facebook Live is a video streaming feature that is available to all Facebook users worldwide. It allows you to stream live video directly from your smartphone on to your personal or business page. This feature was rolled out in April 2016 and since then we've seen massive results from Facebook Live, with many local businesses finding it to be a great promotional tool.

Below are 5 reasons why you should consider using Facebook Live on your business page:

1. Reach more customers

The moment you begin streaming, Facebook sends a notification to all of your fans. Because it is a relatively new feature, it appears Facebook rewards you for using Facebook Live by giving you a great organic reach. In fact, our sister company The Southern Star has seen great results from using Facebook Live compared to uploading a video normally - with up to 70% more views and engagement. 

2. Branding tool

Giving your customers a peek behind-the-scenes with Facebook Live is a great way of boosting your business and humanising your brand. Some ways you could use Facebook Live include coverage of a live event, breaking news, a daily message or on the spot interviews with customers.

3. Promote your event or sale

Facebook Live is a great way of connecting with as many of your followers as possible, which is perfect for event or sale promotion. Have someone on your team dedicated to filming for even 10 or 15 minutes should prove highly beneficial. 

4. Ease of use

In terms of ease of use, Facebook make it incredibly easy to use the Facebook Live feature. All you have to do is select the 'Live Video' option, type in a short description and click 'Go Live'. Need help? Don't hesitate to get in touch

5. Best of all...

...it's free! Facebook Live is completely free and it gives you real-time information about how many people are watching and engaging.

Need some help?

Need a hand with your marketing? Star Creative is like a marketing department you can hire as needed - we can help with your graphic design, printing, branding, digital services, advertising and more. We want to help you find new customers and grow your West Cork business. Get in touch for a no-obligation quote.

How to make your West Cork business stand out at conferences and events

With lots of agricultural shows and conferences going on during the summer months, your local business may get the opportunity to set up a stand at a local event. This is a great way to showcase your brand to potential customers, and you'd be well advised to do some preparation to ensure you're getting the most possible out of the opportunity. Below we'll outline 6 key areas to consider before your next event.

1. Be prepared

Have a think in advance about your goal for this event. Do you want to show people a new product? Or get more people into your shop? Or simply let the public know about a sale or event you have coming up? Having a clear goal in your mind will make it easier for you to decide how to proceed. For example, if you're a bakery launching a new recipe, you might bring along some samples to give away to the crowd. 

2. Stand out from the crowd

Having an eye-catching backdrop to your stand instantly makes your section more interactive and noticeable.

Consider investing in pop-up exhibition stands (left) which are re-usable and easy to set up. Speak to us about designing branded exhibition stands that ensure your business gets noticed.


Case-study: Drinagh Co-op

3. Be engaging

Ensure the right people are manning your stand all day - you want friendly, engaging people who are happy to talk to potential customers and are enthusiastic about the brand. 

4. Information to take away

Give potential customers something to take away and process later, like a flyer or brochure. It's also worth having a stack of business cards on hand for anyone who you want to share your personal contact information with.

5. Data Capture

Why not take the event as an opportunity to build a marketing list for SMS or email? Ask customers to sign up for your newsletter or to receive text alerts. Once you have a substantial list, Star Creative can help you use them to their fullest potential. Get in touch for more information about our SMS and email marketing services. 

6. Get social

Post a picture of your stand on social media and ask people to come and say hi. You'd be surprised how many people will notice and take the opportunity to come and find out more about your businesses.

Need help? 

Get in touch with Star Creative and let us help you make a splash at your next event or conference. We can help you prepare by designing and printing exhibition stands, flyers, brochure, business cards and other marketing materials. We can also help with your digital marketing (eg social media, website, email and SMS marketing). Call us now on 028-21200 for a no-obligation quote. 

5 ways to handle the rise and fall of seasonal business in West Cork

Any business owner in West Cork will be familiar with the seasonal upswing of commerce in the area. As the weather gets fine and tourists start to flood in, we see an increase in business from visitors to the area. 

What follows is not so great - the dip in sales as the trickle of tourists slows down. Below we've collated some tips for you to consider during this summer period to develop a season-proof business and stop your sales from falling flat come autumn. 

1. Understand the cycles

Understanding the ebb and flow of business year-round is essential. Base your sales projections around on data from at least the past two or three years, taking into account the seasonal fluctuations. If the business hasn't been around that long, check with peers and industry sources. 

2. Fortify planning skills.

Planning is essential. Look ahead at least six months to plan appropriately. To carry the business through slower periods (the shoulder season) and complete lulls (the off-season), consider stockpiling some cash during the busier months. And don’t forget to take advantage of slow stretches to prepare for the peak season.  

3. Build alternative income streams

Although it might seem like a diversion from the core business, set up additional revenue sources to counteract the off-season. Just don't let attention to the alternative stream overtake a focus on the primary business.  

4. Stay in touch

Set your business apart by making a point of maintaining visibility throughout the year. Even if regular clients aren't much in contact during the off-season, they might still be around. Think about implementing an email marketing campaign or sending a simple text message. It’s a great way to turn one-time customers into repeat clients. Star Creative offers excellent email and SMS services if you want an easy way to contact your customers - get in touch. 

5. Manage the impact of seasonality on staff

In some cases, there’s simply no getting around the seasonality factor and short-term contracts are unavoidable. Just be sure to manage expectations of seasonal workers. Be clear about the length of the job from the offset. 

Need advice?

We can help you steamline your sales and marketing strategy. Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote. 

How to register your local business with Google

In last week's blog post we wrote about the top easy SEO tips for West Cork businesses, and after some people contacted us for more information about Google's 'My Business' feature, we're going to go into more detail in today's post. 

To recap, here's what we said regarding the 'My Business' feature:

Google My Business is a tool provided by Google where any company can input all the information relevant to their business (opening hours, contact information etc) in one place, and also include images and videos - essentially creating a virtual tour of your shop. Setting this up should immediately increase your ranking in Google. The My Business tool also helps customers find you online. Best of all - it's free. 

We love this service because it's optimised for local businesses - it helps customers find local businesses based on their location rather than only showing big companies with big online advertising budgets. For example, if someone used Google to search for a fast food restaurant in Bantry or Clonakilty, they'll see local businesses first instead of a McDonald's in Cork City. 

In order to access Google My Business you must have an active verified Google My Business profile. If your business does not have a verified Google My Business profile you will simply not appear on most devices. This means you are practically invisible to mobile users, who account for the largest percentage of searches online today.

Setting up your profile is easy - just visit https://www.google.com/business/ and click "Start Now". From there you can search for your company's name and claim your business. They may ask you to verify that you're the owner by sending your phone a verification number. They may also ask you to verify the location of your business by sending you a postcard with a code. Once you receive this postcard, you'll just have to enter the code online. 

Next, it's time to fill in your desired information, for example opening hours, telephone number, email address and photos. We recommend filling out as much of this information as possible for better results. 

A nice added benefit of getting up your My Business account is that it allows your customers to leave you reviews. Positive reviews are very good for your SEO, so you should encourage your customers to leave you a review. 

Need some help?

Do you need help with your Google account or any other marketing for your business? We're a local design, print & digital services business that can help with your marketing. Give us a call on 028-21200 or email info@starcreative.ie for a no-obligation quote.

5 easy SEO tips for small local businesses

What is SEO, and why is it important for West Cork business? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it refers to how easy it is for potential customers to find your website through search engines like Google. The better your SEO, the higher your page will appear in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) when someone searches for relevant keywords. 

For example, if you're a barber in Clonakilty, you'll want your business to appear when someone searches "barbers in Clonakilty" or "haircuts in Clonakilty" - so those are the keywords you should be focusing on when you're working on your SEO. Below we've pulled together some useful tips to help you get on track with your SEO. Need one-on-one help? Get in touch with us today.

1. Google My Business

Google My Business is a tool provided by Google where any company can input all the information relevant to their business (opening hours, contact information etc) in one place, and also include images and videos - essentially creating a virtual tour of your shop. Setting this up should immediately increase your ranking in Google. The My Business tool also helps customers find you online. Best of all - it's free. 

2. Image first

Add a variety of images across your website. This increases engagement with current and potential customers. People are more likely to scroll through photographs or pictures which should increase your ranking. Ensure that all images have a description added for the 'Alt text'. 

3. Mobile Friendly

For best return on investment, make sure your website is mobile friendly. About 80% of mobile searches have a local intent so making your site easy to use on mobile is essential. You could miss out on those potential clients if you site isn't accessible by smartphones. 

4. Google Keyword Tool

Keywords are important for SEO, and the Google Keyword Tool is a great free tool anyone can use. It is a useful tool to help you plan your marketing strategy. For example, if you are a plumber based in Bantry, the Google Keyword Tool will determine the words that people are searching for related to your business or area such as “Plumber in Bantry”.

5. Review

Encourage your customers to leave you reviews online, whether it's through Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google or other review sites. 90% of online users trust reviews so it's a great way to tap into new customers. 

Need help with digital?

Get in touch with our dedicated team for help with your website, social media or digital marketing. 

Latest tips for marketing your local business on Facebook (July 2017)

The digital world is always changing, and a huge part of successfully marketing your business online is keeping up-to-date with the latest online trends and social media strategies. 

Below we've outlined some of the key updated Facebook tips and tricks that will help you use the social network to the benefit of your business in the coming months.

Pssst - need more help? Book a social media consultation with us today and we'll help you devise a winning social strategy to gain new customers and take the hassle out of marketing!

1. Watch your response times

Facebook now lets visitors to Business Pages know how responsive your page is to private messages. Try to answer all messages within 2 hours to make sure your response rate stays up. Enabling text or email alerts may make it easier to keep on top of your messages. 

2. Video first

Here's a crazy statistic: Video on Facebook accounts for just 0.9% of all posts, but that content amounts to 7.15% of all reach on the network. Many Facebook for Business users have noticed that Facebook is currently weighting video content over text-only or image content, meaning your videos should see a significant boost in reach when uploaded directly. 

3. Facebook live

Facebook recently launched a streaming feature which allows you to live-stream video directly to your Facebook page. This feature seems to be weighted heavily by the Facebook algorithm and many pages see massive views from live-streaming their events or even day-to-day life. Why not try it?

4. Collaborations

Check if your local newspaper offers any collaboration opportunities which could result in a huge boost of followers for you. A small amount of investment by sponsoring a prize or getting involved in a community project could benefit your page in the long run. 

5. Targeting

Get comfortable with target audiences, especially if you're boosting posts. By targeting, you can narrow the audience for your posts to people who fit your typical customer. Selecting age range, location and interests can help you reach people who may be interested in your product or service.

6. Call to Action

Facebook added a new feature which allows you to add a Call to Action to your page, and you should enable this button to add a call to action that sits in the bottom right-hand corner of your cover photo. These buttons make it easy for your fans to get in touch with your business - don't miss out on some extra site traffic.

Need help? 

We love social media, and we're happy to help you improve yours. Get in touch to find out how we can help you by calling 028-21200 or emailing info@starcreative.ie.

Best quick marketing tips for local businesses

If there were 5 easy things you could do to grow your local business, gain new leads and increase your profit margin, wouldn't you want to know? 

Below are our 5 quick & easy tips you can do today that should help you market your business in the long run. What are your best business tips?

1. Set a goal

Whether you want to get more people in the door, book more appointments or grow your client base, it's essential to have clear goals in mind to help keep your business growth on track. 

2. Get online and build relationships

Whether it's a website, social media or online advertising, make sure your business has some form of online presence to ensure you're not missing a major market. Social media is also wonderful for building relationships with other local businesses and the local media. 

3. Make it personal

When it comes to local businesses, it's imperative to keep the personal touch alive in your business. You may choose to do this by including your name or photo in your flyers and promotional materials, or even by recording a promotional video about your business. 

4. Network

Join your local Chamber of Commerce, support community events and fundraisers and get involved with nearby events to build a relationship with your community and fellow business owners that will benefit you in the long run.

5. Celebrate yourself

Don't be afraid to tell the world what's different about your business and any successes you have along the way. If you win an industry award or reach a big milestone, use it as a marketing opportunity. Make sure to get in touch with local media who will no doubt be happy to cover your event on radio or in the newspaper. 

Need help with marketing?

We know West Cork businesses, and we're available to help. Contact us now for a no-obligation quote or just to chat about how we can help your business.

 

How to create a marketing video for your business - 5 questions to ask yourself

Lots of local businesses in West Cork and beyond are turning to video marketing to tell potential customers about their company and inform their target audience about their products and services. 

In the age of social media, video has quickly become an extremely useful tool to spread your message both locally and within a wider group. Using targeting to reach a particular demographic can be incredibly effective. 

Below we've outlined some questions to ask yourself BEFORE you begin planning your video. These questions will help you decide which direction to go in. Need some help? We provide video creation and social media services for businesses in West Cork, so make sure to get in touch if you have any questions. 

1. What do I want people to do after they watch my video?

Like your page? Sign up for a mailing list? Come to your store? Have a clear objective in mind before you begin. 

2. What is the estimated length of the video? 

45% of viewers stop watching videos after 1 minute and 60% don't make it to 2 minutes. Keep your video short, snappy and effective.

3. What is your budget?

You don't have to have a big budget, but having a figure in mind helps keep the project on track. 

4. Where will people watch the video? 

The production of a video intended for Facebook will differ slightly from one intended for a website - be clear on where you want your video to be used. 

5. What's the essential information that needs to be included?

Have a checklist of your Unique Selling Points that must be mentioned and make sure they get covered. 

Want to learn more about marketing your West Cork business?

Get in touch with us by emailing info@starcreative.ie or calling us on 028.21200 for more information about our services or a no-quibbles quote. 

How to encourage word of mouth marketing for West Cork businesses

Have you heard of word of mouth marketing? It's one of the oldest advertising techniques in the book, and even in the age of social media and digital marketing, it's still one of the most important strategies to employ. Essentially, word of mouth marketing consists of encouraging your customers to recommend your products or services to their friends or family.

Why is word of mouth so essential? Well, it's well known that a recommendation from a friend influences 92% of all customers to make a purchase. Below are a few techniques you can try to ensure your customers want to recommend you to their peers.

1. Treat your customers

Giving your customers an above average customer experience is the best way to encourage them to recommend you to friends and family, so make sure the basics of your operation is customer-experience orientated. Ensure your staff is friendly, polite and helpful at all times, and go out of your way to make sure the customer is happy.

2. Digital tools

There are several online tools you can use to encourage your clients to leave you a review online, such as email reminders, social media apps and website plug-ins. 

3. Equip the customer

Make it easy for your customer to review you to their friends by equipping them with reasons to talk about your business. This could be anything from insider knowledge, great service or a great story. In recent years, a popular trend has emerged for companies to supply a founding story to their customers, often using social media to spread this message, and it has proved extremely effective. 

4. Don't forget to ask

The best way to get a review from a customer? Ask. Ask them to tell their friends and family about your business. Ask them to leave you a review on Facebook. If you're up for any awards, as them to vote for you. You'd be surprised how effective this direct approach can be! 

Need help with marketing?

Just get in touch with us by emailing info@starcreative.ie or calling 028-21200. We offer a range of marketing services, including digital consultations, design and print. 

6 ways to improve your social marketing strategy

Social Media Marketing continues to be big news for West Cork businesses. It's an extremely effective way to target specific audiences, segment customer groups and connect with potential clients. 

Many local businesses are using social marketing but would like an easy way to "level up" their efforts for maximum impact. 

Below are some quick tips for enhancing your social media presence:

1. You get out what you put in

The latest studies show that 6 hours of social media management per week leads to a 66% increase in lead generation and 61% improvement in search engine rankings on average - so it's certainly worth finding time in your schedule to devote to social. Alternatively, you can hire Star Creative to manage your social media for you, for a weekly fee. Get in touch for a quote. 

2. Think visual

Much like the physical ads you place in your local newspaper or the signage above your storefront, the visual aspect is hugely important in social media. In fact, visual content in shared 40 times more than text alone, and attractive visuals increases customer's willingness to read content by 80%. In practice, this means choosing eye-catching photos or graphics to accompany your material. 

3. Try a video

43% of people want more video content from local business. Whether it's seeing behind the scenes, learning more about the business or watching footage of an event, video is becoming an incredibly effective way of reaching customers. 

4. Add a newsletter sign-up

Whether you're already running an email marketing campaign or are just thinking about doing it in the future, you'd be foolish not to ask your social media audience to sign up to receive emails from you. You can easily integrate your MailChimp account with your Facebook page, or you can get in touch with us to do it for you. 

5. Build a relationship

Coca Cola can't respond to every customer who responds to them on Facebook or Twitter, but you can. Use social media as a way to build relationships with your clients and show your personality. Here's an interesting case study of an American company who predominately using social media marketing for their business.

6. Measure your results

It's all very well and good to devote 6 hours a week to social, but you need to be able to measure what good it's doing. Learn how to use the insight tools built into your chosen platform - Facebook, Twitter and MailChimp all have excellent tools already set up. Keep an eye on your engagement and impressions and you'll soon learn what your customers react to. 

Want to learn more? 

We offer social media training and management services, as well as complete marketing packages. Get in touch with us for a no-obligation quote. 

Should you text your customers? | Star Creative Weekly

Local business owners in West Cork have so many opportunities to get in touch with their customers - the local newspaper, email marketing, social media and word-of-mouth among others. But have you ever thought about texted your customers?

One of the main benefits of text message marketing is that SMS open rates are exceptionally high - a recent report showed them to be 98%, while the conversion rate skews towards 45%. This ensures a much higher return on investment than more traditional online marketing strategies. 

However, there are limitations on SMS marketing - space and cost being just a couple. But if you have a reader database, here are some ideas of ways you can use text messaging to reach your customers:

1. Sales Campaigns

Having a sale or hosting a big event? If used sparingly, text messaging can have huge impact in letting your customers know about your latest offer or campaign. The direct contact tends to grab attention and if timed wisely, you could tap into a huge market you would otherwise have missed. 

2. Order confirmation

Let your customers know that you're on top of their order by sending them a confirmation text message with an update on when it will be ready for pick up/delivery. 

3. Coupon

Why not run a special offer over text message? Let you customers have a special discount if they present the message on their phone in store on a particular day. Not only are you getting people into your store, you're also rewarding engagement. 

4. Appointment reminder

If you're in a business that involves appointments with customers, text messaging is a great way to send appointment reminders, which in turn minimise no shows.

5. Surveys

Ask your customers to complete a survey after they make a purchase with you via text message. Not only will you get their feedback, they're also more likely to engage with your survey if you prompt them over text. 

Need help with marketing?

Star Creative can help with all your marketing needs, including text messaging and other communications. We understand local businesses because we are a local business, so get in touch by calling 028-21200 or emailing info@starcreative.ie to see how we can help you.

How to design the perfect business card | Star Creative Weekly

As business begins to move more towards digital, business cards have managed to retain their importance in the business world, and having a well-designed cards are very effective for making contacts and attracting new customers. 

Below are some tips for getting the most from your business cards:

1. Contact information

It should be a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how often people forget to add their contact details to their cards. Make sure to include full phone number (and mobile if applicable) as well as an email address, website URL and social media information. If your business has a physical storefront, add the address and think about including a map. 

2. Branding

Make sure your cards reproduce your logo and branding. Your business cards should act as a gateway to your website and so you should see the same design elements in both. Use the same colour schemes and typeface where possible.

3. Clear

Not everyone has good eyesight, so make sure the text is easy to read at a glance. All the important information should be presented concisely and attractively, with plenty of white space to prevent it looking cluttered.

Need help designing your business cards?

We can design and print your cards for you. Give us a call on 028.21200 or email info@starcreative for a quote.

 

 

Is email marketing right for my local business?

Are you afraid of email? Email marketing has been a topic on lots of local business owners' minds recently, in West Cork and beyond, but many people find it intimidating and wonder if it's worth the effort. 

In reality, email marketing has a massive return on investment, and if you're going to allocate some of your marketing budget to digital, it's a great place to begin. Below we've outlined some of the main reasons why email marketing could be perfect for your local business:

1. Email isn't going anywhere

It's safe to say that email is going to retain its popularity. While social media sites tend to peak in popularity and decline over time, email has stood the test of time and is an integral part of most people's day. Investing in email is a long-term strategy that will pay off for your local business. 

2. Email has the best conversion rate

Email has an excellent click-through rate compared to other marketing mediums, and the return on investment for email tends to be much higher than with any other marketing endeavours. So if you want a big bang for your buck, email is the way to go. 

3. Email has the biggest 'audience' 

Although Facebook and Twitter boast huge numbers of active users, this figure still pales in comparison to email (a recent study showed there are 3 times more active email addresses than members of Facebook and Twitter combined). In fact, most people have at least one email address that they check regularly, so it's an obvious place to begin when building up your audience.

Want to learn more?

Wondering how to get email marketing off the ground for your business? We can help with that. Get in touch today and we'll talk you through the basics of email marketing and help you decide if it's right for your business. You can email info@starcreative.ie or give us a call on 028-21200.

How to make the most out of your flyers

Flyers are a tried and tested way of attracting new customers, promoting your services and advertising your business. Even in the age of online and social media marketing, the demand for flyers hasn't waned, because they simply work

The beauty of flyers is that it can be kept and read at the audience's leisure - we've all seen them stuck on fridges or kept beside the phone. With that in mind, you'll want to put in the effort to make sure your flyers really work for your business. Below we've outlined some things to bear in mind while producing your next batch of flyers:

1. Attractive design

Your flyer should be well-designed using eye-catching details to ensures it gets noticed. A graphic designer will be able to incorporate your branding into the initial design to ensure your flyer is instantly recognisable.

2. dynamic content

Customers could easily forget the name of your business or what you're trying to sell them, but they will likely pay more attention to what your flyer is offering them. Make sure to include interesting content that illustrates why your business is different from others and how it can fulfil a need for your customer. 

3. Distribution

It's all very well and good having excellent flyers if nobody sees them. Get the word out about your business by displaying your flyers in your place of business and distributing them around the town. Ask other businesses if they will display your flyer at their counter and drop some off at the tourist office too. You could also think about organising a door-to-door drop, or inserting your flyer into a local newspaper or other publication.

PS: Don't forget to add contact details! 

A very common mistake that gets made is when businesses forget to add contact details on their flyer. You should make it very easy for customers to find your business, whether it's by adding a phone number, website URL or even a map. 

Need some help?

We're experts in designing effective flyers for a host of local businesses and we'd love to help you get the most out of your marketing budget. We can also help with distribution and inserts into The Southern Star. Get in touch today for a quote on your next project. 

4 ways to market your business to overseas visitors this summer

As the days get longer and we approach tourist season in West Cork, it's a good time to rethink your marketing strategy for the coming months and consider the fact that visitors to the area could be converted into customers over the summer period. 

Here are some ideas we've thought of to make sure tourists and visitors know exactly what products and services you're offering:

1. Flyers

An old reliable, flyers work particularly well with overseas visitors who are looking for ideas of where to eat/shop/stay in the local area. We recommend designing a batch of simple flyers that illustrate exactly what your business offers and distribute them at tourist centres, hotel lobbies and other tourist hotspots. It's a good idea to include a picture of your shop front or map, so that people unfamiliar with the local area will still be able to find you. 

2. First impressions

Sure, every local knows where your business is and what it does, but what about visitors to the area? Take a walk across the road and look at your business from the outside. Could you do with a sandwich board outside to promote a particular product or service? Or could you benefit from an eye-catching window design or posters? These things are relatively inexpensive but could help travellers to the area notice your business. 

3. Be social 

...both in person and online. Make sure your brand has a presence at all local events and always present a cheerful and pleasant face to customers. Furthermore, make sure you have social media set up and update it regularly. More and more tourists are researching businesses in the area they plan to visit BEFORE they ever get on a plane, so make it easy for them to find you by maintaining an active social media account.

4. Advertise wisely

Advertising your business is essential, but make sure you're doing it in the right way. Think about the publications tourists are bound to pick up - maps, local attraction guides and event listings - and make sure your company has an suitable advert in each. These types of ads typically see high conversion rates leading to more sales.

Need help with marketing? 

Just contact us for a no-hassle quote - call us on 028-21200 or email info@starcreative.ie.

4 low-cost ways to market your local business

We often get approached by small local businesses who are looking for low cost ways to market their services. The fact is that small businesses often don't have the marketing budget to spend on big campaigns, and need plenty of bang for their buck from every cent they spend. 

Below we're sharing our top five low-cost ways to market your business:

1. Get Social

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you'll know that social media marketing is essential for any small business. Whether you're a coffee shop or a hairdressers, gardener or accountant, Facebook is a great place to start getting your name out there. Not sure where to start with social media? Read our recent blog post 5 ways to grow your Facebook followers.

2. Flyers

Flyers are a cheap but extremely effective way of marketing your business. Although digital is becoming big news, we find that people still love to have a tangible product that they can browse at their leisure or refer back to. A well-designed flyer can do wonders for your business and attract new customers.

PS: We're running a great flyer promotion on our email newsletter at the moment. Make sure you're signed up to take advantage! 

3. Get involved

Get your name out in your target audience by getting involved in the local community. Host a coffee morning, sponsor a local event or donate a prize in a fundraiser to get your brand out there and introduce yourself to potential customers.

4. Special offer

Consider running an eye-catching promotion or special offer to bring people in to your business. Offering a product at a ground-breaking price for a limited time could attract lifelong customers who otherwise wouldn't have found you. 

Need help?

Looking for someone to help with your marketing? Get in touch to see what we can do for your business.

5 ways to use Twitter to grow your small business

Although Facebook is seen as the main social network to get involved in, many local businesses find they hit a different, yet still valuable, demographic by joining Twitter. As the Star Creative team are the same people behind The Southern Star's social media, we've learned a thing or two about using Twitter for business. So if you're thinking about launching a Twitter account, read on below for our top tips. 

1. Be consistent

The most important thing to bear in mind when launching any new social media account is to be patient and consistent with your posting. It may take a while to see any benefit of using Twitter, so you need to be prepared to put some time in initially.

2. Get involved with the community

Find out if there is a hashtag for your local area - for example, #WestCork - and use it when relevant. This allows people to find you more easily. 

3. Keep an eye on mentions

Whenever a Twitter user tags you, you should get a notification which can be viewed by clicking the bell symbol in the top navigation bar. Keeping an eye on this tab allows you to keep track of what people are saying about you, and gives you the opportunity to join the conversation where appropriate. 

4. Don't be afraid to ask

Want more followers? Ask for them. Want people to retweet your latest offer? Ask them. A recent study by Salesforce showed that you were 12 times more likely to get a retweet just by asking. 

5. Be yourself...

... And talk to people. Allow people to get to know your brand by engaging in conversations and showing your company's personality. 

Need help with your social media?

Star Creative offers a number of services to help you get more customers and sales from your social media. Call us on 028-21200 or email info@starcreative.ie to learn more. 

3 steps to building a digital strategy for your local business | Star Creative

3 steps to building a digital strategy for your local business | Star Creative

More and more, local business around West Cork are learning that they can't ignore digital, and that every business needs an online strategy, however basic. Many small business owners get intimidated by the thought of building a new strategy from scratch, but in reality the process can be boiled down to the following three steps:

How to create a sales folder | Star Creative

How do you present your marketing materials to clients in a professional and concise way without overwhelming them? That's a question many local business owners have asked us, and it's a problem our own sales team had encountered. So we came up with a simple but hugely effective solution and we're so happy with the result that we want to share it with other local businesses. 

The solution was easy - we created a sales presentation folder that our sales team can take to client meetings or hand out to potential customers at events or presentations. Inside the attractive folder, there are a selection of marketing materials such as flyers, price lists and brochures that our customers can review at their leisure. 

We've found that these folders help our team make a polished and professional first impression, and as each one includes a business card with the contact details of the relevant salesperson, there's a clear point of contact for the client should they wish to pursue our services.

You can see an example of a folder we designed for a client below, and we've also shared some tips for making the most out of your new folders.

3 Tips for Building Your Sales Folder

1. Bear in mind that you may have all the required elements at hand already. Think about the flyers you use to promote your services at present, and the marketing materials like price lists that you share with customers. Could they be slotted into a folder to build up a marketing kit? If so, you're halfway there. 

2. Be brand aware. A professional folder is a great opportunity to present your brand name and logo in an impactful way. It's also a good idea to choose colours that complement your branding for a cohesive effect.

3. Identify the main issues that would cause someone to need your services, and address these clearly in your folder. Think about the top 3 to 5 frustrations or problems customers may have and how your product or service will solve their frustrations.

Case Study: Celtic Ross Hotel

The client wanted a clean and contemporary way of presenting marketing materials that set them apart from the crowd and impressed their target demographic. We designed a classic folder which incorporated their branding and used discreet but effective printing methods to convey professionalism and sophistication.

Want One For Your Business?

We can design an effective sales folder for your business. For a quote, call us on 028-21200 or email info@starcreative.ie.

You can also use the form below to request a quote for design and printing of a sales folder, or any other Star Creative services:

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