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Posts in category Marketing

Using Trending Topics to Beef Up Your Email Marketing Campaigns

11/16/2012
What are the hot topics in your Twitter feed or Facebook newsfeed? Right now it is likely to be something on #Election2012, #Obama, #SandyRelief, #PinterestSecretBoards, #BlackFridayDeals.   Social media buzzes with the latest news, often before the mainstream media has a chance to report. Some of those latest trending topics can definitely help boost your email marketing efforts. How? Incorporating current trending topics gives your customer base the impression that you have insight into the latest and greatest. Some trends are best to steer clear of, but, incorporating a good one can give your target market something recognizable to equate...Read more...

Is Tumblr Right for Your Business?

11/15/2012
As a small business, there is a lot to love about a little site called Tumblr. With 20 billion page views a month – up from 15 billion at the beginning of 2012 – Tumblr.com definitely commands some attention. But, what is Tumblr really and is it a good avenue for your business? Tumblr is a free micro-blogging platform that allows users to post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from virtually anywhere, to a “tumblog,” or short-form blog. It operates a lot like Facebook in that you can post, share, and reblog content – merging the best of...Read more...

Tips for Successful Marketing on a Budget

11/14/2012
In today’s entrepreneurial society, start-ups are everywhere. Nearly every industry is full of small companies hoping to make it big—and, with what is generally a fairly limited budget, each one is trying to do more with less.   For these small companies, there are some simple steps you can follow that will use very limited resources while still helping you to produce an effective, efficient marketing strategy.   Identify your target audience   There is really no use in starting any sort of marketing plan if you don’t know whom you are trying to reach. Whatever your marketing strategy consists...Read more...

Ecommerce Companies Should Have a Good Holiday Season

11/13/2012
The ecommerce industry seems to grow larger by the day, and now, with the holiday season nearly upon us, predictions are suggesting that it should be seeing an additional boom in growth. There are estimates of a 12% increase in online sales from the last holiday season, putting the number somewhere around $94 billion.   Here are some stats that might help display what we have to expect in the weeks to come:   - 67% of retailers believe that they will make more online sales this holiday season than they did last year. Almost 25% of retailers said that...Read more...

How to Take a Business Mobile

11/12/2012
First there was the world of the Internet. From the Internet came the world of ecommerce. And now we are in the middle of the newest sensation—the world of mobile.   We see it all around us. Everyone everywhere is hooked to their mobile devices, to their smart phones and tablets. Fewer and fewer people are sitting down in front of computers to take care of most of their basic Internet needs. There just isn’t any point.   Here a few reasons why you should strongly consider looking more seriously into this new mobile industry.   Your customers are already...Read more...

Developing a Great Email Marketing Campaign

11/9/2012
Shifting gears a little bit from social media, we are now going to tackle email marketing for a bit. A well organized and executed email marketing campaign can help your small business tremendously. Some of the benefits include building and fostering relationships and encouraging repeat customers and brand loyalty. Good reason to get started right? To take advantage of these benefits, and more, it is important that all of your email communication is part of an overall marketing plan that supports your brand strategy. Effective email campaigns should always correspond with both your traditional and social media marketing initiatives. So,...Read more...

Dealing with Negative Comments on Your Facebook Page

11/8/2012
Social media is a popular topic on this blog as it has fast become one of the staples of a successful small business marketing plan. The backbone of most social media plans is Facebook as we’ve discussed several times now. Facebook is a great avenue for promoting and growing your small business and engaging and interacting with your customers. Sometimes, however, your customers may post or share some negative feedback. While it may be hard to read, and hear, it is the reality of having a social media presence. So, what do you do when you see a less-than-glowing post...Read more...

Different Ways to Attract Customers to Your Website

11/7/2012
So you have a business. And your business has a website. And naturally you want people to look at this website. But how, exactly, are they going to find it?   The obvious answer is through web searches, and that does make up a large portion of Internet traffic. Within that, Google specifically is responsible for 85% of online searches. So focusing on making your business’s website Google friendly is certainly a good idea. In fact, some stores receive 80% of their traffic via Google.   But Google is not the only way to direct visitors to your site, and...Read more...

Building Trust Through Social Media

11/6/2012
Everyone is using social media these days—that’s old news. But why? Why are businesses using social media? More specifically, why should businesses be using social media?   Spreading their message to a wider audience is certainly part of it. After all, people of pretty much every age and demographic are hooked in to social media in one way or another, so it allows businesses to connect with a wider range of people than they would ever be able to do otherwise.   But it’s not just about connecting. It’s not just about telling your potential future customers about all of...Read more...

Tips for getting the most out of your business’s Twitter

11/5/2012
We’ve already told you some of the benefits of Twitter. Now obviously, if you’re going to put in the time and effort to really be serious about it, you’re certainly going to want to make sure you get the best results. Here are some ideas and guidelines to keep in mind as you go about your Tweeting.   Schedule your Tweets   By scheduling your Tweets in advance, you can save a lot time and energy and assure yourself that your time spent on Twitter is as effective and efficient as possible. Sites such as Tweetdeck or Hubspot can help...Read more...

How to Set Up a Blog The Easy Way

11/2/2012
Earlier this year, we covered blogging basics and outlined the do’s and don’ts. Now it is time to discuss just how easy it is to get a blog started. You don’t have to have a webmaster or programmer on hand either. You can do it yourself, its cost-effective, quick, and might even be fun too. How, you ask? WordPress.com is a great start. WordPress.com is the hosted version of sister-site WordPress.org, the incredibly successful open-source blogging platform. Through WordPress.com, you can start a FREE blog in minutes without any technical knowledge. You also have the ability to purchase a dedicated...Read more...

Creating Great YouTube Content for Your Small Business

11/1/2012
After you read our March blog on the top 10 tips for YouTube marketing, I know you got started creating your company’s YouTube channel right away. If you didn’t, take a trip down memory lane and read it again. YouTube is still one of the top social media sites and one that warrants your participation as a small business owner. Why? Video grabs attention like nothing else can! While someone may skip over text on your website, they are likely to click on a video to see what it’s all about. This opens the door to more personal communication between...Read more...

The Online Revolution: Ecommerce Goes Mobile

10/31/2012
In the second quarter of 2012, the revenue generated from ecommerce topped 54 billion dollars—the highest it’s ever been. And that number is only continuing to grow.   It wasn’t so long ago that ecommerce itself was the shopping revolution. But times are changing quickly, and today more and more people are upgrading from shopping on a computer to shopping on the go with one of the many mobile devices that are now so prevalent in our society.   The appeal of ecommerce arises largely from the time and energy it saves you. Rather than having to make your way...Read more...

Integrating All of Your Marketing Media

10/30/2012
So your company has been using the same marketing strategies for years. And now all of a sudden social media has entered the picture, and it seems to be all the rage. The question you might be asking now is, how are you supposed to strike a balance between the old and the new?   If you’re not using any social media at all right now, that’s probably the place to start. In fact, only 60% of companies are using social media, and of that, only 12% feel they are using it correctly. If your company falls into one of...Read more...

Use Influence to Increase Your Internet Traffic

10/29/2012
You have a website because you want people to visit it. You want your content to be interesting and engaging enough to get visitors to come there, stay there, buy there, and revisit there.   There are many ways to boost customers’ interest in your website and its content. One very effective way, however, is to partner with somebody who is influential in your industry. When this is carried out, it will ideally not only boost your reputation within that industry but also increase your own level of influence in the eyes of your potential customers. There are a few...Read more...

QR Codes in Your Marketing – How to Get Started

10/26/2012
We are focusing a lot lately on mobile marketing.   1 in 2 American adults owns a smartphone so we’d be crazy not to gear our blogs toward getting your small business mobile-friendly. Mobile marketing is an essential component in any marketing campaign. There are many ways to bridge the gap between traditional marketing and mobile marketing but the way we are going to focus on today is the trendy QR code or quick-response codes. QR codes are the trademark for a type of martrix barcode that offers fast readability and increased storage capacity. The two-dimensional black-and-white code can store...Read more...

Does Twitter Really Work for Small Businesses?

10/25/2012
Have you delved into the world of Twitter yet? One-third of small businesses are using Twitter to promote their products or services. While you may think it is better to focus your time on Facebook and getting it right rather than trying to wrap your arms around another social media site, this one may be worth your while.   When done correctly, Twitter can be a significant tool to promote and grow your business. Why? Twitter allows you to engage your customers and potential customers in a personal way. It puts a face with your brand and gives your followers...Read more...

Using LinkedIn To Boost Your Business

10/24/2012
With 175 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is leaving no doubt that it is the online place to be these days for those who are trying to get ahead in the business world. Those 175 million people include 1.7 million business directors, as well as an incredible 13 million entrepreneurs.   Intrigued?   If you’re not already on LinkedIn, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s time to get started. But where to begin? Well, it’s going to take some effort to make sure you’re getting the most out of your LinkedIn account, but with some guidance you shouldn’t have too...Read more...

Social Media Tips for Your Business

10/23/2012
I think we’ve got the point across—you and your business need to be active when it comes to social media. Whether that means Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or all of the above, if you want your business to grow you are going to need to make yourself known online.   As you and your business get started with social media, here are some general tips for getting the most out of it.   What are your goals?   This is an important thing to determine at the onset of your social media venture. Before you throw yourself into it,...Read more...

Learn How to Get the Most Out of Internet Marketing

10/22/2012
At this point, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of getting the point across that the future—or, indeed, the present—of the business world is online. And we’ve given you a great deal of specific examples of how to use that fact to you advantage. But let’s move away from those specific examples for a moment and talk a little bit more broadly about just what your focus should be as you navigate this cyber business world.   Create content that people want to read   It might seem obvious, but simply making yourself a presence on the Internet...Read more...

What's Reddit?

10/19/2012
We’ve talked a lot about Facebook, Twitter, and even dabbled in Instagram and Pinterest a bit.   You may be thinking that you have enough on your social media plate, and you just might, but I want you to consider another site, Reddit.   Have you heard of it? Used it?   Small businesses don’t have the benefit of a large marketing budget as compared to larger companies, so it’s important to think outside of the box and seek other opportunities for quality promotions. Reddit is one of those hidden treasures to add to your list. Reddit, self titled “the...Read more...

Does Your Small Business Need a Social Media Policy?

10/18/2012
Chances are good that, if you are reading this post and checking out this marketing section of our blog, you are using, or interested in using, social media in your marketing efforts. 77 percent of small businesses include social media in their overall marketing plans and nearly half of those companies don’t have a social media policy. Should yours? Here’s my short answer … Absolutely! No matter the size of your organization, if you and your team are involved in any social media at all, you should have guidelines in the form of an official policy.   Why? You are...Read more...

The Perks of Social Media For Your Business

10/17/2012
Everyone knows the world today revolves around social media. So it seems an obvious step to bring your business into the social media sphere if you’re hoping to attract more customers and increase your revenue.   But if you’re still on the fence about the whole social media thing (how helpful can it really be?), here are just a few clear, concise benefits:   Create a community   Inserting yourself into the world of social media means that you are creating a platform around which all of your customers, followers, enthusiasts, etc. can gather. This brings together a group of...Read more...

Must See Online Marketing Statistics

10/16/2012
This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve said it, but the Internet—and, let’s be honest, the world—is growing increasingly mobile every moment. Mobile devices like iPhones allow people to stay on top of pretty much everything in their lives pretty much all of the time. We live in a world of constant push notifications, a world where we are all hoping for something to check or looking for something to update at pretty much any time of day.   And as we’ve said before, it would be foolish for you company not to take advantage of this mobile revolution. But...Read more...

Would a Mobile App Benefit Your Business?

10/15/2012
We live in an increasingly mobile time. Everywhere you look, everyone around you is glued to his or her phone—a smart phone, more often than not—and can’t seem to take interest in anything else.   Between 2010 and 2011, the worldwide app revenue increased by 200%, which indicates a pretty inviting market. Forecasts indicate that the number could reach 19 billion by the end of 2012, and US mobile revenue could reach 31 billion by 2016.   What does this mean for you? It means this is a perfect opportunity for your business to start thinking about new opportunities to...Read more...

Instagram Inspiration

10/12/2012
With more than 7.3 million daily mobile users — now more than Twitter! — Instagram is on the rise!   And, now more than ever, businesses are getting involved in this photo sharing site to promote and further their brand. Earlier this year we gave you some tips to get started, and how you can boost awareness of your brand a la Starbucks and Ford Motor Company. Well, now its time to show you what other brands are doing and how they are succeeding in growing their business and connecting with their customers, with this hot tool.   Red Bull...Read more...

Why Traditional Public Relations Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

10/11/2012
We talk a lot about social media and emerging marketing trends but it’s important to remember that there are core marketing elements that businesses should retain.   One of these is the notion of traditional public relations. Traditional public relations is often the most overlooked component of small business marketing plans. With the surge in social media and social networking, many businesses have ignored tradition and gone straight to Twitter and Facebook for promotion. While the landscape has definitely changed, the traditional rules of public relations should not be ignored. Problems arise when companies rely solely on social media for...Read more...

Use Facebook to Boost Your Business

10/10/2012
With Facebook about to hit the one billion users mark, it’s safe to say it services quite a large number of people. For that reason, it is a great resource for businesses hoping to boost awareness of their products and services, increase customers, and raise revenues.   Here are some interesting numbers that demonstrate just what Facebook can do for your business:   42% of marketers describe Facebook as being an important part of their marketing strategy—and the number has increased by 75% in the last three years.   62% of marketers say that Facebook has become a more important...Read more...

The Holiday Season is the Perfect Time to Create an Ecommerce Website

10/9/2012
The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about how your business can get the most out of it. Sales are always high this time of year, but you can be sure to absolutely maximize your profits if you turn to the Internet for help.   Some numbers   During last year’s holiday season, ecommerce sales reached above 35 billion dollars, which was a 15% increase from the year before.   In the week ending on Christmas day alone, retailers earned more than 2.8 billion dollars from ecommerce spending, which was a 16% increase from the...Read more...

How to Measure the Success of a New Ecommerce Venture

10/8/2012
Trying out ecommerce for the first time? Unsure how to tell just how well things are going? Here are a few ways to measure your progress in the early stages of creation of an ecommerce website.   Percentage of new visits   If you are just starting your site, the biggest measure of success is the number of people it is drawing in for the first time. This is hugely important. You want to make sure that your business is attracting new customers to come and look at your site, explore the products and services you offer, and, hopefully, start...Read more...

Turning Facebook Likes Into Customers

10/5/2012
We’ve discussed how to build Facebook “likes” on your brand Page, but what do you do with those “likes” once you get them? You know your business should have a social media presence but do you really know why?   The value of your business Facebook presence isn’t just a good way to interact and share information with your fans, it’s a great tool for lead generation. Generating those new leads is the real ROI for doing it. How can you make this happen? Here are some of the best ways to turn your “likes” into leads.   1. Get...Read more...

10 Mobile Apps to Consider Using to Help Grow Your Small Business

10/4/2012
We did a post a while back about the prevalence of apps and whether or not your business needs one.   Even if you decided it wasn’t the time to create your own app, changes are pretty good that you use other apps on a daily basis to access information. In fact, each person downloads approximately 60 apps per mobile device — a rate that continues to increase exponentially. And, mobile devices will likely outnumber humans by the end of this year, so that will lead to even more app usage. So, what does this mean for you, and your...Read more...

Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

10/3/2012
Our blogs up until now have focused pretty heavily on cloud computing and all that it can do for your business. The takeaway, in a nutshell, is that cloud computing allows you to harness the powers of the Internet to save you money and time and to make your work—and life—generally smoother and easier to handle.   But the power of the Internet doesn’t stop there. There are all sorts of other ways that you can use the Internet to your advantage that we haven’t touched on at all. In today’s society, so fully immersed in the online world, opportunity...Read more...

Taking your Business Mobile

10/2/2012
Running a business is hard, but there are now more ways than ever to make it easier. There is new technology popping up every day, and there’s no reason not take advantage of it as you work to make your business successful.   One of the ways to make doing business easier than ever is to start looking more seriously towards mobile applications for help. The world of technology is nearly overflowing with mobile apps, and there are some out there that could be incredibly useful to you and your business in some very important ways.   Customer relationships  ...Read more...

Expanding your Business through Ecommerce

10/1/2012
Sometimes small businesses don’t really think of going big. If you have a small, local, reliable customer base, does it make sense to try and go bigger?   When going bigger means going online, the answer is yes. Businesses big and small have been finding success in the world of ecommerce, a world that allows them to expand their market to a wider and more diverse demographic.   What kinds of businesses does ecommerce benefit?   Of course ecommerce is a great choice if your business revolves around some sort of product. Giving customers the chance to purchase your products...Read more...

Two Critical IT Steps for Small Businesses

9/27/2012
“A man to carry on a successful business must have imagination. He must see things in a vision, a dream of the whole thing,” so said American steel magnate Charles M. Schwab. Schwab’s sage advice is especially true for the modern entrepreneur. While planning for and developing a profitable, growing business is a complex, ongoing process, adequate planning, attention to details, and realistic expectations are critical to your success. One of the most important areas that today’s businesses need to focus attention on is their Information Technology needs.   Most small businesses don't have the luxury of assigning a single...Read more...

Got Mac? Your employees do

9/10/2012
Let’s face it, Apple is hot.   We all line up for the latest and greatest gadget, including the entire line of Macs. That love affair with iPads and iPhones has spilled over into a new found love of Macs as well. PC Magazine continues to rank Apple as having the best laptops and consumers are buying.   According to Forrester Forrsights Hardware Survey, 22 percent of enterprises see the use of employee-owned Mac computers increasing significantly in the workplace. However, based on the same survey, 41 percent of companies will not grant Mac users network access due to compatibility...Read more...

How to Manage App Downloads on Company Devices

8/14/2012
Mobile computing is on the rise in the business world.   Most people in business today – owners, executives and employees – all have mobile devices. There are smartphones, tablets and any variation of a portable device used to access the Internet.   An aspect of mobile computing that is important for the use of smartphones or tablets is the application platform of every mobile device. Applications or apps are downloaded to computers for a variety of reasons. There are apps for just about everything. You’ve probably heard the popular slogan, “There’s an app for that”.   For company issued...Read more...

7 IT Related Items Often Overlooked by Small Business Owners

8/10/2012
As small businesses grow their needs change. Demand on the owner and manager increases in all areas including IT. This change comes at a time when things are growing fast and often the IT matters are overlooked. The issue is that IT issues can bring down the business and stop things instantly. It’s necessary to understand the most overlooked tech-related issues so your small business can prepare and have a plan in place to keep you operating.   1. Computer Life Cycle   As the business grows it’s important to stay in contact with each of the employees. Money can...Read more...

The 5 Most Common IT Issues for Employees

8/8/2012
There is nothing more frustrating for business employees than computer issues.   For the most part we all struggle with computer issues. Since computers became a main part of everyday work life about 15 to 20 years ago computers have been fickle. When the computer goes down or the Internet connection goes down it can be incredibly frustrating for employees.   The frustration level picks up for employees and the stress mounts for the business manager and the IT staff also. It’s important to understand the biggest issues employees have with their computers at work so you can prepare your...Read more...

The Basics to Managing a Web-Based E-Commerce Website

8/1/2012
Website management is something overlooked by some business owners.   It’s easy to assume that once the designer and programmer complete the site that it will take care of itself. We covered this a little bit in an article about content management systems. The CMS allows the main user and manager of the website to have the power to control the content and even various data points and design points on a website.   A basic company website doesn’t pose too much in terms of updating and making changes. Where things can get tricky is with e-commerce websites.   If...Read more...

What Is a Content Management System?

7/25/2012
Does your company have a website?   A content management system (CMS) is the dashboard you or your site manager uses to manage your website. You can refer to this area of your site as the dashboard or the backend. It’s the same thing. It’s where you can make adjustments to the content on the site and even make adjustments to the appearance of the site in certain instances.   As the Internet becomes more important for businesses to get new customers and grow it will be important for all executives to know a little bit about their websites. And...Read more...

Recommended Ways to Manage Outbound Business Email

7/24/2012
Businesses use outbound email in a variety of different ways.   The employees within the company use their own company email addresses to send work correspondence. This is a daily function of the business that is necessary to communicate internally and externally with clients and partners.   There is also the need for outbound marketing emails. These are the emails you send to subscribers promoting new products, promotions, etc. Outbound marketing emails could also include your email newsletter program and other similar messaging.   Outbound emails are crucial to the success of any company. Here are a couple tips and...Read more...

How to Encourage New Technology in the Workplace

7/4/2012
Technology has traditionally been an issue for businesses.   Companies of all sizes seem to struggle with employee technology. It’s not the case at all businesses, but you can probably think of a time when you worked for a company that was frustrating from the tech standpoint.   From the company’s perspective it makes sense to give employees the same hardware and software for 3 to 5 years. It’s cost effective and gives the employee plenty of opportunity to perform their job. The issue with this is the employee might become frustrated and not even realize there is something better...Read more...

How to Bootstrap Small Business IT

6/28/2012
It’s difficult for any business to get started.   The fate of the small business owner is constantly juggling the finances. It’s essential to make sure there is enough cash to go around especially when payroll comes around.   Bootstrapping is a part of the small business makeup. There is no way around the worry that comes with a new small business even when things are growing and expanding.   One aspect of small business growth companies struggle with is IT and computer-related issues. As a company grows the demands for a more robust IT infrastructure grow as well. For...Read more...

How to Scale IT as Your Company Grows

6/27/2012
The best problem for a business to have is scale.   A business that needs to scale is a business that is growing. Small businesses can run into this issue as they move from one or two employees to a dozen and to even more employees. There are stages a company reaches and throughout the entire growth stage there are needs that arise with the IT world.   Let's address the common needs your company will need as your business grows and you need to scale your IT hardware, software, and other related services.   Hardware Upgrades   As you...Read more...

Leveraging Customer Reviews and Testimonials

6/1/2012
Are you showcasing your positive customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing efforts? If not, you are missing a huge opportunity. Positive feedback about your product or services shows prospective customers that you have met or exceeded expectations with your business. Why are testimonials so effective? They provide a third-party endorsement of your brand. This transparent form of grassroots marketing gives you credibility which is essential in growing your business. Testimonials provide an instant connection from a satisfied customer to one that is considering making the commitment to your brand. After all, if other people are happy, they will be...Read more...

How to Keep Company Email Safe

5/31/2012
Email is the gateway into your entire company. Think about all of the confidential information that is sent via email each day. Without the proper security measures, your entire network can be taken down in a matter of seconds. According to a Websense® Security Labs Study, 74 percent of email is spam and almost 90 percent of unwanted emails contain malicious content or spam using web links. They also found that only one of every four anti-virus products catch blended web and email attack campaigns and cyber criminals can make spam carrying emails almost irresistible to open by having them...Read more...

How to Create a Business Social Media Plan

5/25/2012
It seems that everyone who is in business these days is utilizing social media, and one would assume that companies have a solid marketing plan behind it. However, some studies suggest that nearly 60 percent of companies using social media have no plan. That figure is scary, as in order to effectively execute social media to promote your company, a marketing plan is a must. A plan will help keep you on track, ensure you are spending your social media marketing dollars effectively, and give you the focus you need to succeed.   So if your company is part of...Read more...


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