Expert Marketing: How to Get Your Company to Stand out from Your Competition

Getting your business to stand out from your competitors is essential if you want to succeed in business. While you must have a quality product, great customer service and a reasonable price, that may not be enough to encourage people to visit your location. Here are some ideas on how to market your business so that you stand out from your competitors.

Create a Voice-and-mobile-friendly Website

While you probably already have a website, it is essential that it be voice friendly. Making your website voice-friendly allows the user to find your business using their home devices like Alexa, Google Home and Amazon Echo. Use phrases that are naturally spoken, make sure that you list your geographical area and use long-tail keywords. In order to make your website mobile friendly, you should make sure that your website can be viewed on any size device, pick a font that is at least 14 pixels and use high-quality images.

Be Active on Social Media

Being found on social media is essential to separating your business from that of your competitors. Know what social media platform your customers prefer and make yourself visible there. While you will want to post regularly, you will also want to make sure to interact with your target audience. Spending time showing that you care about their concerns and ideas is a great way to build customer trust. When others see customers bragging about your products and services online, then they will want to check your business out.

Build and Upkeep a Unique Building Design

When a customer arrives at your location, they should instantly get a great first impression before they ever walk in the door, get signage companies to put up a new sign that is clearly visible when customers are approaching your business from any direction. Keep the exterior of the business beautiful by painting and landscaping. Make sure that your customers have ample parking and can get in the front door easily. Ensure that the windows are clean and that the sidewalk is free of all trash.

Get Involved in the Community

It is essential that you are involved in your local community. You may want to team up with other business owners to sponsor an event. Join the local chamber or other business organizations. Regularly donate part of your proceeds to a worthy cause while making sure that your donation gets attention in the press. Offer to be a public speaker at events along with contacting local news organizations to offer to be their local expert on topics related to your business.

Using these ideas and your own ingenuity will help you stand out from your competitors. Keep your focus on doing the right things for your community and your business will succeed. You will need to make sure that they can find you when they look on the internet.

How to Keep Your Company On-Brand at all Times

Working toward brand excellence is so important as a small business owner, and this is something that you should be striving for every day when running a business. There are some excellent ways of enhancing and boosting your brand, and there are plenty of things you can do to help you make the company a little more on-brand as much as possible.

The best way of impressing your customers and taking your business further is to make sure you are always on-brand. Your company will have an ethos, and a way of doing things, and your daily activities must exude this at all times. So, these are some of the best ideas you can use that will help keep the company on-brand at all times!

  • Never Compromise

You must never compromise from what makes your business and brand what it is. You will have plenty of business ideals that you want to make sure are important parts of the business every day. Never compromise on your beliefs, your plans for the company, or how you want the business to come across. It is important that you stick to your beliefs and ideals, and always make sure they are a focal point of the business, as this is one of the great ways of staying on-brand.

  • Keep Your Marketing Consistent

Another way of ensuring that you keep the company on-brand at all times is to make sure your marketing is as consistent as possible. The best way to keep the business branding on the right track is to make sure you improve your customer service, and that the marketing has the right focus. Too many companies seem to have a disjointed marketing strategy, and this can be detrimental to the company.

  • Cohesive Content

One of the most important things when it comes to staying on-brand is making sure you have cohesive content. So much of the time, your content can feel disjointed and not representative of the way you want your brand to come across. This is the sort of situation in which you need to use sites like https://www.templafy.com to get the correct sort of document and content management. This is so important in ensuring you are able to keep things cohesive and on-brand.

  • It’s Easy to Describe Your Brand

You know when you have kept everything on-brand when it is easy to summarize your brand in just a few short words. This is the most important thing to remember, and you need to put yourself in the place of your customers. Can your brand be summed up in just a few words? If the answer is no, then you need to make sure you work on improving your brand identity and make sure you better understand how to get back on-brand.

This is such an important thing for your business, and you have to do what you can to ensure your company is going to improve and thrive as a result. There are so many things to consider when trying to keep your business on-brand as much as possible.

The Importance of Creating Healthy and Positive Work Environment for More Productive Employees

Productivity at work is affected by many factors. One of the main factors has everything to do with the way employees perceive their work environment. Therefore, it’s essential that you make sure that the space people work at as well as the way they communicate with each other is positive and encouraging. This is nothing new in the world of productivity, and there are plenty of tips that you can utilize for your own office space.

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The office should be clutter-free

In general, you should encourage your employees to keep their own desk clutter-free by making sure that the whole office space is clean and organized. This doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be any sign of personality anywhere – quite the contrary. But, it’s essential that there are not too many distractions at work. Moreover, an organized office means that your employees can freely move around without feeling trapped and pressured. Just like clutter and mess, a poorly utilized layout can cause mental pressure and decrease productivity levels. With that being said, make sure that everyone can get up from their desk, move around and properly communicate with each other.

Lighting and air quality

It’s essential that the lighting in the office is pleasant for the eyes. Obviously, natural light is the best option, so do your best to utilize it to the fullest. However, artificial lighting is also crucial for the productivity at work. In that respect, opt for full-spectrum lighting that actually feels pleasant on the eyes. Just like lighting, the air quality plays an important role in office productivity. For starters, a proper ventilation system is a must. One of the best tricks, however, is to enrich your space with plants. Plants are known to boost productivity and reduce stress, but they also clean the air effectively. You may want to look into the possibility of installing a green wall, as this is definitely the best way to bring nature into the office, as well as engage your employees more.

Make sure that everyone is comfortable

If your employees have to sit at a desk for the most part of the work day, it’s paramount that you ensure their comfort – and health. Basically, do your best to find ergonomic furniture that will adjust properly to the individual using the furniture. Chairs with proper support for the back and arms, as well as sturdy desks of proper heights will minimize the neck and back pain, allowing your employees to be more productive. Moreover, don’t hesitate to add some other comfy features to the office, such as a yoga ball and other comfy furniture for the break area. This will also encourage your staff to get together and spend time with each other during the break more.

Let the design of your office boost employee bonds

When you make sure that your office is designed with productivity in mind, you’ll literally create a chance for your employees to bond and connect more. This will also improve their team work and overall professional content, which obviously leads to a productivity boost and better performance. Aside from the previously mentioned tips, you may think about promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle at work as well, organizing interesting team building events, providing proper credit, rewards and bonuses, allowing pets in the office, and many other things that seem like a good fit for your office space, your team and the productivity goals you wish to achieve as a modern business.

Work and life balance is a must

Don’t spoil your beautifully designed office by overloading your employees with work. Productive design won’t work if people feel constantly stressed and overworked. What you can do, however, is promote work and personal life balance. This can be done in many ways. One possibility is to allow your employees to get to work a bit later on Monday and leave a bit earlier on Friday. On the other hand, you may allow employees to work from home for one day in the week, if that suits them. Most importantly, divide the work properly, so that you actually strengthen the teams and get more work done instead of pushing people to the point of burning out.

Employees represent your brand, and when they are happy, you can bet that your brand is going to get heard of one way or another. For starters, happy employees will constantly perform well and connect with the company’s business success goals. What’s more, positive word-of-mouth is also going to do your brand a lot of good. Therefore, don’t hesitate to make the most out of your office space and provide your staff with productivity boosters that will make them truly happy to work for you and move your business forward.


Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

How to Set Up Your Own Hair Care Brand

When you are setting up any business, you need to make sure that you have the basics in place before you begin. The hair care industry is dominated by several large businesses but there is still plenty of room for smaller businesses to enter the market, especially if you are planning to create organic products or have another niche in mind.

All industries go through particular trends and the hair care industry is no different. Keeping an eye on the trends is a good way to work out how to pitch your own products. For example, you might notice that there are lots of products using coconut oil recently and decide to join the fashion with your own coconut products. Alternatively, you could look at the current trends and find a gap to fill instead.

Product Design

The beauty industry – and the personal care industry by extension – is often all about marketing the best version of your customer to themselves. Your products are there to make them feel fabulous and look amazing and so the product needs to do exactly as promised.

Where most products just need to be functional, yours will also need to look and smell attractive to your customers to persuade them first to buy it and then to use it on their hair and body. Your product design may also be affected by the niche of the market you are targeting. For example, if you are going for the organic market, you may choose not to add colorings to your product or may only use natural colorings.

You should also think carefully about where your product is most likely to be placed in a store and how it will look on the shelf. This is important because your customers will have expectations based on where they find your product in store and will be able to make a comparison with other similar products.  This is where packaging comes in.

Packaging

Your packaging design is the most important asset you have to tempt customers to step away from their usual products and try yours instead. If you have poor packaging, it doesn’t matter how good the product inside is, it will take a long time to persuade people to try it. This means that once you have an idea for your product, you need to figure out what will be highlighted on the packaging to sell it.

Many shoppers don’t really think about what they are buying; instead, they work around the store picking up the things they usually get and are attracted to bright colors and interesting shapes much more than they are fancy descriptions. Knowing this should certainly impact the way you package your product and you should be able to describe your brand to a 5-year-old successfully.

Hair care products come in all different shapes and sizes but it still takes a good eye to identify the kind of bottle that will stand out for all the right reasons. This time last year, Dove, an international beauty brand based in the UK discovered that their 6 new bottle designs based on female shapes were an idea better left in the boardroom than transcribed to the store shelf. While their aim was to promote body diversity, they came across as patronising instead of motivating.

However badly the PR stunt went for Dove, what they did show was that a different shape could stand out a mile on the shelf. Perfume bottles are another great example of how this works and could be a good source of inspiration for your own design. Once you have an idea, talk to a company like C.L. Smith about creating a mockup and seeing how the design works practically as well as aesthetically.

Create a Business Plan

Now that you have your product and packaging, you will need to create a business plan to figure out how to progress your business. The perfect business plan is your opportunity to prepare yourself for the future and figure out what you are all about. Writing a snapshot of what your business goals are and how you plan to achieve them will really help to focus your mind and keep track of your progress.

Costings are certainly one of the most important aspects of your business. While mock-ups and samples can be quite expensive, ordering in bulk will often drive the cost per unit down – you just need to be certain that you will be able to sell everything you make. You should factor in all your expenses including office space, supplies, staffing, marketing and even basics like transport to ensure that you understand how much you need to earn to keep the business running.

You should also think about how you are going to fund your business to begin with. Setting up a service business might be quite a cheap operation (especially if it’s literally just you and a laptop) but running a business that sells products is much more costly to set up. Not only will you have all the costs above, but you won’t have any income just yet to cover those costs as you will in the future. You will also need to factor paying off your loans into your profit margins.

This is also a good place to start working out what your marketing strategy will be including costs and projections. Your marketing campaign at the beginning of your business will be very different to the campaigns you run when you are better established. With this in mind, you might like to run the costs of a few different ideas to allow you a more dynamic approach to your marketing strategy in the future.

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Image Credit: Stock Snap

Marketing

The initial purpose of your marketing campaign is to raise awareness of your new brand. This means that rather than persuading people to buy, for now, you are just persuading people to have a look and get familiar with your branding. For most businesses, social media marketing is one of the best ways to do this as it allows you to target lots of people you think will be interested and encourage them to follow you in some way.

Competitions are a great way to encourage people to share your social posts and can be a very cheap method for raising awareness. For example, you might ask people to submit before and after photos of their hair after using your product to win a prize. They will then share their picture (with a related hashtag for your brand) and all their friends will see it. The more people you can persuade to join in, the more brand awareness you will achieve.

At this stage, the more impressions you can get, the better so you could also think about giving away some freebies. Samples are a great way to give people a taste of your product in the hope that they will like it and choose to buy more. Lots of hair care companies team up with magazines to distribute samples but you could also go to events or set up on a busy high street to get similar results. Just make sure that your branding and packaging is all recognisable so that your customer know exactly what to look for next time they go shopping.

Once you are a little more established as a brand, you can start shifting your attention from brand awareness to conversions. Content marketing is the ideal way to do this as it sits in the middle of the two giving you a chance to get in front of more people while persuading them to buy. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and establish yourself as a brand leader.

A blog is the easiest and most obvious way to start your content marketing and you should think about the kind of things that your customers will be interested in reading on your site. For example, they might like to know how to use your hair mask or whether cold water is really better than warm with conditioner. You could also create video tutorials that can be shared around social media – especially on Instagram. The more content you produce, the more likely it is that people will keep coming back to your site and the more entrances they have too.

Setting up a hair care business and brand is never going to be easy in such a diverse and crowded market. However, if you have a great and original idea that could be just what the market needs, you should follow your passion and set it in motion.

Like any other business, the hair care industry requires plenty of research, detailed planning and excellent marketing to ensure that you stand out and get noticed. However, you will also need to have lots of flare and passion for this competitive industry and be certain that what you are planning to offer can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a tough ask, but if you get it right, the rewards will be amazing.

Your B2B Business Will Do Better With Video. 4 Ways To Get Started On A Budget

…You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone”. A line from Bob Dylan’s famous song ‘The Times They Are a ‘Changin’, could not have realyed the message any better. The digital age has flipped conventional business practices on their head.

Cisco’s white paper on the Visual Networking Index suggests by 2019 videos on the internet will contribute to almost 80% of the traffic.

While conventional marketing methods will yield results videos are becoming increasingly more important.
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A great example showcasing this growth is Notify Fox. After posting their first explainer video on YouTube they garnered more than hundred new users. The same video also helped them significantly improve their customer conversion.

When you think videos you probably imagine big production costs, expensive equipment and the works. Good News- That is a thing of the past. There is help at hand.

With new age video making techniques you can create and edit videos at half the cost and the results will surely take your business to new heights.

Here is a list of things you can do to get you started on a shoestring budget.

KISS it all the way

Keep It Short and Simple- You’ve heard this adage being applied to almost everything under the sun. However, with videos it is even more relevant.

The hyper social age has changed the way we look at things. This has resulted in the average attention span being reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds!

A short and to-the-point video has the potential to go viral and get your business the attention it requires.

Case in point being Zendesk’s promo video. This one minute promotional video managed to garner over 116K views on Youtube.

With this kind of response Zendesk managed to drive home their core point of building relationships between organisations and their customers.

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Takeaway: Grab attention and keep it. A short video with all the relevant information will drive home the point. 

Get crafty

Don’t let limited resources get in the way of your creativity. You will have to be resourceful and make the best use of what you have.

Who knew an empty bottle could be used as a tripod. This gives turning trash into treasure a whole new spin. Plus the added benefit of saving money.

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For lighting, use daylight whenever possible, The results will pleasantly surprise. You will not only save on the costs but also on time. No need to set up bulky equipment.

Make use of the space you have. You don’t need a fancy setting for a great video. A neat room with a bright wall will do the trick. A rented studio will not only inflate your costs but will also take away that personal touch from your work.

Get your friends and family to pitch in. This will not only lighten your load but also let you spend time with your loved ones. A total win-win for everybody.

For those seamless dolly shots or tracking shots you can use your office chair with wheels. Just make sure the floor is not uneven and your camera is still.

Takeaway : Lack of resources should not bog you down. Be hands-on with your approach and learn on the fly. Use everything you can.

DIY with ease

Yes, you’re not a professional videographer, but that should not stop you from making awesome videos. Your smartphone can help you create videos quickly and with great ease.

The quality of videos will however depend on practise. If there are award winning movies are being shot through smartphones then it couldn’t be that difficult , right?

The movie ‘“Tangerine” directed by Sean Baker was entirely shot on an iphone. It won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences acquired the phone for their museum.

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Invest in a durable hand grip or rig for your phone. This will stabilise your shots and the videos will come out neater.

Takeaway:  Your smartphone can help you make great looking videos without any fuss. All you need is a full charge and some patience.

Edit to please

Now that you’ve shot the video, you need to add some finesse to it. Use an online video editor to add final touches to your work.

You can add background score, transitions, 3D effects, the options are endless. Work the video editor to your advantage and get that awesome video in no time.

A superb video editor like Lightworks can make you job easier. This phenomenal video editing tool will help you edit your videos and make them look super professional.

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For people with limited desktop space, cloud based video editing is a great option. You can save all your work on the cloud and access it from anywhere anytime.

Takeaway: Use online video editors. You will not have to buy expensive software and the results will still be awesome.

Conclusion:

Videos, if done right can help your marketing strategy immensely.

Make sure to keep your video precise. No one wants to see lengthy videos with a drab end. A short film with on point information will check all the boxes.

Use all the available resources at your disposal. Video making is an expensive proposition so take your time thinking about the story you want to tell. The more time you spend thinking  before shooting,  the less you will spend on post production.

Have fun, If you don’t it will show in your videos. Keeping things light is the key, your stress can easily rub onto your crew.

Try and maintain a sense of humour. With it you will be able to diffuse a situation or even get work done faster.

So, keep these points in mind and don’t let your budget get in the way of awesome videos for you business.

Five Things You Didn’t Realise You Needed in Your Office!

Your office is so much more than four walls. It’s the space where your workforce spends most of their days, and so it makes sense that it should be a nice environment. Not only will this be more pleasant to work from, but improved mood is likely to boost productivity, meaning better work produced and more profits for you! If you look after your employees, they will look after your customers, clients and business- and providing them with a decent space to work from is one of the ways you can do this. We all know that we need good technology, ergonomically designed furniture and proper storage in the office- but there are a few other details that you might have overlooked. These things can improve worker happiness and productivity and make your office run that bit better. Here are ideas for five changes you could make!

Lots of Daylight

Daylight is a natural mood booster, and when your workers are happier they will do better work. You might think as long as your office is well lit, it doesn’t matter how much daylight comes in but it’s not the case. Make the very most of the natural light you have coming in. This could mean moving to an office with large windows, or if you own the building you could have the windows made larger. It could mean switching up the blinds or window treatments you have up to allow more light to come in, or changing the layout so that desks are positioned next to windows. It’s simple but so easy to overlook, if you want happier and more motivated workers a quick switch up in the office could really help you to achieve this.

A Light, Neutral Colour Scheme

As well as getting in as much natural light as possible, the way you decorate your office can have a big impact too. Choosing a light, neutral colour like a white, magnolia or very light grey can help make the office look more spacious and bounce the light around as much as possible. If your current space is looking a little worse for wear, a lick of paint can make all the difference. It will help to make the office look clean, modern, bright and airy. Even if you’re renting your office, you will usually be allowed to make cosmetic changes. Keep it simple yet beautiful and really make the most of any light coming into the room. According to colour psychology, blue makes people most productive and has a calming effect on humans, For this reason, adding some blue to your office could be beneficial if you wanted to bring in a bit of colour.

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Plants

Psychologists have shown that plants actually increase productivity in the workplace. In general, plants and flowers also help to boost our mood and reduce stress. This is thought to work on the principle of color psychology (green being a calming colour) and evolutionary. Our ancestors would have worked hard to produce crops and flowers and plants were seen as a ‘reward’ of this hard work. This is great as it means a few simple plants added to the office can make a big difference. Encourage workers to bring in a plant they love to put on their desk- and dot around a few bigger potted plants. As well as boosting mood, they’re a professional and unfussy way to decorate. The leaves add colour and texture to a neutral space without making it look cluttered.

Exercise Equipment

Unfortunately, office jobs tend to be pretty sedentary. This is bad news for employees, sedentary work can increase the chances of obesity (and its related ailments such as high blood pressure, heart issues and diabetes). It can reduce mobility and fitness levels and overall have a negative impact on health. As employers, once of the ways we can help to combat this is by providing office exercise equipment. Something like an active stool or exercise ball instead of a normal chair is good for posture, balance and core muscles. An under desk treadmill, stepper or exercise bike can be good for leg muscles and provide light cardio exercise. You could also switch to standing desks for some job roles. To take this a step further, you could add a stability ‘fitness wobble cushion’ which requires you to stand and keep your balance as you work- great for legs and core. Either way, getting employees moving in some way is good for their health, can reduce stress and even reduce sick days in the future. You’ll improve focus and productivity and decrease restless energy. Even the best employees can struggle being cooped up all day, these things can help to alleviate that feeling. If you have a social area, how about adding a pool table or a mini office golf putting set?

 A Social Area

Do you have a social area in your office, for break and lunchtimes- or a place to sit before work? If not, it’s well worth setting one up. First of all, workers won’t have to leave the premises when they go on breaks, and this can mean you’re not losing minutes here and there from them returning back a little late. It can also help with socialisation and bonds between employees. Businesses need workers who don’t just work well themselves, but who can also communicate and work well with others. Giving your employees a space where they can chat and get to know each other can be very beneficial. Collectively, companies spend a fortune each year on things like team building activities and events that bring employees together to improve communication. So this isn’t something to be overlooked. A few comfy chairs, a coffee machine and a vending machine would suffice. Ideally a kitchenette area with a place to heat food would be better.

Had you considered any of these things for your office? Do you have any ideas on how you can make your office more pleasant for workers, therefore boosting mood and productivity?

Clicks, Customers and Communication: Perfecting Your Business’s Online Presence

In a world where everything is now becoming downloadable and digital, it is now fundamental to have a business with a strong online presence. Many consumers won’t even consider investing their money in a business if you can’t find it online, read reviews or follow them on social media. If you’re new to running a business or aren’t sure how you can up your game in the virtual world there are several things you can do to make your company stand out from the crowd. From social media tactics to effective web design, these methods might seem time consuming and daunting at first, but they will truly help you to take your business to the next level.

Dazzling Designs

A website is the first go-to feature for building a strong online presence; your potential customers will head straight to your site and will want to see exactly what you can offer them. It needs to be speedy, slick and smart, so you might want to consider a company which can offer professional web design for seo. With SEO optimization and a stunning, eye-catching design your company will jump to the top of search engines and draw in a higher volume of potential consumers.

Advert Advantages

Online advertising is a must have if you want to be discovered on the web. Your brand name, service information and promotions can easily be displayed on the web using pay per click adverts. This is an extremely effective method of marketing as you don’t have to pay until someone physically clicks on your advert and visits your website. Set your own budget and assess how well it works for you; you might be able to increase this over time as your online presence and engagement increases. Within your advert you should include some form of enticing ‘free’ deal, where people input their email addresses into a form and receive a special offer. This will allow you to gather a collection of contacts which you can then target with email marketing campaigns. You get two birds with one stone, using a relatively low cost tactic.

Consumer Communication 

Make sure you’re actively engaging with your potential clients when they ask you questions about your product or services. You have the power to persuade them to spend their money, so don’t ignore their queries. Offer them five star customer service, using a friendly and welcoming approach either via social media messaging or online comments.

Build a Blog

Creating a blog for your website offers an additional online platform for your business. You can personify your business and create worthwhile content that customers will be excited to read. There is also the opportunity to collaborate with other companies by advertising their services on your blog or gaining a sponsorship, so that’s extra income in your pocket straight away.

It has been proven than businesses thrive when their online presence is authoritative, professional and engaging, so make sure you are using the tools that the online world has to offer. Your company name will be publicized, your business will skyrocket, your profits will increase and your consumers will be content.