Standing out from the Competition: How Your Business Can Get the Attention of Potential Customers

Maintaining a solid customer base is vital to the survival of your business. In addition to conventional marketing strategies, there are some innovative ways to attract more potential customers and keep your profits growing. Here are a few ideas to help your business get the attention of potential customers.

Offer Freebies

Even though this may seem counterproductive, offering free products or services can actually help your business earn more money. By offering free product samples, people may be more inclined to try them since they won’t have to make a commitment to purchase. You can have your employees hand out samples to people passing by on the street or send them out in the mail to potential leads. You can also try offering free services for a limited time.

Display Unique Signage

Using standard signage for your business will likely attract less attention from the masses. If you want to stand out, you should have some innovative signs created. Certain companies can create business signs that feature eye-catching texts and graphics. You can order signage that includes attractive colors and even features the logo of your business. Displaying this signage on the outside of your building near the entrance will help your business get noticed as people walk or drive by your location.

Utilize SEO Marketing

SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is an important tool for marketing businesses online. This type of marketing involves the use of written content that contains certain keywords and phrases that people commonly search for while online. The right SEO campaign can help your company’s website rank higher on the top search engines. Forbes.com notes that it’s also important to have content that’s original and enables your business to stay more relevant.

Do Some Charity Work

Giving back to your community will help your company earn a more positive reputation. Your business can sponsor a food, clothing or blood drive as a way to market your brand and help others who are in need. Local media outlets will likely cover your event, which can get you some free press. You can also try donating some of your proceeds to charitable organizations. If you support a good cause, you’re sure to see an influx of new customers.

By putting in the necessary efforts to expand your clientele, you’ll likely find yourself reaping the rewards in no time. Consistently growing your customer base will help you stay in business and stand out from your competitors.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Your Social Guide To Using Infographics Effectively

In today’s marketing scenario, your strategy is incomplete if you don’t use visuals. Visual marketing fuels your marketing goals to help you achieve the desired results.

For marketers who are looking to present complex data in a simpler format, infographics are a blessing. Infographics are engaging and are shared 3x more than other forms of content.

They can be used to depict a process; they can be used to showcase statistics. Or present any complex information in a more user-friendly manner.

Also, infographics aren’t restricted to a particular platform. They can be placed on blogs and even shared on social media sites.

With infographic search volumes on the rise, it is the best time to pair your social media strategy with infographics and see amazing results.

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Here are a few ways to market your infographic on social media effectively:

  1. Do not forget to share your infographic on Pinterest

Many marketers commit the mistake of not looking past Facebook and Twitter when it comes to sharing infographics. Multi-channel marketing is essential to maximise the output from your infographic.

When it comes to Pinterest, infographics naturally fit into its layout. This is one of the reasons you will find a number of infographics on its homepage.

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With infographics, you can build a strong online presence on Pinterest. Focus on making your infographic more visually appealing since Pinterest is centered around eye-catching content. 

Takeaway:

Your infographic marketing strategy is incomplete if you restrict yourself to only a few social media platforms. If you haven’t already placed your infographics on Pinterest, it is a good time to do so. 

  1. Youtube offers you a place to showcase video infographics

When we talk about infographics, we generally think of static ones. However, video infographics have also become a popular marketing tool. You can create video infographics and share them on Youtube.

But the question is: what should you choose? The static option or video?

If your content focuses on details and facts or figures, then it is best to go with static infographics as the viewer needs time to absorb the content at their pace.

Video infographics can be used when your goal is to engage customers and bring more traffic to your website or persuade them to buy your product or service.

Here is a video infographic by Care to Click which is definitely much more effective in the video format than it would have been in static.

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Takeaway:

Depending on your marketing goals, you can decide between static or video infographics. If you are confused about what format will suit your marketing goals, here is a guide to help you out. 

  1. Keywords are as important on social media as on search engines

Keywords impact the searchability of your content on social media channels too. Hence you need to focus on optimising the text content that accompanies the infographic.

Make sure that you place your infographics with relevant hashtags and keywords in the caption so your audience can find your content.

Ensure that you extract a list of the most relevant keywords and tag them in your infographic post description. This will provide visibility to your infographic.

Takeaway:

When planning your social media strategy with infographics, do not forget the importance of keywords.

  1. Utilise the trending section on social sites while creating infographics

If you consider platforms like Twitter and Instagram, both come with a list of hashtags that are popular. This section is basically a list of hot topics that are being widely discussed on that particular social media platform.

Too few marketers pay attention to this particular information. These trending topics can come in handy while creating infographics and also while using keywords as a supplementary text.

Utilizing this feature can help you make your infographic more searchable on social platforms.  While it might be a challenge to find a trending topic which is relevant to your brand, you can always step outside your brand image and put something for the general public. Maybe something that tickles their funny bone? With a good campaign idea, you can even trigger a new trending topic.

These trending sections are usually tailored based on the user’s location. They can offer you real advantage when targeting your customers.

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Takeaway:

By making use of trending topics, you can create infographics which have a higher chance of going viral. 

  1. Use infographic snippets in your Facebook ads

Facebook ads allow you to target your audience in a more defined manner through Facebook ads. You can also incorporate your infographics in these ads.

Snippets of your infographics can be used in the ad images for promotion through advertisements. But make sure that you choose that part of the infographic which is appealing and doesn’t contain heavy text.

You sure have other platforms to carry out advertisements but Facebook offers you convenience plus you can advertise with a small budget.

Takeaway:

A creative way to market infographic can be through infographic snippets running in advertisements.

Best practices

  1. Facebook

One drawback of putting your infographics on Facebook is that this platform tends to resize the photos which means that if you put the infographic as it is, it won’t be readable.  Sad, right?

The best way to promote your infographic is to use a section of that infographic (the one that contains the juiciest detail) and sharing this particular snippet. Do not forget to include the link to the full infographic with the post to direct the traffic.

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  1. Pinterest

You have the freedom to post the entire infographic on this platform owing to its preference to vertical layout. To drive more engagement, create boards with relevant and useful infographics. Like Lifehack has done here:

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  1. Instagram

On Instagram, it is best to split your infographic section-wise and post it as a collection of images. Here is how it can be done:

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Conclusion

Social media marketing for infographics isn’t just about putting the entire infographic out there.

You can give a teaser through infographic snippets; make your infographic more searchable by using the right keywords and use multiple platforms to reach out to a wider audience.

Using the above tips can help you in promoting your infographics on social media.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments.

Vaibhav Kakkar is the Founder and CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing services and development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has helped scale up agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.

 

Top Tips for Creating Your Own Brand & Getting It to Grow

More people are realizing the benefits of entrepreneurship. As a result, many people are building their own brands to achieve professional dreams. If you’d like to do the same, understand that it’s a process. There are a few things you’ll want to practice and implement in order to achieve success. To lay the foundation, start with these four tips.

Create a Website, a Business Bank Account and Business Cards

If you put the necessary systems in place, you won’t have to scramble later on to get things done. Start by purchasing a domain name. Create a simple website. Even if you don’t have technical skills, you can easily use a template and create a professional-looking site. Register your business as an LLC. Get a tax ID number and a business bank account. When you’re operating with money, you don’t want to mix up personal finances with business finances. Also, once you’ve solidified your contact details, you can put all of the information on your business cards. Details like your website, email address and telephone number should be on the business card.

Create Offline and Online Marketing Strategies

Don’t make the mistake of solely focusing on online marketing strategies. Create a mix of offline and online strategies so that you can build through multiple portals. If you’re selling an incredible hair product, reserve tables at hair shows. Do your best to promote your product at different events and allow your presence to serve as an offline marketing strategy. Some online strategies include building a social media presence, developing an email list and maintaining a consistent blog.

Be a Walking Billboard for Your Brand

If your company is a clothing retailer like Capsule Corp Clothing, for example, make sure that you wear the clothes that you sell. If your latest line includes fabulous Dragon Ball tank tops, wear new pieces from the line every day. You should serve as a walking billboard for your brand. When people look at you, they should know that you are proud of your business and that you represent your business. The same goes for your employees. If you represent it well, more people are likely to buy into whatever you’re selling.

Develop Habits of Professionalism

Always be professional, timely and considerate. Be responsive to various inquiries that people have. Be reliable and operate within integrity. When people see that they can trust you, they’ll do business with you. Make sure you do this with every single interaction because each interaction speaks volumes.

Look at entrepreneurship as a marathon. Most people operate as though entrepreneurship and brand-building are sprint races. When you develop a mindset that understands that you want to build a brand that lasts more than 20 years, you’ll be able to pace yourself and create a sustainable business.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

6 Common Reasons Your Marketing Plan Isn’t Generating Leads

Marketing has never been easier according to the experts. Today, an entrepreneur with zero experience and an internet connection can learn the tricks of the trade. All of the info is available online at the click of a button. As a result, businesses and blog and the platform of your choice can compete. Forget about the size as it doesn’t matter. Whether big, small or medium, there is nothing you can’t achieve concerning marketing.

So, if this is the case, why are you struggling to generate leads? It isn’t as if you don’t use modern techniques such as search engine optimization. And, you also invest in paid marketing such as pay-per-click. Still, the amount of leads coming back to you is poor, and you can’t figure out the problem. It’s a head-scratcher.

Without a steady flow of leads, it’s challenging to make conversions and increase sales. Sadly, failure is always an option in business so it’s essential to fix the issue as soon as possible. Without knowing the details, it can be very tricky. The good news is that there are six common reasons for lack of leads underneath. Hopefully, these will be able to help you reverse your fortunes.

Your Aim Is Off

Regardless of the plan, it isn’t going to work if it is aiming at the wrong people. There is no point throwing darts in the dark because it’s a waste of time and energy. Oh, and don’t forget the money either. The key is to optimize every feature to give it the best chance of succeeding. The first step then is to find a base of people who are going to be interested. That way, there is more of a chance that it will grab their attention and make them curious.

You may have an idea of the base, but there’s also a chance that you don’t fully understand the demographic. Are women or men more likely to buy the product or land on the site? What age range? Why do your services seem to resonate with this group? Delving into the specifics should help you find your perfect customer/visitor. Once that person is in your sights, aiming at him or her, and millions more like them is straightforward.

A buying persona should keep you on the right track. For those that don’t have one, visit Lead Forensics now and check out the post for more info.

And So Are Your Methods

The people aren’t the only thing to consider; there’s the method too. Every individual has a preferred contact setting depending on their tastes. For example, the older generations are advocates of speaking on the phone. Some hate cold-calling because it’s annoying, yet they like the directness of talking to a human advisor. Your job is to figure out which people like which platform and then use the info to target them.

Although it sounds like mind-numbingly long work, it’s not too tricky. Use age as a factor to break the base down into groups. The baby boomers have already gotten a mention, so now focus on the other subsections. Young customers are easy because they love to interact via social media. To optimize their experience, try and figure out which account is their favorite: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The trickiest people are the inbetweeners. Middle-aged men and women are retro and modern at the same time, which makes them awkward. An excellent tip is to use their personal info. For instance, entrepreneurs and business-oriented people will respond to email blasts. A housewife or husband may prefer an app because it suits their lifestyle.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to engage and interact when possible. Adding value often sticks in a person’s mind and encourages them to follow up.

The Tone Is Wrong

It’s essential to speak to people politely and respectfully. Still, there is no need to be boring. Boredom turns people off and makes them want to run a mile. So, finding a balance is a must to ensure there is value in the interaction. There is nothing worse than picking up the phone to listen to a sales rep babble on without pausing. When the other party can’t speak or ask questions, there is bound to be frustration which will result in them bouncing. This is one sales error to watch out for, but you can visit ej4 today for lots more.

Tailor the experience to the platform. Calls should have a consistent tone and shouldn’t be out of the blue. Cold calling is a sure-fire way to get them to hang up without a word. Emails are less formal and can use a chatty, colloquial voice. Also, there’s lots of room for multimedia such as photos, videos and gifs, so don’t be scared to get creative.

Social media is where the most informal interactions take place. When people log-in to their accounts, they don’t want to see forced, pointed, corporate tweets and posts. The most successful marketing plans center on organic conversations full of witty banter.

You’re Jumping The Gun

From the beginning, the end goal is in your sights. If the strategy can get them to convert or make a purchase, then everything will be hunky-dory. It’s important to keep the result in mind but it shouldn’t be at the forefront of the plan. Otherwise, you run the risk of jumping the gun and peaking too soon. Users hate this because it feels as if they are being forced into doing something rather than making the decision naturally.

Focus on providing the right info at the right time. To do this, analyze the process and where everyone stands on the spectrum. Are they at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end? The answer is essential because what you offer should be totally different for all three. At the start, an interested party wants as much info as possible so that they can compare and contrast. The middlemen and women love to hear about solutions to their problems. And, the guys and girls at the end want a sweetener to seal the deal.

By all means, get in front of them early to catch their eye but don’t be pushy. Everyone knows being clingy is a huge turn-off.

Patience Isn’t Your Strong Point

There is lots of activities available and not enough time to get through every single one. As a result, it’s tempting to discard the ones which don’t seem to work. After all, what’s the point in wasting time and money? Although changes can be positive, they can also be a hindrance. In this scenario, a lack of patience may cause you to throw away a feature which will work in the future. There is no way to tell if it is a failure until enough time has passed.

With that in mind, don’t get anxious when something appears not to work. Instead, let it grow and prosper until you are sure. Otherwise, there may be a lot of money left on the table. Take content marketing as an example. It takes a while to build up a reputable portfolio. Some of the market leaders have been doing it for decades and are still learning.

So, the aim isn’t to throw out as much content as possible and hope for the best. Instead, you need to focus on quality over quantity and build a core brand to get results. However, don’t assume they’ll appear out of thin air overnight because it takes hard work and endurance.

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You’re Not Number-Driven

Some people don’t believe in stats and they have a good reason. If you are unable to speak the language, then a lot of info can get lost in translation. Lots of businesses have developed strategies they thought would work yet they tanked. Why? It’s because they read the numbers wrong and didn’t understand the nuances. Still, marketing is a numbers game.

The reason is analytic software. Today, it’s easy to see who is doing what and why without basic math skills. The program does it all for you and prints the info in easy-to-understand chunks. More importantly, it shows you where there are flaws and what needs fixing. It’s incredible the number of strategies that have glaring flaws yet continue regardless. To put it into simple terms, it’s because the people in charge don’t use the analytic software.

Reverse engineer the data to locate the solutions. For example, go back and see where the leads came from in the first place. Then, compare the different sources to the success rate. Are there some which provide better conversions than others? Use this to figure out what gets you the best quality results, which in turn should reveal the best quality leads. Although it’s easy for analytic software to take a backseat, you need to keep on top of it on a regular basis.

Do any of the above seem like mistakes you are making currently? Could they be the reason lead generation is suffering?

Essential Skills for an Ecommerce Entrepreneur

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not an easy task. Many have tried and failed miserably. But, don’t let this fact discourage you. The reason they failed was the lack of skill and ideas. If you are not satisfied with the skills you possess, or are not sure what to improve in order to become a successful entrepreneur, despair no more. Listed below is the list of 5 “must have” skills you should acquire in order to become a successful entrepreneur and create a name of your own.

Web basics

No one expects you to know all about the Internet and its code, but learning the basics will greatly improve your chances for success. Get familiar with web technologies, and learn how they work. Try and learn all about HTML, CSS and FTP. Read guides and tutorials and find out as much useful information as you can. These are the basic skills you need to acquire in order to run a successful eCommerce, so learn as quickly as you can.

Marketing guru

One of the highest earning professions in the world is a marketing guru, and at the moment, there is a serious demand for such skilled people. Knowing a thing or two about marketing is not enough; you have to dig deep and know all the secrets and little things that can help you promote your product tomorrow. You have to start from scratch and work your way towards perfecting this skill. Without traffic, you have no leads and no sales. It doesn’t matter how amazing the design of your website is, if you cannot generate leads by implementing a proper marketing strategy, you’re doomed.

SEO Expertise

Another skill that was proven useful almost every time is search engine optimization. If you are able to utilize Google’s infinite potential and use it at your own advantage, there is no stopping you from selling or launching your product. This is especially important for eCommerce businesses, for most of their sales will go via Internet. Work on improving your customer base, and try finding new ways of advertising your products and services. Having good connections is very important in this business, so be creative and see how you can benefit from others by creating collaborations. Mutual benefit is the best way to fast development.

Self-teaching

One of the best traits of every successful businessman is the ability to adapt to and learn new techniques and abilities. One way of doing so is by attending online courses or watching tutorials on how something is done. Another way of doing it is by reading other people’s guides and lesson notes. There are plenty of awesome guides and information online, and all you have to do is look for uq past exams notes. There you can find notes on almost any subject, thorough analysis and legal studies of cases and projects, accounting notes, as well as essays and summaries on many different topics. Use it at your advantage, and educate yourself in any field you choose to master.

The ability to solve fresh problems

Each day, you will face many different problems. Some will appear out of the blue while others will stack up and wait for you to handle them. As a future successful businessman, you have to be able to take care of these problems on the go. Use your intelligence and creativity and work on solving all your problems as soon as they appear. If you disregard them, you will get overwhelmed before you even realize what is going on. If something can be done today, don’t leave it for tomorrow.

These 5 listed skills are your most powerful weapon. Use them wisely and improve them with each passing day. Remember to apply them to your business. It is only a matter of time before you score a significant deal, one that will put you on the track to success.

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.”

The Expert Seamstress: How to Run a Successful Fashion Business

If you are an expert seamstress, then it may be very easy to turn your abilities into a money-earning career. There are some steps, however, that you will need to take along the way. Here are some points you may want to consider to turn your fashion ideas into a money-making proposition.

Create a Business Plan

You will want to consider the type of sewing that you want to do for the public. Making a list can be a great place to start. Then, think about the supplies that you will need to carry out each one of those activities like an embroidery machine, a regular sewing machine, thread, fabric, tape measures and manikins. Make a list of the cost of each of your expenses and figure out what you need to charge your customers to make money from your sewing passion.

Choose a Location

Many seamstresses work from their home while others choose to open a storefront. Others choose to meet with their clients at a location of the client’s choosing. Decide on which choice is right for you, but remember that you will need a place to work on projects for clients. Often times, businesses find tax advantages or grants that make one location more favorable over others.

Decide on Marketing

You may be a great seamstress, but unless others know about your skills, then you cannot make money using those skills. Therefore, you will need to advertise. Consider creating a website showcasing projects that you have completed. Spread the word using social media. See if you can write guests blogs on other people’s sites to introduce them to your services. Make sure to claim your Google My Business account and your spot on Google Maps.

Network

Make sure that others in related businesses know about your services. Consider letting bridal boutiques who do not have their own seamstresses know about your services. Join community groups so that you get to know others in the community who might need your services such as putting logos on company shirts. Attend area trade shows where you can interact with local people to tell them about you and your business. Take advantage of these opportunities by practicing your elevator speech beforehand.

If you have the skills of a seamstress, then you can make money using those skills. Use these ideas and your own ingenuity to go into business for yourself.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Online Branding Is Critical for The Success Of Every Business

The Importance of Branding

You may already realize online branding is one of the most critical aspects for your business. It makes no difference if your business is B2B, retail, big or small. When you use an effective branding strategy, you achieve a significant edge in a highly competitive market. The best way to define the term branding is as the promise you have made to your customers. Online branding informs your customers as to what they will receive from your services and products while differentiating you from your competitors. Your brand is a reflection of who you are, who you want to be and the perceptions of your target audience.

The Innovation of Branding

The innovation of your brand is the defining factor in how you are perceived online. This can be as reliable, experienced, knowledgeable, etc. Your product perception will be low or high cost, low or high quality and low or high value. It is impossible to be everything for everyone. Your brand must reflect the desires of your target customers and your perceptions of what your brand represents. It is critical to understand your brand is responsible for the success and growth of your company regardless of what you are selling. Your customers need to understand your brand and your mission. This is a lot more than simply the colors you have chosen for your brand. The process of brand development begins with conducting research. Your brand values must be strategically developed and communicated to your target audience to be effective. A brand can be associated with the latest fashions or how to reduce car insurance. There are four critical components to effective branding.

The Competitive Advantage of the Brand

You will be competing for your resources, the attention of your audience, talent and funding whether you are for or non-profit. To be successful in your category you have to have a good strategy to implement and an organizational plan. Your goals require a detailed plan for outlining specific measures and actions. You can outmaneuver your competition by reaching these goals. When this is accomplished correctly, your brand will properly represent your company. This will promote initiatives and strategic areas to improve your company, aid in growth and set you on a path for the future.

Brands are a Stable Asset

Companies will always succeed and fail; some products will not achieve success and every day technology changes. Despite this, a strong brand has the ability to continue moving forward through all the inevitable changes. Your brand should be the most sustainable asset of your company. When your brand is combined with your overall strategy, it becomes the principle for decision making and organization. There are numerous brands that have been in existence for more than 100 years, are immediately recognized by consumers and have an astronomically high value. These facts become even more impressive when you consider the life of the typical corporation is only 25 years. Your brand is your company’s most stable asset.

The Economic Value of the Brand

Every business is segregated into tangible and intangible assets. Your brand is an intangible asset. A study revealed the brand of the company is responsible for over a third of the shareholder value. The greatest values of most companies are intangible. The most prominent asset is the brand. The brand for Coca-Cola is responsible for in excess of 54 percent of the stock market value for the company. Just the brand name is valued at $67 million. The value of a brand is a critical asset. The brand of the Red Cross enables the organization to attract both volunteers and donations. Your brand is exceptionally important for your company because of the unique impact on the consumers. Your online brand is the key to your business because it attracts and influences partners, employees and your target audience. Your brand can create awareness for organizations and consumers, cut through the clutter of the marketplace, attract and develop relationships mutually beneficial for the public, suppliers and customers to help everyone reach their individual goals.

The Expectations of the Brand

The basis for the world you live in is promises. The promise of the airline mechanic is to be thorough, check the aircraft numerous times and ensure the safety of the passengers. Restaurants promise to provide a clean environment and prepare fresh food. The consumer believes their children will be protected and educated during the course of the school day. These promises are not usually bound by legal repercussions. They are a vow based on the ethical and moral code of the business owner. When you opened your business, you assured your customers you would do exactly what you promised. This is an agreement encompassing your services, products and company. Your branding is based on any promises you made to your target audience. The promise of your brand tells your audience what you believe in, who you are and why your product is valuable and unique. When you make the effort to fulfill your promises throughout the relationship, you are helping your business grow and succeed. When these promises are not kept, the reputation of you company is in jeopardy. This often results in failure because your brand has suffered. Keeping the promise of your brand results in the affection and loyalty of your customers

The Bottom Line

People see the promises made by brands every day. Even purchasing a soda from a vending machine engages the promise of the brand. Despite the numerous options available, the consumer will choose their drink based on their past experiences with the brand. The selection has the expectation of receiving exactly what the consumer was prepared to receive. This involves the process of awareness, desire, interest and satisfaction. Many of the greatest influencers are not directly related to the service or product. The influencers are the association the person has with the specific brand. This makes your online brand identity, promises and advertising crucial for the success of your business.