5 Ways to Market Your Business Online

With technology only improving, businesses and consumers are becoming closer than ever before. Social media is more prevalent in society than in the past, and small businesses everywhere are embracing the new ways to market their services using online tools to help promote further customer reach. Here is a list of 5 ways to help market your business online:

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  • Facebook

Facebook is a great way of advertising and raising awareness of your product. By creating a page for a business and adding its location you are opening up the possibility of having customers digitally check themselves into your venue. Customers are then able to engage and review a businesses services and share this with their social network. It is important to remember to reply to comments to continue to build the rapport between business and consumer. Facebook also offers paid advertising and marketing campaigns through their business portal

  • Twitter

Twitter is another way of attracting customers, although it does take longer to build a large network on Twitter. The key to a successful Twitter is to always engage in relevant posts, follow any relevant profiles and be smart while still being funny. Engagements are what build your followers on Twitter. If you’re worried about having the time of running your social networks, organisations out there to provide social media help to develop a content marketing strategy that will help build your online growth.

  • Website

Having a website allows you a stronger online presence, and gives businesses the opportunity to display a list of the services available to customers. A website is also a great way of sharing the products, events, sales and opening times. Services such as WordPress are simple website builders. For a low cost it is possible to buy your own domain from these sites, with the option of an email address attached.

  • Emails

In the modern world email is the best form of contact for most customers. Whether you sign up for a free email service or get one through a website, email is a great way of responding to customers enquiries in a professional manner. Customers respond positively to speedy responses from businesses. Through having a registered email address assigned to your business, you can provide subscription services directly to customers, providing them with the option of being notified of sales or further events.

  • Coupons Vouchers

Everyone loves to think they’re getting a good deal. Sharing coupon vouchers through your social platforms will drive business and grow the customer base. New companies that have provided new customer discounts or free delivery have been successful in entering the market in major cities across the globe. Through having a campaign offering free services or VIP sales to clients, for things such as signing up to your email subscription service, discounts on their birthdays, free delivery or new customer discounts, consumers are urged to try a product for the first time.

It is important to not to put all your eggs within one basket, and be able to see the broader picture. One method of marketing may work better for you than another, however the important thing to remember is that all this does not have to be done alone. Consulting with services that provide provide social media help can alleviate some of the stress that can be added when struggling between traditional face to face services and online services allowing the balance to be achieved within the business.

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready to Move into the Flexible Jobs Market?

2017 might be the year when flexible jobs explode. For many looking to wrest some control back over their working lives, this could be the year. Flexible jobs give people the ability to have more control over when and where they work. For some this means cutting down from full-time, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday working, while for others it means taking their job and moving it to the spare bedroom. Initial results are showing higher levels of job satisfaction and higher rates of engagement and productivity within the work itself.

Flexible Jobs with Potential

According to Forbes.com, there are 20 jobs above all others which are primed to be the top flexible jobs of 2017. These are:

  1. Statistician
  2. Product Manager
  3. Physical Therapy Assistant
  4. Operations Manager
  5. Operations Analyst
  6. Office Manager
  7. Occupational Therapy Assistant
  8. Nurse Practitioner
  9. Nurse – ICU
  10. Medical Director
  11. Information Security Analyst/Manager
  12. Genetic Counselor
  13. Front-End Developer
  14. Financial Analyst
  15. Data Scientist
  16. Client Services Coordinator
  17. Business Process Analyst
  18. Business Development
  19. Account Manager
  20. Account Executive

With 63% of employees believing the 8 hour work day will soon be a thing of the past, it is worth considering if flexible work is right for you. The main considerations are financial and practical. Can you afford to work less? And can your job be done from home? Or can it be shared? Then you have to see if your company is willing to enter into flexible working arrangements. Reduced work, for example suits those with savings, stable income from a partner, or a second job/side hustle to fall back on or build up. Those on low wages with financial insecurity cannot afford the less work option, but may be able to wrangle a work from home remote position if it improves productivity for your employer.

Can You Go 100% Flexible?

For the above, it is mostly about reconstructing or renegotiating jobs you are already in. For many, this is not an option. The first decade of the 20th century saw an explosion of jobs relating to the Internet. So far, the second decade has seen working patterns fracture and become more flexible with more jobs being related to servicing online needs or performing everyday business tasks and services online. The so-called gig economy has been around for a long time, but it seems more prevalent now and has allowed many people fired from work to instantly get back up on their feet and move forward with their lives. Instead of applying for a steady stream of jobs, many people are able to brainstorm how to turn their situation into a job or at least a steady income be it driving people around or delivering items.

Make no mistake, the flexible lifestyle of a freelancer can be stressful. You do have the ability to work when you want, as you want, but each gig is not always well paying, and they may be hard to obtain too. You need tremendous self-discipline and the ability to go out there and make things work for you. Furthermore, whether a freelancer or a remote worker, flexible work needs a lot of organization and an ability to ignore distractions. Strike the right balance, work hard, and it can be a very rewarding lifestyle.

Jenny Holt is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Is Your Social Media Profile Secure?

With people spending more and more of their lives online – it can be difficult to know where to draw the line. Sharing almost every aspect of your life might have been commonplace – but you could also be putting yourself at risk.

While social media has become a great place to share and communicate with friends and family – it has also become a place where criminals target the unsuspecting. This is becoming a growing problem. People who came to the internet late in their lives might already have a sense of reluctance to share absolutely everything – but those who have grown up with it might not be aware that they could be sharing too much. We’re going to look at a few simple security tips that should make your social media profile more secure.

1. Don’t share too much

Sharing parts of your life can be great fun – but some people take things too far. Do you really want people knowing where you are all the time? Leave a bit of mystery in your life – it could actually protect you. Simply advertising when you’re not at home or even making it really obvious where you live or work are not the greatest ideas. Use some common sense. By all means, share photos and enjoy yourself – but try and keep some things private in your life.

Remember when you need to reset a password because you lost it? Oftentimes they’ll ask you when your birthday is or what your pet’s name is. This is the sort of information people freely share on social media. That means you’re giving this secure information away for free. Don’t do it.

2. Make sure you know all your “friends”

Having as long a friend list as possible has almost become a competition between some people. It makes you seem popular – but that’s not really the reality. Try and rise above this sort of behaviour. Only accept someone as a “friend” if you really know who they are. This means what you share should only be seen by people you know.

Of course, you can’t control how your friends use their accounts, so make sure you really only have people you can rely on in real life. A good question to ask yourself is – would you stop and talk to that person if you saw them in real life? If not – why are they on your friend list? You’ve got to get away from the desire to have thousands of friends and realise that some things (like your security) are more important.

3. Don’t share access of your account

Some people share their password and let their friends log in for them. This is a huge mistake and could be asking for trouble. Make sure it’s only you that has access to your account. You should also log out when you’ve finished – especially on public computers like those in libraries or at college.

4. Vary your passwords

Some people use the same password for everything. While this can make things easier to remember – it also means losing access to one account could spell disaster. Make sure you vary your passwords and change them regularly. Don’t write them down, either.

About the author

Keith has a strong background in advising people on security issues. He’s been writing about tech and social media for a number of years. In his spare time, he also writes for a private tuition service based in Singapore.

Get Closer To Your Customers

Optimising your customers’ experience is one of the best ways to foster greater loyalty, and attract new customers in the process. Despite the massive importance of this, countless marketers and business owners are managing to neglect their customers both before and after a sale. You need to be leveraging customer engagement data to inform your marketing strategy. Here are some great techniques for gaining a better understanding of your customers…

Apply Smart Customer Engagement

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From Pixabay

A great customer experience is extremely valuable for customer retention and your overall revenue. These days, engaging with the customer in real-time has become easier than ever, thanks to a variety of modern tools. Chat window platforms are becoming more and more popular, with various programs allowing you to talk to customers in real-time as they browse your site. These channels can be a great means for collecting customer insight. The data you reap from simple interaction, regardless of the channel, can allow you to understand your buyers better. Whenever you’re using these kinds of channels to gain insight, try to remove your own bias as much as possible, ask questions that will get a clear answer, and keep your interactions focussed on one element of the customer experience.

Get Data from Customer Analytics

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From clicking a link to spending more or less time on a web page, every little action your customer performs is going to offer some invaluable insight into their behaviour. To get a clear picture of how your customers are interacting with your business, you’ll need to apply the right tools. Things like Google Analytics, used in combination with SQL server modernisation and similar services, are excellent for organising insights such as the time customers spend on your landing pages, their bounce rate and how much each conversion is worth to your business. The behavioural trends you pick up on will show you what your audience does and doesn’t understand, what they do and don’t respond to, and the best ways for you to create a more enjoyable website experience. If people spend more time on a certain page, try and pin down what it is about that content that’s keeping them there. If there’s a high bounce rate, find out why people are leaving.

Fine-Tune Buyer Personas

smart3 From Pixabay

A lot of small business owners make the big mistake of developing their buyer personas with generic factors such as age, geographic location and gender. These things are certainly important, but aren’t enough to support messaging that resonates with your audience on an intimate, emotional level. One great way of fine-tuning your buyer personas is using analytics tools to see the kind of social media outlets and industry news channels your site is getting the most traffic from. This information can be applied to your current personas, allowing you to figure you how, where and when you should be reaching out to customers. Acquiring keyword data can also be very helpful to this. The more intimate you are with your customers, the easier it will be to hit your marketing on the head.

 

AI Is Building Brands, Right In Front Of Our Eyes

It seems as if artificial intelligence is never out of the news. Practically every single day, there is some new breakthrough that promises to change the world. Just in the last month, for instance, Google Deepmind announced that they had created AI with a memory – meaning that their systems could learn something, remember it, and then learn something new straight after.

In other news, AI is now able to take a photograph and recreate it in the style of a painting. For instance, suppose you’ve got a photograph of your mother-in-law. This new AI will allow that photograph to be re-imagined in the form of a Picasso or Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

Given that branding is all about visual imagery, it makes one wonder whether AI could be used to improve how companies do their marketing. After all, if AI is able to understand a company’s visual characteristics, it could presumably come up with a bunch of marketing materials automatically.

AI-Curated Content

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Pexels

We already see this kind of technology being deployed to help companies choose stock photos. On most business websites, stock photos are pretty generic and don’t really do anything to enhance the appeal of the company. But now, thanks to AI, it’s possible to automatically classify photographs according to their brand relevance. In other words, you don’t need a digital designer on your team to tell you whether a particular photo will work or not; you just need to run some software.

AI-Assisted Audience Targeting

Another way AI is helping companies is through audience targeting. Using conventional statistics and data, companies are able to track their customer’s preferences and make predictions about their behaviour. But without a thinking system behind the analytics, there’s only so far they can be taken. Often, analytics appeal to the average, rather than the specific customer, based on their specific tastes.

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Pixabay
The good news is that smart algorithms are a lot better at parsing data than people, allowing them to make branding more personalised. Companies will soon be able to offer customers banner ads that speak directly to them, rather to their audience in general. This could lead to a world in which companies are able to offer customers prices on a customer-by-customer basis, depending on their overall spending patterns.

AI Brand Generation

Artificial intelligence isn’t just combining art with photos to create strange chimeras; it’s also coming up with its own concept art. The first example of this was Google Deep Dream, a strange algorithm that tried to invent new images based on animal images in its database. What it ultimately produced looked like something out of the seventh layer of hell, but over time, the ability of computers to come up with their own artwork has improved.

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Wikipedia

For many marketers, this is a promising development. What it means is that it will soon be able to generate photorealistic content without having to go to the source. New content from the brand could be created every day at virtually no cost whatsoever. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?

How the Internet is Boosting the Storage Industry

Numbers don’t lie and every savvy marketer knows this.

In the modern business environment, every business is scrambling for a piece of the internet market because this is where the customers are.

For instance, in self-storage, the industry is experiencing major growth; a fact that has been attributed partly due to increased use of internet technology.

Storage in Brooklyn has changed rapidly since the adoption of the new marketing techniques available online.

Below are some other pertinent factors that explain the relationship between storage facilities and the advent of online marketing.

Why the Surge in Self Storage Demand?

Today, there are more than 55,000 public storage facilities across the country and the industry is projected to keep growing.

Greater than 9.5% of the households in the U.S have rented self-storage and more businesses are also taking up these spaces to meet growing business needs.

With more storage facilities coming up in cities, smaller businesses are finding it cheaper to rent such units to cater for temporary storage as they seek rentals and leases.

What’s more, public storage facilities offer tailor-made solutions to suit different types of customers, a reason that makes them more popular with homeowners and businesses alike.

Impact of Internet on Self Storage 

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 87% of Americans are using the internet today and these numbers are incredible for any business seeking to extend its reach beyond the traditional catchment areas.

To the self-storage industry in Brooklyn, the internet is not a threat as most brick and mortar perceive this technology. Instead, established facilities have integrated this technology to remain relevant and add value to the customer experience.

Here are some techniques self-storage companies are using on the Internet:

  • Customer engagement: There is always a need for businesses to interact with their customers. In the modern business environment, social media has become the most important tool to provide feedback with their customers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ are just some of the platforms self-storage facilities are relying on to interact actively with their customers. Real-time feedback is now more important than ever.
  • Internet marketing: There are different online tools that are being implemented to capture more customers. These range from social media, link building, video, email marketing, PPC among others. Most of these tools allow targeted marketing thus increasing conversion rates for self-storage facilities.
  • Online booking and scheduling: It is now easier for customers to book storage without even leaving their homes. This is a perfect solution for customers moving into Brooklyn from out of state or other cities. The best self-storage companies provide comprehensive description, virtual tours of the facility and easy online booking.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) says online retail sales are pushing beyond $427 billion and self-storage facilities are very much part of  this revolution.

If you are a customer looking for self-storage in Brooklyn, it is time to go online where you will find it easier to book and learn more about different storage facilities.

You will also find invaluable resources to help you make an informed decision.

For the storage business owner, make sure you are boosting your marketing efforts both on and offline, storing up more business along the way.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers consumer and business topics on the web.

 

Is It Time To Grow Your Small Business?

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Source

It takes a lot of work to get to the point where you can seriously consider trying to expand your business. First, you had to take the steps of entrepreneurs before and go out into the world with an idea and the determination to make it work. Many people don’t get that far. Secondly, you have to maintain the success that you have found. Your business should be a foundation for further growth. Before thinking about expansion, you need to be confident that what you have at the moment is not going to fall out from under you. Expanding an existing business is actually a greater risk than starting one: if you fail to establish a business, you are left where you were to begin with, which is with nothing. If you fail to expand your business and it folds in the process, you are similarly left with nothing but that is a lot less than what you once had. If you feel that it is the right time to grow your business, you should immediately stop and carefully plan what it is that you want to do. It stands to reason that you would not have reached this point if you allowed your judgement to be clouded by reckless ambition. Here is a checklist of things to think about before making a life-changing decision:

Growing your business, at least at first, can be an expensive endeavour. You may need to move into bigger premises or take on more staff or substantially enhance your technological capital. All of these things require money and if your business is not making the requisite profit, you may be in trouble. If your business is successful enough to brook these costs, you have to make sure that the money is available to you now. You do not want to start your new business with too much debt. If you want to free up some money, consider taking advantage of invoice finance options. They allow you to get 80% of future invoice payments within a few days of issuing them. At a time when you are looking towards the future in any case, this can make the difference between success and failure.

Besides the need for more money, you will also find that you are facing greater responsibilities. If you are doing more business with more customers, there will be more paperwork and a greater need to ensure that everything is exactly right. While it may be necessary to take on more staff to do the extra work, you should also consider bringing in someone to whom you can delegate some of your newer responsibilities. It can be difficult letting go of the thing that you have had complete control over since its inception, but success can sometimes be difficult and this is one such instance.

The most important thing, however, is to know what you are getting into. It is one thing to ensure that your business is ready to grow, but if you don’t know what it will be growing into, you should find out. Market research is more crucial in this instance than in any other.