Top 5 Efficient yet Cheap Promotional Ideas for Your Business

You can have a unique fantastic product that meets the most important needs of the people and rises far above anything your competition has ever made but if nobody knows about it, it is completely worthless. And that is where good marketing comes into play. However, not every business can afford high-end celebrities in TV commercials and expensive online campaigns. Fortunately, with the internet and some smart traditional marketing strategies leveling the playground, it is possible to promote your business even when working on a small budget. Here are five ideas to give you some inspiration.

Publish quality content

In the world of modern marketing, content marketing is the king. Unlike many other promotional strategies, such as those that include billboards or ads, good content never gets old. It constantly gives the readers something to come back to, which means it is a once-written commercial that lasts forever.

Great content isn’t just a marketing strategy. It complements almost every other online marketing tool – from improving your SEO performance and enhancing the value of your landing page to providing source material for social media marketing and helping you build relationships with other industries.

Among the numerous positive effects of successful content marketing, we have to point out the influence it has on driving new traffic, building a reputation, influencing conversion and encouraging trust in your business. Also, when coming up with a good content marketing strategy, you need to have in mind that content is evolving, so you should definitely include quality images and videos into your blog.

Engage your audience through social media

It is no secret that social media marketing plays a vital role in every business’s marketing strategy. However, if you are doing it just to be part of the crowd, then you are not doing it well. The businesses with the most followers on social media and the most feedback aren’t lucky, they simply have a thought out strategy, which includes getting to know the rules of the platform and the audience active on it. Regardless of which platform we are talking about, the most important thing to do is to engage your audience and encourage communication. That way, you can build a connection that leads to loyalty and trust.

Use infographics

We live in the era of information overload, and the last thing the web audience needs is long articles packed with endless data. But what to do when you want to say something meaningful about your line of work or your company? It’s simple: use infographics. Infographics can present information, knowledge and data in visual and interesting manner.

Moreover, using infographics is a great way to build brand awareness and send a message to a wider audience. Besides, infographics have undeniable SEO benefits. Also, a quality infographic needs to be simple and unique. It has to produce high impact with minimal text and it should pack a creative punch. Finally, it has to be easily shareable.

Put it on paper

Traditional marketing might be a bit drowsy, but it is far from being dead. The main reason why businesses should occasionally turn to it is because no one is expecting it, and the competition surely isn’t doing it. It is also the reason why there are many cheap printing solutions available. You can print handouts, flyers or brochures. Also, if you want to prevent your promotional material from ending up in the trash, try to keep it informative and creative.

Here are some basic promotional material design tips to help you stay on the right track:

  • Function before form (information needs to be clear and visible).
  • Keep the text concise.
  • Contact details must be instantly noticeable.
  • The visual aspect accompanies the text (you can’t sell perfumes and put a picture of a cake on the flyer).
  • Be subtle but not dull.
  • Make the image, color and heading the most striking elements.
  • Use different shapes.
  • Transmit the mood with color.
  • Make it a keeper with great pictures and some good tip.

Become a guerillero

If you are looking for an advertising strategy that requires low investments yet yields maximum results, look no further than guerilla marketing. The purpose of this approach is to represent your business in an imaginative way that will surprise the customers, draw attention to your company and create a lasting impression and a social buzz.

Guerilla marketing strategy doesn’t require a lot of money, just a substantial amount of creativity, energy and time. To achieve the best effect, first you should know who you are targeting with your campaign. Capturing attention is your second objective, but it will be worthless unless you can align the creativity with the purpose of the campaign. Some of the small-business-friendly guerilla marketing strategies include graffiti (not on other people’s property), pop up shops, free samples, sidewalk chalk, projecting video on a large outdoor wall, flash mob and gamification.

As you can see, cost-effective marketing is doable, and if you play your cards right, you will surely attract new loyal customers and increase the revenues.

 

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

5 Incredibly Easy Steps To Start Your Own Website

In today’s world if you don’t have a website you basically don’t exist. Or at least no one will ever know about you. Not having a website is no longer an option for anyone who’s into any kind of business simply because everyone is on the web today. Luckily for you, setting up your website is no longer as difficult as it used to be, with many web hosting options available for you to choose depending on your needs. Here are the 5 easy steps to get you started with designing your own website.

Decide on Your Domain Name

Before you jump to choosing a color and layout, please first pick yourself a domain name. Domain name is extremely important as that’s how your website will be called. Getting a domain name will cost you an annual fee which you’ll be paying for the right to use the unique name, so no one else can take it from you. Choose a domain name that is going to be catchy but also reflect whatever your site is about. If you can read the domain name and get a good sense of what’s your website’s field of interest you’re all good.

Choose a Website Platform

Choosing a website platform depends solely on your capabilities. Are you confident about your coding or you know absolutely nothing about it? If you’re good at it, you can go on and design your website from scratch, but if you’re not – CMS might be a better option. CMS (Content Management System) is a platform for building websites, which you’ll also use to manage all elements of your website, such as content. Today, most people just use CMS and we recommend it as well. It’s easy and allows you to run a website with little to no previous knowledge about website management.

websites

Which CMS Should You Choose?

The best CMS platforms out there are free to use, with WordPress leading the pack as by far the most popular one. The other two are Drupal and Joomla. There are other CMS platforms out there, but we’ll be focusing on these three.

  • WordPress – When it comes to beginner friendliness, you should look no further than WordPress. It’s used by over 60 million websites today, it’s easy to install, it has by far the most plug-ins which makes it very customizable. The bad side to WordPress is that you can’t edit its visuals significantly, at least if you’re not a designer.
  • Drupal – Drupal is much more complicated than WordPress, but it makes up for it with its faster response times. However, if you’re absolutely new at this, Drupal has nothing to offer that WordPress can’t.
  • Joomla – This CMS platform is great for setting up online stores quickly. It combines the power of Drupal and the easiness of WordPress. It’s basically a middle-ground for those who aren’t satisfied with WordPress or Drupal.

Plan Your Website

Now that you’ve chosen your CMS platform, you need to start planning your website. To do that you need to make a number of choices that will determine how your site looks. First off, consider the type of website that you need. Is it an informational type of website, like a blog? Or is it an e-commerce shop? Different types of websites require a different approach to designing a website, so make sure you know what you’re after. Secondly, you need to decide how your users will navigate the website. Like any freelance web designer can tell you, navigation is extremely important to every website’s success. The third thing you need to know is the type of content you’re going to use to attract visitors.

Promote Your Website

Promoting a website usually includes either PPC (Pay Per Click) or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaigns, or you can combine both of these for the best results. However, SEO is cheaper and it’s probably the best way to become visible on the web. You’d rather be on the front page of the newspaper than all the way in the back, right? That’s what SEO lets you do – appear on the first page of the SERPs. Do your keyword research, write high-quality content, and do some link building. These are the SEO practices that will get you the best results.

Conclusion

Creating your own website today is easier than ever, which isn’t to say that it’s a piece of cake. It still requires a lot of time and effort to get it running, and even more to get it to the top of your SERPs. But if you invest yourself in it and follow these simple tips you’ll soon get the website running and in time you’ll learn how to manage it and how to attract visitors. The better your start is though, the easier it’s going to be to manage it.

Get in the Business of #Brand #Promotions

How do you make sure your brand is far and above the competition when it comes to brand promotions?

For some business owners, the trick is making sure that competitors never get the upper-hand on them when it comes to marketing and advertising.

If you’re letting your competition get the better of you when it comes to selling your brand to consumers, is it because your message is not on target or because you’re not putting enough firepower (money, promotions etc.) behind your message? Either way, you could be missing out on some great opportunities, opportunities that can translate into an increased revenue stream when all is said and done.

So, are you ready to get in the business of more brand promotions? brand

Printing the Right Message and Selling It

In the event your company needs to step up its game when it comes to brand promotions, keep these ideas at the forefront:

  1. Message – First and foremost, what kind of message are you trying to send consumers? If you feel like your products and/or services are second to none, then explain that in everything from flyers to blog posts. When you have a product or service that the competition simply can’t touch, you need to alert consumers to this fact;
  2. Printing – Even if your message is the best in the world, you have to get it out to the public for it to be heard. You can do that via myriad of means, with flyers, emails, blog posts, social media, mobile marketing being among the best ways to do this. For those flyers, pamphlets, business cards, brochures, posters and other such needs, finding the right printing company is something that one should never take for granted. Having not only the right message, but a colorful design that turns heads, is critical. You want to leave an impression with consumers each and every time they pick up one of your promotional products. In choosing the best printer for such needs, get lots of samples with which to work from. As important as pricing is, the quality of the job is worth spending the extra dollars if necessary;
  3. Distribution – With the right message printed on the right materials, you now move into the distribution mode. Where will you be best-served when it comes to distributing your promotional items? One of the best venues is when you’re attending networking conferences, trade shows etc. These places are ripe for the picking when it comes to drumming up new business. Be sure to not only hand out your promotional items, but also place them strategically throughout the facility hosting the event. If you have a booth at a trade show, not only place your stuff in front of and inside your booth area, but also by the door leading into the show etc. The more eyes seeing your company name, the more chances you have of landing new clients;
  4. Socializing – Any pamphlets, flyers, business cards etc. that have your name and contact information on them should be plastered all over social media. For example, your banner header on top of your Facebook page can include your company’s logo, website address etc. This is a great way to get some promotion that is essentially free. You should also make sure you engage both consumers and others businesses (except the direct competition typically) with your social media posts. Once again, having your logo and business details printed on various items allows you to promote them on social sites. If you’re not all that experienced with social networking, you should be promoting your brand on sites such as the already mentioned Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.

When you know what message you want to deliver to consumers, make sure you have the right printer at your side.

The time and effort that goes into those printing details can mean the difference between winning more business and standing pat.

Get in the business of more brand promotions the second half of this year and moving forward.

When you do, you can all but guarantee you will be printing more success.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business and marketing topics on the web.

Is Your Brand Producing the Best Promotions?

brandWhat makes your brand really get the attention of consumers? If you have to pause and think about answering that question, you may already be in a bit of trouble.

For business owners who are sailing along with winning brands, the answer/s to the earlier question should be relatively easy.

Whether it is award-winning products and/or services, customer service that is second to none, or the ability to hire and retain the top talent out there, you should be able to point out what makes your brand the best.

With that being the case, is your brand producing the best promotions?

Talk About Your Brand Whenever and Wherever

So that your brand can get the full attention that it deserves, it is important to do the following:

  • Hire the best – Unless you are a one-person show who basically does everything, your brand is going to have to hire the best and the brightest out there. In doing so, you put your company in position to succeed on a regular basis. The majority of consumers want companies that are willing to go above and beyond what is typically expected when it comes to customer service initiatives. Make sure you remind your employees on a regular basis how important customer service is. In many instances, it just takes one bad or good customer service experience to sway a consumer one way or the other;
  • Properly market all the time – No matter what forms of marketing you do, you can never do enough of it so it seems. From traditional email marketing to doing video marketing through a provider such as an Orlando video production company or one closer to your place of business, never short-change you or your brand when it comes to marketing. The right mix of marketing can oftentimes be just the ticket to punch for more sales. Use your marketing initiatives regularly and wisely, not coming across as too sales happy with consumers. One area of marketing that some brands fail to connect with is networking and conference/trade shows. These are all great opportunities to market your products and/or services, so don’t miss out on them. Some business owners have scaled back their trips to conferences and trade shows, instead opting to do more teleconferences etc. While you certainly need to be wise in which events you pick and choose, avoiding them altogether is not in your best interests. Both consumers and other businesses attend many of the bigger shows (and some smaller ones too) in a laundry list of industries, so being there to market your goods should be a priority;
  • Hammer out solid content – Another key piece to the brand promotion puzzle is your website’s content. Once maybe looked at as an afterthought by many businesses (unfortunately, some still do this today), your website content is crucial to your brand promotions. With that being the case, never place content on your site that you would not be proud to have others (notably consumers) see. If you’re not able to product enough solid content in-house, look to get those outside your business to assist you, be they guest bloggers doing it for free or content marketing specialists. Either way, your brand’s content needs to essentially tell a story, that story being why consumers should make you their go-to choice when it comes to buying certain products and/or services. Finally, the content should be that which has a call to action at the end. Giving consumers a reason to want to reach out to you is always a good thing. If you write blog content that does just that, you can expect to see more website traffic, hopefully leading to more sales when all is said and done.

In producing the best promotions for your brand, be sure to put your products and/or services in the best light possible.

When you do that, you increase the odds of getting more website traffic, more business, and of course ultimately more revenue.

If your brand is ready to take off and soar today and not tomorrow, make it a priority to be the best brand promoter going.

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

Don’t Overlook Professional Development Hours

Today’s job market is competitive.

onlinePeople are coming out of college well educated, well prepared, with strong backgrounds and experience already. Skill sets are strong and with internships starting in high school, experience is easier to get. You’ve got to get (and stay) ahead of the game to maintain and move ahead.

One smart way to do this is to take on some professional development.

Whether you take professional development hours before you get a job, during employment or even in between jobs, it can help make the difference in your career.

Here’s a look at 4 Reasons to earn additional professional development hours:

  1. You’ll improve your skills – Regardless of your career, professional development hours will help you improve your current skills. Maybe the classes are geared toward your specific career, like “How to Teach New Methods of Math” or more general, like “Better Organization Skills.” Whichever it may be, you’ll benefit from learning new skills. Once you implement your new knowledge, you’ll be able to do more within your job.
  2. You’ll open the door for more promotion opportunities – Perhaps you want a promotion, but you aren’t quite ready for it. Take a few professional development classes in the specific area of the position you’re eyeing, and you will be more marketable for it. Not only does it open promotion doors for you within your current job, but it you are looking to switch companies to move up, it will help out there as well.
  3. You’ll increase your earning potential – Often your salary is dependent on some outside factors including certifications. Professional development courses can help you reach those certifications, therefore, increasing your earning potential.
  4. You’ll impress your employer – Sometimes it’s mandated to take professional development hours, sometimes it’s optional, but it’s always a benefit. Your employer will be pleased you are taking initiative to better your work skill set, and that will lead to good things. In fact, check with your employer if this is something you’re taking on yourself, because they’ll often pay (or reimburse you) for these classes.

Educate Yourself on More Schooling

Teachers, for examples, need to take professional development hours.

Whether it’s in their specific subject field or grade level, or it’s covering new educational trends or technology, it keeps them current and up to date to provide the best education to their students that they can.

Sales people also continue to take professional development hours on technique as well as product. The medical field continues to take professional development to learn new techniques and information.

Without professional development, there’s the chance of stagnating and falling behind.

With it, you’ve got opportunity, excitement and enrichment. It’s an easy choice which way to go!

About the Author: Heather Legg is a freelance writer who covers topics related to career development, social media and small business.

Movie World Pictures a More Social Presence

Apocalyptic battle or epic love story? That was the question on everybody’s lips as social media’s popularity exploded and movie goers started finding more ways to watch movies. Was Hollywood going to land on rocky ground if the behemoths of social media and the movie industry met?

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 42% of smartphone-owning movie fans under the age of 35 hop on their favorite social media sites to help them decide which movie to watch. With that in mind, it only makes sense for Hollywood to embrace social media, which it has done whole heartedly.

So how is social media changing the way the movie industry promotes its latest offerings?

Dollarphotoclub_42051504Movie Promotion Goes Social

Time was, viewing the latest movie trailers was reserved for previews in cinemas, or commercial breaks on TV. Now, studios can premiere everything from exclusive content to first-look posters and teaser trailers on social media. A flight safety video themed around hobbits and middle earth, released ahead of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, went viral, drawing plenty of extra attention to the movie. As well as giving fans the sense of having access to something new and exclusive, social media promotion is a savvy move from the point of view the marketing budget.

Rather than paying for TV slots and billboards, studios can essentially enlist fans to do some of their marketing for them. Video streaming service Netflix has embraced the power of social promotion with its Facebook tie-in. Subscribers share what they are watching and what they think of it – satisfying their need to share their thoughts with the world, and getting the word out about the latest and classic releases for free.

Using Social Media to Build Hype

Social media is a great tool for creating buzz about a film before its release. When Pixar and Disney released Toy Story 3, they tuned in to social media with a campaign designed to appeal to the franchise’s adult fans. Nostalgic videos showcasing the film’s new character, Lotso, quickly spread across social networks. College-age fans could use Facebook and a valid college ID to gain access to exclusive shortened campus screenings, tasty little cliffhangers that whetted their appetites for the full movie.

The result? Toy Story 3 became the most successful animated film of all time. Disney also created a buzz across social networks when it came to the release of Alice In Wonderland. The studio started by showcasing art from the movie on Facebook, and then got fans engaged with a viral campaign that gave them the chance to become loyal subjects of the red queen or the white queen, or a disloyal subject of the mad hatter. The largest army of subjects ultimately got an exclusive trailer that no one else could see.

Social Media Creates a Virtual World

Moviegoers know the power of the silver screen is feeling part of something.

They don’t just watch the hero battle the monster in the deadly swamp, they battle it right alongside him. Social media provides Hollywood with opportunities to create fun interactive campaigns that put viewers right there in the heart of the action, even before they set foot in the cinema.

Take The Hunger Games for example. Lionsgate’s social media campaign brought fans right into the movie’s fictional world, Panem, using their Facebook or Twitter account to record them as a citizen and assigning them an occupation, district, and citizen number. As well as downloading their citizen passes for use on their social media profiles, fans were encouraged to join their district on Facebook where they could take part in discussions and receive news and decrees from Panem’s government.

Social Media Gives Fans Say

When it comes to getting fans involved, Paranormal Activity took it to a whole new level. The low-budget horror got its start with just 13 limited screenings near college campuses. Audience reaction footage was incorporated into trailers that soon went viral. The hype built quickly, you could even say supernaturally, with fans registering their “demand” for a screening in their hometown. The campaign let the studio, Paramount, see where demand was highest and tailor their screenings accordingly. Demand eventually grew great enough that a nationwide screening was secured. The movie became Paramount’s longest-trending Twitter topic to date, dominating social networks around each midnight screening.

Social media and the movie industry have great chemistry. Social media provides a means of building and spreading buzz about upcoming releases in a way that gets fans deeply involved, adding to their sense of ownership of a movie. When it comes to creating worldwide hype for the latest offerings, social media is the way to go.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, business, and SEO.