Why Live Events Are So Good For Your Business

A smart business owner looks for every opportunity to help grow, legitimize, and lionize their brand. But the truth is that many small business owners overlook one of the biggest stages they could hope to stand on. We’re talking about live events like conferences, trade shows, and speaking opportunities. They should start becoming a key feature of your annual marketing plans and here is why.

Get the team spirit on the rise

If you have a team alongside you, then getting them out there representing their brand has all kinds of benefits. For one, you are having it represented by the people who it best and choosing the right charismatic characters can help you make even more of an impact on event attendees, with a little training. What’s more, it can actually improve the team’s motivation and engagement with their work. Having the opportunity to meet others and to prove that they are on the side of the brand can make them actually feel like members of a team, rather than just employees.

Find new ways to convert new people

When you’re looking for new people to convert, the quality of your leads matters as much, if not more, than the quantity of your leads. You could be wasting huge amounts of time and resources trying to convert people who simply aren’t interested. At trade shows and other live events relevant to your business, you are getting in touch directly with those most likely to be interested. It’s a whole new way to begin the conversion process. Just make sure that you establish a way to keep in touch with those you meet so that you can continue the process further down the line, whether by arranging a meeting, getting new signups to your email newsletter, or simply by sending a follow-up email.

Expose the brand in a new dimension

Besides getting the opportunity to connect personally with members of your target market, you can do a lot more the broader strategy of your brand. Showcasing your brand at an event, whether it’s a launch or a booth at a trade show is a way of saying “we have arrived.” It gives a level of exposure that can make the brand much more recognizable. Just ensure that you’re taking steps to actually expose it. You need the right items for your conference, including booth design materials that make your corner fit your aesthetic and custom lanyards or wristbands that help individual members of the team wear and show off their affiliation. Don’t be afraid of saturating your people and your space with brand imagery. You may need it to stand out amongst your competitors.

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Stand amongst your peers

Exposure isn’t the only thing that a conference or trade show can offer your brand. It can also lend it a sense of trustworthiness. Consumers are becoming a lot savvier and less willing to part with their money to do business with companies that they don’t know. By establishing a physical presence and showing that you don’t only exist in the online world, you can help establish and legitimize your place within the industry. Keep building trust by ensuring that you’re talking one-on-one to potential clients in plenty of detail. Be honest, don’t be afraid to let them down by giving a sub-optimal answer if it’s the truthful one. This might be a marketing opportunity, but it’s also a conversation and if you want to be effective, you have to be able to sustain that sense of trust all the way through it.

Use it as a focus group study

Don’t be afraid to have some questions of your own for the event attendees, either. As mentioned, trade shows and conferences attract only those members of the market most interested in what you have to offer. This includes not just consumers and businesses, but also journalists and bloggers. Take the opportunity to get the scoop and gain some insight that can help you craft future strategies for the business. The event survey is far from uncommon, however. If you don’t make yours a little more creative, it might be hard to collect as much data as you would like.

Find partnerships

Besides standing out from your competitors, you can also use this opportunity to stand alongside them. You can start building bridges with others in the industry or in related fields of work. Business partnerships can have all kinds of benefits. You can score referrals from one another. You can use each other’s platforms to help give a boost to any marketing or branding efforts. You may even have a joint project down the line. Use trade shows and conferences as an opportunity to network and build the foundation of friends that can help your business reach new goals in the future.

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Bring the online and offline worlds together

As mentioned, live events help give an online business a sense of trustworthiness by showing the market that you do, indeed, exist and a real-world presence. However, they can also serve as great material for you to build your online marketing on, too. For instance, you can livestream your conference content or tweet out photos and stories from the event as it’s happening. You can also take some of the conversations you have had and turn them into a case study or a point of future discussion. Above all else, it shows that your business is willing to learn and stay on the top of its game by incorporating recent events and information into its branding and marketing materials which only improves your image.

Even if you don’t believe your business is yet big enough to stand on that tallest of platforms, there is too much to gain to not make use of them. They can help you both share and gain insights. They can help you reach customers, clients, and partners you might never have met otherwise. They cement your brand’s place in the industry. Start attending events and you will see the benefits immediately.

Battle of the Marketing Strategies: Promotional Products vs. Traditional Advertising

Traditional forms of marketing have been around for a long period of time. As times changed, so have the methods of marketing, with digital marketing taking over the market. Now another new form of marketing that is gaining popularity is marketing using promotional products. 

Promotional giveaways through social media or at conferences are bringing in impressive business and thus are proving to be a better form of marketing than the traditional forms of marketing. Promotional items usually focus on your brand and do not distract the focus of customers. On top of that, it displays the brand logo and name clearly, etching its memory in the mind of your customers.

  • WHICH IS A BETTER INVESTMENT: PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS OR TRADITIONAL ADVERTISEMENT?

One of the most powerful terms in marketing is the ROI or Return On Investment. The modern age of communications is making the traditional forms of marketing something of a bygone era. Brands can now get associated with their customers first hand, which cannot be possible through traditional forms of marketing. Here are some pointers, which prove that promotional products are much better than traditional advertisement:

  1. Budget:

It does not matter how big your business is, but one thing common for all businesses is the budget. The budget will dictate in what type of marketing option you are considering to invest. Even if you are a huge business or brand, would it not be a good idea to invest less in advertisement and more in other sectors?

This would be possible with promotional products, as investment in promotional merchandise is much less than a minimal traditional advertisement. If your business is a start-up or a small one, then promotional items will definitely be the better marketing strategy.

  1. Length of Exposure:

Any advertisement, whether on a billboard or television and even the radio can hold the clients attention for a few minutes at the most. A promotional item, on the other hand will be able to hold the attention of your clients till the time they continue to use the merchandise and even after that.

Promotional products are usually daily use items that people will not throw away easily. As they continue using the merchandise with your brand logo and name, it will stay in their mind. It will also reach a larger group of people, as colleagues, friends and family get to see the promotional product and feel inclined to become associated with your brand.

It is basically a portable billboard that carries your brand name wherever it goes. This will offer continued exposure for your brand, which would not have been possible with traditional forms of marketing.

  1. Smaller, but Efficient Reach:

Using promotional items as part of your marketing strategy might not be able to reach a larger audience, as is the case for traditional marketing forms. Promotional items will, however, help you reach out to an audience that is interested in your brand and not the general mass who do not connect with the brand. This ultimately helps enhance the ROI, which can bring in monetary benefits for the business.

A traditional advertisement does not offer a face to face connection with the brand, which may alienate some customer towards the brand, whereas for promotional products the customers get a face to face interaction with you and your brand. This also plays an important role in targeting and achieving customer conversion as well as retention.

  • IS PROMOTIONAL MERCHANDISE TRULY WORTH YOUR RESOURCES AS AN EFFICIENT MARKETING STRATEGY?

As a business owner, you must have a simple goal: To let your brand reach millions.

This can be possible with all forms of marketing, but then come the other factors that help you take the decision like cost. Promotional products are of high quality, but do not cost too heavy on your pockets unlike traditional marketing.

Apart from that, promotional merchandise has a huge impact on a targeted audience, which converts into better ROI. Thus, investing in promotional items as your marketing strategy is definitely a brilliant and better idea. 

Author Bio : Jason possesses wealth of experience in the promotional merchandise industry as well as expertise to handle various aspects of the merchandising process, right from conceptualising branded merchandise to integrating them on global supply chains.

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.

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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.