Letting the People Know: 4 Advertising Tips for Small Businesses

Your business may be small, but you can do many things to get the word out about your company and brand. Never let the size of your company get in the way of letting the people know about your company itself. The key to advertising is to not spend too much on ad campaigns. Rather, some of the most effective advertising methods your small company can rely on are free while others may cost a bit more for a well-balanced marketing strategy. Here are some tips that will help you advertise your small business more effectively. 

Appropriate Advertising for Your Industry 

Before you even start thinking about spending one cent on advertising, you need to develop a picture and plan for what kind of advertising is going to work best within the type of industry your business operates. If you get this wrong, then you will be wasting countless dollars on the wrong type of advertising campaigns and the wrong target audience.

For example, it does not make any sense to take out a local newspaper ad if your goal is to promote an online business model where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methods of improving your website’s rankings would do a far better job at reaching potential customers. Making a list of which advertising avenues will give you the best bang for your buck and which avenues are totally free is a good starting point for your small company to use for developing an intelligent approach to advertising that is cost effective. 

Traffic Generation 

If you are operating an online digital business, you must take the time to understand the various avenues of social media at your disposal for reaching out to potential customers. From your website, blog and email campaigns to advertising on high end social media platforms, you have the potential to attract literally millions of visitors to your website in a short period of time. Even putting together a useful, regular Vlog or podcast to help your customer base with common problems or issues in your area of expertise can help with your website traffic. These methods will help your audience better understand why you are a trustworthy and knowledgeable authority in your industry which will make purchasing from your company again and again an easy choice.

However, take note: some of these approaches may be a little time consuming, but often they do not require that you spend a huge amount of money to reach your customer base. What you put in will determine what you will get out.

Real World Sales 

While so many companies are moving online these days, your small company may find that there is a lot of potential for reaping high profits through digital means. However, especially for brick and mortar businesses, in-person sales and advertising are still an important part of revenue. People still like to go shopping and see products in person, so it helps to have appropriate signage outside your establishment—especially for sales and special occasions. Signs must be eye catching and recognizable from down the road. This is what truly attracts customers to want to visit your location to do business.

Be sure to make your signs professional and appropriate for your industry. For example, if you would like to advertise for a high-end real estate open house event, you wouldn’t want to simply write on the back of a leftover Christmas sale sign. You would want to find a real estate sign company to print up professional, event-specific signs. This will show potential customers that you put in the time and effort to create a high-quality experience, down to the last detail.

Word of Mouth 

Word of mouth buzz for your products and services can have a huge impact on your overall sales. Your goal as a business should be to under promise and over deliver on products and services. Do what is required to make sure that people are happy with their experience when doing business with your company—and then do a little extra. If someone is pleasantly surprised by how good you really are, they will tell their friends. This could involve giving away product for free or providing excellent customer service, for example, to help generate positive buzz about your company.

If you boast the best products, make sure they are the best products but also make sure your staff provides the best service. This is what will cause customers to spread the word about their great experiences. The people they tell about their great experience will want to have those kinds of experiences for themselves and turn to you in the future. Be careful though—if you fail to deliver what you promise and cause disappointment, negative feelings and stories about such experiences will quickly spread and, deserved or not, your reputation will take a hit. This can sabotage your earning potential in huge ways. In business, the customer is king and making them happy is a formula that yields major profits.  

Investing the time and effort into your advertising strategies will start to generate the interest in your company that you’re looking for. But, do not stop there. Keep looking hard at how well your advertising methods are working. If something seems to work badly for your company, replace that advertising approach with an approach that does work for you. Savvy business owners are always looking for new and inexpensive ways to market their business and get the word out there.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Project Managing: The Changing Flow Of Customer Desires

When you begin a project in business, you quite clearly have an aim in mind. That aim might be to increase your customer base, reach out further on social media, create a new product that will flesh out your line or even just to gauge what consumers want these days. Whatever the case may be, you have to admit that you are at first going to be perplexed at the worldview you run into. It’s not unusual, to imagine how your project will go but it ends up being completely different due to the new information you collate. For this reason, leading a project itself is quite daunting. Not only do you have to try very hard to stick to initial plans but if and or when you do see the market shifting you have to accommodate that too. Customer trends always change, but the reason for why they change isn’t that difficult to understand if you are keeping your fingers on the pulse. When managing a project you will also need to make sure that you are absorbing any new information to then discuss and implement in the project itself.

Note the unexpected

One of the things that any new project will have to do is to contact the public and see what their opinion is on your initial approach or idea. Quite simply, this means sending out email survey campaigns to all your customers, to people who have shopped with you and of course to your business clients. Usually in these email surveys you will have some kind of questionnaire or a survey in which you could ask questions about how customers might feel toward the project. You’ll have to make it short and sweet as this way you will gain the most engagement. However you should also supply a further comment section which allows customers and recipients to give you their full and honest view.

When you see something out of the ordinary or perhaps a viewpoint that you did not expect, note this down. This could be the start of a similar viewpoint that is shared by many but you just didn’t know it. It could be the very beginnings of a changing flow in your customers’ desires. Of course treat this with a pinch of salt as some people sharing a similar view doesn’t mean the majority hold this view. It’s important to discuss any unexpected views that do seem to be gathering steam because it may warrant you changing a part of the project to accommodate it.

How we use technology

Customers are the ones who usually set trends in the marketing world, at least nowadays. Social media is a place for anyone to be creative which means businesses need to continually make sure they are aware of what’s going on. Sometimes a moment in culture might have a big impact on business. A certain name might be given to a piece of clothing, a software, a product etc. it’s this reason why Adwords are so important because as these new trends transpire, they will become available to bid for. You need to be at the forefront of this so you’re not the last one to the party and not able to take full advantage of the trend while it is at it’s peak. A business which wants to make sure they are serving the changing desires of their customers might need to consider using Automating Adwords optimization tasks. In a free-flowing marketing world, being able to harness the power of Adwords and automatically optimize your project to adhere to them will keep you from falling behind.

For example if a clothing item that is normally called a quilted jacket is worn by somebody famous and they make a social media post calling it a ‘country coat’, this term will obviously begin to be widely searched for by their fans. If you are such a business that makes quilted jackets, you want the Adwords for this so anytime anyone searches for a country coat, your website is further up the top of the results page.

Customers’ desires are changing more rapidly than ever before. Thankfully there are always new ways in which you can keep up and even bring them closer to your business. During a project, make sure you’re noting any signs of change from your own customers and clients from the information you get from your email survey campaign. Make sure that you’re in the loop regarding any kind of social media or cultural trend which might affect your project and adapt to it to secure new customers.

Entrepreneurs, This is How You Can Build a Successful Affiliate Business in 2019

In this day and age, boosting your personal finances has become quite simple. With so many online business opportunities and side-hustle options, earning some extra income is almost as easy as 1, 2, 3.

However, while there certainly are a lot of options to choose from, the wisest course of action would be to try and identify the most profitable ones before you actually decide to commit to them. Now, running an affiliate business has proven to be very lucrative in the year that’s behind us and it only continues to grow. But, before you decide on this endeavor, make sure that you understand completely what it entails.

What is an affiliate business?

Affiliate businesses are business agreements made between two parties who provide each other with a certain service in exchange for something in return. To make it a bit less vague, you can become an affiliate by deciding to promote someone else’s products or services to your target audience for a certain commission. 

But, how can you start an affiliate business and make it profitable?

Build a website

First and foremost, in order to begin with affiliate marketing, you will need a platform to do it on, as well as the audience to present the product or service to. So, begin by making your website. You can either choose to add a blog section to your existing website or create a blog right off the bat. Once you are happy with the way your website works, you’ll need to find your niche.

Determine your niche

The niche you chose to base your business efforts in will determine the type of content you later on present to your audience and, of course, your audience itself. In order to make things easier on yourself, focus your efforts on the niche that corresponds to your personal likings and interests. This way, you will be better motivated as you’ll be dealing with things you actually enjoy.

Draw your audience

In order to attract your audience and make sure they actually stay for the show, you need to provide them with something of value – your content. The content you promote on your website needs to be unique, original and, most importantly, useful to your audience. So, offer them informative, educational and entertaining content that’s above all relevant to them.

Become an affiliate

Once you become relevant in your niche, it’s time to start looking for favorable affiliate business opportunities. When looking for opportunities, focus your efforts mostly on high-competitive niches in order to boost your income fast. Top niches in this field include beauty, health and fitness programs, as well as the world of entertainment which includes ever-so-popular online gambling and video games.

Monitor your success

By keeping a close eye on all of your affiliate links, you’ll be able to determine the most profitable ones. So, use tools, such as Google Analytics, to your advantage and monitor your affiliate success. Tools like this one will allow you to identify the most profitable links – and, of course, the least profitable ones – which will help you determine what you should focus your efforts on.

Know the risks

As with any business, affiliate business also carries certain risks. In order to avoid putting your business in danger, you should:

Assess the businesses you’re working with and see how well they are doing. If the company you’re doing business with is not showing any progress, and especially if it’s showing a significant decrease, it would probably be best to cut ties with them to avoid not getting paid for the services you’ve provided.

Next, you need to make sure that the product or service you promote to your audience or sell on your website truly is as good as you are claiming. Otherwise, if it turns out to be subpar, you may lose all of your credibility which can seriously damage your business. So, make sure you do your research and try everything out before you actually start putting your seal of approval on things.

Know how to SEO right

In order to grow your affiliate website, you’ll have to dive a bit in the world of SEO and link-building. Now, while many affiliate marketers tend to focus their efforts solely on keywords with high buyer intent, they tend to forget the importance of keyword diversity. So, don’t make the same mistake, but make sure that you conduct a thorough keyword analysis. This way, you’ll avoid getting penalized for relying heavily on just one or two keywords. Finally, minimize the use of paid links and links that come from private blog networks as they are worth far less, and relying heavily on them may negatively affect your website in the long run.

With these basic tips on how to build a successful affiliate business, you should have no difficulties finding the right business opportunities which will allow you to launch your venture and enjoy the profit and success it is bound to bring.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 

Rating Data and Local SEO: Turning Reviews Sites Helping You Further

Buying online products or services is always intimidating for me. And not just me, consumers mind get flipped with the following sort of questions:

  • Is the seller legitimate?
  • Is the product reputable?
  • Could I get this item at a lower price elsewhere?
  • Am I likely to be scammed or dissatisfied with my experience?

You faced it somewhere while contemplating a deal. Didn’t you?

To most of us, the next logical step is to look around what others are saying about the seller and the product. Of course, we Google that.

Statistics:

  1. 72% of buyers don’t commit purchases until they have gone through reviews –Insights from Testimonial Engine.
  2. 93%of local buyers consider online reviews to make their opinion about a company –BrightLocal 2017 report.

If you Google “flooring companies Vancouver bc”; Yelp will be the first search result.

It’s just one query; there are a lot. Every industry keyword with every location – Google loves to rank Yelp at the first page.

Embracing Yelp

Yelp comes as the first name that’s so much synchronized with local ratings and reviews. With an average of 138M site visitors every month, its 206th most popular website globally according to Alexa.

While the site has nearly 4.7M visitors daily, it results in 200K calls daily to businesses. Statistics say that 98 percent of Yelp users made a purchase from a business they found on Yelp.

Well, Sites like Yelp, YP, Hotfrog or CanPages do have an impact on businesses. And these rating websites seem a good thing for your business, right? Leaders like Stigan Media suggest retailers go for Digital Ads this holiday season. They should bring more foot traffic and page views on your website.

Do a check.

Here’s the deal with rating and review sites.

Yelp, YP, or Angielist are more of competitive battlefields,and they use to stack businesses right there among each other making it easyfor buyers to comparison suppliers. A couple of bad Yelp reviews can easilymake Yelp users move to another store. If your listing does maintain a highrating, competition is still fierce.

Data Proof: Studies have concluded that only one five star difference on Yelpcan influence the user’s decision to choose one service provider over another.

Let’s consider an example to understand the behavior of Yelp’s Sphere.Let’s say the agency, DC web design Ottawa paid for a potential buyer to click on a search ad, and the paid click can get user’s attention on another competitor on Yelp. You can feel the risk. It’s just areal barrier local service providers handle.

They pour efforts, time and their money into beating out the competitors to get their advertisements in the top-ranked pages with the sole intention of getting valuable clicks, and ideally converting them into customers.

But that’s not enough.

Savvy online buyers land on a service provider’s website. Then they’ll move to Google Places, or Yelp or Angie’s List where they can verify that whether business and services are credible. They’ll compare reviews, prices and customer services with other competitors before finally making the decision to purchase.

Wait. Is this thing a solution?

What’ll be the outcome if visitors referred from paid clicks don’t have to leave your website to see what others are saying about your services? Can a strategic stream of ratings or reviews embedded on your website make the difference? Yes, it will work. Many businesses enforce this thing in their UI design. It would surely enhance users’ experience, put your credibility easily visible and further help visitors making their decision to purchase.

Possibly, this can help you build credibility and trust with the many visitors came from social platforms or paid clicks. This would remove any chances of getting land your paid visitors to your competitor’s listings.

Encourage more and more of your existing customers to leave you feedback on Google maps, Facebook Page, Yelp, Angie List, YP and elsewhere.

Some tips to get it done in a well manner:

  • Don’t do it manually. When data is less, you can put it manually. But in the case when you’ve bulk data to upload, it becomes time taking. Embrace marketing automation applications that enable webmasters to smoothly integrate ratings into the website and update them as soon as you get new reviews.

  • Don’t try to do all reviews five out of five. Feed some average ratings between the perfect fives, so you appear more authentic and trustworthy; rather than looking like a manipulative guy with customers’ reviews.

  • Some clients do reviews their own even before you ask them. Either they are extremely happy with your work or they have complaints to show to others. Try to get the ratio of pleasant reviews/angry notes as high as possible.

An average user goes through seven reviews to buildhis mindset about a company. Google seems to give a decent weight to reviews inlocal rankings. It’s one of the major ranking factors when an agency like SVPruns a local campaign. What are your thoughts on it?

Aggregately, users go through seven online reviews before building an opinion about a provider. Google also seems to allocate an immense weight toreviews when it comes to ranking local web pages. They consider it as one oft he intrinsic factors when an agency like SVP runs a localized search campaign.


Written by Shyam Bhardwaj, blogger and SEO analyst.

3 Ways the Internet Can Make or Break Your Home-Based Business

The internet has absolutely transformed how companies do business and how consumers purchase products. This transformation has been dramatic and has affected all sectors of the economy. If you ignore how the internet has changed commerce, you will likely be left in the dust of competitors that have implemented the internet to expand their reach to consumers.

However, despite the benefits of the internet for businesses, selling your product online from your home isn’t necessarily easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are a lot of common mistakes you need to avoid. With that in mind, below are three ways the internet can make or break your home-based business.

SEO

One thing that can make or break your home business on the internet is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO includes the strategies that are utilized to obtain a preferable ranking on the major search engines like Google.

Google processes about 1.2 trillion searches a year. It’s how nearly everyone on the planet finds what they want on the internet. If you have poor SEO, it can certainly hurt your bottom line significantly. Definitely make fine tuning your SEO a priority. You also need to adjust your SEO over time since Google is always tweaking its algorithms.

Downtime

However, there are other issues apart from SEO you need to worry about. One of them is downtime. Downtime refers to times when your website can’t be loaded by visitors or refuses to operate properly. Downtime is a serious issue that causes businesses to lose millions a year. Most often, the cause of downtime is a higher volume of traffic than what a website’s hosting account is designed to handle. Make sure to search for web hosts and internet providers that will grant you the bandwidth you need to ensure that your website is always online and available to customers.

User Experience

Lastly, even if you obtain a high ranking on Google and avoid downtime completely, you can still fail. Part of this may be the fact that your website’s user experience is poor. This may happen, for example, if your website is hard to navigate. Today, most people surf the web on their smart phones. If your website scrolls from left to right instead of just up and down, most smart phone users may get frustrated. Make sure to test your website’s user experience on multiple different platforms.

Overall, running a website for your online business isn’t easy. Your success isn’t guaranteed. However, if you make sure your website has strong SEO, is always online and produces a good user experience, you can significantly increase your chances of success.

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

How to Increase Exposure of Your B2B Content

Content is considered king in the marketing world for both B2C and B2B sectors. Many companies that provide special products or services to suit their clients’ needs, seek to help their audience better understand their offers. This is especially true if your company offers a wide variety of various services. The market is especially crowded and competitive, which makes it difficult for clients to choose which company’s services to opt for. That’s why  the goal of every company is to help their clients make that decision easier.

There’s no better way to achieve this than through content marketing. However, when developing content for your B2B marketing you must focus on making it highly relevant for your audience and ensure that it’s top quality as well. That way, you can ensure your content gets the required exposure and that your clients can easily familiarize themselves with your company through your well-placed content. Therefore, here are a few ways to increase the exposure of your B2B content.

Optimize content for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an integral part of every company’s content marketing. The main reason is that SEO helps you build more visibility, awareness and credibility for both your content and your company. It’s important to understand that B2B audiences differ from B2C ones.

That means that your clients are more likely to do some extensive research after reading your content and before they decide to contact you for business. That’s why it’s important to properly optimize your content, so that your audience can easily find and access it. Make sure you choose the right keywords to rank for and build your content around those keywords for more exposure. The better and more relevant your content is, the better your rankings will be.

Ensure brand consistency in your content

Branding helps companies elevate themselves on the market and differentiate themselves from other companies. Having  a strong brand image and consistent tone of voice online helps establish a more personal and long-lasting relationship with your audience.

However, maintaining a consistent brand image across channels, assets and markets is not an easy task. If you have difficulties in managing your content distribution and creation, you can always opt for content creation services which will not only help ensure brand consistency in your content but also yield the best results in terms of exposure.

Share content on social media

Social media platforms have become quite business friendly as of late. Having a good social media strategy will not only increase the exposure of your B2B content, but also help you build your online presence and reputation. What’s more, it helps you actively engage with your clients, in order to establish more relevant relations with them. However, not every social media network is best suited for B2B content distribution.

If you try to build a presence on every social network, you’ll only end up wasting both time and resources. Instead, focus on social media channels that your clients are present on. For instance, LinkedIn as a social network, is more suited for companies and business of every size. Their business-friendly environment will help you publish relevant content to your clients and ensure you favor good exposure.

Educate your clients

As mentioned before, helping your clients familiarize themselves with your services and your company in general is essential. Content can help you do that, but only if you focus on educating your clients in an interesting and relevant way. You can publish how-to guides and descriptions to help your clients understand your services or products. Including visuals is also a good way to ensure engagement and interest. For example, you can share product videos or demo guides for your audience to watch.

However, you don’t have to solely focus on explaining your products or services. Consequently, you can also provide educational content on important topics, problems or other industry-relevant information and news. That way, you’re not only helping clients understand your company better, but also helping them keep updated with the current industry trends. This type of content will help you position yourself as an industry expert, who provides useful and relevant information to their clients.

Share content through other media channels

Social media isn’t the only way to boost exposure for your content. Other media channels also present a good opportunity for your content to get the required recognition. For example, you can share content on your own blog and website. Moreover, you can engage in guest posting on other reputable sources. That way, you’ll gain more exposure and more credibility.

In addition, nurture leads from your email list of subscribers with content. Sharing content via email is a good way to send out personalized messages that will encourage your leads to consider doing business with you. Whichever method you choose, you have to make sure you have the right strategy in place. Building exposure isn’t easy, especially the kind of exposure your business needs, in order to grow and develop further.

When creating content for your B2B marketing, you have to focus on your clients and their expectations. The purpose of content marketing isn’t just promoting your company to clients, but also educating them and convincing them that your services are the right solution for their company. The more relevance and quality your content possesses the more efficient it will be in driving your business goals.

Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com

 

 

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