Copywriteroffice

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                            [body] => The seven most popular ways to promote your business Blogs 31 Aug 2020 From Facebook adverts and newsletters to traditional print and PR, there are so many ways to promote your small business. But how do you know which is best? PR specialists from FSB PR/Crisis Management explain the seven most popular ways to market and advertise a small business, both online and offline. 1. Media relations. Also known as PR, media relations is simply getting articles about you and your business in publications and their online websites. Perhaps you’ve won a new contract, launched a new product or service, appointed new people or achieved record results. It might be that something quirky has happened within your business or you’ve reached a milestone, such as an anniversary, or you’ve sold a significant number of items. Another way to get coverage is by giving advice or having strong views about a subject and being prepared to openly state them. What are the benefits of PR? Provided you appear in the ‘right’ places, you’ll be seen by your target audience. If you run an engineering business, you’ll benefit from being seen in select trade publications. If, however, you’re keen to raise awareness of your café, then the local newspaper and magazines are the places to be.  Such media coverage not only raises your profile, but it’s also ideal for conveying important factual messages about your business, along with promoting its values and culture. Should I use a PR agency? Although you can contact a reporter or journalist yourself to tell them about a potential story, this can seem daunting, so you might want to consider using a specialist PR agency.  They can: deal with journalists and identify stories in your business advise you on the best places for your articles to appear and how to ‘pitch’ provide you with original content for your website However, there are no guarantees your piece will feature.  It boils down to the strength of the story – again, this is why using an agency is advisable because they instinctively know what will work. 2. Social media. Social media plays a critical role in marketing your business if used effectively. With over 45 million active users reported in the UK and 1.3 million users joining in 2020 alone, the opportunity to reach and engage with such a huge audience is not to be missed. Social media is a great way to connect with people who already engage with your brand and introduce the business to people who are yet to discover you. Recent research revealed that 58 per cent of consumers visit a brand’s social pages before visiting their website – that’s an 81 per cent increase from last year. What are your business goals? Before you begin developing a social media marketing campaign, you need to consider your business goals and marketing plan. Do you want to reach a wider audience, generate more traffic to your website or increase product sales? It is also important to understand who your target audience is, what platforms they are likely to use and what kind of content they will find useful and engaging. Our guide to social media platforms will help you find the right one for you. What should I post on social media? Creating relevant content for your audience is crucial to the success of your social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. When creating content, think about what your audience wants to see and what valuable content you can give them in return for their attention. If you are in a service-based industry, free resources and tips from your business can go a long way – you’ll become their go-to when searching for information, leading to potential new clients. If you are a product or brand, invest in photography and video and create a consistent brand identity with your assets. It’s also worth knowing that video is one of the most engaging assets, so use it whenever possible. Social media is not just about putting the right content out there.  As a business, you need to generate a two-way conversation with your audience so they feel a human connection, making you more memorable and more likely to keep followers. It’s important to regularly review your channels to understand what’s working. Each social platform offers basic analytics.  It’s good practice to dig deep into your analytics on a weekly and monthly basis to analyse, review and tailor your strategy to maximise results. Download our free guide and start improving your digital strategy today  free social media planner  easy to follow checklists for key areas of your digital strategy   10 ways to create a successful online advert  Download now 3. Digital advertising. Targeting specific audiences, executing data-led strategies and delivering measurable results are only a few of the benefits of marketing your business via digital advertising. The main digital advertising channels are PPC (Pay-Per-Click), display and paid social. All of them run across mobile and desktop devices.  Digital advertising can be a minefield, but it’s completely transparent and accountable – you will be able to see, down to the penny, where your budget has gone and which aspects of your campaign have been the most effective. What is Pay-Per-Click? Search (PPC) campaigns are often run on Google Ads, which is Google’s own online advertising network. They can help you advertise to your target audience whilst optimising any ad spend to give the best return on investment. PPC campaigns can be tailored so your ads are only shown to people who have made a search that is relevant to your product or service. What is display advertising? If your objective is more about brand awareness and not leads, then you should consider display advertising instead.  Believe it or not, the Google Display Network (GDN) claims to reach 90 per cent of all Internet users worldwide. It’s a vast network of web pages, news sites, blogs, video platforms like YouTube and email providers such as Gmail. Users browsing sites within the GDN may not be interested in your product or service just yet, but you will get the chance to pitch it to them. You can even remarket to users who have already visited your site in the past but didn’t convert to remind them of the solutions your business can offer them.  What is paid social advertising? Whilst social media profiles are free to set up, consider investing in paid content, too, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. In basic terms, this means you assign a set budget to a post which boosts its reach, allowing it to be seen by more people. Facebook, the world's largest social network, is an excellent alternative to Google if you want to advertise your business in a highly targeted way.  You can do this by setting up ad campaigns targeting users by age, gender, location, job title, interests and even behaviours. They’ll see text, image and videos displayed in Facebook stories, in-stream videos, Facebook search and messages, articles and the Facebook app. If you decide to appoint an agency to look after your digital advertising: make sure you understand what they are saying to you, keep asking until you do be prepared to pay a fee for their strategic advice and implementation in addition to the advertising spend itself. Find out more about how to build a successful online advertising campaign using Facebook and Google.  4. Press advertising. To be effective in magazines and newspapers, your advertisement needs to be both big and bold. If your advertisement doesn’t stop someone in their tracks and make them take notice, then you will have wasted your money on buying the space.  What should be in my advert? The headline, text and images you use are crucial.  Rather than focusing on what you want to say, think about your target customers – what do they want or need to hear from you?  Get inside their heads, think about a message that will resonate with them. Focus on the benefits of your product or service rather than the features.  If your business manufactures underfloor heating, plumbers will want to know that it’s easy to install and will deliver them a good profit but if you’re targeting homeowners directly, they’ll want to know how it makes them feel when they step on it in the middle of a bitterly cold night. Sometimes it can be challenging to think in this way, so you might want to consider using a creative agency to help you formulate ideas.  The added benefit is that you’ll then be able to adapt their ideas into all sorts of other marketing materials – e-shots, mailers, posters – so paying someone to come up with ideas is definitely worth the cost. Read our top tips for creating a successful advert. 5. Direct mail. Back in the pre-digital era, direct mail earned the nickname ‘junk mail’. Not a morning went by without there being a pile of letters and leaflets on the doormat. It had become a victim of its own success – sadly, all the well-targeted and relevant messages were lost among the irrelevant ones. Direct mail can be wonderfully effective, provided you follow three key rules: Use good quality data.  If you manage your own database, make sure it’s clean and up-to-date.  Alternatively, consider buying data from a reputable data broker – it’s far more affordable than you might think. Send content that is relevant to the recipient.  It’s pointless promoting a children’s nursery to a database of over 70’s. Make sure your mailer piques interest by standing out and featuring intriguing messages that resonate with the recipient. Although direct mailers are more expensive than e-shots, they can be far more impactful and effective.  Emails can be easily deleted and go unread, whereas it’s far harder to ignore a physical mailer which also has a longer shelf life, especially if the creative content is strong.   Marketing your business. Learn how to market your small business successfully and attract new customers with resources, videos and guides from marketing and PR experts. Visit the hub   6. Search engine optimisation. SEO has established itself as one of the key practices to market your business online. It has become essential for most companies to have a well-optimised website and this is where SEO is crucial. If you’re new to SEO, our beginner’s guide takes you through the simple things you can do to boost your strategy. In order for your webpages to show up for relevant search terms or ‘keywords’ in search engines like Google, they need to be optimised across three different areas: technical, on-page and off-page.  Technical SEO ensures that Google understands and can easily and quickly access all pages you want to rank. Having a technically sound website is only one aspect of great SEO. Ultimately, users want to read about your product or services, so you need high quality, engaging content that’s optimised in order for Google to rank it.  Tips for writing online content Write for the user, not the search engine. If your content isn’t readable, you will struggle to convert users into customers. Within your copy and HTML code, you will need to pay attention to optimising page titles, headings, internal linking and image descriptions for every page you wish to rank. Now you’ve got qualitative content live, you need a ‘vote of confidence’ from topically relevant, external sites.  Attract links naturally as well as manually through local link building, guest blogging, influencers, content marketing and PR campaigns. 7. Email marketing . The key to generating great sales is being able to communicate clearly and in a timely manner to your target audience.  Email marketing is great for creating short-term urgency and adding incremental revenue as part of your regular marketing activity. You can use emails tactically to drive a limited time offer, end of season sale or to promote a new service. Email marketing is: Cost-effective Measurable Immediate Scalable Efficient Tailor your message Once you have your customer list to hand, you can tailor your messaging to the right audiences - engagement rates will probably be high for customers who have previously used your services or purchased from you. Those customers can also share the email with their friends or contacts, expanding the reach and awareness of your brand to an audience you might never have engaged with before. Staying in touch with existing customers is a great way to keep your brand front of mind and present loyal, lapsed and potential customers with the most up to date offers and new products or services. Track your results The results of email marketing are immediate and you can quickly see the number of customers who have received your email, opened it and clicked on any of the links or offers within it. This will give you a quick indication of how well the email is performing in terms of overall engagement, sales and return on investment (ROI). The data will give you actionable insights, too, so you can see which are the most popular types of content, products, services or offers for any specific audience. You can then tailor your follow-up emails to reflect these learnings. Integrated as part of a wider campaign or used as a standalone activity, email marketing is one of the best ‘return on investment’ channels there is.  Don’t know where to start? Our PR experts are on hand to help FSB members with their public relations management, from drafting press releases to advising in the event of a PR crisis.   Affordable PR support you can count on in a crisis. Protect your reputation with FSB PR/Crisis Management. Professional PR advice for small businesses, with specialist crisis communications support and insurance of up to £10,000 in the event of a major public relations crisis. FIND out more   Return to listing
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                            [title] => Small Business Marketing 101
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                            [description] => Figuring out how to market yourself can be a challenge for small businesses, so here's some simple tips to help you get started
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                            [body] => Small Business Marketing 101Elizabeth PritchettForbes Councils MemberForbes Business Development CouncilCOUNCIL POSTExpertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. Opinions expressed are those of the author.| Membership (fee-based)LeadershipPOST WRITTEN BYElizabeth PritchettSales & Marketing Director at Center Point Business Solutions. I passionately care about helping businesses succeed!Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Linkedin Shutterstock Branding, services, promotions, products, pricing, prints, blogs, advertising, research and social media -- all of this is marketing. With all the marketing options out there, it can be difficult for small businesses to know what to do. Marketing is a concentrated effort to do push your brand across a variety of platforms and hope that enough makes it through to your customer. Customers need to hear your message several times, so brand, brand, brand! Here are some simple steps to help you market your small business: 1. Get organized. Getting an organized plan is the first step in any marketing effort. Make one. Start with brainstorming, create themes and transfer action items to a calendar or to-do list. Start small, and try to get a good ROI for everything you do. Create an elevator pitch: What can you tell people about your business, products and services in 30 seconds or less that keeps them interested and wanting more? Get customer input early -- if you are opening a storefront or restaurant, try hosting a soft opening or invitation-only event to get your kinks worked out and your mishaps and mistakes out of the way. Whatever you do, make a good first impression. Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify? 2. Get a website. In today’s technology-based world, the first thing a potential customer or employee does is Google your business. You need a website to show you’re real and to offer information about your business to potential customers. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and be sure to ask for search engine optimization. Use Google Analytics to track the traffic to your website, but be leery of people who promise you top positions on search engines. While there are lots of things that can be done to increase your ranking on various search engines, unless the developer works for Google, I would be leery of a promise to get you to the top. Remember that you get what you pay for. There are a ton of do it yourself website services, but depending on the features you need on your site, some things are better left to the experts. 3. Leverage social media. Let’s face it, everyone is on social media these days, and the majority of traffic still occurs on Facebook. If you are not using Facebook for your business, create a page today. You are leaving an opportunity on the table if you don’t. There has been a shift the past few years with more and more retirees joining the social media world. I guess they realize that if they want to keep up with their kids, grandkids, friends and neighbors, they better get with the program. In fact, retirees are often my best brand ambassadors and help promote our events. 4. Set up and claim your business online. Whether you get on board or not, information about your business is and will be on the internet. Wouldn’t you rather proactively control what people read or see about your business when they Google it? Do a search on different browsers to see what information you see about your company and then claim or create a listing for your business. 5. Use Google AdWords. Try utilizing Google AdWords to specifically target the types of products or services you offer. Remember to focus on the quality of a few keywords instead of choosing too many. AdWords are great for targeting specific geographic locations and give you the ability to control your budget with flexible pricing options. 6. Create local awareness and establish a network. Join chambers, business associations, community groups, etc. Find ways to get involved. Networking is a great way to capture business leads as long as you don’t come on too strong. It allows you to meet new contacts and create more brand awareness and new referrals. Sponsor sporting events, nonprofit events or anything that is for a good cause. Get your name out there while also being a good community steward. Give away SWAG (promotional items with your business name, logo and contact info on them). T-shirts are a great example of free walking advertisements for your business. 7. Offer coupons or free products/services. Create loyalty early on. A happy customer will come back and will tell their friends about you. Create a buzz with brand ambassadors. These can be family and friends who help promote your products or services. 8. Advertise. If you build it, they still may not come. You must get out there and tell people who you are, why your product or service is different from the competition and how to find you. Advertising is not a one-size fits all solution. Find what works for you, but whatever you do, you must advertise. More than anything, focus on consistent, repetitive branding. Many marketing professionals believe in the “rule of seven," which means people need to hear or see your message at least seven times before taking any action. In today’s world of constant connectivity, you must make sure you’re seen and heard. The most common reason that people do not buy your product is that they do not know about it yet. Elizabeth PritchettPrintReprints & Permissions
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                                    [34] => 20. Offer a free webinar
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                                    [36] => 22. Advertise on social media
                                    [37] => 23. Experiment with influencer marketing
                                    [38] => 24. Try co-marketing
                                    [39] => 25. Draw up a go-to-market strategy
                                    [40] => 26. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences
                                    [41] => 27. Try out marketing experiments
                                    [42] => Don't forget to share this post!
                                    [43] => Related Articles
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                                    [45] => The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategies & How to Improve Your Digital Presence
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                                    [47] => Download for Later
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                                                            [name] => 9. Optimize your website for mobile devices.
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                                                            [name] => 13. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp.
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                                                        )

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                                                            [name] => 14. Build out your social media strategy.
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                                                            [name] => 17. Plan an email marketing strategy.
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                                                            [name] => 18. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages.
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                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

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                                                            [name] => 19. Share your distribution channels on your website.
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                                                        )

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                                                        )

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                                                        )

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                                                        )

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                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

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                            [body] => 42 Ideas for Your 2021 Small Business Marketing Strategy Written by Katherine Boyarsky @katboyarsky Download the Free Marketing Strategy Planning TemplateDownload a Free Marketing Plan Whether you're in the process of launching a new business or already have one, having a strong online presence for your brand is extremely important. In fact, consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else. In 2019, 70% of shoppers surveyed say the ability to shop in-person or in a store was important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from. Small business owners looking for a way to track ROI and brand awareness need digital marketing. Not only is digital marketing a must-have for promoting your products or services, but optimizing your online assets is also critical to your business' overall success. For local businesses, it's equally as important to have essential and updated information readily available for potential clients. If you're a small business owner with little experience in online marketing, this might all sound like a foreign language to you. Have no fear -- we'll go through what all these words mean, and why you should care about them! In this post, we'll help you build and optimize your marketing strategy using inbound marketing, setting you up to attract new clients and ultimately grow your business. Small Business Marketing. Marketing is meant to raise brand awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads that turn into sales. With a small business, getting the word out can be challenging due to less visibility and lack of resources (like budget or time). However, there are key strategies that can help you scale your small business's marketing efforts. Whether you're struggling with a limited budget, the time restraints caused by having a smaller team, or even a lack of direction, a marketing plan that's appropriate for your business can provide guidance as you scale. Small Business Marketing Strategies. Know your audience. Emphasize your value proposition. Stay focused on singular goals and objectives. Capitalize on short-term plays. Double-down on what works. Understand the power of existing customers. USe free promotional tools. Create a website to own your online presence. Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website. Promote yourself on social media. Invest in ads. Make sure you're capturing web prospects' information. Use email marketing to nurture leads. Manage relationships with a CRM. Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel. These strategies are fundamental as you generate awareness and revenue for your organization: 1. Know your audience. A key mistake is thinking that "anyone" is your buyer. Larger companies may be able to appeal to a wide market, but they say, "the riches are in the niches" for a reason. A niche is where you'll have the most leverage as a small business. And to develop a niche and appeal to buyers within the niche, you must understand their pains, problems, triggering events, and priorities. What is pushing them to make a purchasing decision? What does it look like if they succeed? Knowing these things will help you craft messaging that resonates and makes a compelling case for your solution. Start by thinking about your existing customers and who you'd like to work with. Then, create a buyer persona to start the process of getting into the head of your ideal client. Download Free Buyer Persona Templates 2. Emphasize your value proposition. If there's no difference between you and your competition, there's no reason why a buyer would be compelled to work with you. Your value proposition is what will differentiate you from others in your space and make up your prospects' minds that you're the provider to go with. What do you do better than anyone in the industry? Conveying this makes a compelling argument. 3. Stay focused on singular goals and objectives. If you're exploring the world of marketing, you may have noticed that there are a gazillion directions you can go in. It's tempting to do it all at once and craft a complicated machine in hopes that you covered all your bases, and it's easy to take on too much. Instead, identify where the biggest impact will be. Where is the biggest blind spot in your marketing that's prohibiting your growth? Set a performance goal around that one key area and focus your resources on the activities and tactics that will achieve that one performance goal. You can expand your efforts or pivot to other initiatives when you've made more progress toward that singular goal. 4. Capitalize on short-term plays. Start scrappy. As you scale, it's critical to see ROI sooner. This will give you the momentum and cash flow to put toward larger projects, long-term plays, and more sustainable growth models. Tactics that take time to build (such as SEO) are poor fits for your primary initiatives because you won't see a return soon enough for your liking. If you have enough resources to start there, great, but don't put all your eggs in that basket. If you have evidence that people are taking to Google with purchasing intent for your particular solution, you may find that paid ads will give you that short-term ROI. 5. Double-down on what works. Once you have your initiatives running and you've experimented with a few things, pay attention to the data. This can inform you of what's working. As you scale, it's a good idea to double-down on proven methods of generating revenue. 6. Understand the power of existing customers. A 1990 study by Bain & Company and HBR, found that it costs, on average, five times more to acquire a new customer than close an existing one. This means you shouldn't stop marketing once they've made a purchase. Identify your opportunities for repeat purchasing, upselling, and cross-selling. Because your existing customers have already made a purchase, they already know, like, and trust you. If you've provided a good experience, you've given them a reason to do business with you again should the need ever arise. Even if the need doesn't arise (in cases where it's a one-and-done purchase with no upsell opportunities), you should still delight your customers. Word of mouth is a powerful (and free) promotional tool. 7. Use free promotional tools. Speaking of free promotional tools, it's important to note that since you've committed to a limited goal and scope, there's no need to inflate your overhead with gadgets. Use free promotional tools where possible, and only commit to paid tools if you know they will drastically improve existing operations or performance. Here's a helpful list of marketing tools (some free and paid). 8. Create a website to own your online presence. Having a professional-looking website is one of the most important assets you will create for your small business. This is where you will show who you are, what you offer, where you are, and how a potential customer can get in touch with you. It is a channel you will always own (unlike other platforms which may change policies or go in and out of style), and it has the capability of generating organic traffic in addition to being a place to send traffic from advertising and other marketing initiatives. Your website isn't just a simple brochure, either. You have the capability of turning it into a 24-7 salesperson by understanding how to convert traffic and turn them into leads (more on that later). For one of the best website tools, check out HubSpot's CMS. 9. Consider blogging to attract prospects for your website. Blogging is a great way to generate organic traffic, particularly for those prospects who have not reached a purchasing decision yet. In addition, it can establish credibility in your space and position you as a thought leader. To start a blog, you can use an inexpensive or free website tool to make a free site and use one of their templates. Even if you only publish once a week, it will improve your website's visibility online and help educate your potential customers on why they should trust your company. If you're planning to write your posts yourself, check out this beginner's guide to writing. Once you start writing, you can add a call-to-action on your posts for visitors to subscribe to your blog and receive emails This is a great way to start collecting leads and offering potential customers a way to get information if they aren't ready to buy anything from you yet. Download Free Blog Post Templates 10. Promote yourself on social media. Social media might seem like it's just a fun platform for people to socialize and connect, but it's actually a powerful business tool. Social media can help you increase your domain authority, improve your search engine rankings, and engage with potential customers. Why wouldn't you want to be seen where your potential customers spend their time? Download the Free Social Media Content Calendar Template 11. Invest in ads. Organic traffic takes a while to build, and as a small business, you want to invest in short-term plays. Pay-to-play tactics that target buyers with high intent are great for short-term wins to jump-start other objectives. Google Ads are perfect if you know that your target audience is searching the web for your product or solution. If they aren't, you might consider social media ads instead. Individuals on social media have less buying intent, but with highly targeted ads and enough impressions, you'll gain the interest of your audience. Download the Free Advertising Planning Kit 12. Make sure you're capturing web prospects' information. We've been talking a lot about visibility and traffic but haven't really covered how these will help drive revenue yet. One simple way to start generating leads or customers from your website is to implement a conversion tool. A simple, free option is HubSpot Marketing Free. By using this tool to add a pop-up widget to your website, you can start collecting the email addresses of potential customers. From there, you can send out promotions and offers and convert them into paying customers. You can also implement any of these 24 conversion tools to help you optimize your website and use it to drive leads. 13. Use email marketing to nurture leads. Just because you've converted website traffic into leads doesn't mean those leads are ready to buy yet. It's important to stay top of mind and move them closer to a purchasing decision. Email marketing is a critical part of your marketing toolkit. In fact, 73 percent of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email. This strategy is an easy, free, and scalable way to communicate with both new and existing customers. Once you have an email marketing tool in place (many are inexpensive or even free), experiment with emailing out newsletters (with your sleek new blog posts), and other promotions to your database. We know small business owners don't have tons of free time to devote to digital marketing, so consider using marketing automation to make this process even easier for yourself. To get started planning your email marketing strategy, check out this guide and template from HubSpot. 14. Manage relationships with a CRM. Email marketing works best when you're sending personalized, targeted emails. This begins with a customer database or customer relationship management (CRM) system. Your CRM stores information about your leads, prospects, and customers so that you can keep track of customer interactions and identify sales opportunities more effectively. HubSpot has one of the best CRMs (and best of all, it's totally free). 15. Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel. As mentioned previously, delighting customers can have a big impact on your business, primarily in repeat purchases and word of mouth. If you provide a great experience, your customers will be more inclined to leave reviews, give testimonials, and tell their friends about you. That's why it's a good idea to measure customer satisfaction and encourage customers to spread the word. Marketing Tips for Small Businesses. Determine your brand's identity. Identify your buyer persona. Design a logo and other assets. Build your website with a CMS template. Track your site with analytics tools. Consult agencies and freelancers for web design help. Boost your Google ranking with SEO. Research keyword opportunities. Optimize your website for mobile devices. Write optimized blog posts. Experiment with photo and video content. Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp. Build out your social media strategy. Use social media for customer service. Build interesting landing pages. Plan an email marketing strategy. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages. Share your distribution channels on your website. Offer a free webinar. Consider PPC Advertising. Advertise on social media. Try co-marketing. Draw up a go-to-market strategy. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences. Try out marketing experiments. 1. Determine your brand's identity. Having a consistent brand identity to promote your business will make you look more professional and help you attract new customers. According to a 2020 study, nearly 9 out of 10 people are brand loyal with nearly 25% of them climbing to be more brand loyal in 2020 compared to 2019. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has described a company's branding as "what other people say about you when you're not in the room." In other words, your brand is the feelings and emotions people have when hearing your company name. It's is a combination of your brand name, logo, aesthetic, and the design of all your assets. 2. Identify your buyer persona. When you imagine a customer searching for your product or service, what are they like? What are their pain points? What is their job? Creating a buyer persona that tells a story of your ideal customer can help you make a website that's optimized for them. By learning more about your target customer through creating a buyer persona, you can better figure out what types of things they may be searching for so you can include those terms on your website. 3. Design a logo and other assets. To start getting the creative juices flowing, consider your color scheme and peruse palettes with Adobe Color or Coolors. You can create your own or look through pre-made or customized color palettes. To create a logo, I'd recommend checking out Upwork or Freelancer. There are free and less expensive options for designing your own logo online, although using a freelancer or agency can give you a higher quality product and connect you with a designer who can change and update your brand assets as your company grows. 4. Build your website with a CMS template. If you're a fairly tech-savvy small business owner, you'll probably want to build your own website. A CMS (content management system) makes the process simple. Most CMSs offer customizable templates for your site that you can get for free or a small fee. There are templates for various skill levels -- from beginner all the way to advanced. Once you've created your website, most CMS platforms offer plugins to help you optimize your content for search (look for SEO plugins). This will help you rank better in Google -- which we'll discuss more in-depth in a bit. 5. Track your site with analytics tools. If you've never made a website before and aren't entirely comfortable with the technical elements, there are a variety of free tools and services to help you get started. When you create your website, make sure you implement Google Analytics or HubSpot Marketing Free (both of which are free products) so you can easily track who's looking at your site. 6. Consult agencies or freelancers for web design help. If you aren't on the technical side and want a website built for your small business, you can use a freelancer or a marketing agency that specializes in web design. This is a great option for businesses that already have a website but need it to be updated and revamped for SEO (search engine optimization) to help improve your Google ranking. To find a freelancer or marketing consultant in your area, you can use Upwork (filtering by design/creative), Codeable (for WordPress experts) or Freelancer. 7. Boost your Google ranking with SEO. If you already have a business, have you ever searched for yourself or your product/service online? If so, did you think, "Why isn't my website showing up on Google?" If so, you probably thought, "How do I rank on Google?" or "How can I improve my Google ranking?" There are a lot of factors that play into why a certain site or page appears in the top spots on the Google (or another search engine) search engine results page (SERP). Backlinko reports some of Google's top factors, which include having relevant keywords (and their placement on your site), the length of your content, having high-quality content, how fast your page loads, how often you post content, and more. When it all boils down, Google essentially tries to find the best piece of content to present to the person searching. For example, if I'm searching for the best salon in Newport, Rhode Island, it wouldn't be helpful for me to find a web page of a salon that has closed down and is located in Newport, Kentucky. It would, however, be helpful for me to find a salon in my area with great Yelp reviews, an easy-to-navigate website, and contact information readily available. Google always wants to surface the most relevant, highest-quality piece of content. To rank higher on Google, you can leverage the power of SEO, or search engine optimization. To start learning everything there is to know about this powerhouse marketing tactic, check out The Ultimate Guide to SEO. HubSpot explains SEO as "techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes your website more visible to people who are looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing." In other words, it's the basic concept of structuring your website and blog posts to be in the best shape for appearing first on search engines. SEO strategy usually consists of a few things. These include buyer persona research, keyword research, and on-page SEO research. These three areas can help you learn how your target market is searching online, and position your business to get discovered by the right people. 8. Research keywords opportunities. Keyword research is an extension of buyer persona research. You can use the personas you've created to search for the best keywords for your brand, then use a tool like KW Finder to find related keywords for your target audience. Then, you can do some on-page SEO research and optimization. This is where you put those keywords in the correct places on your website -- like in the meta-description, page titles, and H1 tags. 9. Optimize your website for mobile devices. Most Google searches are done on mobile devices, so it's important to have a site that looks clean and easy to navigate when someone enters it on their smartphone. A mobile site can also be beneficial for SEO, with search engines like Google which rewards you with a higher ranking if you have a mobile site. You don't have to be a tech expert to build a site that looks good on mobile. In fact, most CMS platforms like HubSpot already offer mobile-optimized templates. 10. Write optimized blog posts. Content and blogging are extremely important when it comes to your search engine ranking. The more often your desired keywords appear in your high-quality and helpful content, the more likely you are to appear in search results. A great way to become an authority on your topic, product, or service is to blog. Make sure you're writing with SEO in mind -- use this SEO checklist for bloggers, or a WordPress plugin like Yoast. 11. Experiment with photo and video content. According to HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands. Additionally, most social media apps, like Facebook and Instagram are embracing more visual layouts. To keep up with these trends, it's a good idea to make a few marketing videos. If you use these tips, producing a few can be quite inexpensive. 12. Hire a freelancer to help you scale your content. If you need some help creating regular blogs or promotional content, consider hiring a freelancer over investing in a full-timer. Try Upwork for a freelance blogger, videographer, or photographer. You could also consider hiring a marketing agency for a larger project. 13. Launch business pages on Facebook and Yelp. If your business is focused on a local area, the most important accounts for you are Facebook, Yelp, and Google's business feature. Having high Yelp reviews improves your authority online and helps your search ranking. You can claim your business on Yelp for free, customize your profile and add pictures, and start asking for reviews. The same thing goes for registering your Google business page. You can register your business with Google (for free) and add pictures. (If you've ever searched for your business in Google Maps and been disappointed not to see it, it's because you haven't claimed it yet!) On Facebook, you can create a Facebook business page so that people can find your location and hours. For any business, having up-to-date social media accounts will help you be found and engage with prospects. Create a Twitter account, Facebook page, learn how to use Instagram, create a Pinterest page (if relevant), and use them as a way to discover new clients. 14. Build out your social media strategy. While Facebook and Yelp will be great tools for local searches and reviews, platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter will offer you even more opportunities to share your posts, content, and promotions. If your customers can purchase your products or services online, these platforms will also give them another way to find you. Be sure not to spread yourself too thin by joining too many platforms at once. To make strategizing easier, here's a guide to the five types of social media platforms and the pros and cons of each. 15. Use social media for customer service. Once you're on your chosen platforms, be sure to answer customer or follower questions when they ask them through post comments or direct messages. This will make your company look responsive and credible. Here are some great examples of how brands have used Twitter for customer service. If you have the means, consider hiring a social media manager with community management experience. On top of posting content on a regular schedule, community managers are charged with responding to questions or concerns of followers. Interested? We published a guide on what it takes to be a great social media community manager. 16. Build interesting landing pages. A landing page offers your potential customers a free resource in exchange for filling out a short form of contact information. When they receive the resource, they might be even more pleased by your company and more interested in buying the full product. Because landing pages raise your chances of customer conversion, you want yours to look enticing. To get started, read this landing page guide to learn more about what makes this strategy successful. Then check out these free and professionally designed templates. 17. Plan an email marketing strategy. Once you start creating regular content and building out landing pages, you'll want to share them with the prospects who seem most interested in learning more about your product. For this reason, we suggest building an email marketing strategy. While you want to be careful not to bombard those who sign up for your email list with too many emails, you want to send just enough to keep your prospects informed and engaged. Here's how our metrics improved when we streamlined our email marketing strategy. If you've never sent regular newsletters before, you can use HubSpot or a number of other affordable tools to create and send an email with a professionally designed template. Many email tools also offer basic analytics that allow you to track open and click rates. 18. Offer coupons in newsletters or on landing pages. Placing a coupon in your marketing emails can engage and delight your audience. After buying a product or service at a discounted rate, they also might be more willing to pay for it in full price. If you have a subscription service, it can also be helpful to offer prospects a code for a free trial so they can test it out. 19. Share your distribution channels on your website. Once you have a few social media accounts and can allow people to sign up for your newsletter, highlight this on your website so your visitors can follow you. One way companies do this is to display all of their linked social icons and a newsletter sign-up call to action on all pages of your website. A good place to include these is on the top right corner or on the footer of each page. This way they are visible but aren't distracting from any content. 20. Offer a free webinar. A webinar allows potential customers to sign up for a short online course hosted by you. These courses are usually between 30 minutes to an hour and allow you to give tips and answer questions related to a topic your brand is familiar with. While this strategy can help you boost your credibility in your field, it can also offer you potential leads and sales opportunities. 21. Consider PPC Advertising. If you're working hard on SEO, but are still looking for an extra boost, consider PPC -- or pay-per-click -- advertising. With this search engine marketing technique, you use Google AdWords or Bing Ads to show up higher. and as an advertised listing, in search results. Before you dive into PPC, you'll want to make sure your landing page is as optimized as possible. If you are paying by the click and those who click on the page don't convert, you will lose advertising dollars. To help you get started, read this Ultimate Guide to PPC. Then, use this PPC planning template to plan an optimized campaign. You can also use a few handy tools and software to edit, track, and report on your campaigns. 22. Advertise on social media. Most of the major social media platforms offer affordable advertising options that can help you target your posts to a specific audience. While many small businesses have been advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for years, Instagram now allows brands to advertise through its Shoppable tool. 23. Experiment with influencer marketing. Is there someone in your area with a high social media following who's considered an expert in a field your company exists in? If you're able to reach out to them, see if they'd be willing to share an experience they've had with your product or service on social media. This will alert their follower base of your product. These followers may also trust your product more because an expert is endorsing it. If you can't find an influencer to volunteer, you can also consider paying one or two on a freelance basis. To learn more about this strategy, check out our Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing. 24. Try co-marketing. Is there a local business in your area that isn't a direct competitor but offers a product or service to a similar target audience? Consider working with them on a cobranded campaign where you promote each other on social media, via email, or in your blog. While you'll give your partnering company added promotion, it will also allow their fanbase to learn more about you. 25. Draw up a go-to-market strategy. Once you've activated all the tools you need to promote your product or service, you'll need to create a promotional plan that aligns with the customer journey. Consider which content will attract, engage, and delight your prospects and how you will convert them into a customer. To help you plan out this process, use this template. 26. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences. When a happy customer talks about how great your company is on social media or a review site, your product or service looks like a good investment. Even on social media, word of mouth is still a huge factor in someone's purchasing decision. If a prospect sees a friend raving about your business on Facebook or if they post a photo of a meal from your restaurant on Instagram, they could be more likely to go. After all, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals. If customers are telling you they love your product, encourage them to share about the experience on Yelp, Google, or social. If you have a physical business, you might also want to place signs up with your account handles so customers know who to tag if they post a picture of your product. 27. Try out marketing experiments. If there's a new social platform you're interested in or a new marketing trend, don't be afraid to experiment. If an experiment goes well, you could be ahead of the game, and it never hurts to be a thought leader in your industry. When you experiment with a new marketing strategy, be sure to have a solid hypothesis or question in mind. This will keep you focused on the end goal and reduce the desire to chase the next big thing as it comes along. Also, prepare for what your next steps will be if you get good or bad results. Here's a quick guide to leading a successful marketing experiment. Well, there you have it. Here's a round-up of the key takeaways from this article: Start Marketing Your Business Today. You probably have a long road ahead to build your online presence, but any steps you can make will have a huge impact on your business. Some things like blogging definitely take a few months to start kicking in and generating traffic, but social media posts pay-per-click ads can have immediate effects. If you’re still not sure which direction is the perfect fit for your business, brainstorm your ideas in this marketing plan template. Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.   Originally published Feb 11, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2021 Topics: Marketing Strategy Don't forget to share this post! Related Articles. 15 Marketing Job Titles + The Roles That Leaders Plan To Invest In Next Year . Marketing  | 8 min read The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategies & How to Improve Your Digital Presence . Marketing  | 13 min read How to Create a Holiday Marketing Campaign: A Step-by-Step Guide . Marketing  | 9 min read Expand Offer Social Media Content Calendar Template Get it now Get it now Download for Later.
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                            [body] => 8 steps to marketing your business Researching opportunities, identifying your target market, developing a unique proposition, and choosing your channels are all important steps in marketing your business. Discover the eight essential steps you need to follow to market your business. Step 1. Conduct market research. Market research is a key part of developing your marketing strategy. It is about collecting information that provides an insight into your customers thinking, buying patterns, and location. In addition, market research can also assist you to undertake an initial sales forecast, monitor market trends and keep an eye on what your competition is doing. Learn more about market research. Step 2. Profile your target markets. Trying to promote your product or service to everyone can be costly and ineffective. Grouping or segmenting your potential customers based on certain characteristics will help to focus your marketing efforts. Generally segmentation is based on factors such as:  Geography Where do they live? Where do they work? Demographics Gender Age Level of education Occupation Income Behaviour What is the primary reason they would use your product or service? What appeals to them about your particular brand? What are their usage rates of your product or service? Where do they typically source information about your type of product or service? Lifestyle and values What is their family situation? What do they value in their lives? What are their hobbies and interests? Do they have children? Do they have pets? Your target market should have a need for your product or service and be willing to pay for your offer. Step 3. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is the unique reason your customers buy from you and not your competitors – it’s what makes your business stand out from the crowd. It is important to define what you do differently and be able to convey that to potential customers. Commonly, this reflects your special knowledge or skills. Your USP may be having a new or unique offering or providing exceptional service. Start developing your USP by answering the following questions: What do you love most about your products and services? What special skills or knowledge do you have? What makes your customers come to you instead of your competitors? How do your customers benefit by purchasing your products or services? Which aspects do you generally highlight when you describe your business to strangers? Step 4. Develop your business brand. Every business, regardless of size, is likely to need a brand. A brand is more than a logo, colour or tagline. A well-articulated brand emotionally connects with your target customers and conveys who you are, what you stand for and what you can deliver. Step 5. Choose your marketing avenues. While there are many available, consider your target audience when you are determining which to use. Options include: a business website  social media blogging brochures and flyers networking events print advertising word of mouth cold calling letter drops. Step 6. Set your goals and budget. Marketing goals will help you to define what you want to achieve through your marketing activities. Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. You will also need to allocate a budget to your marketing activities. Your marketing budget will need to include elements such as: website development and maintenance search engine optimisation strategy design of branding printing of promotional material (business cards, brochures, signage, etc) advertising donations and sponsorships employing staff to undertake marketing activities. Free download Marketing plan template. As a general rule of thumb you should spend between three and five percent of your actual or expected annual turnover on marketing. If your business is new you may need to allocate more funds initially to build your business profile. To help you create a marketing plan for your business, download our free template and how to guide. Download the template Download the how to guide Step 7. Nurture your loyal customers. Your customers are the key to your success so it is important to look after them and encourage loyalty. Providing exceptional customer service can keep people coming back and set you apart from your competitors. Strategies to build loyalty in customers include: communicating regularly with customers through social media, blogs or e-news providing after-sale follow up delivering on your promises going the ‘extra mile’ and providing benefits that exceed initial expectations using feedback and complaints as an opportunity to improve services listening to customers training staff in customer service and basic sales processes. Step 8. Monitor and review. It is important to regularly monitor and review your marketing activities to determine whether they are achieving the desired outcome, such as increased sales. Initially you should review your marketing plan every three months to ensure your activities are supporting your strategy. Once your business becomes more established review your plan when you introduce a new product or service, if a new competitor enters the market or if an issue arises that affects your industry. Monitoring activities may include reviewing your sales figures on a regular basis (monthly) or monitoring customer activity during an advertising campaign. You can also access and review free analytic tools to determine the effectiveness of your social media or website campaigns. Learn more about digital marketing. Downloads. Guide to marketing and branding. Maintaining and developing a successful, sustainable business depends on your customers’ perception and experience of your product or service. That's where marketing and branding can help. Download the guide Marketing plan template. Spreading the word about your business and attracting customers is important for any successful business. This marketing plan template will help you determine how to get your business noticed by the people who need or want your product. Download the template Guide to using the marketing plan template. This guide will walk you through the process of completing a marketing plan for your business. It's designed to be used alongside our marketing plan template. Download the guide Other helpful resources Image SBDC Blog A beginner’s guide to logo design Image SBDC Blog Building your brand during disruption Image SBDC Blog Easy tips to increase your sales Image SBDC Blog How to boost offline sales in an online world Back to top Close COVID-19 updates Business information Business advisory Workshops Tools Blog About Our work Accessibility Contact Search back Business information Starting and growing Legal and risk Marketing People Business premises Dispute resolution Finance Exiting a business back Starting and growing 8 steps to starting a business Buying a business Essential business skills Franchising Business planning Tenders Licences and permits Importing Business structures Exporting Business names back Legal and risk Legal responsibilities Intellectual property Competition and consumer law Insurance Contracts and agreements Risk management Hiring a lawyer Cyber security back Marketing 8 steps to marketing your business Market research Marketing and promotion strategies Digital marketing back People Industrial relations systems Recruiting and managing staff Types of employment Ending employment Employer obligations Managing stress and anxiety back Business premises Types of business premises Commercial Tenancy Act Understanding commercial leases Resolving leasing problems Negotiating a lease Ending a lease back Dispute resolution Avoiding disputes Resolving a dispute Handling customer complaints Types of disputes we can help with Writing a letter of demand back Finance Financial processes and procedures Tax reporting requirements Business finance and loans Tax deductions and concessions Financial planning documents Business grants Providing credit to customers Debt recovery Tax requirements back Exiting a business Essential exiting tasks Selling a franchise Closing a business Succession planning Selling a business Close Search SBDC. 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                                    [2] => 2. Create a website
                                    [3] => 3. Get some business stationary
                                    [4] => 4. Engage with Google
                                    [5] => 5. Optimise! Search engine optimisation
                                    [6] => 6. Check your online NAPs
                                    [7] => 7. Go Mobile and create an app
                                    [8] => 8. Socialise!
                                    [9] => 9. Start building your email list from day one
                                    [10] => 10. Get yourself a trusted email marketing platform
                                    [11] => 11. Add calls to action in your emails
                                    [12] => 12. Ask for reviews
                                    [13] => 13. Set up a blog
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                                    [17] => 17. Learn to repurpose content
                                    [18] => 18. Take steps to boost conversions
                                    [19] => 19. Distribute promotional merchandise
                                    [20] => 20. Outdoor promotion
                                    [21] => 21. Use vehicle branding
                                    [22] => 22. Don’t ignore the power of videos
                                    [23] => 23. Use affiliates to promote your products
                                    [24] => 24. Join associations and attend meetings of professional groups
                                    [25] => 25. Partner up
                                    [26] => 26. Offer a free consultation
                                    [27] => 27. Word of mouth
                                    [28] => 28. Teach classes in your community
                                    [29] => 29. Donate a prize to a local fundraiser
                                    [30] => 30. Offer to speak at a local event or meeting
                                    [31] => 31. List your business on online marketplaces
                                    [32] => 32. Hold a competition
                                    [33] => 33. Corporate social responsibility
                                    [34] => 34. Host events in your community
                                    [35] => 35. Wear and use your products in public
                                    [36] => 36. Get talking
                                    [37] => 37. Get in touch with your local newspaper
                                    [38] => 38. Enter as many business awards as you can
                                    [39] => 39. Get on the phone
                                    [40] => 40. Comment on related blogs
                                    [41] => 41. Start guest posting
                                    [42] => 42. Exhibit at trade shows
                                    [43] => 43. Go on air
                                    [44] => 44. Facebook ads
                                    [45] => 45. Leverage the following of relevant Instagrammers
                                    [46] => 46. Build credibility on Trustpilot and Yelp
                                    [47] => 47. Set up Google Alerts
                                    [48] => 48. Create a customer loyalty scheme
                                    [49] => 49. Offer discounts
                                    [50] => 50. Improve your customer service
                                    [51] => 51. Open house
                                    [52] => 52. Renew Interest
                                    [53] => 53. Pinterest
                                    [54] => 54. Sponsor an event or sports team
                                    [55] => 55. Host a webinar
                                    [56] => 56. Run a social media competition
                                    [57] => 57. Add a visual aspect to your content
                                    [58] => 58. Start a podcast
                                    [59] => 59. Hire a marketing consultant
                                    [60] => 60. Last but not least – don’t spam!
                                    [61] => Case study of business promotion
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                                    [1] => Related Posts
                                    [2] => 6 SEO mistakes to avoid in your first year of business
                                    [3] => Link Building: Definition and importance
                                    [4] => Five marketing hacks for B2B SaaS startups
                                    [5] => About
                                    [6] => Topics
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                                            [2] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [text] => WordPress themes for professional business websites
                                                    [href] => https://qodeinteractive.com/theme-category/business-wordpress-themes
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                                            [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [text] => design and function
                                                    [href] => https://www.nowloan.co.uk/how-much-money-does-it-take-to-make-a-website/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => nowloan.co.uk
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Business
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/business/?gmbsrc=us-en-et-gs-z-gmb-l-z-h~my%7Credirect%7Cu&ppsrc=GMBLR&utm_campaign=us-en-et-gs-z-gmb-l-z-h~my%7Credirect%7Cu&utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=et
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [5] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Places
                                                    [href] => https://developers.google.com/places/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [6] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Serpstat
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                                                    [hrefDomain] => serpstat.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [7] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => SEMRush
                                                    [href] => https://www.semrush.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => semrush.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [8] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Keywords Everywhere
                                                    [href] => https://keywordseverywhere.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => keywordseverywhere.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [9] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => reliable email service,
                                                    [href] => https://sendpulse.com/features/email
                                                    [hrefDomain] => sendpulse.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [10] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Yellow pages
                                                    [href] => https://www.yell.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => yell.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [11] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google’s paid advertising program
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                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [12] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [text] => BPMA
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                                            [13] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [text] => custom air fresheners
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                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [14] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => promotional product
                                                    [href] => https://www.printkick.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => printkick.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
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                                            [15] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [href] => https://www.youtube.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => youtube.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [16] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Chamber of Commerce
                                                    [href] => https://www.britishchambers.org.uk/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => britishchambers.org.uk
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [17] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => CustomInk
                                                    [href] => https://www.customink.com/ink/custom-products
                                                    [hrefDomain] => customink.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [18] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [href] => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wikipedia.org
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [19] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => guest posting provider
                                                    [href] => https://outreach.solutions/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => outreach.solutions
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [20] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Spotify
                                                    [href] => https://www.spotify.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => spotify.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [21] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Trustpilot
                                                    [href] => https://www.trustpilot.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => trustpilot.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [22] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Yelp
                                                    [href] => https://yelp.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => yelp.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [23] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Google Alerts
                                                    [href] => https://www.google.com/alerts
                                                    [hrefDomain] => google.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [24] => stdClass Object
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                                            [25] => stdClass Object
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                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

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                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

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                                                (
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                                                    [hrefDomain] => youtube.com
                                                    [rel] => external noopener nofollow
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                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [toc] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Learn the different ways you can promote your business including newspapers, awards, social networking and your website. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 1. Create a brand & logo. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 2. Create a website. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 3. Get some business stationary. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 4. Engage with Google. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 5. Optimise! Search engine optimisation. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 6. Check your online NAPs. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 7. Go Mobile and create an app. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 8. Socialise!
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 9. Start building your email list from day one. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 10. Get yourself a trusted email marketing platform. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 11. Add calls to action in your emails. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 12. Ask for reviews. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [13] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 13. Set up a blog. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [14] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 14. Business directories. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [15] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 15. Advertising. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [16] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 16. Google AdWords. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [17] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 17. Learn to repurpose content. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [18] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 18. Take steps to boost conversions. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [19] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 19. Distribute promotional merchandise. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [20] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 20. Outdoor promotion. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [21] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 21. Use vehicle branding. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [22] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 22. Don’t ignore the power of videos. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [23] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 23. Use affiliates to promote your products. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [24] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 24. Join associations and attend meetings of professional groups. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [25] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 25. Partner up. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [26] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 26. Offer a free consultation. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [27] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 27. Word of mouth. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [28] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 28. Teach classes in your community. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [29] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 29. Donate a prize to a local fundraiser. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [30] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 30. Offer to speak at a local event or meeting. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [31] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 31. List your business on online marketplaces. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [32] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 32. Hold a competition. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [33] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 33. Corporate social responsibility. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [34] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 34. Host events in your community. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [35] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 35. Wear and use your products in public. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [36] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 36. Get talking. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [37] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 37. Get in touch with your local newspaper. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [38] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 38. Enter as many business awards as you can. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [39] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 39. Get on the phone. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [40] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 40. Comment on related blogs. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [41] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 41. Start guest posting. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [42] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 42. Exhibit at trade shows. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [43] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 43. Go on air. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [44] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 44. Facebook ads. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [45] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 45. Leverage the following of relevant Instagrammers. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [46] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 46. Build credibility on Trustpilot and Yelp. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [47] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 47. Set up Google Alerts. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [48] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 48. Create a customer loyalty scheme. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [49] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 49. Offer discounts. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [50] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 50. Improve your customer service. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [51] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 51. Open house. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [52] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 52. Renew Interest. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [53] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 53. Pinterest. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [54] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 54. Sponsor an event or sports team. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [55] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 55. Host a webinar. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [56] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 56. Run a social media competition. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [57] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 57. Add a visual aspect to your content. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [58] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 58. Start a podcast. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [59] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 59. Hire a marketing consultant. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [60] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 60. Last but not least – don’t spam!
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [61] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Case study of business promotion. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Related topics. 
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Related Posts. 
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                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
6 SEO mistakes to avoid in your first year of business
. 
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                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [name] => 
Link Building: Definition and importance
. 
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                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
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                                                            [name] => 
Five marketing hacks for B2B SaaS startups
. 
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                                                            [name] => About. 
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                                                            [name] => Topics. 
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                            [body] => Top 60 ways to promote your business Learn the different ways you can promote your business including newspapers, awards, social networking and your website. Editorial team | October 8, 2013 Finding a product or service to sell is only half the story. Now you have to get out there and tell people about it. In the days before the internet and social media, promoting your business meant spending a fortune on advertising or PR services, a high cost for a small business trying to get off the ground. Not anymore. Thanks to new technology, there are now lots of ways that a small fledgling business can get word of their products or services out to prospective customers – many of them free. There is a variety of online and offline mechanisms to market your business, such as social networking, advertisements, word of mouth and outdoor advertising, some pricier than others. Here are 60 ways you can promote whatever business, product or service you have, whether it’s offline or online. 1. Create a brand & logo. Don’t be fooled by how simplistic this first tip may seem. Widespread brand recognition is your ultimate goal, and your business needs to inspire credibility and persuade others to spread the word about your work. You need to create a brand you can build on from the start. Start by taking inventory of your business’ unique value proposition, its personality, and the values that define it. Then you can start to think about your visual brand. Hiring a design firm may be costly, but there are popular crowdsourced design services on the web, such as crowdspring, that provide a selection of custom logo designs for your brand, and at an affordable price. You can even create a logo using an online logo maker if you’re on a very tight budget. Your visual brand may evolve with your business, but you need to start with something on which you can build your business’ reputation. 2. Create a website. Setting up a website is relatively easy. Making sure it’s attractive, functional, accessible, and mobile-friendly can make your business look professional. There are many affordable website services you can use to get your business online fast and with little cost. These services offer ready-made website templates with lead-generation features, free logos and other features. Or, if you’d prefer to have more control over your site, you can always use WordPress, the world’s most popular (and entirely free) content management system. Thanks to the vast selection of available WordPress themes for professional business websites, anyone can easily set up a fully functional and expertly designed site. The overall cost of a site can vary from the type of design and function. Additionally, before marketing your website through any online channels, make sure your metadata is accurate and follows Google Webmaster guidelines. Remember, too, to put everything on your website. If you book a stand at a trade fair, for example, get your team to wear t-shirts with your logo, phone number and website details on the back. You could even paint your car with your company logo and include your brand’s contact details. 3. Get some business stationary. You’ve got your brand, you’ve got your logo – now to get it out there. You want to create the strongest association possible between your logo and branding and your actual business, this is where business stationary comes into play. Print business cards, order letterheads and envelopes – you can even get a franking machine to print your company brand onto all outgoing post. Make sure you’ve got your website listed on your business card, at the bottom of emails, printed onto all physical advertising copy leaving your office. The best way to get the word out, is to establish mental imagery with your company. 4. Engage with Google. Google has some smart tools to help promote your business. You can create an account on Google Business and Google Places. More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding your website and company information to Google’s business directory can be helpful. Most importantly, it’s free and straightforward, so there’s no reason not to. You can also manage your listing information, including business description, product or service details, pictures, videos and offers. Being listed in local directories can also increase the number of trusted inbound links to your website. 5. Optimise! Search engine optimisation. Your website will be of little use if nobody can find it on their search engine. To generate the most online traffic, and therefore customers, you need to rank highly on Google. Because really, does anyone click to the second page of results? To rank, you will need to work on your SEO techniques regularly, monitoring your statistics closely and refining your features accordingly. One of the first things to do is carry out keyword research on sites like Serpstat, SEMRush or Keywords Everywhere. What phrases are your customers searching? What questions do they have? Do your best to answer all their queries, in one place. But be wary of keyword stuffing: Google can spot this a mile off and may penalise you for it in the rankings. You will also need to update your site frequently with keyword-rich content and work on building quality backlinks to your site. Make use of internal links too: spread credibility from high-ranking sites to your own by creating natural links between pages. 6. Check your online NAPs. In SEO, NAP stands for name, address and phone number. It’s a crucial factor in ranking well in organic search results. Google takes your contact details into account when determining what results to show for geo-targeted searches. If you’ve listed your company on Google My Business, make sure your details are correct first and foremost, and make sure they line up with all your other listings on the web. 7. Go Mobile and create an app. An effective online promotion involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. Firms with a mobile app are ahead of the game when it comes to next-level marketing. That’s just to say that mobile apps increase the visibility of your business to customers at all times, improve customer engagement, and turn them into loyal lovers of your product or service! 8. Socialise! When setting up your business profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure to include a good description, relevant keywords and a link to your website. Join groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the discussions. Be careful not to spam them with constant promos for what you sell, or you’ll damage your reputation. On Facebook, you can create a page for your business, on which you can post information, offers, photos and details of forthcoming events. You can use Twitter to build up a following amongst potential and existing customers – the secret is to initiate conversations with potential consumers rather than pushing how fantastic your product is. Linkedin is an online address book which you can use to connect to professionals in your industry. The best way to get your business noticed, however, is to create a dedicated YouTube Channel just for your company – effectively free marketing which you can use to reach thousands of potential customers. 9. Start building your email list from day one. Many small businesses aren’t aware of the benefits of email marketing and fail to leverage their website or blog to grow their mailing list. Having a simple email signup form on your website can yield great results and should be done from the very beginning. Email signup is also a quick way to learn more about your customers – when they enter their contact details, consider including an optional box asking them how they got to your site, or why they’re here. This will double as active market research. 10. Get yourself a trusted email marketing platform. Once you’ve got your own email list of leads, go ahead and start sending those enticing emails that will draw customers to your landing page. The best way to do that is to get yourself a reliable email service, along with other access to communication channels like Web Push or SMS to promote your business. 11. Add calls to action in your emails. We are inundated with emails every single day. At work, at home, on the move. How is yours going to stand out from the hundreds of others crowding your customers’ inboxes? Ultimately, what you want is a click – you want your customers to read your email, and visit your site. There’s no better way to achieve this than with a big, bright call to action button. Ask a question, spike your reader’s interest or give them an offer, with a blindingly obvious button they can hit to follow this interest. 12. Ask for reviews. Most local and national sites and directories allow customer reviews. Encourage your customers to write reviews about your products or services. Whether good or bad, reviews make your business more credible to future customers and can be lessons learned for you. You can ask for reviews on the website by leaving a comment section, include a review link in your email marketing or even add a Pop-Up on your website to encourage people to leave feedback. Be sure to record customer feedback somewhere prominent on your site, so that others can find and read the results. 13. Set up a blog. Setting up a blog costs next to nothing. So long as it’s easily maintained, a blog is an excellent way to engage with your customers (both existing and prospective), provide them with updates, and publish content that is useful for your search engine presence. Interviewing other experts in your field is a fantastic way to network, and can help you build credibility among your audience. Create useful content that your readers will want to share. If you need free editorial images for your blog, check out our post on free stock photos. 14. Business directories. You can get free advertisement on various directories, so take advantage of this offline marketing method. Yellow pages directories are updated and distributed to millions of households every year. They also have online equivalents and offer small businesses discounts for buying advertising in both formats. There are also plenty of free and paid-for local directories. 15. Advertising. Maximise your brand awareness by sending out press releases, advertising in local or national newspapers, magazines and radio stations. If you’re just starting out, your local newspaper may have a section in the paper just for that. Also, try printing out the URL of your website on your business cards or letterhead, as a well-known URL can play a significant role in business advertisement. High-quality ads can be costly, but they’re an expense that’s likely to have a lucrative payback. The single best way to increase your revenue is to increase your client base, which, quite simply, means reaching more people. That leads us on to Google ads. 16. Google AdWords. Google’s paid advertising program is a very effective way to get your website listed on search engines for your desired search terms. It can be a game-changer, particularly in the short-term while you work on improving your organic rank in the free listings. Due to increasing competition, the cost per click can be high, but you can set a maximum monthly budget to keep your costs under control. You can also try free advertising vouchers and get some advertising for your business for free. 17. Learn to repurpose content. Disseminating your marketing or blog content to promote your business is extremely important, but creating content takes a lot of time and effort. SEO teaches us that quality content is vital, but how do you create killer content again and again? This is where repurposing becomes useful. When you repurpose content, you use existing information and repackage it in a different format, to distribute through new channels and increase your marketing reach. For example, you can convert a blog post into a podcast, or an article into a video. Squeeze every drop of value out of your best content by reusing the material in ingenious ways. 18. Take steps to boost conversions. Your website may get a lot of traffic, but if you fail to convert visitors into leads, this traffic is of little use. An easy way to convert website visitors into leads would be to use a call-to-action on your website, and in all your marketing material. Make sure call-to-actions appear prominently throughout your site, and make sure they appeal directly to your target market. Want to get the best car insurance deals sent straight to your inbox? Do you want to be the first to get your hands on my new book? Include relevant questions that grab your readers’ attention, with a call-to-action such as: enter your email address below for the latest offers! 19. Distribute promotional merchandise. Taking your business promotion offline can also reap sizeable rewards. Research from the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) has shown that over 79% of survey respondents feel appreciated when they receive a promotional gift (such as custom air fresheners, luxury pens or novelty mugs). How useful a promotional product is, is one of the most significant factors that customers consider when deciding whether or not to keep a product, so be sure to do some research on the best, most useable items for your brand and target audience. Keep in mind that single-use plastics and other throwaway items harm the environment and are likely to upset eco-conscious customers. On the contrary, things like travel mugs or reusable bags can be great options. These items are highly useful and often used, which will maximise your brand awareness. 20. Outdoor promotion. Outdoor advertising, like a billboard ad, is considered expensive for small businesses. But, hiring one out in a strategic location – e.g. in close proximity to your firm – can cost about the same as an advert in a newspaper, will last far longer and be seen by your potential customers. 21. Use vehicle branding. Using your own vehicle as advertising space is also a smart, cost-effective idea for creating local or regional brand awareness. If you run a business which involves a lot of driving, capitalise on this by using your drive-time as a marketing tool. If you’ve got a fleet of vehicles, you can order car magnets and stick them on to all your company-owned vans. Anywhere your vehicles go, people will see your branding, which is great for boosting name-recognition in your area. 22. Don’t ignore the power of videos. Videos are very popular with today’s consumers and offer an excellent way to market your business. Displaying videos showing your product, or publishing instructional videos is a very effective way to increase your customer base. There are many ways a small business can use videos as part of their marketing strategy. Being active on YouTube is one of them: YouTube is the most widely used video platform on the web. Building a YouTube presence is fantastic exposure for your business. A popular channel can attract enormous passive footfall and ultimately attract new customers. Commenting on videos relevant to your niche is another way to engage with users and increase your brand visibility. 23. Use affiliates to promote your products. Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to maximise brand awareness. It involves enlisting other people with wide-reaching platforms and capitalising on their following to increase your company’s exposure. In return for endorsing your product, the affiliate marketer will get a commission on all sales generated through their link. The most valuable affiliate marketers are undoubtedly social media influencers. The term ‘influencer’ is crucial here: not only will their endorsement reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers, but if followers think their favourite Instagram personality is using your product, they’re more than likely to follow suit. Items of clothing, for example, have been known to sell out in minutes when a famous Instagram influencer tags their outfit. To capitalise on this method, be sure to use social media marketers within your niche. Fitness influencers are inundated daily with affiliate marketing opportunities from health and fitness brands, as their target audiences match almost exactly. If you don’t have the time to seek out relevant affiliate marketers, there are many affiliate channels you can use, which have tens of thousands of affiliates actively seeking products to promote. 24. Join associations and attend meetings of professional groups. Groups such as your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations represent powerful networking opportunities for your company. Meet-ups of local businesses and entrepreneurs have become common in most cities. Attend as many as you can, and try and forge relationships with companies or individuals in your industry. Have business cards at the ready, and don’t forget to listen to the people you speak to. Ask them what they do and take in an interest in what they have to say. They’ll be flattered by your attention, and better remember you because of it. Even better is to follow up these connections when you get home – connect on LinkedIn, or send them an email to cement your links. 25. Partner up. Network with other small businesses who are doing similar work to you and collaborate with them to offer a special deal to local customers. The aim is for both companies to profit by coming up with an offer that benefits the customer base of both companies. A dual offer should encourage customers to take up both services, so make sure that your companies offer products that complement each other. Pairing up creates not only a doubly attractive offer for a client, but also halves your marketing costs. By working together, you can save money on promotional costs and get valuable referrals. 26. Offer a free consultation. Offering a no-obligation consultation gives you the opportunity to turn prospective clients into customers. Find people you think could use your services and offer them a free visit or meeting. This allows you to provide practical solutions to the client and demonstrate the value you can bring them. It’s also a fantastic way to explain what your business offers and how it can help them personally, which will ultimately encourage them to try out your services. 27. Word of mouth. 92% of people trust the recommendation of friends and family, which can work to your advantage, particularly in a local community-based setting. Getting your first few customers is the hardest work you’ll have to do. When you’re working with your first customers, don’t forget that you’re already indirectly marketing to their circles of friends and family. Go the extra mile for your customers, and they’re more likely to tell other people about your service. Make it easy for them to recommend you through referral and rewards schemes. 28. Teach classes in your community. If your business area lends itself to specialist knowledge, offer to teach some free classes at local venues. You’ll attract like-minded individuals, which could mean prospective clients or useful industry connections. Either way, it will increase your brand awareness as well as reputation, particularly if the classes are free of charge and offer a benefit to the community in some way. Alternatively, sign up to be a teacher for Community Education classes through a local college. Make sure that all your attendees have your company details, and encourage them to get in touch and engage with your business on social media. 29. Donate a prize to a local fundraiser. If you make or sell hard goods, try donating some of your products to be a prize at a local fundraiser. If you offer services, donate a gift certificate instead. Not only will you be helping local causes, but you’ll be increasing your brand exposure in the local community. The better the prize, the more people will talk about it, and the more money the charity will make, too. 30. Offer to speak at a local event or meeting. This is much like the idea of teaching classes in your community but requires much less time and commitment. A talk can be an hour or less and is an opportunity to gather prospective customers together, which gives you a valuable marketing opportunity. Not only does a talk showcase your knowledge and skills, but it can also be an invaluable place to network with people that may not generally attend actual ‘networking events’. Talks relevant to your industry will attract meaningful connections, which is essential for expanding your business network. Try to include a mixer at the end of such events, to give you a chance to build a rapport with prospective customers and links. 31. List your business on online marketplaces. Many online marketplaces connect buyers and sellers. Listing your business on these platforms is a great way to improve the visibility of your brand and promote your services. Established platforms attract high traffic volume, which can lead to a dramatic spike in sales without any active effort on your part. Selling on reputable sites also boosts your credibility, another valuable currency in the marketing world. 32. Hold a competition. We’ve already talked about donating a prize for a local competition or fundraiser. But why not host your own? Use your social media channels to promote an exciting competition. Encourage your followers to share it with their friends by tagging people they know for extra entries, to increase your following. Giveaways, freebies, prize draws or sweepstakes will generate a buzz around your business. The bigger the buzz, the better the exposure – focus on getting your giveaway as viral as possible for maximum impact. Make sure the freebie is relevant to the products you sell or your business services in some way. Check out websites such as CustomInk to find customisable products that link well with your business. Choose products that’ll grab the attention of your target market, and that they’re likely to use regularly. 33. Corporate social responsibility. Make sure your business has a corporate social responsibility strategy integrated into your business model. Such a strategy involves integrating social or environmental concerns into your business operations, to hold the business accountable to its impact on society, and to build an invested engagement with your employees. CSR endeavours are valuable for the company as well as the community. They’re important for building positive relationships with employees and connecting the business with the public. Publicise your activities internally as well as externally to all stakeholders, and encourage them to join you in your efforts. 34. Host events in your community. Community events are a great way to build a rapport with the public. Some businesses have collaborated to host scavenger hunts in their local towns. Participants pick up a map from the starting point, which could be your company’s office or your shop storefront, before following a set route around other participating businesses. On the way, they’re on the lookout for items to collect or spot, with a prize incentive. Not only does the publicity around a scavenger hunt create brand awareness, but the design of the event means all participants will have to pass by your shop or premises, making sure they know where you are. Events like these aim to show people what’s available locally. Be sure to give the most enthusiastic participants the chance to win prizes. 35. Wear and use your products in public. If you ever bump into Graham Milton at a party, there’s a high chance that he will be wearing a tuxedo shirt with an extravagant design on the back. That’s because his business, Fluxedo Shirts, sells exactly that. Milton seizes every opportunity to show off his shirts, wearing them to all kinds of places such as Notting Hill Carnival and music festivals, where his formal attire makes him stand out from the crowd. Whenever he goes, he gets a lot of questions about his clothes and where to buy them. This publicity is efficient marketing. Don your products every opportunity you get, to squeeze in marketing wherever you can! 36. Get talking. Every kind of occasion, whether planned or unexpected, presents an opportunity for an entrepreneur to promote their venture. Always carry a business card or samples of your products. Ali Wallace, who started up the recruitment agency DNA, has found several new clients by merely getting chatting to his fellow travellers on the commuter train from his home in North Hertfordshire to London. Even if a business opportunity doesn’t immediately present itself, it is worth staying in touch with people you meet by sending them an email after an event or introducing them to other useful contacts to keep the connection alive.  That way, they are more likely to remember you when something comes along that’s helpful for your business. 37. Get in touch with your local newspaper. Contact your local newsagents, papers and magazines. See if they want to do a feature on your business. Not only is coverage like this free, but it will also give your company and product far greater credibility than a paid-for advert could ever achieve. The smaller the paper, the more likely you’ll feature. Start with local publications and work your way up once you’ve had some successful feature pieces. 38. Enter as many business awards as you can. There seems to be a new ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ competition popping up every week – someone has got to win, and if you are creating something unique, there’s no reason why it can’t be you! If you win – or are even shortlisted – you’ll get lots of press coverage and recognition, which is a truly fabulous way of promoting your business. 39. Get on the phone. Put together a call list of useful contacts and prospective clients and reach out. Cold-calling has a bad rep, but can be a brilliant tactic for introducing yourself to potential clients and arousing interest in your brand. Try and find the contact for the person who’s going to be best able to help you, or who’s in a position to make a decision about working with you, to cut out waiting time needed for the message to filter up internally. Your best bets will be the head of marketing or, if you can, the director themselves. Briefly describe your business model and what you can offer them. Ask to book in a meeting or appointment to discuss how you can solve an issue for them or help them meet their needs. Depending on the service you offer, an informal chat, such as going for a coffee, might work better. 40. Comment on related blogs. Capitalise on the readers of blogs related to your business by engaging on these sites. Find blogs in your niche, and comment on posts, including your URL if you can. Not only will this build links within the community you’re targeting, it also serves an SEO purpose. If the website is reputable, Google will pick up the link between the blog and your site and index your content higher in the rankings by association. Aside from SEO, valuable comments will provoke interest and get engagement from the public. Anyone who interacts with you, or even anyone who sees your comment, is a potential customer. Building friendly relationships with competitors and other bloggers also opens the door for future collaborations. 41. Start guest posting. Maximise your exposure by taking advantage of other people’s followers and readership. Guest posting is where you produce content such as a post or article as a guest on somebody else’s site. They’ll publish it to their audience, which gives your brand authority and credibility among a new group of people. Now, If you are looking for a guest posting provider, you can contact Outreach Solutions. This is also an effective way to procure backlinks to your website from popular sites with impressive domain authority. This will spread valuable link authority back to your own site, which is a vital part of SEO. Writing an article closely linked to your business – or better, one that actively promotes your product – is also free marketing. You can even offer to reciprocate with similar brands by offering them a guest spot on your own site. 42. Exhibit at trade shows. Attending networking events is one thing, but exhibiting at trade shows has even greater value. Not only can you make valuable connections with key players in your field, but you can also target prospective customers. Trade shows are usually industry specific, which means you’re instantly exposed to masses of buyers looking for products like yours. The only downside is that a spot at a popular trade show can be expensive. Do your research first, to figure out how much you’re likely to profit from each one. 43. Go on air. Local TV stations are always looking for new guests and local features. Talk shows, too, are on a constant look-out for innovative content and interesting people to interview. You’ve got nothing to lose – contact as many talk shows and news stations as you can and offer to appear. Include a brief profile about who you are, what your business does and why you’re unique or interesting. The podcast market has also exploded in recent years. There are now thousands of podcasts freely available to huge audiences. Find some popular podcasts in your niche and write to them, offering to share your expertise or carry out an interview. If you can, find podcasts published on the larger platforms such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify, which have greater authority and more download traffic. 44. Facebook ads. One form of advertising that deserves a special mention is Facebook ads. Facebook holds a lot of data on its users, which means they can perfectly target specific demographics of people who might need your products. To get the most out of Facebook ads, you need to know your customer well, so you can tell Facebook who they should target. You can use metrics like age, marital status, geographic location and hobbies to whittle down your target market. Using these metrics, you can implement strategic landing pages, where you can encourage visitors to enter their data, creating valuable business leads. Facebook ads can be costly but have the advantage of reaching the public on a colossal scale. Experiment with your Facebook ads and see which copy and landing pages generate the most leads. 45. Leverage the following of relevant Instagrammers. We’ve already talked about the power of Instagram Influencers as a marketing tool, under affiliate marketing. But you don’t need to pay these Instagrammers to capitalise on their following. If there are big Instagram Influencers in the same niche as your business, they’re unlikely to reject a free product. Send them a freebie they want and there’s a good chance that, if they like the gift, they’ll mention it on their page – even just a simple tag to your Instagram account or a mention of your brand can amplify your outreach on a huge scale. If the Influencer wants it, there’s no doubt this will influence their followers to check you out, too. The same goes here for YouTube stars. If a YouTube sensation likes your product and uses it in their videos, this is huge exposure for you. Find the biggest social media personalities within your niche market and shower them with gifts! 46. Build credibility on Trustpilot and Yelp. According to Trustpilot, over 93% of customers read reviews before they buy from an unfamiliar company. Sites like Trustpilot and Yelp collate reviews from consumers on thousands of specific products, websites and brands. Having a credible profile on these review websites can go a long way in establishing credibility, authority and trust in your brand. Trustpilot offers a free tool called Benchmark, which allows you to see how you’re performing on their site. It uses the data entered on the website to give you an overview of your company’s performance. This information is vital to improving your brand’s reputation – the key is to listen to your customers. With this in mind, the best way to establish a good relationship with your customers is to invite, promote and act on their feedback. Ask for reviews and display them prominently on your site. Consumers like to feel that their voices are heard, and listening to your target audience is vital for retaining existing customers, as well as attracting new ones. 47. Set up Google Alerts. In the same vein, you need to be aware of your public image. This includes how you’re seen by the public, and what people have to say about your products and services. Google Alerts send you the latest content relevant to whatever terms you enter. You can set up an alert for your brand name, your website domain or your company email address, and you can even create an alert for your competitors. You’ll receive a report anytime somebody publishes new content about your business, or other keywords you’ve set up. If somebody posts a bad review, you’ll be the first to know, which means you can respond quickly to mitigate the damage. Perhaps you can address the issue on your site or social media or contact the reviewer personally to see if you can change their mind. It’s also helpful to learn what good things people are saying about you. If a local media outlet publishes a glowing review of your product, you can share the content to boost your sales. 48. Create a customer loyalty scheme. Encourage committed consumers and keep happy customers coming back by introducing a loyalty scheme. You can do this via a points system, a loyalty card, or by sending perks to long-standing customers or frequent buyers. Perhaps you’ll give a discount out to customers on their birthday, or you’ll offer a free product with their tenth purchase. Any programme that encourages customers to increase how often they buy, or how much they buy, is a fantastic way to boost sales and grow a loyal customer base. 49. Offer discounts. This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook it. People love a good deal. Even the smallest of discounts can generate a huge increase in sales, if targeted in the right way. Too often, small businesses are scared of reducing their prices and suffering a loss in revenue, forgetting that the promotion will bring in new customers they wouldn’t otherwise have. If you’re worried about lowering your prices too much, a clever trick is to increase your base price, and then offer discounts on those. Your products are instantly more psychologically appealing if they’re reduced. If you’ve got an eCommerce store, use an active discount code. Send it out via email and post it on your social media pages to increase your online sales. 50. Improve your customer service. There’s nothing worse than poor customer service. Not only are you likely to lose individual customers, but word quickly spreads. A strong customer service strategy focuses on prevention. Implement a slick, professional customer service where it’s easy for customers to contact you when they’re unhappy. The quicker you can deal with a problem, the better. Customer satisfaction ultimately goes back to the product itself, so work on delivering the best product you can, under the best conditions. A fantastic product and a speedy delivery are unlikely to generate many complaints. Your customer service strategy should also focus on responding to negative reviews. Follow up with dissatisfied customers and offer to make amends. Perhaps you can offer them a free product or a discount on their next service. Sometimes just a sincere apology can be the difference between losing and retaining a customer. If you can make amends publicly, even better – this will boost your company’s reputation and encourage positive reviews on the web. 51. Open house. If you’ve recently rebranded or relocated, hosting an open house is an excellent way to generate local interest. You can provide drinks and snacks yourself or hire a catering company to host on a larger scale. Send out invites to your mailing list, put up adverts in local shops and post flyers round the local area. Offer a special promotion to everyone that shows up or advertise a demonstration or performance which will take place on the evening. Anything you can do to encourage attendance and create some hype around your event will boost the visibility of your brand. 52. Renew Interest. Don’t let former customers slip through the net. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder that you exist to prompt previous customers to make a new purchase. Introduce a system where you send emails to customers who haven’t engaged with you for a while. To take it one step further, include a special discount code in their letter or email. People love to feel special, and a personalised promotion is the perfect way to retain customers. 53. Pinterest. A lesser-used social media platform is Pinterest, but it can be an innovative way to market your products to a specific target audience. Image-centric platforms have high engagement levels, so if you can post attractive photos of your products, you’ll likely attract some attention. As marketing goes, it’s cheap, simple and often effective. 54. Sponsor an event or sports team. If you’re a local business, there’s no better way to promote your business than by giving back to your community. Sponsoring a local event or sports team is a great way to market your business in a way that positively impacts the community. Bigger companies can consider sponsoring a local sports team for a year, by providing funding for the club and paying for tournaments. You can negotiate the terms of the sponsorship: you might want the players to wear your branding on their kit, or you may want exclusive advertising rights at their tournaments. If you’ve got a smaller budget, consider sponsoring a one-off event, such as the town firework display. Your branding will go on all the tickets and advertisement for the event, which for popular events can mean big exposure. Sponsoring something in your local area is also a form of corporate social responsibility, which makes it a nice two-in-one. 55. Host a webinar. If your business centres around specialist knowledge, consider hosting an online webinar. Holding a seminar online has the added benefit of reaching potential customers and business connections all over the world, which can seriously expand your network. A really easy way to hold a webinar is by going live on Instagram or Facebook and taking questions from comments, private messages or the ‘Ask a question’ function on Instagram. Alternatively, you can invest in some webinar software to create a professional online seminar. If your webinar is particularly helpful or instructive, people are likely to spread the word. 56. Run a social media competition. One way to grow your social media following is by hosting a competition which encourages social media users to share your page. This can be as simple as offering giveaways to several people who comment on your posts and tag their friends. For a more wide-reaching campaign, consider using a photo competition. Ask your followers to take a photo of your product in a funny or interesting location, or upload a photo of themselves using your product. The crucial thing is to create a simple hashtag to go with your competition. Not only will this let you see all the entries, but it’ll allow your competition to reach all of your entrants’ followers, too. Your competition doesn’t need to be related to your product at all – you can ask for a funny photo, a photo that fits a particular caption, or something completely different and use your product as the prize, instead. Think of something catchy and innovative – something on-trend is more likely to snowball. Funny content has the best shot at going viral. 57. Add a visual aspect to your content. This is a super straightforward way to increase the power of your content. People get bored easily. The best way to keep people reading is to break up your text – keep your paragraphs short and snappy and keep your piece eye-catching. Make sure your website design and branding are sleek and appealing, but not so distracting that it detracts from the content. Within articles, include relevant pictures and photos that link to what you’re saying to keep your readers entertained. To promote your content, create an interesting, shocking or funny infographic. The key is to make sure it’s shareable: a jarring statistic or some fun information presented as catchy imagery is most likely to get shared amongst friends and family and on social media, which is great business promotion. 58. Start a podcast. Podcasts have soared in popularity in recent years. Whether you’re commuting, on a run, in the bath or even working, you can listen to a podcast. More and more people are using the medium not only for entertainment but to learn about topics they find interesting, or to get up to date on issues in their field. If you operate within a particular industry, consider starting a podcast. You can share expert knowledge and advice, provide an insight into your company, or interview key players in your field. If you can find a unique concept, you could reach hundreds of thousands of listeners, which is invaluable for marketing. You can upload your podcast for free onto sites like Buzzsprout and Podbean. 59. Hire a marketing consultant. Implementing an effective marketing strategy can be time-consuming but is one of the best investments you can make. It’s the single best way to increase your revenue and ultimately grow your business. You might consider outsourcing your marketing to a marketing consultant who can help you find the most effective combination of strategies for your venture. Not only can you save your own time, but outsourcing can be a cost-effective way to market, too. Marketing consultants have lots of contacts in the industry and can earn you massive savings on many marketing methods, which will quickly cover the expense of their employment. Look for someone with an impressive background in marketing who can offer you specialised skills and expertise. 60. Last but not least – don’t spam! We’re all fed up of content that’s irrelevant, or far worse – boring! The simple way to avoid frustrating your customers is to make sure you send emails that include an authentic announcement for a new product, new feature, new event or contest. The number of people unsubscribing from your email list will likely be far fewer if they have a genuine interest in what you have to say! Case study of business promotion. Kate Jenkins is such a Twitter enthusiast, that she’s almost grown her entire business, Gower Cottage Brownies, through Twitter alone. She started out in 2007 making chocolate brownies in the kitchen of her cottage in Llanmabog, in the Gower Peninsula in Wales, which she sold in the local village shop. People loved them, and when she started winning awards for her brownies, she spent £200 creating a basic website and began to sell them online, posting out her sweet treats via Royal Mail in boxes of 16. A year later, a friend suggested that Kate joined Twitter to promote her venture. Initially, she was hesitant. But she signed up anyway as @gowercottage and started running a competition each week to win a box of her brownies. The competition was never actually about brownies – it would always be something funny or silly, such as suggesting the best chat up line for Valentine’s Day, or imagining what song might be playing in the changing room at a rugby match. The brownies would go to people tweeting the funniest or most original answer. Her ‘Monday Mayhem’ competitions quickly built up a following, to the extent that Kate would often find herself trending on Twitter – meaning she was a hot topic. More than 75,000 tweets later, Kate has more than 5,000 followers, and the turnover of her business has risen to £120,000. She estimates that £40,000 of this sum has come entirely from her efforts on Twitter. Votes from her followers also helped her win The Observer Food Monthly award for Best Welsh online retailer two years in a row. Jenkins said, “it is not just that people are buying my brownies; they are also supporting me and doing PR for me because they are talking about my brownies. Twitter is my biggest word of mouth.” Related topics. Tags: B2B MarketingBillboard advertisingDirect marketingPromotionSEO Related Posts. Digital marketing 6 SEO mistakes to avoid in your first year of business . There are a number of SEO resources available around the internet and, as a new business owner, it may be ... Published by Editorial team 25th June 2021 Digital marketing Link Building: Definition and importance . Whether backlinks are a new concept for you or not, you may find something helpful from this short guide. The ... Published by Editorial team 30th March 2021 Marketing Five marketing hacks for B2B SaaS startups . Getting your marketing efforts off the ground can be a huge headache for entrepreneurs - where do you start? Digital ... Published by Richard Mabey 27th July 2021 About. Advertise with us Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us Topics. Finance Insurance Technology Marketing Human resources Legal eCommerce Leadership Procurement Luxury Start a business Advertise with us Contact us Cookie list Home Alpha Join the Entrepreneur Handbook community Notifications error Privacy & cookie policy Terms and conditions of use Thanks for subscribing! Copyright © 2013 - 2022 Entrepreneur Handbook Ltd. All rights reserved. Registered offices at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU, United Kingdom. Finance Insurance Technology Marketing Human resources Legal eCommerce Leadership Procurement Luxury Start a business Advertise with us Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us Copyright © 2013 - 2022 Entrepreneur Handbook Ltd. All rights reserved. Registered offices at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU, United Kingdom.
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                                    [5] => Marketing Industrial Products Online: A Non-Techie Guide
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                            [body] => 10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget When budgets are tight, online marketing might be the first expense you look to cut.Let me stop you right there.While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. The best way to market your business might be a lot more accessible than you think.But with so many digital tools available, how do you know where to start? Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $36 for every $1 spent.And email marketing is just the start! Here are the ten best ways to market your business on a shoestring budget.Table of Contents1. Craft an elevator pitch2. Leverage your community3. Collaborate4. Network5. Give a speech6. Create buzz7. Ask for referrals8. Build relationships9. Offer coupons10. Give it awayLooking for more ways to market your business?Ready to do more business with email marketing? Start your free 60-day trial today. Learn more about our 60-day free email marketing trial.1. Craft an elevator pitch. You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch.Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention.If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.2. Leverage your community. You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community?Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time.Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.3. Collaborate. Put together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote.You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.4. Network. I’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people.Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.5. Give a speech. A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups.Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.6. Create buzz. I started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology.Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.7. Ask for referrals. Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own.Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.8. Build relationships. It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing.Ask customers for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional — something your customers will look forward to receiving.9. Offer coupons. Coupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base.Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.10. Give it away. If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more.Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first.These ten inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.Looking for more ways to market your business?Check out The Download, Constant Contact’s complete guide on how to market your business in the digital age. We’ll show you practical, step by step small business marketing tips to help you build your brand, promote your business, and gain new customers.Not sure where to start with marketing? That’s why we created The Download.The Download is the ultimate practical, step-by-step guide to online marketing. In this free guide, we’ll show you how people find you online and how to set yourself up for success to meet your business or nonprofit goals.Get The Download: Making Sense of Online MarketingReady to do more business with email marketing? Start your free 60-day trial today. Learn more about our 60-day free email marketing trial. Susan Solovic. Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert -- An award-winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author, media personality, and attorney.Related Features. Related Features. Email Coupons. Promote your business and drive more sales with coupons – turn contacts into customers. Email Marketing. Create email marketing campaigns like a pro with our easy-to-use features. Social Media Marketing Tools. Get more from your social media and email marketing with these easy-to-use social sharing tools. Related Articles. Learn the Marketing Must-Haves with Our Free Online Marketing Guide. Whether you’re a small business owner, nonprofit professional, entrepreneur, creative, or side-hustler, you’ve likely already started Read More >> 10 Roofing Marketing Ideas That Are Must-Haves for 2022. Entrepreneurs in the home services industry are often so busy with managing day-to-day operations and coordinating with fellow contractors that Read More >> Marketing Industrial Products Online: A Non-Techie Guide. Manufacturing can be considered a niche industry with marketing practices that don’t always apply in other fields. Decision-makers in this Read More >>
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                            [body] => 8 Powerful Ways to Market Your Business on a Limited Budget When money is tight, think outside the box. By Chris W. Dunn December 13, 2016 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. According to HubSpot, the third top marketing challenge for companies is the lack of budgeting resources. Unless you are a startup with venture or angel capital, you probably have a limited marketing budget. Here some ways you can market your business on a limited budget. rwdkr | Getty Images 1. Go guerilla.Guerilla marketing looks to leverage creativity, imagination and originality in place of a big budget. Smart small businesses with a limited budget often use guerilla marketing to compete with huge companies. There is no shortage of creative guerilla marketing ideas. Here are just a few examples:If you have a brick and mortar location, pay someone to create eye-catching art with chalk.If you sell a product that can be used on the street, employ undercover agents to promote your product directly to potential customers. For example, Sony hired agents to ask strangers to take photos of them and then raved about their camera.Organize a flash mob to garner crowd attention and promote awareness of your brand.Related: How to Be Like Banksy and Reap Massive Exposure Through Guerilla Marketing2. Socialize on social media.According to the Pew Research Center Report of Social Media Usage: 2005-2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults use social media now. This is a near tenfold increase within the last decade.Popular social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Snapchat. Each of these social media platforms are unique in its own right and require unique ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to master those first.3. Create valuable content.Not only do potential customers love great content, but so does Google. There are many ways to share information -- blogging, creating videos, hosting podcasts, designing infographics or submitting articles to online authority sites. Not only do you gain authority as an expert, but you also get free traffic. You can also offer to be a guest blogger for another complementary website or be interviewed on a podcast.You don’t always have to produce the content yourself. You can hire freelance writers, graphic designers and personal assistants through websites like Upwork. If you run out of ideas, you can repurpose old content and give it a new spin.4. Contests and giveaways.Everyone loves free gifts! Give away desirable or fun items to gain goodwill, build brand awareness and connect with potential customers. They don’t need to be expensive. Things such as online ebooks, white papers and checklists don’t cost you anything but your time.You can also promote your products through Facebook groups where members agree to try your product for free or a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. Physical gifts with your advertising on it such as balloons, smartphone wipes, key chains, fridge magnets, pens and notepads are always popular too.You can also create a viral marketing effect by making your marketing interesting, attractive and fun. One of the craziest marketing efforts that went viral is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. People dared their friends and family to pour ice cold water on themselves within 24 hours. Those who failed to do so would then have to donate to the ALS charity.5. Piggyback your partners.When you are a small business with a limited marketing budget, it makes sense to partner with other complementary businesses. These can include manufacturers, suppliers and vendors. Not only do you both win when your businesses succeed, but there is added credibility when another business recommends you.Related: The Ultimate Networking Guide: 4 Ways to Expand Your NetworkAs an example, you can exchange customer lists and offer to pay the business a commission for every sale you make. Just make sure that you have requested permission from your customers to share their details!For direct mail marketing, offer to share postage costs and include your flyer with the other businesses’ mail. If the other business has a physical retail space, ask to put your business cards in their customer waiting area.You can also seek partners within your existing customer base. Create a referral rewards program where you reward your customers for referring business to you. Word of mouth is extremely effective when it comes to marketing.6. Leverage scalable advertising channels.Conventional advertising mediums such as TV, radio and newspaper ads can be extremely costly and hard to measure effectiveness, but online advertising can be cheaper and more targeted. Popular options are Google Pay Per Click ads and Facebook ads. Also, don’t forget to list your business in free online directories like Google Business for Google Maps and Yelp.You also can promote your latest products and services through these free or cost effective methods:A telephone message that plays your promotions while customers are on hold.Window decals advertising your latest offer if you have a retail shop.Car magnets and bumper stickers displaying your advertising while you drive around town.Advertising on email signatures or letterheads.Sending special holiday discounts, birthday coupons and surprise rewards to your mailing list.7. Milk the media.Getting your business featured by the media is free marketing. To capture the attention of the media, try these and invite the media to come and cover it.Create a publicity stunt. Think of some of the crazy ones that Richard Branson has pulled off including dressing as a female flight attendant onboard his airline.Do something for the community, and send out a press release prior to the event. For example, some innovative hair dressers have offered free haircuts to the homeless.Sponsor an event by donating your products or services as giveaways or prizes or host a contest.Nominate yourself for a business contest or award. If you win, even better!You can also seek opportunities to be interviewed for print, radio and TV. To look for opportunities to contribute your expertise, sign up to an email list like Help A Reporter Out.Related Book: Market Like You Mean It by Al Lautenslager8. Help yourself by helping others.All your marketing should be of some use to your audience. There are many ways that you can make your marketing efforts a welcome intrusion rather than an annoyance to your audience. Try these:Provide useful information. Information marketing has proven to be highly effective in increasing sales. By educating your audience on problems that they care about, you are also not only growing your customer base but also positioning yourself as the solution. To do this, host a Meetup group, an event, a class or even an online webinar. Offer to speak at events.Provide assistance. Answer questions posted on forums and websites like Quora and direct your audience to your website for more information. There are online directories that list a whole variety of forums such as Find A Forum.Net.Entertain your audience. Make them laugh or cry. Think of the funny and touching ads that you see and how quickly they are shared.Marketing your business on a limited budget is completely possible. You just need to get creative and think out of the box. Written By . Chris W. Dunn. Chris Dunn is an entrepreneur, digital currency trader and advocate, author, real estate developer and angel investor. He is the founder and CEO of Skill Incubator, which helps entrepreneurs and investors develop valuable skills. He is also the host of the Pathways To Wealth podcast. More About Marketing . Marketing Step 1 to Personal Brand Building is Not What You Think . Marina Byezhanova Jan 8, 2022 Marketing This Is How AI Content Marketing Will Shake Up 2022 . Thomas Helfrich Jan 7, 2022 News and Trends 3 Trends to Keep Customers Engaged in 2022 . Shama Hyder Jan 7, 2022 Read More Latest on United States . The Business Traveler's Journal 8 Natural Wellness Habits That Will Keep You Mentally Healthy and Happy . Sonia Singh Jan 8, 2022 Growth Strategies 5 Critical Reasons to Stop Procrastinating and Write Your Book Now . Stephanie Mojica Jan 8, 2022 Prepare to Succeed Every Entrepreneur Could Use a Spy Pen to Keep Track of Your Busy Life . Entrepreneur Store Jan 8, 2022 Read More Successfully copied link
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                            [title] => How To Promote Your Business: 20 Proven Strategies - BuildFire
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                            [serp_description] => 4. Set Up A Joint Venture. As I mentioned earlier, promoting your business is all about getting your offer in front of the right people. One of ...
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                                    [20] => Conclusion: How To Promote Your Business
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                                    [22] => 33 Creative Ways to Promote Your App for Free (App Marketing Strategy)
                                    [23] => The 5 Ways to Build a Mobile App
                                    [24] => What to Expect from a Mobile App Development Platform
                                    [25] => 8 Steps You Must Take Before Starting Mobile App Development
                                    [26] => How Much Does Mobile App Development Really Cost?
                                    [27] => 5 Hidden Costs of Software You Need to Anticipate AFTER You Launch
                                    [28] => The Definitive Guide to Mobile App Design
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                            [body] => How To Promote Your Business: 20 Proven Strategies Success in business breaks down into two simple things: Can you supply something that people want at a price they’re willing to pay? Can you get your offer in front of those people? Nine times out of ten, people start a business because they are capable, competent, or even brilliant at that first part. They know their industry and they are able to supply what people want. The second part is where things get tricky. How do you get your offer in front of the right people? Or in other words, how do you promote your business? Today, we’re going to be looking at # incredibly simple yet highly effective ways to promote your business. You can implement all of these quickly without needing special expertise or significant investment. If you’ve been looking for new ways to reach your target audience, you’re in the right place. 1. Insert Calls To Action In Your Team’s Email Signatures. The average office worker sends a receives 122 emails per day. For a business with ten staff, that adds up to around 600 outgoing emails per day. These emails are actually a tremendous promotion opportunity, but not using traditional email signatures. Nobody is going to take notice of your employees’ job titles or websites. Nobody cares about your favorite quote. What CAN get attention is a big obvious Call To Action button. Notice how well this CTA stands out and attracts attention. When you view email signatures as a marketing tool, they become dynamic ways of introducing your products or services to potential customers. For a single email, you can simply set something like this up via your email client, but if you are interested in rolling it out across your entire team (most beneficial), you’ll want to use an app like Sigstr, which will let you manage signatures and rollout campaigns across your entire team at once. The best way to take advantage of email CTAs is to offer some sort of lead magnet or freely available offer that will interest your target audience and push them forward in your funnel. 2. Set Up A Google My Business Account. Google is not only a search engine, but also a small business directory. Take advantage of these tools. Setting up a Google My Business Account provides three major benefits for companies who rely on local business: Your local business is listed on Google maps and search. It’s good for search engine optimization, so that your business gets found easier by the people who are looking for the services or products you provide. It’s good for when your customers start adding reviews of your business; these reviews help Google display your business in their “3-pack”, which gives you free advertising at no cost. Google My Business Reviews have earned these companies the top spots in Google search results. Your GMB listing is the baseline for all your online citations and listing, and it’s important that every listing matches your GMB listing, particularly when it comes to your three primary pieces of information, known as NAP (Name Address Phone Number). 3. Audit Your Online NAPs. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number, also often referred to as citations. Out of Moz’ top 6 “Foundational Ranking Factors”, (for search engine ranking), 3 are related to NAP quantity, quality, and consistency, and out of the top 13 “Competitive Difference Makers,” 6 are about NAP quantity, quality, and consistency. If you’ve listed your company on Google My Business, you need to make sure the details there are the same for all your online listings. Image Credit: Moz If any of the details elsewhere are not the same as it is listed in Google My Business, then you might not be “rewarded” by search engines and it could also damage your search ranking. A suggestion is to keep an Excel spreadsheet of all your listings, to make it easy to keep them consistent. Moz offers in-depth information about NAP audits and how to do them. 4. Set Up A Joint Venture. As I mentioned earlier, promoting your business is all about getting your offer in front of the right people. One of the easiest ways to do this is to find existing audiences filled with the “right” people and simply place your offer in front of them. In some instances, that can be done via advertising, but an even better option in the short term is to partner with non-competing businesses marketing to the same people as you are. Joint ventures are a brilliant way of getting more customers fast. Take Teachable, which was started in 2014 by Ankur Nagpal. He says that 6 months into starting the business, they had less than 20 active customers making money from courses. In 2015, they created a joint venture which gave them more customers fast. Nagpal lists a few examples of joint ventures they’ve since used in their marketing strategies, one of them being a simple affiliate partnership with marketer Melyssa Griffin. Teachable gave Melyssa a unique promotional tracking link plus 50% commission on every sale. Melyssa Griffin, affiliate marketer and joint venture partner with Teachable. Find out more about joint venture examples from the founder of Teachable, which now boasts a monthly growth rate of more than 20% in 2016, increasing its revenue tenfold in one year, with more than 1 million students. 5. Create An Email Marketing Strategy. Email marketing is the cornerstone of online marketing. From a technology standpoint, email has withstood the test of time as a communication channel. From a marketing standpoint, email converts at a higher rate than nearly any other channel. As recently as 2016, email marketing was the leading marketing expense among global business leaders. Email marketing allows you to nurture relationships with potential buyers over time. It allows to place visitors who aren’t ready to buy into a funnel that keeps them connected with your business instead of having them forget about you. To begin taking advantage of email marketing, you’ll need to create something valuable that can be given away for free in exchange for a visitor’s email address. Digital info products are often best for this purpose. Next, you’ll want to create a series of emails designed to introduce the new lead to your offer, establish your authority in the industry, and deliver educational value on related topics of interest. To learn more, check out these fantastic email marketing examples. 6. Offer a Free Or Discounted Product/Service. In a similar vein to the lead magnets we just talked about, offering something free or at a discount is a great way to draw in new customers. Depending on your business model, it can even be effective to take a loss on this in order to pull in market share. There are many iterations of this that can be used to drive leads, sales, referrals, etc. Ecommerce stores in particular have had amazing success with introductory discounts. Here’s an example from lingerie e-retailer Yandy.com: Other possibilities include free software apps or free trials. For example, BuildFire allows prospective customers to create an app for free, allowing them to experience the actual product before being required to pay anything. 7. Give A Presentation or Webinar. This strategy can be equally effective online and offline. By offering a webinar or workshop, you can attract your target audience and collect their contact information for future followup. First locate where your target audience hangs out, then set up meetings. For instance, AwaiOnline recommends “Lunch ‘n Learn” sessions of one hour. Organize lunch and do some advertising to the right people, and then teach them something in one hour, over lunch. Try hosting it at your local Chamber of Commerce or other business networking groups. Copywriter freelancer Steve Slaunwhite used online “Lunch ‘n Learn” sessions to promote his copywriting services to his target audience and said, “The Virtual Lunch ‘n Learns would get me in front of my target audience and position me as an expert at what I do. Of those who attended the teleconferences, some would decide to give my services a try. These were small numbers of prospects, but they were high quality. I got several leads and referrals and some very good clients by doing these sessions.” (Source) Mary-Ann Shearer, health guru, whose vegan restaurant is located in an area known for its affinity for meat, educates people by holding talks for groups at gyms, running clubs, churches, etc. When she does, she gets email addresses from people that are already “sold out” to her, because within minutes, she is able to prove herself as an authority on her subject. When her presentation is over, she has collected well qualified leads; people who are sure to start buying products from her online store. Mary-Ann Shearer conducting a group talk about natural health at a local gym. If you don’t want to go the offline route, you could instead host a webinar or podcast interview (I recommend using PodMatch.com to quickly get booked on podcasts), or do a joint venture with a partner who hosts a webinar, as a way to collect email addresses. Jeff Rose hosted a webinar on “How to Protect Your Investment Portfolio”. 8. Ask for Reviews. 54% of people visit a website after reading positive reviews about the business, and 84% trust reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. (Source) Reviews build trust and credibility for your business, and they carry a lot of weight. You can also use them on your website, specifically your home and about page. But that’s not the only thing reviews are good for. They also increase your search engine ranking, which results in increased website traffic. Why? Because search engines recognize the value of customer reviews. Bella Luna Toys, an ecommerce company, started using reviews on their website, and since doing so, their conversion rates shot up by 15%. They’ve also generated more than 4500 genuine customer reviews. (Source) Bella Luna Toys have increased conversions by 15% since incorporating reviews onto their website. To collect reviews, simply setup your Google My Business listing and other citations that take reviews, and then send the links to your customers with the request that they leave a review. Alternatively, you can use an app like Yotpo to collect written reviews or VocalReferances to collect video reviews as an automated part of your checkout system. 9. Comment on Blogs In Your Niche. Leaving a comment on other related blogs can help rank your content on search engines faster, because: Adding a link to your site from a comment on another site, gets Google and other search engines to pick it up, and if the website you’ve left a comment on, is reputable, search engines are likely to index your content with a higher ranking, because of your association to the website through the link left in your comment. If your comment adds value, it may get attention from a future customer who is so impressed by what you’ve written, that they click back to your website. Adding value-add comments on other blogs helps build relationships with bloggers and others in your niche, which may very well open doors to joint ventures. Example of comments that are well written and add value to anyone reading them. The image below is taken from a data analytics page and shows how backlinks from comments are counted, even if they are no-follow links. 10. Do “It” Better Than Your Competitors. Business are often started as an attempt to do something better than the existing marketplace. The same mentality is true for promotion. When it comes to any marketing channel, usually the top marketer or two in that channel will captivate 90% of the competition. Instead of being middle of the road on multiple channels, it’s best to identify a channel where you can “do it the best” and pursue that channel. For instance, an online academic book and technology business in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, wanted to increase their website visitors. A consultant was brought in who compiled a report showing what the worldwide benchmark company was doing, and these are some of the findings: The benchmark company had a whopping 7394962 Facebook likes, with a 100% response rate, while the other company had a mere 5839 Facebook likes, and a 0% response rate. In addition, the benchmark company had tons of content and their product descriptions were customized. When analyzing the online activities of a worldwide benchmark company, it was found that their differentiating factor was lots of value-add content. Next, they checked how their top local competitors were doing online, and found that if they were to implement a content strategy, they could whip all the others in their area. What they took home from the analysis: The need to start creating Facebook posts that would attract their target audience, and to start paying for Facebook ads to boost their Facebook page engagement rates. The necessity of responding quickly to social media messages from their customers. The need to start writing customized product descriptions. The importance of website content. 11. Write A Bunch Of Guest Posts. Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand online. Guest posting is where you can write an article for another website that they then publish and promote to their audience. While guest posting will rarely drive any significant amount of actual traffic, it can be very valuable for a number of reasons: Establish yourself and your brand as an authority in the space Get backlinks to your website from popular, high-ranking websites Get your brand directly in front of your target market Network with influencers in your niche (potential joint venture partners) Link to people who will then link to you in their own guest posts Silvio Porcellana is the CEO and founder of Mob.is.it. The company provides a tool which helps agencies and professionals build mobile websites and native apps. When he realized that the website needed more organic search traffic (visitors brought in from search engine results), they decided to implement a guest blogging campaign. Within 5 months, they published 44 guest posts on 41 different blogs. The result? The website’s search traffic increased by 20%. Here’s an illustration by Writers In Charge of why guest blogging is so effective: 12. Utilize Facebook Instant Articles. Facebook Instant Articles is a distribution platform where you can share content just like you would on your own website, or on Linkedin articles, but with interactive elements that enhance the mobile viewing experience. The content on Facebook Instant Articles is accessible to Facebook users on Android and iPhone devices. It’s especially valuable if you want to build value, credibility and brand awareness. The benefits of using this function is: Fast load time. Facebook reports that Instant Articles has 70% lower bounce rates and 30% higher share rates than most of the web articles accessed via mobile devices. You can make money right from the platform with your own display and media rich ads and you also have the ability to display Facebook Audience Network ads if you so choose. You have control over your own branding. The platform allows integration with other measurement tools like Google Analytics. Interaction for a better reader experience. You can add content that’s already been published on your website, and there’s a plugin to make it all easier if you’re on Wordpress. Gray Television integrated local news with Instant Articles and generated $250,000 in revenue from the Facebook Audience Network. Gray Television integrated Instant Articles with local news. 13. Use Visual Media To Build Your Social Media Presence. There are 2.3 billion active social media users. Whatever your target audience looks like, you can find them on social media, and visual content is one of the best ways to expand your social presence. Here’s a good place to start: Create visual content that is relevant to your niche Use high quality images or video Get your customers involved Tap into trending hashtags and current events In the beginning, before you have an audience of your own, it’s important to engage with people directly and tap into your target niche. One of the easiest ways to find these individuals is hashtags. These are images that were uploaded to Instagram, all hashtagged, “veganrecipes”: If you wanted to get in front of people in the vegan niche, finding out what people are talking about and favoriting around #veganrecipes would be a great place to start. For more insights into this strategy, read this case study about how Fusion Farm used hashtags to promote an event. 14. Create Content That Attracts Your Audience. Some of the tops blogs in the world make an average of $15,000 to $30,000 a day. People love consuming blog content online, and it’s highly unlikely your niche is exempt. In order to tap into that demand, you simply need to create content that attracts the same audience you wish to sell to. For example, Glen Allsop, founder of PluginID, was a complete newbie in his field when he first started blogging. Because of adding great content to his site, his subscription list grew to 26,000 subscribers, many of whom also became customers, helping his business take off. Glen Allsop’s internet marketing blogging content grew his subscriber list to 26,000 in a short timespan. And just like we are giving you ways to promote your business, you will also need ways to promote your blog content. 15. Promote Your Content. Promoting blog content is a great way to build authority in your niche will also directly promoting your business. In fact, it’s one of the few ways you can get away with shamelessly promoting yourself. You can share blog posts is a lot more locations than you can directly advertise a product or service. There are many, many ways to promote content, but here are some of the best ones I’ve tried: Send the content to your email subscribers Share it with your social followers Share it on Reddit and other community sites Use the best paid promotion channels you can find Answer questions on Quora Etc. There are many different ways to promote content, and to know what will work for your business, at the end of the day, you’ll just have to experiment. 16. Implement Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization, mostly known as SEO for short, is a way to optimize a website  for search engines and improve your search engine rankings. The goal is that when people search via Google for phrases that are relevant to your product, your website shows up as quickly as possible. Unlike most other promotion tactics, getting your site ranked for various keyphrases will result in increasing amounts of traffic over time, or at least for as long as people continue to use search engines. You get traffic month and month after month, and outside of the expense to rank the site and maintain your ranking, the traffic is free. By incorporating an SEO strategy, Candoni Wines experienced a 70% improvement in organic search traffic within 6 months. In addition, their site ranks for more than 1000 keywords, and as a byproduct, 20,026 Facebook page likes were added throughout the initial campaign. By implementing an SEO strategy, this website experienced a 70% improvement in their organic search traffic within 6 months. 17. Participate in Community Events. We live in a predominantly digital world, but promoting your business at physical events is still a great way to grow. As Digital Vidya discusses, both offline and online marketing are essential: “As the marketing maxim goes, consumers do not make purchase decisions based on a single ad or message alone. The marketing ‘rule of 7 ‘ states that consumers need to be exposed to a message seven times, on average, before purchase. Buyers gather bits of information from various channels and piece them together in making their decision. Data gathered, from multiple channels, through multiple stages of the buying process, are the building-blocks of sales. Integrated messages that build upon each other, make a compelling case for purchase. Consistency across channels, renders messages more impactful and increases the probability of conversion. As such, integration (of online and offline marketing) is not just about brand synergy – it is about improving ROI.” Going back to a graphic we looked at earlier, we can see that offline events still make up a sizable percentage of investment for most business decision makers. This chart shows that global business leaders are still investing in offline events in their marketing strategies. Participate in those community events where your target audience are. For example, if you are targeting a national audience of retailers, being at a big trade show (see the next point) makes sense. Or  to save costs, you could join another company in the same niche at the trade show. If you depend on local business, local events can be a great way to get new customers, or at least add new people to your email list. Another idea – if it’s relevant to your business – is to check online event sites for local events. You just need to figure out what events will be most beneficial to you according to your target audience and goals. 18. Exhibit at Trade Shows. A whopping 99% of marketers say they find unique value from trade shows that they don’t get from other marketing mediums, probably because trade shows pull together a mass group of buyers and sellers in particular industries, who can be considered “hot leads”: According to Exhibit Surveys, Inc.,67% of attendees represent a new prospect for exhibiting companies. According to CEIR, 81% of tradeshow attendees have buying authority, and 46% of them are in executive or higher management. Trade shows can be costly to set up, so how do you know if you should take the gamble? Colleen Francis, an influential sales person, recommends participation only if you can make 10x the revenue back within 6 months of the show vs. what it costs you to be there. Xeikon, a digital printing company, used a trade show as their one main marketing focus for the year, gearing up towards it and following up after it. They experienced these results: About 1,000 prospects were identified A 14% response rate from email marketing efforts 140 new, qualified leads 300% return on investment Find out more about using the sales funnel approach to managing tradeshows. 19. Join A Paid Membership In Your Niche. If you can find some sort of group that requires money to get in AND caters to your target audience, you’ve just struck marketing gold. Joining some sort of paid membership is a perfect, if perhaps a bit sneaky, way to get in front of your target audience. Paid memberships create an automatic level of trust. The monetary barrier ensures, at least theoretically, that everyone there is committed to being there and on the same page. It’s very easy to promote your products and services in a group you have paid to be in, provided you do so in a subtle way that seems helpful as opposed to spammy. Examples of this could be local business groups, mastermind groups, paid clubs, course communities, etc. 20. Pay For Advertising. Many of the methods provided in this article help to build a customer base over time, but one of the most effective ways to get quick and consistent exposure is to pay for advertising. Three of the current most popular advertising methods include: PPC ads Facebook ads Television ads In 2015, the Content Marketing Institute, conducted a survey of 3,714 worldwide marketers, and found that 76% of B2C marketers use paid advertising; 64% rated search engine ads as effective, and 59% reported that they found paid social ads to be effective: Paid advertising requires some expertise to get right and some experimentation to find the right channel. This is one of the more common promotion activities that business outsource to agencies. Conclusion: How To Promote Your Business. I hope this article has given you a better feel for how to promote your business. These relatively low investment methods will help you get the ball rolling. Ultimately, there is no single guaranteed winning strategy for promoting a business. It’s a lot of trial and error, and this list should get you started. More from the blog. Mobile App Marketing 33 Creative Ways to Promote Your App for Free (App Marketing Strategy). Mobile App Marketing The 5 Ways to Build a Mobile App. Mobile App Marketing What to Expect from a Mobile App Development Platform. Mobile App Development 8 Steps You Must Take Before Starting Mobile App Development. App Costs How Much Does Mobile App Development Really Cost? App Costs 5 Hidden Costs of Software You Need to Anticipate AFTER You Launch. Mobile App Design The Definitive Guide to Mobile App Design. Mobile App Marketing Mobile App Download and Usage Statistics (2021). Powerful app builder. iOS, Android & PWA. Unlimited customization.
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                                    [29] => 30. Make advocates out of your employees
                                    [30] => Kristen McCormick
                                    [31] => The [Hands-Down] 50 Best Marketing Tips & Tricks We Revealed This Year—in Every Category
                                    [32] => The 8 Biggest Marketing Fails of All Time (With Practical Takeaways)
                                    [33] => 9 Popular Email Marketing Strategies to Stop Doing ASAP (+13 to Do Instead)
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                                                            [name] => 6. Run Google Ads. 
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                                                            [name] => 7. Create listings on the major directories. 
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                                                            [name] => 11. Prioritize Facebook. 
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                                                            [name] => 12. Connect and contribute on LinkedIn. 
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                                                            [name] => 13. Upload videos to YouTube. 
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                                                            [name] => 14. Advertise on YouTube. 
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                                                            [name] => 15. Engage your audience on Instagram. 
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                                                            [name] => 17. Give Pinterest a shot. 
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                                                            [name] => 18. Try out TikTok. 
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                                                            [name] => 20. Try an influencer marketing collaboration. 
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                                                            [name] => 21. Invest in social media advertising. 
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                                                            [name] => 22. Strive to get local press. 
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                                                        )

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                                                            [name] => 23. Form partnerships. 
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                                                        )

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                                                            [name] => 24. Network network network. 
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                                                            [name] => 25. Attend, host, or sponsor local events. 
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                                                        )

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                                                            [name] => 27. Advertise locally and offline. 
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                                                            [name] => 28. Attend trade shows. 
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                                                        )

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                                                            [name] => 29. Run email marketing campaigns. 
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                                                            [name] => 30. Make advocates out of your employees. 
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                                                            [name] => Meet The Author
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                            [body] => The 30 Best Ways to Promote Your Business—With or Without Money Kristen McCormick Last Updated: December 3, 2021 | Marketing Ideas Home — Blog — The 30 Best Ways to Promote Your Business—With or Without Money In order to survive and grow, your business needs customers. In order to get customers, you need to promote your business. In the good old days, this was a matter of deciding between a flyer, a brochure, a postcard, or an ad in the local newspaper. But in today’s digital world, the possibilities are endless (read: overwhelming). Image source So if you are struggling to figure out the best ways to promote your business; or even just what your options are, you are (a) not alone and (b) in the right place. In this post, I’m going to cover the 30 most effective ways to promote your business, whether you have no budget, a limited budget, or some wiggle room. We’ll go over how to spread the word with respect to: Search engines (namely, Google Search and Maps). Social media channels (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest). Online directory listings (there’s more to them than you may think!) Your local community (events, sponsorships, and press). Promoting your business is a must if you want to stand apart from your competitors and out to your customers, so let’s get started with the most popular channel: Google. How to promote your business on Google. Using Google to promote your business is a no-brainer. Capturing more than 90% of the market share, it’s one of the best ways to get in front of consumers that are actively searching for solutions. Here are the best ways to use Google to get your name out there: 1. Create and verify your Google Business Profile. Your Google Business Profile (Google’s term for your Google listing) is what allows your business to show up in Google Maps results, the local section of Google Search results, and also—when someone types in your business name (ideas for creative business names here!) and location—the right-side Knowledge Panel in Search results. As Google gets better and better at catering its results to the searcher’s location, this free listing should be a top priority. The key to using your Business Profile to promote your business is to verify ownership of your listing through your free Google My Business account. Once you have ownership, you can optimize your listing to show up higher in search results and for more relevant searches. If you’re ranking on Google Maps or showing up in the Local Pack (as seen above) of regular results pages (this is very doable), your business is basically promoting itself 24/7. Even better, you can publish posts directly to your Google listing, putting attractive promotions in front of your audience at a time when they have high intent. For a deeper dive into this very free, very effective method of promoting your business, visit 13 Google My Business Optimizations for 2020. 2. Get a website. Every business needs a website, no matter how old-fashioned your business or clients may be. Your website is the go-to for current and prospective customers. Even if they find you on social media or Google, they will want to go to your website and, like your Google listing, it serves to promote your business around the clock. A good business website not only serves as a promotional tool in and of itself—it tells the story of your business and what you offer, provides contact information, and reflects your brand’s personality and distinguishing characteristics—but it is also essential for measuring and improving the success of your other promotional tactics. For example, when you run ads, you need landing pages, which live on your website. When you post helpful information on social media, it should link to its home on your website. With all of your marketing channels flowing into your website, you can use analytics to see which strategies are working best and get invaluable insights about your audience. Although there are completely free solutions to get a website in place for your business, almost inevitably you will need to move to some form of a paid website if you are serious about promoting your business. Having your own domain name, a professional look and feel, and the ability to scale and add features as needed are all essential for growth. 3. Implement search engine optimization. It’s one thing for you to promote your business; it’s another thing for Google to promote your business. SEO is a set of practices that align your business with Google’s ranking algorithm. But because this algorithm has evolved to use machine learning and user behavior to produce the most accurate and quality results for searchers, optimizing for search engines is really just optimizing for searchers—particularly those searching for what you have to offer. SEO isn’t just one tactic, but many tactics that collectively work together to improve your rank. Also, because Google has superb location-based results, you have just as much of a chance as big retailers to show up on the first page of Google— without spending a dime! (With the exception of the costs to get a website, of course). SEO tactics to promote your business include: Adding relevant (industry- and location-based) keywords to specific places on your website. Producing original, high-quality content regularly, with tagged images. Maintaining high page load speeds and security. For more SEO tips, check out this post on The Top 10 Google Ranking Factors of 2020 (+How to Optimize for Them). When your business is ranking high in results, Google is basically promoting your business for you—and not just to anyone, but to the people searching for what you have to offer. Doesn’t get much better than that. 4. Create a business blog. We just touched on this in the previous strategy, but content is such an important driver of SEO that it really deserves its own category as a promotional strategy. A blog is not LiveJournal for businesses. Sure, you can create some posts about milestones and events, but a lucrative business blog is one that produces educational content, in your brand voice, around questions and terms your ideal customers are searching in Google. An example of a targeted blog post from our friends at LOCALiQ These questions and terms are called keywords, and the more content you produce targeting these keywords, the more opportunities you create for your business to show up in search engine results pages. Great blog posts can be any of the following: How-tos and instructional posts Lists of strategies and resources (top 10, 5 best, 3 crucial, etc.) Q&A or interview writeup with an industry expert Thought leadership posts Example/template posts Guest posts Customer testimonials or case studies Seasonal posts (such as this one) For help finding keywords and creating SEO-friendly blog posts, check out these resources: WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool What is SEO Content? A Guide to Creating Content for SEO Blog SEO Tips for Non-SEOs 5. Share your content. A blog that shows your expertise, approachability, and genuine desire to help your audience is the perfect promotional tool for a business. So don’t just publish posts—promote them! On social media, via email newsletters, or even turn them into downloadable guides to help you collect leads. Better yet, if you produce content with shareability in mind, your blog posts will likely get noticed by other credible websites who will mention and link back to your site on their site or social media feeds—promoting your business for you. 6. Run Google Ads. While SEO will help you to get to the top of results pages, it is a long-term strategy that can take weeks, even months to start seeing results. For more immediate exposure, and if you have the budget, Google Ads is the way to go. Google Ads ads show up at the very top of search engine results pages, above organic and local listings. And of the search engines available, Google is by far the most popular not only because they control the largest share of search engine traffic, but also because of its high level of flexibility, ad building features, and detailed performance metrics. Though mastering Google Ads takes some time as well as plenty of trial and error, an optimized campaign is far worth the investment. Advertising on Google can be done through text ads on the Search Network or branded banner ads on the Display Network. You can check out our Google Ads crash course here. If you’re already advertising on Google, see how your campaigns are *really* performing with our Free Google Ads Performance Grader How to promote your business using online directories. Consumers routinely visit online directories to search for and vet businesses that fit their specific needs. These sites tend to be high-traffic, long-standing websites with high domain authority, so it’s not uncommon for your profile page or your business name to show up on the first page of Google through one of these domains. Online listings do not take long to create and can help enhance your online presence, promoting your business to nearby, high-intent customers. 7. Create listings on the major directories. Smaller directory sites pull data from larger ones, which means that by creating listings on the major sites, you’ll also likely begin showing up on smaller directories automatically. Below is a list of the major directories to start with. All of them are free, but often have paid options for advanced features. Google (see tactic #1) Yelp Facebook Applicable niche directories like TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc. Better Business Bureau Glassdoor Foursquare (Even though it’s dead as a social platform, its data is used by thousands of platforms.) Yellow/White Pages Bing For a deeper dive, check out this post on the Top 10 Free Local Listing Sites. 8. Optimize your listings. It’s one thing to create a listing, but it’s another to optimize it. By filling out every field in your profiles, adding photos, and collecting reviews, you can improve the appeal of your business and rank above competitors in searches. It’s also important to make sure your information in all of your listings is consistent with the information on your website. Inconsistencies can cause the Goog to raise an eyebrow about your trustworthiness. Finally, be sure to monitor your listing and fix any inaccuracies, which can happen when listings are auto-populated. For more ways to optimize your listings, use the same post I linked to above (but I’ll link it here just because). 9. Get online customer reviews. We just mentioned collecting reviews, but because reviews are so important for small and local businesses, they deserve their own section. Word of mouth is one of, perhaps the most, powerful way of promoting your business to the right people. Testimonials on your own website are great, but reviews on official platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp are even better. These websites can increase your exposure, and because they have measures in place to prevent fake or spam reviews, people trust the reviews here more than anywhere else. Plus, reviews are a major ranking factor for local search results. To get reviews, check out these posts: How to Ask for Reviews (with Examples) Get More Google Reviews with These 16 Tried and True Tactics 10. Monitor and respond to reviews. Many online directories allow anyone to add a listing, so even if you didn’t list your business, it may still be on there, collecting reviews. Be sure to claim your listings wherever possible, and monitor these sites frequently. This way you can respond to reviews—which is another great way to promote your business. Not only can you resolve (and even reverse) negative reviews, but the way you answer reviews (positive and negative) can reveal your brand’s values and give potential customers an idea of what it’s like to do business with you. How to promote your business on social media. Social media is another free way to get the word out about your small business. The most popular business accounts are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but make sure to consider using other sites that might be specific to your niche, such as Pinterest or Reddit. 11. Prioritize Facebook. Facebook is the largest social network online and it can be a great way to keep in touch with existing customers and to reach new customers. Promoting your business on Facebook can vary substantially depending upon your industry, but here are some basics: Create a Facebook business page with your contact information and a CTA. Use Facebook events to promote and maximize attendance to your events. Run Facebook live sessions, of tutorials or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. For more ways to promote your business using Facebook, take a look at our post 22 Facebook Marketing Tips for Small Businesses on a Budget. And don’t forget Facebook ads! Facebook advertising allows you to reach highly specific audiences, since you can target according to user profile information such as marital status, occupation, interests, and more. To get started with or even improve your Facebook advertising, check out our post on The 8 Best (and Free!) Facebook Ads Courses for Any Level. If you’re already advertising on Facebook, make sure you’re not wasting any spend with our Free Facebook Ads Performance Grader! 12. Connect and contribute on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become more than just a place to post your online resume; it’s also a place to join in on group discussions, connect with potential customers, form new partnerships, or just to do general online networking. Potential customers can check out you or your company before doing business with you to find out how many employees you have and to get more information on the background of the company personnel. You can also promote your business indirectly on LinkedIn by providing perspectives in group discussions and/or providing links to relevant content on your website. Just make sure you’re not always promoting your own content. 13. Upload videos to YouTube. Video marketing is a great way to promote your business, and YouTube lets you do it for free! Promoting your business via YouTube is an effective way to help potential customers or clients connect with your business. Putting together a quick overview video of your business and then uploading it to YouTube gives you a nice sales tool that you can post on the homepage of your website or circulate in emails to prospective clients. You can also post educational videos, tutorials, or how-tos in your YouTube channel in order to get discovered by people looking for what your business offers. There are plenty of affordable options out there for making videos; just check out our post on DIY at-home videos. You can also add videos to your blog posts which can enhance their SEO quality, such as with this WordStream post below: Note also that videos tend to show up in results for very niche searches, sometimes at the very top, like this one: 14. Advertise on YouTube. As with the other paid strategies mentioned in this post, YouTube advertising can be an investment that pays off if it’s done right. You can advertise on YouTube by creating video ads that play before videos in relevant categories, or through text ads that appear in search results: 15. Engage your audience on Instagram. Despite being one of the more recently launched social media platforms, Instagram is the third most popular platform out there. With its diverse posting formats (permanent images, short-lived Stories, IGTV series, live sessions, Story Highlights, and more), there exists a variety of ways to use Instagram to engage your audience and promote your business. You can: Promote your sales and deals with hashtags to expand your reach. Run contests with a free or discounted product/service to generate positive buzz (and obtain a list of leads to reach out to). Offer advice and tutorials to stand out as a go-to resource. For more ways to promote your business on Instagram, check out these 11 Instagram marketing tips. 16. Share on Twitter. Twitter is another free channel that can be used to promote your business online—mainly if your audience is comprised of 18-24 year-olds. It tends to require a bit more activity to build an audience, but if you’re consistently active, you can master the platform and experience its benefits. You can promote your products or services: Or simply invite nearby customers to stop in: 17. Give Pinterest a shot. While Pinterest is fundamentally focused on sharing photos, the fact that your photos can link back to your website creates an opportunity to promote your business and drive more traffic to your site. Pinterest is especially powerful for ecommerce businesses looking to reach a female audience (Pinterest users are heavily skewed towards the female demographic).  If this fits your profile, you may want to think about getting active on the Pinterest network. 18. Try out TikTok. TikTok was only launched in 2016, but it has already surpassed Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest in active users. Its ease of use in creating compelling videos with special effects makes it a great video marketing platform—and not just for Zillenials. You can jump right on the platform to provide how-to, tutorial, or behind-the-scenes videos, but you may want to promote your new Tik Tok channel across other networks, as with the example below: 19. Join online communities. One of the best ways to get a hand up is to offer a hand up to others. Join communities and groups relevant to your business or industry on LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook, and offer people good advice and suggestions when they have problems or questions. (Make sure your own profile information points back to your business, of course.) This is a great way to build a genuine reputation and form solid connections with people relevant to your work. What goes around generally comes around. And remember that while you’re helping one person with their query, you’re being observed by a thousand silent others who will see your name and what you’re doing. 20. Try an influencer marketing collaboration. Your business can be a part of communities both geographically-based and niche-focused, and influencers are celebrities within your niche. They’re not on the red carpet or hosting their own talk shows, but they are highly respected, wildly popular, and deeply trusted experts in your niche. Influencers have a large social media and/or blog following, which means that getting mentioned or featured by one of these influencers can promote your business to a massive, relevant audience. Influencer marketing is a careful strategy, however. Before reaching out to an influencer, take the time to familiarize with their accounts across all networks; comment on, like, and share their content; and be sure to approach them with a specific ask and something of equal value in exchange. For example, you might offer them a month of free classes in exchange for a review on their blog and mentions on social media. Or you might offer to write a high-quality guest post on their blog that benefits their audience while also supplying a backlink to your site. Here’s an example of an influencer in the automotive niche (David Patterson) promoting a local auto shop: And here’s an example of an influencer in the home and parenting niche (Leticia Barr) promoting FabFitFun: 21. Invest in social media advertising. Social media advertising is among the most forward-thinking, highly-utilized, and profitable forms of digital advertising today. More than 3.6 BILLION people use it and it’s constantly evolving to offer ease-of-use and exceptional value for your advertising dollar. When done right, paid social promotes your business to a highly targeted audience with these advantages: Familiarity: Meet people on the channels they use most. Cost-effectiveness: Advanced targeting ensures your ads are shown to only the most relevant audience. Supporting content: Your organic posts serve to support your sponsored posts. Brand loyalty: Attracting more followers to your accounts helps to build community and loyalty around your business. Analytics: Know what’s working so you can allot your budget accordingly. How to promote your business in your community. For local businesses, the community is a critical component of their success. Retailers and restaurants understand this implicitly, of course, and even those businesses focused more on the wider world still have a considerable attachment to the place or places in which they operate. That said, let’s talk about a few ways to promote your business in your community. 22. Strive to get local press. For some reason, the idea of pitching your business happenings to the local press feels intimidating, but the truth is, local blogs, newspapers, online publications are always on the hunt for fresh content. Reach out to your local news sources and see if you can contribute an article—whether it’s a thought leadership piece, a list of resources, or a newsworthy update about your business. If your business’s story is compelling enough, you might even be able to get someone else to publish a featured write-up. You can also ask to write about an event you are hosting in your community, or invite a local writer to attend for free in exchange for a recap. If you have a little more budget, you may even consider a public relations partner, firm, or app to get your stories published in multiple media sources. If your budget is a little bit lower, you can publish your own press releases through companies like www.prweb.com. These press releases may get picked up by some media outlets and they can also help your search engine optimization by providing links back to your website. You can learn how to write a great press release here. 23. Form partnerships. Partnering with non-competitive businesses that serve the same clientele can be a great way to promote your business in your local network. Once you have established a relationship, you can cross-promote each other’s services through your email lists and in-store flyers or coupons, or by engaging them through social media. Don’t be afraid to get creative to maximize the promotional value of the partnership. 24. Network network network. Attending local networking events is a great way to increase your presence in your community. This works better for some types of businesses than others. If you provide services directly to other small businesses or consumers, then local networking is going to be far more rewarding than if you sell products online, for example. However, every kind of networking helps, even if it’s just to share ideas and inspiration with other business owners. Whether online or offline, inexpensive marketing techniques like these can get your business humming with the energy from new customers and clients. And if you do partake in networking (I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but you should), do not miss out on my nine networking email templates, like the one below: 25. Attend, host, or sponsor local events. Even in a world that is increasingly digital, attending, hosting, or sponsoring events in your community is a great way to promote your business while strengthening your connection with local customers. You could run a class at your location, offer to teach a class at a school, library, or other local establishment, or even just host a fun seasonal and/or family-oriented event. Leverage the time you put into creating and teaching the class by having a friend take video of you teaching, then put that video on your website and on YouTube. 26. Try out direct mail. Despite the dominance of digital media today, sending postcards, flyers, letters, or other types of mail can still be a very effective way to promote your business to nearby customers. One of the biggest challenges with this promotional method is that you can’t exactly target your mailings, so you’ll need to print out and send a high volume of mail in order to get a response. The benefit is that if you get it right, promoting your business through the mail can help you get new customers with a very repeatable process. You could also send your loyal customers little gift packages during the holidays to keep them coming back and (most likely) promoting your business to their friends and family. 27. Advertise locally and offline. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and even television are some other traditional places for paying to promote your business. If you are considering promoting your business through print ads or any of these offline strategies, the key is to make sure you are tracking everything so that you can know the effectiveness. For more local advertising tips, head here: 10 Effective Local Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses Other effective ways of promoting your business. These three promotional strategies are last but definitely least—they’re just a bit miscellaneous with regard to the way I grouped the strategies in this post. 28. Attend trade shows. If you are targeting a national audience and you want to sell your products to retailers, going to a big trade show might make sense. If you are unsure of how beneficial the trade show will be for you, and you have some time to figure it out, you might consider just attending as a visitor before investing the money in your own booth. If you have a good relationship with a company already planning on exhibiting at a trade show, they may let you “hang out” in their booth for a portion of time, where you can observe and learn, and maybe even promote your business free of charge. 29. Run email marketing campaigns. Email marketing has been around for ages, but the strategy has by no means become less effective over time. In fact, 77% of people prefer to get permission-based promotional messages via email versus other modes of communication. Email is a popular channel for consumers and businesses alike: People like to stay informed. People constantly check their email. Email offers detailed reporting. You can segment your lists for targeted, personalized emails. Email marketing generates a 30x average return on investment. Email marketing platforms offer flexibility, creativity, and most importantly, ease of use. For more tips on using email marketing, check out my post on How to Write Undelete-able Promotional Emails. 30. Make advocates out of your employees. Good leadership and proper treatment of your employees will naturally turn them into advocates for your business. Hold brainstorm sessions, encourage employee blog post contributions, host fireside chats, get them involved in local events, run family and friend promotions—value them and they will value the business they work for. You can then encourage social media sharing and equip them with news and tools to effortlessly spread the word about your business. Bottom line: you can effectively promote your business, with or without money. There are a plethora of options when it comes to promoting your business, no matter your budget. Implementing the strategies in this post is sure to pay off, especially if you regularly review and revise your strategy. We’ve covered a lot in this post, so let’s recap to wrap things up: Create and verify your Google Business Profile Get a website Implement SEO Start a business blog Share your content Run Google Ads Create listings on the major directories Optimize your listings Get online customer reviews Monitor and respond to reviews Prioritize Facebook Connect and contribute on LinkedIn Publish videos to YouTube Advertise on YouTube Engage your audience on Instagram Share on Twitter Give Pinterest a shot Try out TikTok Join online communities Collaborate with an influencer Advertise on social media Seek after local press Form partnerships Network, network, network Host, attend, or sponsor local events Send direct mail Try local offline advertising Attend trade shows Send marketing emails Form employee advocates Meet The Author Kristen McCormick. Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in local SEO, copywriting, and conversion optimization, and she finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle. See other posts by Kristen McCormick More Articles Like This. The [Hands-Down] 50 Best Marketing Tips & Tricks We Revealed This Year—in Every Category. This is the Sparknotes of digital marketing that you need for A+ success in 2022—for PPC, copywriting, SEO, email, social, and more. The 8 Biggest Marketing Fails of All Time (With Practical Takeaways). Be prepared for more than just marketing takeaways. This one's an eye-opener. 9 Popular Email Marketing Strategies to Stop Doing ASAP (+13 to Do Instead). Just because you can still do them doesn't mean you should! Learn how to stay successful amidst the Apple iOS 15 email privacy updates. Comments. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting. Sign up for our weekly newsletter! Related Articles. The [Hands-Down] 50 Best Marketing Tips & Tricks We Revealed This Year—in Every Category The 8 Biggest Marketing Fails of All Time (With Practical Takeaways) 9 Popular Email Marketing Strategies to Stop Doing ASAP (+13 to Do Instead) The 21 Best Marketing Podcasts to Listen, Learn & Laugh in 2022
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                            [body] => 13 Ways to Market Your Business Online Megan Mahoney [Free Consultation] Are you spending money on advertising but not getting the results you want? Are you looking for more sales and leads but have no idea where or how to start? Get help from our world-class marketing experts in a free consultation call. Click Here To Schedule Your Free Consultation NowMarketing is about face-time – and in our increasingly fast-paced world, it’s getting harder and harder to be seen and remembered by customers and clients. Being available online is essential, especially in places where new people see you every day.If you’re thinking about how to market your business online, here are 13 ways to get your name and brand out there. Just remember that although they might seem basic, these ideas can always be built upon.We’ve helped Fortune 500 companies, venture backed startups and companies like yours grow revenues faster. Get A Free Consultation1) Get Off Your Website (And On To Social Media). If you are thinking about how to market an online business, having a website should be the top priority right? Wrong. A large percentage of transactions these days comes from platforms other than websites. At Single Grain, we always talk about having an omnichannel approach, which simply means that you need to ensure that you are leveraging more than one platform. If you aren’t, you’re leaving money on the table. Instead, you need to create relevant profiles on at least a few social media sites and start interacting with the users there. We offer a full guide to setting up a social media strategy.If you have a brick-and-mortar business, establish a presence on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to make sure that people can: Submit reviews Find information about your businessAsk questionsRead your blog posts or product reviewsDive Deeper: Omnichannel Marketing: Using the Content Sprout Method to Overcome Info OverloadThe Beginner’s Guide to Crafting a Highly Effective Social Media Strategy in 20194 Ways to Acquire Customer Reviews Using Social Media2) Have Conversations with People. Interaction is the name of the game. You need to be able to address people’s needs or frustrations about your business or your field. In fact, according to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled by networking. Sadly, however, one in four people don’t even try to network. Imagine how much potential for new clients and customers you are ignoring by talking with people. This is where the above tip comes into play – social media platforms are excellent places to have conversations, from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to Quora, Yelp and Reddit.Above all, have conversations, not sales pitches. Don’t try to sell – just talk to people. If they are curious enough, they can click through your profile and learn more about you.3) Leverage Your Brand. Regardless of whether you have a personal or corporate brand, be sure to leverage it. How do you do that?First of all, make sure that you have a story that is relatable to the audience that you are targeting. For example, here at Single Grain, we offer an Agency Accelerator program that targets people who are starting a marketing agency. These people are usually struggling to get started, so our story of how our CEO Eric took over Single Grain from a negative business to having clients like Lyft is both relatable and has the target market’s desired end result.Another extremely important part of a brand is building up your trust and credibility. Talking about clients you worked with (if you are allowed to) and having testimonials on your site will help.4) Talk About Yourself. People go to your website – especially your About page – to find out about your business. Don’t settle for a paragraph of ambiguous words about your goals or mission. Make it real by putting the personal touch on everything you do, and including plenty of mentions of how others describe you.If you’re looking for good examples, HubSpot created a list of great About pages. Some characteristics of a good About page include data-driven stats, a personal tone and talking directly to the target market.5) Be Consistent Everywhere Your Brand Goes. You need people to be able to recognize your brand no matter where they are online. Logos and colors help, and so do faces and catchphrases. But you also need to make sure that you are reaching out to your target audience wherever you are. So spread consistent messages and don’t try to rebrand yourself every few months.We’ve helped Fortune 500 companies, venture backed startups and companies like yours grow revenues faster. Get A Free Consultation6) Start Building a Brand with the Rule of 7. The best time to be establishing your brand is as soon as possible. Even if your future customers are not in a position to be buying from you now, if you aren’t visible right away, you won’t be remembered when they are ready to pay for your products or services. Remember the Rule of Seven: Your brand has to be seen seven times before anyone will remember who you are.This is also very important from an SEO standpoint as Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that the Internet is a cesspool but that trusted brands can help: “Brands are the solution, not the problem…. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”So how can you do this? The Content Sprout Method is a great place to start in 2019. This technique starts with a “seed”, which can be one video, one blog post, etc. Next, you have the “sprout”, which is quite simply taking the seed content and creating it in another form. So if you started with a video, now you also have audio for a podcast, which you can transcribe into a blog post. From there you then “pollinate” it by pushing it out to many platforms. That can be an email list or putting ad spend into it.7) Pay for Promotion. If you’re wondering how to market online, you’ve probably considered paid advertising. PPC is not an SEO strategy per se, but it is an online awareness strategy. Advertising, especially well-targeted advertising, still serves its purpose, and Internet ads are much easier to track than television or print ads. Experiment with different ad copy, the size and placement of banner ads, and different advertising channels. And be sure to send each ad to one specific landing page. If you aren’t keeping track of your results, you won’t be able to measure or improve them.It’s no secret that paying for space is getting more and more expensive. Does that mean we shouldn’t use it anymore? No! We wrote a guide to Google AdWords (now Google Ads) or you can watch the video below to learn how you can still crush it in 2019.8) Create Email Campaigns. An email campaign is a great way to keep reminding former customers who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. Prospective customers might also use your emails to judge whether they want to do business with you or not. Make sure that there is something your reader can find helpful in each email blast, like a new product, a holiday special, an informative blog post or even a product demo video.Need some help getting started? We provided a couple of examples of great email structures. Remember that an effective email is an email that adds value to the customer. If your email isn’t providing value, it won’t help increase your conversions.Dive Deeper:Cold Email Templates that Get Responses8 Ideas for Compelling Emails to Send During the HolidaysBeyond the Newsletter: You’ve Got Their Email, Now What?9) Give Stuff Away. Free things are music to most peoples’ ears – and that doesn’t always mean giving stuff away. It could also mean having a sale with deep discounts. If you are marketing physical products, it could mean providing an exceptional guarantee to back your products. When selling information products like e-books and courses, try letting people have the first chapter or lesson for free.In fact, Neil Patel has been known to create content for $30,000 and then give it away for free. He also purchased Ubersuggest for $120,000 and then released it as a free tool. And guess what happened to his traffic? Yup, it skyrocketed. Just focus on creating value.We’ve helped Fortune 500 companies, venture backed startups and companies like yours grow revenues faster. Get A Free Consultation10) Know What Your Customers Want. Just because you have a great product or service, doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what they want. The best way to discover this is to do a little research and create buyer personas.Simply put, a buyer persona is a detailed description of your target customer. A fully fleshed out buyer persona includes everything from demographic information to hobbies, and from income bracket to family size – all written as if the persona were a real person.However, just because your product solves a prospect’s pain point doesn’t mean that he or she will immediately purchase. Originally you will have cold traffic, so you should focus on warming them up. Here is a guide we created on how to target warm, hot and cold traffic.Dive Deeper: Attract the Right Prospects With Buyer Personas (Includes Step-by-Step Templates!)How to Implement User Intent to Build an Audience for Your Content4 Steps to Discover Your Ideal Buyer Persona for B2B Marketers11) Talk About Others. There’s no better way to get someone’s attention online than to flatter them, especially if you send a noticeable amount of web traffic in their direction. Establish yourself as a fan first by following them on social media, reading their articles (or watching their videos, etc.), and adding your thoughts to the comments section. You can then write blog posts that link to one of their articles (it must be a relevant link, of course, and your own post should be very well written), and share it with them with a note saying how they inspired you.And don’t forget about flattering the little guy, too – it’s not just the big brands or personalities that are important. Though they will likely become loyal to your business in return, remember that you should be giving without hoping to get anything in return.12) Work with Influencers. Social sites allow people to share and talk about what is relevant to them. Find the people who are active within your niche and start to spark conversations and build relationships. This is a great way to be seen as an influencer. In addition, create high-quality resources that people will want to link to and tell their friends about.If some of these influencers are difficult to get in touch with, think about how you can help them. What keeps them up at night? How can you solve one of their problems? Make sure that when you do reach out to them, you are speaking on a personal level. If you want more info on how to carry out these steps, here are 5 hacks to start a conversation with an influence that you can use.Dive Deeper: How to Reinforce Your Customer Acquisition Strategy with Influencer MarketingHow to Work with YouTube Influencers to Grow Your BusinessHow Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Influencer Marketing13) Ask People to Talk about You. Encourage feedback, positive or negative, from your customers. Remind them that you will be reading all reviews or survey answers. Treat all your customers with equal respect, even when you disagree with their opinion. Remember that it is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to maintain a current customer, so focus on how you can make your current customers happy.In fact, according to a study from SuperOffice: 86% of customers will pay more for a good customer experience73% consider it an important factor while making a purchase decision65% find a positive experience with a brand more influential than great advertisingWe’ve helped Fortune 500 companies, venture backed startups and companies like yours grow revenues faster. Get A Free ConsultationFinal Thoughts. There are many more ways to market your growing business online, and much more depth to the thirteen tips listed here, but if you're overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start, this blog post will help you. To learn more about digital or online marketing, check out these guides and articles:How to Perform Marketing Competitor Analysis (+ 6 Best Tools Comparison)7 Marketing Strategies that Work to Increase Conversions10-Step Checklist to Digital Branding for SMBsThe #1 Marketing Strategy for 2019: The Content Sprout Method44 Must-Have Marketing Tools for any Business in 2019What Single Grain’s Marketing Focus Looks Like in 2019How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business in 2019And if you still need some help, call us for a FREE consultation! Read this next Grant Deken • Apr 29, 2019 MQL vs. SQL – Serve Up The Right Type Of Content To Your LeadsPrevious ArticleJoydeep Bhattacharya • Apr 26, 2019 9 Rules for Creating Ads that ConvertMore like this Raghav Haran • Jan 3, 2017 The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization Eric Siu • Mar 14, 2018 The Ultimate Guide to Blockchain Digital Marketing and Cryptocurrency Single Grain Team • Oct 28, 2014 The Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Content for Conversions Joydeep Bhattacharya • Jan 31, 2020 17 Best Paid Media Tools for Marketers Eric Siu • Nov 28, 2011 How Using Twitter Hashtags Increased our Following by 13.4%Latest Posts Nick Chernets • Jan 6, 2022 10 Underrated SEO Reporting Metrics That’ll Impress Your Clients in 2022 Devin Pickell • Jan 3, 2022 8 Best Shopify Apps for Growing E-commerce Merchants Mark Quadros • Dec 30, 2021 6 Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales in 2022 Eric Siu • Dec 27, 2021 How Social Tokens Will Change Marketing Forever Sarah Rickerd • Dec 23, 2021 5 Best MarketMuse Alternatives to Rank BetterBack to our blog Thank you!You’ll be hearing from us very soon. Close Visit SingleGrain.com Get started in 1 minute → Keep goin’! Start my free consultation WAIT! Don’t leave without getting a FREE consultation with a marketing specialist. 👉 Are you looking to build your company’s online presence? Generate leads and attract more potential clients? Increase traffic to your website? Get a leg up on the competition by scheduling your free marketing consultation. Yes! I want my free consultation now! No thanks, I’ll pass on this free opportunity. This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more. Okay, thanks Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
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                            [body] => How to Market Your Business — A Small Business Growth Guide Whether you’re a brand‑new entrepreneur or a seasoned pro who wants to increase sales, learning how to market your small business effectively is vital to your success. A thoughtful, well-designed marketing plan will build awareness of your business, drive sales, and turn your customers into lifelong fans. The best way to create a cohesive marketing plan is to begin by defining your niche, unique selling proposition, and brand identity. This triad forms the base of your plan. Once you’ve established that foundation, all the other pieces will fall into place more easily. Step One: Define your brand . Consumers have the entire world at their fingertips when they’re shopping and their lives are already overflowing with marketing messages. How can you make sure your voice will be heard in all that noise? Defining your niche and your brand as narrowly as possible is the best way to succeed in today’s crowded marketplace. The more personalized your marketing messages are, the more people will pay attention to them. Your target market, unique selling proposition, and brand identity should be tightly intermingled. Aim to keep them closely connected as you refine them. Describe your target market. You may find yourself instinctively wanting to throw out as wide a net as possible in the search for customers. Surely everyone could benefit from your amazing products and services, right? But when you try to sell to everyone, your message gets so watered down that no one pays attention to it. Instead, define your potential customers as precisely as possible. You can choose more than one target group, as long as each one is clearly specified. But if you’re just getting started in marketing, your life will be easier if you begin with just one. Here are some possibilities for narrowing your market and defining your buyer persona: Gender Age group Urban vs. rural Geographic area Income level Profession Education level Personality traits Household size Values Spending habits Your goal is to create a cohesive buyer persona: a portrait of your ideal customer. For instance, perhaps your customer is Alice, a fun-loving, young, middle-class mother who is concerned about her family’s security. Or maybe your customer is Karl, a free-spirited man in his 50s who needs to plan for retirement but doesn’t enjoy thinking about money. Use your customer stories to create detailed profiles for your buyer personas. Consider the needs, struggles, hopes, and goals of these personas, and adjust your marketing accordingly. Identify your USP. One of the core concepts in marketing is the Unique Selling Proposition or USP. This is a clear statement of what sets your business apart from your competitors, and it defines your position in the marketplace. Here are some examples of how you might express the USP of popular brands: Apple: Cutting-edge tech made user friendly Whole Foods: Well-curated selection of organic, healthy, earth-friendly foods Aldi: The stock-up store, with lowest prices on pantry staples Nike: Serious athletic performance gear To define your USP, answer the question “Why should people come to you for X instead of anyone else?” in a single phrase or sentence. If you’ve already been in business for a while, you might want to survey your customers to find out why they chose you, and why they would choose you again. If you don’t have customers yet, set aside a few minutes to write out different ideas that come to mind when you think of your brand, as quickly as possible and without editing your thoughts. Then, pick through that list for the strongest words and ideas and distill them into one statement. Pro tip: Look behind the obvious reasons people buy from you and seek emotional reasons instead. People buy from Whole Foods and Nike because of how they want to see themselves, not because of tangible needs. Define your brand identity. Your brand identity (often just referred to as your brand) should grow out of your USP, but it’s slightly different. Your brand is the personality your business exudes, and can usually be expressed in a single word or short phrase. For instance, the brands mentioned above can be expressed as: Apple: Sleek Whole Foods: Conscious living Aldi: Bargains Nike: Strength To understand the importance of a well-defined brand, imagine two companies that are both marketing vacation resorts. If they use similar pictures of swimming pools and market themselves to “everyone who wants a vacation,” neither one will be very successful. But suppose one resort defines its target market as young families, and its USP is that it offers lots of activities for children. That resort might represent its brand identity as “family fun,” and use bright colors, playful fonts, and action photos of laughing families for its marketing. Imagine the other travel company has a target market of affluent women aged 40 and over, and its value proposition is that it specializes in peaceful retreats from the stresses of daily life. This company might define its brand as “serenity” and represent itself with light, neutral colors and photos of women in hammocks on secluded beaches. Now that these companies are fully differentiated, each one is far more likely to catch the eye of its ideal potential customers. Remember, your target market, USP, and brand identity are meant to work together. Try to define your brand in a way that stresses your USP and speaks directly to your target market, this will make a difference when promoting your business. Step Two: Find your potential customers . Now that you know exactly who your market is and what you need to tell them, you’re ready to find ways to bring your brand to their attention. Improve your search visibility. Want more traffic to your website without spending money? Optimizing your site so that you get found by search engines is easier than you might think. Choose a long-tail keyword First, figure out what phrase your target market might type into a search engine when they look for your products or services. Choosing a long-tail keyword — a phrase of 3 to 5 words instead of a single word — narrows your competition and helps you get higher placement in search results. For instance, in the example above, one resort might choose “best vacation with young kids” while the other might choose “luxury beach getaway.” Both are better choices than a highly-sought-after and less specific keyword like “travel” or “vacation.” It would be very difficult to get to the top of the search results for a competitive keyword like that. Note: If your business is local, be sure your metro or town name is in your long-tail keyword. Optimize your content Put your long-tail keyword in as many of the following locations as you can, so the search engines know that this is what your site is about: Your URL, if you don't already have one Your site name Your homepage title The first paragraph of text At least one subheading The meta description of the page “Alt” tags for images on the page Sprinkle more repetition of the keyword phrase throughout the text where it feels natural — just don't overdo it. Search engines prioritize websites that use natural language over ones that pack keywords in where they don’t belong. You can optimize for more than one keyword phrase, but it’s easiest to get started with just one. If you add more keywords later, create a landing page or blog post for each one and optimize that page. Including search engine optimization tactics in your online marketing plan can help you grow your business in the long term with little or no marketing budget. Add blog posts Publishing blog posts is a great way to bring organic traffic to your site for more keywords. You can write them yourself or pay someone to do it. Either way, think about the questions that your potential customers might type into a search engine and try to answer them. Use the words from those questions as your long-tail keywords for that page. For instance, the family resort website might publish a blog post for the keywords “what to pack for children on vacation” or “best airline to fly with kids.” The blog posts would answer the questions thoroughly and invite the visitor to sign up for an email list, possibly offering a discount or prize drawing in exchange for subscribing. Create a Google My Business Account Setting up a listing with Google My Business can pay off in terms of search engine placement, especially if you run a local business, and it’s free. Your listing also lets you control how your company appears on Google Maps and gives options for collecting reviews and offering discounts. Reach out to media. Which websites and magazines are your customers reading? Email them a press release periodically, describing anything innovative or newsworthy that your company does. You can also let them know that you have experts on staff who are willing to give interviews when needed. Writing guest posts for popular blogs that your audience reads is another good way to let them “meet” you and get links back to your website. If your business is local, be sure to include local news sources in your media outreach as well. Advertise online. A small budget doesn’t need to limit your advertising options. Google and Facebook, the two giants of online advertising, both let you set your own budget. Even better, you can opt for a “pay-per-click” model, which means you only pay for advertising that brings traffic to your site. With Google Ads, all you have to do is set a daily budget and Google multiplies that by 30.4 to reach a monthly maximum. So if you want to spend $30 a month on Google’s paid advertising, set a $1 daily budget. When you reach $30.40 for the month, your ads will stop running. Creating display ads for Google is easier than you probably think. Once you specify which page on your website you want an ad to link to, Google will pull the headline and images directly from that page. Google can automatically build ads of different shapes and sizes using those elements, and if you don't like the results, you can change them. Facebook's display advertising has very similar features. Facebook also lets you boost posts that you create on your Facebook page, setting limits as low as $1 per day to send your post to an audience you define. Facebook ads are a great marketing tool for promoting your business if you operate with a limited budget. Both Google and Facebook let you specify an audience according to age, income, location, and interests. Whether you want your ads to reach young moms who love to knit, or retirees who like decorating, or teenagers in your town, you can accomplish that with either platform. Use social media wisely. Focus your social media efforts by choosing just one or two channels to work with at first. Start with the one where you feel the most comfortable and where you think you’re most likely to connect with your target audience. For instance, Facebook is widely used by people ages 30 and over, while Instagram appeals to teens and young adults. Men are more likely to be on Twitter or YouTube, but Pinterest is a good place to reach women. Whatever social media Platforms you choose, create posts that reflect your brand identity while being useful to your audience. Some of your posts should be about your products, services, and promotions, but make sure you’re also offering tips, humor, and links that your followers will enjoy. Engage them in conversation by asking questions or polling them for their opinions. If you’re already creating blog posts, you can use excerpts from those as social media posts, with or without links to the blog itself. Look for new ways to present the same information, like recording explainer videos or turning a series of tips into a collection of simple graphics that you can share individually. If you keep sharing useful, interesting content, your audience will grow organically over time. You can also boost that growth with contests or giveaways. Create contests and giveaways. Some small businesses use contests and giveaways as their main tool to build a social following, increase brand awareness and grow their email list. Here are some tips to make this marketing method work for your business: Choose a prize that your target market will be excited about. Create posts and ads to advertise the contest that also promote your brand and USP. Have people enter by joining your email list and/or following your social media. Give them additional entries if they share the contest. Follow up with a welcome email for all your new audience members. Step Three: Build relationships with your customers . As your customer base grows and your audience expands through email and social media, make sure you give as much attention to nurturing those connections as you do to creating new ones. Create an email marketing strategy. While social media lets you broadcast messages to large groups, email allows you to talk to people one-on-one. Your email strategy needs to include a welcome email (or series) when people join your list and a regular schedule of messages to stay in touch. What kind of messages should you send? While you definitely want to let your audience know when you have a promotion or a new product, you should also send information that will entertain, amuse, and engage them. If you regularly share useful tips, discounts, and resources, your audience will be more likely to open your emails than they would if they expected self-promotion in every message. Think of email as an opportunity to build strong relationships with existing and potential customers. Show them that you understand their needs and want to help them. Give them a chance to get familiar with your brand and learn more about your business. If people connect deeply with your brand, they’ll become ambassadors who not only buy from you again but recommend you to their friends. Email automation lets you go far beyond sending a welcome email and monthly newsletter. You can set up a system that greets new audience members, onboards new customers, reminds visitors of items they’ve left in their cart, follows up with people who opened a previous message, and gives customers recommendations about other items similar to the ones they've purchased. With automation, you write the messages and design the series, and then your business stays in touch with your customers automatically — even while you sleep, vacation, or run other aspects of your company. Get to know your customers. Communication should always be a two-way street. While you’re helping your email audience get acquainted with your business, you should be learning as much about them as possible too. The more you know about your subscribers, the more targeted your messaging can be — and the fewer emails you’ll send that miss the mark. Segmenting your email list enables you to speak more directly to each customer. You can create segments based on the items they’ve purchased in the past, how often they interact with you or open your messages, which page they were on when they subscribed, or specific interests you know they have. Integrating your marketing platform with your e-commerce system will save you a lot of time in this regard. With platforms like Mailchimp, you can assign customers to segments based on their buying patterns and behaviors. Then, the system can keep tracking their behavior and send them emails you've created for specific situations. For instance, Mary buys a set of wine glasses on your website. With a connected marketing and e-commerce system, you can automatically send Mary a thank-you note for becoming a customer and add her to a "wine lovers" segment of your list. Mary then receives some tips for buying, storing, and enjoying wine, and two discount offers — one for a wine storage rack and one for a different kitchen item. If she buys the kitchen item, she might be added to a new segment and receive emails with more cooking tips and kitchen item discounts. Step Four: Use advanced marketing techniques . Once you have the basics in place, you may want to add more tools to your marketing plan. Here are some popular options that work well for many small businesses. Remarketing. You probably spend a lot of time and resources bringing people to your website. But how can you follow up with them if they leave without signing up for your list or buying anything? Remarketing campaigns (also called retargeting campaigns) are aimed at your recent visitors. This type of campaign will show your ads to them whenever they visit sites that are part of the Google marketing network. Remarketing lets you follow up with people who were interested enough to visit your site once and hopefully bring them back to complete a sale. Lookalike audiences. One of the best ways to find new prospects is to analyze your existing customer base and look for people who are similar to them. This is called a lookalike audience, or a similar audience. Google, Facebook, and Mailchimp all have systems that can analyze your list, find other people who share demographics and interests with them, and target ads to those people. Once you have a strong, responsive list, this is an effective way to expand your reach. Partnerships. Marketing partnerships can be a win-win for two companies that sell different things to the same audience. The ideal partner is a business that shares your niche and has some overlap in brand identity, but isn’t a direct competitor. Once you find a partner you’d like to work with, brainstorm ideas for ways to enhance your businesses together. For instance: Co-sponsor a live or virtual event and invite both your audiences Offer discounts on one another’s products as customer incentives Create a giveaway together, with prizes from both businesses Write guest posts for one another’s blogs or newsletters Trade advertising on your websites or in your emails Offline marketing. Not all marketing has moved online. There are still viable ways to market your business offline as well. Direct mail is one option. Sending postcards to the people who have interacted with you online is an affordable way to build awareness and promote your products or services. Another option is hosting or attending events. If your business is local, or part of an industry that hosts conventions, seek out the events your customers are most likely to attend. Rent a booth and hand out branded swag — or useful digital downloads, if the event is virtual. Even better, volunteer to speak and give a helpful presentation related to your industry. How it all fits together. There are a lot of elements to keep track of when learning how to market your business. However, as you work through all these methods and techniques, you’ll see that they fit neatly together to form a cohesive marketing strategy. After you create some blog posts for your website, for example, you can recycle that content into social media posts, videos, or guest posts for other blogs. You can use similar content to engage your email audience as well. Plus, you can use your emails, ads, and social media posts to drive traffic to your website, then target those visitors with a remarketing campaign to make the most of their interest in what you're offering. Weaving your brand identity and USP through all of your marketing efforts will create synergy and tie everything together. In the end, you’ll have an effective plan that brings new customers and increased sales to your business. Share This Article Share this article on Twitter Share this article on Linkedin Share this article on Facebook Email this article
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                            [body] => The Role of Marketing: How it Affects Business and How to Market the Right Way Marketing Channels Definition of Sales and Marketing. Let’s set the scene: you’re on the couch, relaxing and watching television. Your mom is there watching as well—a commercial comes on that is funny and you both laugh. Your mother then says, “That was some good marketing.” Now many questions arise: is an entertaining commercial really “marketing”? Is there a lot more that goes into it than just a funny idea? This seems like sales, what’s the difference between sales and marketing? What’s the definition of sales and marketing? What is inbound marketing? What is marketing research? Are there different distribution channels in marketing? The answers to these questions will be answered when we discuss the role of marketing and explain how everything works in this complex world. Defining sales is pretty easy, as it states, “any of a number of activities designed to promote customer purchase of a product or service. Sales can be done in person or over the phone, through e-mail or other communication media. The process generally includes stages such as assessing customer needs, presenting product features and benefits to address those needs and negotiation on price, delivery and other elements.” (per American Marketing Association). However, the term “marketing” can yield many different results, and many people may not know what the term truly means. So what does marketing mean? Marketing is defined as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (per American Marketing Association). This definition seems a little too simple, right? Especially with the buildup I gave you coming in—well it is correct, but it only covers the general term. There are many different aspects of marketing, such as inbound marketing, the difference between sales and marketing, how to do market research and the different functions of marketing. Now, let’s work on giving a more expanded definition of marketing and helping to understand that there’s a lot more than just creating “offerings that have value for customers.” Introduction –What is the Purpose of Marketing? Marketing has many different areas—one of which is inbound marketing, but we’ll get to that later. We’ll then analyze the difference between sales and marketing; then answer the question “what is inbound marketing”, which will include some inbound marketing examples. Finally, we’ll discuss the importance of marketing in business and wrap up what we’ve learned. First, we’re going to list the functions of marketing. In the marketing world there are seven functions of marketing and they are as follows: distribution, financing, market research, pricing, product and service management, promotion and selling. 7 Functions of Marketing. Distribution—Distribution Strategy in Marketing . Distribution strategy in marketing entails how a company is going to deliver its products or services to a customer. This strategy can vary depending on what service or good you’re offering, as there are different distribution channels in marketing. You’re not going to start a digital marketing agency in the middle of a wheat field in Kansas—you probably want to be in an urban area where there’s plenty of businesses around. Distribution strategy in marketing needs to be considered when developing any idea. Financing—The Role of Marketing in Business . If you want to have a successful marketing campaign, it’s going to take some money. You don’t want to throw all your eggs in one basket, but you still want to create a smart financial plan that allocates some ability to spend, but not so much that you don’t see a profit. Market Research—Importance of Market Research  . Market research is arguably the most crucial of the seven functions. What is marketing research? It revolves around researching your target demographic so you can build a sound marketing strategy. Effective market research requires using tools to find out who you should be targeting based on what you’re selling. If you’re a tech company that came up with a new social media platform, are you going to target octogenarians? Didn’t think so. If you want a more in-depth look at how to do market research, this article is a good starting point. Pricing—Again, the Importance of Market Research. Once you know how to do market research, you’ll find that market research also can help with pricing. Make sure you’re not losing any profits by selling too low. However, you don’t want to overcharge and then not see any kind of return because customers found a cheaper alternative. Product and Service Management—Measuring Advertising Effectiveness . In order to prevent falling behind with your customers, you must constantly make improvements to the product or service you offer. By staying on top of customer feedback and online reviews, you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Additionally, employing marketing performance metrics is a smart way to keep up with service management. Interested in learning more about marketing performance metrics? Check out this article Promotion—What Is Promotion in Marketing? Promotion involves confirming your advertisements are seen in the right places by the right people. You’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of advertising from your brand’s end, as well as to keep up with which advertising strategies are trending. Advertising on Facebook is certainly a great place to focus your promotion efforts. Selling—What Is the Difference Between Sales and Marketing? Selling is NOT marketing. But does provide an essential foundation for marketing. The selling process begins once you’ve completed market research and determined what your prospects want and need. Speaking of selling, it’s time to discuss another major point: the difference between sales and marketing. The Difference Between Sales and Marketing. Some people think there’s no difference between sales and marketing. But when it comes to distinguishing between the two, there’s actually a big difference between sales and marketing. Understanding the complexities that separate them isn’t so simple, as they’re more complementary than similar. So you’re probably wondering, “What’s the difference between sales and marketing?” Let’s start with an example. Say you’re a salesperson from 1995 and you have an amazing product you want to sell. It’s a cell phone, but it also can access the internet and send emails. It even has these amazing things called apps that you can use to play games and check the weather, among other exciting possibilities. Now you’re probably thinking there obviously were no smartphones in 1995. But this is exactly the point—a salesperson can’t sell something that doesn’t exist. Sales focuses on what salespeople can control, which is selling a tangible, already created product. They don’t pitch ideas—marketers do. This is the key difference between sales and marketing. Marketers are the ones who create the idea that a salesperson will sell. Then, marketers conduct research to find what customers’ needs are to determine what their needs are. Another difference between sales and marketing is that marketers stay ahead of changes by anticipating where things are leading, keeping ahead of the competition, and coming up with big ideas. Then, those ideas become tangible and can be sold as products or services. What Is Inbound Marketing? . Inbound marketing does what it sounds like it does: it brings people in. Inbound marketing is the “new(ish) school” method of marketing; instead of outsourcing (or outbound marketing), inbound relies heavily on creating solid content that draws people into your company. There are many ways to ensure you’ll get results—with all of Google’s advancements, companies can attract more attention by creating content that’s relevant to people’s needs and by using keywords that yield results. Inbound Marketing Strategy Examples. Now that you know what inbound marketing is, let’s take a look at a few examples of inbound marketing strategy examples: Social Media—Marketing via Social Media. One of the more recent inbound marketing strategy examples, social media is a great way to engage potential leads. Companies that take advantage of it are most likely to succeed because a whopping 78 percent of the U.S. population have a social profile of some sort—a number that has more than tripled since 2008. By employing social media strategies, you increase your chances of gaining organic leads. Content Creation—Types of Content Marketing. Need to come up with content that attracts attention? Create a blog! At inSegment, we have our own blog to comment on trending topics and promote the work we do. Any company can self-promote, and a blog is one of the best ways to do it. Also consider generating different types of content marketing, including videos, webinars, infographics, and whitepapers. Email Marketing—Email as a Service . Email as a Service (EaaS) is another great example of inbound marketing. Marketers can use email marketing to draw attention to solutions that companies or consumers need, and encourage them to learn more with intriguing copy and creative calls-to-action (CTAs). In fact, email marketing is frequently cited as the most important marketing tactic for companies: *per https://www.emailmonday.com/marketing-automation-statistics-overview/ These inbound marketing strategy examples are foundational to successful companies everywhere. And if you take advantage of and implement these inbound marketing strategy examples, you can guarantee you’ll see improvements in your business, from increased traffic to better customer relations. What About Marketing Performance Metrics? . If you want to see how your campaigns are performing, invest in marketing performance metrics, which are a key aspect of marketing and market research that can help your business reach its full potential. Websites such as Marketing Score give you detailed marketing performance metrics that you can analyze to see what you need to improve. The Importance of Marketing in Business . Ultimately, the main reason for the importance of marketing in business is that companies need to market themselves in order to attract potential customers. If you aren’t reaching out and constantly learning what your target audiences want, it becomes much more difficult to succeed. Once again, you can’t start to sell if you don’t have a product or service to promote in the first place. This is why the importance of marketing in business is key: regardless of the type of industry your business falls under, if you don’t successfully market yourself, you’ll fall behind the competition. But taking advantage of tactics like social media and content creation can help enormously. By producing high-quality content that implements best SEO practices, you’ll be better off than where you started—this is why the importance of marketing in business can’t be ignored. Now You Know the Difference Between Sales and Marketing! After going over the role of marketing, the functions of marketing, the difference between sales and marketing, distribution strategies in marketing, and other topics, you should be equipped with a better understanding of marketing and its importance. Having a firm grasp on industry trends will benefit any company by increasing profits and keeping everyone happy, from executives and employees to customers. In the end, the importance of marketing in business cannot be denied. Hopefully these explanations and definitions have shown how marketing helps businesses achieve success by staying ahead of the curve. Popular posts like this. Don’t Leave Your Customers Brokenhearted: How to Create a Great Valentine’s Day Campaign B2B Communities Transforming Marketing: How Tough Mudder & Hubspot Are More Alike Than You Think Sochi’s Social Media Problem: What Businesses Can Learn About Branding
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                            [body] => How to Market a Product in 7 Easy Steps Written by Kat Boogaard You have a brand new product that you’re sure will be a hit. That’s great news! But how to market your new product? If you assume that you can sit back and watch the buzz about your new offering spread like wildfire, you’re sorely mistaken. Your new product may be a big deal to you. However, it doesn’t carry the same weight for everybody else–particularly if you don’t already have a solid customer base that’s eagerly following your business’ every move. With that in mind, it takes some clever product development and product marketing in order to have a successful product launch and get your innovative offering into the hands of eager consumers. Increase your profitability by 20% by keeping track of runaway time. Get started for free So, what do you need to know in order to pull off this new product introduction? Here are the details on how to promote a product–and get people to care about it. The challenges of bringing a new product to market. First, let’s start with a bit of bad news. According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched. But unfortunately, a whopping 95% of them fail. Why is this? There are a multitude of reasons at play here. It could involve a lack of customer demand. Or it could have something to do with an incorrect pricing structure. However, many experts cite a lack of marketing for this flop of new products. “There a number of reasons why new product introductions fail; however, the one we see most often is lack of rigor behind sales and marketing planning and execution,” explains Kurt Schroeder in a post for The Business Journals. After all, products aren’t a “build it and they will come” sort of thing–even major companies like Apple aggressively market their new offerings in order to generate buzz and get customers in the door. Needless to say, marketing will be a huge piece of your product launch puzzle. But what steps can you take to do this well? Follow these seven key steps for successfully marketing a product. How to market a product. 1. Understand your audience. The first step in any successful marketing initiative is to understand exactly who you’re marketing to. Ask anybody—trying to sell bacon to vegetarians will never end well for you. So, you need to dig in and identify your target market. Who is your ideal customer?What demographic information should you be aware of?What outlets do they use to get their information? While understanding those nuts and bolts about your customer is important, you also need to dive a little deeper by answering this one key question: What problem does your product solve for them? In order to be successful, your product has to have some demand–which also means that it needs to meet a need. If you can’t think of a single pain point that your product addresses? Well, that could be an indicator that you’re solving a problem that’s actually non-existent for your customers. “Many organizations need to become better at asking the right questions so that they tackle the right problems,” explains Dwayne Spradlin in a post for Harvard Business Review.“Your products must truly solve your customer’s problems in compelling ways, and most product companies spend too little time immersing themselves in the customer’s reality,” said Spradlin (now CEO of Buzz Points) in an email. One way that you can really gain the customer understanding that you need? Begin selling to them directly at first. To learn how to bring a product to market, begin by selling directly to end-users, advises entrepreneur Tamara Monosoff in an article for Entrepreneur. “This’ll give you confidence that there’s demand for your product and will also create referenceable customers that you can contact for product and packaging feedback before you hit the bigger leagues.” By having those early conversations with your target market, you’ll not only have a better grasp on their goals and challenges but also have the opportunity to make any necessary tweaks–to your product, your pricing structure, or anything else–before you get too much further down the rabbit hole. 2. Know your product. You not only need to understand your audience, you also need to have an intimate understanding of your product. This is especially when your product is in its early stages. You need to think of yourself as the all-knowing expert on your offering: What is it?How does it work?How much does it cost?What challenges does it address?How is it better than your competitors?What advantages does it offer to your consumers? You’ll need to answer all of those questions (and then some!) in order to identify your product’s value proposition–which will be the common thread that weaves throughout all of your marketing materials and messaging. While it’s undeniably important to understand the ins and outs of your product, you also need to ensure that you have an understanding of how it fits into the larger picture for your target market. For example, which quick sales pitch do you find more effective? Option A: This widget that we created uses state-of-the-art technology that we spent months refining. Option B: This widget will help you better keep track of your customer contact information, empowering you to nurture those relationships, increase your sales, and improve your bottom line. If you’re like most people, Option B resonated with you far more than Option A. Why is that? Rather than getting so wrapped up in product features, it focused specifically on results. Ultimately, your customers don’t care about the behind-the-scenes stuff—they really only want to hear what’s in it for them. 3. Create a plan. Once you have that foundation laid, it’s time to create a plan. It might sound obvious. But without this breakdown in place, your product marketing efforts will feel a lot like being on a road trip without a map or a GPS. Fortunately, you have plenty of flexibility here in order to create a plan that works best for you and your unique product. Here are some questions you’ll want to be sure to answer when hashing out your next steps: What are your revenue goals? Over what amount of time?What price will your product be launched at?With that in mind, how many products do you need to sell in order to meet your goal?Is this the type of product that customers will buy multiples of?Do you have existing customers that will be interested in this product offering?What are your biggest challenges in getting customers to purchase this product?What steps will you take to overcome those challenges? With that self-reflection in place, you can begin hashing out different tactics and strategies to get your product to market. However, remember this: You need to stay flexible. Launching a new product is a learning process, and your plan might require some tweaking (or even major changes!) along the way. 4. Prepare to educate. Imagine your doorbell just rang. You swing open your front door and there’s a salesman standing there with a vacuum cleaner. “This is a great vacuum,” he says, “You should buy it.” What are you going to do? You’re probably going to shut the door in his face. You see, as a business, you’re intimately aware of all of the benefits and advantages your own product offers. But your customers don’t immediately have the same knowledge simply because you put your new product in front of their eyeballs. Any new product launch requires a high degree of customer education in order to be successful. You need to help your customers understand not just what your product is, but why they need it in their lives. So how do you do this? By creating various educational materials that your customers can reference. These can include things like: A short demo video that lives on your website or gets shared on social, like this explainer on how to use Toggl Track.An informative blog post (like ours) that walks them through how your product works.A FAQ page that answers questions that are commonly asked by prospective customers. A free trial that gives them access to your product (if applicable) so that they can learn by doing.A designated customer support person who is willing to answer questions and provide tutorials. There are plenty of other things you can do. But it’s important to remember that you absolutely need to educate your customers. When businesses blindly assume that their prospects already have the information they need and are simply making a choice between brands, they shift from a learning-focused mindset to a competitive one, explains Mark Quinn in an article for Business Insider. “The smart consumer will opt to buy from the company that’s educated him on the issue and presented him with multiple solutions. That company’s selflessness has built trust–and its ability to teach him has bought his loyalty in the future.” 5. Promote, promote, and promote some more. All of this groundwork is important. But you’re likely wondering this: When do you get around to actually promoting your product? When are you going to start drawing in more people? Promotion is a major part of your new product launch. However, your promotional efforts will fall on deaf ears if you don’t take the time to gain an understanding first. So, now that you’ve done that, it’s time to start blanketing your target market with the news of your new product. There are tons of different ways you can do that, including (but certainly not limited to!): Targeted social media adsGuest posting on industry-related sitesUtilizing industry influencersAttending conferences or speaking engagements How can you make sure your marketing messages really pack a punch? Try a few of these tactics: Use testimonials from your current happy customers. Social proof is huge, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendations. Use statistics and figures. That one used just above likely added legitimacy in your own mind, so why not leverage that same power in your own marketing efforts? 6. Learn what’s working. Unfortunately, not every single thing you do will be effective. Some of your marketing efforts will result in a huge payoff, while others seem to totally flop with your consumer base. That’s normal–particularly when you’re just getting your product off the ground. However, you don’t want to keep channeling time, energy, and resources into initiatives that aren’t actually pushing you forward. Make sure you schedule some regular times to look at your results and analytics to identify how your efforts are resonating. What’s working really well?What isn’t working so well?What adjustments need to be made in order to keep making forward progress? By taking a magnifying glass to the things you’re already doing, you’ll continue to keep learning what’s effective for your product and your target market–getting you that much closer to landing on a winning product management strategy. 7. Hit repeat. Would you go on a diet for one day and expect to see a difference the next morning? Probably not. That same rule holds true with your product marketing. You’re probably not going to see results after doing things once. Posting one social media update won’t lead to an influx of sales. Drafting one blog post won’t cram your inbox full of inquiries from eager customers. The secret with marketing is to stay consistent and–as just mentioned–repeat what’s working well. “When you dabble in your marketing, you’re right! It won’t work. Not because that marketing channel isn’t suited to your business, but usually because you didn’t maintain it for long enough,“ advises Ashley Davis in a post for Skyline Social.“The businesses that produce the best results (in terms of generating both leads AND sales) are those that are consistent in their marketing,” according to Davis. “They’ve regularly been sending clear, consistent messages to potential clients. Not just for weeks or months, but for years.”So while you may be understandably eager to get your new product off the ground, remember that it’s not a one-and-done sort of strategy.A successful product will require a hefty dose of patience and a real investment in your time and your efforts. Over to you. You’re excited to share your brand new product with the world. But a successful product launch requires a lot more than posting an announcement and watching the customers roll in. Marketing products involves plenty of thought, strategy, and prior planning. That might sound overwhelming. However, don’t panic yet–it’s much more doable than you think, and will ultimately lead to a better, more impactful product introduction. Work your way through the seven actionable steps we outlined above and you’re far more likely to zone in on an interested and engaged audience for your new products on the market (and, thus, meet your sales goals!).In the meantime, track your time and progress with Toggl Track. November 11, 2020 Related Posts. Track Nine Ideas to Make Your Employees Track Time. I’ve implemented time tracking in several companies and it was as difficult as talking Gabrielle Solis into a three month backpacking trip in Central Asia. First, in most companies there is a tragic history of time-tracking gone wrong. Usually it involves some complicated systems with names like Trackrmax or Megonomy — the soviet pocket calculators Track What Overwhelm Is and How To Cope With It. Stories accompany us each day. Whether we realize it or not, our life is defined by the stories we tell ourselves: who we are, what we can do, what we like and what we don’t. These tales can help us live a life that’s full of joy, nurture, and accomplishment. But they can also sabotage us. Track 8 Tips for Successfully Working from Home with Kids. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down workplaces and schools with little notice, working parents like me had to scramble to figure out a way to be efficient employees and mindful parents. Kids threw an endearing wrench into the works. Suddenly, I was given no other choice but to homeschool.
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                                            [35] => stdClass Object
                                                (
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                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [36] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 88% more time
                                                    [href] => https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/03/08/video-marketing-statistics
                                                    [hrefDomain] => wordstream.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [37] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Campaign Monitor
                                                    [href] => https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/video-in-email/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => campaignmonitor.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [38] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => State of Social Video Marketing
                                                    [href] => https://animoto.com/blog/business/2018-social-video-marketer-trends?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [39] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => create professional videos
                                                    [href] => https://animoto.com/?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [40] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => customize to make your own
                                                    [href] => https://animoto.com/builder/templates?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [41] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Here’s a cheat sheet
                                                    [href] => https://animoto.com/resources/guides/social-media-video-cheat-sheet?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [42] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Video templates
                                                    [href] => https://animoto.com/builder/templates?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [43] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => try it for free
                                                    [href] => http://animoto.com?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [44] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Campaign Monitor
                                                    [href] => https://www.campaignmonitor.com
                                                    [hrefDomain] => campaignmonitor.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [45] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 3.7 billion email users in the world
                                                    [href] => https://www.statista.com/statistics/255080/number-of-e-mail-users-worldwide/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => statista.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [46] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 59% of marketers
                                                    [href] => https://myemma.com/guides/2018-email-marketing-industry-report
                                                    [hrefDomain] => myemma.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [47] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => $44 for every $1 spent
                                                    [href] => https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/infographics/24-email-marketing-stats-need-know/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => campaignmonitor.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [48] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 89% of marketers
                                                    [href] => http://www.mailigen.com/blog/infographic-segmented-emails-is-what-the-future-holds/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => mailigen.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [49] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => double email open rates
                                                    [href] => https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/email-segmentation-open-rate-increase
                                                    [hrefDomain] => marketingsherpa.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [50] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 
                                                    [href] => https://reallygoodemails.com/promotional/invite/youre-invited-to-facebook-community-boost-greenville/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => reallygoodemails.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [51] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => dynamic content
                                                    [href] => https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2018/07/how-to-use-dynamic-content-to-increase-email-engagement/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => campaignmonitor.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [52] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => MarketingSherpa
                                                    [href] => https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/personal-subject-lines
                                                    [hrefDomain] => marketingsherpa.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [53] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 
                                                    [href] => https://reallygoodemails.com/punctual/report/your-2017-with-lyft/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => reallygoodemails.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [54] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => increase open rates by 70.5%
                                                    [href] => http://www.emailinstitute.com/premium/q4-2012-north-american-email-trends-and-benchmarks
                                                    [hrefDomain] => emailinstitute.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [55] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 
                                                    [href] => https://reallygoodemails.com/promotional/social/postcards-from-your-adventurous-lives/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => reallygoodemails.com
                                                    [rel] => noopener
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [56] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Seventy-seven percent of ROI
                                                    [href] => https://www.emailmonday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/National-client-email-2015-DMA.pdf
                                                    [hrefDomain] => emailmonday.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [57] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Campaign Monitor
                                                    [href] => https://www.campaignmonitor.com/features/b/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => campaignmonitor.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [58] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Twitter
                                                    [href] => https://analytics.twitter.com/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => twitter.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [59] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => Facebook Insights
                                                    [href] => https://www.facebook.com/help/336893449723054
                                                    [hrefDomain] => facebook.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [60] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => more shares
                                                    [href] => https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/10/video-marketing-statistics.html
                                                    [hrefDomain] => smallbiztrends.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [61] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => throughout the customer journey
                                                    [href] => https://animoto.com/blog/business/goals-social-video?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=sproutsocial.com&utm_campaign=2019MarketingGuide
                                                    [hrefDomain] => animoto.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [toc] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
                    Send us an email
                . 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
                    Send us an email
                . 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Introduction to Small Business Marketing 101. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Small business marketing with inbound. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => What is inbound marketing?
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Inbound 101: The basics for getting started. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Know your personas & target markets. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Map out your channels and tactics. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Create content and execute on the playbook. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Conclusion. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Small business marketing with video. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Why Video matters for small businesses. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Social video for small business. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => YouTube video for small business. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Website video for small business. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Email video for small business. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => In-person video for small business. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Overcoming the hurdles to video marketing. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Myth #1: Video is too time consuming. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Myth #2: Video is too complicated. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Myth #3: Video is too expensive. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Small business videos ideas. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => About us video. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Product story video. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Video ad. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Fun social video. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => How-to video. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Blog teaser video. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => Testimonial video. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Video tips and tricks for small businesses. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Animoto for small business. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Small business marketing with email. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Email marketing is alive and well. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Before your first send. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 1. Start with a plan. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 2. Segment your audience. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 3. Personalize your messages. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 4. Scale your efforts. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 5. Measure your success. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => What to look for in an email marketing platform. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Small business marketing with social. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => The value of social media for small business. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Getting started with small business marketing on social. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 1. Define your social goals. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 2. Define your core metrics. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 3. Target your audience and social networks. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 4. Figure out what to share. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 5. Build your publishing calendar. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 6. Respond to inbound messages. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 7. Analyze your results. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Advanced tips for small business social. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 1. Search social for new opportunities. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 2. Run competitive analyses. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 3. Leverage relevant hashtags. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 4. Create great visuals and videos. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 5. Get your teammates on social. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 6. Boost your content with paid ads. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => Using a social media tool. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    Recommended for you
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
                            Digital creators vs. influencers: What’s the difference?
                        . 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
                            Template: Essential Questions to Ask in Your Social Media Management Software RFP
                        . 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
                            What is earned media? 5 Tips for a successful earned media strategy
                        . 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
                            Template: Create a Better Annual Social Media Budget
                        . 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
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                            [body] => Small Business Marketing 101: Using Email, Social, Video and More Introduction to Small Business Marketing 101. Whether your small business has existed for years, or just recently started up, finding the most effective marketing strategies is critical. That’s because small businesses don’t have the same resources to execute as larger scale firms. In fact, you may be the founder and CEO who has also taken up the mantle of marketer. That’s why Sprout Social worked with our amazing partners at HubSpot, Animoto and Campaign Monitor to put together this guide to small business marketing.Together, we’ve covered some of the most frequently discussed topics among small business marketers. We’ll continue to work with more partners to expand on these topics over time. For now, keep reading for the following:HubSpot on inbound marketing for small businessesAnimoto on video marketing for small businessesCampaign Monitor on email marketing for small businessesSprout Social on social marketing for small businesses Section 1Small business marketing with inbound. Would you rather have your customers searching for you instead of the other way around? Look no further than inbound marketing. In this section, HubSpot discusses the importance of inbound marketing for small business, the basics of getting started and how to choose the right channels for your organization.Let’s talk about a framework for bringing the ideal customer to your website. It’s used by tons of businesses, big and small, and it can work for you as well.What is inbound marketing?One quick definition we at HubSpot use is to think of outbound marketing as “push” marketing and inbound marketing as “pull.” Rather than interrupt customers with disruptive ads or unethical sales tactics, you attract them via valuable content that helps them accomplish their goals.To further elaborate, it’s about three pieces:AttractEngageDelightYou attract prospects and customers to your website and blog through relevant and helpful content.Once they arrive, you engage with them using conversational tools like email and chat and by promising continued value.Finally, you delight them by continuing to act as an empathetic advisor and expert.The inbound methodology isn’t specific to marketing, by the way. The same process and mindset can be used in sales and services, too.So, how do you actually do inbound marketing?Inbound 101: The basics for getting started. There have been many books and courses on inbound marketing, so we won’t be able to comprehensively cover the idea here. Rather, we’ll give the 80/20 so you can start to take action. After you get your wheels on the ground, you can always go back and learn more about the methodology.So what are the basic steps for getting started?First, map out your ideal audience, aka your target market. Who do you want to sell to?Second, map out the channels you can use to attract, engage and delight your customers. Where do they hang out and how do they communicate?Finally, begin crafting content and messaging that will be used to attract, engage and delight customers. Make sure you have analytics in place, because you’ll need to constantly learn and update your strategy based on the results you get.Let’s dive into each one of these individually.Know your personas & target markets. It’s possible you know your target market and have already built your buyer personas, but even if that’s the case, it never hurts doing this work again and learning more about your customers. The more you know about your customer, the better you can craft your messaging and strategy.In defining a target market, you narrow down your audience to the level that you can choose correct marketing channels and start to define a buyer persona for messaging.In building a buyer persona, you create a representative model of your prototypical customer. As in machine learning, you need to split the difference between perfect accuracy and perfect utility. In other words, you should gather enough data and information to make a buyer persona largely accurate to the real world, but you shouldn’t gather too much information and make it too complex.How do you gather data to inform your buyer persona? There are many ways, some easier, some harder, depending on the stage of your company:Customer interviews (phone or in person)Digital analyticsSurveys (on-site polls like Qualaroo and customer surveys)User testingLive chat transcripts and intelligence via sales and service teamsYou’ll want to answer core questions about your ideal buyer, such as:What are their motivations and fears?How do they prefer to make purchases?How much research do they do and what kind of content is useful to them?How do they interact with brands? What do they prefer the relationship to look like?Who do they look to when they’re making decisions? Who influences them?Where do they hang out? How can you reach them?What type of language do they use?All of these things will help you a) choose channels and b) craft messaging.Just don’t create a silly made-up buyer persona with a cute name just to go through the motions. Also, it probably doesn’t matter what your buyer persona’s favorite color of car is unless you’re selling paint or used vehicles. Stick to the stuff that’s important and knowable.Map out your channels and tactics. When you have a target market and buyer persona, you can look into different channels. There are only so many inbound marketing channels:BloggingSEOSocialFacebook Ads (suggested reading: Are ads inbound?)BrandingReferralViralitySome channels won’t work for your business no matter how hard you try. For example, virality probably doesn’t make sense if you sell dish soap.Similarly, some channels could potentially work but will take so much effort and risk to pull off, that you should probably table them for the time being in favor of higher impact channels. For example, if you’re a LawnStarter (lawn care) or ProTranslating (translation services), social media may not pay off.Though oddly enough, MoonPie kills it on TwitterTo identify your best channels, use this heuristic: “how does a customer buy this type of product?”In the case of lawn care, it’s usually when their lawn grows too long and they need someone right away. SEO and search ads are perfect to capture this type of demand.Some products, such as Chubbies or Airpods, are naturally viral. Just optimize the viral components and add a little wind to the sail.Others make a perfect fit for content marketing, such as B2B software companies like Wordable or Mutiny. These products tend to require a little bit of upfront education, and their target customers are accustomed to learning via blogs, webinars and ebooks.Content often works well for SaaS productsIn any case, just think about it and discuss with your colleagues before jumping into a channel. Don’t simply join a channel because your competitors have or because it’s new and buzzworthy. We don’t need more gurus or businesses trying to make it big on Snapchat, and we especially don’t need more businesses trying to go viral on Reddit. Do what makes sense for you.Create content and execute on the playbook. Any inbound channel—nay, any marketing channel—will require some sort of messaging strategy. How you execute on messaging will largely determine how effective the channel becomes.Let’s say, for example, we want to use blogging and SEO as our inbound channel. This usually forms the basis of such efforts, as it’s an owned channel, and you can generally compete with very large players and win some or much of the time on quality and 10x content.Now, what do you blog about?While you can answer this question many ways with some degree of validity, we like to follow the Pillar + Cluster model.In plain English, your “pillar content” represents the big topic you want to rank for, and “cluster content” represents supporting content that relates to your big topic. Hyperlinking pages together shows Google they’re related to each other.For example, let’s say your big topic is “personalization” For this, you might create a pillar page called “The Ultimate Guide to Web Personalization.”Then you could create several cluster content blog posts to support the pillar page. These could be on topics like:How to personalize email newslettersTop personalization tools in 2019Personalization examplesHow to measure ROI from personalization…And on and on.We like to start backwards from our product and branch out from there. So, basically, what’s the end goal? Define that product page, and then come up with high traffic pillar page ideas that can support that. From there, break topic ideas off of your pillar page to create long tail blog posts. A good way to find long tail ideas is on Answer The Public.Soon, you’ll bring in tons of traffic, and then you’ll simply have to worry about converting that traffic into leads, users, demos…whatever your goal conversion is.Unfortunately, that’s a huge topic, and one we can’t crack into here. So here are some resources on email marketing and conversion optimization to check out:Lead Magnets – Ideas to get people to sign up for your listWeb forms guide – Best practices to get form completions, no matter the purpose)A/B testing guide – Everything you want to know about running your own testsConclusion. Obviously this is a short primer on inbound, and there’s a lot more to talk about. But if we could boil it down to the simplest possible summary, we’d say, “Define your audience, go where the fish are and craft your messaging in a way that resonates with them.”This sounds easy, but it takes a lot of work. In fact, we’ll end by emphasizing the need to keep learning and improving.Make sure you have proper analytics in place, and continue to improve and optimize your inbound funnel.When it works, it really works. And when it really, really works, you can build a moat that is hard to compete with. Section 2Small business marketing with video. Is your growing business interested in taking advantage of the power of video? Then you have come to the right place. This section discusses the importance of video marketing for small business, how to overcome hurdles in video marketing. It ends with ideas to consider for your own strategy.According to Forbes, 90% of consumers say videos help them with buying decisions. Sixty-four percent say that watching videos makes them more likely to purchase. Forbes also reports that businesses that use video in their marketing see a 41% increase in search traffic compared to those that don’t.Video has taken social media, and marketing in general, by storm. But for small business owners or marketers, it may feel daunting. Here at Animoto, we’ve spoken with countless small business owners that already wear a lot of hats. We know adding video to the mix may feel overwhelming—especially without the time, resources or technical expertise needed for video creation.But guess what? Video marketing isn’t as time-consuming or difficult as you may think. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you get started (and show you how easy it can be). We’ll share:Why video matters for small businessesHow to overcome the hurdles to video creationSmall business video ideasTips and tricks for small business video creationHow to get started with video marketing todayLet’s dive in!Why Video matters for small businesses. Video affords marketers at businesses of all sizes a massive opportunity. We’ll take a quick look at what video can do for your marketing on social media, on YouTube, on your website, in your emails and even in your store or at an event.Social video for small business. According to a recent Animoto survey, consumers rank video as their number one favorite type of content to see from brands on social media, and 93% of marketers using video on social media say it’s landed them a new customer.Video has become increasingly important on social media, where it generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined. Video can be incorporated into your social marketing throughout the customer journey to maximize the success of your campaigns.YouTube video for small business. You’ve likely already heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine, after Google. What does this mean for you? More consumers than ever (including your own customers) search YouTube for product reviews, how-tos and more.Creating YouTube videos means that you’ll get in front of more customers searching for videos related to your industry and products or services.Website video for small business. Did you know that the average customer spends 88% more time on a website if it has video? Pretty incredible, right? There are all sorts of ways to incorporate video into your website, including an introductory video on yourHomepageProduct videosA personal video for your about page that showcases your small business storyand moreAnd guess what? These videos can also be repurposed to share on YouTube and social media.Email video for small business. Including video in email can lead to an up to 19% increase in open rate and an up to 50% increase in click-through rate, according to Campaign Monitor.The even better news? Adding video to your emails isn’t as complicated as it may sound. In fact, the videos don’t actually have to play in your email. Rather, you can simply link out to them and mention “video” in your subject line to start seeing results.In-person video for small business. Video doesn’t have to be limited to the web. You can also use it for your in-person marketing—in your shop, at events and trade shows and in sales sessions. Loop a video on a screen to attract foot traffic or include videos to make presentations more engaging.Overcoming the hurdles to video marketing. Our recent survey on the State of Social Video Marketing showed that marketers aren’t making as many videos as they’d like. The reasons? They say video requires too much time and budget and the tools and software seem too complicated.As a small business owner, you likely face similar hurdles. We’ll break them down here and show you why video is easier to get started with than you may think.Myth #1: Video is too time consuming. There’s a common misconception when it comes to video that it takes days (or even more) to create a single video. In truth, this may be accurate when it comes to professional productions with big production crews, designed to be run as television ad campaigns. However, creating videos for social, or to embed on your blog and website, doesn’t have to take a ton of time.You can get started with as little as a couple hours a week, and as you get better at making videos, you’ll need even less. You can repurpose photos and videos you already have or use stock imagery to save time on production.We’d also like to call out that even big brands with big budgets have started opting for less polished social videos for a more authentic look. You don’t have to spend hours to reap the benefits of video.Myth #2: Video is too complicated. But even with the time set aside, a lot of small businesses don’t use video because they believe they don’t have the expertise. Yes, some video editing softwares require advanced know-how. But a wide range of video editing solutions cater to non-professionals. And you can use these to create professional videos on your own. We promise you.We should also mention that, when it comes to social video especially, you don’t need heavy production. A lot of the most engaging videos are short clips with just a few shots, or even a single clip with text on it. Start simple and as you get more familiar with video creation you can try new, more complicated things.Myth #3: Video is too expensive. Finally, video production doesn’t have to break your budget. As we mentioned above, you likely have the photos and video clips you need to get started. If you don’t, you can use your smartphone instead of an expensive video camera.Add text over your video clips and you don’t need to worry about expensive audio equipment (85% of people watch with the sound off anyway). And you can tie it all together with an inexpensive, easy-to-use video editing tool.Small business videos ideas. Okay, so now we’ve convinced you that you need video. But what types of videos should you make? This is one of the biggest questions faced by small business marketers looking to get started with video. We’ve rounded up some small business video ideas and examples for inspiration.And to help you out, each of these video examples includes a template that you can customize to make your own.About us video. Share the story behind your business. Who are you and what products or services do you offer? An About Us lets you show off the people and story behind your business, which can work especially well for small and growing businesses.Product story video. A product video ad, which we’ll get to next, works when you want to close the deal and make a sale. But telling the story of your product or service can engage with potential customers on a whole other level. Telling the backstory of a specific product can make for share-worthy content, as you can see in this example. Do you offer a product with an interesting backstory?Video ad. We promised a product video ad, and here it is. A video ad should be short and sweet. It introduces your product to the target audience and provides a clear call to action (CTA) so they know how they can purchase.Fun social video. Looking for a quick video idea for your social media pages? Try a quote. Quote videos take little time to make and rack up shares to boot. Just pair a nice photo or video clip with a quote that’s relevant to your business or industry.How-to video. A how-to video lets you showcase your expertise. Answer a question you hear a lot from your customers or share an insider tip based on your industry expertise. Share it on social media and YouTube too, where potential customers are searching for answers. You can also share your expertise with a list or step-by-step instructional video.Blog teaser video. If you’ve got a blog or other content on your website, try creating a short video teaser to promote it. Make sure to include a clear call to action with the link where viewers can go to read more.Testimonial video. With testimonial videos, you can share social proof and help new customers feel comfortable doing business with you. While you can actually shoot interviews with your customers to create testimonial videos, there are some easy alternatives too. Try using quotes from Yelp, social media or customer emails, paired with accolades and imagery of yourself or your product.Video tips and tricks for small businesses. We hope we’ve inspired you to start making videos. Before you dive in, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your video marketing.Get started with what you have. You likely already have photos and video clips you can use to create your first videos. Look on your phone, your desktop, your website, and your social media profiles for content to get started with.Plan for sound off. When creating videos for social media, remember that 85% of people watch with the sound off. Use text to tell a story that translates whether or not viewers turn the sound on.Keep mobile in mind. More and more viewers watch videos on mobile devices,. Make text large enough to read and go for a square or vertical format for videos designed for mobile or social media.Target your video ads. With the targeting capabilities of Facebook Ads Manager and other social platforms, you can reach the audience most likely to engage with your business or product.One size doesn’t fit all. Creating a video for Facebook? For the Instagram feed? Twitter? An Instagram story? Different types of formats and content work best on different platforms, so plan your video content accordingly. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you out.Use your smartphone. You don’t need fancy equipment to get started. We’ve all got great professional cameras in our pockets. Your phone shoots better video than you think!Pay attention to lighting. Good light (or lack of it) can really make or break the quality of your video. Don’t have professional lighting equipment? Try shooting outside in the sunlight, next to a window or simply turn on as many lights as you’ve got indoors.Pay attention to audio. Similarly, the state of your audio can have a big impact on the quality of your video. When recording, listen with headphones to make sure everything sounds OK. And remember, even if you do plan on using audio you should plan for sound-off viewing and use text or captions.Animoto for small business. Ready to dive in? We’re here to help. Animoto provides everything small businesses and marketers need to drag and drop their way to powerful and professional videos. With customizable video templates, designed with success in mind, Animoto makes it easy for anyone to create their own videos in minutes. With over a decade in the industry and partnerships with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn, Animoto is used by more than one million businesses worldwide.Video templates for a variety of small business use cases, including all the ideas we shared earlier in the article, can be selected and customized. Add your own photos, video clips and text. Then, add your logo and update the colors to fit your brand and you’re doneWe invite you to try it for free today. Happy video making! Section 3Small business marketing with email. Email marketing is a must-have for business, but that doesn't mean it's easy to get right. In this section, Campaign Monitor discusses why email marketing is important for your small business, how to send amazing emails and, most importantly, how to scale your efforts.When you started your own business or started working at one, there were probably a few hats you were expected to wear—like creator, CEO, founder or visionary.But as your business grows, there will inevitably be a few more hats you have to put on—hats that may not fit quite as easily, like email marketing aficionado.At Campaign Monitor we want to empower you with email marketing tools and tips that are powerful yet simple, so you can get back to doing what you do best.Email marketing is alive and well. With so many options for marketing a new and growing business, you may struggle to decide where to focus. Research supports prioritizing email marketing. Let’s take a look at the stats:There are over 3.7 billion email users in the world currently, which means the projected number of users by 2021 is 4.1 billion.59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI.Email marketing drives $44 for every $1 spent.89% of marketers say email serves as their primary channel for lead generation.Before your first send. So you’ve decided to implement an email marketing strategy. Now what? First, you need to understand the purpose of email marketing: to create, secure and nurture relationships. Yes, you’ll likely meet other goals along the way, like increasing customer engagement and ROI, but don’t lose sight of the people whose inboxes you’re sending to. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few tips for maximum success.1. Start with a plan. There’s no right or wrong formula for your first email marketing plan, as long as it answers the following questions:Why am I sending emails?Who am I sending them to?What value can I offer subscribers?What are my email marketing goals?Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to map your customers’ journey. Think of this like mapping out a route for marathon runners; make sure the path is clear of barriers and the signs point the right way. You need to be familiar with the journey your customers take from lead to conversion so you can anticipate any needs or questions they will have along the way.2. Segment your audience. When setting up your email subscription form, consider the information you’ll need long-term. Name and email address are the traditional fields, but collecting additional demographic information will help you to segment your audience into groups based on age, gender, location or another variable.Rather than send the same mass email to your entire list every time, segmentation allows you to send customized and relevant content that your subscribers will more likely engage with. After all, proper email list segmentation can double email open rates.As an example, Facebook segmented their list based on location and invited users to events in their area:3. Personalize your messages. Once you’ve divided your list into groups based on purchase history, interest or other variables, it’s time to create content specifically for the people in that group. Maybe something they indicated interest in has gone on sale, there’s an event happening in their area or you want to address them by name and recommend something they’ll love.One of our favorite ways to do this using Campaign Monitor is by inserting dynamic content into your message. This shows your audience that you understand and care for them, and it will add an extra “wow” factor that will surprise and delight them. And in case you needed additional convincing, MarketingSherpa’s research shows that open rates increase by 41% when a personalized subject line is used.See how Lyft uses the information they’ve gathered about their customers to create a pretty cool personalized email:4. Scale your efforts. So you’ve mapped out a plan, organized your list into segments and created personalized content that drives engagement. It’s time to take all the tools and tactics that work and scale them to reach more people. At this point, automation is your go-to.By scheduling emails to meet your subscribers at each point in their customer journey (which you already mapped out in step #1), you’ll continue to ensure that your content is relevant and fulfilling your customers’ needs. Plus, automated email messaging can increase open rates by 70.5%.Paravel uses automation and personalization to send customized trip “postcards” to their customers:5. Measure your success. You made it to the final step—see, that wasn’t so bad. The best way to continue to improve and refine your email marketing skills is to look at the data and find out what works, what you could do better and what you can live without.Keep an eye on your metrics, try to retarget the subscribers who don’t engage and maintain good deliverability to ensure long-term email marketing success. Seventy-seven percent of ROI comes from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns, so find what works for you and continue to help it grow.What to look for in an email marketing platform. When it comes to email marketing platforms, there are a lot of options to choose from and ideas to consider. We’ve given you tips and tricks to begin creating your email marketing strategy, but choosing the right provider can make or break your business growth. Of course, you’ll want to choose a provider that can grow with your business in terms of subscriber list size and functional capability, but what about features to enhance your segmentation, personalization and automation?If you’re looking for a service provider that will help you focus on your subscribers’ needs, design beautiful emails and scale your success, Campaign Monitor could be the perfect fit. With robust features for segmentation, personalization and automation, as well as 24/7 access to customer support, our team is here to help you drive engagement and increase ROI. Happy sending! Section 4Small business marketing with social. Social media is a critical channel for growing your audience, showcasing your organization, and creating lasting relationships that will yield delighted customers. In this section, Sprout Social discusses the value of social for small business, how to get started on social and shares tips for advanced audiences.Sprout Social works with thousands of small businesses to help them improve their social marketing strategy while also saving time online. Over the course of working with so many organizations, we’ve gotten good at helping guide their social strategy.Here we’ve put together the essentials for small business marketing on social, but for a more comprehensive guide you can see our entire guide to social media for small business.The value of social media for small business. Social is essential for driving your inbound marketing strategy, sharing your videos and increasing leads to email.But social media is also important on its own.Social media is valuable for businesses of any size or industry, and finding customers on social media has a direct impact on sales and your bottom line.In fact, those individuals who follow you on your social channels are 57.5% more likely to buy from you.But it doesn’t stop there. If you can actually manufacture a great positive social media experience that number increases to 71%.These numbers prove your brand should capitalize on the power of social media for small business marketing.We’ve broken the next sections down by where you may be in your social strategy, including information for those just getting started and more advanced tips for those with an established presence.Getting started with small business marketing on social. 1. Define your social goals. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish on social media, then you’ll never know when you succeed or fall short. Without this, you’ll likely struggle to maintain a nimble strategy.Goals can vary wildly from one industry to the next. While a retail company may look for direct purchases from social, someone in higher education may look at new enrollment rates.Our recent Sprout Social Index asked social marketers about their biggest goals. You can use their responses to help you choose your initial social media goals, then refine those as you get a better sense of what social marketing can provide your business. We’ve included a cheat sheet to define each item below.Increase brand awareness: How familiar social users are with your brandIncrease community engagement: Authentic conversations you have with your followersIncrease web traffic: The number of website visitors driven from social channelsGenerate sales/leads: Individuals who purchase your goods or services, or those who fill out a website form, from social channelsDistribute content: Sharing your content to your social channels.Increase brand advocacy from customers: Getting happy customers to share their experiences on socialSupport customers: Using social to respond to customer inquiries and create better customer experiencesGrow influencer marketing program: Increase the number of influencers discussing your brand on social2. Define your core metrics. Think of your social goals as the destination and your core metrics as the map that helps you get there. Once again, we’ve provided a cheat sheet to some key metrics for social media marketing below.Impressions: The number of times an individual saw your messageEngagements The number of times an individual has interacted with your message, including:LikesFavoritesSharesRetweetsClicksRepliesFollowsEngagement Rates: The number of engagements divided by the number of impressionsSite Visits: The number of times someone visited your profile pageMentions: The number of times your handle or brand was mentioned on social.Followers: The number of individuals who follow you on social, usually shown as an increase or decrease over timeNew Sales/ROI: The new revenue generated from social visitors, trackable with UTM tagging and website analytics3. Target your audience and social networks. Social media provides one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience, but first, you have to identify that audience. Consider things like:AgeLocationIncomeEducationCareerInterestsRemember the more specific you can get, the better. This will enable you to create a strong social media marketing strategy around these individuals and take a targeted approach to reach the right people at the right time.Once you know who you want to reach, you’ll have to figure out where they are. Earlier in this guide, HubSpot noted that not every single inbound channel works for small business marketing. The same is true for specific social media networks—not every single one will make sense for your business. Social networks have varied user bases. Don’t invest in one network if your core audience is on another.Before choosing a platform, ask yourself things like:Which platform best fits your B2B or B2C interactions?How often do you publish content?What’s the lifespan of your content?Are you using social media for customer service?Are you engaging with user-generated content?Can you automate parts of your social media?The answers to those questions will inform the networks you should choose.4. Figure out what to share. To figure out what content to post, look no further than what has worked best in the past. If you’ve published to social media before, tools like Sprout Social, Twitter or Facebook Insights can help you understand what resonated most with your audience.Below is an example of how to view your Sent Messages with Sprout (available with a free trial).Sort your messages by your key metric and you’ll see the top posts for that metric. Look through a handful to find any consistencies and leverage that insight when choosing what to publish.5. Build your publishing calendar. Once you know what kind of content works, you can create social media posts to automatically publish at the times and days of your choosing. Additionally, you can use a social media publishing tool like Sprout Social to visualize your entire Publishing Calendar, across all of your networks and profiles.Automatically export your calendar as a PDF to share with other key stakeholders throughout your organization.6. Respond to inbound messages. Unless you sell the most niche product in the world, your customers likely post about it (and you) on social media. Whether they directly tag you or use certain keywords and phrases that relate to your company, it’s your job to respond to their messages to create a better user experience.Monitor your social channels for conversations or posts that warrant a response. You can use a social media engagement tool to pull in the conversations that directly mention you or mention something relevant to your organization.7. Analyze your results. Once you’ve established the metrics that matter most to your brand, and spent time on social channels posting and engaging, you can start to track the impact of your efforts.The frequency with which you analyze your social media results will likely depend on your time and how much you utilize social. Remember that it’s important to track metrics to optimize your strategy. You can use a social media analytics tool to automatically run high-level or in-depth reports if your time is limited.Advanced tips for small business social. 1. Search social for new opportunities. We’ve established that small business marketers must respond to social media posts that tag or mention them. For a more advanced tactic, we suggest monitoring social media for conversations on topics related to your business, and then joining in.Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant in Chicago that prides itself on its gluten-free offering. By using a social media listening tool, you can track everyone who mentions a term like “gluten free pizza” in the Chicago area.These conversations will populate in your inbox in real time so that you can reach out to anyone looking for a recommendation and suggest your restaurant.2. Run competitive analyses. Keep an eye on your competition’s social media strategy. Doing so will help you understand the industry and how you measure up as well as develop unique ideas to stand out from the crowd. We’ve created this entire guide on running a competitive analysis, including a free template to help you conduct your research.3. Leverage relevant hashtags. Hashtags help you get your content in front of new audiences on social media. Not sure which to use? Our free Hashtag Holiday calendar contains a ton of ideas. Just make sure that the hashtags you use actually make sense for your brand and you’re not forcing it.4. Create great visuals and videos. Earlier in this guide, Animoto shared the importance of video:“Video has become increasingly important on social media, where it generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined. Video can be incorporated into your social marketing throughout the customer journey to maximize the success of your campaigns.”They also shared some tips to make creating videos easier on your team. Now that you’ve bought in, make sure that you share any and all videos you create with their guidance on your relevant social channels.5. Get your teammates on social. Social media poses so many opportunities for businesses that it can feel a little overwhelming at times. As a small business marketer, you may be in short supply of resources, but if there is anyone at your organization that can help you keep up, then invite them to join you.If your concern is in doubling efforts or reducing how secure your accounts are, then never fear. Social media collaboration tools can ensure that you effectively manage your presence as a team.6. Boost your content with paid ads. If you don’t get the impressions you hoped for on social media, it could make sense to boost your views by putting some paid advertising dollars into your posts until your presence takes hold. Each native network has its own paid social functionality, or you can use a paid social tool to quickly boost your posts.Using a social media tool. A social media marketing tool like Sprout Social saves you countless hours managing your presence. Long gone are the days that you should find yourself manually logging in and out of each social profile when it’s time to publish a message, respond to customers or get your social media analytics.Learn all about Sprout Social for your small business and start a free 30-day trial today. Recommended for you . View all Recommended for youRecommended for youCategories Social Media Content Social Media Strategy Digital creators vs. influencers: What’s the difference? . Published on January 6, 2022 • Reading time 5 minutes Categories Template Social Media Strategy Template: Essential Questions to Ask in Your Social Media Management Software RFP . Categories Social Media Strategy What is earned media? 5 Tips for a successful earned media strategy . Published on October 21, 2021 • Reading time 7 minutes Categories Template Social Media Advertising Template: Create a Better Annual Social Media Budget . Now on slide Now on slide Now on slide Now on slide Build and grow stronger relationships on social . Sprout Social helps you understand and reach your audience, engage your community and measure performance with the only all-in-one social media management platform built for connection. Try Sprout For Free
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                            [body] => How to Effectively Market Your Small Business on Social Media Published on September 30, 2021Social media marketing is no longer optional for small businesses in 2018. I see this problem all too often when I’m consulting small business owners. They have this mentality that social media won’t benefit their companies. “Our customers know who we are, and they know whe