Five Benefits of Multichannel Marketing

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If you still believe that having a website is enough to succeed with a new business, you might be up for a surprise. Most large brands are now creating a multichannel marketing campaign to improve their communication and branding results, while reaching more customers in a more effective and appropriate way. Below you’ll find a few benefits of creating a multichannel marketing plan for your new business to beat the competition and improve your conversion rates.

Better Reach

Not all customers are happy to visit you in your store. Likewise, some will research the internet for recommendations, and will not be happy to order from your website before they read real customer reviews about your company. Some use LinkedIn, others prefer Facebook groups. You need to be present where your potential customers hang out, therefore, to reach them, you will have to create a marketing plan that involves email, online, and social media advertising, as well as print materials, telemarketing, and SMS.

More Effective Sales Funnels

No online business can survive without an effective sales funnel. You will need to design your customers’ journey from the moment they first hear about your business until they become buyers. If you are present on various channels, and your potential clients can get in touch to ask questions on social media, as well as via email and phone, you can increase your conversion rates long term.

Improved Brand Awareness

Being present on the internet doesn’t get you noticed. You will have to find different channels to get visitors to your website and turn them into followers, who will – eventually  become customers. You need to grab every opportunity to improve your brand awareness in your target market. Using social media and video market can make your content go viral without having to spend a lot of money on advertising, and increase your brand’s reach within your niche.  

Customer Communication

Another great benefit of being present on different channels is that you give your customers plenty of opportunity to contact you and give you feedback. When things go wrong, your clients want more than sending an email and waiting a week to get the issue resolved. Having an online chat on your site and social media pages will improve your customer communication and build your reputation at the same time.

Added Value

You should learn to take advantage of the latest technologies to communicate your offers to your target customers. You can offer incentives for members and repeat customers, or make the ordering process easier. Adopting a simple-to-use shopping cart system can improve customer satisfaction. You might also find professional app developers to design your branded app and get your offers out to your target market.  

Whether you are looking to increase your brand awareness of conversion rates, adopting a multi channel marketing and communication strategy is a good idea. You will be able to benefit from higher conversion rates, improved brand awareness, and reputation. Furthermore, you can take advantage of viral marketing and recommendations.

Using Press Releases to Gain Visibility

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It can be hard to get noticed in such a crowded marketplace, but there are a number of things entrepreneurs can do to gain more visibility.

Of course, social media is a hugely effective medium to broadcast your message – but unless it’s of direct relevance and personal value to your extended network, it’s unlikely to show up in their Facebook feed unless it’s a sponsored link… which, nowadays, can be pretty expensive.  The main benefit is that you can use hyper-personalised targeting to hone in on the individual demographic you are wanting to reach, including their tastes interests – but, as already mentioned, this will come at a significant cost.

However, have you considered the fact many companies submit press releases for a completely different reason.  They submit them on the basis of boosting their search engine rank and credibility with ranking sites such as Moz.  Indeed, they often imagine not many people will read the content of the press release – which might sound a little disheartening, but this practice of using press releases to boost your rank with Google is a well known practice that can be quite effective.

A strategy that is good for building your company website’s reputation within search engine marketing (see: domain authority) is to submit press releases that are then published on a high ranking site with a link back to your website. When Google sends out its robots they will rank your website higher as an already authoritative website is recommending your site; which infers trust and credibility onto your website.

You can submit a press release on the internet, for a small fee, or on certain websites for no fee whatsoever… a good example of a press release announcement can be found here; it is about Ogletree Deakins and hosted on PR Newswire; now whilst the content may not seem particularly riveting, something to bear in mind on these sites is that journalists working for huge newspapers such as The Sunday Times, The New York Times and even the BBC use these sites for ease and time-saving when it comes to writing an article on a tight deadline.  

This means there would be a chance of a high flying journalist from a national newspaper linking your site with a particularly feature they are writing as a result of this press release.

In summary, if you’re wanting to get high up in the search rankings within Google, and let’s face it we all know how important appearing on the front page is – because, in reality, how many people scan through the next two or three pages let alone the 679th page which many businesses that rank poorly for that particular search phrase will be on; even though they might have relevant content and offer a great product or service.  The point is, if you want to get up in Google you need to ‘play the game’ and to do that, you need to know what rules can be bent and which can be broken. It would appear that using press releases in this way to boost your Google rank is a way to ethically bend the rules and quickly get up onto the first page of Google.

Marketing Advice for Strong Startup Success

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Most startups fail within the first year of business, and even fewer of them make it past the 5-year mark. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, but quite often it is because they have failed to market themselves effectively.

If you want to be successful as a startup entrepreneur then you need to nail your marketing campaigns right from the off. If you can’t do that, you will struggle to gain enough momentum to keep you afloat until things really take off, and they never will without the right marketing strategy.

So, marketing is important, but how do you get it right as a startup?

Collect and Use Data

Probably the best way to ensure that your marketing efforts are on point is by collecting data from your target audience, analyzing it and then marketing in ways that you know your audience will be receptive to. If you don’t have time to collect, analyze and act on data yourself, have a marketing agency like MyOptimind take care of it for you. It has never been easier to collect data and gain a deep level of insight into your audience, so you would be foolish not to do so.

Show Your Difference

Unless you’ve invented a really unique product, chances are that you will be competing with a whole lot of other companies, many of whom will be way more established than you are. The only real hope you have of competing with them is showing your audience that you are different. If you can show them how and why you do things differently – and the why must represent a benefit to them – they are way more likely to be interested and give you a chance.

Build Authority

A really good way of convincing people to buy stuff from your startup is by first building your authority in your niche. You can do this by writing blog posts, making how-to videos and engaging on niche forums. Once you put yourself out there and people see that you know your stuff, they will automatically be more interested in doing business with you than someone they don’t know who may or may not have as much knowledge as you.

Sponsor a Community Event

If your startup is locally based, a very effective way of marketing yourself is by sponsoring a local event, such as raising funds for a local charity or community project like the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This will automatically show you in a positive light, and people will respond positively to you and your company as a result.

Engage Your Customers

Instead of simply selling to them, seek to engage with your customers instead. Start conversations with them on social media, ask them what they think about your products and what special offers they would like to see and they will treat you more like a friend or acquaintance than a salesman, and they will be more likely to act and buy something for you as a result.

If you try some of the above techniques and you keep working at it, you will start winning people round to your startup, and you will still be in business this time next year.

How To Boost Your Plateaued Business

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There comes a time in most businesses where success has been increasing, and sometimes at quite a speed, only to gradually slow and level out onto somewhat of a plateau. While, in most cases, this is nothing to worry about, it can be frustrating. You want to keep yourself, and your employees, motivated and an increase in sales would do just that.

Before you consider letting employees go or seek further investment to boost your companys finances, have you thought about the following three strategies to reignite your success?

Expand Your Reach To New Customers

Its possible that your growth has come to a halt because youve already won all the customers you will find in your local area. Instead of trying to sell more to your already-engaged consumers, why not look further afield, into new markets, for wider success?

Thanks to the internet, its easy to scope out the potential of new markets, both within your country and across the world. Do a competitor analysis to ascertain how great a need there is for your product in these new locations before attempting to launch. If there are no other businesses operating in the same industry as you, then thats a green light. Its recommended you start slow and look for a small number of new clients or launch a manageable new branch (for example, one store), so as not to put your existing business at risk.

Rebrand To Change Customer Perceptions

A rebrand or redesign can be a very powerful tool indeed for encouraging greater sales. If youve been in business for a while, youll have developed some key equities that youll want to keep as part of your visual brand language moving forwards. To neglect these important qualities may risk damage to your brand communication.

Never fear if you dont believe youre very design articulate, partner with a strong design and marketing agency, such as the experts at Eventige.com, who will be able to guide you through a rebranding project. Think about the semiotic meanings of the colors and shapes you use. Are they communicating a motivating message to your end consumer?

Launch A New Product or Brand Extension

If youve already tapped the potential of one line of products, there may be scope for you extend your line to include new solutions. You may choose to ask your customers directly if there are any other needs they have, you could run a series of interviews or focus groups or perhaps collaborate with another business to bring your two areas of expertise together.

Collaboration is a fantastic way to grow your business, as youll learn new skills and techniques and benefit from co-branding a product, reaching out to a new audience.

Boost Your Stagnated Business

You dont need to go to extreme measures to boost your business again. Consider the above opportunities. Strategize new markets and products to develop, or reflect upon whether you could tweak your current brand communication and hopefully, youll soon see the buzz return to your workplace, motivating your employees and seeing your bank balance go back in the right direction: up.

 

Five Things That Can Help Your Business Stand Out

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Every business owner wants their business to thrive, don’t they? After all, you don’t start this journey wanting to mediocre, you start it with the vision of making it a success, am I right? However, apart from some of the fundamental aspects of running your business efficiently, is there anything else that you can do to make your business stand out? Sometimes thinking outside of the box, being creative and doing things differently can work in your favor. I thought I would share with you five of the things to help get your started.

Offer different levels of communication

There are customers out there who like to talk, customers out there who prefer email, and there will be customers out there that like to send an old fashioned letter or even a fax, believe it or not. Having a fax machine for your business won’t be a bad thing, and this is when you need to ensure that you are fax GLB compliant. In truth, with your lines of communication having all options means that your business is open to every type of customer, which expands your reach.

Use social media as a marketing tool the right way

Social media is an amazing marketing tool for your business, and it is so good that people are trying to now use it in different ways to promote their businesses. If you think outside of the box in terms of your marketing, then you can really stand out in the world of social media. This might mean improving your images, using Facebook live or Instagram stories as a behind the scenes look. If you can add personality and passion to your social media ten your business will thrive.

Have a business blog

Blogging is fast becoming a useful tool that your business can capitalize on. It opens up another way of driving traffic to your website without it feeling like it is an aggressive or direct sell to your customer. Blogging can also be used in conjunction with search engine optimization, which in theory, will help boost your search engine ranking and direct more people to your main website. It is a great tool to have for your business.

Consider your branding

Your branding is your key message to your customers and other businesses out there, so it needs to be right for your business. It is relevant to your logo, the colors you use, the message you want to say, and it needs to be true to your and your business. There are digital agencies out there that can help devise the perfect brand for your business.

Having a fantastic website

Finally, as we live in a digital world it is important to ensure that your website works efficiently. It needs to load up quickly, be bright and have good quality images and to also hold all correct information. This enforces trust into your business and to your brand.

I hope that these tips help you to ensure that your business is able to stand out from the crowd.

Getting Your Marketing Right First Time Around

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When you establish your own small business, there’s an awful lot to bear in mind and a seemingly never-ending list of tasks that you’re going to have to carry out in order to get things up off the ground and running. But even once you’ve achieved this, the hard work isn’t over. In fact, you could say that it’s only just begun, as now you have to ensure that the consumer market is aware of the products and services that you have on offer and want to purchase them, thus making you a healthy profit and keeping your business out of the red and in the black. One area that you really need to focus on is marketing. But what actually does this entail? Well, marketing is essentially the practice of encouraging consumers to purchase your products over a competitor’s. While this may sound simple, consumers are relatively complex individuals and not only do you have to make them aware of your product in the first place in order to start convincing them that it’s something that they need, but you have to be very careful about how you go about encouraging them to purchase your products. Nobody wants to feel pushed into a purchase, but at the same time, if you lie back and do nothing, they’re likely to run straight into your competitors’ arms. You’re going to have to do a whole lot of market research in order to fully understand what your target audience wants and how they want it presented to them. You also want to ensure that you get the whole marketing process right the first time around. It can often prove to be a pretty costly business, and you want to get it spot on so that revenue from sales encouraged by it can easily cover the investment you’ve put into your marketing campaigns. So, to get you started on the right foot, here are a few marketing ideas that you might like to try out for your small business!

Search Engine Marketing

Nowadays increasing numbers of business people are taking their companies online. Whether this means starting up as an online-only business, making the move from brick and mortar business to an online-only business, or operating online at the same time as running a brick and mortar company. There are various reasons for this. Operating online means that you open your products and services up to a worldwide audience. Near enough anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world can access your page, browse your products and (if you offer international shipping) start making purchases. It also means that you are open for business around the clock. While a standard store requires constant supervision during opening hours and will generally operate between nine in the morning and five in the evening, web users can use your webpage at any time of the day or night, making orders around the clock. But if you’ve put a whole lot of work into developing a website, you can’t automatically expect that people will find their way to it. In fact, many business owners don’t thoroughly consider how they’re going to direct traffic to their page and end up feeling disappointed when they have few hits when they launch their site. The answer to your problems in regards to this is search engine marketing. Think about it. If you’re personally looking for products online, how do you find them? You input keywords into a search engine and generally opt for one of the first options that appear. Search engine marketing, or SEM, uses various specialist techniques such as keywords, tracking, landing pages, creative marketing, reporting, and management to ensure that as much traffic is directed to your page through search engines as possible. The most important and solid strategy for SEM tends to be a strong keyword strategy, so let’s focus on that one aspect for now. You should collaborate with SEM professionals to use professional keyword search tools combined with their own years of experience to find the best keywords that you should use in your webpage to drive traffic in your direction. They will set up broad keywords, phrases, or exact keywords matched with negative keywords in order to balance volume and quantity as well as targeting specific countries or devices.

Social Media Marketing

Nowadays, almost everyone with a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer has social media profiles set up and these numbers are constantly increasing. Just look at published figures pertaining to social media usage. Facebook has over one billion active profiles,  Instagram is used by at least one hundred million individuals every single month, and Twitter has an average of three hundred and thirty million users online every month too! These are the three main social media powerhouses that you need to focus on. While many people may well think that social media is solely for personal use, it should be noted that having a large social media presence and following can be extremely beneficial for your small business. In order for your company and its products to be on show to as many people online as possible, you should place them in areas where large numbers of people are directing their attention. In this case, focus on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Now, these platforms are designed to be user-friendly and extremely simple to use, as they are designed for ordinary members of the public who may not have extensive technological knowledge. This means that you can generally set them up alone without having to reach out for professional help. Simply set up new profiles on each of these platforms under the name of your brand. Most social media platforms now have options for business pages, so make use of these when they are available, as they have special features such as spaces to include business profiles, contact addresses, and store locators. Hopefully, your brand name will be free for a username, but if not remember that you can always incorporate dashes, underscores, or numbers into your username, so don’t be afraid to mix things up a little. Upload your branded logo as the page’s profile picture, write a short bio, and you’re ready to start posting. A good approach when it comes to fuelling your site with content is to reuse many of the product photographs and feature photographs from your website. You can’t expect to gain masses of followers straight away, so consider sponsoring posts. They will then be appear in more people’s feeds than just those who follow you. Thanks to the types of targeted advertising that many social media platforms use, your money should go far, as your ads will appear on the feeds of people who are already showing an active interest in the products you’re selling and competitor brands.

In-Person Marketing Campaigns

While these previous techniques may have a potentially wider reach, as they are based online and can be shared to people all around the world, sometimes the internet just doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to getting people to engage with your brand. Sure, it can raise brand awareness, but nobody gets to interact directly with your company or its products before handing over cash and committing to a sale. This can often put people off and is a big reason as to why brick and mortar commerce is still thriving despite the fact that E-commerce can generally offer goods at a lower price and comes hand in hand with the convenience of ordering from the comfort of your own home and having items delivered to the comfort of your own home at the click of a button. But you don’t need to leave in-person interaction to real life retail in commercial properties alone. You can engage in tangible marketing campaigns too. There are various ways to go about this, but nine times out of ten you will be most successful with any of these types of campaigns if you collaborate with promotional agencies. These are agencies who have hundreds or even thousands of promotional staff in their books who can be booked to carry out any of the following types of work: sampling (so potential customers can try your products out and get an idea of what they’re all about), demonstrating (so potential customers can see how products work), and data capture (this will involve entering customers into a competition of sorts in exchange for their contact details so you can contact them with future advertising and marketing campaigns).

These are just three types of marketing that you might want to engage with, but they are three of the most effective methods that are more likely to gather success first time round. Sure, you can try some more alternative and out-there approaches, but save these as side projects and make sure you get your product out there with these bread and butter marketing techniques. Then if your more daring pursuits succeed, they’re merely a bonus! Get started as soon as possible!

3 Reasons Digital Marketing Is Your Best Friend

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There is much to think about in the early days of any business. But one of the most vital factors is how you are actually going to market your business. This is something which you need to consider regardless of what else you are hoping to achieve in your business. If you are not paying attention to the marketing, you are not likely to get where you want to go, and one area of marketing in particular which you can’t overlook is the digital aspects of it. As it happens, digital marketing is really your best friend in business – and here’s why.

It’s Easy

Before we even get into discussing why digital marketing might be so useful, it is worth considering just how easy it is. The truth is that anyone with any kind of level of knowledge can easily make plenty of their digital marketing, and often without actually having to do much on their end themselves. In most cases, the willing entrepreneur can use a digital marketing agency to do most of the hard work for them, and that alone makes it incredibly easy. But even if the work is done in-house, it is usually hardly impossible to form a passable digital marketing campaign. For this reason alone, no business should go without some kind of digital marketing campaign for too long – and ideally not at all.

It’s Powerful

A business which uses digital marketing is definitely more likely to get ahead than one which does not. This is obvious enough, and yet a lot of people fail to truly appreciate it. If you want your business to be able to succeed in exactly the way you want, it is necessary to use digital marketing to do so. The power of this particular form of marketing is that it has an enormously wide and far reach, especially compared to many other, more traditional forms of marketing – and that it tends to have a permanence in the minds of those who witness it as well. The statistics show that it is generally incredibly powerful, and that is enough reason for any business to make proper use of it.

It’s Diverse

There are a huge many ways to approach your digital marketing, and that can mean that you can reach more people and have much more impact than with other kinds of marketing. Thanks to the likes of social media and so on, you can now more easily than ever approach your marketing in increasingly diverse ways, and this has many benefits within it as well. Its diversity speaks to its power, and also to the ability it has to do many things at once for your business. You should absolutely make sure not to overlook this essential aspect of marketing in your early days – or at all.

As long as you use digital marketing, your business will be in a much better position on the whole – and this will mean that you succeed better in the future as well.

Why You Should Prioritize Online Marketing

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Online marketing is a huge part of business these days, and if your company’s marketing strategies are not up to scratch, you could fall behind your competitors and potentially lose out on lots of sales. Any and all businesses have something to do with online marketing from small local companies posting about their products on Facebook to large corporations brainstorming their next online campaign. Whatever type of business you own you are bound to have some online presence. Granted, some small companies might not need to use online marketing strategies if they deal with customers face to face and are recommended by word of mouth. However, any company can up sales, production and get their brand out there by formulating a marketing strategy. Considering the power on online marketing can do so much for your company and in today’s world, not having an online presence that is successful could potentially damage your business. Read on for some online marketing ideas to get you started.

Get People Reviewing

Reviews can make a huge difference to people investing in your services and buying your products. As few as two negative reviews can deter customers from buying from you, which shows how important reviewing is to your business. This direct customer feedback shows a dialogue with your audience and shows that your business affects people’s lives in a positive way. Replying and talking to customers that may have had negative experiences can also be a good way to deal with negative feedback. Engaging with the customer about their experience, offering them solutions, their money back or advice on their dilemma can make you and your business look really good. If you are replying to customers and helping them with their problems, you look like a caring company that will help customers out with any concerns they have. Reviews are a great way to use customer written content to promote your business, and negative feedback can be used to shed the best light on you.

Update Your Website

Your website is the front of your shop, and having one that is ineffective or looks bad can deter people from using it. Coding and designing websites is an art, and so this is something that you need to hire someone to do. Making the design simple, sleek and easy to navigate is something every business should aim for. It can be useful to keep in mind the customer’s perspective and what they want from the site. If you want help with your website consider Praxent, a web app development company. Using conversational English that is free from jargon is the best way to inform customers and relate to them. You might have to use some specialized language depending on the product, but make it clear and simple. No one wants to read over-complicated language when looking at your website.

Good Quality Content

If you are new to online marketing, it is tempting to buy adds on various websites and assume customers will automatically come to your site and buy your product. This is not all it is cracked up to be though and is often expensive and not that beneficial for many businesses. Creating good quality online content is, however, a great way to get traffic to your site and people engaging with your business. A great way to do this is creating a blog on your website if you don’t have one. A blog is a way to get traffic to your site and a way you can subtlety promote your products and services. Writing useful content that is genuinely informative can be an amazing way to inform customers and highlight what you can offer them. This is not a sales pitch though! Write something customers want to read, and make the subject of the article insightful information that only you can offer as an expert in your field. Getting content out there and linking it back to your site is a great online marketing strategy to get customers to your site.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started with online marketing. Following some of these ideas could give your business the boost that it needs. Having an online marketing strategy is the best way to get your business ahead of competitors and get you noticed. Creating good quality content through a blog, using social media and making sure your website up to scratch is the best way to improve your business. Make sure you prioritize your online marketing and try some of these ideas out today.

The Fatal Flaws Of DIY Marketing

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A typical business owner tends to prioritise one issue over others, and that’s cost. Business owners are always looking for a way to reduce costs and make their model a little more financially friendly. By doing this, they can make sure that their business is competitive and that they don’t have to worry about another businesses being able to lower their prices, pushing them out of the market.

It’s for this reason that a number of business owners resort to DIY marketing. This can seem like it makes a lot of sense. Particularly, if you are a running a business solo without any extra employees. If you can avoid it, you probably don’t want to take on that extra paycheck because that’s going to weigh down on your business costs. But there are a few fatal flaws of a DIY marketing campaign that you must be aware of, so let’s get into it.

Google Penalties

The first issue you need to know about are Google Penalties. You might think that there’s no risk in completing your own marketing campaign, but you could not be more wrong. If you complete your own marketing, you may, accidentally, stumble onto blackhat SEO tactics including keyword stuffing. A lot of people think that a technique like a keyword stuffing is easy to avoid because it’s obvious what’s over the line, but that’s not true. A couple more keywords than you should have could be enough to push your business into dangerous territory, and you don’t want that. Keyword stuffing doesn’t necessarily mean that the content is unreadable. It just means that you’ve used a keyword enough times to get picked up by the Google Algorithm.

Wasted Opportunity

According to a top SEO agency, there are 40,000 searches on Google every minute. Let that statistic sink in for a moment because it’s important. Now, granted not all of these customers will be searching for your product but that still means you could earn potentially thousands of clicks a day if your website is high up enough on the SERPs.

The only way you’ll be able to do this is by using a professional service. You can try to get there without the help of an expert, but there’s a problem there that can’t be overlooked.

A Powerful Competition

You might decide to cut costs by avoiding paying for marketing but don’t think that your competition will follow suit. Big companies that are competing with you are more than happy to pay for extreme levels of marketing, adding fresh content to their site like clockwork and running this social media using professionals. Even individuals often have social media managers these days to make sure that each post has the greatest impact.

The mistake that people make is thinking that jobs like social media management are so easy and quick that they can be completed without assistance. However, tweeting in your spare time will never be the same as tweeting to build up leads and make an impression on the market.

We hope you see now why it is indeed in your best interest to invest in pro help when marketing your business.

Unexpected Ways You Can Get Ahead of The Competition in Business

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To do well in business, you can’t just be focused on what you’re doing. You need to have your eye on the competition too- in a world saturated with businesses you’re always going to be competing for customers. If you want to truly be successful, you need to give people a reason to shop with you rather than hopping on over to a similar store or business. That way you will be turning a healthy profit while holding your share of the market and making money while giving people what they want. But these methods aren’t always obvious, and some of these things might not seem linked to your competition at all. We all know that being different, having a good unique selling point and keeping an eye on your competitors products and prices are all good ways to go about this. However, there are some others too- give them a try and you might well find that it helps you get ahead. Here are some ideas

Improve Your Office

When you’re thinking about getting ahead of your competition, chances are your first thought doesn’t go to your office. But actually, it’s a great place to start. Providing your workers with a pleasant space can help them to be more productive. More work done (and more efficiently) can mean turning more of a profit and generally boosting your business. It can also make you look more professional to clients and customers, and creating a good impression could well lead to more sales. Light, neutral walls, good quality furniture and equipment, professional signage and lovely green plants will all make for a pleasing office space that most people will enjoy. A well-designed office simply shouldn’t be an afterthought, and if you’re looking to get ahead of your competitors then it’s well worth looking into.

Sell Worldwide

Going global and selling worldwide allows you to enter foreign markets, and generally allows your products and services to be available to as many places across the globe as possible. This allows you to make more sales and reach a wider audience. However it can be tricky, and some elements can be a logistical nightmare. First of all, you will also need to expand your production services to be able to cope with a global demand, as your company will need to be ready to tackle the extra workload involved? You will more than likely need more employees, managers, staff in general. Not to mention extra departments in your company. You will need to secure reliable supply lines, and look into things like shipping containers as a way to transport your items in bulk. However once you’ve worked out the kinks and things are running smoothly, it’s a chance to be turning a much bigger profit and kicking your competitors to the kerb.

Gain Good Reviews

If a customer is undecided between two businesses, checking out both of their reviews is an easy way for them to make their mind up. If you have lots of glowing reviews over a good time frame, this can really help to build up confidence in the customer’s mind and sway them into shopping with you instead of your competitor. Unfortunately you can’t give incentives for positive reviews, however what you can do is simply ask people. While some people will leave a review off their own back many won’t, but just asking them nicely can be enough for them to do so. If you have a facebook business page there’s a section you can add to allow customer reviews. Otherwise, third party review sites such as Reevoo and Trustpilot are very well trusted. Make sure you’re providing excellent service every time, as well as responding to any queries or complaints. Complaints can be frustrating, however they give you an insights as to where things are going wrong and can allow you to improve. Make the necessary adjustments so that you’re not failing customers in the same way again.

Improve Your Online Presence

The big companies on the world have got on board with what apps can do for their business long ago. However lots of smaller and mid sized businesses are still living in the stone age in this respect. And it makes no sense, we all know how we’re glued to our smartphones, and now research has even shown that more sales are made on phones and tablets than on laptops and computers. This just shows how things have moved on in the modern world, and as a company owner, is this something you think you can afford to overlook? Since many of your competitors won’t have a business app right now, use this as a way to get ahead of them. They will catch on to this later on, but for now it gives you time to build your customer base and generally get ahead. Have your website redesigned if it needs it too. This will be the first thing many customers see of your business and so it needs to make a good impression. And if they’re clicking around through similar stores, it makes sense that they’re likely to eventually settle on one that looks aesthetically pleasing. It might not be the number one thing the decision is based on, but it certainly helps to sway things in your favor. If your site looks amateur it could well put customers off, as they may assume the rest of your business is just as unprofessional. You then lose a customer to one of your competitors. The way you present yourself online is crucial so be sure that this is something you’re getting right.

These are just a few of the more unexpected ways you can boost your chances of customers choosing you over your competitors, and getting ahead in general. Focus on doing great business yourself, but keep a watchful eye over your shoulder to make sure your competitors aren’t doing things better and taking customers, or even  doing something that renders your own company obsolete.

Marketing Bungles That Are Costing You Business Money

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Marketing is meant to bring in business and up your profit through increased sales. However, get it wrong, and it can end up costing your company money! To prevent this from happening take a look at the most common marketing bungles below so you can steer your business well clear of them.  

Forgetting the data collection

Marketing is no longer just about getting your product in front of potential customers. In fact, a large part of any modern marketing strategy will be to collect data both on how the customers are responding your campaign, as well as their contact details.

Collecting contact details, in fact, is a hugely important part of a successful marketing campaign. This is because it is these that can be turned into warm leads, as the individual conceded has already shown an interest in your product. Something that as any salesperson knows is far easier to convert into a sale that will make you money than a cold lead.

Ignoring personalization

Ignoring personalization in marketing is a mistake that many companies are still making. They are still working on the old school assumption that the more impressions you can get in front of people the better. However, this isn’t always the case. You can bombard people with images and slogans all day long, but if they don’t find anything relevant to themselves or their life, they will discount them without a second thought.

That’s where the personalization of marketing content comes in. It’s a way of appealing directly a group or individuals that are picked on the strength of their demographic to be the most likely to want or need your product. Something that can make your marketing much more effective in terms of conversion, even though you may be reaching fewer people overall.

Not tailoring content to your industry

Not all fields and industry are alike, and more business would do well to remember this in their marketing campaigns. After all, the content and approach you take for a breakfast cereal are not going to work in a situation where the main product is luxury perfume or vice-versa.

That is why it can be valuable to your business to keep your marketing methods appropriate for the industry that you are in. To do this, you can work with a specialist like Berbay Marketing & PR that have extensive experience in particular industries such as finance and law. Something that gives you the best chance of finding an effective and appropriate approach.

Alternatively, you can also do some research on your closest competitors and see how they are running their marketing campaigns. Although, it is worth bearing in mind that you don’t want to come out with something too similar as the possibility of confusion in the eyes of potential customers is too strong.

Relying too heavily on influencers

Influencers are the big dogs of the marketing world, right? It’s them that everyone listens to and if you have their stamp of approval then your product is guaranteed to sell, or is it? Actually, experts predict that the power of online influencers will sharply decline in 2018, making investing a fortune in sponsorship, collaborations, and free products for review a bad idea.

Instead, focus your marketing funds on tech solutions such as automation and increased personalize as noted above, as these can help you generate profits more effectively.  

Being too traditionally minded

Last of all, a mistake that some firms are making, and that is costing them big, is their overreliance on the traditional forms of marketing. Forms such as TV, radio, and cinema adverts, as well as direct mailings, and newspaper and magazine articles.

It’s not that these methods don’t work at all. It’s just that there are more effective ways of spending your marketing budget. Something that you will need to keep an eye on if you want to make a profit.

For example, the open rate of direct mailing is super low, but nearly everyone will open and read a text, even if it is sent from a company that they have not heard of before.

Even email marketing isn’t as strong as it used to be, as most people have spam filters and can easily delete items if they don’t have incredibly effective taglines in the title. However, buying ad space through instant auctions that match the type of customer to your demographic are much more likely to end in a conversion.

Something that means even if you are not willing to go entirely digital in your marketing approach, using both will help you to get the best returns for the money you invest.

How Can You Up Your Website Game This Year?

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When you look at your website, what do you see? Do you get excited? Do you feel as if you’re meeting all of your marketing objectives? Do you think your customers have everything they need when they’re on site? If not, then maybe it’s time to up your website game. Of course, not every website can be perfect, but it should always be your aim to get as close to that as possible. And we’re not just talking about the look of your site, but the functionality too. Because your web functionality is a huge part of the sales and marketing process. Your customers need to be able to use your website and get the most out of it. But how will you know that they are?

Well, the first part of upping your game is going to be all about your customers and what they want. We’re going to take a look at some ideas, but you really do need to look at your analytics first to figure out where your website might be lacking. From here, you’re then going to be able to work on the key areas that can be improved to make the most difference going forward. But once you’ve taken a look at those analytics and you know where the issues lie, here are seven ideas on how you can turn that around this year.

Focus On White Space

It’s often hard to look at your website objectively, but you really need to do this in terms of the design. Because something that looks cool to you, may be irritating to your customers. To avoid this, the best option for your design is to focus on white space. When you have lots of space in your design, it looks clear and functional. Your customers will be able to navigate around the site more easily as your menu options should also be a lot clearer (an extra hint here).

Create A Featured Products Section

If you want to work on your product sections a little more, then why not think about adding in a featured products section. By working with a software company, you could come up with something really cool. Whether it’s a plugin that you’ve made specifically, or a section of the site that allows you to showcase certain items, not only can this be a really cool new feature of the site, but it may also help to push your sales too.

Work On Your Account Area

Next up, you’re going to want to give your members’ area a little attention. When it comes to the ‘your account’ area of the site, you’re going to want to make this exciting for your customers. And you have a really great opportunity to increase your sales in the process too. By making this area more exciting with personalized recommendations and features, you’ll be able to keep your customers interested and buying your products.

Offer A Loyalty Program

As an extension of that, or something in its own right, you should also think about offering a loyalty program. Loyalty programs where your customers can collect points and redeem rewards are an excellent way to not only keep your customers coming back, but to increase your engagement with them too.

Launch An App

From here, you may also want to think about what you’re offering in the mobile front. Because if you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, you may be missing out on a large chunk of custom. Not only should you think about having a site that works well on different devices, but an app too. With a specific app, you can target your mobile customers and make shopping easier for them too.

Improve Your Content

How is your content looking at the moment? Because if it’s not engaging or interesting or really getting the results you need, then you’re going to want to work on that. Improving the web content that you have is so important to not only engaging your customers, but getting them on site and keeping them there too.

Work In New Tools

Finally, you should definitely think about the new and exciting tools that your business could use. There are a ton of must-have features that every website should have, so if you haven’t got those covered off yet, now’s the time. But you may also want to speak to your developer about different software applications that you can use to really spice up your website features and see improved results.

Why Brand Is Your Most Important Tool

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Nobody wants to put weeks, months, even years, into their business only for it to fall at the first hurdle. And if there is one thing that is crucial to the success of your business, it is your brand. Your brand is not simply your logo or your slogan; it is your reputation. It is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. In a global marketplace that is quite often saturated with competition, it is important that you have a way of standing out from the crowd. Below are a few reasons that having a strong a trustworthy brand will benefit your business.

Employee retention

If there’s one thing that’s going to keep your staff loyal to you, it’s pride. If they are proud to say that they work for you, you’ve already won them over. You can even develop your brand further by speaking to your employees about what they need. Good pension schemes, and Employee Assistance Program and even an Outplacement service can all provide some strength to your company’s reputation as a good place to work. Try your hardest to cultivate a positive and supportive culture around the workplace. Do everything you can to ensure that your employees are looking forward to heading back to work on a Monday morning.

Customer retention and growth

This is where you can really start to see those dollar signs in your eyes. Not only will your reputation as a good employer mean that your customers will want to use your services, but you can also build on your reputation by providing a first-class service. You can work hard to nurture lasting relationships with your clients. If your customers feel valued and taken care of, they will be more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. This means that you will experience a growth in your customer base without incurring any heavy marketing costs. Word of mouth recommendations are the kind of marketing that people trust the most, and you can’t buy. You must earn it.

Hiring process

As your customer base grows, you will likely need to hire more staff to deal with the increased workload. For every day that you have a vacancy that is unfilled, your business is essentially losing money, so you want to hire the right people as quickly as possible. Good quality staff will naturally gravitate towards good quality businesses. How do they know which are the best businesses to work for? They find out what their reputation is. If you have built up a reputation as a good provider for your customers, and a good employer for your staff, you will find that the best job seekers are lining up at your door.

Building a strong reputation takes time and consistent hard work, but once you have earned it, it will pay dividends to your business growth. Be wary not to relax and simply ride on the coattails of success though, a good reputation can be lost much quicker than it is made, and a bad reputation is not easy to shake off.

The Different Search Result Types Your Business Must Be Aware Of

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Business owners regularly think that there is just one type of search result they need to contend with; organic search. Others are aware that paid results exist, but this still doesn’t cover it all. You see, when a website looks to improve its search engine performance, it will often only contend with these two types of results. In reality, there are way more out there that you must focus on to make your site more visible online.

Below, we’re going to look at each search result type out there, and how your business website can optimize itself to do well in these results. It will lead to a website that’s seen by more people and regularly pops up at the top of all rankings

Standard Organic Results

These are the search results we often think about when we talk about improving SEO. They’re the natural results that everyone sees and no-one pays for. They appear in a list, with the websites ranked in order of authority.

Every business owner should know the benefits of having a website that ranks highly in organic searches. There’s simply no negative to this; it will directly influence your traffic, lead generation, and customer base. Many businesses see an increase in sales when their site ranks highly.

Getting your business to perform well in these results has been talked about many times before. Essentially, you have to make it search engine friendly. Ensure you; target the right keywords, include valuable content on your site, build backlinks, optimize your site for mobile, structure your pages properly, make the user experience good, and have fast loading times. There are plenty of other considerations too, but this article isn’t about SEO tips, it’s about the different search results your business needs to know about!

Paid Results

The paid results are also commonly known as many businesses pay for adverts to try and improve their search engine visibility. These results tend to appear before the organic ones, meaning you could potentially be seen before any of the organic sites. This leads to more clicks, more traffic, and possibly more sales for your business.

Paid search results all go through Google Adwords. You have to bid on certain keywords, and you’ll appear in the relevant search results. Although it’s beneficial to get into these results, it can be very costly. Some popular keywords will cost your business a lot of money to bid on, and you have to pay Google every time your link gets clicked on.

This is an investment you probably shouldn’t think about until your business is more established and you have the funds to allocate to it. Otherwise, you’re better off focusing on the natural approaches that won’t cost as much money.

Local Results

Next up we have the local search results, which are so beneficial for small businesses. These results are designed to point people in the direction of your company. Instead of only displaying your website, they’ll show your business name and location on a map. This allows users to click on the map, see if you’re close to them, check your opening times, and decide whether or not to proceed with any actions.

Your business needs to focus on ensuring you actually appear in these results. If you don’t, then you could miss out on loads of customers. The easiest way to get started is by setting up a Google My Business account and registering your company. Here, you can fill in lots of information about your business that will be displayed in the local results. This includes company info, location, opening times, and contact details. But, you can also use keywords to target certain searches and make sure you’re found by the right people.

Local results are perfect for small businesses with physical locations. Restaurants and retail stores are probably the two types of business with the most to gain from these search results.

Rich Results

Rich results are one of those things you’ve definitely encountered but weren’t aware they were a special thing. A lot of the time, when you search for a query, you’ll get a search result that appears before anything else. This is normally in a little box that provides the answer to your query without you needing to click on the page.

If your business website starts appearing in these results, it will only benefit you. First off, you will be seen before all of the generic organic list results. This gives you more exposure and can direct more people to your website. One of the key ways in which you can get yourself in these results is by creating SEO structured data markup code. This code allows your site to display its content in a format that’s very easy for search engines to digest. As a result, their bots can crawl through your pages and find the relevant content for any specific queries. This allows it to present your content in the form of a rich result snippet.

This is something that’s becoming more and more popular and competitive nowadays. Google realizes that users often don’t want to go through the annoyance of clicking on a website and scrolling through paragraphs of content before they find the answer they wanted. Instead, they can just see it on the search results page and be done. While it can still help you gain more traffic, the main purpose is to help make your business more of an authority in your line of work. If you keep popping up in the rich results for queries relating to your industry, then it makes you look professional and respectful!

 

Mobile Results

Lastly, we have mobile results. Now, these search results pretty much cover all the results we’ve spoken about, only the mobile versions of them. When someone searches for the exact same keyword or phrase on their phone, they could see completely different results to the ones they see on their desktop computer. This is because Google specifically orders mobile results to display mobile-friendly sites first and foremost.

As a consequence, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, then you could well miss out on loads of mobile traffic and visibility. It’s found that over half of all internet users are on their mobile devices more than their desktops. So, you could say that half of the people searching for your business are using their phone or tablet. If you don’t cater to their needs, they won’t find you.

Thankfully, it’s very easy to improve your mobile search performance. All you have to do is design a website that’s responsive. This way, your business won’t miss out on valuable mobile web traffic.

Why is all of this important? Because search is still the number one way for a consumer to find a business online. Yes, social media is powerful, but search remains at the top. It’s not good enough to optimize your small business for one type of search result. If you have good organic results, it will generally benefit you, but you can take things to new levels by getting rich results, paid ones, local, and mobile too. Everything is brought together, and you start to see your business more and more in search results. It becomes impossible for people not to notice you, which should lead to financial benefits down the line. The more people that find you via searches, the more traffic you gain and the more potential leads you have. This lets you convert more leads and end up with a handful of paying customers. At the end of the day, all the money you put into search engine marketing will be repaid with the results.