The world is not what it used to be thirty, twenty, or even two years ago. Globalization has led to the increase in the number of companies competing with each on the planetary scale. Some of those are multinationals with lavish budgets and tremendous opportunities for advertising and marketing. They can afford to sign contracts with the most famous and successful people from the world of sports, arts, or show business. Their ads and commercials are everywhere starting from national TV channels and ending with big boards along country roads. But what about smaller companies with ambitions to dominate the market some day? How can they promote their goods and services to a wider audience with their limited funds? The answer is: go online.
There are numerous web resources that can be used for business promotion. Many of them are completely free or take a comparatively small commission for letting business owners place links to their blogs or websites.
Here is a review of some of the top websites that will definitely ensure your small business grows big in 2018 with their pros and cons.
One of the giants of Internet marketing with billions of users in every corner of the Earth, this website can be described as “DIY marketing” resource. Anyone can create their own channel here and use if for promoting their business by attracting new subscribers. If the videos you publish on YouTube are of high quality or made by professionals, the chance to draw more users to your channel is higher and so are your business prospects. Apart from having your own YouTube channel, you may ask other users to drop a word about your company in their video blogs and either pay them for that or thank them by telling your own viewers about their channels.
There are a few negative aspects of placing your ads on YouTube, though. One of them is that anyone can leave comments to the videos you publish. Unfortunately, not all of those can be favorable. As a result, your business reputation may suffer, and your potential customers may opt for one of your competitors. Another issue with this website is that no one can guarantee that your entertaining, high-quality video will appeal to consumers and they will rush to buy your products. Even if you use the paid services offered here, you may end up with just a few dozen views, which is nothing at all.
On the whole, however, YouTube is well worth trying: By investing almost nothing you still have a chance to put your business in focus on the global scale.
This website is good for promoting contractors and small companies dealing with plumbing, interior or landscape design, and others. With standard features that many sites serving the same purpose have, Porch offers its users something unique as well. Homeowners and contractors can discuss various matters via a special social function. Users can also view the history of the work performed in a particular location. After signing up, homeowners can describe what type of work they need to be done on their property, specify a time frame (from a few days to a whole year), inform contractors of the compensation for their services, and attach photos or videos to their post. Once a local contractor gets a message about a project, they email or phone the homeowner and talk over the details with them. Using the site is absolutely free for anyone who needs services.
However, contractors pay for the kind of services they are going to provide, and that is not always a low price, yet, on the contrary. That’s the reason why along with many positive aspects, Porch.com is not universally praised. Some contractors have been disappointed by the fact that they paid for the leads quite a round sum of money and still did not get the job. If you decide to use this website for your business promotion, make sure that the game is worth the candle and you will get a good return on investment.
If you are a small business owner, you will definitely find this resource useful. Once you become a registered user, your business listing will be updated in the Manta directory no later than 24 hours after signing up. Besides, you will see your company advertised on the home page of Manta.com. All of that contributes to a better Internet visibility of your business. Everyone in search of products or services that your company offers will instantly find a link to your website through Manta’s search engine mechanism. Among the services that small business owners can count on at Manta is assistance in the organization GoogleAdWords campaigns and a dedicated professional marketer who provides consultations on the most effective ways of business promotion online. Additionally, the website guarantees that your business will be listed in over 70 online directories.
One complaint about Manta has been that once you have used their paid services and want to cancel your subscription plan, you will have a hard time doing that.
This is another valuable resource for local contractors. The main difference between HireRush.com and similar websites, though, is the emphasis on the long-term collaboration with service providers and the maximum attention paid to “a small guy” who works on their own with little or no support in contrast to big companies with money to splash. Besides, there are a lot of small and mid-size companies registered which successfully increase their revenue with numerous inbound features such as business phone number, personal page or website, refund system, and 24/7 support. For customers it’s convenient as the range of work types that users can find at the website is wide. It is not limited to home improvement or fashion&beauty services, but also includes legal advice, tax preparation, veterinary services, and many others. As Porch, HireRush also has its convenient chat for customers and providers so that have their own space for private communication.
Though HireRush covers the whole territory of the United States, it cannot boast having lots of leads, which is probably its major drawback. However, residents of all states and cities can use the services offered here, and there has been considerable expansion progress over the past couple of months.
5. Google My Business
Have you ever noticed a well-organized listing of companies offered to you every time you search for a certain business on Google? Using this feature, you can find out about the opening hours of any company included in this list, its precise location on Google Maps, as well as its phone, email, or any other contact methods. You can promote your business this way, too. All you need to do is specify all the information Google My Business needs. Later, you can change this data if, for example, you have changed your office location.
Note, however, that this service is not available in all countries. After creating your own account, find out if residents of your country can use Google My Business.
Even if your budget doesn’t allow your company to launch an all-conquering marketing campaign, you can still efficiently promote your business online using the websites described above. Then, you can gradually build your customer base and look ahead to new horizons.
How To Boost Organic Visits To Your Website
Do you feel like your drowning in marketing strategies that everyone says work but even with your best effort to try a lot of them, you’re still not really making any headway? You’re not alone.
Attempting take on nearly everything you’re told works and giving equal time and investment to too many tasks will see you left ragged without the results to show for it. Digital marketing does need to provide an acceptable ROI, so we recommend putting in place a foundation of actions that always work to channel visitors to your website.
Targeted marketing does make sense however if we overdo it the strategy can actually reduce our sales funnel providing fewer prospects for the sales team. To boost visits to your website you want to avoid the trap of focusing just on your targeted audience.
Here is our ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing, or what we call the digital marketing foundation from which all other strategies are added and removed as and when required.
These marketing strategies are perfect for the start-up business and the time-poor among us.
A combination of targeted and far-reaching strategies mostly online i.e. digital marketing works as a solid foundation for businesses of any size. Remember all marketing is about filling the sales funnel so you want to do these tasks continuously.
You’ve got a website and it has a blog. Now it’s over to you to publish regular content on it. A daily post is ideal. Keep to a plan on the type of content you put on your blog. Make sure it’s not homogenised and thus will become too predictable and lose the interest of your visitors.
Make sure the blog content is high quality and a true reflection of your brand. different types of content relevant to your website visitors.
Blog Content Types
- Videos – share videos and provide commentary on why they interest you and are relevant to your blog visitors. Also, create your own videos, it’s fun however make sure they are professional and in a style that has a positive impact on the perception of your business.
- Articles – write or get written by copywriters articles on topics that work in well with your business and what it provides. Sharing knowledge, tips, and at some level educating your visitors will keep their interest even if they are not yet customers. Returning visitors to your blog will increase the page views of your website which is core measurement for marketing.
- News & Views – Standing out among your peers sharing your views on what’s going on in your industry can be risky but very rewarding when it’s done well. Become a subject matter expert and then be invited to participate in the creation of news items that end up on higher ranking websites. This strategy is sure to increase your website visitors.
A regular eNewsletter is an email marketing initiative that’s a must do for all businesses. It’s common knowledge that email marketing is a low cost and high return marketing and sales strategy.
Your newsletter with interesting content that includes links to your website is sure to deliver a spike in visits.
Plus you don’t have to spend hours creating the content for each newsletter as you’ve already got it on your blog so use it as the basis of each newsletter edition. You can also include a targeted message and special promotion in the newsletter for your email subscribers to improve engagement (opens and clicks).
Some say Facebook is the Internet and it can seem that way as you can do so much on that platform include run a business. However, there are a few other social media platforms that offer lots of opportunities too. With social media, you need to know what you want to achieve from it, as time spent on it can chew up a lot of time and resources which is not good for the time poor business owner.
Social Media Plan
Create a plan for each platform you which to have a business presence on, including LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and many more. In your plan, state your goals, time and investment. Stick to the plan, you can change it but it’s important to use it to keep you on track.
Share your blogs posts with your social media followers and also share news, videos that reside on other sites too. View the analytics of engagement to see how well received your posts are with your followers. This is trial and error, so don’t be disappointed when some posts are not getting the engagement you want. Be open to the feedback and change what you post and share to get a response from your followers.
Three fail-safe digital marketing strategies that should form the foundation of all other digital marketing. Commit time and investment to your blog, email marketing and social media presence and then add and remove shorter campaigns that may include SMM, or google advertising.
Everything You Need To Know About E-commerce Marketing
Ecommerce refers to any form of business transaction made online. One famous example is online shopping, defined as buying and selling of goods via the internet on any device. For many people, it has been their preferred way to shop because you won’t have to go to the store instead just get your mobile device and browse your social media sites for the things you want and have it delivered right at your door. Here are the things you need to know when you’re planning to start an ecommerce business.
Marketing is Vital
Marketing is one of the core aspects of any business that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are plenty of e-commerce businesses which have great products and beautiful websites that fail because they do not know how to market their product and they can’t attract people to the store. To prevent this, you should choose the right marketing campaigns and produce the perfect ecommerce copywriting. It is essential that you devise marketing campaigns on different channels which you can use to grow your store which will generate traffic and potential customers to your online store.
Integrate Social Media Sites
With over a million daily active users, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social applications around can help you connect with consumers, influencers, and brands. These social media applications remain a viable platform for social media and e-commerce marketing. Engage with your audience and followers by trying to run a contest or going behind the scenes to showcase your product development process. Add or upload photos of your products to give your followers a direct path to purchase, which is vital for increasing your online sales. When posting products online, try to provide the pieces of information like the cost and availability, and for clothes the available sizes, colors, and designs. Providing this info make it easy for your customer to get what they want.
Providing Customer Service Is High Priority
Look after your customers by providing a high level of customer service. By doing this, you’re setting your business up for success. Be fair and sincere with your customers to leave a lasting impression on them, and they will be more inclined to buy from your store again. Not all e-commerce entrepreneurs provide excellent customer service, but it’s as critical the way you treat your customers as you do with the way you handle your business. Personalize customer service interactions that will make your customers feel valued; tailor your responses to your customer’s issue so that they’ll know that you care about them and that you’re working to solve their problem.
Be Open to Mistakes
Mistakes always happen, and it’s still best to be transparent with your customers when you made a mistake instead of lying or sugar-coating it. Being honest and open with your customers lets them know that you’re a genuine business person and they’ll appreciate it when you keep them informed of any issues regarding their orders. One main problem which you’ll encounter when shipping your products to customers is late or lost deliveries. There are many reasons why a delivery could arrive later than expected, and the best way to reconcile for this is always to keep your customers in the loop.
Pick the Right Audience
Target your message to the right people to ensure that your marketing campaigns will be successful. It may take some time before you truly understand who your audience is, but you’ll likely have an idea from the products which you are selling. When you’ve gained more knowledge about your audience, you can refine your campaigns to be more effective for your specific audience. Once someone becomes your customer, you should continue to engage them and nurture them. By doing this, you’ll have successful customers that you can use for testimonials and case studies, you’ll receive glowing reviews about your product, and you’ll have the power of word-of-mouth marketing behind you as you turn your customers into fans.
Aim For Good Reviews
Customer reviews are an honest review of your product and how it worked out for your customers. Reviews serve as a marketing tool for you because they include mentions of your product and frequently do the selling for you because people will think that when your product worked for your customers, then it might work for them too. Encourage your customers to leave reviews whenever you can on their experience from ordering to shipping, receiving and upon the usage of the product. You could also use customer testimonials to get the word out on how great your product is. Testimonials are primarily tailored review because they are typically produced from interviews where you can ask specific questions like the ease of the buying process, the level of customer support, and frictionless delivery and setup methods.
Pick Your Products Wisely
E-commerce business thrives when you sell high-quality products at an affordable price. Before you start, decide on the types of products you are going to sell and where you’ll be sourcing them from. Take some time to brainstorm some of your ideas and decide which product you believe is best for your ecommerce store. In choosing your product, check out potential competitors and see if they’re selling the product you would want. If they are, you know that your product will be marketable and what you will do next is to think about how to make your product inventory better than theirs. Lastly, decide which countries produce the most sense for you to source your products from. Some countries offer a relatively cheap product but the delivery time may take a little while, and some products will arrive faster, but the price tag will also be higher.
Global Market and Around-the-clock availability
A geographical area will always limit a physical store; it can serve, but an online store or any other type of e-commerce business has the whole world as its market. Another great benefit of trading online is that it is always open. Unrestricted by the working hours, the e-commerce business is a convenient and immediately available option that can serve customers 24/7/365.
Alex Lopez is a content writer who concentrates on SEO, content marketing, and travel tips. She mostly writes for Creative Working Playground SEO Copy writing. She likes to relax most of the day while reading her favorite books or she usually plays around with her dog. She also loves to explore the outdoors like the beach, falls, or forests.
Is Now The Time For A Business Rebrand?
Is it time to rebrand your business? You might think that a rebrand is going to be expensive and largely unnecessary. It’s possible that you also suspect it will hurt your sales. However, if you rebrand at the right time it can have startling benefits. So, let’s look at some of the signs that you need to think about rebranding and the factors that you must consider.
Your Current Brand Isn’t Working
This is probably the most typical reason for a rebrand. Your current brand profile isn’t working for you and this can be for a variety reasons. For instance, it’s possible that your brand is not sending a clear message about what your services are or what you can offer to customers.
If you’re confused with what you do, and that’s emulated in your marketing, imagine how your customers and targeted audience feel. The time is now, to find out if you’ve got it wrong.
Seek To Understand
Ask the hard questions from your customers, and supporters, to get replies that help you change direction with your products or service or tweak your brand. It’s tough going through this process of essentially ‘letting down the guard’ i.e. showing a bit of vulnerability, but while some response, will be just critical and unhelpful, you only need a few replies that provide real insight into the perception of your current business and brand, to get you on the right track to success. 🙂
Or, you might find that your reputation has been damaged. A brand could be damaged due to an online cyber attack, scandal, low-quality products or service or any number of issues.
Anything that has impacted sales and causes a dip in your business profits may lead to a need for rebranding. With a rebranding, you can address what went wrong and hopefully correct the situation.
Wrong Marketing Strategy
Perhaps you have been struggling to connect with your customers? If you see a low level of engagement, particularly online with depleting website visitors to your blog, and in social media, it’s probable that there is an issue with the marketing content, and it’s relevance with the audience in the channel you’re using but it’s not always the reason.
Logo Brand Ugly
Often, though it really just is your current brand and the fact that it’s failing to resonate with your targeted audience. Therefore, there’s not a lot to lose by adding a fresh lick of paint to it. This is the fun part, as you get to start over with a logo that’s more you. Act quickly too, to stop customers from forgetting your business completely.
It’s also possible that you need to rebrand to compensate for a change in your business model. This could be a change in the leadership or management of your business. It might also be a fundamental change in what you will be offering customers and clients.
Obviously, if the products or services you are selling are changing your images needs to evolve as well. Some businesses and companies choose to wipe the slate clean when they reveal a new product line. Others will make simple, small changes that will still show clients the key ways the brand is moving forward.
Perhaps your company has been known for one particular product or service which is now overshadowing everything else. The issue here is that all your other services and solutions are forgotten completely. Even if sales for that first product are through the roof, a rebrand will still be necessary.
Factors To Consider
You do need to make sure that there is a plan in place for how you are going to complete your rebrand. This is not something that you can do without careful thought and consideration. Look at what areas of marketing will be impacted and how it will reshape your business model as a whole.
Furthermore, be aware that customers and clients will want to communicate with your business during the rebranding. They will be eager to learn about the direction that your business is now heading in and essentially, what it means for them. Keep things simple, straightforward and make sure your business is completely accessible during this time.
We hope you find this advice helpful when determining whether your business needs a rebrand.
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