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Big Websites To Grow Your Small Business in 2018

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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.

1. YouTube

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.

2. Porch

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.

3. Manta

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.

4. HireRush

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.

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Marketing

How to attract new patients to your practice (and how to keep the ones you have)

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One of the biggest struggles healthcare providers and dentists are facing in 2019 is attracting new patients to their practice. Physicians could be attending to the same patients for years without leaving room for growth.

Everyone needs a doctor, dentist, or other specialist, but how can you be sure your service is reaching the right people? As medical technology continues to advance, there are countless ways to market your practice to prospective patients.

1. Increase online traffic for your practice 

When looking for a PCP or other healthcare provider, the first thing someone will do is conduct a simple Google search. You want your practice to be one of the top results of that search, while also complemented by good reviews from patients. Other ways to increase your practice’s online presence include social media plugs, blogs, and journals.

Share informational content related to your practice. Writing and publishing articles on blogs and other educational websites is a way to let others know you are informed about the industry you work in. Create backlinks for everything you publish that leads to your clinic’s website. Readers can find your practice this way, by stumbling across your work on a blog or journal and then being directed to your clinic.

When publishing content online, the goal is to have your message reach as many people as possible. Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) allow readers to find your content easily through relevant and commonly used words. Keywords can be filtered by subject (ie. health, business, travel) and can be the deciding factor of whether someone finds your content or scrolls passed it.

2. Strengthen your referral marketing techniques

Patients will see a doctor who they trust will give them the proper care they need. If your patient refers your clinic to others, you are building patient loyalty while also attracting more to your practice (without having to spend money!). Referral marketing can happen through various mediums: word of mouth, online reviews, and surveys. Giving your patients incentives to review your practice can make a difference in whether prospective patients decide to make an appointment.

Remember that top reviews is one of the first items people see when they search for a business. You want to ensure that your reviews are positive and invites others who are looking for care. Convince long term patients to review your clinic online as these patients will most likely have effective and beneficial content to share.

3. Use a referral management system

Referral management systems have become an essential tool for healthcare clinics. They provide a platform for doctors and physicians to connect and provide specialized care for their patients. Many clinics receive new patients through referrals from PCPs,and adding your practice to a referral database will increase referrals from other physicians.

A referral management system with a built-in provider database is very advantageous to any healthcare practice; it eliminates the extra time it takes for doctors to research specialists for their patients. Having a referral program with both dental and other healthcare providers will greatly benefit your patients by providing them with a diverse amount of resources, beneficial for various patient cases.

Adding your practice to an online database also builds your online presence and increases the opportunity for incoming referrals from other clinics. Grow your practice and patient numbers through networking with other providers.

4. Convert to a digital practice

Converting to a digital practice will create an accessible and organized clinic. Waiting lists for appointments today can be weeks long. Allow patients to fill out health and consent forms online, prior to appointments. This will reduce waiting periods and allow you to see more patients per day.

Connect with other physicians through eConsultation platforms to speed up the process of scheduling appointments. Research shows that delayed patient care may result in unfinished cases. Consequently, patients lose a sense of urgency if they are not seen right away which may damage their health. Case collaboration in real time through instant messaging or video calling is more efficient than faxing papers or waiting for emails so you can complete more cases.

Going digital will save you from hours of mundane administrative work that comes with your practice. Using electronic medical records (EMRs) provide a secure organized means of storing patient information. Management tools for healthcare providers are available with EMR integration features so your practice is available to you on any device, wherever you are. Creating an accessible practice will benefit both you and your patients as time sensitive tasks can be completed outside of the office as well.

5. Interact on social media 

The most common way for people to find businesses is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are well known platforms and your clinic should actively engage on. Build your followers and post relevant content to your practice: articles, promotions, case studies.

What types of posts goes on each account?

Twitter 

You can interact with your followers through twitter by sending out polls. Gather feedback from patients and other clinics on services, new technology, and other aspects of your practice. By engaging with your followers in this way, your patients sense that your practice’s primary focus is on their healthcare and satisfaction. Connect with other practices as well and build a network (and increase referrals!).

Facebook

Facebook has hundreds of healthcare related groups which you should join; share information about your practice, the services you provide, technology you use, ad build connections with other specialists in your area. Facebook users are more responsive to still images rather than animations; use this platform as an opportunity to share testimonials from patients.

Instagram

Instagram mainly focuses on photos; insta-users are going to skip passed long, wordly posts. Engage your Instagram followers through photos of your medical team, patients, and tell a story through your posts. Since the platform is more light-hearted, common posts include memes and gifs which can be funny and relatable for your followers.

Optimize the resources available to you and revolutionize the way you run your practice. Bring new patients to your clinic through these methods and keep your schedule filled while attending to more people than before.

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Where Influencer Marketing Is Successful

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Not that long ago, if your business had a sizeable marketing budget, it would engage a celebrity use and share their experience your product or service with their followers on their blog or social media.

Nowadays, with influencer marketing, it doesn’t take an actor, sportsperson or movie star with thousands if not millions of followers to reach a broad audience.

Relatable Influencers

Businesses can use an ‘average person’ influencer. Not all influencers are indeed celebrities, and they’re in high demand and get paid handsomely for social media activity like sending an Instagram post. Many businesses prefer endorsement from more relatable people.

Younger people, in particular, are less impressed with celebrities and ‘fake’ endorsement and choose to follower people they can relate to personally, and this has been great for Instagram and also good for business.

Instagram Growth

Did you see it coming, Instagram leading other platforms in the number of users and annual growth percentage? Twitter is looking less attractive with just less than 330 million users while Instagram has broken through the billion user mark, an achievement secured in a year ago in June 2018. The question on everyone’s lips is when it will surpass Facebook?

If the statistics are anything to go by, you wouldn’t bet against this platform’s continued success. The proof is in the statistics, of course. By the numbers, influencer marketing statistics presents critical supporting data in an infographic.

The popularity of Instagram is evidence of the success of engagement via sharing images and a few words of recommendation.

Key Statistics

In the infographic, some of the key statistics are:

  • Nearly 50% of users rely on influencer referrals or recommendations for their purchases
  • Not all influencers need millions of followers the so-called ‘micro influencers’ with 100K or less are attractive to marketers, and it’s the largest influencer group on Instagram.
  • No surprises here, the industries using this marketing the most are lifestyle, beauty and fashion.

Other sectors with a high representation of influencers are health, food, travel and can you believe it – DIY. Who would have thought the do-it-yourself sector would outperform entertainment and technology among other notable groups.

How Can Businesses Get Better Results?

It’s all very well hearing about how well your competitors are doing with their influencer marketing campaigns, but how can your business do better with it?

Quality Content

Believe it or not, like all other marketing strategies, the quality of your content will determine your success and this might be disheartening to know, as your business might struggle to generate interesting content.

Well, even the most tedious businesses in sectors like tax, accounting and law are driven by people. With ingenuity, marketers and outreach agencies will create sharable content for influencers as that’s what they’re good at and your internal team can focus on sharing tips on what your business does best.

If you’re in the business sector influencer marketing is not less popular than the groups mentioned above, e.g. lifestyle and fashion so you’ll want to be selective with who you choose as your influencer.

Choosing Influencers

One of the biggest challenges for marketers irrespective of the sector is how to select the most appropriate influencer. The reason is the whole strategy is new, and it appeals to young people, so it stands to reason most influencers are young and many are teens. Engage a marketing agency with expertise in creating influencer marketing campaigns.

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Marketing

How To Boost Organic Visits To Your Website

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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.

Blogging

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.

E-Newsletter

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).

Social Media

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.

Summary

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.

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