Online Marketing Archives

Start Me Up: Getting Your Small Business Off the Ground

Getting Your Small Business Off the GroundFrom business planning, to strategy, management and advertising, creative ideas, good management and a healthy understanding of the competition can help a startup business succeed.

According to Tech Vibes, when considering the creation of a new business, focusing on your special talents and abilities will give you an important edge. Also, being creative and thinking out of the box will give you an advantage. Doing things that are typical, and selling mass produced products will saddle you with tremendous competition. Ending up in a price war with established businesses is not an advantageous starting point. Everything from web hosting, like VPS Windows, to a solid social media presence will determine how high your company flies or low it falls.

Use Individualistic Abilities and Ideas

Having a unique business model can help to set you apart from your competitors. An example of someone who achieved success by thinking outside the box is Linda Katz. In the 1990s she decided that she would like to start a web-based business, but had never created a website before, as heard on NPR. As a joke, her site’s subject was tumbleweed farming. Though it was never intended to actually be a business, people took her seriously.

She began to get orders for tumbleweeds and some of her customers were movie companies. She even sold tumbleweeds for Johnny Depp’s “Finding Neverland.” Her tumbleweed sales earnings reached $40,000 per year. Her product was easy to obtain and unusual at the same time.

Promote Your Business on Social Media

Business Insider talks about how Facebook Small Business can help get the word out about new businesses. It also offers many of the resources necessary to educate business owners about marketing their products and services. Guides are available demonstrating how to build a Facebook page and how to create posts that will attract customers.

Startup Donut suggests that social media marketing can help your business from the very start. An advantage of social networking is it’s a very measurable and a cost-efficient way to reach a large audience of potential customers and let them know how your business can help them.

Having a Business Plan

Tech Vibes suggests that a good business plan can greatly increase a startup company’s chance for success. When creating a business plan, you must think of all the business aspects and work through them to see if they make sense. At this point you should conduct research to test your ideas. Decide upon a competitive price for your product, identify a potential customer base and try to determine if your sales will cover your costs. Two of the main reasons businesses fail are undercapitalization and poor management. Plan well and thoroughly to set yourself up for success.

The world is connecting digitally more than ever, and it’s only going to continue to rise. Growing a solid social media base with your startup will help to put your name out in the digital landscape. Growing a following is key when trying to create a brand. Being backed by web or VPS hosting can assure security in your web presence. Keeping promotions high will be sure to spearhead your business into the great wild wonder of startups.

Strategies to Improve Your Online Marketing

In order to effectively match consumers with your product or service, it is essential to take advantage of online marketing with original content, audience targeting, efficient outreach and staying fresh. Today’s consumers are much more likely to spend time online than consumers of the past. In fact, people use the internet to socialize, learn and shop on a daily basis.

Below are tips to improve your online-marketing strategy to reach more potential consumers:

Make Your Content Interesting

Nothing drives customers away more than uninteresting or bland content. Any article, social media post or mass email that is overtly promotional or boring will immediately turn consumers off. Instead of sending form letters or posting generic ads on social media websites, do your best to create content that is both engaging and useful. Intriguing articles and exciting social media posts will keep consumers coming back for more.

Update Frequently

Even if you post great social media content and use email-marketing software effectively, your target audience will lose interest if you don’t maintain a steady stream of communication with them. If possible, try to update all of your social media profiles at least twice each week. If your company engages in email marketing, send an email to your customers once each week. It is vital to have a reliable smtp service to ensure your emails are reaching their destination efficiently through tracking technology. However, be careful not to send emails too often, as consumers are likely to flag your messages as spam if they are received more than once or twice weekly.

Target the Best Audience

Not every customer will be interested in the products or services your company offers. It is important that you target consumers most likely to become loyal customers. To determine which audience makes up your target market, collect data on past sales and use it to get a clear picture of your “typical” customer. Make sure that all of your online-marketing tactics are implemented with this customer in mind.

Reach Out at the Right Time

One of the goals of online marketing is to entice potential customers to make purchases. However, online marketing can also be used to spark offline conversations and reach a wider audience by word-of-mouth. To engage the highest possible number of people, reach out to your target market during a time of day that they are likely to be awake and interacting with one another. For example, if you plan to use email-marketing software to send a newsletter to loyal customers, consider scheduling the message for a time when people are likely to check their email, such as early morning.

Monitor Your Progress

The key to effective online marketing is constant improvement. Monitoring the effectiveness of your online-marketing strategies helps identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if your data indicates that consumers convert most often from your social media profiles, pour more energy into social media marketing to increase conversion rates. Likewise, if you learn your company blog has only a limited following, improve your content and update more often to obtain better results.

Though traditional techniques are still effective, online marketing is clearly the future. Following these tips and continuously analyzing and improving your online marketing strategies will solidify your online presence and increase sales volume.

Selling Online and Offline for Retailers

I just read this short article on the dangers of inconsistent customer service by online retailers , when compared to the in-store experience. An excerpt from the article:

“Some major American retailers faced negative consumer sentiment after establishing their online businesses as siloed operations. Separate management teams with different strategies and profit and loss statements lead to numerous customer service issues.

US retailers faced specific problems with customers attempting to return items bought online in-store. Unintegrated loyalty card programs also created issues when customers assumed their online purchases could generate rewards.”

The full article can be found here:

http://www.marketingmag.com.au/news/view/aussie-retailers-must-learn-from-us-1371

It is all well and good to manage the financial aspects of online selling as a sub-entity within your business, but your customer will want the same service from online retailers as well as in-person shopping. They will also want to be able to seamlessly operate in both areas.

Does your online business strategy provide this solid customer service experience? If not, what needs to change?

Social Marketing Success – Greenpeace

If you want a brief, straight-to-the-point review of what social networking and social marketing is all about, watch this video by TED.com. Enjoy!

Direct from TED.com’s RSS feed:
In a funny, rapid-fire 4 minutes, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit tells the real-life fable of one humpback whale’s rise to Web stardom. The lesson of Mister Splashy Pants is a shoo-in classic for meme-makers and marketers in the Facebook age.

Trade marks: making the right choice

Trade marks are what distinguish one business and its products from another.  In selecting a new trade mark, whether as the name for a business or just a new product, there are a number of important issues to consider.

Is it distinctive?

A trade mark should be distinctive.  It should not merely describe the products being offered.  Why is that?  Because other businesses in the same industry may have a legitimate need to use non-distinctive words and phrases, and the law recognises their right to do so.

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Creating Traffic for your Website

Web Marketing can be considered by some to be an unknown process that only a rare few know how to do. It is true that search engine marketing requires a specific skill set, but there are ways in which you can market your website effectively to increase traffic.

Internet sales continue to soar, particularly in certain market segments and more and more, the first place people go to in order to learn about your business is the internet.  If they find a well designed web site that is full of features, that works fast and draws them in, that can be a tremendous tool for promoting your business.

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What is Twitter?

Looking for a really easy way to understand what the craze is behind Twitter – what is the definition of twitter and how does twitter work? Check out this quick 2 ½ minute video that does just that.

Enjoy!

Analysing Website Traffic

Analysing your web traffic statistics can be an invaluable tool for a number of different reasons. But before you can make full use of this tool, you need to understand how to interpret the data.

Most web hosting companies will provide you with basic web traffic information that you then have to interpret and make pertinent use of. However, the data you receive from your host company can be overwhelming if you don’t understand how to apply it to your particular business and website. Let’s start by examining the most basic data – the average visitors to your site on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

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Search Engine Keyword Selection

Search engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to your websites. But in order for visitors to reach their destination – your website – you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do this by creating carefully chosen keywords.

Think of the right keywords as the Open Sesame of the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto – tons of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it all the way to your site – or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive – decreases dramatically.

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