Marketing On A Budget

Check Out These 5 Ways to Market your Business on a Budget

Okay, we all can agree that not every business boasts a generous marketing budget, enabling you to take advantage of every opportunity on the planet. Even large companies have limitations, and working creatively within your means, however meager, is a key to online success.

We’re going to check out 5 effective ways you can market your business on a limited budget. We’ll detail them; all you need to do is do them!

5 Tips on how to Effectively Market your Business with a Small Budget

Be Social-Minded – Right now social media is where the people are, and you will be missing out if you do not take advantage of this. Social sites offer you the best opportunity to share your content to a vast audience, many of whom you are not yet connected to! Get active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and also Pinterest and Instagram if you have ANY visual aspects to your business. This is great for direct traffic, referrals, and customer service.

Build an Email List – If you have yet to start building an email list for your business, there’s no time to waste! Get a free email solution like Mailchimp until you have a least 2000 people on your lists, and by then you should be making enough to warrant upgrading to a paid account. Use these lists to communicate news and views about your business and industry, and build up your authority.

Create a Destination Blog – Creating a blog that grows in stature, has repeat visitors and is shared widely is a tremendous asset for a small business on a limited budget. You can really do anything you want from your blog platform; build lists, conducts surveys, hold contests, build authority, announce new products and sales. Make your blog the hub of activity around which your business operates.

Get Visual – These days we are a visual lot, and it’s an established fact that visual content engages and interests your audience many times more than simple text. Make use of videos, infographics, memes, images and other visuals with everything you do. You will get less bounces, more engagement and ultimately better results.

Dip your Toes into Paid Ads – Don’t be scared off of paid advertising simply because you have a small budget. There are many platforms that allow you to run ads to highly targeted people for mere pennies. Facebook and Twitter ads can be had for low prices, and your daily budget doesn’t have to exceed just a couple of dollars. Mobile ad platforms are even less expensive. Check this out today!

Website Traffic Mistakes

Are You Making Any of These 7 Traffic and Conversion Mistakes?

We often mistakenly think it’s our offer or possibly pricing that’s the issue when it comes to our dwindling traffic and or conversions, while in fact it might be something far more mundane and fixable.

You might be surprised to find out that much of the time it’s our own fault traffic and conversions are lacking, and often because of very simple ways we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

So to help with this, we’ve unearthed 7 ways you may be unwittingly smothering your own traffic and conversions.

7 Ways to Sabotage your Traffic And Conversions

Site Duplicate Pages – First understand that Google hates duplicate content. They will punish your pages and perhaps your entire site if this is found in abundance. The main culprit is identical body content on multiple pages, even though they have different URLs and title tags. Strive to create unique content for each page you want to index.

Slow Page Loads – If your pages load slowly, you can count on your visitors bailing out of there as fast as possible, You have but a short few seconds, (some studies show less than 4!) to grab their attention and interest them. If you page won’t load in that time, adios!

Not Mobile-Friendly – If your pages are not mobile ready you deserve to not have any traffic or conversions. Over half of all Web traffic in 2015 is coming from a mobile device. What, you don’t want those people?

Your On-Page SEO Has Issues – Your Google rankings often depend largely on your on-page SEO, and if you have issues in this area, it’s high time to correct them. These may include poor page loads, missing or poorly done title and description tags, and image optimization.

Social Media Absent – Social media plays a part in not only traffic, reputation and web reach, but social signals can also impact your search rankings. Make it easy to share your pages socially across all important channels.

Poor Keyword Usage – Not optimizing your pages with one primary keyword and a bunch of secondary, (LSI) keywords is a prime reason why Google may not be able to properly index and send traffic to your pages.

Too Many Hoops to Jump Through – Lastly, if you have forms you expect people to fill out in order to get a conversion, whether it is a mere opt-in or a sale, asking them to give you too much information is a conversion killer. Request only what you absolutely need, and no more!

Write A Good Press Release

Check Out the Basics of a Good Press Release

Creating a great press release doesn’t need to be difficult. A good press release will help you attract more visitors to your product or service. Reaching the target audience becomes quite simple when you follow certain guidelines which are important for crafting great press releases.

Do things in the format expected and if your event is newsworthy and exciting, expect to see good results. Try to reinvent the wheel, and you’ll get a lot of nothing for your efforts.

Let’s look at several best practices when it comes to creating an effective press release.

How to Create a Winning Press Release

An Attention-Getting Headline – Your headline has to do a few very important tasks for you. First it has to be attention-grabbing, emotional, and encourage the reader to learn more.

Second, you should opt for shorter, preferably 60 characters in length, as this is how much of your headline Google will show in the search results when it gets indexed. Also, remember that you may want to fit your company name and possibly a keyword or two in there.

Short Body Copy – Shoot to make your press release a one-pager. The primary aim here is to have the reader to want and seek out more information by contacting you, not to present it all on this PR.

Intelligent Linking – You often have limited opportunities to link out, so use these wisely. Link to relevant pages on your site, and any other resources that are directly applicable.

Informational and Not Promotional – This one is hard to make yourself do on occasion. This is not a sales letter, but a tool to help get the word out about your event or product. The goal here is to inform and lead, not sell. In fact, your PR may get kicked back if it is deemed too promotional.

Insert Correct Contact Information – If you don’t include or display accurate contact information, you will have just wasted a good amount of money and time. Here’s your opportunity to have people who read this contact you, so make sure it is all current and accurate.

Follow these basic guidelines and you’ll find that not only will you be writing and submitting more press releases, but the traffic, links and search engine listings you’ll get are well worth the effort.

More Website Visitors

See How to Leverage Your Email Lists into Greater Blog Traffic

One thing we could all use is more visitors to our blogs. We know the power of blogging, and understand that content is indeed King, so it naturally follows that we want as many people as possible to benefit from the content on our blogs.

With many choices for delivering visitors to your pages, it’s very easy to skip what is probably the best way available: improving the size and scope of your email subscriber list.

Building your list while at the same time getting more visitors to your blog is the best of both worlds. Let’s look at first how to collect subscribers, and after that the best way to utilize this technique for greatest effect.

The mechanics of building a larger subscriber base

There are basics to making sure you’re doing the best job you can collecting new emails. Here are just a few…

  • Put opt-in forms on your pages; all of them!
  • Consider employing an exit popup
  • Offer a free resource to get people to sign up
  • Run an ad campaign to your offer page
  • Conduct a webinar
  • Use video marketing

Use the methods you are most familiar with and get started! Running paid ads and videos will give you the fastest results. Make list building a lifetime-of-your-business priority.

How to use your list to drive traffic to your blog

The first and by far the easiest way to use your list to generate more traffic to your blog is by sending them a simple email. This email requires only a few things: a captivating subject line, a few lines or highlights of your post, and several inks that take them directly there.

This presupposes that you’re creating terrific content that needs to be seen. Even though it can take a while to build up enough critical mass to make this look like the tsunami of traffic it can be, you have to start somewhere.

Use images, videos, and outright bribes if necessary to get the click through to your blog. Enable social media buttons and actively encourage sharing and forwarding.

The benefits of this type of action are several. You’ll get immediate direct traffic, and over time your posts will rank better in the search engine results and you’ll be getting loads of new incoming backlinks to your pages.

Sounds like a win-win all around, right?

See These Helpful Tips to Make Your Facebook Page More Engaging

These days it’s not enough just to have a Facebook business page: you need to have a vibrant, noteworthy, oft-shared destination where you engage customers, fans and friends alike. So how in the name of Zuckerberg are you supposed to get this done? Doesn’t your business already swallow every free second of time from your life as it is?

Let’s have a look at 5 of the best practices for adding engagement on your Facebook business page.

5 Ways to make your Facebook page a more engaging place!

Use memorable visuals – From your cover photo to the imagery you use in posts, make an effort to employ original, imminently sharable choices. Strive to make every image one you would share yourself.

Use call to actions in your cover photo – A recent addition to your arsenal is the capability to add one of 7 different calls to action into your cover image. Many times this can be useful to encourage actions and engagement.

Optimize your business page – Take full advantage of the opportunity to fully optimize your page description and your About section. Include links to other sites you own, along with other social channels, such as YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure they know who you are!

Publish often – If you don’t care enough to come around often, neither will other people. Make sure you are publishing often and cross promoting with other social channels. Think about using paid ads on posts that get interest; as this can increase your fans exponentially.

Engage with the people – Nothing says you care like talking directly to people who comment, question or otherwise engage with you. What you do here will determine the success of your social media initiative. Directly asking for comments, shares or other actions have a long track record of success.

When it comes to engagement the task is ultimately quite simple. Be there to answer, encourage and inform your fans. Nothing less will do.

Low Budget Online Marketing

How to Market your Auto Body Shop Online with a Low Budget

In order for any small business to remain relevant and competitive in today’s competition business environment, it requires a reasonable and viable marketing strategy.

Luckily for us today it’s easier than ever to market your business online. That said, marketing a small business with a small budget can be a bit challenging. Free and low cost takes more time and effort, but the opportunities are there. Let’s focus on some basic, effective and best of all inexpensive ways to market your small business.

Use Social Media – Social media has significantly changed all facets of human life. Due to the millions of social media active users, social media has developed into a honeypot for many small businesses. The first step towards harvesting the benefits of marketing in social media is opening social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. One of the ways of ensuring that you effectively use social media avenues in your marketing plan is via posting engaging, relevant, and informative content.

Set Up a Website – Websites play a center role in marketing and advertising small businesses. If you don’t have a website, putting one up would be a judicious move. However, if you don’t have enough money to hire a designer, perhaps engage a student to put up a simple WordPress site on your own domain with your own web hosting. This will at least ensure you are building an asset for your company. Never choose to put your business on a platform you don’t own.

Use Business Cards – Another ineffective way of marketing your small business is via using business cards. Giving out your business card can help you land new clients. Make them tactilely impressive, and visually appealing.

Be a Presence at Local Events – Even if your business is not locally-oriented, showing up and giving a face to your business will net you many more leads than you thought possible. You never know who the person you network with today will end up being tomorrow. (And don’t forget to bring those new business cards!)

Social Media Marketing Tips

15 Awesome Social Media Tips for Beginners

Everyone has to start somewhere, and social media is just too big an ocean of people not to dip your feet into. Instead of allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed, have a look at these 15 social media tips here and see if they don’t help you to get out of the starting gate and on the right path to a lively, effective social media presence.

15 Social Media Tips for Beginners!

1. Use imagery in your posts – Studies show that people respond a lot more often to visual media these days.

2. Post regularly – Logging in and posting every once in a while is just not going to cut it.

3. Engage your visitors – Spend some time to reply to all of the comments you receive from others. This will help you connect with your target audience, and get them further along the road to knowing, liking and trusting you.

4. Don’t oversell – (Notice I didn’t say “Don’t sell”.) Pushing too hard to sell your products and services is a huge turn-off in social media.

5. Be hashtag responsible – Guard against overusing hashtags. While they are useful for increasing user engagement, don’t go nuts here.

6. Stay relevant – Straying too far off topic from your audience’s interests never ends well. If you have something else to share, find the appropriate forum.

7. Avoid confrontation – Don’t respond negatively to bad feedback. Respond and stay professional, and keep your head above the fray.

8. Brevity is key – Try not to post overly long messages. People will get bored with you by the time they reach the end.

9. Respond to comments – Whatever you do don’t disable comments. Instead engage here and show them how much you value their contribution.

10. Stay consistent – Use scheduling tools to post when you can’t. Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and others make this easy.

11. Post videos – People love them and it makes your content more shareable.

12. Focus on a few channels – Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest, pick a few and be active. While it can be a full time job to do most of them effectively, do the ones you’ve committed to with gusto.

13. Mix it up – Post diverse types of content so as to keep things interesting. Post, videos, memes, product reviews, testimonials and more.

14. Be generous – Everyone likes a deal, and offering them to your social audience is a terrific way to gain trust and shares.

15. Have fun – While you want to stay professional, no one likes boring.

Website Conversion

Is Conversion Optimization A Part of your Plan?

Although you may hear the roar of marketers bemoaning a lack of traffic to their pages as the bane of their existence, it’s a fair bet that they haven’t used conversion optimization to achieve the most from what traffic they are getting.

Conversion optimization merely involves making sure every single element in the sales process, from the first contact to the Thank You page is crafted to ensure that you not only get the sale, but the most bang for your marketing buck.

Let’s take a look at several ways to optimize for conversions, and see if they don’t swell the bottom line a bit!

What to Consider When Doing Conversion Optimization

Use the proper keywords – Making sure you are using the proper keywords for the page the right way is essential for not only making sure you are found in search, but also social media and video. Optimize for one main keyword and a few select secondary keywords, so that it will best focus your search results.

Make sure you test – This is a must. Simply tossing up a page without testing the various elements of the page or offer is a sure recipe for leaving a lot of money on the table. Test every aspect of the sales process, from emails to pages, headline, copy and color: it’s all in play, and you’ll be amazed at the outcomes you get. Test only one thing at a time also, as it will confuse the results otherwise.

Make videos – The word is that by 2018 we will see some 75 percent of all traffic having something to do with video. People are hooked on watching, and this trend is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Not just that, but studies are also showing that consumers are more inclined to convert after viewing your video. Food for thought!

Be mobile ready – Since over half of all Web search is now emanating from a mobile device of some type, it’s imperative to make sure your pages and offers are mobile-friendly. This is easy to get done, and can pay large dividends. Also, make sure your hosting renders your mobile pages quickly, as mobile users are highly impatient.

Employ social proof – People need to know that one way or another they are making the right decision when purchasing a product. 85 percent of consumers will visit at least one social network for confirmation. Make sure you are using social proof, and that you respond to social inquiries promptly.

Google recently rolled out an update for its local search engine results: the previous “local 7-pack” was replaced by the “local 3-pack” (AKA the “snack pack”); which means only three results are displayed in the local listing results instead of seven.

Having your business show up in the 7-pack results was extremely valuable when it comes to putting your business in front of local consumers who are searching for your type of product or service.

However, now four spots are gone in that prime real estate section of the results page. So you have to work even harder to get your local listing to show up on the first page of the results, which means working your way into one of the limited top three spots.

What else has changed?

In addition to the results being trimmed down, several other changes were made that will definitely impact the search experience for users:

1. Specific addresses from the listings have also been removed from the results page – only the street name is visible. Users now have to click through to the full listing (or click on their website link) to get the exact address of the business.

2. Phone numbers have also been removed from the results page. However, on mobile devices, there is a “call” option, which is a bit of relief for mobile searchers.

3. Google+ links have been removed.

4. Labeled as “Google Reviews” before the update, now they are simply called “Reviews.” The number of reviews each business has still shows, which is good.

5. Listings now show each businesses’ hours of operation, based on when the search is performed. For instance, searchers will now see “Closes at,” or “Closes Soon”, or “Opens at,” etc.

6. Before, the local card for the business would pop up when we scroll over the listing. Now, you will have to click through to the second page to see the “Card.”

7. Once you click on a listing now, it opens to a new search view with a longer list of competitors, a version of the old local card, and a map of the business.

The Impact

Now that there are fewer available slots for local listings that show up in search results, you could experience a major decline in website traffic, phone calls, and new customers if you ranked in positions 4-7 before the switch.

However, those companies that show in the 3-pack are likely to receive even more attention; so this is your new goal – to get your company listed in one of those top three positions.

What’s Useful in the Latest Social Media Updates

We all know that keeping up with social media is a task, and the constant updates that can slip by unnoticed may be something that could really help your small business.

Some of these changes can be a big help to any small business, so we take the time necessary to see what may work nicely for us.

To make this easier, we’ve identified some of the more interesting and possibly beneficial social media updates that have been introduced recently, and present 5 of them here.

5 Of the Latest Social Media Updates that You Can Use in Your Small Business

Facebook Instant Articles – Facebook is debuting a new feature called Instant Articles, which is designed to allow information publishers to more effectively get their message out on mobile devices. Highly interactive and user friendly, this promises to help publishers with monetizing and spreading their content.

Twitter to expand Characters in Direct Messages – Twitter is listening and beginning in July 2015 they have pumped up the character limit on direct messages (not Tweets!) to 10,000 characters. I’m already imagining the possibilities…

Google Search to Show More Social Results – Look for Tweets to start showing up in Google mobile search results. All you need to do is to type your interest into the Google mobile app and the resulting page will have relevent and recent Tweets on the subject at hand. For now this only works on mobile, desktop to come later.

Twitter’s Killer New Search Page – Even more from Twitter, a new, full-featured search results page which boasts a far cleaner and useful interface. You can also filter your searches quite nicely, to further refine your search queries.

Simply Measured LinkedIn Reporting – The popular social analytics company Simply Measured has rolled out a new report designed to give LinkedIn publishers a far deeper look into their analytics. Together with a wealth of metrics to choose from, there is also an updated cross channel social performance reports covering 8 social networks. Check it out!

Social media is in a constant state of changeand up with some of the changes will help keep your social efforts productive.