It’s impossible for a business to be successful without marketing, but sadly, budding entrepreneurs don’t always have time to promote their company. After all, building a successful business rarely leaves time for posting regularly to social media. Fortunately, there are a variety of marketing tips that business owners with no time can utilize.

Get Customers to Market for You

You might not have time to get online and promote your business, but your customers likely do. You can offer incentives to your patrons – such as discounts or free items – for leaving honest reviews about your company on sites like Yelp and Google. And since over 80 percent of people say honest reviews are the most credible form of advertising, you can rest assured that future clients will take these testimonials into consideration.

Bring in the Professionals

Potentially the best way to market when you don’t have time is to hire someone to handle the promotion of your company. Many local business owners feel they can handle marketing on their own, but in all honesty, this is like someone trying to perform surgery without medical training. Marketing isn’t something that just anyone can do. If it was, everyone would do it. Hiring a professional to handle your advertising will certainly pay for itself in the long run.

Market at Events

If you don’t have time to market, you certainly don’t have time to advertise at events for free. If you sign up for a booth at an event, though, you can sell your product or service while simultaneously marketing them. Hand out business cards, hold contests and provide samples at these events. You’ll still be making money while simultaneously getting the word out about your company.

Marketing is no doubt a time-consuming commitment, but it’s an important one if you hope to find success. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between doing your job and promoting your business. The aforementioned tips will go a long way in ensuring this.

We live in a digital world, and any budding entrepreneur who ignores this fact is bound for failure. This doesn’t mean, however, that offline marketing is a lost cause. In fact, some research shows that this type of marketing can boost your online campaigns by as much as 40 percent. With that in mind, you should always have these offline marketing tips in the back of your head.

Realize that Print Isn’t Dead

Sure, there are far more emails sent than letters each day. Like… far more. This doesn’t mean that printed mediums are dead. Whether it’s business cards, direct mail or even newspaper ads, printed material is still an effective way to market offline. Keep in mind, though, that not all of these strategies will work for every demographic or in every locale. Find what works and go with it, but always have a business card on hand.

Get Exposure in the Community

A newspaper ad might get you noticed by a few people, but sponsoring the local little league team will garner the attention of hundreds – if not more. You should take active measures to involve your business in the community. This could be anything from donating to charity to holding a back-to-school drive. While this may not seem like marketing, the fact is that people love philanthropic companies. Getting involved in your community will certainly attract new clients.

Visit Trade Shows

When it comes to local businesses, the owners either swear by trade shows or ignore them entirely. The fact is that these industry events can really get your product or service out there, and you can even make sales while onsite. Your specific offering might not perform well at a trade show, and if this is the case, you’ll know they’re either not right for you or your pitch needs tweaking. Either way, trade shows are an offline marketing technique worth taking a shot at.

Regardless of how prominent the digital world becomes, offline marketing is likely here to stay. Fortunately, these techniques can supplement what your online marketing pros are doing. In the end, the two combine for a great promotional strategy.

Online marketing strategies have become front stage in the promotional world. There are still, however, several offline marketing techniques that produce great results. In fact, offline tactics have been shown to increase online effectiveness by 40 percent. Additionally, many of these offline strategies have proven effective at creating positive online results. Here are just a few offline marketing tactics that equate to success on the internet.

Include Website on Business Card

One of the most overlooked methods of increasing online traffic through offline methods is including the website on business cards. While some budding entrepreneurs try to keep their business cards simple and to the point, printing a web address will provide people with an alternative means of learning more. While they may not be motivated enough to call and speak to a salesperson, they might just be willing to learn more on a website.

Send Out Direct Mailers

While sending direct mailers is more expensive than many types of online marketing, this type of offline marketing has consistently proven successful for local businesses. In fact, one in four Americans has made a purchase over the past year as a direct result of receiving marketing materials in the mail. Including a web address when sending these mailers is essential.

Get Involved in Speaking Engagements

Whether it’s an interview on a local radio show or a presentation at an industry event, giving a speaking engagement is a great way to promote a company’s online presence. The great thing about this tactic is that people will already view the business owner as an expert thanks to their knowledge. There are numerous opportunities to push a website or Facebook page during these engagements, so business owners should take advantage of them.

Offline marketing may not be as prevalent as it once was, but it’s still important in the grand scheme of things. By utilizing these offline methods for online success, business owners can assist their marketing professional’s efforts through on-the-ground strategies.

Being successful in business is all about strategy, and for a company to excel, it must have a great marketing strategy. There are tons of articles out there with “tips” and “how tos” that teach promotional tactics, but these don’t work for every business in every situation. Instead of specific strategies, learning basic ideas behind marketing can help regardless of the situation, and looking towards the game of chess to learn how to advertise can provide new insights that work within all industries.

Watch Your Competitor’s Next Move

One of the most important aspects of chess is paying attention to what your opponent is doing. You can’t win a game of chess by simply following a single strategy irrespective of what your opponent is doing. This is true in the marketing world as well. You should follow your competitors on social media and sign up for their email lists. If they’re doing something that works, maybe you should consider it too.

Successful Marketing Requires Several Tactics

The queen is the most powerful piece in the game of chess, but it’s impossible to win with just this one piece. You’ll also need a variety of tactics with marketing. Social media promotions are great, but they can’t do the job alone. Using email, social platforms, SEO and a variety of other strategies will lead to success.

Sacrificing Pawns Actually Works

A chess player would be hard pressed to win a game without sacrificing pawns. Again, this holds true in the marketing world. To get new customers, you may have to sacrifice an initial profit. Maybe it takes a 50% off Groupon to get people in the door, but if they get hooked on a product thanks to your initial sacrifice, it’s well worth it in the long run. Since over 70,000 businesses use these types of deal sites to get new people through the doors, there’s little doubt that it works.

Chess has taught a variety of lessons over the centuries, and it’s obvious that it offers just as much insight into the marketing world. If you can master these basic chess skills, you’ll master the art of marketing.

Three out of every four businesses that use email marketing say it offers either a “good” or “excellent” return on investment. For the rest, they might be doing something wrong, so it wouldn’t hurt to bring in a third-party marketing professional to help. When doing so, however, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue to help grow your email list. In fact, doing this will make the marketer’s endeavors even more fruitful.

1. Offer Something in Return

There’s no doubt that every company, band, actor or anyone else with a brand has devoted fans who would sign up for emails “just because.” In most instances, however, consumers will want some form of incentive to hand over their information. This could be anything from “One Free Entrée on Your Birthday!” to “Get Notified First When We Have Secret Sales.” As long as people feel they’re getting something out of it, they’re likely to sign up for your emails.

2. Create Useful Gateway Content

Gateway content is a video, white paper, or other form of content that consumers typically must sign up for to receive in their email. This type of content doesn’t work well in every industry, but for others, it’s a powerful marketing tool. It’s important to remember, though, that the content must be very useful. If consumers or other businesses can find the information free online – without signing up for anything – then it’s not a good idea to use a content gateway.

3. Run an Online Contest

Incentivizing an email signup doesn’t necessarily mean giving everyone something for free. Instead, many companies hold periodic online contests where the prizes are so impressive that people more than willingly give up their email information. While there may be an initial cost to such strategies, the return on investment thanks to new signups is typically worth it.

Unlike other aging technologies, email is still going strong, and it’s likely to continue that way well into the future. This is why budding entrepreneurs should never overlook their email marketing, and if they can keep their list growing, they’ll keep seeing success over the years.

The most trusted form of advertising in the world – with over 80 percent of consumers ranking it at the top – is word of mouth. Unlike social media, email and other forms of marketing, though, these referrals are contingent on people being motivated to make them. Luckily, there are ways to influence this type of behavior, but if you’re making the following customer referral mistakes, you’re hurting your business.

1. Not Offering Incentives

Word of mouth has long been a trusted form of marketing, but in many cases, people aren’t going to do it just out of the goodness of their hearts. Oftentimes, in fact, they never even give positive retail experiences a second thought.

This completely changes, though, if they’re incentivized to refer family and friends to a certain company. This could be a discount, free product or gift card for every person they refer to the business.

2. Not Utilizing Social Media

The term “word of mouth” seems to dictate one-on-one interactions in real-life situations. In the modern world, however, it’s simple for local businesses to progress their word of mouth via social media. This could be anything from asking followers to tag a friend who would “Love this meal” or “Needs this car” to offering incentives for honest online reviews. The internet is a huge part of our daily lives, and you should remember that when trying to get potential customers sent your way.

3. Not Going the Extra Mile

Whether an individual was seeking recommendations or just given one out of the blue by a friend, it typically makes them feel special. It’s as if they’re in on a secret because they “know somebody who knows somebody.” Business owners need to keep this feeling alive. It’s essential to go above and beyond for customers who have been referred. This will let them know that the recommendation was given in earnest, and they’ll be much more likely to return later.

Of course, the biggest word of mouth and referral marketing mistake is not having a strategy at all. Once you’re over that mountain, though, avoiding the aforementioned can go a long way in making you successful.

Get More Blog Traffic

How Local Businesses Can Bring More Traffic to Their Blogs

Center on Evergreen Content

It is fine to create blog posts based on current events, but this certainly ought not be your entire strategy. Evergreen posts are those that are just as useful in the future as they are right now. A blog titled “How to Clean a Catfish in 5 Steps,” for instance, would usually do a lot better than “Legislators Consider New Fishing Law.” Evergreen content stays applicable, and this means people could be sharing the blog years after its initial release.

Look at Titles and Great Images

A blog post could be packed with valuable information, but if the feature image and title does not catch a consumer’s attention, it will likely not be read. Scan through public domain and free of charge images online until something really jumps out at you. Moreover, go ahead and learn the skill of writing clickable headlines. These two changes could take a new blog and make it great.

Look at Doing Guest Blogs

If your organization only has 500 followers on Facebook, you have to hope for a viral sensation to get thousands of clicks. If a blog you write is featured on a Facebook page with 20,000 followers, though, you’ll end up with plenty of traffic. Look around for authoritative blogs in your trade with large followings. Pitch a number of ideas to these associations, and if one bites, you may just be days away from an important traffic uptick.

Blogging is a established resource that is never going out of style. It may not bring in as much revenue as a few other tactics, but if you are doing it right, sharing content via blogging can pay off with an enormous increase in ROI.

Facebook Live

Combines Online and Offline Marketing

Even though promotion is in its digital age, it does not mean offline marketing is a thing of the past. Companies can still do quite well by attending local festivals, sponsoring neighborhood charities and even hosting events. Not every fan can attend these affairs, but they can easily catch them via Facebook Live.

Improved Marketing Metrics on Facebook

Facebook has long provided resources that allowed business owners to track their reach on the site. Instead of seeing how many people liked or shared a status, page owners can actually see how many people viewed the post. Checking up on this user-friendly image, Facebook Live also comes with a number of analytics tools.

In addition to seeing just how many people viewed the video, Facebook Live also gives metrics on the peak concurrent viewers and the number of people who are viewing the video at any given time. This means marketers can see the exact moment their viewership decreased, and they can use this information to improve their video marketing.

Facebook Assists in Promotion

Facebook Live is still in its infancy, so the social media giant is doing its best to promote the service. This means Live videos often end up towards the top of people’s newsfeeds. Additionally, Facebook will often send a notification when a page a fan likes starts a live broadcast. This free of charge advertising may not last forever, so local business owners should take advantage now.

Social media sites are continually trying out new things, and in some cases, their ideas fall flat. This is simply not the case with Facebook Live. The new device is doing everything from causing social change to promoting business events. If company owners utilize the tool correctly, there is no limit on how prosperous they can be.

Marketing Tips

Marketing Tricks For Profitable Small Enterprises

Any consumer will love something totally free, but minor freebies do not really get the job done. One cabin rental company in the Smoky Mountains realized this and started holding contests on Facebook where the reward was a free weekend stay in an attractive cabin.

Make use of Old Content

Even small enterprises that have minimal social media reach put out a few posts that really “pop.” These posts can seemingly go viral relative to the reach of other posts. It occurs way too often, though, that businesses simply move on after this success.

This is an error in judgment. Instead, wait a couple of weeks or months and post the content once more. It may not attain the same significant reach, but it will still likely perform better than other posts on your page.

Segment Email List

A full 58 percent of customers prefer email marketing over other marketing touch points. This shows how powerful the tactic can be, but segmenting your email list can also do wonders.

Break up clients by certain features, whether it be purchase behavior or age and gender demographics. This allows you to personalize your marketing message while still readily reaching the masses.

Offer Something Substantial For Free

Everyone loves free stuff, but small discounts or small promotional items are not likely to build a substantial following. That is why one Smoky Mountain cabin company began holding Facebook contests where the winner received a free three night vacation in a gorgeous mountain cabin.

By simply holding a contest and telling entrants they must “like,” “follow” or subscribe to something to enter, hundreds or even thousands of prospects will suddenly make an appearance. These prizes do not need to be in the vein of free automobiles, but make it something worth getting excited over.

There are no cutting corners to success, but there are simple marketing strategies that can pay off. The aforementioned are just a few, and any local business that can pull these off is definitely ahead of the game.

3 SEO Shortcuts

Every Small Business Really Should Be Using These SEO Tips

Every local business owner should make the time to get in touch with leaders in their industry. You can do this by phone or social media, but the positive payoff is the same. There is no doubt that it takes time to build a legitimate relationship, but once this is done, a backlink or share from an industry leader can return swift results.

Have Time For Google Places

If there is one online strategy that small businesses can use to gain offline revenue, it is local SEO. It has been estimated that having a Google Places page generates a lifetime value of $10,000. Businesses that have Google Places pages show above organic search results, and this indicates that, no matter how bad your site’s SEO might be, people are going to find it.

Contact Industry Leaders

No local company owner should be afraid to reach out to leaders in their industry. Whether it be by phone or social media, creating these relationships can pay off huge. While building the relationship requires time, the results of a shared blog or even a backlink are almost instantaneous.

Participate In Blog Commenting

Blog commenting has gotten a bad rep over the years thanks to marketers employing automated posting tools and basically spamming up reputable sites’ comment sections. Steering clear of this type of behavior, however, can result in many website visitors and a powerful backlink from an industry leading site.

The trick here is to continually make sure the comments are on topic. If an industry-leading website posts a blog about how to clean pools, for instance, it is okay to comment with a link to your blog about pool cleaning tools. Stay on topic, and the visitors will come.

Succeeding in the world of seo takes work, but all of that work does not have to be tricky. By simply making use of the aforementioned tips, your small business can see almost instant impressive results.