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.

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.

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.

How Business owners Can Unite Social Media and Offline Marketing

Whereas Facebook ‘About’ sections were once only for basic information, the site now allows a video to be uploaded. And that means you can get a lot more play out of a television ad by simply placing it on Facebook. First time visitors to your page will see your ad, which they may have never found before, and you have an opportunity to switch videos at any time.

Incorporate Television Ad to Facebook ‘About’ Section

Facebook recently began allowing entrepreneurs to upload a video in their ‘About’ section. This is a great opportunity to place that 30-second television spot front and center. Even better is that the video can be switched out at any time, and customers viewing a page for the first time will instantly see the video.

Feature On-Site or Event Discount rates Via Check In

One of the amazing features of social media platforms like Facebook, Foursquare and Google is that they offer the opportunity to “check in.” This creates an opportunity for you to use an offline marketing tactic, a discount, and make it reliant on social media. Whether it is at an event or at the business location, offer consumers a rebate on the spot if they check in on social media.

Start using Hashtags Everywhere

Brands that use hashtags usually see an increase in engagement of 50 percent. Do not allow these hashtags be solely dependent on social media, though. Come up with a clever and memorable hashtag and post it everywhere. From television commercials to billboards, these function as hashtag reminders for people to use later.

As a local merchant, you should reap the benefits of every marketing tool at your disposal. For example offline marketing. Fortunately, this traditional marketing tactic still plays a significant role in promoting a business.

It’s All About Trust

Uncomplicated Ways Local Businesses Can Build Customer Trust

One of the most effective ways of accomplishing this is simply responding to commenters on social media. You can accomplish this while also showing that you care by responding to online reviews. A while back, Yelp reported that 1.1 million businesses had claimed their Yelp pages, but there are more than 18 million American businesses.

You Should Not Berate Competition

It seems like making your rivals look bad would be a great thing, but it is important not to do this by being negative. As a substitute, show consumers why your product or service is better. Averting negativity shows people you are willing to stand on your accomplishments rather than the failures of others, and this is a great way to build trust.

Build Actual Partnerships with Customers

Several marketers consider posting to social media an effective way to build relationships with clients. While this does give people a sense of what the company is all about, it is essential to go beyond this and let consumers know that it is real people behind the company profile.

One simple way of doing this is giving an answer to comments and questions on social media. An alternate way to do this, while also showing that you really care, is to respond to online reviews. Yelp once reported that 1.1 million business pages had been claimed on their site, yet there are over 18 million companies in America.

Without claiming a small business page, it is difficult to respond to reviews, so a large percentage of companies are obviously failing here.

Be Transparent About Blunders

Every business will make mistakes, both in the offline and online worlds. When these happen, it is essential to own up to them. Whether you have a single negative review online or an idiotic server garnered negative media attention for the company, simply make sure you recognize the error and explain what is being done to make sure it never happens again.

Building trust is crucial in any relationship. Make sure your local company has a chance at success by not forgetting this.

Socially Conscious Customers

How to Appeal to Socially-Conscious Consumers

Stay Local in the Business Dealings

Pony Up Bread for Social Responsibility

Wherever your local business is located, there are sure to be events that are devoted to social responsibility. Whether this is a fundraising event for a local team or a Toys-for-Tots drive, you have a prime chance to do something good while earning the socially-responsible consumer. Making charitable donations to these forms of charitable activities in most cases at least get your name in a brochure, and feel comfortable knowing that this little tidbit will appeal to many local consumers.

Adhere With Local Vendors

When you keep with local distributors, you are promoting other businesses inside your local economy. Moreover, you are improving the environment by taking off the need for transporting food and supplies over long distances. Of course, this will do you no good if consumers do not know about it. This is the reason you should market the fact that you only work with local companies, farmers and suppliers.

Get Your Fans Included

One of the highly effective to ensure consumers know that you are a socially-responsible business is to invite them to join you. If you are donating supplies to a local school drive, invite others to take action on social media. If there is a potential charitable event, invite consumers to join you there. This will not only show an attractive view of your company, but it is likely to garner plenty of social media attention as well.

Social responsibility will likely be the answer to future marketing projects. Take the time to get ahead of the curve.

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Marketing Mistakes

Marketing and advertising Blunders That Are Eating Up Your Return

Becoming the Winning Player

Getting Email Lists

The issue with email lists is that most of them simply don’t target your desired demographic. If you run a video game store, for example, what is the point in getting a list where only 25% of the people play games? Because these lists are not often targeted, studies have shown that open rates drop to near-zero as a list becomes more public and used. Even though you might find affordable email lists to purchase, it’s really not a great deal if you are not reaching your target audience.

Paying for Unproven Strategies

New marketing tools are seemingly always coming out, and in many cases, they can prove to be a fantastic asset. The introduction of pay-per-click ads, for instance, was a significant shift in marketing. Unfortunately, lots of the newest marketing strategies are simply full of false hope. When there is no hard evidence that a new method works just yet, it’s advisable that you hold off on investing in it. Wait for large corporations to try out these new methods, and if they end up working well, you will get plenty of time to improve your strategy.

Trimming Your Deficits Too Early

One thing every entrepreneur should know is when to give up on a strategy that isn’t working. Unfortunately, many marketers give up too soon. There are those out there who expect immediate results, and that is just not the way marketing works. Giving up too early on a tactic that would prove effective is just as bad as wasting cash on one that proves unprofitable.

Marketing is one of the places you should avoid cutting corners. Of course, if you are engaged in the previously mentioned strategies, it could be time for a change of course.

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Low Cost Lead Generation

Great Lead Generation Tactics for Shoestring Budgets

Not everyone will abide by the strategies of buying leads, but in reality, they are a sound tactic that can easily prove successful. Even though these lists are not overly expensive, steer clear of going too cheap. The tactic is only worth it if your leads are good quality, and these leads only come from vendors with successful track records.

Don’t Be Scared to Purchase Leads

There are those who look down on lead purchasing, but if you are just getting started or business has stunted, it can be very useful. While these databases are economical, make sure not to go too cheap. You will need to purchase quality leads, and this only comes from companies that have a verified reputation of success.

Search For Referrals

You have already got an excellent lead generation tool available in your existing customers. Research conducted recently discovered that nearly two-thirds of marketing executives think word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of promotion available. If you can get your customers to tell their friends about you, even by offering money off, you can be successful.

Employ Webinars or Instructional Videos

Developing a live webinar can go a long way in generating new leads. You simply need to get the smartest person on the payroll to lead the webinar and promote it well in advance. Of course, this type of lead generation doesn’t work so well for all firms.

After all, how many fishermen will care to see a live webinar on anything a bait-and-tackle shop is putting out there? Fortunately, businesses like this could just create training videos that people organically come across online.

This form of content is an excellent option for getting new eyes on your business, but make certain there is always a sign-up form or call to action listed. This content-based strategy is very effective considering content marketing reduces the cost-per-lead by 13%.

Remarkable marketing tactics do not really need to be expensive. By means of these lead generation recommendations and other economical marketing strategies, you could greatly reduce your marketing funds.

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Your Marketing Budget

Being Profitable While Sticking with Your Marketing Budget

The typical business owner examines their marketing budget as a single entity. This is successful in some instances, but if you break down your allowance into numerous smaller budgets, you might fare better. Figure out how much you will spend on social media alone, especially since it makes up 13 percent of marketing budgets anyway. Then focus on how much you will commit to local ads. If you can target the small things, you might just be able to better keep your marketing budget under control.

Set up Several Budgets

Too many small business owners simply say, “This is how much we have for marketing and advertising, so we can make it work.” While this may be effective, you’ll have better luck by having a large budget and a few smaller ones. Social media makes up 13 percent of most marketing budgets, so look at it by itself. Then figure out how much you want to spend on local ads. Focus on these small parts of the larger picture and you’ll be better able to confine your spending.

Start Off Small

Most businesses interest varying demographics of people. If you are honest with yourself, however, there is a part of the market which is more willing to do business with you. Whether this is young males or professional females, you will need to start by focusing on these individuals.

When taking off, this will continue to be true whether you are doing online or offline marketing. If skilled females are more likely to come in, give attention to them through gender and employment demographics on Facebook. Centering on young males might result in a commercial on a raunchy comedy show.

Focus where you know you can be successful, and then you can expand.

Really Do Not Bet on a Losing Horse

Maybe the largest way to stay within your marketing budget is to know when a certain strategy is not working. If your pay-per-click ads are not bringing in revenue, for instance, either understand why or drop it altogether. You don’t have to waste money on something that is not making you any.

Proper planning is the basis of any successful business. Always do this by having your budget stay where it needs to be.

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What Steve Jobs Taught Us About Marketing

Steve Jobs was the mastermind and also the face behind Apple. He developed products that changed the world. While his progressive tips definitely played a part in cementing his name in history, it was his marketing skills that rounded everything out. In truth, there are several marketing lessons that small enterprises can take from the late Steve Jobs.

Follow the Right People

In this world, there are leaders and there are followers. Even leaders, though, still follow others. Because Jobs wished to learn from the people he was around, he chose advisors wisely. This included Regis McKenna, who helped Apple out of the garage with his marketing prowess.

It is very important for local businesses to also choose who they follow wisely. There is the chance to follow serious influencers in your industry through social media. Checking up on these people will help you stay abreast on the latest industry happenings. This will likely ensure you will always be one step ahead of the game.

Images Are More Powerful Than Words

The Apple core value of simplicity requires that their marketing has very few words. They instead focus on images. In fact, 87 percent of the most shared posts on Facebook in 2014 were images. Remember this when promoting a company via social media.

Do Not Be Afraid to Spend Money

Did you know that Steve Jobs started the Super Bowl advertisement trend in 1984? Apple spent an inflation-adjusted $3.4 million on the TV spot and ad. This was a successful investment that proved that sometimes you really do have to spend money to make money. This isn’t to say that low-cost marketing ventures are not effective. It is important to keep in mind that you need to be careful not to cheapen your merchandise with distasteful marketing.

Some minds are so advanced his or her lessons can cross industry borders. Take Jobs’ lessons at face value to make your small business successful.

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