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Content Marketing:  What It Is and What It Can Do For Your Small Business in 2017

The hot buzz word in online marketing for the past several years has been Content Marketing.  OK, technically it is two words.  Content marketing has grown right alongside social media.  “Fine,” you say.  “What the heck is Content Marketing and how does it affect me or my small business?" Fair enough.  Let’s start off with a definition of Content Marketing to clarify what it is and then move on to what it can do for you.  According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), this article defines content marketing and what it is all about: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer [...]

By | February 6th, 2017|Market Planning, Marketing|2 Comments

How to Get Greater Impact From LinkedIn for Your Small Business

Small businesses that operate in the B2B (business to business) arena should rely on LinkedIn more than other social media platforms.  Yes, there are other platforms on which you can promote your company, but none are as good as LinkedIn for businesses.   LinkedIn is by far the most business focused social media platform on the Internet today.  With its vast reach and professional focus, every small business should try to get greater impact from LinkedIn, don't you think? A DMR report on LinkedIn from October, 2016, indicated that LinkedIn has 467 million users worldwide.  That's over 100 million more people than the population of the United States.  LinkedIn users span more than 200 countries around the world.  For more information, you can order the entire [...]

By | December 27th, 2016|Marketing, Social Media|0 Comments

Calls-to-Action: Essential for Small Business Websites

Did anyone else see these unsettling statistics about small business websites on the SCORE website ?  They created a clear and concise infographic on small business websites you might find interesting.  The statistics revealed here (12/2014) are probably even higher today in terms of the impact of online sales from mobile device access. Only 51% of small businesses have websites.  If that isn’t bad enough, the following statistics cover other weaknesses of the sites that do exist: 70% have no call to action. 27% don't provide a telephone number. 68% don't have an email address on the home page. 82% don't have social media accounts. 50% of online sales are lost when visitors can't find content. It’s hard to believe that any small business is not yet aware [...]

By | October 27th, 2016|Customer Experience, Marketing|0 Comments

55 Small Business Website Features You Must Have

Maurer Consulting Group recently created and published a four-part series of articles on the importance of a small business website.  As THE most important hub of any small business marketing plan, a high quality website is critical to the success of every small firm.  Putting together someone else's idea of an quick, do-it-yourself website, and calling it a day, simply isn't the way to go. Any site does not guarantee a good, strategically focused representation of your company at it's best.  Using as many small business website features as you possibly can will improve the quality of your website and the messages it sends to customers. Not every small business website feature that is important and necessary could be addressed.  Topics  in our series included why a small business [...]

By | August 30th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

M-commerce: What On Earth Is It?

Now that everyone is finally familiar with eCommerce, along comes a new kid on the 'X'-commerce block of Cyberspace: m-commerce.  Electronic commerce, commonly written as e-commerce or eCommerce, is the "trading or facilitating of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet or online social networks," according to Wikipedia. Now, media publications all seem to be talking about m-commerce.  Until last week, I was totally unfamiliar with the term and what it stood for.  But, a few minutes of online research told me all I needed to know. M-commerce:  What Is It? M-commerce is the new techo-term for mobile commerce - selling things to customers through a mobile device like a smartphone, tablet or notebook.  Needless to say, with the rise in [...]

By | August 26th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Website Basics – Part 4

This is the fourth, and last (at least for now) part of our series of posts on Small Business Website Basics.  When I began working on this topic, I had no idea just how much information there was to consider when beginning work on a website to represent your small business to the world.  'An' article grew into two articles, then three, now a fourth.  If you missed any of the previous articles, you can link to them below: Small Business Website Basics - Part 1:  A Small Business Website is Not an Option Small Business Website Basics - Part 2:  What does a Small Business Website Cost? Small Business Website Basics - Part 3:  What to Include on a Small Business Website Disclaimer:  I [...]

By | June 6th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Website Basics: Part III

Tiramisu Studio / www.freedigitalphotos.net Welcome to Part III of our ‘Designing Strategies’ Small Business Website Basics series.  This four-part series covers these important topics as they relate to a small business website: Part I:   10 Reasons a Small Business Website Is a Necessity, Not an Option Part II:   What Will a Small Business Website Cost Me? Moving on to Part III of our series, we'll talk about what a small business owner should consider when it comes time to develop the content for your site – which would be NOW if you don’t have one yet. What To Include On a Small Business Website Every small business website needs to be customized to include information specific to your firm.   Your company needs be different enough [...]

By | May 18th, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Website Basics:  Part II

What Does a Small Business Website Cost? Krom Kratthog / www.freedigitalphotos.net  In our Small Business Website Basics series, Part I post, our discussion covered small business websites being necessary, not optional, to the success of a small business and ten reasons why it is true. It was pretty alarming to learn that 46% of small businesses in the United States do not have a website for their business.   It never ceases to amaze me how many small businesses still do not understand the need for a web site to represent their company online.  Let customers know you are out there.  Tell them why they need you. Most Common Excuses for Not Having a Small Business Website “I’m on social media, so I don't really [...]

By | May 9th, 2016|Branding, Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business Website Basics: Part I

A Small Business Website Is Not an Option Can you believe that 46% of small businesses in the United States still do not have a website? It’s 2016. The world revolves around the Internet. Yet, nearly half of the small businesses have yet to launch a website.  Crazy, isn't it? Entrepreneur.com posted an article quoting statistics from a report prepared by Business-to-Business research firm, Clutch.  A small business website is a necessity, not an option. Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net A small business website is the main hub piece of any marketing plan.  A website is critical for the success of any small business.  So many other elements in the realm of public relations and marketing your business rely on this hub.   Please say you aren't [...]

By | April 20th, 2016|Branding, Marketing|0 Comments

Marketing: Most People Don’t Know You or Like You – Yet

Is there ever a tipping point when you’ve saturated the market and you no longer need marketing or advertising for your company, its products and services? According to Christopher Ramey, president of The Home Trust International, the answer is no. “The more you’re seen where you’re not expected to be seen, the more you indelibly imprint your brand on your best prospects’ minds.”   Think about some of the big corporate names that have made millions - even billions - selling their products:  Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford.  They certainly have not stopped marketing to put their names in front of consumers. At the most basic level, prospects must know you exist before they would even consider purchasing something from you.  Too many small business owners seem to think [...]

By | January 8th, 2016|Branding, Marketing, Strategy|0 Comments