Instagram As An Ecommerce Marketing Tool

Instagram As An Ecommerce Marketing Tool

Ecommerce stores need to do anything they can to get ahead and Instagram for many may be the best possible way. So, how do you utilize it for your business.

Look To Users for Your Content

The youngest generation of consumers has grown up expecting a fundamentally different relationship with brands than the one their parents had. They look for back-and-forth communication with brands on their social networks. You should strongly consider giving your customers a way to add to their pictures to your page. Buyers who appreciate your brand can post pictures of themselves using or wearing your products. Besides fostering engagement with your customers, this will also serve as a free source of promotion for your brand. You have a range of different third-party software tools that will make this possible and help you manage user-generated content. Start with a Google search for “embed an Instagram feed” to see your options.

Product Placement

Instagram is a terrific platform for showing off the way your product fits into real-life settings. This makes it easier for your users to understand how your product is meant to be used. Authenticity is important when you pursue this strategy. Even though you’re likely to carefully coordinate every aspect of the images you create for this kind of promotion, they should appear as natural as possible to your audience.

You don’t necessarily need a huge marketing budget to get started with this technique. See if there are any employees in your company who would like a chance to model your products. They may even have Instagram accounts of their own that they can use to spread your images further.

With a little more investment (in terms of both time and money), you can track down key influencers who are well-known in your target demographic and get them to post pictures that include your products. These kinds of deals are often very complex, but the rewards can be tremendous. You’ll get plenty of exposure for your brand and reach a much wider audience this way.

Instagram Contests

Contests are an evergreen marketing strategy on most platforms, and Instagram is no exception. Just bear in mind that you need to develop your following to a certain size in order to ensure that your contest gets sufficient exposure. You’ll also want to offer a prize that gets people legitimately excited about participating – discount coupons aren’t going to get the job done.

One good way to benefit from this is to add some Instagram likes initially as this will give the contest some traction and make it seem popular. People like to do what seems to be popular and adding followers or likes can provide a psychological edge.

Don’t spend too much time wincing about the cost of the prizes you need to run an effective contest. A well-run contest can generate huge amounts of exposure at a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing campaign, even when you factor in the expense involved in the prizes. Structure your contests in multiple rounds to hold people’s attention for longer stretches of time. Don’t just run a “best submission” contest; build a bracket that puts contenders through multiple head-to-head rounds before you pick an overall winner.

Don’t Force It

Remember that an Instagram account costs you nothing, and neither do individual posts. Not every picture you upload needs to be a hard sales tool. Establishing your brand’s mood and character is also important. It’s an excellent idea to work with a professional photographer and familiarize him or her with your brand. A good photo shoot will give you lots of great options to choose from and provide you with a stream of Instagram content that will keep your account busy for a long time. The professional quality of the images will also serve to impress both current and future customers.

Tying Customers Into Your Brand

Never lose sight of the “social” part of social media. Interactions between your brand and your customers are supposed to go both ways. A well-run Instagram campaign can turn hordes of customers into ambassadors for your brand, expanding your reach dramatically. Operating an unengaged Instagram account will be a waste of your time or even have a negative effect. If you’re going to make the effort, make it count by reaching out to your customers.

Tips to Follow When Looking For A Printer Company for your Marketing

Tips to Follow When Looking For A Printer Company for your Marketing

Are you looking for a printer company to take care of your offline marketing and ensure you are portrayed in the best possible manner? Well, here are some tips to follow when looking for a print company to take over your marketing.

Ask For Samples Of Their Most Recent Work

Ideally, the process of choosing a printing company should begin by shortlisting the companies. Doing so enables you to focus on the companies that meet your requirements. After shortlisting the prospective printing companies, you should ask for samples of the projects they have worked on in recent time. This is a crucial aspect of scrutinizing the quality of print as well as the final quality. Additionally, it enables you to compare the quality among the shortlisted companies.

Things to check while comparing the quality include the printing of the text with a particular emphasis on whether there are smudges on the printed text and the clarity of texts. With this in mind, you should not opt for the cheapest company, as more often than not, it results in poor quality work and final product. Such companies usually turn to low-quality printing products such as low-grade inks and low-grade printing papers. This affects the quality of the print negatively, which affects negatively affects your brand. Furthermore, cheap companies may handle your task alongside other projects, resulting in poor quality print products.

In this regard, you should opt for a company that seeks to offer value for money rather than just looking for the cheapest option.

Visit The Companies’ Premises

Although making a visit to the prospective companies might seem like time-consuming, or even a waste of time, you should consider it nonetheless, especially if you want to run a big printing project. It will give a rough idea of the work ethics of the various companies. You will also get a firsthand glimpse of the quality of their equipment. While on your visit, ensure to meet as many employees as possible and to ask questions. Ensure you build an understanding of how the company operates.

Find Out The Kind Of Customer Service You Will Receive

This is important as it is a clear indication of the kind of relationship you will have with regards to service delivery. Therefore, you should seek information on how your account management, the communication protocols to follow the company and you-the client, and the client management services they offer. You should look for companies that conduct every bit of the printing service in-house, including storage, printing, personalization, finishing, binding, and collation. Having one company handle each of the above steps ensures strict quality control, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Familiarize Yourself With The Companies’ Customer Review

You should find out what their other customers are saying about them. You can ask them for this information or just find out on tour own. Social media sites are particularly helpful while seeking customer review information. LinkedIn and Twitter should be your first destination for such information.

Find Out Their ‘Green Credentials’

You should seek to work with companies that respect the environment by looking for environmentally friendly resources and methods of conducting their business. Find out if the prospective companies are ISO 14001 certified and whether they have accreditations and Forest Stewardship Council PEFC.

Choose The Appropriate Printing Format

You should look for a company that is capable of matching your printing needs with an appropriate printing technology. For instance, for a large project you should seek companies with Litho technology as it offers cheaper yet high-quality printing options, you will have other needs for exhibition banner printing. For smaller project opt for digital printers as they are more economical as a printing solution. Check you are getting what you need.

 

 

The Best Traffic Resources For Your Website

Building Online Traffic And Conversions

It’s 2017 and you need web traffic damnit! How’s that for an opening 🙂

It’s no secret, if you have a business, you need traffic.

Everyone is looking for the best traffic resources for your website.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to get someone to buy a product, sign up for a newsletter or simply wanting others to read an article or try an app, we need traffic to build conversions. But what are the best traffic resources online? What are the best traffic solutions in your niche? That is the real question because traffic growth and success from that traffic is based on your niche and the market you belong to.

I’ve seen hundreds of articles and list with the same traffic resources. You’ve likely seen them before, we all have. There’s nothing wrong with these traffic sources, but most of us already know the big traffic players. What about some new traffic sources please?

How about something different other than the same old grow your website traffic list?

While you will see some of the old same names in this article, you will get several you may not heard of which you can leverage to build your traffic. That’s a little different than what you’ve come to expect when you read the best traffic resource articles. Plus, I’m going to give you some more great traffic sources that you may have not known about.

I want you to leave this article with a whole new perspective on building traffic to your website, even with the same traffic sources you’ve come to know and love.

A LOT of research and knowledge went into the making of this article and it’s always appreciated. Let’s get to the board, time to discuss the best traffic resources online.

Email Marketing

I see so many people, especially clients, not take advantage of their email list or they don’t have an email list at all. Building an email list is a vital resource for conversions and growing your website traffic.

You have to be creative with the way you get emails these days. People don’t sign up for email list like they once did years ago. Granted, but don’t think that you can’t turn a good email list into traffic and conversions.

Email marketing has one of the highest yields for successful conversion rates.

There’s a variety of different ways that you can build your email list. Creativity is the key. Newsletters, contest, software, tools, it all depends on the niche you’re in as to what you can use to build your list. However, any niche or market can convert. And if you can build a high quality email list, it can reward you for years to come. One of the best ways to build traffic and build conversions. If you don’t have an email list, start one today.

YouTube

YouTube, well, it’s YouTube for crying out now. Here’s a traffic source you often see in the top 10 and for good reason. YouTube has a massive platform of users and potential customers.

Just like building an email list, YouTube can also work for anyone, any niche, any market. If you’re a web developer, SEO, marketer, you can use this platform to promote yourself and business.

Offer free advice and free tips. If you have a contractor website, auto body site, mechanic, YouTube can be an awesome platform for DIY or giving your niche expertise. You don’t need to have professional video graphics to make a great video. If you make a useful video to your market or customers, it will work.

With now over 11 years in Web Development, SEO and marketing, I love how videos convert compared to other online methods. I think that is a big bonus in any niche that you’re in. Videos rank great in search engines also. It allows you to become an authority figure in your niche and market also. If you know your stuff like you should, you can make videos work.

2017 is here and live video is going to be huge! You need a face for the brand. If you’re flying solo, it has to be you (unless you still want to hire a spokesperson at Fiverr for $5)

Start producing a video or two a week, host it on YouTube and make sure you link it back to your website. Make informative and useful videos, watch your website traffic grow in the process. And just a small tip before we move on, do make sure to keep an eye on your comments. And if you use Google Adsense now, you can use it on YouTube and make more revenue also.

Facebook

Facebook is the web’s most powerful traffic resource. With over 1.6 billion users, it’s no wonder why.

If you’re not using Facebook a few times a day, you’re missing out. If you’re not posting at the right times of the day, you’re missing out. If all you’re doing is posting promotions on your page, you’re likely failing. Facebook marketing is not rocket science, but there’s tactics and techniques that can make you successful. Not only will you drive more traffic to your website than ever before, you can also convert.

You can utilize Facebook for web traffic in a number of different ways. You can use Facebook groups and Facebook pages. You can also use live video or Facebook ads.

I will say this, you need to be creative, unique, helpful and consistent.

Growth Hackers

For all the marketers, developers, SEOs and social gurus out there, Growth Hackers is an awesome platform to help you grow your brand, business, reputation and trust. And it’s a great platform to grow your traffic and conversions as well.

This is for a specific niche and you need some great written content to benefit from this platform, but the sky is the limit here. Growth Hackers has a great community of loyal readers and online web specialist that appreciate a great article like there’s no tomorrow.

There’s only a few dozen categories that your content can fall under but if you have the ability to write the kind of informative content that others love to share, you can make a name for yourself in this community that will benefit you for years to come.

Viral Content Buzz

This is another platform that I really enjoy using. Viral Content Buzz is a platform that allows you to post your content and have it shared by others. It cost nothing to join, you can do so for free. You’ll have to share some content yourself but it only takes a few minutes to share the work of others. And the content you’re sharing, it’s often good quality content.

This is a great platform to bring in new social media influences. I’ve met quite a few people here and it’s a great way to build social media shares on your articles. With social sharing being some of the top SEO ranking factors for 2015, it’s a great way to build up your SEO rankings on the content you share.

Now, unlike other specific niche platforms, Viral Content Buzz has a variety of different categories that you can place your content in. Business, cars, food, health, lifestyle, music and real estate are just a few of the many niches you can share your content in. It doesn’t take long to rack up some points of your own by sharing the content of others. It allows you to build your site’s social metrics up and you can meet some great people that can benefit you long-term. Certainly a win-win for building traffic and social influence.

Twitter

Twitter is another platform that is considered to be one of the best traffic resources for your website. With nearly 300 million registered users as of this article, it’s a massive platform of opportunity for you and your business.

Twitter is actually one of our largest social media accounts that we have at over 23,500 followers.

Every week, we bring in a few hundred visits from Twitter alone and we don’t market here as much as we use to. Next to Facebook, it’s one of the best traffic sources from a social media source.

Just like any other social media platform that you use to promote and market, you have to take the time to develop relationships in Twitter.

You need to build up the value of your social media account on Twitter and the rest of your accounts as well. Once you know how to market your business on Twitter, you can grow a solid stream of traffic, leads and conversions. Here’s some great marketing tips for Twitter to help you get started.

Just ReTweet

If you already have an established account on Twitter, you have to take advantage of Just ReTweet. Just Retweet is exactly as described, it’s a platform that allows you to post tweets and have them shared by registered users of the website.

You can sign up with your Twitter account or an email account. You can sign up for free. All you have to do is take the time to retweet the tweets of others and you can earn points for doing so. You can use your points to have your tweets shared. Simple but effective.

Remember, on Twitter, having a tweet retweeted is a big benefit. When someone retweets your tweet, their followers can also see the tweet. This is why you should be encouraged to get major Twitter accounts to follow you.

We have a few relationships with people that have hundreds of thousands of followers. When they share our tweets, our tweet is in front of hundreds of thousands. While we know everyone won’t see it, the reach is still massive and often leads to a good spike in website traffic.

With Just ReTweet, you can also gain Twitter followers. We all know how important followers are. This platform can help you make a big impact on Twitter. And since your social metrics can play a role in SEO and rankings, this is a website that you can’t afford not to take advantage of.

Outbrain

For those of you that have never tried Outbrain, you need to get on board. Outbrain is a content marketing platform that can drive massive amounts of traffic to your website.

A large percentage of the world’s biggest brands use Outbrain and for good reason. This tells us that Outbrain is a winner. Outbrain has a monthly reach over 500 million and can be a major asset to any business.

Outbrain displays your content within their network of thousands of websites, giving you the opportunity to literally reach massive audiences quick and easy. Outbrain does have a free version, a WordPress Plugin that allows you to promote your own content on your site.

While Outbrain is a paid traffic service, I’m here to tell you that it can be worth the investment. Every niche and market is different but it’s well worth testing to see if you can benefit also.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is another effective paid way to bring targeted traffic into your website. The type of traffic you can target with Google Adwords is high quality. This is a great resource for new websites that haven’t had time to build organic traffic and rankings.

If you know the right keywords to target for your website, Google Adwords can be highly effective. Depending on your niche and market, your paid ads can be a few cents per visit up to $20 a visit and much more.

Also defined within PPC marketing, Google allows you to bid on specific keywords you want to target that can lead traffic to your website in hopes to accomplish a goal. This goal can be an email signup, to download an app or to sell a product.

Google advertising can get expensive though, especially if you’re in a competitive niche. For example, if you’re a lawyer, credit repair company or insurance agent, some of the keywords that you need to target can cost a lot of money per click. Some keywords can cost $5.00 a click, upward of $20.00 a click. Some keywords can be even more.

Google is the search engine giant, owning nearly 70 percent of all searches in the world. While a piece of the traffic pie will cost you, Google Adwords is one of the most effective ways to drive high quality traffic exactly where you need it.

Hubpages

If you enjoy making money, content and driving traffic to your website, you’re going to love this platform. Hubpages is one of the largest content communities in the world.

Writers from all around the world call Hubpages home and some of the writers here earn upward of $1,000 or more. I know so because I’m one of them.

I’ve been using Hubpages for nearly 4 years and I’ve been making money there nearly the entire time. Hubpages is a great way to drive traffic to your website and earn some money on the side.

Hubpages has millions of visitors each month and you get access to your own subdomain there. The concept is simple, create content and get paid. You can earn money by visits to the pages you create there.

There’s a lot of benefits here, especially the great community that loves to make friends, relationships and read your content. You can use your content here to link to your website and create a steady flow of traffic anywhere you need it to go.

It is free to sign up for Hubpages. You can earn money from Hubpages, Google, Ebay and Amazon. This community is very engaging. It would be perfect for anyone or any niche that offers DIY or useful information. The benefit of writing on the Hubpage platform can’t be ignored either.

Their articles don’t rank quickly as they once did, but the community is powerful. It’s a great way to build some relative links and pass the value. Certainly worth creating an account and using to drive traffic to your own website.

Triberr

If you’re a blogger, content marketer or business professional, you can build a steady stream of traffic to your website with a platform called Triberr. Triberr has a great community of big names in blogging. It’s the perfect location to benefit from traffic, but also making the type of relationships that can enhance your career. This is mainly a blogging community but there’s enough traffic and resources here to benefit other markets.

I’ll leave the terminology of Triberr out, you’ll learn what Tribes, Bonfires and Stream means later. These are just features of Triberr that allow you to connect with other influencers. None the less, this is a great place to share content and build your social empire. The more content to share and the more you connect, the more traffic you’ll see. Be sure to build authentic relationships, they can pay off now and later. It’s free to join.

Pinterest

When it comes to the best traffic resources for your website, how can you not mention Pinterest? I haven’t always been a big fan of Pinterest. I love what Pinterest has did of late.

We’ve seen a lot of changes over the last few months or so, these changes have been a big benefit to the users. Most of you likely have heard of Pinterest before, likely have an account there. Here’s some great marketing tips for Pinterest.

Depending on your niche and market, I’ve seen Pinterest work for conversions and I’ve seen it fail. Of course, Pinterest is a photo sharing platform. Artist, graphic specialist and photographers can all benefit from a platform like this. DIY ideas always do great on Pinterest, any stunning photo has the ability to be passed along all over the online world.

Just like any other social media platform, who you connect with and interact with is important.

You can build a steady stream of traffic on Pinterest. You have to take the time to build your account up, follow others and interact with the community. Again, Pinterest benefits some markets but not all, so make sure you test the waters there to see if this social platform will bring in a steady flow of traffic to your site.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a another great social media platform that you can use to build business relationships and web traffic. LinkedIn is a B2B platform and some of the most pronounced business-minded experts call LinkedIn home.

If you’re a business consultant, business broker or a company that works in the B2B community, LinkedIn can be a great social platform to drive leads and traffic to your website.

LinkedIn is free to join but you can also get a premium account that unlocks more features. If you can afford the investment and you’re serious about building your business relationships, I suggest that you pay for their premium services.

LinkedIn is not for every market, but if you’re in the B2B market, it can be a great resource for traffic, leads, business resources and partnerships.

Alltop

This is a traffic source that I’ve been using for years and it has always drove good traffic to my websites. Alltop is a popular platform that draws in a big crowd of readers. You need a high quality website though to even be considered here.

Alltop host some of the most popular websites in the world. If you sign up for a free account, you’ll be able to submit your website to Alltop. Once reviewed, you’ll be notified if your site has been accepted or declined. You can submit your website for free.

Alltop has dozens of different categories and covers nearly every niche and market. So anyone can use it. I believe you can even suggest a new category if you can’t find the one you need to attach to your website when you submit it.

If you get approved, you can always count on Alltop sending visitors to your website daily. And if you have great content, don’t be surprised if you create a solid stream of traffic.

Stumble Upon

Another social media platform that can be considered a great traffic resource for your website is Stumble Upon. Stumble Upon allows to submit content in dozens of different categories.

While most of you will be able to use Stumble Upon and find the right categories for your content, not everyone can. I’ve personally searched for categories for years and there’s quite a few that you can’t find. So the categories could be improved. Even so, you can see a great traffic stream for the content you share.

With Stumble Upon, readers are able to vote content up and down. The higher your content gets voted up, the more traffic your article will see. I’ve never been very active in the community but I’ve still seen decent traffic for this source.

I don’t think Stumble Upon is the best resource for conversions, but you can count on a solid stream of traffic. If you take time to be active in the community, it could lead to conversions, although I’ve never seen any personally. Even so, it’s often mentioned in the best traffic resources for your website.

Ezine Articles

For those of you that are writers or content marketers, this online traffic resource is another one that can drive traffic to your website.

Ezine Articles is a platform that allows you to publish original content on their platform. Nearly 500 thousand authors call Ezine home and for good reason, it’s a great platform to drive traffic to your website or blog.

Ezine has come under question recently by many SEOs. As you may know, content publishing platforms are also popular for their abilities to build links back to your website.

If you’re included links in your content, you may want to be careful. You have to be careful how you write your content also, it can’t be in a promoting manner, but there’s many creative ways to promote your site without actually promoting it, just be careful. None the less, Ezine articles has always been a great traffic resource.

PR Web

While many press release websites have been downgraded over the years and for SEO purposes, they still continue to be among the best traffic resources for your website. PR Web is one of the top press release platforms in the world. There’s no question that PR Web can deliver massive amounts of traffic to your website.

PR Web is a paid traffic resource, the base package for one press release will cost you $99. I know for some of you, this may be out of the question and I understand. Even so, it can be well worth the investment. PR Web has a massive network of websites that display your press releases. If you have a new product or new app coming out, a press release from PR Web can give you the start you’re looking for.

PR Web offers a variety of different press release packages for you to choose from. While I won’t recommend them for SEO purposes, for traffic to your website, I highly suggest them.

Inbound.Org

Another great traffic stream for those in online development and marketing is Inbound.org. Inbound.org has an amazing platform of developers, marketers, SEOs and everything in between. This is one of the most interactive and helpful communities that I’ve ever used over the years. I’ve drove a lot of traffic to my website from Inbound.

And if you’re a marketing professional or content marketer, these relationships that you build in these communities are priceless. I can’t stress to you enough the importance of building relationships with successful people. Very important.

When I first started, I made a lot of mistakes as a freelancer. You live and learn. One common mistake and I’ve always admitted to it was the fact that I didn’t build relationships as I should have. It took me years before I made the effort and I quickly realized that it was a mistake.

So if you join Inbound or any other online community, do take the time to build long-lasting relationships with the community. It will benefit you now and later.

Search Engine Optimization

Ah-ha, Google traffic! Google traffic is the best traffic. Why? It’s free!

Most of us know or know of search engine optimization. Organic search continues to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to leading conversions online. You have to make an effort to accomplish the basic SEO tactics and techniques for your website.

Yes, SEO is a long-term solution, but you can benefit in the first few months. Recent studies have shown that organic traffic converts more than paid search. It has for some time now. Check out the key SEO ranking factors for Google in 2016.

Search engine optimization takes time and effort. One of the most effective ways to build your SEO rankings, domain authority and trust is by creating great content. Content is still a reliable SEO technique.

If you’re new to SEO or don’t understand it as well as you need to, I have a detailed guide for you to read. I wrote a guide a few months ago, the complete guide to WordPress SEO. I know you may not have WordPress, but the same concepts in this guide work for everyone. You can get by with a base knowledge or you can hire SEO services. Most of us have conversions in mind anyway, so any type of SEO you can do will be a benefit. Don’t count on instant results, search engine optimization takes time and effort.

Hacker News

Another great traffic resource for content marketers is Hacker News. Hacker News allows you to easily submit business related content, an easy B2B platform that I’ve seen convert.

A lot of successful smart business-minded men and women use Hacker News. Not only is it a great platform to share content and market, the community is good. There’s a lot of people here that can immediately change your destiny. I mean that, some powerful online personalities thrive here.

While it can take a little time to build your foundation, it can deliver amazing results if you have a great content piece buzzing around. Very easy to sign up to and submit links, do take your time though, you can only publish so much at a time.

Guest Post

One of the most common ways SEO and marketers build white hat backlinks is with guest post.

Guest post are not only great for SEO, but also good for driving traffic to your website. There’s thousands of quality websites out there that accept guest post. You can create an author account to publish multiple articles or you can contact the editor. Some of the most popular platforms accepting guest content is;

  • Huffington Post
  • Mashable
  • Kissmetrics
  • Moz
  • Examiner

CoPromote

I haven’t been using CoPromote that long but I’m a huge fan. CoPromote is an awesome way to connect with other influencers sharing the same types of content as you.

With CoPromote, you earn boost coins by sharing the content of others or you can upgrade your account for coins.

You can connect your Facebook account, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and Instagram. It has Vine also but I heard Vine is shutting down.

The more content you share, the more traffic opportunities you’ll have. While the Pro account has more leverage, the free account can bring in the traffic.

Driving Traffic To Your Website

Every website needs traffic to be successful, we all know that.

Every website needs conversions to be successful also.

Ideally, the more traffic you bring in your website, the more it will convert. However, it doesn’t always work out like this. The quality of your traffic matters and it’s up to you to find it.

Personally, I firmly believe in testing. Test different traffic resources, see which traffic sources work, which don’t.

Traffic resources are going to be dependent on your niche and market, no two are alike, so remember that. You need to test yourself and analyze your traffic data.

This article on the best traffic resources for your website is a work-in-progress ladies and gentlemen. I’m going to continue to add new traffic resources to this article, so be sure to bookmark it or save it so you won’t lose them.

I wanted to give you more insight to the top traffic resources online and how they can be used to drive traffic to your website. Most of the articles on traffic resources merely list a traffic source and a few details, so I hope you get more out of this article with the fine details that were added.

Thank you all for your time and I hope you found this article useful.

If so, please do take the time to share it, it’s always appreciated. Feel free to join the conversation below. Don’t forget to check back for more traffic resources as we’ll be adding more to this resource list. To your success.

Want To Help Out?

Do you have an awesome traffic source you want to share? Let me know in the comments.

Remember my good folks, if you found this helpful, share it with a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Marketing Strategies For Your Start-Up Business

Best Marketing Strategies For Your Start-Up Business

Marketing Strategies For Start-Up CompaniesWhat Are The Best Marketing Strategies For New Companies?

I’m sure you’ve come across articles and videos discussing the best marketing strategies for a start-up business, but how many of them go into great depth about a solid strategy? I did some recent research and I was surprised that very few of them offered detail directions. Of course, the articles are great but what if you don’t know much about marketing? What happens if you’re not website savvy? The terminology for these marketing strategies are enough to drive any newbie crazy and I wouldn’t consider most of them to be an authority figure to trust in the first place. And I don’t mean that to be disrespectful, just stating that these are the same marketing tips I see daily. If everyone was using the same marketing strategies with success, the world would be a better place.

I wanted to publish an article, a guide if you will that can help you build the foundation of your marketing efforts. I wanted to list the best marketing strategies for a start-up business, keeping in mind that most start-up companies have a small budget to start with anyway. I wanted to keep the terminology simple, but still have advanced marketing strategies that can help you develop your brand an identity. If you follow this best marketing strategies guide, you’ll have the foundation of your marketing efforts in place to see results.

Research And Development

One of the best marketing strategies for your start-up business is to focus on research and development. What does that mean? It’s very simple, know your niche like a pro. Have you ever been on a phone call and you know from the sound of someone’s voice that you know more then them? Similar point. If you want to be successful with your start-up business, you better know your field like a pro. Therefore, take the needed time to do your research, learn your niche, learn your market, and develop your business.

It can be extremely difficult getting market data that you can trust, especially if you’re new to online research, data or marketing. Credible sources are out there, take the time to find them. There’s a number of different market research companies out there to get data. You may be asking, “how will market data help my company with marketing?” Valid question, but your likely either providing a service or selling a product. Knowing who will buy that product or service is important. Knowing where you can find these potential customers is important. You can never have too much data to evaluate, use it to help focus on a marketing strategy aimed at targeting the right customer.

Choosing A Market

Choosing a market for your product or service is a crucial step for your start-up business. This step corresponds with research and development that we discussed above. Every start-up founder believes the world will love their product or service. Trust me, we all do. The truth is, only a very small percentage of the population will have a need for your company. Choosing the right market for your start-up business is a vital step toward success.

As I said before, most start-up companies don’t have the proper funds to go “all-out” with marketing campaigns. It takes a lot of money to build a start-up, manufacture products, hiring staff and everything in between. If you try to market your product to everyone, you’re going to spend a lot of time and money likely for nothing. Even if you get results, they’ll likely be minimal.

To determine your market, there’s a few questions that you need to ask yourself;

  • What is the market size of your target audience?
  • Are you trying to reach a local, national, or global audience?
  • Does your potential customer have the money to buy your service or product?
  • Is your product or service valued? Better then your competition?
  • Is your market highly competitive?
  • How many potential customers are in your market?

Online Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve done your market research and know your market potential, you’ll need to begin focusing on your online marketing strategy. There’s a number of different options that you have in terms of online marketing strategies for your start-up business. If you haven’t done so already, the first thing you need to do is have a website built. This is going to be the core of your online marketing efforts. The key is to display your products or services on your website, eventually building traffic to your website.

I would suggest that you have a website built on WordPress. WordPress is a content management system that has a variety of different options that can benefit your start-up business. It’s simple enough for a newbie with plenty of options for advanced users. I highly recommend that you build a blog for your business. One of the main reasons that you want a blog is for SEO, also known as search engine optimization. You’ve likely heard this term once or twice, we’ll discuss this in detail later. Another reason that you want a blog is to showcase your products or services. Learn how to write high quality content for SEO to help increase the visibility of your website.

Search Engine Optimization

As promised, we’re going to discuss search engine optimization, also called SEO. SEO is used to increase your search engine ranks. SEO can help your start-up gain more visibility in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. One way that you can gain search engine rankings is by writing high quality content. All together, there is thought to be over 200 or more ranking factors when it comes to SEO.

Search engine optimization services can help your website begin to crawl up the major search engines. SEO will help you build traffic and customers. How long does SEO take? Valid question, right? Well, it depends. It depends on the niche you’re in, the competition of other websites and a variety of more factors. You have to understand, with a new website, SEO is going to take time. SEO takes months and years, but it’s a crucial step into growing your business. Search engine marketing is highly effective and often brings high conversions.

Ranking Your Keywords

As a start-up business, you’re at a disadvantage from day one. Even with great SEO services or the knowledge of an experienced SEO expert, it’s going to take time to rank your keywords. Don’t worry about where you’ll rank just yet, the most important element of ranking your keywords is choosing the right keywords to rank.

How do I choose the right keywords for my business? This depends on the keywords of your business. What are you offering your customers? What terms would be used by your customers to find your services or products? How many services and products do you offer? The answers to these questions should determine the type of keywords that you target.

I’ll use an example so you understand. If I’m a new start-up that sells social media marketing packages, “social media marketing packages” could be a term I use, right? Absolutely. This keyword example describes the exact service I offer and this is a search term that a customer would use to find and buy my service. So, when you’re trying to determine the right keywords for your business, think about;

  • The services you offer customers.
  • The products you want to sell to customers.
  • What a customer would search for to find your business.
  • What your start-up business does, sells or provides.
  • Any secondary service or product you may offer/provide.

I know it can be tough as a start-up business to purchase SEO software or SEO services. Two free tools that can provide you with helpful SEO date is Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Sign up for a free Google account and get your website associated with these two free tools.

How many keywords should I start with? You need to make sure you have a set of primary keywords and a set of secondary keywords. As a start-up business, I would suggest starting with 5 primary keywords and 5 secondary keywords. At the most, 10/10. With Google Webmaster Tools, after a few weeks, you should start seeing search queries registering in your data. This will give you insight to what keywords and search terms are bringing in traffic to your website. With Google Analytics, you’ll know where the traffic is coming from.

Social Media Marketing

We’ve all heard of Facebook, most of us already know how to work Facebook like a pro. If you don’t have a Facebook business page up for your start-up, this would be a good time to get one up. One of the best marketing strategies you can have in terms of social media marketing is Facebook. Facebook is the largest social media platform online. You should take the time to learn how to market on Facebook. Facebook has helped thousands of start-up companies succeed, it can do the same for you.

Considering your start-up budget, this marketing strategy only cost a few minutes of your time. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to make sure that they are on every social media platform possible. They think because the competition is, they should be but that’s not the case. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, they all have differences. Finding the correct social platforms to market on could be the key to succeeding with your social media marketing efforts.

The key to social media marketing is being effective, maximizing your reach and making your time there count. Learn the right time to post and engage your audience. Learn what your audience wants to see, what your audience responds to as well. For example, on Facebook, users usually respond to pictures and graphics. You don’t have to be on every social media platform to be successful, but you do need to be successful on the few that you operate on.

Lastly, make sure you take the time to connect with authority social accounts. Did you know that nearly 80 percent of  social media users said posts by brands influenced their purchase behavior moderately or highly. That is huge. As a start-up, it will take time before your brand influences thousands of people. Until you get to that stage, connect with other accounts that already have that level of influence.

Creating Content

Earlier in this article, we briefly discussed the important of creating high quality content on your website. In total, there’s a number of different content types that can be used to promote your start-up business. Content can be considered as;

  • Blog Post
  • Ebook
  • Infographic
  • Newsletter
  • Video
  • Webinar

While you do want to make sure that you’re publishing fresh content on your website, there’s also a need to publish content elsewhere. If you have other websites or blogs that are established, you’re going to want to use those online resources for your start-up business. Any online resource that can be used to promote your business should be considered. Of course, you want to do a proper evaluation.

One of the best marketing strategies any start-up business can do is publishing content on authority websites. Some may refer to this as guest blogging. This goes back to earlier in the article when I was discussing making relationships with authority people on social media. You should be doing the same with bloggers and webmasters. Getting your article published on an authority website with thousands of visitors could be huge for your start-up.

You can use all these content types for various strategies. Newsletters are used to build your email list. Webinars are a great way to influence customers to buy. Videos are great for landing pages and marketing. Make sure your content always serves a purpose.

Content Planning

While it’s normal to get excited about publishing content on your website or elsewhere, you should plan your content carefully. Writing content about anything is a waste of time and money. Instead, you need to focus and plan your content around your brand. Remember the need for keywords and SEO also. If I’m offering a service, I want my content focused around that topic. If I offer certain products, I want my content focused around what I’m selling to customers.

I know some SEO experts like using PR, Media or press releases for SEO, I wouldn’t recommend it. Now, as a start-up business, this is a good marketing strategy for you. A press release is proper when you announce your start-up or a new product/service. However, I would continue to use PR just for the purpose of SEO and link building. Press release can cost a lot of money, you want to make sure you use that money right.

A/B Testing, Data And Analytics

From day one, everything that you’re doing should be recorded. Everything that is important should be documented. The best marketing strategies can be backed up by proven results, results proven by data and A/B testing. If you haven’t heard of A/B testing, this is simply testing one strategy against another.

A/B testing is often used to test landing pages, among other things, but often to see which page has the highest conversions. I can’t stress it enough, data is important. Knowing how your customers respond to your marketing strategies is crucial. Test everything from day one, document everything. See what marketing strategies work for your start-up and what techniques don’t. Evaluate your strategy and test again.

Conclusion

There’s no secrets to the find the best marketing strategies for your business. Starting a business is the easy part, making it successful is another. Many start-ups fail for a number of different reasons. The key is finding out what works for your start-up and rolling with it. You know the marketing strategies used, you know how to find what works and what doesn’t. You know the importance of research, development and A/B testing. We’ve touched on SEO, SMM, content marketing and PR. Make every second count and make every relationship count. Don’t waste your time, don’t waste your money and document everything. Find what works and run with it. Lastly, never stop improving.

Marketing Tips For Start-Ups; Building Your Brand

Marketing Tips For Start-Ups; Building Your Brand

 

 

 

Marketing tips for start up companies

I’ve seen a number of marketing tips for start-ups over the years and some have been great advice. Most of them, they cover the same marketing techniques as others but without proper guidance. There’s nothing easy about marketing your start-up business. With trillions of websites online and thousands of start-up companies entering the market daily, many webmasters and company owners can feel extremely lost in the massive online world. Many start-up companies can have great services, great products, great aps and customer service. They can have a solid business plan, feeding a market with millions of potential customers. You can have all the cards stacked in your deck. Although you will cross many obstacles during your run, one huge obstacle that you most overcome is marketing.

In this article, we’re going to explore different marketing tips for start-ups and locally owned start-ups. You’ll be able to use these marketing techniques to help your company grow pre-launch and after-launch.

Marketing Defined

What is the definition of marketing? According to trusty Google, marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. Simple in terms of defiance but marketing is one of the most vital skills of any business. If you can’t market your start-up business correctly, you won’t succeed.

Marketing Types

Believe it or not, there’s easily over 100 different marketing types used to promote a business. I’m not going to discuss them all but we’ll take a look at some of the most marketing techniques used to promote your business online.

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • B2B Marketing
  • Brand Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Contextual Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Ecommerce Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Local Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click Marketing
  • Search Marketing
  • Social Marketing

marketing start-up companies

These are just a few of the many marketing types available to you. You may choose one, two or many of these marketing techniques to use for your start-up business. The key is planning which marketing types will be best for you and your business. You’ll have to consider your budget, staff and the time involved to perform in your plan. I always suggest A/B testing, start-up or not. If your not testing and running analytics on your marketing results, your making a mistake. Record and track everything.

Marketing Your Start-Up Business Pre-Launch

I’ve seen a number of companies, both online and offline, fail to market their business before the company launches. While for some, this may not be such a big deal, but you should always market and promote your business before your launch. There’s a number of different ways that you can do this successfully. One common way companies are promoting their business before launch is through social media marketing. You may want to consider using Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to reach your potential audience. Likely, you already have a Facebook page. If you don’t, go ahead and build a page for your business.

social media marketing techniques

Another great way to promote your start-up business during pre-launch is through email. Hopefully, you already have a decent-sized email list. Write up an email about the launch of your business and send it out. Now, if you don’t have an email list, you may want to build one. Yes, this can be time consuming but it can also be well worth while. Networking is important to any business. Take the time to research authority names in your niche. We use this same technique in SEO and link building. Look up their emails and send them out. If you can get a phone number, take the time to call. You’ll be surprised how many friends, associates and clients I’ve gained by doing this. Everybody needs somebody.

If you have money to spend pre-launch of your start-up, this is going to give you many more options for marketing and promoting. You could run Facebook ads, Google Ads, pay for press releases or advertise on a related website. You need to plan and think this out, don’t just throw money here and there because you have it. All of these are the same techniques that can be used pre-launch and after your launch.

If you are planning to launch products and special services with your pre-launch, there’s several ways that you can gain interest. Free giveaways and drawings are a great way to build interest in your brand, products and services. Think about giving discounts to the first 20 people that buy your product or service. You may want to give some things away for free to draw in interest. Anything you can do to create engagement and have people talking about your brand is great. You can do this pre-launch and after-launch.

Marketing Techniques After You Launch Your Business

There’s also a number of marketing techniques that can be used after you launch your business. Again, we’ve briefly discussed Facebook ads and Google ads. With Facebook, you can set up ads that will be displayed all over Facebook. You’ll be able to promote in your city, state, country or around the world. You get to target your audience as well. The same can be said about Google ads. I would suggest that you know your customer profile before you do this, also the demographic you are targeting.

Start Up Business Marketing Tips

One of the best ways to market your start-up business I with a website of course. Websites are usually part of the launch but I wanted to include this just in case you’re launching your business without a website. We’ll discuss some marketing strategies for those of you that are opening a local business later in the article.

Content marketing is another common marketing technique to promote your start-up website. I would suggest including a blog with your website. Some people believe blogs are dead since more people are moving toward social media. While this may be true, blogging is not dead, not at this time. You can write articles about your business, about your niche. Showcase your skills and experience by writing helpful articles and content related to your business. This is a great way to promote your start-up business and showcase your experience as an expert in your field.

Email marketing is a great way to make sales. We’ve been using it for years and others have been using email marketing for decades. To be successful, you do need a website to capture emails. You can use what we call opt-in forms to capture names and emails. If your having a giveaway, you can promote the giveaway on your website and have people sign up to have a chance to win. Email marketing can get complicated for those that don’t understand it completely. You need a great auto responder email series to close sales. I would recommend Aweber but there’s several similar services online.

Marketing Tips For Start-Ups Promoting Locally

For those of you that are promoting a start-up business locally, the same marketing tips for start-ups above should be considered. You should take the time to get a website built. Even if it’s just a 5 page website, it does serve a purpose. I know web design services can cost a lot but not with Hale Web Development, we’d be more then happy to help.

Local Citations For Local Marketing

You should also take the time to build a Facebook page and use other social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. If you can do your social media marketing yourself, this is free advertising. There’s also a number of local websites and directories that you can list your business for free on. This is crucial for any business, locally and online. Google recently made changes and local rankings benefited. More now then ever, local citations count. You can use Yellow Pages, Google+, Super Pages, Manta, Yelp and many other local citation websites to list your business for free.

There’s also various marketing techniques you can use that doesn’t involve working online. You can take the time to make business cards, make flyers, make signs or make shirts with your logo. You could also put your logo and business number on your car or company vehicle. You could also pass out bumper stickers. Go to other companies and ask them if you can partner and help one another promote. As long as it’s not your competition, this could be a great technique to use. Reach out to your family and friends for help. You can even get a mascot to stand by the road and hold signs.

Marketing Is Crucial To EVERY BUSINESS

These marketing tips for start-ups are just a few of many techniques that can be used to market and promote your business successfully. Marketing is crucial for every business, start-up or not. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try something new. I always recommend tracking your marketing efforts. You probably should invest in software. At the least, you should include your website in Google Analytics if your marketing online.

Every brand needs an identity. Marketing is big for branding your business. You should be planning your marketing efforts from day one. Keep learning. I’ve been in web development for over 7 years and I’m still learning skills that help me today. Become a student of marketing, there’s a lot of great resources online that can help you. I truly do wish you the best with your business and I hope you were able to walk away from this article with new ideas and confidence. If I you ever have questions or need advice, feel free to contact us. If you enjoyed this article, please take the time to follow us on Facebook, Twitter.

 

5 Tips To Help Your Company Marketing Efforts

5 Tips To Help Your Company Marketing Efforts

business marketingMarketing is a crucial element to all businesses and companies. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company or a small local business, marketing can be the defining line if your business makes it or not. Branding is important and a marketing strategy should be made before you launch your business. Ultimately, many start-up websites don’t have a marketing strategy or their business is struggling with their marketing campaigns. If it’s time to step back, review and revaluate, this is the article for you. Your business is rolling along and you think your brand strategy is working. But is it? Are your marketing messages and materials driving the results you need? If not, it might be time for a marketing makeover.

You’ll know it’s time to go back to the marketing drawing board if you can identify any one of the following red flags happening at your small business. The trick may be to rebrand, adjust your value proposition or simply modify your existing strategy before these danger signs turn into unavoidable mistakes that could cost your bottom line.

1. Consistency is important.
Strong brands consistently deliver on their promises to consumers in every brand interaction. Inconsistent messages and visual imagery can confuse consumers, forcing them to turn away from your brand in search of one that does continually meet their expectations. If your website, signage, ads and marketing materials look like they come from multiple companies, then you need to redesign them so you communicate a consistent brand at all times.

2. Plan and record your marketing efforts.
If you haven’t mapped out your one-year and five-year goals, then your marketing efforts might not be helping your business. Take some time to determine your business objectives and then revamp your brand and marketing efforts to help you reach those goals. If your marketing campaigns are not working, time to get back to the drawing board. Trial and error is a term I use over and over again with good reason. Try different things, record everything and focus on what is working for your company once you find it.

3. Connect with your customers.
If you don’t know who you need to connect with and where to find them, then you could waste a lot of time building relationships with people and spending time in places that won’t drive the business results you need. Instead, define your target audience and determine what benefits and messages matter to them. Only then will you find where your target audience spends time (for example, watching television, listening to the radio, on social media, reading blogs, and so on), so you can connect with them and deliver the kind of valuable information and conversations they want and need.

4. Don’t be all about yourself.
It’s important to strike a balance between being social and only self-promoting. Socially, if you talk only about yourself all the time, no one will want to hang out with you. You should take the time to get to know people — in person and on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — and build relationships with them. Cultivate these relationships to help build brand loyalty and advocacy. You shouldn’t interrupt people with marketing messages. You also need to engage them with meaningful content and conversations. You never know what opportunity such relationships will bring in the near future. Building trust and loyalty is important to every business, make these relationships count.

5. Pay attention to your competition.
If your competitors’ message and look outshine yours then you might need to make a change. The idea is to stay ahead of the curve without copying your competitors’ marketing for the sake of keeping pace. If you don’t look and sound equal to or better than your competitors, then there is no reason for consumers to do business with you. Determine what differentiates you from your competitors and what benefits you can deliver to consumers that your competitors cannot. Once you know what those differences are, make sure the world knows them, too through your branding and marketing efforts.

While first impressions can be crucial, online consumers can move quickly. If they can’t determine who you are, what you do and how you can help them in three seconds or less, they’ll pass you by. This doesn’t give you much time for error. Think about your web design, landing pages and graphics. Remember once again, try to be consistent across all your online resources. Make sure the first impression you make is clear, concise and quick.

Reevaluating your marketing efforts offer significant opportunities to stay current, jump ahead of your competitors, and appeal to wider consumer audiences. Don’t risk alienating your existing customers with a marketing makeover that makes your business and brand unrecognizable to them. Many companies hurt their business with their marketing campaigns and this eventually hurts their business. If you take the time to follow these 5 tips, you should see better results in your marketing efforts.