9
Jul

Advertising Outside The Box – Tricks for Your Business

Small to medium size businesses are forever being told these days that online is where it is at and that any advertising budget should be spent advertising online. At the same time they are also constantly being told that they should devote as much time as possible to developing their business social media profile and to building backlinks. All of this is good advice and these are important steps for a modern business but they should not be taken at the expense of some of the old fashioned (but still effective) marketing strategies. It is important to spend some time on advertising in the real world too. Online may be everything these days, but there are still a large number of people out there who prefer to find services and products in the real world. As well as that, even those of us who spend a lot of time online are not immune to noticing clever and strategic real world advertising. And if you are hoping to advertise in the real world on a budget you will need to be strategic in how you do it – most small businesses cant afford to advertise in newspapers, on television or on billboards. Instead it is important to attempt advertising and go for alternative ways of transmitting your business message. This article will suggest a few to get you started:

Advertising

Alternative Advertising Techniques

Piggyback the Newspaper Delivery Routes

Ok, so you cant afford to advertise in a national paper, but what you can do is jump on the back of their circulation in your area. Spend a couple of days talking to all the local newsagents and news delivery services in your area. Ask them if you can include some marketing literature in with their papers when they are delivered. If you can hit on a price you are both happy with then you will find this an excellent way to get your business known around town. And if the newsagents say no, try the people delivering them – they might be even more willing to do a deal.

Stick Stickers and Banners All Over the City

Work out where most of your potential clients and customers are likely to congregate. That might be the places they go to commute to work, the places they eat lunch or the bars they hang out in after work. Once you have picked some places, find as many ways as possible (without breaking the law) of getting your stickers and banners in plain sight at all of these places. That might mean in local printing stores, coffee shops, on the subway, or in the windows of local supermarkets. The point is to get your brand (and what you do) in people’s heads. You can tap local print brokers to mass produce stickers and banners for you.

Car Bumper-Stickers

This one depends on the nature of your business but there is no doubt that having your company name plastered all over your car, your family members’ cars (and anyone else who is willing) will get you all kinds of free advertising all over the city. Just bear in mind that this might not be suitable for all businesses, particularly those of an executive nature.

Local Advertising

Despite national newspaper and national television being most likely out of your price range, you can still take advantage of local tv and local papers. These will probably be a great market in which to get the attention of other local businesses.

Yellow Pages

Don’t rule out the good old Yellow Pages just because most people use Google. There are still a large percentage of (mostly older) people who reach for the Yellow Pages before they turn on the computer. This will cost you very little, or nothing at all to advertise in and will inevitably send some business your way at some point in the year. Make sure you do it.

Final Thoughts

Since these are traditional and conventional methods but they are proven to work and still a lot of businesses have been using this advertising method. Though a lot of people rely mostly on the internet but there are still people that prefer the usual method of how information is being delivered to them, in short, they prefer this kind of advertising.

8
Jul

Why a Lot of Businesses are Pushing Campaigns on Pinterest

Social Networking sites are given are given focused by a lot of marketers who would like to succeed in their online marketing venture. With so many sites cropping up online with perks which are almost similar, what makes Pinterest far different from the rest and why a lot of businesses are pushing their online campaigns through it? This article explores the reasons why and how it works for your online business too.

A billboard concept id applied in Pinterest through its virtual pin board feature. It works by letting someone pin the image or information uploaded in Pinterest. For instance, if you uploaded an image with a brief information about it, people who are looking for the said images will be able to pin such in their own pin board as long as they have Pinterest account. This image you have pinned will soon be followed by your followers in your blogs and in twitter just in case you would like to post them.

pinterestIt is the visual presentation feature that most users really like about Pinterest. If someone is looking for a wedding cake or any wedding accessories, all they need is to get directed to a proper category and look for images that they believe can best answer to their needs. When the image is pinned in their own pin boards, this will create a message thread that can start up the conversation about the image. The viewers will be allowed to comment on the pin, or pin onto one of your own pin boards, it will become visible to your followers. The network goes on and will be increase the exposure of the pin board you have created.

So, how will business makes use of the virtual pin board? Simply upload your products images and the description about the product also the link to your website in case the viewers would like to look more information about it. Since there is growing number of Pinterest users, you will surely get a lot of viewers too. The increase of the number of viewers will definitely drive traffic to your website as well thereby increasing your online visibility and will soon head on to the increase of sales lead as well.

This is the best online advertising the most businessmen online would prefer doing. Visual images can capture more attention; this explains why online catalog are getting more sales leads too. The platform that Pinterest offers will really invite plenty of customers. People prefer seeing the product’s images than merely reading about the descriptions. What is more important now is to get your images more compelling but not misleading.

Final Words

Showcase your products through Pinterest. As many businesses get into this arena and have experienced best results, surely you can too. Make the most of your products by giving the product images a great boast. Upload them properly to Pinterest in the category where the viewers or your potential customers will find them so they will pin your image in their pin boards helping you drive more traffic.

2
Jul

How to Conquer Intimidation When Growing your Business

While your business is growing, you are also facing different types of intimidating factors. When best strategies to overcome them are not properly outlined, your business is at risk and will potentially be overpowered by your numerous competitors.

This article outlines the ways of conquering intimidation in your growing business.

Simple tips in conquering intimidation during business growth

Keep your loyal business customers

BusinessLoyal customers are what you have built up after they have tried the quality of your products and services. Keeping them is an asset that will surely be your weapon against intimidating competitors. They will stay loyal to your business as long as you will be providing what they deserve and this include responding to their needs and giving consideration when necessary. For instance, if you have been transacting business with the customers for several times, you have now established your trust; you can offer special discounts and fast delivery to their orders to let them feel you would like to have business with them as usual and that you want to keep them.

These customers whom you have established trust will advertise your business through the word of the mouth and will soon create a viral advertising; post positive reviews and feedback and will direct more customers to your business even you incurring expense for such.

Keep your loyal customers grow in number too. Respond to customer inquiries as prompt as you can. Offer your help even to those who would not like to buy now for soon they will come back to your store and buy something or tell their friends to buy from you.

Strengthen your advertising efforts

businessThere are so many advertising strategies you can employ. Most of these techniques are least costly; thus, you can maximize them. Going online is your best option as long as you know how to maintain your online presence. SEO techniques can be one with the use of social media sites and a lot of directory websites to direct traffic to your online store. Make your website easier to navigate as well so people who are not really internet savvy will be able to use it in finding what their needs are.

Check on the quality level of the products and services offered

businessBusinesses may often fail due to failure of checking on the level of the quality of the products and services they are giving to their clientele. As the customers increase in number, their being busy has paved way to not answering inquiries and not delivering the orders on time. This is can create a dilemma and you may no longer notice that customers are leaving you. Maintain the quality level or even improve it. Your manpower must be checked often if they have performed their jobs well.

Final Thoughts

Rock Your BizMake your products appear something new. Continue to innovate. People tend to embrace products which are new but will of course most likely come back to the products they have trusted for a long time when they find the new one not satisfying. You can cater both these needs. Continue to innovate and respond to the various needs of the business customers by increasing your product lines and product segmentation.

P.S. This content is an entry to BizSugar’s Rock Your Biz Blogging Competition. If you have time, please take some time to comment and share our entry “How to Conquer Intimidation When Growing your Business” to your network

 

26
Jun

4 Ways A Small Business Can Expand Using Video

A BusinessSmall business in today’s world have many goals and ambitions, but also face many challenges. They know they want to use social media, but they also want to use their marketing resources for expanding in other ways, and they are unsure of how to effectively devote enough time to doing everything, while still running and managing their business. While there is a lot to consider, one online trend is allowing small businesses to grow and expand faster using one medium for a variety of tasks.

Online video sharing allows businesses to connect different store locations, employees and customers, all at the same time. With just a webcam or video camera, business owners can connect better via the Internet and help their marketing efforts grow.

4 ways your small businesses can use private video sharing services to grow.

Provide exclusive information to your customers

Give your prospects and customers incentive to give you their email addresses, and in turn share some of your personal expertise. Sharing your videos privately instead of publicly can open up doors to improved lead generation programs that take few resources and offer many opportunities.

Conduct sales training with multiple locations at one time

Do you ever feel like your presence is needed for training and motivation in multiple locations? If you have multiple shops, it is. But through the use of online private video sharing services, you can send out a sales motivator or extra training just by connecting online. You will save time and money by not having to get in the car or on a plane to deliver the same message multiple times.

Engage your employees

Encourage your employees to share their best sales tips or demonstrate their abilities through video. Create a contest between various branches and get all of your teams pumped up and motivated to win a prize. The contest will excite them to work harder and perform better, ultimately helping your business grow. Have them send you their videos, and you can judge the winners.

Engage your customers

Use a contest in a similar way to get in touch with your customers. Have them make a video of themselves using your product and reward the customer with the most unique usage of what you offer. This will also get your customers engaged, and give them a reason to spread the word about what you offer to their friends and family, making your marketing campaign inexpensive and viral all at once. 

Your small business cannot afford not to have an online presence. Use the trend of online video for all aspects of your business and you will save money, time and engage your employees and customers on a deeper level.

Visit www.givit.com for more information regarding sharing your videos privately.

 

22
Jun

Getting Your Business Visible Online

Getting you business online is vital. Most people will take to the internet to find a service or company either through a search engine or by going straight to a website they have been recommended. It is a good first point of contact for customers. They can research your company and services or products before ordering or making direct contact.

The better presented and easier to use your website is, the more likely customers will have confidence in your business. Updated information and detailed content is also another important factor for a good business website.

The presentation of your website is only half of your battle. Next you will have to get your business to be visible online so people know you exist. Search engine optimisation companies are well equipped to handle new businesses seeking help; they can help you by doing things such as link building to help you get higher in searches which will lead to a higher volume of traffic to your website. They can also look at your conversion rates and work hard to improve these. SEO companies can vary is cost, so if you pursue this path, then gather quotes and meet with each company to establish what they can do for you. It is also good to look at some examples of past clients to see how they have improved their ranking.

There are several things you can do yourself to get started. This can improve your traffic and will raise your online profile.

Set up social media business pages

Social media is a great first step to get a buzz building behind your business. There are several different social media outlets. It is best to give them an initial try to see which you prefer. You can also link your social media pages up so they can update each other so you only have to maintain one page effectively.

Pinterest

businessPinterest allows users to set up a variety of mood boards. With these mood boards they can pin images of scenes they like, products they want, ideas for the future, or designs that inspire them etc. Pinterest can be great for a business to spread word about their products. Setting up an account is simple. You can then upload your images by entering your website address. This will ensure that your image when clicked by a user; is directed to your website so they can purchase the item. Your images will be re pinned by other users in time and then re pinned again and so on until the image spreads and is added to different peoples mood boards.

Make sure the link to your website works properly so that users can be directed to your website, and label your image to describe what it is by using some essential keywords so that your image will appear in Pinterest searches when a user is looking for a particular type of image.

Pinterest is an image sharing site, so it doesn’t really allow for networking, comments or feedback from those who look at your images. However it is a great way to get your products out there.

Twitter

businessTwitter is more interactive than Pinterest; other users can re-tweet your updates, or reply to you. It is easier to attract followers and find fellow users to follow than some other social media sites due to the layout. It is very simple to set up and allows for easy interaction with fellow professionals, and even celebrities.

Make sure your profile is updated with what you do and your website address so fellow Twitter users can find out more about you quickly and easily.

Facebook

businessFacebook is the most interactive of the social media outlets. Your fans can like your images, and comment on your updates, share them, and message you. Facebook is a great tool to get to know your customer and tell them about what you do and your business as well. You can also run surveys and ask them which product they might prefer out of a new range for example, and this can be valuable feedback to help you establish your product lines.

Facebook is relatively simple to set up, the format changes occasionally and requires updating, but in general is one of the best and most popular places to list your business.

Basic SEO

businessYou have the power to make sure that what you have put on your website is going to be good enough to attract visitors. Think about including keywords throughout your website, make use of Meta tags, label images, and make sure your links within your website function well. These basic features can make a huge impact on your website traffic and to your business as well.

Many make the mistake of building a website with image based text. Google can’t read this text, so essentially your website can’t be found. Make sure you use actual text and plenty of content describing what you do so you are visible in these related searches.

businessBlog for Business

Blogging is a good way to keep your website updated, and it allows you to add more and more content so you might be able to feature in more searches. Use keywords within you blog, of course make it sound natural.

 

21
Jun

The Impact of Information Technology on Human Resource Management

Information Technology (IT) has been playing an important role in all aspects in business even in Human Resource Management. This article explores the impact of IT in recruitment and job placement; empowered teams for problem-solving; communication improvement; job flexibility and multitasking.

Information Technology serves as a platform for wider scope of recruitment possibilities. Bigger companies which are confined internationally will have chances of hiring best employees who are based from different countries. This is possible because of the virtual tasks which can be assigned to them. Even if the company desires to hire manpower whose job cannot be done virtually, still there is greater opportunity to hire workers offshore whose skill sets fit to what you really need for the company.

Information TechnologyThe use of IT also lessens the trainer’s burden to give instructions and training to the newly hired employees and to facilitate job tests. There are various Information Technology tools which will gauge employees’ personalities, test the skills and even sum up the qualification a certain applicant has. Trainers or supervisors can be relieved of the repetitive tasks which include giving everyday instructions and personally performing tasks demonstrations in step by step manner. They can just create a video tutorial and let the trainees follow them easily.

The Human resource management world is beset with challenges and problems with regards to employee management especially when it comes to performance monitoring. In most companies, they are spending so much for people who will monitor daily performances of the employees. With the advent of technology, CCTV cameras and other monitoring devices make supervisors stay in a certain room while checking every detail of the employees’ performance every now and then. Evaluations and decisions as to promote, retain or fire employees can be best supported with unbiased records and performance evaluations which can be objectively checked with the use of Information Technology tools. The company can create a team to quantify output of employees, decide on the incentives of productivity and plan ahead for any issues concerning employee performance. These are all facilitated through IT empowered gadgets and software. Does this mean unbiased decisions? For most of the companies, it is!

Further, communication problems whether in top-down, down-up or vertical ways can be facilitated virtually without any time, distance and other limitations. Human resource managers can communicate the employees anytime even if the employee is assigned outside the office. This is done vice-versa as well. Also, meetings and conferences are held virtually which will enable all people to participate through mobile devices.

Another good thing about Information technology is the opportunity of the employees to multitask and to choose a schedule on their preferences. Such are believed to enhance productivity.

Final Thoughts

These are but just some of the benefits that Information Technology offers to the human resource management aspect in business. However, the next question that lies ahead is the impact that IT has to the employees. The concerns include lower production due to accessibility of online recreations such as virtual gaming and gambling; invasion of privacy since employees are monitored in all their activities at work; and the decreasing interpersonal relationship skills of the employees since they always deal with people virtually.

17
Jun

Networking Like a Pro

Technology has changed the way we live including the way we socialize. Today, networking industry is very rampant. Many people are scared to invest on networking business because they thought this might be a scam or this will just give a false reassurance of business to succeed. However, networking can be a good business if you know how to handle it properly. One good thing about networking is that it allows people to socialize or connect with each other. The most important tools in this kind of business is personal relations and socialization.

There are certain tips and techniques that you may need to learn to have effective networking just like a real pro. Though, these techniques and tips may not guarantee you a 100 percent success rate, these will help you to avoid problems that may occur or guide you to manage your network. These tips were derived from “My Best Networking Tips” by Chris Brogan and we add some more information to make it even more effective.

Tips in Networking Like  a Pro

Don’t Lead with Business

networkingWhen you sell products, you must remember that you are also selling yourself. This does not mean that you have to sell yourself literally. This statement means that you have to give your best and show that you are passionate in introducing and selling your products. You can show your passion through simple gestures and right choice of words. This is the most effective way to connect to your listeners. Remember to be polite in answering your clients questions.

Brevity is King

Talking to much may bore the audience so make your speech brief yet informative. Getting directly in to the point will give a good impression instead of talking none sense. Make use the time your audience had given to you because you only have one chance to be heard by them, you have to save time as well as effort.

It’s Not How Many Business Cards You Give Out

Make the quality a priority rather than quantity. There is no sense having a lot of members without credibility for there would be no development in both parties.

It’s All About Them

During a networking event, when you are having a conversation, go straight to the point and be brief. You do not have to talk most of the time, telling a lot of information will make your conversation boring and your audience may lose their interests. Let the audience speak and share their ideas. Letting your audience to speak and listening to their ideas will give a better impression and allows interactive conversation.

Be Humble

Being dominant in a conversation will leave your listeners a bad impression. They may think that you are proud, arrogant and you just bragging out. Remember that in networking the primary objective is to create a connection and to achieve this, you should be very careful in choosing your words.

Be Authentic

Being true and original is an important character one must possess in networking, both parties will create an atmosphere of trust. The saying “It is better to suffer for the truth, than be rewarded for a lie” is implied here. For the objective of creating a connection, other people tend to pretend to be someone else, though this might be effective the connection will not last for long.

Follow Through

Normally, we often forgot the name of the person we talked to. Make sure to create a list of people who you just have talked then contact them time to time. This will build familiarity and decreases the chance of forgetting.

The tips given above were proven to be effective however, the success depends on how the person will utilize them in a right way, in proper time and in proper places. If you want to succeed with your business, following these networking tips will help you achieve it.

11
Jun

The Importance of Using Business Card in Business

With so many marketing paraphernalia advertising would like to employ, the use of business card is just one of the weapons being considered as the most effective. A small or large scale business can make use of business cards to let people know about their products and services.

Business card will help the marketers give the prospects the brief overview about the company and the company’s contact details. The services are briefly enumerated and when the customers would like to contact the company, they can right away give a call, email or text the company’s authorized representative.

How a Business Card Can Help Your Business

Business Card

The use of business card is trending and given utmost importance due to its being cost effective. Reproducing copies of small sized cards with enough information can cost less. Since the cards are considered personalized, the person who may hold the business card can have the card anywhere he goes. As soon as the customers felt the need to contact the company for the services, the card will tell them how.

The image of the company is also best established through a well planned credit card. You cannot just place anything in the card. This entails a compelling lay-out that will project a professional image so customers will build trust with the company. When customers will be able to have an impression that the company is reputable, you can easily generate sales leads and future sales as well.

The use of business cards will only succeed as long as you have included the most important information. It should include the contact numbers, address, and the list of products and services. For a more compelling design, you can include color prints or photos. Hire the best layout artist that can understand how you would like the card to look like. Make sure to use high quality paper since this will also affect the reputation of the company. Make it smaller in size which can fit in the wallet or card organizers.

Your company will continue to thrive with the regular customers you have. Using the business cards allows our loyal customers to help you distribute the business cards to their network of friends and acquaintances who will also be soon in need of your products and services too. In no time, your clientele will increase.

Maximize the effectiveness of using credit card as marketing weapon. Carry cards wherever you go. There are a lot of instances when you or your prospect customers will not find enough time to talk about any business transactions. The credit card now will bridge the communication and will soon create a business relationship.

Final Thoughts

The use of business card may have practice for so long now. However, even during this so called time of digital age, its use continues to exist. Whatever profession you are practicing, if you want to gather larger pool of target clients, then you better use business cards. This is easier to use and you can even advertise your company or your products. And lastly, having a business card will also allow you to promote your services everywhere.

6
Jun

Will SEO Take Over the World?

If you live in London or New York you already know the importance of SEO but what about those people who don’t fully appreciate it yet?

SEOIn big, advanced cities all over the world it is essential that search engine results spit out what you are looking for. If you have ever looked for an emergency plumber or a 24 hour pizza delivery place then you know that getting the right results straight away avoids a lot of stress, flooded floors and rumbling tummies.

There are so many businesses with websites in cities likes the ones which I just mentioned that it is now impossible to imagine living without them. Can you imagine trying to find the site a dentist in a big UK city if there was no SEO to make sure that the best dental firms pooped up first on your screen?

Sadly things are now quite like this all round the world though. Personally I have never looked for a baker in Ulan Bator or a shoe shop in Siberia but I have searched for various types of service in cities in South America, so I have an idea what it is like in places where SEO isn’t present. It is an incredibly frustrating experience as you get back results for all sorts of things which are of no interest to you. I can’t believe this situation will last forever so I got thinking about what is needed for SEO to truly take over the world.

Simple Things Need for SEO to Take Over The World

A Change in Buying Habits

When I talk to my South American friends about buying stuff online they simply don’t understand the concept. Where I live it is completely impossible to do this and I can’t even get a fully working PayPal account here. Clearly for people to buy things online they need to be able to do so in the first place but there also needs to be a change of habits in the general public.  If you think back to when online shopping was introduced in the UK it took a long time for people to fully trust it. My Mum even buys her supermarket shopping on the internet now but when I say that to people here they think that I am exaggerating.

More Websites

The number of websites is also important, as SEO is most needed when there is a lot of competition in the same market. Most small to midsized companies here don’t have one and even the big firms seem to make a half-hearted go of it. Once more sites get up and running there will be a lot more need for the owners to find a way of making their own site stand out from the crowd.

More Internet Use 

The internet is incredibly popular here but from what I can see it is used in a different way from in, for example, Europe and North America.  Fewer people have access to the internet at home and internet cafes are a lot more popular. This means that they can’t look for things in the same relaxed way without worrying about the time they spend online. My own experience is that the connection in these internet cafes is sometimes so slow that you end up giving up looking for anything new and just type the same old addresses into the address bar. For SEO to really have a chance the users need to feel relaxed and comfortable searching for things which interest them. This can’t really happen in an internet cafe so a rise in home connections is almost certain to provide a boost for the SEO industry in these places.

If you want to take over the world then Magento SEO will get you started on the right foot by making your site more visible.

2
Jun

Should a Business Consider SMS Marketing?

As technology advances, so as the businesses. And for businesses, marketing plays an important role. The success of the business is greatly affected by their marketing strategies. Since most of people nowadays rely on mobile phones as their primary communication device, there are also some businesses that uses Short Message Service (SMS) as their marketing tool

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS MarketingSMS marketing is a marketing strategy that uses text messaging to distribute marketing messages such as special offers, new products and services, and updates about a particular product.

SMS marketing emerges when people started to communicate using mobile phones. Of course, the cellular service providers are among the very first companies to use SMS marketing. They have the edge over other companies considering that they already have the numbers of their individual customers and the technology to reach the customers quickly.

Many companies are encouraged to use SMS marketing because of many reasons. Let us check out the following benefits of SMS marketing, you may want to consider investing to it too.

SMS Marketing For Business


Video by Mobile Sales Boost

Benefits of SMS Marketing

  1. SMS marketing is very fast . It can deliver the message in an instant not just to a single person but a lot more. There are lot of marketing strategies but not all can deliver your message as fast as SMS marketing.
  2. SMS is flexible in nature. You may opt to send message to only few individuals or you may send messages to your entire list all at once. SMS marketing can also be integrate in other forms of online marketing.
  3. SMS marketing is also more effective than email marketing. In SMS marketing, once a person received a message it is most likely to be opened unlike email which is sometimes unopened or worst block by spam filters.
  4. With SMS, subscriber action is incredibly high than any other marketing strategies.
  5. In SMS marketing, messages may look very personal. Messages are directly received by individuals without passing through any barriers not like email that needs to ask permission from the customers to avoid spam filters.
  6. Messages are clear and concise. Because SMS can only consist of around 160 characters, it forces the sender to make its point directly and avoid unnecessary contents.
  7. Imagine how many people have mobile phones. Since there are millions of users of mobile phones,your market potential is also great. Imagine you can tap each and everyone on this market potential and that is good news for your business.
  8. SMS marketing promotes green environment. Just like online marketing strategies, SMS marketing is also environment- friendly marketing.

Now that you have determine the benefits of SMS marketing, you also needs to know its fall backs.

Final Thoughts

SMS marketing may sometimes go invasive to many people. Some individuals may tend to abuse their access to their customers. They send messages frequently that are becoming annoyance for the recipients. There are also some companies that will ask first their customers if they wanted to receive messages from them to avoid being invasive. The fact that SMS can only contain 160 characters per message, it may be very difficult for senders to come up with short marketing message.

Some says that marketing your business through SMS will be the next big thing in marketing your business. Do you think SMS marketing is a main factor businesses should consider?

Pin It on Pinterest