As a business owner, it is unlikely for you to have a big budget to spend on marketing and advertising; but you can leave that out of your business if you want to grow and expand the business.
1. Craft an elevator pitchYou should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch.
Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention.
If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.
2. Leverage your communityYou don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community?
Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time.
Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.
3. CollaboratePut together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote.
You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.
4. NetworkI’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people.
Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.
5. Give a speechA lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups.
Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field.
6. Create buzzI started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology.
Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.
7. Ask for referralsDon’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own.
Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.
8. Build relationshipsIt is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing.
Ask customers for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional — something your customers will look forward to receiving.
9. Offer couponsCoupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base.
Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.
10. Give it awayIf someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more.
Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first.
These ten, inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.
Pencil Marketing offers 1-hour complementary marketing consultation session with a every website design and development package. Call us now or send us a message to book your next session with us.
Joshua Nite on Jan 4th, 2017 Online Marketing
My new favorite joke about the New Year:
“I want to start a gym called Resolutions. The first two weeks it will have fitness trainers, workout equipment, everything. Then on January 15th, we turn the whole thing into a bar.”
I love that joke because it hints at an unfortunate reality: Only 64% of people keep their resolution past one month. At six months, less than half of us stay resolved.
Many marketers are starting out the New Year with resolutions. We want to know our audiences better, take control of our data, use content more effectively, and more. Statistically, only 46% of us have a chance at beating the status quo.
It takes more than willpower to make a resolution stick. You need a well-informed, strategic plan.
To help you reach your goals in 2017, use these statistics to guide you.
Mobile Marketing Statistics
Ask any entrepreneur that’s just starting out what the most difficult aspect of their business is and they’ll likely point you to the challenge of reaching and retaining customers. Yes, marketing a new business or product can be a time consuming, costly endeavor -- something many entrepreneurs don't have.
Small businesses and startups generally don’t have the luxury of outsourcing their marketing needs to professionals. However, there are a handful of marketing practices available to entrepreneurs that don’t require them to burn through valuable resources to get this challenge under foot and get their business humming.
As the co-founder and CEO of a media technology startup, I’ve learned a few helpful secrets on how to market your business for free.
1. Create local awareness.Gaining coverage in local papers, trade magazines and websites can greatly increase name recognition and educate people about your business - driving new customer acquisition. While many growing businesses in competitive landscapes may want to hire an expensive public relations firm, startups and small businesses can start off with some simple “do-it-yourself” PR.
Start by researching publications and writers that cover your industry -- or local business. Once you have a grasp on the writers you want to reach and the stories they typically write for their publication, craft a pitch around your business that will pique their interest.
For example, if you’re in the widget business, explain how your widget business is impacting the local economy -- or your industry. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can also subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. This free service provides queries for upcoming articles -- allowing you to contact the writer directly.
2. Increase lead generation and customer engagement with email marketing.According to a recent survey conducted by Ascend2, email is the most effective digital marketing tactic, the one that delivers the best ROI and the least difficult to execute. Start a customer newsletter that offers timely information about the business, special promotions or an inside look at the company. This helps build a community with your customers, and it keeps your product and business on their minds.
Entrepreneurs don’t need to pay an agency or marketing consultant to develop an email campaign either. You can do it yourself with free services, such as MailChimp, which allows small-business owners to send marketing emails, automated messages and targeted campaigns to customers. If you want to get more personal and send one-on-one messages, use a new free product called Sidekick that automatically notifies you when someone opens an email you sent them.
3. Leverage social media.It’s free, easy to get started and offers a massive network of potential customers. The hard part is increasing your followers without wasting your precious time. Make sure you focus on value over volume. Identify the social channels that reach your customers best – including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and the new guy, Ello.
The goal is to provide your followers with something that’s useful, interesting and shareable. Start small, post a few times a week and learn who your audience is. Once you have an understanding of who’s consuming your content, and what they’re interested in, you can start ramping up efforts.
Also, tools like my company, Tack, allows you to take a post you’ve already created and turn it into an online ad outside of the social network -- increasing your post’s reach.
4. Stand on the shoulders of your customers.Satisfied clients can be a business’s best marketing tool. Actively engage pre-existing clients through PR, social media and email.
For example, pitching your business and a satisfied customer to a writer can be mutually beneficial for both parties. This tactic generally leads to a more compelling story and a stronger relationship between you and your customer. Once you have a customer army of spokespeople, let them share positive experiences and tell your company story for you.
Marketing a small or new business is extremely crucial to a company’s success but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to invest a huge chunk of capital into it. Savvy, frugal entrepreneurs can find products and services that can help increase visibility and drive customer acquisition – without spending any overhead.
With the amount of channels available to contact customers on these days, companies are spoiled for choice on how to communicate with them. But there's a right - and very wrong - way businesses can embrace social media, explains social strategist Sarah Pearce. She outlines some ways businesses can avoid the common mistakes made on social media in 2016.
Thanks to social media, brands are closer than ever to their customers. There is no shortage of fresh ideas on how to use this exciting medium to enhance business success. Yet, despite all the professional creativity and innovation going into many big brand marketing campaigns, not all of them are good, and some are even shockingly bad. With the kickoff of 2017, I’d like to take a quick look at some of the biggest fails last year and suggest how to avoid them in the future.
1 .Take cultural sensitivity seriously.
The online world has brought us all closer than ever before. In fact, it has effectively created a whole new generation of super-connected people. Working and communicating with people in other countries is now an everyday occurrence for most companies, and it requires that we really step up our game around current events and information.
One of the biggest fails from 2016 was Coca-Cola’s Russian Christmas greeting. The company tweeted out a cartoon map of the country. Unfortunately, the map left out Kaliningrad, and this infuriated many Russian patriots. Similarly, DC Comics also tweeted a photo from one of their comic books indicating it was translated from Pakistan (not a language), rather than Urdu (the official language). While no one is expected to know everything that is happening globally, it’s still a very sensible idea to vet any information before publishing it!
2. Tailor content to the platform/application.
It’s common these days to simultaneously manage multiple, media accounts in both our professional and personal capacities. With the rapid rate of information exchange online, this can be an exhausting task. However tempting it might be to take shortcuts, do yourself a favour and resist that urge!
First of all, the content may suffer. Each platform has its own unique strengths and idiosyncrasies. When you understand these, you can use them strategically to your advantage. For example, how you behave on LinkedIn will be different to the way you behave on Twitter. You may share a business blog from your website directly to your LinkedIn page, but then tweet a link of that same blog to your Twitter account instead. Even better to tweet it with an engaging comment - and better again if that comment connects you to a topic that is trending online. On both LinkedIn and Twitter, you can include one or two trending topic keywords for optimum reach and visibility.
Here’s another example: you may share that same blog onto your Facebook business page, but include an appealing image to better grab the attention of your target audience there. Always ensure the blog includes a link back to your website so you drive the traffic between your accounts too. One blog: maximum impact. While it is possible (and advisable) to save time by sharing the same content across multiple platforms, take the time to share it in the appropriate way.
Secondly, if you take short cuts on your proofreading or checking, you risk posting the wrong information to the wrong audience. It happens too frequently. Consider the 2016 instance in which the US Justice Department tweeted that “CNN is the biggest troll of them all” during the Presidential campaign. An incredibly politically charged statement coming from an agency committed to neutrality, and all because a staffer tweeted on the wrong social media account. Save yourself from drowning in social media troubles and double check everything before hitting POST.
3. Experiment with a new application/feature first.
Social media applications evolve at a dizzying rate. New ones are constantly being introduced - some are successful, but most are not. That should not deter you from exploring them anyway. Our capacity to learn and adapt in many ways is a key component of long-term success and this is no different with new technology. Discovering a new app may give you better access to your customers, provide them a superior customer experience, or allow you a smart solution to your business needs.
For example, many techies are calling 2017 'The Year of Video' in social media and it's worthwhile to learn how to use video to your advantage. With the introduction of Facebook's live streaming feature in 2016 and the growth in the use of video features on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, there is strong evidence that this will become a much more valuable component for direct messaging in the future. So, do get involved with the latest developments, but research and test them before you use them. It’s a good look to be an early adopter but getting it wrong will only earn you early visibility...for all the wrong reasons.
The New Year is going to see many more changes to technology and social media. Staying active and relevant in this space is essential to good business…but only if you use it wisely! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2017!
Article was written by Sarah Pearce, originally was posted on Idealog
Credit goes to http://www.contentfac.com/
With the X'mas and New Year holiday season right around the corner, eCommerce businesses that want to be rolling in green on Black Friday are busy getting ready for an influx of holiday shoppers. The National Retail Association projects online sales to increase 7 to 10 percent this year, and eCommerce companies are hoping they’ll be able to cash-in on what may be the biggest growth year for the industry since 2011.
Of course, success depends on much more than hope. From updating your website to optimizing order fulfillment to optimizing marketing, you have a lot to do if you expect to succeed during the holiday season. Let’s take a look at 7 ways to help ensure you achieve your sales goals this year.
All credits go the Marketing Team at Magento
It is very common for my non-tech savvy clients to get confused between a domain name with a web hosting. However, it is very important to be crystal clear on the differences between the two before you move on to your first website.
Domain Name And Web Hosting ExplainedTo simplify: A domain name, is like the address of your home; web hosting on the other hand, is the space of your house where you place your furniture.
Instead of street name and area code, set of words or/and numbers are used for the website’s naming’. The same goes with hosting, computer hard disk and computer memory are used instead of instead of wood and steel for storing and processing data files. The idea is presented clearer with the diagram below.
What’s A Domain NameWhen you register a domain, it gives you sole ownership and rights to the name of your site. No one else in the market has the access to the actual name of that particular domain besides you.
However, just because you have a domain does not mean that you are ready to serve your website to the world. To put up and operate a website, you will need a domain name, and a proper-configured web server (hosting). Details on domain name and DNS system were explained in Web Hosting 101 Guide so we are not digging any deeper on this here – just be clear that (1) a domain name is like your house address; and, (2) a domain name can be registered only with a domain registrar.
What’s A Web HostingA web hosting normally refers to the web server (big computer) that stores lots of data files).
A web hosting providers normally rent out web servers and network connection to the end-users or the resellers. For most cases, the hosting providers will be the parties handling most server maintenance work (such as backup, root configuration, maintenance, disaster recoveries, etc); but for certain cases, the end users will need to get everything cover by themselves.
At Pencil Marketing, our customers will also get a log-in for our online CMS (Content Management System) portal, which allows them to manage and edit their website content in the future without having to hire website designers to make small changes on their websites. CMS helps website owners save hundreds of dollars every year if they need to update website content frequently.
Contact us now for more details about services and pricing options
this comics below will surely help you to understand Search Engine Optimisation better ;)
#affordablewebsitedesign #SEO #SearchEngineOptimisation #Websitedesign #smallbusinesswebsitedesign
I got a call from an Event Planner Company last week. They enquired about getting their website redesigned as well as the SEO service. I asked them what they actually know about SEO, and their 5-minute long answer really confused me and even themselves.
So in today blog, I am going to pull videos and articles from different online sources to help you to understand SEO better. At the end of the day, SEO is all about content and helping Search Engine like Google, Bing etc to find our your website easier.
Below is a short video: What is SEO? by TechVblog
Make Your Site Appear in Google™Great Content encourages people to link to your pages and shows Google™ your pages are interesting and authoritative. This leads to search engine success because Google™ wants to show interesting and authoritative pages in its search results. It's that simple!
How Does Google™ Rank Pages?Google™ promotes authority pages to the top of its rankings so it's your job to create pages that become authority pages. This involves writing content people find useful because useful content is shared in blogs, twitter feeds etc., and over time Google™ picks up on these authority signals. This virtuous circle creates strong and sustainable Google™ rankings.
A Simple 1-2-3 Guide to Getting Better Search Results
Ask some SEO companies about SEO and they'll try and blind you with science and confuse you into thinking it's a black art. Say to some companies what is SEO and two hours later you'll be none the wiser. Not so here at Red Evolution. We love seeing the light bulb go on when our clients get it. We prefer our clients to not only know what we are doing for them, but why!
How Do I Get Links?Links are important but don't confuse quality with quantity and don't think about links in isolation from your content. It's vital to understand that having great content massively increases your chances of securing natural links from quality relevant pages. These links will help you the most.
In simple language if you have something worth linking to you might secure links worth having. Great sites don't link to poor quality content, why would they?
In SummaryDo your homework and understand what kind of content your potential customers are looking for. Create a great site, create content people need and make it easy for them to share it. Do this and you'll start to see your website traffic increase.
At Pencil Marketing, we can help you with posting new content regularly on your website to keep your website informative. That will definitely help your website gain higher rank over the time.
Please keep in mind that, this is not something to be done overnight but it requires consistent work and attention to your website before you to start to see real result.
Our clean HTML code, and eye-catching design will surely give website visitors great user experience and impression.
Click here for SEO explained in pictures by Redevolution.com
Please feel free to contact us to enquire about our website design service.
Last week, I spoke to a few clients of mine, who wondered whether they should have contact form on their website, and if it does any good to their website. So today, found an article from ContactUs.com, which will explain exactly why it is essential to have contact us form on your website:
At Pencil Marketing, we focus on helping our clients with converting their website visitors to potential customers and maximise business business opportunity. Give us a call or send us an email to discuss what we can do differently to make your business outstanding.