Is Online Marketing a Better Match for a Small Business than Offline Marketing?

The question of whether online marketing trumps offline strategies is often treated as a hypothetical one – most marketers have tossed offline by the wayside and placed 100% of their focus on newer (and more successful) online methods.

But is online marketing always the best match for a small business? Let’s first take a look at how online marketing can benefit your business. I’ll also consider the question of whether offline marketing really is antiquated and not worth doing, or if there’s something left in the tank of old school methods.

Deep Dive Analytics

Online marketing can give you an excellent overview of the performance of each and every dollar you spend. Free inbuilt tools on Google Analytics, for example, allow you to set goals and track the flow of your traffic. You can analyse where your audience is exiting your site, which landing pages perform best – and that’s just the start.

Analytical tools allow you to deep dive on the specifics of your business performance, allowing you to tweak and adapt in real time. You can respond to market shifts quickly by viewing the results of complex calculations with just a few clicks.

Read more

Keeping It Simple to Stand Out

Branding is more important for big corporate business right?

Wrong.

Branding is even more vital for small business, where there is usually limited time and budget available for promotion and you can’t afford to waste it on marketing that doesn’t work.

Without a brand. most businesses end up with WOFTAM marketing – a waste of flipping time and money, because they lack the simplistic yet clear message that a brand provides.

A brand is like a compass for your marketing, keeping you in the right direction, ensuring your message is on-brand and that you consistently stand out and engage with the right target audience.

And standing out is crucial when competition is fierce.

Without a strong brand a small business disappears amongst others in the industry, leaving you competing on price alone and that’s a race to the bottom. That’s especially important for service providers where you are exchanging your time for money.

Without a clear brand direction you tend to get a bit lost, you waffle and flounder when it comes to explaining why someone should choose you.

Read more

How Small to Medium Sized Businesses Can Use Video Content Marketing

For a long time, content marketing has been a key channel in any successful online strategy. Quality, unique content is the best way for companies to increase their social signals, obtain natural inbound links and engage prospective customers en masse.

Recently, more and more brands are turning to video content marketing. And for good reason: it’s estimated that by 2017 video will make up nearly 70% of all consumer traffic. Currently YouTube receives more than a billion unique visitors every month. A well-crafted video can say a lot about your brand in a short space of time. This makes it an effective way to get your brand’s messages out quickly to many people.

We often hear about successful video marketing campaigns from global companies with huge advertising budgets. But how can small and medium sized businesses with more conservative budgets leverage the power of video content? We look at a few simple ways companies can increase the reach and impact of their campaigns.

Read more

6 ways to use your email signature to promote your project for free

It’s often hard to allocate resources in marketing, especially for small businesses. Spending a large portion of your marketing budget on a large campaign might lead to an expanded customer base, tons of new sales leads and increased brand awareness. Or it might not. Calculating return on investment is tough.

If you need to promote a new product, a webinar, event, or website, and you can find a way to boost your project on the cheap (or even for free!), then you’ll be ahead of the game. Email signatures are an often overlooked way to convey your marketing messages. Here are a few email signature tips and tricks you can use to do email marketing on a shoestring budget:

1. Include a link to the landing page

Hopefully you’ve set up a landing page for your project. If you haven’t, go and do that now! Landing pages are a great way to describe your project and gather email addresses for participants. If you include the link to your landing page as part of a well-designed banner in your signature, you can really you’re your reader’s attention. This way, even if you’re not emailing someone specifically about the new project, they can still access the necessary information if the banner sparks their interest.

Read more

Branded Emails – Market your business with every email you send

What if you can use the power of email broadcasting in every email you send out rather than in just one campaign?

Well now you can and it’s called branded emails.

Branded emails can be designed like the emails and e-newsletters you send out in your email marketing campaigns. They’ll be branded in your logo and colours, and contain high-impact graphics, images and links to your website and social media pages.

It’s easy to do. You don’t have to download any new software or install a new application. You send a branded email just like you would a regular email, using your normal email programs such as Outlook, Macmail, Gmail and so forth.

Why you need branded emails :

Your brand is a powerful asset. It represents who you are and what you do, and reflects the personality of your business.

Read more

Tips for Maximizing SEO on a Small Business Budget

Small businesses are becoming more visible these days as consumers actively search for them online. There are more opportunities than ever for small businesses to impact the local community and make a positive change in the economy. However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities, small businesses will need to step up their marketing game. Competition, especially in the digital marketing space, is now fiercer than ever.

While most businesses know they can benefit from an SEO company’s services, their marketing budgets may not be big enough to enable them to purchase an all-inclusive package with all the bells and whistles. Instead of giving up, these companies should do some groundwork to ensure they get the most out of their existing SEO campaigns.

Research your competitors

Small business owners often don’t have a very clear idea of who their direct competitors are. They also tend to be unfamiliar with the wants and needs of their target audience, and clueless as to what’s “trending” in their industries. In addition, business owners often develop tunnel vision and a single-minded focus on sales. This can be fatal in the online space.

Read more

Email Marketing For Small Business Owners

A staggering 69.7% of Internet users state email to be the preferred method of communication from businesses (eMarketer, 2015).  It’s clear that email is where your customers want to be reached.  And the customer is always right.

Email marketing is one of the most direct ways of contacting customers, and building and sustaining strong relationships with them.  Despite the overwhelming argument for email, small business owners still tend to shy away from the channel in favour of simpler, more familiar methods of communication such as Social Media and their website.

With 4,300% ROI – for ever $1 spent on email, businesses receive $4300 in return (ExactTarget, 2014) – email is significantly more effective than SEO, Direct Marketing and Social Marketing.

If you’re starting out with email, follow our easy steps to email success.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Define Your Strategy
Before you embark on this new marketing initiative, take a step back and work out what you’re trying to achieve from it.  Are you looking for leads? Sales? Regular communication with your customers?  Once you’ve got a clear direction in mind, you can use it to inform your overall email strategy.

What’s In it For Customers?

You’re going to get in touch with your customers more regularly, which can only be positive for your business.  But what’s in it for them? Why should they hand over their personal details to you? It’s important to define this right from the beginning.  If you don’t have anything valuable to offer, who’s going to bother to read it, let alone sign up.

Read more

Top 7 Email Marketing Latest Trends

Do you know what online marketing technique has the highest return on investment?

Since you have already read the title, you have probably guessed its email marketing.

Email marketing produces an average ROI of 4,300%, more than PPC advertising, social media marketing, direct marketing, or content marketing. It delivers the best performance when it comes to driving sales and it costs a lot less to implement than other strategies.

If you too want to use this direct and highly-effective marketing channel and get the most from it, you’ll need to do it the right way. This means providing value through your emails and gradually cultivating in your subscribers the desire to buy your product, as well as keeping up with the latest email marketing trends. Here’s our checklist:

1. Mobile optimisation

Optimising your website and email messages for mobile devices are a no-brainer – most people check email on their smartphones, and Australians spend an average of 2 hours on their smartphones every day. The transition of email from desktop to mobile devices won’t stop, and the emergence of wearable devices is yet another proof of this evolution.

On the other hand, mobile devices change subscriber behaviour, and marketers are having a harder time delivering messages that people open and read. Email browsers are becoming increasingly supersized and many experts are advising marketers to keep their subject lines under 35 characters so they are fully captured by mobile browsers.

Read more

Email Marketing on a Budget

Most business owners I talk to would like to use email more effectively to support their business. But with all the things a small business owner has to balance, time is always the biggest challenge when it comes to getting these things in motion.

  • Time to learn a new technology
  • Time to write the emails
  • Time to design them

There are great companies who will take care of most of this for you, but without understanding the real return on investment of email in your circumstance, it’s sometimes difficult to justify paying someone.

This double edge sword creates a hesitation in getting started and as a long time user of email marketing it’s a real shame. To help change that I’m going to share with you some tips to bootstrap getting your email marketing campaigns underway.

It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get it done.

Read more

How To Promote Your Company’s Seminar Or Conference On Twitter: 3 Things You Can Do TODAY

There are many reasons why a business would run an event. A conference could provide networking opportunities and may help land strategic partnerships with local companies.

A seminar, on the other hand, is an excellent tool for showcasing your company’s expertise while garnering high quality leads to convert at a later time.

Or perhaps a business just wants everyone – their employees and most loyal customers – to have a great time by holding a concert.

The list of reasons could go on and on but here’s the bottom line: you’ve organized an event and you want it to be a success without taking valuable hours away from your business.

So how do you go about encouraging attendance or registrations for your seminar, conference, or concert without losing time and big bucks?

Read more