5 Marketing Tactics to Kick Off Your Small Business

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When starting a brand new business, it can be easy to get caught up in a multitude of tasks and forget about the importance of marketing. There are always steps you can take to further improve your marketing strategy, but if you’re just starting out these 5 tactics will get you moving in the right direction. 

Establish Your Online Presence

Having a presence online acts as the foundation for any other digital marketing you do. If you don’t claim your online presence, the public will fill the void for you. Be sure to claim and optimize any online listings on websites such as Google, Yelp, and Yellow Pages. Next, join any social media platforms that are relevant to your industry and target audience. If you’re running a jewelry business, Pinterest will be your new best friend. Running a staffing firm? Welcome to LinkedIn. Remember that accuracy and consistency is key when setting up your platforms across the web. 

Post Fresh Content

Posting high-quality, fresh content on a regular basis reflects that your website and social media accounts are active, which not only draws in more traffic but organically boosts your SEO. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer or client; what kinds of content would they like to see? Begin writing articles and blogs, posting relevant and interesting articles on Facebook, and using fresh images. Oh, and don’t forget to incorporate top keywords and hashtags. 

Advertise Online

Digital advertising through platforms like Google AdWords, Yelp and Facebook is one of the most cost-efficient ways to spend your advertising dollars. With digital advertising, you can create a highly specific target audience including all relevant demographics to your audience such as gender, age, location, different interests, and even household income. Furthermore, digital marketing is far more measurable than print advertising. Of course, by utilizing tracking links or phone numbers, print can still be very beneficial. But there is no better way to spend your advertising budget than on the world wide web. 

Engage and Respond

Being engaging and responsive is extremely important when it comes to digital marketing. When you receive messages or comments online, responding is a must. Often times you can utilize resources like ChatBots to automatically answer frequently asked questions about store hours or directions. Make sure to respond to online reviews, both good and bad, and have an emergency PR plan just in case. 

Track Lost Leads

Many business owners let new clients get away from them by neglecting to track any lost leads. In order to avoid this, you can use email marketing platforms like MailChimp or Constant Contact to stay in touch with those who previously showed interest in your products or services. Offer discounts, trial days, or simply remind them what they’re missing with an abandoned-cart email. You can even retarget customers who viewed different products online but didn’t make the purchase. Figure out the best way to pull those customers back in and regain their interest. 

You can use this 5 tactics to get your marketing off the ground, form a unique relationship between you and your customers, and bring in new business. 

3 Business Podcasts to Push You Towards Success

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Podcasts have quickly become a popular resource for gaining perspective and new information on a variety of topics, from health and fitness to entrepreneurship. According to Edison Research, 42 million Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, and these numbers are only continuing to rise. If you're looking for that final nudge to kick off your own business, or are simply stuck in a rut at work, the following three podcasts are meant for you. Take a seat, listen up, and learn a thing or two.

How I Built This

How I Built This is a podcast about innovative entrepreneurs and how they built successful businesses from scratch. The show is hosted by Guy Raz, and each episode features guests such as Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx, and John Mackey, who built the empire known as Whole Foods Market. NPR describes each episode as "a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity, and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best-known companies and brands." If you're seeking inspiration from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, this is the podcast for you.

Start Up

Start Up is exactly that; the story of a small business built from the ground up by Alex Blumberg, a 15-year veteran of This American Life and NPR’s Planet Money. His lack of experience in entrepreneurship and refreshingly honest account of the struggles he faced in finding success are the perfect push for someone hoping to start their own company. Eight episodes filled with many months of dedication, failure, perseverance, and (eventually) success are waiting for you! Check it out.  

The School of Greatness

Written by Lewis Howes, best-selling author, lifestyle entrepreneur, former professional athlete, and world record holder in football, The School of Greatness is a podcast that you will walk away from feeling more motivated than ever. Lewis invites a variety of guests, from world class athletes to influential people such as Larry King, Scooter Braun, and Julianne Hough. The goal of this podcast is to help you find out what makes great people great, so you can be great too. Either way, you're sure to walk away inspired, energized, and feeling like you can take on the world. 

There are countless podcasts that will benefit you in your daily life, but these three are especially helpful when starting or running a successful company. Have a listen, take some notes, and smash your business goals.

Marketing Mistakes You May be Making

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The art of marketing is constantly transforming, especially in the digital world. While the ultimate marketing formula may not exist, there are steps you can take to ensure your efforts produce positive results. The first step? Examine your current marketing endeavors - you may be making one of these common marketing mistakes!

Foster current client relationships

While it's important to be attentive when it comes to prospective clients, many marketers make the mistake of neglecting their current customers. After all, your current customers already believe in your business and choose to keep coming back. You can fix this common marketing mistake by going the extra mile when communicating with your clients. Take a personal interest in their lives by reaching out on special occasions, wishing their kiddos a happy birthday, or sending them holiday greetings throughout the year. To top it off, ask your clients for their honest feedback to show them you value their opinion and aimto make the experience of doing business together the very best it can be.

Be consistent

It can be difficult to find the right balance when marketing your product or services. Not enough marketing results in customers who aren't engaged, while a marketing overload can overwhelm customers to the point of choosing to completely unsubscribe. Furthermore, lacking an online presence altogether renders even the best product virtually useless if no one knows about it or uses it. Quality over quantity is key when it comes to digital marketing. Create a monthly content calendar so your audience knows what to expect and looks forward to each post you share.

Know your audience

It's imperative to know who you are marketing to. Who is your target audience? Start by selecting certain demographics to target - age, gender, and occupation can all impact the way your product or serviced is received. Keep the size of your audience in mind, as well. An extremely narrow group of people leads to minimal outreach, while an advertisement targeted to a broad audience isn't necessarily relatable to anyone. Do your research, find out who will benefit the most from your service, and go from there.

Again, there may not be an exact formula for producing incredible marketing results every time. But, if you always strive for improvement and continue to analyze your efforts, you are sure to be successful.

 

 

How to Create a Successful Email Campaign

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Email marketing is a necessity for several reasons; it draws more traffic to your business while also building personal relationships and keeping clients in the loop. Whether you're creating an email campaign for the first time, or you simply aren't finding success with the campaigns you're currently running, these three tips will put you on the right track towards a successful email campaign.

Know Your Target Audience

Begin compiling a permission-based list of email subscribers through social media using lead magnets. Once you have gained a substantial amount of people to contact, it is imperative to then identify and understand the needs of your audience. Having the ability to empathize with your target audience allows you to create a stronger call-to-action, deepen client relationships, and ensure that those who stay subscribed have a genuine interest in what you are sharing. Now, you're ready to compose your email.

Create a Clear Subject Line

Your subject line should convey a clear and direct message about the kind of content included in your email. Subject lines that are too vague result in low open rates, while those with over-exaggerated offers or descriptions appear as "clickbait" and leave email subscribers feeling confused, disappointed or disinterested. Be concise in your subject line and include something of value to your target audience, such as a 30-day free trial or additional information on the products and services you offer.

Utilize A/B Testing

Once you've composed the main subject of your email, you may want to consider using A/B Testing to experiment with varying formats or even word choice. Factors such as font, the length of the email, the design template and the time the email is sent can impact how receptive subscribers may be. Create two different versions of your email and send them to two groups of 50 people. After comparing results between the two emails, you should be able to conclude which email campaign would be more successful when you finally send it to your full list of subscribers.

Remember to convey a personal, conversational tone when communicating with your clients. A compelling subject line along with concise, informative content will keep your subscribers wanting more and give you successful results when running email campaigns.

Conference: Day Two

Last night we went to a Nashville staple called Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and chatted up with the band members of Twin Kennedy. They just recently moved to Nashville from Canada (where they’re more popular), and they were kind enough to drop us an album.

Waiting in line for famous Martin's BBQ!

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And just after dinner we played cards—Dutch Blitz. It was hilarious. If you haven’t ever played, please go pick yourself up a set and some good friends to play with.

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Oh yeah, the conference. That was great too. We met all kinds of folks, heard some sessions about the latest trends in SEO from Online Edge.

Brandon Ray provided the music for the first two days, so we’ve been getting our fill of Nashville’s finest.

Today we’re excited for a few sessions and for tonight’s mixer. We might try Pharmacy Burger in East Nashville for dinner—unless plans change. We’ll see what happens.

Stoked for day three! See y’all later.