Marketing Strategies for Beginners

Marketing Strategies for Beginners

Promoting an online business can seem like a daunting task at first but there are lots of things you can do to give your company the best chance of success. If you are a beginner to business, you have an interest in how marketing works or you need to promote your startup then you have come to the right place. It might seem very complex and difficult to get your company noticed by customers but there are some techniques and methods you can use to get your business the recognition it deserves. You can start with the basics and then build up the time and energy you invest in marketing once you get the hang of it. Every business needs an online presence nowadays to have the minimum amount of success, so make sure you take the time to market yourself properly. Read on to find out what you can do to market your business and how you can go about it. Get ready for your business to get noticed, and for your online presence to get people talking.

 

Get Tweeting

All businesses will benefit from taking advantage of social media. The kinds of social media you use might depend on the nature of your business but for most people advertising themselves in as many ways as possible gets more people noticing them and talking about them. Twitter can be a particularly powerful tool and is definitely something all businesses should consider. The twittersphere links people and shares information in bitesize chunks and can be a great way to get your message out there. Twitter can be particularly useful for events management and getting people to talk about the launch of new products, or even the opening of your store. If you are a company based purely online you will need to be much more active than if you owned a physical store, so make sure consider this.

 

Make Your Own Blog

If you have a website selling your products, including a blog can be a great way to inform people about your sector and about your products too. If you sell surfing equipment for example talking about your knowledge of surfing and giving advice about how to care for products will look really good to customers. This makes you look passionate about what you do and shows them that you have knowledge and expertise in your field. A blog can be a space that can engage consumers and keep them clicking too, which is the desired outcome of all your marketing strategies. If you are having difficulty with marketing you can always enlist professional help like Ascend2 for example. Although you don’t want your blog to be too promotional towards your products and services, it is a good avenue through which to advertise yourself. Debating the difference between bike tires that you offer and their benefits for on road and offroad use would be a good use of your blog if you sold products for cycling. The ideas are endless so get writing and think about genuinely engaging posts you would make. What do your customers want to read about?

 

Research Your Competition

When starting any marketing it can be useful to know what other businesses are offering people and thinking about how you can do better. No matter if you are a local high street shop or vast global company you are always going to have competition. Knowing the kinds of deals and services they offer customers can help you build and grow your company, and if there are any gaps in the market make sure you take advantage of them. What are customers saying about their service and their products, how could you do better? Although it can be difficult to identify competition if you are a purely web based company, you need to do your research. This can give your marketing strategies direction and you can modify your online presence accordingly. Do your research if you want to be informed and on top of the competition.

Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about marketing your company. Although marketing might seem like a difficult task at first, these skills can be learnt like any other. Doing research can never hurt and you should continue to do so to make sure your marketing strategies are up to date and relevant. Whatever your product or company social media and blogs are your best friend. Remember to consider quality over quantity and to not be too overly promotional, not posting lots of spam will also help to keep your customer base.    

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Taking Your Blog as Far as It Can Go

Promoting Your New Blog Effectively

You’ve decided you want to share something with the world and you’re now the proud owner of a WordPress site with your name on it. It was easy enough to set up the blog, and you enjoy adding articles you’ve written and photos you’ve taken. You think your blog looks great, but as far as you can see no-one else even knows it exists. If you set it up simply for your amusement or family and friends, this won’t worry you too much. However, if you’re hoping for a wider audience, why isn’t your blog getting noticed, and what can you do to spread the word?

The importance of having a plan

Your blog may be more of a hobby than a business as far as you’re concerned, but if you want to reach more people you need to have a plan in place that outlines what you hope to achieve, who you want to be reading the blog and how far you want to go with it. Blogs can be simple online journals that you post to a couple of times a week, taking very little time to maintain. Or they can have millions of visitors and subscribers, all eager for new content and end up taking you several hours a day to maintain. You need to decide what you want from your blog, at least for the foreseeable future. If you have a full-time job and a family, you aren’t going to have a lot of spare time to keep your blog updated, and the worst thing you can do is neglect it. If you don’t keep posting new and interesting content, people will rapidly lose interest. There are too many other blogs that cover the same topics and keep their content updated, so no-one is going to hang around if you take your eye off the ball. Work out how much time you have available and schedule it into your week, making sure it becomes part of your routine. You can then monitor how things are going, how well you’re keeping up and whether you want to do more.

Your blog needs to have a focus, and state clearly who is likely to be interested in it. Have an “about me” section that tells visitors who you are, what you do and why you’ve set up the blog. It is the best way of getting people who identify with the sort of person you are to sign up. Your landing page should show clearly what type of blog it is and the kind of content you post. This isn’t a flashy commercial website, and your personality will be one of the chief selling factors. One word of warning though, while it’s fine to be as open and honest about your feelings and thoughts as you are comfortable with, make sure that no-one can trace where you live or identify your kids. As well as the millions of wonderful people in the world, there are a handful of disturbed and malicious individuals who enjoy trolling and being abusive. Make sure they can’t spoil the enjoyment you get from your blog.

Marketing

Like creating a plan, the thought of marketing your blog may seem a bit over the top, more relevant to businesses and organizations than an online journal. Again, it’s a question of how far you want to go – how many people you’d like to read the blog, any ambitions to turn it into a commercial enterprise in the future, the importance of your message and how passionately you feel about it. There are some simple, cheap actions you can take to boost your profile and start getting your blog noticed:

  • Think about what makes your blog stand out from the others that cover the same subject. Having a very specific niche is one way of standing out because the less potential hits there are for a topic, the further up the rankings your site will appear. Of course, this means fewer people will be looking for something on this topic in the first place, but if you are aiming to appeal to a very specific audience, you’d probably be perfectly happy about this.
  • Have social media accounts set up that link on your blog? It needn’t take up too much extra time because you can use a social media manager such as Hootsuite to distribute all your posts for you and manage the accounts. There are some free social media management software options available for light users, so it’s worth having a look and seeing what package will work best for you.
  • Let as many people know as possible, throughout all your networks, family and friends, other social contacts and as long as it’s acceptable for you to do so, at work. Tell everyone you can, and ask them to spread the word. It’s surprising how quickly a few shares on Facebook can snowball, so don’t underestimate the effectiveness of this approach.
  • Use links on your blog to set up connections with other sites, and request that the sites you make contact with feature a link from their site to yours. Links are one of the factors used by search engines to identify which sites should rise to the top of the search results list, so having good quality links is an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Get some assistance with the trickier aspects of search engine optimization. The complexities of the algorithms used by search engines to boost your blog up the rankings are not something that needs to keep you up at night. There are many options available from specialist companies that are experts in helping you you’re your SEO. They can sort out the techy stuff like contextual SEO link-building. If you’re wondering what on earth that is, you can learn more by reading up on the basics of SEO.

Deciding what you want to achieve with your blog, and what you want to devote to it in terms of time and money are the keys to planning a successful promotional strategy. Don’t be too ambitious at the start, and build your online presence slowly and steadily, so that you can keep up with maintaining the site and enjoy the process.

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Appeal To Your Audience: 3 Ways To Use Apps For Marketing

Appeal To Your Audience: 3 Ways To Use Apps For Marketing

 

Apps are more than just a toy. Companies are finding a growing use for them in the business world with apps designed to help with everything from project management to accounting. Apps can also be particularly effective when it comes to marketing. Here are just three ways to use apps in marketing.

Display ads on apps

In-app advertising is the fastest growing form of mobile advertising. Many apps display a picture and video ads within them – by getting your ads displayed in apps that your target audience uses you could help to attract more customers. Smartphone screens are smaller than PC screens and so ads need to be smaller and simpler to stand out, which could require hiring a specific in-app advert designer. Videos are likely to be more expensive to produce than picture ads but could help to make more of an impact. Companies like MoPub can help you to target specific apps using real-time bidding. This can often be more effective than standard pay-per-click advertising in which impressions can be a lot more random.

Download apps to help with your marketing

There are a number of apps that can help you with your marketing. Social media sites such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter all come with their own apps, which could come in use for social media marketing. You can also make use of apps such as Buffer which can allow you to schedule posts for specific times on multiple social media sites. Meanwhile, there are apps like MailChimp that can allow you to manage mass emailing from your phone. You can even download apps for WordPress, which could allow you to write blog posts and edit your company website using your mobile device.

All of these apps can allow you to handle digital marketing on the go. This could be great for business owners that are rarely in the office, but still, need to keep on top of marketing.

Create your own app for marketing purposes

You can also create your own app as a form of marketing. If you own a store and want to encourage return customers, you could create a digital loyalty card app that gives people point and rewards every time they buy something at your store. If you’re a takeaway restaurant, you could create a menu app that people can order directly from. You could even offer discounts to app users as an incentive.

There are several ways to go about creating your own app. If you’ve got programming knowledge you may be able to make your own from scratch. Alternatively, you could seek out an app development company to build an app for you. There are also app builders out there such as Appy Pie, which can allow you to build your own app with little or no coding knowledge for free. This option is ideal for those only wanting a simple app, whilst the former options may be better suited for those wanting to create something a little more complex.

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Website Off-Site Maintenance

5 Strategies That Will Increase Conversions

A conversion rate is simply the percentage of visitors that land on your website and perform the desired action. Unfortunately, many business owners foolishly believe an aesthetically-pleasing website is enough to encourage sales. If you want your visitors to convert to customers, you will need to optimize your website. Read the five strategies that’ll increase conversions.

 

  • Promote a Product with High-Quality Images

 

It’s impossible for a visitor to touch a product on your website. The best way to highlight the detail of a product is to incorporate high-quality images onto a web page, which will allow your visitors to make an informed decision. You should also allow a prospective customer to zoom in on an image, which could encourage them to add the product to the online shopping cart.

 

  • Improve Understanding with Video

 

97% of marketers stated video helped them increase their users’ understanding of their products and services. It could, therefore, be an effective strategy to turn a lead into a conversion. Not only can it improve a visitor’s knowledge regarding a product, but the integration of video can also improve a site’s rank in the search engines, which can also drive considerable traffic to a website, which could increase online sales. Consult Working Beautifully to learn more about creating a professional video for your website.

 

  • Provide Free Shipping to Increase Sales

 

Customers will view shipping fees as a hidden cost, which can lead to an abandoned cart. If you want to encourage conversions, you should seriously consider offering free shipping to your customers. It’s a psychological strategy, as it will make users believe they are obtaining a great deal even when they are not. You can offer free shipping by simply increasing your prices, so you can improve your conversion rate without having to compromise your finances.

 

  • Tweak the Checkout Process

 

Long checkout processes can frustrate or bore your customers, as they may not have the time or the patience to endure complex steps to buy a product or service. As a result, you could lose customers who were originally happy to buy from your business. It might be helpful to perform split testing to tweak the checkout process, so you can prevent abandoned carts and increase sales. If possible, try to provide your customers with a single page checkout experience, which features a few dropdowns and a view of their purchases.

 

  • Prove a Website is Safe to Increase Trust

 

With many unscrupulous websites online, consumers might be wary about who they buy their products or services from, especially if they are purchasing goods from an unknown brand for the first time. If you want to increase your conversion rate, you must indicate on your website that a visitor can trust your company, so they are willing to enter their financial information. For example, you should incorporate small images of credit card payment options, PayPal, and other payment gateways. This will provide a visual indication that you provide trusted third-party payment options, so there will be no risk to their finances when they purchase a product from your website.

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What Does Your Business Need to Spend Money On?

When you start a business, you will probably hear all sorts of advice about how you need to save money in any way that you can to avoid going under. However, there are plenty of things that you will need to invest in to ensure the successful running of your company. It is these that we will be discussing in more detail in this article.

 

Design

The design of your small business really makes a big difference to the overall public perception of it. A typical customer actually pays a great deal of attention to things like your logo, and this is what is likely to make them trust you over your competitors. And the branding of your company will also be highly visible throughout everything that you do from your business cards to the signage outside your offices, so it is an important decision.

 

Marketing

Unless you have a clear marketing background, you should consider outsourcing your marketing needs to a professional agency. This involves clearly knowing the target audience of your product, targeting them in the most effective way possible, and being consistent throughout all your activity. Strong marketing helps to maximise your business sales, so it is extremely important.

 

Technology

Strong technology can really help to streamline your business and remove tasks which would otherwise be complicated and expensive. Remember, if you are looking for funds for your company, you can always utilize a small business loan online. Obviously, technology encompasses a wide variety of areas including instant messaging systems, website design and an integrated phone system.

 

Accounting Services

One of the first and most valuable services that you can look to outsource is your accounting. A professional accountancy firm can help you to optimise your business, as well as reducing waste and inefficiencies. If you try to do everything yourself and you don’t have a great deal of experience in this area, you may well find that you are spending more money than you are saving.

 

Insurance

Protecting your business from all the threats that exist out there is one of the most valuable things that you can do. You never really know when disaster could strike, and if you aren’t prepared to deal with it, your business could end up being affected massively.

 

Legal Advice

Just as accountancy is an area of expertise that is worth spending money on, so too is legal advice. There are a myriad of legal issues that can affect businesses of all kind, so if you are not experienced in this area, you can easily get into all kinds of trouble. You may only need this on a temporary basis or it may be something that is ongoing. Either way, it can be invaluable.

So, these are just a few of the things that your business needs to spend money on when you are first starting out. Obviously, you need to create and maintain a clear budget to ensure that everything is properly accounted for.  

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