The most important questions to make your marketing work

February 10th, 2016 by Tim Peter

Succeeding at marketing these days really isn’t that hard. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it takes some effort, along with time, money, and resources. But most marketing plans follow a fairly straightforward path that depends on developing high-quality content and getting that content in front of customers on mobile, search, and social channels. Sure, other avenues exist (and are well-worth exploring for your brand and business). But, I challenge you to find a marketing plan that doesn’t include content, mobile, social, and search among its core components.

Read the rest of this entry »

Does your business play to its strengths?

December 23rd, 2015 by Jim Connolly

It’s a great time to own a small business.

We know that small and medium-sized businesses enjoy some clear advantages over big businesses. The key advantage, is that small businesses can be extremely agile.

For example:

  • Small business owners can get an idea in the morning, work on it that afternoon and have it in play, in days. Big businesses can take months, sometimes longer, to go from the idea stage to completion.
  • Small business owners can provide a more personal level of customer service. The business owner and their staff have the freedom to treat each customer or client individually. With big businesses, there are often rigid policies and procedures that govern what can and can’t be done.

The best small businesses take full advantage of their agility. And when it’s done correctly, they can run rings around the multinationals.

The story is different online

I was speaking about this recently with my friend, Thomas Costello. Thomas works with 123-reg, the UK’s biggest provider of domain names. He told me that they recently did some research, which confirmed that in the offline world, 71% of adults believe that small businesses provide a more personal service than big businesses.

However, the story was very different online!

59% of adults surveyed [78% of young adults] said big business websites are generally better than small business websites. A key reason given for this, is that big businesses provide a more personal online shopping experience.

You can see the survey findings in full, here.

The good news, is that it’s pretty simple to make the shopping experience of your small business website way more personal, using software. Existing customers can be greeted by their name on arrival and their experience tailored around their interests.

Winning online

You already have some powerful advantages over the big guys offline. And I hope you’re maximizing them to their full potential. However, how does your business perform when it comes to offering a personal experience online? That’s a really important question, if you want to be as effective online as possible.

In short: The look of your website and its UX [User eXperience] are either building trust and making you money or eroding trust and losing you money. With more and more sales and client enquiries switching to online, it’s never been more important to offer a great experience.

Collaboration Apps Create New Issues For SMB Productivity

November 24th, 2015 by Guest Author

Bummer! A new study proves the age-old complaint: Employees hate email. But if you’re thinking about adopting newer collaboration apps to squash the complaints — think again. Switching out email for multiple collaboration apps is creating a whole new mess or what a few are calling “collaboration paradox.”

To get to the root of this very issue, collaboration app Samepage sought to find out exactly what SMBs are – and aren’t – using, and why. Some of the interesting key findings from a recent Samepage and ORC International survey include:

  • 80% use at least three collaboration apps, 50% use six or more
  • 80% use these apps to work with customers and partners
  • 90% believe collaboration apps are fulfilling adoption objectives
  • 65% find it difficult to find the correct file in their file sharing folders
  • 88% think that instant messaging is good for asking quick questions, but limited beyond that
  • 65% want fewer emails and 44% agree that email is not good for managing teams and projects
  • 65% are looking for a better solution to improve communication and increase productivity

“The world needs a better approach to team collaboration. It’s a problem that’s universal; we call it the ‘collaboration paradox.’ With so many apps to choose from —email, IM, file-sharing, task/project management and online productivity — team-based content and conversations have become increasingly fragmented across a slew of siloed applications and this actually hinders collaboration,” said Scott Schreiman, CEO of Samepage. “We believe in a more holistic approach to team productivity, uniting content and conversation on a single page which enables contextual collaboration.”

Additional findings from the press release are hosted on WebProNews and all findings can be found on Samepage

Small Business SEO Checklist – 8 Layman Steps for Success!

October 28th, 2015 by Navneet Kaushal

It is extremely important for the small businesses to execute a strategic SEO campaign to be successful. When it comes to digital marketing channels, Search Engine Optimization is one of the most cost-effective options for the small businesses.

Here is an insightful infographic by CJG Digital Marketing on crucial steps for small business SEO success. Read the rest of this entry »

A Majority Of ‘Very Small’ Businesses Don’t Have Websites

October 1st, 2015 by Chris Crum

GoDaddy recently commissioned RedShift to poll 4,000 “very small” businesses (5 employees or less) hoping to understand how they are using the web. They found that the majority (59%) have no website, and that this is impacting their ability to grow and market to new customers.

The study also found that 55% are planning to come online within the next 2 years, and that nearly half of these businesses believe they’ll see growth as a result. GoDaddy says this is in line with what those who have built sites have experienced, adding that 59% of very small businesses with sites say their businesses have grown since coming online.

The study also found that 48% said they intend to sell goods from their website (ecommerce functionality) within a year of its launch.

CEO Blake Irving, who recently participated in an interesting reddit AMA about small business initiatives as well as the company’s various past controversies, wrote about the new research in a blog post.

“Given that there are roughly 200 million VSBs globally, their getting online effectively could have a major impact on small business growth as a percentage of the economy,” hewrote. “However, there are still some notable distinctions about who is ready to take the plunge. Newer small businesses were nearly twice as likely to want a website compared to their older counterparts; firms with at least one employee (vs. sole-proprietors) were further along in their plans.”

The following infographic is from Irving’s post.

“While we take for granted that everyone is online, the reality is that for many small businesses it’s simply not true,” Irving said. “What is clear is that these very small businesses are realizing that if they don’t fully engage online, they are at a competitive disadvantage.”

The full study is 32 pages, so if you’re a “very small” business, you might want to grab some coffee and get comfortable. Find it here.

Images via GoDaddy

How do you know your price is too high?

September 3rd, 2015 by Mike Moran

I work with lots of companies to launch products. I am working with one now-and the launch hasn’t gone very well. Sales are scary low–they round to zero.

This is a disappointing turn of events for sure, but I wasn’t prepared for the idea that was floated next: let’s cut the price of the product 40%. Read the rest of this entry »

Web Marketing Isn’t One Thing; It’s Every Thing

August 12th, 2015 by Stoney deGeyter

There are a lot of sub-sets under the big umbrella of web marketing. You have social media marketing, content strategy, conversion optimization, website design and targeted keyword optimization, to name a few. Each of these can offer a substantial–albeit limited–value on their own. But where all of these things really shine is when they work together as part of a single web marketing campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

Use These Important Tools For Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

July 15th, 2015 by Lee Odden

Tools make reaching social media marketing goals possible. Whether you’re a soloprenuer or a multinational enterprise, it’s nearly impossible to manage a social media marketing program without using 3rd party tools.

During your journey through the 3D chess of social media tool options, you’ll have many decisions to make: Which tool should you start with? Should you use specialized or multi-purpose tools? What features distinguish basic from intermediate to advanced and when should you upgrade? Read the rest of this entry »

How to raise your business to a whole new level

June 18th, 2015 by Jim Connolly

If your business is growing slower than it should be, this post is just for you.

To get your business moving forward, there are 2 things you need to focus on. I have set them out as 2 questions. Oh, and don’t worry, I’m going to help you find your answers too! Read the rest of this entry »

3 Places Small Businesses Can Connect with Consumers on Mobile!

May 21st, 2015 by Navneet Kaushal

It’s time to devise a plan to reach consumers on mobile as majority of them are using mobile devices, otherwise you stand to lose potential and current customers to websites providing better mobile experience. Read the rest of this entry »