Showing posts with label business marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business marketing. Show all posts

Friday, 8 January 2021

How to Survive (and Win) the Post-Christmas Lull

 There’s always a sting in the tail with the annual Christmas ecommerce frenzy. Things are just about as peachy and positive as it gets for a couple of months, after which comes the inevitable lull. 

One of the biggest (and most common mistakes) made by smaller businesses is focusing too heavily on leveraging shoppers’ appetite to spend over the festive period. And in doing so, losing sight of the importance of compensating for what happens next.

Consumer spending always dips massively in January and February – a fact and a reality there’s nothing you can do about. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty you can do to survive and even thrive during this post-Christmas lull.

A few suggestions on how to make January and February slightly less painful for your online business:

1. Launch a Sale

It’s a pretty old-fashioned concept in this day and age, but consumers still cannot resist the prospect of the classic ‘January Sale’. They’ve already overspent during November and December, yet are attracted to January discounts like moths to flames. Don’t forget that your closest competitors are probably planning major January sales of their own, so it’s worth doing likewise.

2. Leverage the New Year Attitude

New year, new start, new opportunities etc. – the New Year attitude that temporarily motivates the masses. At the very beginning of the year, people become determined to improve their personal productivity, clean and sanitise their homes, improve their health, do something charitable and generally become ‘better’ people. All of which can and should be leveraged in your sales and marketing strategy for the New Year.

3. Launch Something New

Most businesses time their new product and service debuts for the spring and summer. They instinctively avoid times of diminished spending, for reasons rooted in logic. However, this also means there’s a glaring gap in anything new and interesting hitting the market at the start of the New Year. If you’ve been sitting on something you think your audience will get a kick out of, why not take advantage while your competitors are hibernating?

4. Get Serious with Email Marketing

Ideally, every single sale you made over Christmas will have resulted in another email address making it onto your list. In which case, there’s no better time than right after Christmas to start working on a serious (and appropriately segmented) email marketing strategy. Too soon to start bugging those who only recently shopped with you? Not at all – it’s always best to reach out to satisfied customers while they remember why they shopped with you in the first place!

5. Stay Active and Communicative

Last up, don’t make the mistake of going quiet and temporarily vanishing into thin air. Due to a combination of fatigue and the fact that business is slow, countless brands go dormant and largely inactive after Christmas. In doing so, they overlook (or are oblivious to) the fact that social media use skyrockets during the darker and gloomier months of the year. Hence, there’s really no better time to engage your audience and take your social media marketing strategy a step further.

Monday, 1 July 2013

A Devolution Of Power From Big Business In The Marketing World?

Traditionally, most companies employing more than thirty or so staff would have their own in-house marketing department, dedicated to market research and running marketing campaigns. In a post credit crunch world however, the face of in-house marketing is changing as departments have their budgets slashed and workloads increased. Exactly how this is affecting UK companies is an interesting tale.

In the past, SMEs were the main clients for a typical marketing company. Whilst larger companies outsourced to some of the more global players in marketing, traditionally marketing campaigns were run in house by specific marketing departments. Since the economic downturn, however, marketing departments have shrunk whilst workloads have increased meaning marketing companies are suddenly seeing an increase in business from medium and larger companies.

A report published this year by Charterhouse, the market services company, surveyed 200 marketing professionals in the UK and Western Europe. The results were music to the ears of marketing companies although rather unwelcome news to some marketing departments.

The results of the survey largely suggested that marketing departments in medium to larger sized firms are struggling to cope and, as a result, outsourcing more and more work to their respective marketing company. As a result, personnel in marketing departments have become more like administrators than marketers, coordinating the relationship between the department and the marketing firm.

On the other hand, the report is fantastic news for the UK’s marketing companies with 52% of UK respondents stating their departments were now dependent in some capacity on marketing companies. Over a third of respondents said their companies were entirely dependent on third party marketing firms for creativity in their marketing campaigns, with over half saying they had outsourced creativity in some form or another. One might argue that this devolution in power from some of the larger companies is no bad thing and in line with the governments call to SMEs to prop up the UK’s flat-lining economy.

Moreover, the report signals good news for the marketing industry on the whole, with 67% of respondents agreeing their companies or departments were doing more work. Social media was at least partly responsible for this increase in work, with 61% of respondents agreeing that this relatively new marketing tool had contributed to their increase in workloads.

In conclusion, the report’s findings polarise opinions within the marketing world. Whilst large companies with sizeable marketing departments have to outsource more work as their current staff levels cannot cope, smaller businesses and third party marketing companies are benefiting as a result. For the marketing industry on the whole, however, the news seems positive with more work and jobs in small businesses as a result.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

A Structured Approach To Your Business Marketing

When it comes to marketing your business, having a realistic plan or structure is all important. Unless you have an experienced marketing team on side, it’s all too easy to get drawn into adopting a ‘scattergun’ approach to your marketing, which won’t achieve the success rates you want. In fact, you could end up thoroughly frustrated and despondent, because you will be wasting so much time and energy on activities which won’t work for your business.

So how does this happen?

Scattergun marketing normally occurs, either because business owners try several different marketing strategies in isolation. For example firing off one sales email, setting up a blog and writing one post every two weeks, signing up for a Twitter account, then forgetting to Tweet at regular intervals.
 The other reason businesses adopt this scattergun approach is because they really aren’t at all sure of what ‘actions’ they should be taking. They know they should be ‘doing marketing’, but what does this really mean for the individual organisation?

The key thing about internet marketing is that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. You need to take the right ‘actions’ for your particular business. But how do you know what these are? Going down any number of blind alleys will cost you valuable time and money.

However there is a solution. Discussing your business with your marketing company – your ally in digital marketing success.

Your marketing company will have a wealth of experience in helping companies like yours produce better results with their marketing. They will draw up a plan of action, with realistic, achievable targets, so you will know exactly what they intend to do for you and when, and what each element will cost.

A marketing company will make running your business so much smoother and easier, because it will free up your time to concentrate on other elements of your business like customer care and service delivery.

Having a structured internet marketing plan means that it will be so much easier to track your Return on Investment in the future. You will know exactly how much your leads and conversions are costing you, as well as the cost per customer.

Without a structured marketing plan in place, it’s all too easy to deviate from your course of action and you will not achieve the financial rewards you deserve.

So why not find out how a marketing company can deliver a structured marketing plan that adds value to your business – today.

Friday, 18 January 2013

What Your Business Can Learn From Apple’s Marketing

Ready . . . Fire . . . Aim . . . hey, we just launched a new product!

And so it was with the very first Apple Computer.

Yes, you did read that first bit right. ‘Ready. Fire. Aim.’ – rather than ‘Ready. Aim. Fire. ‘

Which is what the majority of businesses would do.

Many business owners have grand plans for their businesses – but (and it’s a big but) – they never take action on them. Or maybe they take action in small increments, but they don’t take the MASSIVE ACTION that will achieve their goals. In fact, some business owners will spend months poring over every word, every comma of an ad, without ever putting it ‘out there’ to be judged by its public.

That’s mainly because they are waiting for conditions to be exactly right before they do whatever it is they dream of doing. But the key thing is, it’s never going to happen. If you wait for conditions to be ‘exactly right’, you will never get your business to the place you want it to be.

Now I’m not advocating that you throw a bundle of cash at marketing your latest product or service without due diligence, but what I am suggesting is that you get your offering to market in any way you can and then assess customer feedback, modify as necessary and relaunch. There are a number of specialist marketing companies that could help you accelerate your success in this arena.

Here’s the Apple process again:
  • Ready (we know it’s not yet perfect)
  • Fire (we’re launching it anyway)
  • Aim (we’ll get customer feedback, modify our product and relaunch it)
Many software and technology firms do this to great effect. How often do you see Sensational Software V1.0 – and that’s it? No, you’ll get infinite upgrade options every now and again with many modifications and add-ons. (And hopefully, any bugs fixed!)

Procrastination for procrastination’s sake is the enemy of innovation. It can halt your company’s progress – it could even mean you get beaten to market by a main competitor.

So unless you are waiting on a patent application, or are bound by some other legal restriction where disclosing your product design too soon could be a problem, taking massive action could see your business move forward in leaps and bounds.

Why not discover how online marketing consultants can help you get your business to where you want it to be?

Ready . . . Fire . . . Aim . .  . right?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Local Exhibitions Are Perfect For Remote Worker Networking

Finding a consistent stream of new clients can be a challenging prospect, particularly if you work from home. It’s all too easy to slip into your own daily routine and become overly-reliant on your website to pull in new leads, when what you should really be doing more of is getting out there and mingling with people who might need your services.

It’s no good waiting until your client list dries up completely before seeking out new prospects. It’s vital to build networking into your marketing armoury sooner rather than later.
Pop up display banners make great exhibition and networking tools as they are easy to transport and erect whenever you want to put your business on display. And when you think about it, exhibitions are all about creating awareness of your brand rather than hard selling.

The majority of conversions will be secured after the show anyway and successful business exhibitors report that it can take anything up to a year to turn those contacts into clients, dependant on what type of business you run and how far along the ‘buying cycle’ prospects are when you are introduced to them.

If you are an artist, inventor or entrepreneur who has discovered that the right kind of exhibition is not exactly on your doorstep, you could choose to set up your own one-day event at a local cafĂ©, hotel or wine bar. The DIY option has the advantage that you will be able to custom design the event exactly to your liking – plus there will be no competition in your midst! The downside is that it can be difficult to attract the right kind of people to this type of event and that if you get it wrong there will be nowhere to hide.

Another option you have is to team up with several non-competing local businesses. If for example you run a copywriting business, you could choose to team up with a graphic designer, a web developer and a PR expert and hold a get together for local businesses who might need advertising and marketing services. This can be a very successful way of gaining new clients.

Neil and Laura Westwood, owners of the company Magic Whiteboard, who secured funding from Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden on BBC’s Dragons’ Den, view exhibitions as an essential part of their ongoing marketing strategy. The couple recognise the importance of being able to demonstrate their products’ ‘wow!’ factor in front of an audience as the secret to making more sales.

Pop up display banners make it easy to promote your business ‘on the go.’ And the really smart thing about taking your business to a trade show or exhibition is that it is something you can profit from for years to come.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Content Marketing For Small Businesses

The benefit of content marketing for any business is well documented. Customers receive useful and valuable content absolutely free and in return, become loyal champions of the company, returning with their business time and time again.
For large companies this is straightforward; entire sections of a marketing team can be dedicated towards providing useful content on a day by day basis. For smaller companies this can be much more difficult, especially with constraints on man power, resources and time.
This article, however, takes a look at some techniques and methods small companies can use to kick off their own content marketing campaigns.

Blogging is one of the most popular and effective methods of content marketing. Through the use of social media and blogging sites, a small business can release short blogs daily and quickly build up an online community of readers.
A blog should share things like success stories, industry breakthroughs and interesting news developments in the company’s industry. It should not contain direct attempts to sell products or services, however, as these will quickly drive away readers.
Podcasts are essentially mini-radio shows that typically last between 10 and 30 minutes. They should be useful, informative and interesting so, like a blog, should not attempt to sell products or services.
Instead a podcast should be used to keep customers and clients up to date with industry happenings, breakthroughs in science and suchlike. The more creative podcasts will quickly build up an online following.
White Papers
An old school form of content marketing, a white paper is a document put to together to detail a company’s research or scientific breakthroughs. Typically between 5 and 10 pages long, a white paper can promote a company’s brand and reputation within an industry; particularly to other businesses.
A white paper could analyse a recent industry trend or event, predict areas for future growth in a specific industry or comment on new, industry relevant legislation. Usually, smaller companies should focus on a specific industry niche rather then head for groundbreaking, industry wide research.
A viable option for many small companies is for outsourced marketing to marketing companies. By entering into a contract with such a company, a small business can access all the benefits of content marketing without having to take on more staff.
In addition, internet marketing companies employ consultants with marketing knowledge and expertise beyond that of most staff at a small business. They also keep up to date with the very latest techniques and methods.
At the end of the day, there are certainly several content marketing techniques that a small business can employ to boost their online reputation. By enlisting the help of an internet marketing company, this reputation could be dramatically increased, without the need to expand or take on more staff.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Using the Internet for your Small Business Marketing

If you have a small business then creating a successful marketing campaign is vital to your success. This article will give you some of the most popular ways to use the internet to assist you with this.

If you want to make your business successful then having a presence on the internet is absolutely vital. There are a number of ways that you can approach this and you can choose to use as many as you wish to really increase exposure for your business.

It is however still worth remembering that as effective as online marketing can be, you may still need to consider methods of small business marketing offline as well. By using both methods in the right way you will be able to get word of your business out to a huge number of people around the world.

Using Social Networks

You cannot get away from the many social network sites that exist online; with perhaps the biggest and most popular being Twitter and Facebook. These days they are becoming used more and more as a way of marketing businesses. With so many people using these sites you are guaranteed a huge audience to help you promote your services and/or the products that you sell. Once people are aware of who you are they can search for you and then receive your updates and news of deals or events on their feed as you post them. This is a great way to keep your business fresh in people’s minds. By following your business your page will appear on their profile which means that you may also attract their friends.

Remember that you need to create updates on a regular basis and communicate with those following to keep them interested. Many choose to offer special promotions or discounts just to those who follow them as an added incentive! Just be sure not to be seen as ‘spamming’ as this can really put people off if they are constantly receiving updates from you; they may even choose to leave your Facebook page.

Using Blogs

Another great platform for you to concentrate your small business marketing is creating a blog. This gives you a way to explain to others what it is you do and let them see how your business works and what products or services you are working on. Blogs are proving really popular these days and many people have one of their own which allows them to then follow others. By doing so they will be able to see when you have created a new post which means that you do not have to constantly contact people directly. Be sure to include pictures and perhaps even videos to keep your content interesting and appealing.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Four simple marketing tips for small businesses

As everyone knows, marketing is a key part of any company’s arsenal if it is to succeed in today’s world of instant communication and fierce competition. But whilst it is certainly essential to have a business marketing strategy in place, you don’t have to overcomplicate things – particularly if you are a small or fledgling business with a limited budget for promotion. 

Here are five simple and relatively low-cost tips to get you started:

  • Strategic advertising: Big corporations will often have huge advertising budgets for both television and national newspapers or magazines, not to mention online. But if you are a small company you won’t have the capital for this so you have to think a little more creatively. Place adverts in local papers or on local website and remember that it is more effective to place smaller, cheaper adverts more frequently than to splash out on a big advert that you can only afford to place once a month. Also, design your advertising to help bring in more sales by including some kind of special offer to draw in the customers.

  • Email marketing: Using the internet is a perfect form of business marketing for small companies because it is cheap and you can use it as often as you like. The crucial thing here is to compile a detailed database on your customers so you really know which products will be suited to them. Then you can work on sending out targeted marketing emails which are specifically tailored to their needs. Send out regular e-newsletters as well as this serves both as a reminder that your company is still out there, and as a way of keeping customers informed of new products or offers.

  • Professional website: This is so crucial: your website is your biggest marketing tool and yet so many companies neglect it or allow it so look amateurish. It is worth it to hire a really good web designer to put together an eye-catching and simple-to-use site. Yes, it will cost more but every customer visiting your site will be impressed by its professional look. Once you have your website, update it regularly with new content to keep it fresh and current – another thing many companies fail to do.

  • Joint promotions: Another useful marketing strategy if your budget is small is to team up with other small companies who are not in direct competition with you, but complement your business in some way further up the chain. For example, if you are a catering company, perhaps you might want to contact an events organiser or wedding planner and offer to publicise their services in exchange for them recommending yours. This is a simple and, more importantly, completely free way of generating new business.
If you are a small or medium sized business you may not have the budget or time to spend a great deal of money on your marketing strategy. However, every company needs a marketing strategy of some kind and luckily there are many simple and low-cost methods you can use to get you started.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Kick Start Your Business With a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

A business should always keep a close eye on the very industry it is part of. Becoming complacent or distracted can be commercial suicide.

Take the British motorcycle industry for example. It was considered a world leader during the early decades of the 20th century, with research and development spurred on by the demands of two world wars, producing ever-more powerful and convenient bikes. Indeed, records show that 1959 was a record year for bike sales and exports. Yet it was not long after this that the dismissive nature towards the global competition blinded the British motorcycle industry from the change in attitude and trends.

The early ‘60s saw the dominance of names such as Triumph, BSA and Norton at first threatened and then ultimately smashed, by foreign competitors, particularly by the emerging Japanese manufactures. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha rode into town with their efficient, cost-effective designs and cheaper retail prices. They were soon doing British-style bikes far better than the British themselves.

British rivals, who were now steadfastly stuck in the past with their thinking, where blown away as the pristine, electric-start Japanese bikes rode off the production line, boasting impeccable reliability, ground-breaking electrics and came pre-fitted with indicator lights as standard. The British had failed to see the changing market and, although they tried to play catch-up, it was way too late.

It’s a stark reminder of what can happen to a business if it doesn’t keep it’s a ear to the ground and continually listen to what its customers want, as well as what its competitors are doing within the marketplace.

To give your company a head start, sound, professional business marketing will allow your company the opportunity to be fully-equipped to fight competitively against your rivals as well as attracting those customers that you are really after.

Friday, 14 October 2011

B2B or B2C – Your Business Needs a Clear Strategy to Become a Genuine Hit

Back in the day, during the ‘50s and much of the ‘60s, a song's popularity was measured merely by the sales of sheet music.  But it wasn’t until February, 1969 that the record sales from stores across the country were first compiled and recorded – giving birth to the UK’s first official top 40 chart.

Over the decades countless acts, from bands to solo singers have made their mark on the history of the charts – some much more than others – as musical styles and popular culture changed. 

Some have collected multiple number 1s, like Elvis Pressley (21) and The Beatles (17). However some have managed just the solitary number one, going down into the history books as ‘one hit wonders’ such as: Berlin with Take My Breath Away and Edwyn Collins’ A Girl Like you. 

But what’s the best way for a company to ensure its own chart success and to then build upon it so that it doesn’t just become a flash in the pan, one hit wonder, but instead – a sustained hit-making machine? 

Well, intelligent business marketing helps immensely with creating the foundations and forward trajectory of a company. 

From the conclusions made from dedicated market research, a marketing initiative can really come to fruition.
As a local operation, whether it’s business to business or business to consumer – it’s important that you walk before you attempt to run. So, with that in mind, establishing a foothold within your immediate and surrounding community is paramount.

A marketing agency will offer your business the know-how and resources to achieve this and help you when the time is right to look towards frying bigger fish and casting your net further afield.

A business specialist will pull online and other mediums of advertising into one cohesive strategy for your company to truly become platinum-selling.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Tips for Running a Successful Home Business

Running a successful home business takes hard work and commitment as well as the desire to make it work. This short article will give you some ideas on what you need to consider to get the most out of your home business venture.

Many people may think that running a home business will be easy once you have decided what it is you are going to do. However this is not the case as there is a great deal of time and commitment needed to run a successful home business venture. You will need to factor in how you are going to manage your working day as well as considering your internet marketing and in particular how to get your website to rank well online.

1.Be Committed

For any business to ever be successful you will need to be 100% committed to the task in hand. Failure to do this could ultimately result in the failure of your business which could be an expensive mistake! Before you decide to set up a home business ask yourself if you have the time, money and dedication to really give everything to making it as successful as possible.

2.Plan Your Time

It is vital that you plan your time effectively so that you can fit in all of your work, internet marketing and communication each day. Try to come up with a list of all the tasks you will need to carry out on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can then plan your time around these tasks. When working for yourself it may be tempting to work whatever hours you like, but remember that you will need to be available for at least some of the standard 9-5 so that customers can contact you. Time management is one of the most effective tips to running a home business successfully so make sure your timetable is realistic to ensure you stick to it.


This is key to getting your home business out there so that people know you exist. Setting up a website is a great way for people to find you and you can place the link on business cards, forums, blogs etc. Make sure that your website is unique and professional and provides people with information on what you do and something interesting to read.


One of the most important elements of your internet marketing is search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. What this essentially means is trying to get your website from the bottom of the search rankings to the top. For this reason it is important that you understand keywords and which words people most commonly search for to find what you are offering. If you still find SEO confusing then there are many companies and freelance writers who can help you with this.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing

If you have come across internet marketing before then you will no doubt have heard many people talking about search engine optimization, or SEO, but what exactly does this mean and how can it work for you? Essentially it is a way of being aware of what your potential customers look for online and the way in which they search for similar companies. It is important to understand that SEO is crucial if you want to make a success of your online marketing and make your business profitable.

How to Get Started

Firstly you will need to make sure that you have a website in place for your business and that it looks good and functions well. SEO is a way in which you will set up the internal structure of your website so that it can be easily found in the search engines and by those who want what it is you offer.

This may sound complicated but it need not be. It is important that you pay attention to the keywords and phrases that you use within your site and search marketing as it is by using these that the search engines will rank your website. By ranking as high as possible you have a much better chance of being found since people tend to only click on the first few results that come up when they search. If you aren't sure then contacting a good B2B Marketing Agency should help you.

It is also vital to be sure that the content that you place on your site is interesting, informative and above all of high quality. This is because anything that looks or sounds unprofessional or is not interesting to read will put people off investigating your site further and returning.

Targeting Your Niche Market

When you are thinking about SEO as part of your internet marketing you need to always keep in mind your niche market and who exactly you are targeting. This is important as obviously you wish to attract the people that want your services or products to come and visit you and they will find you much quicker if you know the kind of words and phrases they will search with.

In this way your internet marketing should really take off and you should notice a marked improvement in the number of visitors to your website.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

How Using an Article Directory Could Improve Your Marketing

Using articles as a way of marketing and helping to generate business and sales is more popular then ever right now, but it is important to know what to do with your articles once they are written. Submitting them to an article directory is one of the most effective ways and this is essentially a website that allows people to publish their articles. You will find that in the main they are free to use but some will require you to pay for a submission so weigh up how worthwhile this is. Try to choose an article directory that has a good reputation and ranks well on searches to improve your marketing.

1. How Article Directories Work

It is vital that the articles you submit are well written and offer something useful to the reader otherwise they will simply not be read. Be sure not to over promote your business or company within the content as people will be immediately put off. Instead opt to include a link to your website offering further information or some kind of incentive for people to visit. You can then submit your article to the directory of your choice, but be aware that many have strict rules and guidelines that you must adhere to in order to have your article published.

2. Advantages of Article Directories

There are a number of reasons why you should consider marketing in this way, including that submitting articles can be a cost effective way of promoting your business. You will also find that when you submit an article you will get back links to your business website which can play an important part in your business marketing campaign. Remember that the more articles you submit, the more back links you can create. Submitting articles is quick and simple to do and they will usually be published within a 48 hour period.

Being able to have your articles published in this way is a fantastic method of reaching a much wider audience as sites are often viewed by people all over the world. With their ease of use and simple formatting your articles can be easily found and read by your target audience making this method of marketing incredibly effective!

Monday, 16 May 2011

How to Target your Marketing at the Right People

Marketing can be incredibly effective provided that you are targeting the right people. This short article will give you a few ideas on what you should consider before you get started.

When you are considering how to tackle the marketing for your business venture it can be a good idea to take a look at a number of different areas before deciding which is most suitable. You really need to have a good idea what it is you want to achieve as well as working out who exactly your target market will be. Whether you choose to carry out your marketing online or offline the rules in general will remain the same.

Different Marketing areas

The first area that you need to consider is your demographic, which could be for example by age or gender. Consider what it is you sell or do and who would most likely need your products or services. For example if you create and sell items for the baby market then most of your marketing will likely be at females of a certain age rather then those who do not fit within the major age group for having children. Similarly you should understand the lifecycle of a person which indicates that consumers will often require different products or services depending on the stage of life they are at.

One important area to consider depending on your line of business is aiming your marketing at the correct job sector. If for example your line of business involves building or selling items related to a specific trade line of work then you will only need to contact people who are going to have an interest in what you have to offer. Sending out marketing regarding cheap building materials will be of no interest to someone that works in an office for example. It is also worth considering if your area of business could be considered a speciality and if so targeting your marketing just at those who will have an interest in this.

By adhering to these rules it will mean that your marketing is much more effective and gets to those who will be most interested. It can also help to save you time and money that may have been wasted targeting those of the wrong age group etc. Advice can be sort from marketing consultants who will be able to advise you.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Using Link Building to Improve Website Rankings

It is vital for your internet marketing to get any websites you may have to rank well in search engines. This short article will give you a brief introduction to link building and show how it could help you.

Running your own business requires much time and dedication if you want it to be as successful as possible. For this reason it is important that any online content, such as a website or blogs, ranks high in an online search. With competition always increasing it can be difficult to keep your sites above those of your opposition. However there is one great way that may help you to improve your internet marketing rankings and this is something that is often referred to as link building; essentially this aids website optimisation.

1. Link Building Explained

You will no doubt at some point have used a search engine to help you find something online so you will understand that the majority of people will often only look at the first couple of pages of results. This means that for those ranking on pages three and lower they will often be overlooked. This is why link building can be incredibly useful as it enables you to raise the ranking of your website to feature towards the top. Although this is often viewed as being a time consuming way of internet marketing, the results make it worth the effort.

Link building essentially refers to the quality, quantity and relevance of the links that point towards your website. For example if a link to one of your websites is included on a variety of other websites then it will be viewed by a search engine as being of more importance. Therefore any link that points towards your website will be helping to raise the popularity of your internet marketing and therefore improve the ranking.

2. How Does this Work?

In general there are two key ways in which you can approach this. Some websites will ask for a reciprocal link which means that they will require you to place a link to their website on yours and you therefore assist each other. However you can also find one way links which do not require any help from you in this way. Some of these sites may charge for their help so it could be worth finding other small businesses or companies in a similar situation and helping each other.

Despite this sometimes being a slow and time consuming process of internet marketing it can provide you with great results and really help you to get more visitors to your websites and improve your business marketing.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

How to Make Online Networking Work for You – 6 Top Tips

Many entrepreneurs and business owners are put off using social media to build an online network, because the whole concept is just too overwhelming and time consuming.
Well the good news is, it needn’t be.
There’s a huge gulf between using social media personally and professionally. On a personal note, it might give your ego a boost to say you have 3,000 Facebook followers, but that’s no good whatsoever for your business unless they are the right followers.
In the days before online networking existed, business owners and entrepreneurs would connect through breakfast clubs; chambers of commerce events; conferences and exhibitions. And of course, they still do, although these types of traditional networking venues are reporting a significant downturn in numbers.
Some people would consider it ‘mission accomplished’ if they got rid of their stack of business cards during the course of an event. They would give them out to all and sundry, probably accompanied by a well-rehearsed ‘elevator pitch.’
The savvier among the networking fraternity adopted a more strategic approach: they knew in advance who they needed to connect with, and made it their sole aim. Because online networking is, by nature, time-consuming, you need to remain disciplined and focused.

These 6 Top Tips will accelerate your Social Networking efforts:
1. Create a Social Networking Strategy, alongside your business plan. Few people would dream of starting a business without a business plan to guide them and it’s the same with social networking.
Ask yourself three key questions:
I. What do I want my Social Networking Strategy to do?
Build my brand? Enhance my reputation? Shift more products?
II. Who do I need to connect with to achieve my goals?

III. Where are these people I need to connect with and how do I reach them easily?

Draw up a list of your short, medium and long-term objectives.
2.Another secret to successful networking, is that you should offer ‘value’ without expecting anything back right away. So put loads of free content on your website or blog. For example:

 Ebooks
 MP3 downloads
 Webinars
 White papers
 Training videos & tools

Include anything which establishes you as an expert in your field and which you’re willing to give away for free. Sharing content and giving away value is a great way to grow your contacts organically – which will pay dividends further down the line.

3.When posting to your website or blog, make sure you syndicate your content through StumbleUpon’s URL-shortener ‘‘ – which means it will go to StumbleUpon’s 10m-strong users, resulting in 3-4 times more traffic for you!
4.Use split-testing when making contact with people. You can split-test your email headings, content, the time of day you send your messages. Find out what works for your purpose and use it. But keep on testing.
5.Rather than delivering an elevator pitch to introduce yourself, think about creating your own ‘compelling story’ of around 50 seconds you can send viral via social media sites like Facebook and You Tube.
6.Don’t be afraid to reach out to your network for help. Only this week I heard from someone who was planning to go on Dragons’ Den to raise cash for her new business venture. Instead, she ran her idea by a few select contacts in her network and raised all the investment she needed! However, this only worked because she’d built up her contacts over time, established mutual trust – and given away great value first.
You can achieve virtually any goal by networking with the right people. Your network can be one of the most valuable business assets you own, so it’s worth spending some time getting your initially strategy right, for maximum impact and top results!
If you are unsure of how to go about marketing your self through online networking sites an internet marketing consultant will be abkle to help you.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

How to Use Twitter to Advertise Your Business

Twitter is just one of many social networking sites available these days and if you know what you are doing you can use it to help advertise your home business. It allows you to network with likeminded people and help you spread the word about what it is you do. You can provide information about your products or services as well as marketing to people of offers and discounts that you may have. It can also be a great way to receive feedback on how others perceive your business and what you could do to grow.

1. New to Twitter?

If you have never used Twitter before then you may be wondering what it is all about. To put it simply, a ‘tweet’ is the text that you create and post to your account for others to see. This is normally a maximum of 140 characters and allows you to tell all your followers what you are thinking. In this way you can use your ‘tweets’ to inform others of any special promotions or discounts and keep them up to date with what you are doing. This helps to provide a way for you to advertise your home business venture.

2. Target the Right Audience

Once you have set up your Twitter account it is vital that you make sure your ‘followers’ are people that would be interested in what it is you do, or who can offer you help and advice. You can then try to interact with your followers by commenting on their ‘tweets’ or asking questions on yours. In this way you will hopefully build up a good rapport with people and they will see you and your business as worthwhile and you will gain a good reputation.

3. Be Professional

Of course, it is important to remember not to spam your new ‘followers’ as people can view this as being a little desperate and they may choose to delete you. Make sure that you remain professional at all times to avoid alienating your potential customers. Avoid over ‘tweeting’ and try to mix up the posts you make to include some more light-hearted elements so that it does not seem like you are constantly promoting your business. The key to good advertising on Twitter is to find a good balance.

Overall, be sure to keep your ‘tweets’ professional and to the point since the number of characters you can use is limited. It can be a great way to get some free advertising for your business but make sure that your followers feel that you value their friendship and business. Treat Twitter as any other method of marketing and remember that it will take time and effort to begin with.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Marketing Advice on How to Maintain Pricing Strategies in an Economic Downturn

These days, thanks to the economic recession, it can be tough to continually think of marketing tactics to maintain your market share and avoid losing sales. There is the temptation to slash prices or even

contemplate the action in order to compete with others in the same niche as you. While cutting prices may seem to be a simple thing to do, particularly in the short term, it does not always make sense to do so because it could become a habit. What if the recession stretches further than you thought? You cannot keep cutting prices because you could soon be selling at a loss rather than a profit.

Offering the Best Value for the Price

Having a strong, recognisable brand is important if you want to maintain your pricing strategy as high as possible without losing customers to the competition. How you define the value of what you offer is important when communicating with your customers. The stronger the communication you have with them, the more control you can exercise over your pricing strategy. Of course, you should have a few business marketing tactics available to you so that any issues a customer might have will not be about price.

One smart move to try is bundling some of your products together which will accomplish several things. First, bundling effectively creates the illusion that you have broadened your product base. And second, bundling offers you a way to establish a broad spectrum of low to medium to high value offerings, so you can create a pricing strategy accordingly, without a straight price cut, thus maintain your profitability.

Long Range Planning

Lowering your pricing in order to make more sales and stay competitive in the market may work in the immediate short term, but it will not do much for the long term. However, you can alleviate cutting tactics and the effect on your profits by controlling operating costs in your company and look for ways to eliminate any redundancies and inefficiencies.

Streamlining your operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency makes good business sense anyway. Unfortunately, when business is good, you don't always look for ways to streamline. Rather, it takes a recession and reduction in sales to prompt action.

To maintain your competitive edge, even in a recession, look for ways to offer something innovative or unique to your customers. Can you easily change the packaging for some of your products to create a new look to attract attention? Can you offer any sales incentives or coupons for future purchases? Perhaps partnering with a complementary business (one that does not necessarily directly compete with you) can drum up new business.

Marketing new products during the recession can be a good move but don't expect an overnight boost in business. The same principle applies when cutting prices. If you do this too often, just to stay in business, then that is what customers will expect once the economy improves. Instead, try the product bundling or offer sales incentives so that you can present the illusion of offering a deal without negatively impacting your business financial bottom line.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

How to Make Your Home Business Advertising Work

Many people who have started their own home business and have been advertising and internet marketing for some months may feel down heartened that they are not receiving as much work as they had hoped. There are a number of reasons why this may be and it is important that you find these out quickly so as not to waste your time and effort.

1.Follow up any Leads

When people contact you directly or you have details passed to you then you will nearly always follow these leads up. However you should try to get into the habit of contacting anyone who shows interest in your business as you never know where this may lead. It is also worth investing your time in contacting people directly yourself and asking if they are interested in what you have to offer instead of waiting for them to come to you.

2.Never Stop Marketing

Even if your initial internet marketing campaign is successful you need to make sure that you do not get complacent and stop. However for those that have not had much success it may be tempting to give up and use your time to concentrate on other areas. This is not a wise move and will never result in a successful business. You need to make sure that you dedicate some of your time to your advertising campaign every day. This can be as little or as much as you can spare but is vital to spread the word about your business. In some cases advertising can be slow to be productive so the sooner you get started the better.

One of the best ways to gain the attention of a potential customer is to offer some kind of free incentive. This is normally done in exchange for peoples contact details and is a great way to build up your contact list. You can offer such free gifts as an e-book or cd on your blog or website. If this does not appeal to you then you could offer a discount or run a small competition. This is a good way to gather contact details as generally people will only sign up if they have an interest in what it is you offer. Make sure you follow up and send information out to anyone who signs up in this way.

By following these tips you should find that your advertising and internet marketing becomes more effective which in turn means more publicity for your business and more work!