Archives for January 2014

The Essentials of Digital Marketing for Small Business

Digital marketing is a very cost-effective tool for small business owners with a high ROI that beats most any of the traditional marketing forms. That’s good news for a small company that has limited resources because it  let them launch effective digital marketing campaigns and, in some ways, gives them an advantage over larger companies. If you’re looking for a number of excellent digital marketing tips then you’ve come to the right blog because we’ve put together a few of them for you today. Enjoy

First and foremost you need to create  excellent digital content. If that sounds easier said than done you may be right. It involves posting to your blog on a regular basis, tweeting interesting stuff out to your Twitter followers and occasionally producing an entertaining and fun video and posting it on video hosting site you to. In most cases this online  digital content should not focus on your business but rather give the viewer something interesting, entertaining or valuable that they can use in order to build an affinity for your company. That affinity will, in the long run, pay off in sales. A smaller business also has the advantage of the “personal touch” as well as being able to position themselves in the local market more strongly.

The next thing to do is engage with your customers and start conversations. If you’ve heard about how great “social media” is for building a business, you’ve heard right. Three of the best places to start your online conversations is the giant of the social media world, Facebook, as well as Twitter, the micro blog website and the up-and-coming Google Plus. Local businesses have the advantage here because they can actually keep up with what their customers are saying, posting and asking and  implement any good suggestions much faster than a bigger company ever can.  For example, if you are the owner of a local restaurant you can find out what your favorite daily special is among your “followers” and put it on your regular menu, or you can find out what customers want you to stock in your boutique clothing store and order it immediately.

Today’s digital marketing also allows you to precisely measure your results. Whether your operation is 1 person or just a couple of guys and gals working together, setting goals and tracking your results is getting much easier. Looking at things like what brings people to your brick-and-mortar location or keep them coming back to your website is not only easy but vital to your success as well as knowing what’s NOT working. The best thing about being a small business is that, good or bad, you can make the changes necessary much more rapidly than a big business can.

The simple fact is that no small business today can really afford to neglect digital marketing. From identifying what social sites are delivering the most customers to your door to what media they prefer and what devices they use to engage your online content,  digital media can be a huge boon to your business and your profit margin. Indeed, if you manage your strategy carefully you can, in time, expect huge returns.


5 Steps to Maximize Conversions on your Landing Page

If you use a Landing Page to attract and then send people to your website, and you’re not satisfied with the results that you’re getting, it’s possible that the headline, body copy or your call to action aren’t as persuasive as they should be. If that’s the case, the 5 Steps you’ll find below will help you maximize your conversions and drive much more traffic to your website.

Although some might disagree, writing an effective landing page isn’t a complicated process by any means. The problem lies in the way you lay out your content and the words that you use as anything “wrong” may cause a prospective customer to leave your page and surf on to the next. It’s for that reason that, no matter what you have on your landing page, it must be as tight and focused as possible.

To make your Landing Page copy tight and focused you should…

  1. Remove any distractions. The more unneeded copy or buttons that you have on your landing page, the more likely that someone will wander away from it and never make it to your website or make a purchase. For this reason you should remove any navigation to the left or right and leave only the main menu items that are a constant reminder that you are potential customer is still on your site. Also, keep the copy as short as possible. Unless you’re selling a very high end product or service it’s been found that between 100 and 300 words are usually sufficient to get someone to make a choice to keep going and/or make a purchase.
  2. Keep all content above the “fold”. If you force your potential customers to scroll, and scroll, and scroll down and endless page of content to get to your offer, you’ll find that your results are poor at best. Better to keep your offer and other important info above the fold to avoid this.
  3. Remind people about how great your product or services are. Use all headlines and subheads to emphasize why people clicked on your landing page in the first place. Use bullet points to emphasize your benefits and use a “highlighter” to point out anything vitally important that they should know.

It’s also a great idea to put your best testimonial  in full view as well as your “buy now” button or any other call to action you need to help your customers make the decision to make a purchase. You can also use engaging words on your call to action button like “Get Started Saving” or “Start Learning  Today”, words that will reinforce the benefits that your new customer will immediately get once they make a purchase.

  1. Create a simple Order Form. Let’s face it, filling out online forms is really a pain. If you ask for so much information that your prospective customers start getting teary-eyed it means that your order form is much too involved and will cause them to give up in frustration. Simply ask for the most vital information that you need and nothing more.
  2. Ask for the sale. Once a potential customer gets finished reading your landing page’s content, you don’t want to shy away from giving them the extra push to commit to a purchase. To that end, tell them exactly what they need to know in order to close the sale. If your offer has a guarantee, is “limited”, is new or comes with an excellent discount, now is the time to tell them.
  3. Bonus Step. Create several different Headlines. Prospects will more than likely find their way to your landing page via different marketing channels like email blasts, flyers, online ads and so forth. Your headline should be aligned with those different channels in order to align with the people coming from them. This will help you to give a clear message and have a higher conversion rate.

Hopefully these Steps will help you to create a Landing Page that creates a high level experience. You can use them on practically any landing page with any type of product or service and, if you use them correctly, you’ll find that they work.

The Secret to Hiring Excellent Talent

Here’s a newsflash that many entrepreneurs might not want to hear; it’s almost impossible to build a successful business or start up by yourself. Also, it’s not the best idea to hire a group of friends or family to help you as usually this ends and family problems and ended friendships.

When it comes time to hire talent for your new business or startup you really need to take a look at yourself first and determine what your own strengths and weaknesses are. The reason is simple; you want to pick people who complement those strengths and make up for those  weaknesses. If you do you’ll put together a team that will more easily form a tight partnership, win over new customers, expand quickly and do all of the other things that are crucial to your growth and success.

One of the most vital aspects of this is to create a culture in your new company that is attractive to the best people. There is no way to build a great team for your startup if the atmosphere and working conditions at your business are unattractive. Of course one of the problems with hiring top talent is that, in most cases, top talent comes with the top talent price. Overcoming this challenge takes creativity, to say the least.

One of the ways to do this is simply to higher people that can do the things that you can’t. For example, if you’re excellent at business development you probably should hire someone who’s good at marketing or customer support.

One of the best ways however to recruit new people is to be an excellent salesperson. Why? Because if you have a vision about what your company is going to be and you’re passionate about that vision, you’re going to need to be able to sell that to talented individuals and persuade them to see your vision and become passionate about it as well. If you can do that and convince them that what you’re providing is, in actuality, an excellent opportunity, it will be much easier to get great talent at an affordable price.

Simply put, the odds of putting together an excellent team is going to be much higher if you can instill the same passion and vision into your new employees as you have in yourself. If they are convinced that they are working with you towards something that’s going to be “big”, they’re going to be more inclined to work for you at an amount less than what they can get somewhere else.

Another important aspect of hiring talented people is to make sure that your hiring process weeds out the people who don’t truly believe in what you are doing, don’t see your vision and don’t have the passion necessary to really make things happen. Keep in mind that while all of the people you hire should believe in your vision and show your passion, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should all come from the same background. Diversity among your team members can be quite valuable.

To close out this blog we’ve got 5 steps that you can use to hire excellent talent for either your new startup or for an already existing business.

  1. First, identify precisely the exact skills that your business needs.
  2. Identify your strongest skills and, more importantly, your weaknesses.
  3. Recruit people who are better than you in those areas where you are weak.
  4. Use your core values, and your vision, to create a strong culture among your employees and team members.
  5. Use these values to manage your people and, if necessary, move them out of your company if they don’t “fit in”.