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How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Company

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Company
Here Is How Small Businesses Should Choose Digital Marketing Company!    Pic Courtesy: Pixabay   Digital marketing costs a fraction of what traditional marketing can cost your business; yet, it has the potential of bringing you big returns. That is a good enough reason to believe that digital marketing is indeed small business friendly. Think about it: An email is virtually free to send and it has one of the highest conversion rate among all digital and traditional marketing channels. Social media marketing has almost similar stats. Traditional marketing options can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on digital marketing – but you need to spend on a solid strategy. Businesses that spend on digital marketing strategy get bigger returns. For a small business, however, choosing a digital agency isn’t easy. While most won’t cater to your budget, others won’t understand your requirements. One wrong choice can turn your entire digital experience in to a disaster. So, here is a game plan that can help small businesses make the right choice.   1. Look for an Agency that Focuses on Small Business As a small business, the worst mistake you can make is aiming for the big fish. Don’t get it wrong. It is good to have bigger goals, but just because an agency has worked for successful international brands doesn’t mean it will take you to the same height. You need to find an agency that has worked with businesses just as small as yours and helped them evolve in to kind of brand you aim to become. In other words, go for a digital marketing agency that has written a success story for a business just like yours.     Keep in mind that bigger agencies go for bigger stunts and take bigger risks all because their clients i.e. bigger brands can afford it all. Their entire team has a different mindset and they may not be able to fully understand the implications of their ideas on your business. So, be realistic about your own business and find an agency that is a perfect fit for your budget. Ask for referrals and read reviews. Sit down with their team for consultation and ask questions about their clients and previous experience. Go with a team that focuses more on the management than money. Pic Courtesy: Reboot Online Marketing   2. An Agency with a Focus on Quality Would you rather go for an agency that promises every possible digital marketing service for dirt cheap rates or choose an agency that offers a refined set of services for a reasonable rate? For small businesses, it isn’t unusual to fall prey to the quantity over quality dilemma. Of course, you want to try every avenue to maximize your revenue. Don’t act on that impulse. More importantly, don’t choose an agency that feeds that impulse. Instead, try to seek help from professionals who understand what you need at any given time. For instance, it may be too early for your business to invest in paid marketing. May be your business doesn’t needs thousands of tweets before you reach a certain number of followers. And then it is about the quality of tweets and posts. It is better to go for a lower number of high quality posts rather than too many posts with no real value. Too many posts may actually annoy your followers and you will end up being blocked or flagged as spam. So, quality over quantity is more important for small businesses both in terms of digital channels you choose and the frequency of posts/ads. Lower prices per...
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Why is it Sheer Brilliance to Invest in an E-commerce Store

Why is it Sheer Brilliance to Invest in an E-commerce Store
Why is it sheer brilliance to invest in an e-commerce store   Picture Courtesy : Pixels.com From Walmart and Target, the world has moved on to Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.  As the Internet conquers the world, people are ditching brick and mortar and are moving towards shopping on a click. During 2018, people shopped worth $2.86 trillion on the web, and this figure is expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021, which is huge. Brick-and-mortar, on the other hand, is losing its charm. This can be seen from the fact that Circuit City, Kmart and Radio Shack have all filed for bankruptcy. Moreover, whatever is left of the brick-and-mortar is also digitally influenced, which is why they are going mobile. JD.com, the world’s second-largest e-commerce business has partnered with Walmart to create a new retail concept, 7Fresh. At 7Fresh, you need an app installed on your phone because you need it to scan the products and make the payment. Given that the entire world is shifting towards e-commerce, it only makes sense to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon if you are looking to invest in a business. If you are not yet convinced why e-commerce is a good investment opportunity, then here are some reasons that might help. 1.    The world is shopping online The most convincing reason is perhaps that the world is now shifting towards online shopping. People now have a lot of options in terms of variety and pricing at the click of the button. Forecasts show that by 2021, around 2.14 billion people are expected to shop online, up from 1.66 billion in 2016. 2.    Easier to build Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and all our favorite brands have been there in the market for many years. They have invested a lot of time and money to be where they are today. With e-commerce, however, the process is quicker; with the minimal investment, you can grow by leaps and bounds. The online retail giants are the living proof that the online world is full of possibilities. Amazon started as a mere bookseller, and today it has more than 12 million products. Moreover, e-commerce tools today are a lot better and less costly. The selling platforms and marketing tools have made it easier for an inexperienced person to start a business online. The only hurdle that you may face is deciding the product that you have to sell and whether you have to sell a range of products like Amazon or focus on a single category. Selling everything and anything may seem appealing. However, it comes with its own set of problems. Amazon did not get there in a day. Hence, we recommend you focus on a narrower range of products. 3.    Location doesn’t matter The biggest drawback of brick and mortar is that you need a good location to generate sales. Your store has to be located where your target market lives. If you are selling a premium product in a middle-class area, chances are your store will close down in a few days. Other than that, you have to keep several factors in mind, such as parking issues. With e-commerce, you do not need to worry about all of this. You can sell to anybody who wants your product. Moreover, it is easier to establish your sales internationally, as well. 4.    Easy to keep a tab on customers With an e-commerce store, you can easily see what your customers like and don’t like so you can update your offerings accordingly. You can see what they purchased, which makes it easier to cross and up-sell products. You can also use the heat maps to see where they...
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An Introduction to Contracts With Customers

An Introduction to Contracts With Customers
Do you remember the first sale that you ever booked or made on your own? It was probably pretty exciting — that feeling of elation and top-of-the-mountain. You suddenly realize that you might understand how this whole business thing works and you might be able to do this. But of course there are practicalities to consider when you make a sale. It can be tempting to recognize revenue right away, but there’s always a risk. What if the sale cancels, for example? What if it costs more to create the product or service than you’ve booked? It just can be a difficult process to learn the ins and outs of recognizing revenue. Standards to Recognize Revenue Fortunately there are standards to use that others have figured out. These standards are a great way for companies to make sure that people understand what they are doing is on the up and up. Non-accountants must be aware of the concept of recognizing revenue from contracts with customers. Because payments are often not a straightforward affair, accountants have to allocate revenue using specific standards set by national and international accounting boards. While this information doesn’t seem important for non-accountants to understand, it is. Knowing when revenue can be recognized in your company’s financials affects everyone, from the salesperson’s commission to the marketing budget next quarter. What are those standards and what are the takeaways from them? This graphic explains it.   To understand and accomplish the new revenue recognition standards, businesses should complete the following five steps:  1. Identify the contract with your customers Clearly identify the goods or services provided and describe each party’s right to them   2. Identify your performance obligations Specify exactly what you owe your customers and explain what defines “good performance.”   3. Determine the price of your products or services When doing so, don’t forget to consider promotions and other discounts.   4. Allocate a transaction price to the obligations specified in the contract Align the price of your services with your compnay’s performance obligations   5. Recognize revenue as performance obligations are satisfied   Sales people also must understand the difference between booking and revenue. A booking is when the customer makes a commitment via a contract to buy your services or product. Revenue is when the revenue “counts” on the books – When accounting can account for the revenue as being...
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Your Essential Guide to Starting a Small Business

Your Essential Guide to Starting a Small Business
Here’s to New Beginnings: Your Essential Guide to Starting a Small Business   When you have a great business idea and strive to achieve financial independence, you might be thinking about launching a small business. Every huge corporation started with a small business, so why not? While you can definitely achieve success in the business world, keeping your small business successful for at least 2 to 5 years is a huge work. This game is worth the candle, though. So, if you’re trying to start a small business, here’s your handy guide to help you out:   Start your journey with research Perhaps, you’ve already come up with a unique – or any – business idea, but is it going to bring you success? Does your business idea have many competitors? Before you take any step, do your own research. Consider running your idea through a simple validation process that will help you to figure out the future of that idea. First of all, your business idea should offer something – be it a service or a product – that the modern market needs these days.   There are many ways to find out if a business idea will be successful, such as focus groups, deep research, and in most cases, trial and error. But before you go through trial and error ask yourself:   Does the market need your product/service? Who are the people who will want to use your product/service? What are the companies that offer similar or the same product/service? Will you be able to compete with them? It’s important to ask confidently without any fear or disappointment.   Create a business plan Any business idea requires a powerful business plan, which will become your guide during the process of establishment and business growth. There are many types of business plans, so choose the one that will suit your idea.   If you’re looking for financial support from a financial institution or an investor, creating a basic business plan is essential. This business plan is usually thorough and long, and contains a set of sections that banks and investors check out when they’re validating a business idea. In case, you’re not looking for any financial support and you’re going to invest in your startup yourself, it may be enough to create a simple and short business plan just to give you the initial steps you should take. You can also come up with a working business plan on a piece of paper and change it as you start working on it.   Consider your finances Generally, a startup doesn’t need too many investments, yet you’ll need some money to cover a number of expenses during the first months or even a year before your business will earn a profit. Calculate the one-time startup expenses like property leases, permits and licenses, legal fees, equipment, branding, insurance, inventory, market research, opening events, trademarking, etc. Then, calculate how much money you will need to keep your startup running for a year (your own paycheck, employee paychecks, utilities, rent, advertising, marketing, travel expenses, supplies, etc.)   As soon as you find out an approximate amount of money, think about the ways to find them. You can either save money or borrow from family or friends. Many new entrepreneurs also apply for an SBA loan. Filling out an SBA personal financial statement may be tricky, but here’s a guide to help you out.   Select a business structure Whether it is a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, a sole proprietorship, or even a corporation, your next step is to select a business structure. Your business structure will affect a lot...
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How To Measure Instagram Marketing ROI

How To Measure Instagram Marketing ROI
How To Measure Instagram Marketing ROI & Establish If It’s Worth Your Money Instagram can be a highly effective addition to your business. As a marketing tool, it’s great for driving engagement, increasing sales, boosting brand recognition, and much more.  But looking beyond all the fuss, how do you know if it’s actually worth it for your business? Read on to discover how you can measure your Instagram marketing ROI and determine if it’s worth your money in 2019.  Recommended reading: Which Digital Channels Deliver the Best ROI?   What is ROI on Instagram? It has historically been difficult to measure the ROI of social media in general, and Instagram is no exception. However, it is possible to get a good idea of how successful your Instagram marketing actually is by comparing the initial costs against your SMART objectives. The initial costs of Instagram marketing are relatively simple, in their most basic terms:   Time: the working hours needed to administer your Instagram strategy. Cost-per-click: this will vary depending on how much you want to pay to get your sponsored posts ad seen (and even if you want to go for a paid ad campaign).   While the costs of an Instagram marketing campaign are fairly easy to track, monitoring the outcomes are a little less straightforward. With most social platforms, results are viewed in terms of likes, shares, and comments — rarely as actual sales. And while Instagram’s Shoppable posts make it easy for you to track, it’s less easy to monitor sales from outside the platform but informed by your Instagram marketing.   However, using SMART goals can help you evaluate your Instagram ROI with a firm footing. These goals are: Specific: what is your goal? do you want more mentions? Followers? Increased sales? It’s down to you, but be specific about the end result you want to achieve. Measurable: how will you measure your goal? Think about the metrics you will use to identify this. Achievable: what do you need to achieve your goal? What resources, tools, and skills are required? Relevant: is your goal aligned with the overall goals of your business? It should be relevant to your brand. Time: how long will your Instagram marketing campaign take? Set a clear deadline so you know when you should begin measuring your success.     Setting SMART objectives as outlined above gives you a strong idea of how successful your Instagram marketing actually is overall. SMART objectives Let’s break down your SMART objectives in terms of Instagram and establish how you can measure your Instagram marketing ROI. Specific Before you do anything else, you should establish exactly what goal it is you want to achieve. Without this, you won’t know the steps you need to take to achieve it. The goals you might be working towards include: Followers Mentions Sales Email subscriptions Of course, these are just a few potential goals you might choose to work towards. There is no right or wrong goal — just choose the one that best serves your business needs. Measurable Once you’ve established your goal, how will you measure this? This is largely tied to your specific goal, and it might be easier for some goals than others. For example, if you want to get more followers, there’s really only one way to measure that. If your follower count increases, then you’ve nailed it. But let’s say you want to see increased sales. In this instance, you’ll need to determine where the sales will come from (in-app or through your online store), if you want to see sales for a certain product or across the board, and so on. Instagram...
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