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What Small Businesses Need to Know About Developing a Brand

What Small Businesses Need to Know About Developing a Brand
What Small Businesses Need to Know About Developing a Brand? If I asked you the name of your business, you could probably respond without a second thought. But what if I were to ask you about your brand? What is the story you would tell, the mission you want to achieve, and the unique characteristics that set your business apart from your competitors? You’d probably need a bit more time, but it would be time well spent. Branding is a powerful tool. It can turn first-time customers into loyal followers and long-time customers into word-of-mouth marketers. Branding, when done masterfully, is the reason we apply “Chapstick” to soothe dry lips, eat “Popsicles” to cool down on a hot day, and “Google” the answer to life’s most pressing questions. Needless to say, brand identity is an important component to your business.     Picture Courtesy : 4 Compelling Brand Stories You Should Be Telling   How Can You Grow Your Brand? Its clear brand development is important, but how do you build it into your marketing efforts? There are numerous answers to that question, but the following often represent the most common and impactful way to increase brand awareness: Content Marketing: In many circles, content is considered the leading way to do everything from improving organic search results to, as you guessed it, increase brand awareness. Through this method, well-curated articles, blog posts, videos, white papers, etc. are used to increase brand credibility. Content is then distributed through various channels, including email, social media, and on the brand’s website or blog.     Picture Courtesy: 18 Types of Content Marketing You Can Use To Grow Your Business Ultimately content works to show your brand as a source of knowledge, whether it pertains to industry trends or customer needs.   Social Media Advertising: Social media allows business owners to leverage posts, shares, stories, and comments to engage directly with existing and potential customers. While much of that interaction is free, there are additional paid advertising options that can help small business owners take advantage of social media advertising to increase reach.   Picture Courtesy: Best Social Media Management Tools – No More Social Media Babysitting Many social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat offer paid advertising opportunities that base ad placement on user data. This can place your brand in front of a specific audience base or target user.   Charitable Initiatives: Companies like PetSmart, TOMs, and REI have long attracted customers through their dedication to philanthropic initiatives. By doing so, they’ve associated their brands with a specific mission – helping pets, clothing children, or saving the environment. When “giving” initiatives are leveraged correctly, they highlight your brand’s mission and show your commitment to goodwill. As such, your brand gains notoriety among audiences that share similar interests or philanthropic goals.     Picture Courtesy: Top 10 Best Free SEO Tools To instantly Improve Your Google Ranking in 2019   Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Today, SEM refers to any type of paid search efforts and has become an umbrella term used to refer to pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-click (CPC) marketing strategies. Through this method, you purchase ad space on search engine result pages (SERPS) on Google, Bing, etc. Instead of ranking organically for specific keywords, SEM allows your brand to show up at the top of a SERP, presenting your brand to highly targeted audiences. You Know How to Grow It, But How Do You Pay for It? While each of these methods can help you increase brand awareness, they often come at a price. Social media and SEM ads are often paid promotions that are based on the number of clicks. Content...
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Which Digital Channels Deliver the Best ROI

Which Digital Channels Deliver the Best ROI
Which Digital Channels Deliver the Best ROI ? Are you in the process of finalizing your digital marketing strategy for 2019? Are you contemplating on the budget to be invested across digital marketing channels? Then read on… Before you decide which digital marketing channels you should focus on, it is but imperative that you completely understand how each one has performed for the past recent years. Just as you wanted to utilize the channels that will get you the most out of your time, you also want to make sure that you will only be investing in channels that will deliver the maximum  ROI for your money as possible.   Selecting the right combination of channels is crucial for ensuring the success of your overall digital marketing campaign. Disruptive Shift In Digital Strategy – A Study by Ignite Visibility San Diego-based Ignite Visibility recently released a new study which highlights a growing shift in digital marketing. The study surveyed businesses in six revenue brackets – under 1 million, 1 to 5 million, 5 to 10 million, 10 to 20 million, 20 to 50 million and over 50 million – in order to gain insight into how they would be investing in digital marketing over the next two years. Additionally, the study analyzed which digital marketing channels would be most popular. “It’s incredibly important to be forecasting ahead and making sure you have the right digital strategy,” says Ignite Visibility CEO John Lincoln. “ We’re dedicated to bringing best-in-class insights to the industry so marketers can have the most effective strategy in place.”     The findings reveal an overall shift toward online marketing channels across all business categories. They also reveal that many smaller businesses still struggle to effectively measure ROI and conversion rates. Furthermore, social media is by far the hardest channel for businesses to manage. “We’re seeing a large shift from offline to online because digital channels are more trackable and generally produce a higher ROI,” continued Lincoln. In the study, we also say clear divisions in the business size and type of digital marketing channel they liked the most. But overall, social media marketing seemed to be a big pain point for all marketers.” To view the full study visit Ignite Visibility (New Study) 300 Marketers Reveal Disruptive Shift In Digital Strategy – Ignite Visibility Study reveals key findings in how marketers will shift marketing dollars through 2021. Key analysts: Karen Schwartzman, Content Manager Ignite Visibility John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility In this study, Ignite Visibility interviewed 300 marketers categorized by business sizes of under 1 million, 1 to 5 million, 5 to 10 million, 10 to 20 million,…   Blogging remains as the top content marketing strategy 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. The most successful marketers spend 40% of their total marketing budget on content marketing. The average for all respondents is 26%. Content marketing revenue will exceed $300 billion by 2019. Here are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to content and email marketing. Limited internal resources 28%, lack of strategy 28% and lack of content 23%.     Paid Search and Mobile Marketing As of July 2018, 90.46% of people use Google as a search engine. Bing is 3.13% and Yahoo is 2.21%. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. 18% of local searches done on mobile devices lead to a sale within a day. In 2017, 48% of 1,200 global digital marketers say on-page SEO is still considered to be the most effective SEO tactic.     Facebook Advertising There are now more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook...
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5 Authentic Ways to Make Money With Your Blog

5 Authentic Ways to Make Money With Your Blog
5 Authentic Ways to Make Money With Your Blog One reason that so many people want to work from their homes is that there is no need for a large financial investment to begin an online business. One doesn’t need to invest heavily in product development. Those who have expertise in almost anything can begin by simply writing an e-book and promoting it or obtaining a website and promoting products that are produced by others.   Think of the people who promote products that are produced by others as the “modern version of the old door-to-door salesman” except instead of knocking on one door at a time they knock on the doors of millions of people at the same time by way of the Internet. The Internet isn’t called “The Information Super Highway” for nothing. A person can make a very good living selling nothing but information on it. The populations of every industrialized nation in the world have learned that if you want to know anything about anything, you get on a computer and ask the question. They have also learned that you must pay for special information and they are more than willing to do just that. A person who has special knowledge of a subject and could be considered a ‘guru’ has a market for selling that information on the Internet. All that needs to be done is to set up a website, publish the information, advertise and sell the information. I have categorised blog revenue generation through five main categories: AFFILIATES ADS SERVICES SPONSORED POSTS PRODUCTS AFFILIATES Did you know – You can make money from affiliates on day 1 after you launch your blog! Most large companies have affiliate programs and when you sign up, you get a special link. If someone makes a purchase through your special link you stand to get a commission. These commissions range from a few pennies to over $100.  AFFILIATES I have compiled a list of popular companies that offer authentic affiliate programs: Amazon – You can recommend any product on Amazon and if your reader makes a purchase through your link, you get a commission. ShareASale Flexoffers Commission Junction Rakuten eBay Affibank Shutterfly Target Toys R Us StitchFix Bloomingdales BigLots Walmart TJMaxx Burlington Dillards Macys Clickbank You have to make a call as to which affiliate program will suit your content niche and apply accordingly. So that you can seamlessly integrate the ads that will compliment your blog content. ADS When you build traffic to your blog you can get a steady stream of income from banners and advertisements on your blog. They are super easy to setup, but you need a fair amount of traffic to make money from this option. Google Ads Mediavine Sovrn AdThrive SERVICES There are numerous methods to offer your service online. From virtual voice lessons to exercise classes! Many bloggers do consulting or social media management to make money online. If you are a beginner, you could become a virtual assistant for a pro blogger and learn all there is to blogging while you are getting paid. Okay.. now the list  of services you can consider… Virtual Assistant Consulting- in the area of your expertise Freelance Writer Proof-reading Online Coach Home Décor Personal Assistant Online Personal Stylist Facebook Live Exercise Classes (Instagram is a great way to collect subscriptions for your Facebook Page.) Voice Lessons (Use Skype or Google Hangout) Virtual Party Planner Cooking Assistant/ Recipe Reader Sleep Training For Babies Breastfeeding Support Group Working Mothers Coach and Motivator Healthy Living Coach Personal Diet Mentor Yoga or Pilates Live Classes List of Email Marketing Services Please understand that intelligent blogging first...
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How to Optimize Your Social Media Strategy

How to Optimize Your Social Media Strategy
Social media platforms have given marketers the chance to spread brand awareness, maintain brand loyalty, and attract new customers. Using sites like Instagram and Twitter in this way requires a proper strategy, though.   As anyone advertising on Facebook or another platform knows, your primary goal is to boost revenue. By focusing on social media optimization, you can leverage these services to their full potential.   The Benefits of Social Media Optimization Optimizing your social media presence lets you establish your brand as authoritative and trustworthy. Also, social media makes it simple to reach many customers in one place. Using these platforms to target specific audiences allows your marketing team to drive more relevant traffic to your site. Therefore, you lower your risk of attracting users who may not be interested in your services. However, it’s important to understand that some myths about social media optimization can prevent you from taking full advantage of all it has to offer. For example, although anyone can create a Facebook or Instagram account and post for free, you won’t get ideal results without spending some money on advertising. You will need to invest funds, time, and additional resources when implementing a campaign.   Second, don’t make the mistake of assuming all social media platforms are equal. Each offers its own unique set of benefits. For instance, Snapchat is helpful for reaching a Millennial audience, whereas LinkedIn is more useful for B2B marketing.   Finally, don’t fall prey to the belief that simply creating strong content is enough to attract followers and grow your social media presence. Great content is just the first step. To truly succeed, you need to find ways to promote it effectively.   How to Get Your Content Noticed Social media marketers have learned to prioritize engagement over reach when determining how well a campaign performs. Reaching a large number of potential customers isn’t very helpful if those users don’t also actively engage with your content. That’s why you need to focus on understanding what type of content would best catch the attention of your target audience. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself what style of posts you would find valuable and interesting if you were in their position.   You should also consider what mediums you’ll rely on. For instance, video and image-based posts tend to perform well because they are more likely to capture a user’s attention than just text alone.   However, the actual content of a post remains important. It should speak to your target customer in their own language and provide a genuinely entertaining and educational experience. For instance, if you’re marketing a startup that helps users choose outfits, sharing content about fashion trends would be a smart way of appealing to your audience.   The Importance of Being Social Social media is powerful from a marketing perspective because it gives brands the chance to truly interact with customers. That’s why it’s a good idea to think of your business’ social media account the same way you do your personal account. Like other people’s posts, share others’ content, leave comments on other pages when appropriate, and generally focus on cultivating real relationships with your followers.   That’s the key distinction that makes social media unique when compared to other marketing channels. Yes, it certainly does give you the opportunity to target specific types of users and share content in a wide range of formats.   Most importantly, though, it lets you relate to customers on an equal level. The impact this has on brand loyalty is well worth the initial effort you put into designing a proper strategy....
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8 Ideas For Profitable Ecommerce Niches Right Now

8 Ideas For Profitable Ecommerce Niches Right Now
8 Ideas For Profitable Ecommerce Niches Right Now Image credit: Pexels Choosing an ecommerce niche can be very difficult, but if you can find the right one, it can prove extremely profitable. There are hundreds of potential niches out there and millions of products that you could sell, so you need to commit time and attention to finding one or two to focus on. Prioritization is essential for entrepreneurs. Niche products are easier to market than general products because you can target a very particular group of people with less competition to contend with. You see fewer leads overall, but the vastly-improved conversion rates more than make up for that. Source: ecomdash   Not sure where to start? Here are 8 strong ideas for profitable ecommerce niches that you can use for inspiration. Athleisure wear The word ‘athleisure’ first entered common parlance a few years ago, and it looks set to stick around. Athleisure wear, as the name suggests, encompasses items of clothing that are suitable for both athletic and leisure activities: if you’ve ever been out to brunch in your gym gear, you’ve rocked the athleisure look. Within this category you can sell everything from yoga pants and sports bras to running shoes, all in a wide variety of colors and prints. Athleisure wear interest levels. Source: Google Trends    Millennials are the usual targets for athleisure wear, with a fairly even customer split of 60% women and 40% men. Because the products are centered on fashion, visual channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and especially Instagram are excellent platforms to grow your brand. Buy it for life (BIFL) People are growing tired of buying cheap, low-quality products, and are getting interested in conscious buying — something targeted through buy it for life products. The emphasis here is on high-quality, durable items that aren’t cheap but will last for a long time. As we become aware of the negative impacts of consumerism in our throwaway culture, we are finding ourselves more willing to spend money on things that won’t break within a few months. Source: The Good Human   While the buy it for life niche automatically means fewer return customers and fewer products sold overall, selling premium products offers a better margin. In addition, buy it for life offers the valuable opportunity to build your brand with a great story, which will help you connect with customers and keep them loyal. Night masks Night masks are a good niche to target because they offer a solution to a persistent problem: needing to block out excess light so you can get a better night’s sleep. Night masks can be broken down into three main customer segments: sensitive sleepers, travellers, and beauty fans. This means you can sell related products alongside them, such as relaxing lavender oil, travel pillows, or skin care products, depending on which group you are targeting. Night masks Source: Google Trends    Good sleep is very important for a variety of reasons, and always will be, so this is a niche that isn’t just a passing fad. Shapewear It has been reported that the shapewear market is expected to leap to $5.6 million in sales by 2022, so now is a great time to start establishing your brand within this niche. Shapewear is worn underneath your clothes and creates a sleeker and slimmer silhouette. For many years it has been associated purely with lingerie, but there are now many different cuts and styles that can be worn under everything from cocktail dresses to pairs of jeans and t-shirts. Source: SmartThingz   Shapewear offers you plenty of versatility as a retailer, and can be sold alongside everything from...
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