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Local SEO Tips For Small Businesses

SEO (search engine optimization) has dominated digital marketing in 2018 and will no doubt continue to do so in 2019. SEO is equally important for small businesses as it is for the world’s biggest brands.

For small businesses with a local presence such as a physical storefront, or simply a customer base in a specific geographical area, local SEO is particularly important. Figures show that 97% of customers search for a local business online. This means that having a strong online presence and ranking highly on search results can make a huge difference in capturing customers and revenue.

In this article we will cover top tips for improving your local SEO to help you to grow your business in 2019.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the practice of improving your online presence to rank in searches on Google, Google Maps, and other search engines and directories around a specific geographic location. This could be a city, suburb, district or general geographical area. Refining local SEO can help businesses to generate sales leads and attract customers in their local area, and when done well is extremely effective in standing out from the competition.

Keywords

Whether for local, national or global SEO, using the right keywords is extremely important (though not the whole picture, as we’ll cover later in this article). With 40,000 Google searches conducted every second, the purpose of SEO is demonstrating to Google that your site is the most relevant to the search query.

The number one factor that Google looks for in determining relevance is keywords. Therefore finding the strongest keywords which will mean your business reaches the most number of customers. This means reaching not only any users, but those most relevant to your business, who are most likely to purchase your goods and services. For local SEO this means a combination of location-based keywords and other keywords relevant to your target audience. You should determine  these through keyword research using tools like Moz, SEMrush, Answer the Public or  Ahrefs.

Online Listings

Online listings are an extremely important part of local SEO, and Google My Business is arguably the most important platform. It is essential for all small businesses to ensure they have a current, complete and accurate listing on Google My Business to improve their ranking on Google Maps and other apps, as well as Google search results more broadly. Having lots of reviews on Google also increases your ranking, so be sure to encourage your customers and contacts to give you a positive review.

Other online listings are also important for local SEO. Having a presence on these directories can not only drive more organic traffic to your business, but it also strengthens your online presence and therefore improves local SEO. It is a good idea for local businesses to register for as many online directories as possible: the most popular directories such as Yelp.com, Better Business Bureau and Yell.com in the UK should be a priority, as well as any influential directories specific to your area or your sector. Make sure that you have complete and up-to-date listings in each. It is also important for Google ranking purposes that the information in each listing is exactly the same, and exactly matches the name, address and phone number shown on your website.

On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is an important process, and involves making sure all pages and posts on your site are doing everything possible to encourage Google to rank your site highly in results. When Google is deciding which results to rank first, it will check (“crawl”) pages to determine which are the most relevant to the search. The search engine looks at certain parts on the page in particular when deciding how relevant it is to the user’s search.

One of these key aspects is the SEO title: that is, the title of your page or post which appears on the Google search results, which is also the title shown at the top of the page’s tab on a web browser.

The second important element is the page or post’s title as it appears at the top of the page (also known as the H1 heading), and the page’s permalink or URL. Be sure to include as many primary keywords as possible in all three of these elements, and long tail keywords if possible. Other important elements to prime with keywords are subheadings and alt-tags (alternative text descriptions) on images.

Link Building

As previously mentioned, Google looks not only for post relevance but also signs that your site is authoritative and reputable in determining rankings on its SERPs. Backlinks, or links back to your site from other well-known and reputable sites, are a key way to demonstrate that your site is authoritative, and along with keywords one of the two top ranking factors on Google.

You can build backlinks by creating valuable, useful and informative content which is relevant to your audience. By producing valuable content, you will encourage other sites to link to your site, although this is rather a long-term strategy. You can actively build backlinks through a PR strategy involving approaching online publications and sites and pitching guest articles or other content. These types of link building techniques are highly effective in both boosting local SEO and driving organic traffic via other sites and blogs.

Citations and within your site can also demonstrate to Google that your site is reputable, improving your rankings. Include citations (links from your site to sources) for any information, quotes or figures you give, as well as products and companies you mention in your content. Building internal links within your site (links to other pages and posts within the same domain) will also improve SEO. This is because internal links make it easier for Google to navigate or “crawl” your site.

Implementing these local SEO tips and techniques can make a world of difference. By building a great local SEO strategy you can bring more traffic to your site, attract potential customers, boost revenue and grow your business in 2019.

Guest Post: About the Author

Tom Buckland is a digital marketing and Amazon seller consultant specializing in technical SEO. He’s the founder of Cardiff-based digital marketing agency HQ SEO in the UK and loves helping businesses profit through smart digital marketing strategies.

Three Strategic Ways to Help Your Online Content Perform Better

One of the most effective and affordable ways to get your business to show up in Google search results is by including content in your marketing strategy. When potential customers search for restaurants, hair salons or body shops, you want your company to come up on the first page of Google, otherwise you will have a very difficult generating new traffic to your website.

Content is not only advantageous for new business acquisition, but for customer retention, as well. Offering your existing customers value through informative, educational and engaging articles and blogs will help them stay connected with and loyal to your brand.

Some business owners get disappointed when they don’t see any results from their content, but that is likely because they are not optimizing it to help it perform. Follow the three strategies below to help your content perform better and increase traffic to your site.

Keywords

Keywords are specific words or terms that search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, utilize to help online visitors connect with your site. Examples of keywords include:

  • Los Angeles hair salon
  • Restaurant family deals
  • Affordable wedding photographer

If you are not utilizing keywords in your content, you should change that starting today. In order to discover what keywords your potential customers are searching for, you need to utilize tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner. This is a completely free website that will help you find keywords related to your offerings, and inform you about how many people search for the terms and what the competition is for them.

Your goal is to find keywords with the highest search volumes and the lowest competition, which will help new customers find you more efficiently online.

Social Media Promotion

Your social media business accounts are the perfect place to promote your blogs and articles. Many content management systems, such as WordPress, allow you to automatically connect your social media accounts to the system, publishing content that you post across social media.

This easy strategy will go a long way in helping you get more eyes on your content without much effort on your part. Your content will also help set you up as an authority figure on social media, giving you the opportunity to educate your followers about your latest products, as well as sharing product reviews, how-to videos and industry-related advice.

Promoting your content on social media will allow your followers to share it with their circle of friends, thus giving you free marketing. Plus, your followers will be able to comment on your content, asking questions or stating their opinions, which will improve your communication with your customers and show them that you are committed to bringing them utmost value.

Cross Linking

Search engine optimization (SEO) is necessary to help your content rank better. Cross linking is an imperative strategy that you must learn to implement if you want to generate traffic to your site.

Cross linking means creating different links that point back to your website, which helps Google see your page as having more authority, thus directing more traffic to it.

There are several ways to generate links to your side, including searching for content that is similar to yours online, and leaving a comment with a link to your article.  For example, if you wrote an article about easy ways to french braid your hair, you can Google other articles about hairdos, and leave a comment for the readers saying that you wrote an article about french braiding that may be interesting to them, then adding that link.

Another way to attain this goal is to search for other websites in your niche, and contact the administrator asking them to link to your article in their content. This usually works if your article can add value to theirs.

Alternatively, you can offer to swap links, adding another site’s link to your content and asking the administrator to do the same.

The three ways mentioned in this article are essential to get your content to perform better. You may also consider hiring a professional SEO strategist to advise you on efficient ways of generating new traffic to your site.  If you need financial assistance with this goal, IOU Financial can help you secure an easy and fast small business loan of up to $300,000. Contact us today and get funded within 24 to 48 hours.

5 Reasons Why SEO is so Important for Small Business

Small businesses nowadays have difficulty in keeping up with larger corporations for a number of reasons, which include inadequate experience of market dynamics. However, they have some quite interesting advantages that keep them afloat. The advent of SEO has partly levelled the playing ground in order to make small business more visible amid giant companies. But for you to profitably utilize SEO for your small business, you should be fully aware of its importance and significance for a small business. That’s what this piece seeks to discuss.

SEO and its significance in modern business

SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is a strategy you can implement in order to qualitatively and quantitatively improve search engine traffic to your website. If properly implemented, SEO can help you rate your webpage higher in organic search engine results. In our modern market where 81% of buyers conduct their product research on internet and 89% of consumers engage search engines before settling for their choice product, you can’t afford to joke with SEO in your business.

Advantages of SEO in business

  • SEO is the major source of website traffic and it helps business to bypass some competition.
  • It is a form of free advert, it is therefore cost effective.
  • SEO can help businesses to build trust and credibility which will in turn add value to such businesses.
  • SEO can be measured easily. Some of the attributes you can measure in your SEO include; organic traffic, website ranking, conversion and the source of conversion etc.

Disadvantages of SEO

  • SEO requires long time to achieve desired results.
  • For businesses in highly competitive niches, effective SEO might require more investment.
  • SEO doesn’t provide full control for businesses.

5 Reasons why SEO implementation is beneficial for small businesses

Despite the challenges associated with SEO, there are still numerous success stories out there. Aside being “a free advert” which small businesses can leverage on, SEO could help consumers to locate small businesses in the “internet crowd”. As a startup, SEO could be your only affordable stepping stone to your target audience. The following are the reasons why well-implemented SEO is beneficial to small businesses.

1. SEO can provide users with a better experience

Every business owner wants a good level of ranking and effective visibility. Most people fail to realize that having a good user experience is a big step in getting there. A good example of a strong user experience is how Google has become the most sought-after search engine. A good SEO adds a memorable experience for users, which in turn works in favor of the brand.

2. SEO improves the purchase cycle

Using SEO strategies in relaying your message and the increase in the dependability of your services would definitely put you in a good spot with your customers. It will improve the purchase cycle when practiced in the right way. This is a major benefit from the buyer’s and seller’s perspective.

3. SEO improves business visibility and branding

When customers check online for products and services, they expect to find websites where their needs can be met. There have been testimonies from various people who easily found their way to EssaysOnTime via search engine, just at the right time they urgently needed their academic tasks done. If your webpage can continually appear in search results, it means you are gaining more potential customers.

4. SEO offers your business a wider coverage

It gives you the avenue to sell to people outside your comfort zone when they are looking for products that your business provides. You don’t have to pay for spaces in magazines and newspapers. It beats all forms of traditional advertisement. You just come up when they are looking for businesses like yours. Even if you’re in a competitive industry, you can still standout using the right SEO strategies. For example, Emerson’s PHP development website was able to rank as number one, despite using a competitive keyword and being a new website. This is just one of the numerous SEO success stories achieved through appropriate strategies.

5. SEO helps you keep insight on your customers

Google Analytics is a tool that helps you monitor the traffic your customers generate, the language they speak, how they search and browse. This helps you make timely and informed decisions about your business and your techniques.

Conclusion

A developing business has a lot of space to flourish, and SEO constitutes a significant part of this space because of the numerous opportunities it offers. The benefits of adopting SEO in running a small business include the increased awareness, better user experience and improved purchase cycle. Therefore, you would be enhancing your small business the most cost-effective way, if you utilize the opportunities SEO has to offer.

Guest Post: About the Author

Jacob Dillon is a professional writer and distinctive journalist from Sydney. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook Trends for 2019 to Optimize Your Business Page

Nowadays, businesses are highly focusing on social media marketing. The right platforms help them to reach to a wider community at a lower budget.

One of the most popular platforms is Facebook, which had 2.23 billion monthly active users from 2008 to 2018. So, small and big businessman target Facebook business pages as an integral part of their marketing strategy to reach out to a huge audience.

Does your business have a social presence on Facebook? If not, setting up Facebook pages for business can get you a noticeable entrepreneurial hike within a few days.

As we enter 2019 in a few months, you should know about the latest Facebook trends.

Innovative Visual Content

You might have heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. So be sure to use compelling graphics in your Facebook posts. Use images, videos, and GIFs to spruce up your timeline. Visuals are more attractive and can convey the message you are trying to communicate in less time.

GIFs are an amazing medium for building a Facebook business page. It not only stands out from static images but also requires less of a monetary investment compared to videos, carousel, and lead ads.

Frequent Posts on Facebook Live and Stories

Apart from your Facebook page, you can use Facebook live and stories to keep your audience updated about your business. In fact, this is a more trending way as live content drives three times more engagement on Facebook.

This feature is all about showcasing the content regarding and what is happening presently. By going live, you can engage with a lot of people on the spot thereby increasing your business authenticity and popularity in the audience’s eyes. People simply love to see live streaming of events, product launch, office fun, etc.

Expanding Your Store on the Facebook Shop

If you have a robust Facebook community, setting up a Facebook store should be your next move. It helps your customers get whatever they are looking for. Moreover, there are functional plugins available at Knowband for Prestashop and Magento store that let you connect your Facebook shop with the Facebook business page.

This feature leads the visitors directly to your store thereby increasing the conversion rate. It also automatically updates the Facebook store, when you make changes on your store.

A CTA Button on the Business Page

Facebook keeps changing its algorithms to personalize what users see in their feed. The call-to-action is one such feature which helps you to drive action on your page. This feature can be placed below the cover image of your Facebook business page.

It helps to send traffic to your website, direct messages, signups and more. You have a range of options to add including shopping, booking, learning, or getting in touch. You can link this button to any destination on or off Facebook. Make sure your page’s call-to-action is linked with your preferred activity.

Continuous Rise of Facebook Ads 

You might feel that Facebook ads are not effective to optimize your business, but they are more worthy than you think. According to Sprout Social research on Facebook Advertising, about 3 million businesses use Facebook advertising to market their business.

The advantage of using this means to advertise is that you get to target a specific audience by selecting factors like demographics, age, interest, and many other options. Facebook ads  are a good medium if you want to run a PPC (pay per click) campaign to reach a targeted audience to maximize your business recognition. Also, planning your Facebook ads campaign before setting up Facebook for business is advisable.

Among the 2 billion Facebook users, one-third regularly engage with brands on Facebook. So plan your Facebook marketing techniques in accordance with these Facebook trends to optimize and build a Facebook business page. Moreover, make sure you are analyzing the traffic coming to your page to plan your future marketing strategies.

Guest Post: About the Author

Sanket Patel is Founder & Director of www.blurbpointmedia.com, an SEO, and digital marketing company. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. He is an expert in Web marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Affiliate Marketing, B2B Marketing, Online Advertisement of Google, Yahoo and MSN. Connect on Twitter.

How Restaurant Owners Can Create an Effective Marketing Budget

Your restaurant may serve fabulous food at unbeatable prices, but it’s all for naught if no one knows about it. That’s why restaurant owners need to create a marketing plan and give it a budget big enough to be effective while not so big as to squander your money.

The rule of thumb for restaurant marketing is 3% to 6% of sales. These are really guidelines rather than rules, but if you are outside the range, you should have a good explanation. If your restaurant is struggling, it’s all too easy to shortchange the marketing budget. Many good things can be done on a shoestring marketing budget, but don’t expect it to match the results of a well-funded campaign.

Throwing too much money into marketing is not only wasteful, it’s wrongheaded. The reason your restaurant is successful is because it’s a good business, and all that marketing does is make that success easier. You should be able to get your marketing message out on a 6% budget, although you might temporarily spend more for a short-term public relation campaign.

In all cases, it’s vital to measure your marketing return on investment (ROI), that is, the profit contribution of your marketing budget divided by marketing spending. The formula for marketing ROI is:

Marketing ROI = [Incremental Revenue Attributable to Marketing * Contribution Margin – Marketing Spending] / Marketing Spending

For example, suppose your restaurant undertakes an advertising campaign with a budget of $10,000 and shortly thereafter notices an increase in revenue of $50,000. This creates an ROI factor of 5.0. Now suppose the contribution margin (i.e. the  price of meal minus all associated variable costs for the meal) is 60% — that’s the incremental profit earned by each meal served, on average. Given the 60% incremental contribution and the $50,000 increment of increased revenue, we figure the margin ROI to be 0.60 x $50,000, or $30,000. Now subtract the marketing spending of $10,000 and divide the result by the same $10,000:

Marketing ROI = [$50,000 * 60% – $10,000] / $10,000 = 2,

This shows that every dollar spent on the advertising campaign generates $2 to net profits. In other words, it’s a good deal. If you spent appreciably more the $10,000 on marketing, your ROI would decline, making the investment less efficient.

Perhaps this sounds a little fancy for your restaurant, but it’s a good way to make sure you aren’t wasting your budget on inefficient marketing.

Other factors to consider when budgeting your marketing efforts include:

  • Spending less during the offseason and more during the busy season. There is no use investing heavily in marketing during months when all your customers are at the beach or the ski slopes.
  • Thinking imaginatively about promoting your restaurant through ads, websites, emails, signage, social media, brand awareness, and interesting web content.
  • Don’t let a sudden cash crunch stifle your marketing budget. Remember, IOU Financial is all about shoring up your working capital quickly and affordably. You can apply a loan from us to keep your marketing program chugging along on all cylinders as you work through your cash problems. Remember, those problems will only get worse if your customer volume dries up.

By committing to your marketing budget and continually measuring its effectiveness, you can ensure that you spend the optimal amount promoting your great restaurant. Bon appétit!

Starting a Home-Based Business: What You Need to Know

Starting a home-based business takes a lot of hard work, but for millions of Americans, it really pays off. More and more people are discovering the possibilities of being small business owners on their own terms as the nine-to-five workday increasingly becomes a thing of the past. Even large companies are hiring freelancers who can work remotely in order to save on costs, from insurance to office space.

Growing a business from your home can be extremely lucrative and rewarding, but it has to start with careful planning in order to work. Not only do you have to be very focused and have goals set from the beginning, you also have to remain motivated throughout the process of garnering clients and expanding your business. Fortunately, there are several tools at your disposal, from websites to grants and other funding opportunities.

Keep reading to find out how you can start a home-based business and what you need to succeed.

Know Your Stuff

Before you start thinking about the details, it’s important to look at big-picture things first. You’ll want to be very knowledgeable when it comes to the area you want your business to be in, and you’ll need some experience, too. Very few entrepreneurs have found success with a business that they’ve never worked with before. For instance, if you want to become a consultant, you need to be well educated in whatever area you want to consult in, acquire the right licenses and certifications, and stay patient as you grow your business. Keeping realistic expectations is imperative for entrepreneurs.

Hire the Right Help

Depending on the nature of your business, it may be in your best interest to hire people to get yourself up and running, and keep it operating as a successful venture once it’s fully launched. Even if you plan an independent business that you fully oversee, ask yourself if there are people you can recruit to make you stand out among the competition. For example, if you’re going to be selling handmade works of art on a site like Etsy, should you hire a professional photographer to take eye-catching photos of your products? Has your company grown so successful that you need a second (or third or fourth) set of hands to help you create your crafts? Think about what types of employees will take your business to the next level, and then start lining up interviews. Be sure you’ve adequately prepared yourself on the job interview process by doing your research on what to ask, what you can’t legally inquire about, and what to look for in a candidate.

Stay Productive

One of the hardest things about running your own business is having to stay productive all the time on your own, with no one to motivate you. You have to be your own cheerleader, which means it’s extra important to create a space in which you can work efficiently. This includes setting up a home office without distractions and making the most of natural lighting, which can boost your energy and keep things running smoothly. It’s also important to make sure you have the right equipment for the jobs you’ll be doing; you can’t expect success if you don’t start with the right tools.

Network

Starting a home-based business usually means you can make your own schedule and set your own rules, but it also means a lot of solitude and not much time spent checking out other businesses. Networking is important to entrepreneurs because it allows them to make connections with like-minded people that could be useful now or down the road, and it also provides a support system that is helpful in the first few years of owning a business. Get online and create a web presence on social media; Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all great places to start. You can also check out conventions and similar businesses that are local.

Keep Your Personal and Business Lives Separate

It can sometimes be difficult to separate your personal and business lives, especially if your office is inside your home, but it’s imperative that you do everything you can to draw a line between the two. This means having separate bank accounts, keeping different sets of books, and making sure your tax liabilities are taken care of. Getting organized and keeping excellent records will help, as will having business credit cards and email addresses.

Starting a home-based business can be a very lucrative venture for you, but only if you put in the work. Start with a solid plan — talk to someone who’s been doing it for a while to get some advice — and use all the tools at your disposal to build up your company.

Guest Post: About the Author

Brittany has spent over 20 years as a CPA, and is writing a book about financial literacy. She also runs Financiallywell.info.

Looking to start a business? Be sure your budget is in order with our Business Budget Smart Sheet available for FREE download!

2019 Social Media Trends Businesses Need to Plan For

If there is one thing that business owners should know for certain, it’s that there’s no certainty in today’s world. Technological advances, shorter product life cycles, and shifting consumer demands create changes and surprises that business owners need to be ready for.

A key part to growing and sustaining businesses today is social media. These platforms allow owners to connect with millions of possible customers worldwide. As this field is constantly being innovated, it’s advantageous for companies to prepare for social media trends in 2019 to stay innovative and relevant in their niches.

Increased Integration

In today’s fast world, people expect quick and seamless service, which is why all businesses should focus on creating the most seamless user experiences for their customers. In 2019, more and more companies will focus on social media integration, allowing customers to register for website access, sign up for email lists and more using their social media accounts.

Business owners should consider updating their websites and apps to allow new users to register with just one click through their social media account instead of filling out a long form. This step can help you increase your followers and connect better with your customer base.

More Video

The way businesses connect with users on social media is shifting from written to video content. Over half of all social media users watch videos, with that number climbing consistently.

Video is beneficial because it allows businesses to showcase their products and services, provide how-to guides and reviews. Social media users can form an emotional connection with the brand through video when they feel like the content is valuable to them.

Live video, especially, is becoming an important feature for marketing. Businesses can use this opportunity to share events, sales and new product announcements in real time.

Customized Marketing

In 2019, companies will finetune their marketing with customized strategies. Not only does content need to differ across channels to offer exclusive deals and stories, but business owners should focus on creating custom personas to cater to different demographics.

Whether you own a restaurant, a hair salon or an auto repair shop, customizing your outreach to target different audiences is key. Using insights from social media analytics, you can create customer personas depending on demographics such as age, gender, shopping patterns, income, etc., and create content tailored to those interests and needs.

Chatbots

Customers are demanding instant communication from the companies they shop with, and social media is no exception. While you may not have the budget to offer 24/7 customer service representatives for social media, you can invest in chatbots to solve this problem.

Chatbots are computer programs that mimic actual conversations. Companies can use them to answer questions, troubleshoot and even allow customers to book services and make purchases. With one estimate that 25% of the world will use messaging apps by the end of 2019, integrating chatbots into social media’s direct messaging services should be a priority.

Setting aside a budget to integrate social media trends into your operations is key to staying innovative. IOU Financial can help you with this goal by offering easy and fast small business loans. We can instantly pre-approve you and fund your loan of up to $300,000 in 24-48 hours!

How to Promote Your Brand and at the Same Time Do Nothing

Branding is a diligent and time-consuming process. You may hire an entire team to do it for you, but you’ll have to be involved in one way or another. As a business owner, you might be wondering: is there a way to make branding easier, so you can focus on the business itself?

Let’s see. We’ll suggest few ways on how to promote your brand without doing anything complicated

Start a Blog

As any other smart business owner, you already covered the website part, right? You absolutely need to establish the brand’s online presence. When people are interested to buy your products or services, they are going to search for them online.

But did you implement a blog section on the website?

Blogging is a crucial element of search engine optimization. Mark Roberts, part of the marketing team at Essay On Time, explains that: “When someone searches for a product or service you want to sell, Google will show them high-quality results. Google evaluates websites according to many factors, but content is the main one. The blog gives you tons of space to provide such content, which would appear in the first page of results and attract target customers your way.”

But we were talking about promoting a business without making much effort right? Blogging seems like a lot of effort. It won’t be if you hire the right people. You may count on freelancers or writing agencies.

Start an Affiliate Program

You don’t have much time to promote your business? Why don’t you let the customers promote it for you? When you start an affiliate program, each customer will get benefits, such as discounts or free packages.

Payoneer, for example, is an online payment service that has such a program. For every new user that signs up through the affiliate link, the user who recommended it gets an actual payment. If that’s too advanced for you, you can offer simple discounts and free products for each referral.

The best part is that you just develop the program and it works for you. You’ll be gaining new customers by the day.

Giveaways!

Before someone decides to buy a product or service from you, they will want to read a review. It’s no wonder why people are so obsessed with Amazon reviews. They want to be sure they are spending their money on something valuable.

But how do you get enough reviews when your business is still new? Giveaways!

Organize contests with valuable prizes: product packages or yearly subscription to your service. Ask the winners to share their honest experience, and feature those reviews at your website.

Connect with Influencers

Since you cannot engage in all activities needed for the promotion of your brand, you need people who will promote it for you. Social media influencers! That’s what you should be thinking at this point.

When you connect with influencers on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms, you’ll make a deal. You’ll send them a free package of products or provide a subscription to your service free of charge. Most influencers will require a payment, too. What you get in return is promotion in front of thousands of people.

These are social media users who have a huge base of followers. When you gain such exposure, it will be a matter of time before your brand becomes big.

When engaging in influencer marketing, it’s important to target influencers with relevant interests to what your brand provides. You want to target an audience that would buy from you. So choose your influencers wisely.

See? Branding is not that big of a deal, after all. Of course; you have to make an effort to make the process successful, but some aspects can run smoothly without major involvement on the part of the business owner. Hopefully, the above-listed tips will make the branding process simpler for you.

Guest Post: About the Author

Terence Murray is a journalist and an editor from London. He loves to meet new people and talks with them about literature, photography and jazz music. Join him on Facebook and Google+

Want to invest in better branding? IOU can help you get the funds you need to get started with up to $300,000 in as little as 24 hours.

How Newsletters Can Help You Retain Customers

How do you turn a one time client into a repeat customer? This is the question every single business owner needs to ask themselves.

Attracting a new client has a certain acquisition price attached to it—how much you spend on advertising and marketing to make a sale. However, successful businesses are the ones that figured out a strategy to keep the customers coming back time and time again.

The trick to promoting customer loyalty is engagement, and one of the best ways to promote engagement is with a company newsletter.

Newsletter Definition

A newsletter is either physical, or more commonly, digital periodic content that a company distributes to its customers. You choose what to put in the newsletter, but typically it contains product-specific articles, coupons, deals, new product announcements and more.

A contact list is required to distribute the newsletter, which means that businesses should collect their customers’ email addresses online or at a brick-and-mortar location.

Benefits of Utilizing a Newsletter

There are numerous advantages that set apart businesses that distribute newsletters from those that don’t, including:

  • Increased sales—when customers are alerted to new products or sales, they are more likely to make a purchase.
  • Customer loyalty—when you upkeep regular communication with your customers, your brand stays fresh in their mind and they don’t forget you.
  • Customer trust—when you share relevant and educational content with your customers, they start viewing you as an expert and trust your recommendations.
  • Cost effective—a digital newsletter is free to create and distribute, which is a cost effective marketing strategy.
  • Trackable—online software allows you to analyze how many people opened your newsletter, and whether they took any actions (clicked a link, visited a website, made a purchase).

Three Tips for Creating an Effective Company Newsletter

It’s important to remember that your customers typically get dozens of new emails in their inboxes, so you must take steps to encourage them to open and read your newsletter. Follow these tips to create a truly effective newsletter:

Research

You want to create a unique newsletter that offers your readers tips and advice they can’t find anywhere else. However, how do you know what’s out there without doing research? Subscribe to your competitors’ newsletters to see what content they are disseminating, what you can learn from them and what you can improve on.

Do research in your industry to read about the latest developments to see what you can share to educate your customers and set yourself up as an authority figure.

Keep it Simple

Don’t get overly excited about the opportunity to connect with your readers; instead, decide on the angle you want to cover in each newsletter. Don’t bombard your customers with too much content, but focus on a specific topic (individual product or service, how to guide, a review, etc.) and then organize your newsletter around that.

Avoid Being Too Salesy

Although the main goal of the newsletter is to increase sales, don’t give that fact away to your readers. While  you want to promote your brand, focus on the educational aspect first. A good balance is 90% educational and 10% promotional, which would provide the ultimate value to your readers.

You may want to invest in software in order to create professional and unique layouts and formats for your newsletter. It may be advantageous to hire a professional copywriter and designer to create graphics and images. If you need help with affording this venture, IOU Financial is ready to help. We offer convenient and fast small business loans of up to $300,000 in under 48 hours. Click here to learn more!

Advanced Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Today, with the huge number of small businesses coming up every day, all small business owners are looking for ways to stand out. Although no one can predict what the future of businesses holds, no one wants to fall under those businesses that fail after a few months of operating.

In this internet era, no one can afford to ignore digital marketing. For your business to be on the edge of the competition, you must have effective strategies in place from the first day of launching your startup. This applies to every type of industry. A powerful strategy is one that takes advantage of social media and search engine optimization to drive traffic among other things.

But without the right tools, your digital marketing is as good as dead. Well, of course, some of these tools are free and some are paid, which means you will have to pay some amount of money annually to use them. Marketing tools are very helpful to both experts and beginners.

Some tools will help you to spy the competition to know your business rivalries’ strategies among other important things. Others will help you to identify the most searched phrases so that you can target people conducting those searches online.

In this post, we’ve prepared a list of advanced marketing tools for small businesses that have also been tried, tested and recommended by experts in the field.

Answer The Public

Answer The Public is one of the most popular tools recommended by professional assignment writers today. This is a free tool that will help you find out the topics and questions that people type on Google when searching for information. You just need to enter your main keyword that you want to rank for and the tool displays the topics and questions.

Once you’ve identified the topics and questions, you can then include it naturally throughout your content so that when Google crawls your site looking for the best information related to the topic searched, your site can rank better and thus being able to convert your website visitors to real customers since you will have answered their questions with your content already.

Google Keyword Planner

You want to launch a pay-per-click campaign, grab a Google Keyword Planner. This is a handy tool if you want to set up an AdWords campaign for your small business. The greatest feature of this tool is the search volume calculator that enables you to type in your keyword and the tool displays its search volume. You can also search keyword by location to see how many people are searching for the same keyword in your area.

Hootsuite

It’s not a question; social media plays a huge role in today’s digital marketing regardless of the size of your business or industry. Hootsuite saves you loads of time by planning your social media posts in advance. This tool is equipped with great features that will help you as you start your business. You can use it to accomplish many tasks such as:

  • Connecting with blogger and influencers in your industry.
  • Engaging your audience through a central dashboard and etc.

The good thing about Hootsuite is that you can use it to manage almost all your social media accounts in one place.

Google Analytics

This is one of the best and free tools from Google. When starting your business, analytics should be the first things to consider in your digital marketing strategy. It’s easy to add the Analytics code to your site and start to monitor the actions of your website visitors. Although many people term it as a traffic tool, it can do more than that, especially for your marketing strategy. For instance, you can be able to know the sources of your traffic.

Google Analytics is a tool that you should install in your site immediately you launch your business.

MailChimp

Email marketing is currently used by a large percent of B2B and B2C firms. Why should you be left out of this?

MailChimp boasts more than 14 million customers and this makes it one of the top email marketing providers currently. This tool has a free plan for users with less than 2,000 subscribers with a limit of 12,000 emails per month and a pro plan starting from $199/month. For a small startup, you can start with the free plan and advance to the other plans as your business grows.

HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the best tools for sales and marketing and is also the best CRM software out there. This tool helps you from attracting customers until when the customers make a purchase. It keeps your marketing funnel in a good working order. It is equiped with tools that help in creating landing pages as well as calls-to-action, SEO, blogging and more. In short, we can say that it is an all-in-one marketing software.

Canva

To spice up your marketing strategy, you need stunning images and, presentations and posters. Canva is your tool for that. It features excellent tools with guides which makes it easy to use for both experts and beginners.

Buffer

Buffer is another social media management tool that helps you to plan your social media posts to publish on various platforms in one place. It has a free version that allows you to schedule a minimum of 10 posts for every social media platform. You can also use the premium and analytics tools as well.

SEMrush

SEMrush is another best tool for monitoring and evaluating your site’s organic rankings although it’s free version is limited. However, the free version can still help you to improve your SEO.

TweetDeck

As the name suggests, TweetDeck is another great and free marketing tool for managing your Twitter profile. This tool allows you to manage your lists and tweets in the best possible way on Twitter.

Final Thoughts

To be sure of success in your digital marketing strategy, you need to use the right tools for the job. We hope that this list will help you choose a tool that will take your online marketing to the next level.

There are many tools apart from these, but we’ve selected a few of the most effective that have also been recommended by online markers worldwide.

Guest Post: About the Author

Lilian Chifley is an IT specialist, teacher, and blogger from Sydney. She loves to talk about artificial intelligence and modern education. You can find Lilian on Facebook and Twitter.