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Printing Marketing Collateral on a Budget: Tips, Tricks & More

You own a small business and you need printed marketing collateral. You have some great ideas for your business cards, flyers, brochures, and other materials, but there is just one problem: You are working with a very limited budget. Many business owners have faced this dilemma, so you certainly are not alone. The good news? You don’t have to have a million-dollar budget to create printed marketing materials that are both eye-catching and effective.

Whether you are a restaurant owner in need of new menus, a boutique owner in need of new signs for your displays, or a photographer in need of new postcards for your direct mail marketing campaign, you can save yourself a lot of money on the materials you need by printing them yourself.

Today’s printers—even many of the budget-friendly models—are capable of producing an impressive output. Whether you are working with a top-of-the-line laser printer or you have a simple desktop inkjet printer, you can make your own marketing materials at a fraction of the cost of hiring a pro. Here are a few tips and tricks for printing your own marketing collateral on a budget.

Keep It Simple

When you plan on printing your own marketing materials, it is best to keep them simple. This is especially true when you are designing your own materials without past design experience. If you use too many fonts, colors, or images, you risk creating collateral that is confusing or has a negative impact on your marketing strategy.

Keeping your design simple is the best way to ensure that your marketing collateral will look great and convey a clear message. If you are not confident in your ability to create an eye-catching design, there are plenty of affordable graphic designers on sites like Fiverr. Hiring a freelancer who is just starting out is a great way to get an amazing logo or a design for your marketing materials without spending a fortune.

Use the Right Paper

There are several different types of paper, and it is important to choose something that is well-suited to your project. You should also purchase high-quality paper stock to ensure that your collateral both looks and feels good. The quality of the paper you choose can create a lasting impression. The higher the quality, the better the impression you will make. If you use low-quality paper, you could create a negative perception of your brand, and that is the last thing you want your marketing materials to do.

Buy the Right Printer

The printer you use is just as important as the paper you are printing on if not more important. While you probably already have a printer, it may not be the best one for printing your own marketing collateral. Even if you are working with an extremely limited budget, purchasing a good printer is a worthwhile investment. Keep in mind that some printers do a great job of printing high-resolution photographs and graphics while others are perfect for producing text documents. Think carefully about what your marketing collateral looks like and what you need your printer to do.

For most businesses, an inkjet printer is a must-have when printing marketing collateral. They do a much better job of printing in color than laser printers, and they require a much smaller upfront investment. You may want to consider choosing a printer that uses pigment-based ink rather than dye-based ink. While cheaper, dye-based ink tends to fade faster, so it is not the best choice for creating marketing materials that last. Canon inkjet printers offer exceptional quality at reasonable prices.

Use the Right Ink

Purchasing ink that is designed to fit in your printer is, of course, vital. You may not have realized, though, that there are different types of ink that are intended for different projects. When you are printing marketing materials, your primary goal should be ensuring that each piece comes out looking crisp and perfect. To achieve this goal, you need to use the right ink. For starters, use OEM ink cartridges or remanufactured ink cartridges from a reputable manufacturer. Compatible ink cartridges are often acceptable, too, but you need to be careful when purchasing them. Read reviews and make sure the ones you purchase are sold by a third-party company that you can trust.

Adjust Your Printer Settings

Most printers have several settings that can be adjusted to ensure the best possible quality. Many devices allow you to quickly select between low-quality and high-quality output. While this is a good place to start, there are other settings that you need to pay attention to.

Select the type of paper you are using. This enables your printer to create the best quality output whether you are using plain printer paper, glossy paper, matte paper, etc. Also, select the correct size for the paper you are using. By doing this, you are ensuring that your printer can properly scale your design to fit on the paper you are using.

Do Test Prints

Before you set your printer to print a few hundred flyers, postcards, or any other type of marketing material, be sure to do a test print. While your design may look great on your computer screen, it may look totally different when your printer spits it out. Doing a test print provides an opportunity to find and correct any issues prior to running an entire stack of high-quality paper through your printer and wasting it. When you are working on a limited budget, the last thing you want to do is waste your materials.

Conclusion

Printing your own marketing collateral is a good way to save yourself a bundle and, thanks to the quality of today’s printers, it’s a project that anyone can tackle. With the right ink, printer, and paper, you can create business cards, postcards, flyers, brochures, and other materials that rival the quality of professionally printed documents at a fraction of the cost.

Guest Post: About the Author

Tania Longeau serves as the Head of Services for InkJet Superstore. Tania oversees a team of Operations and Customer Service Reps from the Los Angeles headquarters. Before joining InkJet Superstore, Tania was a team leader and supervisor working for one of the biggest mortgage and real estate companies in the country. She is a happily married mother of one who enjoys spending time with her family and reading in her leisure hours.

How to Build Up a Powerful Marketing Campaign

What does a marketing campaign have to be so that we call it powerful? Some people would say that it has to “get the job done,” e.g. – sell a product or service as well as the marketer himself anticipated. While it is true that a powerful marketing campaign paints the product in the best possible light, there is so much more to it.

A powerful marketing campaign evokes emotions. It stimulates comments, as well as etching itself into the memory of people who are targeted by it. How can you achieve all this with only one campaign? It’s a multi-step process, and you can easily master it with the following tips.

Think about what’s wrong with your existing strategy

Starting from scratch is easier said than done, so it’s always better to start with a thorough assessment of your current strategy. How long have you been implementing it? Are you satisfied?

To get the best “viewpoint,” write down ten things that are working and ten things that are not. Separating functional from non-functional elements will make each of the next moves much easier to orchestrate.

As you analyze the strategy, you will know what good things to keep and repeat and which segments are unfit for your goals. Speaking about goals – how much time do you devote to creating them?

Set realistic goals

There are no better key performance indicators (KPIs) than clearly-defined and achievable goals. Think about what you want to achieve with your marketing campaign. Do you want to set the groundwork for the launch of a new product? Do you want to increase customer loyalty? Setting goals can be easily separated into the following steps.

  1. Separate bigger goals into smaller sub-goals.
  2. Write a project brief or outsource it using writing services.
  3. Assign every single segment of a goal to the team member you believe will execute it the best.
  4. Cross off goals that you have accomplished. The mere visual representation of what you managed to do is the best motivation!

Never set a goal if you’re unsure you can achieve it. Funneling time and resources into unattainable plans will derail your marketing campaign before it even started. Be careful.

Know your audience

When building up a powerful marketing campaign, efficiency is the most important factor. This requires knowing exactly what kind of people might be interested in your products or service.

Each platform contains a unique group of individuals that just might be your next customer. By monitoring the data that you receive from previous campaigns, you can map out a detailed buyer persona.

Who is your average buyer? How old are they? Do they like videos or infographics more? There must not be any questions left unanswered if you wish to create a powerful marketing campaign. By knowing your audience, you will ensure that they will take an interest in your brand, signaling the beginning of a relationship.

You will also benefit greatly in a financial sense, as well. 77% of all email marketing ROI comes from campaigns that were previously segmented. Choosing the target and hitting it is the key.

Don’t follow trends, set them

Following trends is integral when building up a powerful marketing campaign. Knowing what’s popular and what’s not can give your campaign shape. But, do you always want to be a follower? A really powerful marketing campaign starts a trend and makes it one with the brand.

Take this GE campaign as an example. GE first invited influencers on a tour of their company, with a goal to show that their business isn’t as dull as it seems.

Soon, people caught onto the hashtag and started posting their own images. Just like that, GE started a trend. People observed what they did and started doing the same. Overall, this GE campaign resulted in:

  • 8 million views of their Instagram profile
  • 3 million outreach per each tour
  • 000+ new followers

Setting the trend doesn’t require you to change the world. Think of something new that might catch on and your campaign will be truly powerful. The best way to achieve this is by using content.

Reinforce every product and service with content

The most powerful campaigns aren’t the ones that only focus on selling. Instead, they are executed to spread awareness and focus on both short-term and long-term goals. To add identity to your marketing campaign, you have to reinforce it with content. What should you watch out for?

  • Be versatile. Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Post more than just text. Make videos, infographics, and even animations to engage your audience.
  • Think about the most common problems of your target audience. Write blog posts that relate to these problems specifically and address them in a helpful, but determined manner.
  • Don’t be afraid to outsource. Use tools such as xpertwriters.com to order custom content. Outsourcing content serves two purposes. It decreases the overall workload of your team, and it gives you an example for future reference.

Look for collaborators

Why not make your powerful marketing campaign a joint effort? The most powerful campaigns are conducted on multiple channels, which is mainly due to collaborations.

Think about all the prominent bloggers and influencers in your niche. Collaborate with them! Guest post on their website, interview them and promote them as they promote you.

When people see that you are connected within your niche, it will automatically give you marketing campaign credibility. In addition to this, sites more popular than yours will cause an influx of new potential customers. You will have traffic coming from many different sources, causing your brand to truly branch out in terms of online presence.

Be consistent with your content marketing strategy

As you create a myriad of content to help you market your brand, it’s important that you don’t stop. If you post content on a regular basis, people will start looking at your blog/website as a reliable source of information. This will lead to much higher customer retention and improve your brand’s performance across the board.

Plan in advance for different types of content and analyze everything you can. If you’re short on inspiration, you can always draw ideas from your past posts. Expand on a certain detail or even transform them completely. Turn an old blog into a new podcast or a wall of text into a fun infographic. The opportunities are endless.

Concluding thoughts

A powerful marketing campaign is all about being determined and willing to think outside the box. Remember to segment your audience, be consistent and always set new realistic goals. One bout of success will influence the future of your brand, giving you the opportunity to make even more powerful marketing campaigns.

Guest Post: About the Author 

Alexandra Reay has been working as a journalist and editor in one of the finest Melbourne publishing agencies for 3 years. She is also a professional content writer who prefers to do research on the following topics – self-improvement, technology innovations, global education development ets. Feel free to contact her at Twitter.

Four Ways you can Boost Social Engagement for Your Business

As a business owner, your priorities should not only be to make a sale, but to create a loyal customer from a one-time shopper. These days, offering a quality and innovative product or service is no longer enough to stay competitive in your niche. One of the biggest factors that separate successful companies from those that fail is an excellent social engagement strategy. What is social engagement, and how can you implement it for your company?

Social Engagement Explained

Just like any relationship takes work, so does the relationship with your customers. Although you likely do not have the time or resources to communicate with each person on an individual level, you can start a conversation online.

Social engagement involves communicating with your target audience in an online setting. Platforms such as social media, blogs, forums and your own website make it possible to stay connected to your online community.

Writing blogs with how-to tutorials on using your offerings, answering questions on forums and starting conversations relevant to your industry are all great ways to engage with your customers.

One study found that customers tend to spend upwards of 40% more on companies that they are engaged with! Utilize the tips below to boost your social engagement and raise sales!

Four Ways to Increase Social Engagement

Utilize Images

A picture is worth a thousand words—and boosts interaction rates by 85%! Online users are so overwhelmed by the information they digest online that imagery helps them notice your content and interact with it better. Including images in your content helps with free marketing, as that copy is shared 35% more than copy without images.

Utilize CTAs

You have a goal in mind when sharing content with your audience, so tell them what that goal is! Including a call to action (CTA) can have tremendous benefits to your marketing strategy—CTAs on Facebook have been found to increase click-through rates by 285%.

Consider what action you want the user to take—whether it is to visit your website, subscribe for your blog or share your content with others, indicate that in your CTA.

Create a Giveaway

Everyone loves to be a winner, so why not create a contest to increase your social engagement? Giveaways provide excellent opportunities to collect consumer data, market your brand to a new audience, generate leads and grow your social network.

Carefully think about the goal of the giveaway and create specific rules for entry. For example, if you want to focus on brand recognition, make it a requirement that entrants must share the contest with three of their own contacts to be eligible to win.

If your goal is to grow your lead base, ask entrants to like your page or subscribe to your blog, which will help you communicate with your audience later to promote your brand.

Become Your Brand’s Ambassador

Some of the best known companies have a face attached to their name, such as Elon Musk for Tesla and Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook. Become your own brand ambassador to help your audience create a true relationship with you and your company.

Share your story with your customers so they can get to know you, and understand your journey. Share tips on the best ways to use your products, and share images of yourself using them in your daily life. Create live videos where you interact with your audience and answer their questions. All of these strategies will help you forge a loyal relationship with your customers, and will keep them shopping with your company time and time again!

IOU Financial wants you to invest in your social engagement strategy. Imagine how much faster and more efficiently you can connect with a new audience if you had upwards of $500,000 to invest in marketing! Contact us today at www.ioufinancial.com to find out how you can get approved and funded for a small business loan in under 48 hours!

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Tips and Tricks to Write a Content Plan for Your Business

Introduction

According to the latest data, successful b2b marketers spend around 40 percent of their budget on content marketing. However, spending millions of dollars on content marketing won’t do you any good without a proper content marketing plan. Before you venture into promoting your business, there are a few tips we’d like to share with you in order to help you design the best content strategy which will help you achieve your goals.

Know your audience

If your business offers products or services that include different types of customers, it is important that you address each audience type separately. It’s a good practice to mingle with your leads and find out what they are looking for in a product, what problems they need to resolve, what keywords they include in their searches. This way you can create content that will hit the spot with your target audience.

Your content should be valuable to your audience and help them improve their business. Remember that there are those that already use your product or service, so you should build content that will make their user experience even better. In addition, there are those that are yet to become your customers – these people should receive such content that will show how your business can solve their problems.

Create a calendar

Publishing content on a regular base is the essence of good content marketing. Nevertheless, you can’t just plan topics at random and publish when you feel like it. Create a calendar with a dedicated time frame for each post. This will remove the pressure from your writers and give them enough time to write deeply researched quality content. Moreover, this way you will have enough time to edit all the content long before it’s time to publish it.

Have a backup plan

Furthermore, your writers could be unavailable for any reason, which could put you in a bad spot. The calendar allows you to hire a writer before the deadlines come knocking. In addition, there are so many online writing services you can hire like UK Best Essays, Essay Writing Lab, SuperiorPapers, EduGeeksClub Service and others that could deliver the content for you just when you need it.

Mix it up

Your audience is everywhere these days – they follow social media of all sorts, watch YouTube videos, scan job opportunities on LinkedIn, and surf the web for helpful textual content, or inform themselves via infographics. Therefore, it would be unwise to base your content strategy solely on a single channel rather than using all the possibilities that the internet has placed before us. Combining resources and mediums will help you achieve much higher reach.

However, if in your research you find out that certain channels don’t hold enough potential or your business it’s best not to waste your resources betting on the wrong horse. Do your research and find out which channels serve your purposes.

The same goes for various content types, sometimes a video placed on YouTube will not show the same results as it would show if it were posted on Instagram or Facebook. Don’t throw away the chance to reach your audience via video content just because it doesn’t show expected results on one platform, rather do some research and see how the content behaves with other platforms. If you get more views or shares on Facebook, focus your video posts there.

Set measurable goals

Your Key Performance Indicators depend on your campaign goal; it could be sales, pageviews, email subscribers, or anything you set as a business goal. Measure your campaign success progress against your final goal and you will be able to fine-tune your strategy on the run, depending on your current indicators. This is also a good way to check if a particular member of your team is doing a good job or you should consider getting a better solution for your team.

Conclusion

If you set a clear campaign goal, perform deep research, distribute your resources carefully, and create a strong plan of action, you will be able to craft compelling content which will engage your audience. We hope these tips will help you develop a swift content plan or your business so you could enjoy a larger pool of customers and a higher return on investments.

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.

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!