Tag Archives: marketing

Content Marketing Best Practices in 2019 and Beyond

With content marketing becoming all the rage for business owners, it is hard to keep track of which practices work best and which do not. It is essential for content marketers to always be alert to how the market is expanding every day, and different customers need to be catered to in many different ways. To succeed, in short, one needs to stay at the top of their content marketing game. Just managing the content is not always enough, and there needs to be some extra effort made.

There are various ways to interact with your audience, but if you can interact with them in a genuine and trustworthy manner, you can win their loyalty and your business will start skyrocketing to success. You still need a new set of practices to keep up to that bar you’ve set, though. This article will provide information about practices that are unique and are sure to work in our modern age.

 

  1. Plan – You always need a plan for content marketing. Planning is the most essential tool for success. You need to keep track of your process. You need to plan your objectives, goals, target rates, interaction, and more. There is so much to keep up with in content marketing that without a plan, it’s pretty much impossible to stay on track. As a famous and well-worded quote goes, “A goal without a plan is a plan to fail,” so go on and plan right now!
  2. Originality – Always keep your content free from plagiarism. Unique, innovative and original ideas are a must for great content marketing.
  3. Audio Typing – Introduce audio-enhanced typing into your system and create convenience for your customers. This will make your marketing engaging.
  4. Branding – Tell the story of your brand and why it exists in a functional and professional way. Explain why you do what you do and who you do it for.
  5. Goal Digging – Do not be a gold digger, as it never turns out to be what you expected and is a turnoff. Instead, focus on serving your audience genuinely and work with all your heart and effort. That’s what we call goal digging, and it will pay off.

9 Unique Social Media Marketing Ideas No One Talks About

Social media marketing – Social Media is an everyday activity for most people. Therefore, it is considered to be the top marketplace for influencers and business owners. There was a time when the market was so small that one could easily come up with an innovative idea and get the targeted audience attracted and become successful. Over time, the social media market has become highly condensed with new ideas being introduced in the market every single day. It has become quite difficult to create and bring something new to attention of people on social media. This article will introduce you to nine bright ideas that are sure to make one’s success possible, and they are not talked about much at all. So, you can have a go at them right away.

 

  1. Take Requests – Always take your customer’s opinion as your top priority and ask them from time to time if there is anything they would like to see in your products or if there is something that can be improved. People love it when brand owners care for their customers. Use Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter to engage with your customers.
  2. BTS Videos – Customers love to watch how much effort is put into the product that they are considering buying. Post behind-the-scenes videos of your product manufacturing process. It creates interest in the customer’s mind and attraction in potential buyers.
  3. Employee Week – Have one of your employees take over your brand’s social media for a week. Have them show the audience what happens behind the scenes at the headquarters or the office, the product ideas, the customer care offices, and an overall tour of the place.
  4. Employee Questionnaire – Have an employee—or, rather, different employees—sit down and have a question-and-answer session weekly on your social media with the audience. This will help customers get to know the people behind the brand and feel personally connected with the brand itself.
  5. Collaborate – Collaborate with another brand and partner up to have both brands’ employees on both brands’ social media. This will play the role of sponsorship as well as even more interaction with the audience.
  6. Challenges – Holding weekly challenges like ‘hashtag squad,’ scavenger hunts, and this or that can really help get customers involved.
  7. Employee Recommendations – Have your staff recommend products as their opinions have a direct influence on the customers.
  8. Image Submissions – Take image submissions of your products from your customers to have a positive impact on them. This will make them aware that you appreciate their love for your product.
  9. Birthday Sale – Hold a special big sale on your brand’s birthday—that is, the day it was created. It will make customers look forward to that day.

The Pros and Cons of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses (In 2019 and Beyond)

You may have heard the term ‘marketing automation’ quite often.

Be it a small business or a large-scale enterprise, marketing automation is a top priority of marketers in 2019. For small businesses, it is one of the most powerful marketing methods because it automates the mundane tasks and streamlines the processes.

Marketing automation tools can be any software that helps in doing small, repetitive tasks on an autopilot mode. These tasks would have otherwise been done manually.

Nowadays, consumers expect businesses to offer them highly personalized and contextual experiences at the right time. Brands that focus on providing exceptional customer experience are the ones that connect with customers, and get more leads and sales. Marketing automation makes providing exceptional customer experiences possible.

So much consumer data is being captured by businesses across multiple channels and devices. Marketing automation for small businesses can create user engagement experiences from this data, resulting in improving the bottom line for businesses.

Best Marketing Automation Software for Small Business in 2019

Some of the most popular marketing automation software solutions that small businesses use are ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, SendinBlue and Ontraport. Larger enterprises use more robust automation tools like Pardot and ActiveCampaign Enterprise.

You may want to consider the following points before making your decision to go with a particular automation software.

  • Pricing
  • Usability
  • Integrations with your existing software.

It pays to do your research because you will be considering a long-term perspective, say three to five years.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of marketing automation tools.

 

Pros of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

Small businesses have lots to benefit from when it comes to marketing automation, both in the B2B and B2C sphere.

  1. Ability to gather user data and increase marketing efficiency.

Marketers who use active personalization in their messaging with their consumers will be at a distinct advantage. It will get them more engagement, leads and sales.

This kind of personalization is only possible if you are able to gather user data across multiple touchpoints, segment the customers, and create targeted campaigns that are contextual and personalized.

You can create an integrated marketing functionality through collecting data, conducting analysis, executing digital campaigns and managing the workflow of leads. Marketing automation does all this and more.

  1. Enhanced ability to generate better qualified leads and improved sales capabilities.

Marketing automation for small businesses allows you to segment your users, tag them and enable lead scoring. This is helpful for lead generation and nurturing.

All types of digital marketing campaigns, such as email campaigns, paid advertising campaigns, and setup of lead generation, sales and conversion funnels, are successfully powered by marketing automation tools. In fact, these tools can help small businesses to enhance their ability to generate high-quality leads that convert well.

  1. Email management capabilities

Email marketing is one of the most used areas in digital marketing that takes advantage of marketing automation to the fullest. You can do so much with email marketing automation software.

If used properly, it can build your email list really fast and help you further in building a relationship with your email subscribers. When you keep nurturing them through a welcome email series or relevant and contextual emails, you gradually build trust with your subscribers. Then, selling them your products and services becomes very easy.

Email marketing capabilities involve doing A/B testing, setting up drip campaigns and sequences, and personalizing emails and triggering mails based on user behaviour.

  1. Social media automation

As a small business or startup owner, you have to manage accounts across many social media platforms where your business prospects are. It requires your active involvement on these platforms to build brand recall and gain engaged followers, shares of posts, comments and a higher level of engagement.

Managing social media can be a very time-consuming affair but the marketing automation software can really make your work easier. Some of these software solutions are Hootsuite, Buffer, SocialOomph, Sprout Social and HubSpot.

Each platform has its own unique features and pricing. They allow you to schedule your social posts in advance and monitor accounts for brand mentions, comments and shares. Their social listening feature is truly amazing.

In addition, some social automation tools like Hootsuite scan social media for engaging content and discover suggested content that you can share with your followers.

  1. Enable conversational experiences powered by chatbots

Customer experiences have gone a notch higher with more businesses creating conversational experiences powered by chatbots. These mimic human behaviour by interacting with website visitors through a series of automated questions that give answers to the most common concerns.

Chatbots can help in areas such as growing your email list, lead prospecting, bookings and addressing FAQs.

  1. Enable prediction-based marketing

Prediction-based marketing is being used a lot nowadays by ecommerce brands like Amazon to suggest products and services based upon their users’ browsing history. Complex machine learning algorithms continuously collect online users’ data to create data-backed user profiles.

For example, Amazon suggests products and services that the users are likely to buy, based upon their past purchases, browsing history and the products they are likely to be interested in buying. This creates very high engagement levels.

 

Cons of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

Some challenges that you will face when introducing automation in your startup’s marketing processes are:

  1. It is a complicated and time-consuming process. Resistance to change in the status quo among sales and marketing staff may lead to onboarding hassles. Some marketing automation processes may not integrate with the CRM or other software currently being used. This can impede platform adoption and efficiency.
  2. If you are using automation for creating content, then it will be produced faster but the human touch in the writing will sadly be missing. Your content may even run the risk of sounding robotic and may not resonate with your target audience.
  3. Sometimes, not all the platform features are used, which may result in the software being used only for email marketing. Too much email automation can result in many triggered emails being sent. This can annoy the customers because not all emails will be relevant.
  4. 4. Some people may be annoyed when they know that all their online activities are being tracked. They may even abandon you if it becomes a regular feature for the sake of automation.

That’s why you should put a lot of thought in finding out how marketing automation for your small business can actually benefit you. Take a step-by-step approach to automation because it can backfire if applied haphazardly.

 

Conclusion

Marketing automation will play an important role in increasing user engagement. Customers are becoming more demanding and expect businesses to be responsive. Your competitors are adopting it and if you don’t take proactive action in 2019, then it will be too late. Make the transition now and be at the top of customers’ minds. They will happily engage with your brand and you will reap the rewards.

7 Tested Mobile Marketing Strategies for Small Business (That Deliver Results)

Mobile Marketing – Small businesses face tough competition from all sources.

To remain competitive, they have to cash in on every opportunity that’s present. Sadly, most small businesses are wary of trying out and adopting new marketing strategies to grow. They want to take the safe route of using the tried-and-tested traditional marketing approaches. It’s daunting for them to try out the newer digital and mobile marketing strategies for small businesses.

Mobile marketing can be so beneficial to small businesses, whether they are online or have brick-and-mortar stores.

Mobile devices are within everyone’s reach most of the time, and almost 70 percent of mobile searches result in action within an hour’s time.

What is mobile marketing? In very simple terms, mobile marketing is targeting marketing campaigns to mobile device users.

 

Small Businesses Need Mobile Marketing Strategies More Than Ever

Let’s look at some of the reasons why mobile marketing strategies for small businesses should form an important part of their overall marketing.

  1. Mobile email open rates are increasing. People prefer reading emails on the go.
  2. For online businesses, many purchases are made online. Mobile ecommerce is exploding.
  3. Mobile searches are very specific and generally result in an action.
  4. For local searches, mobiles are used very often, which is a huge opportunity for offline retailers.
  5. Smartphone usage is increasing and so is the usage of mobile apps.
  6. Mobile marketing is trackable and doesn’t require a huge budget.

So what mobile marketing strategies can your small business implement?

 

These 7 Mobile Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses Will Deliver Results

  1. Transition to a responsive design and mobile-friendly website

Before starting any mobile marketing campaign, you should make your website mobile-friendly. This means your site should read well on a mobile device. You don’t want the text, images, videos and other elements to appear in a haphazard manner because these are enough to spoil a homepage, reduce your conversions and, worse, turn your visitors away to a competitor whose site is mobile-optimized.

Make sure to use a responsive website design or theme that is optimized for mobiles by default. This means that the website will automatically change its layout and content depending on the screen and device. You might still need to do a bit of tweaking of the menus and content display for mobile viewing.

Essentially, you should ensure that the website opens well on mobiles, laptops, desktops, tablets or any other device.

 

  1. Optimize your website content for local searches

As many as 60 percent of searches for local businesses happen on mobile devices. Additionally, these local searches like ‘watch repair near me’ result in offline store visits. So, mobile marketing strategy for small businesses should be focused on local searches.

When you create content, target local search terms. Local searches are generally long-tail keywords.

List your business in Google My Business (GMB) with your information including name, location and contact number. GMB is like a local map for business listings and it makes it very easy for desktop and mobile users to discover you in local searches.

 

  1. Use text (SMS) marketing

Text marketing via a platform is easily trackable as you know the open rates and the links clicked. It also has immediate delivery and you can get feedback from your clients quickly. Personalization of your message is possible, too.

Financial institutions are utilizing this medium to send sensitive data through SMS. As a small business, you too can use this powerful mobile marketing strategy to send special, time-sensitive discounts and exclusive information to your customers.

 

  1. Incorporate mobile payments

When you talk about mobile marketing, incorporating mobile payments into your strategy cannot be neglected. Mobile e-commerce is on the rise and small businesses have a product or service offering.

Make the buying process as simple and streamlined as possible for mobile customers by giving them mobile payment options. Incorporating payment processing offers benefits like service quality and ease of use. Services such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay make this very easy.

Mobile payments can even be used by offline retail shops on their websites when they allow customers to order and pre-pay on their mobile phones.

Creating QR codes will take your marketing to the next level altogether. These codes store digital data that can be transmitted quickly. You can see them frequently in print ads and in shops. To make a payment, you just need to scan the code using your mobile and you are directed to a custom-built landing page that has the details about the payment process.

 

  1. Create mobile apps

Smartphone usage is on the rise and around 80 percent of these users use apps each day.

Having an app built for your business and website is a smart mobile marketing strategy for small businesses. This way, you can get your brand in front of mobile users and drive leads and sales.

Creating a mobile app doesn’t have to be difficult. You could get it done through a job site. The app users can install it from the Google Play store or the App Store on their mobiles.

When you have an app for your small business, start tracking the downloads, installs and usage to make your mobile marketing effective. It’s important to track your app in real-time to know what’s happening and take action, if required.

 

  1. Use mobile ads and deals

Small business owners can get their brands to their target customers by utilizing mobile ads and deals pushed through the mobile ad networks. These mobile ads can be run through social media and other channels.

Mobile ads are dynamic and can give your business very high returns. Their ability to target your audience based on geographical area and demographics enables them to reach people who are very likely to engage with your messages.

You can register your business on a good mobile advertising network. Mobile advertising enables your business to send out digital deals like SMS coupons directly to users’ smartphones. You might lose a physical coupon, but losing its digital version is rare.

 

  1. Encourage engagement on social networks

Most people check social media on their mobile devices and spend lots of time checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That’s a big opportunity for engagement. Share content that encourages engagement, likes, shares and comments.

Focus on shorter content because it’s easy to consume it on social platforms. Visual content including images and videos work very well on social media.

Your Turn Now

Once you have planned the mobile marketing strategies for your small business, start experimenting and consolidating what works for you. Which mobile marketing strategies have you tried, and how have your results been?

How to Pick the Best Marketing Project Management Software

As a small business owner, you have too much on your plate. This article is related with a brief to Best Marketing Project Management Softwares.

Managing multiple projects, social media, marketing, sales, onboarding clients and product innovation all demand your undivided attention.

Collaborating across teams can be difficult on any day, but when obstacles arise, it can be almost impossible.

Traditional approaches to marketing project management are not effective. You need a powerful tool that is easy to understand, serves your purpose well, and gets the buy-in from your team.

We have you covered.

In this guide, you will get all the information that will help you decide on the best marketing project management softwares for your business.

Let’s quickly go through the amazing benefits that the best marketing project management softwares can give you.

Benefits of using the best marketing project management software

Here are some of the benefits of marketing project management software.

  • They give you an overview of all your marketing activities, which results in better control.
  • Replacing inefficient manual systems with project management software reduces operational costs.
  • They help improve employee productivity, reduce errors and improve coordination among the departments and stakeholders involved. This results in better products and higher revenue.
  • They make your project delivery efficient by allowing you to assign tasks, helping you collaborate with your team members, making the marketing process smoother and enabling you to get real-time feedback from clients.
  • You can schedule resources on demanding tasks.
  • You can calculate the return on investment on different projects.

As a small business marketer, you may be torn between digital marketing, content marketing, advertising, and public relations. You might also be dealing with many types of professionals like ad agencies, graphic artists, social media experts or sales associates.

Then by all means, you should put in the effort to find the best marketing project management tools for the sake of your business growth.

These marketing project management software solutions have different functionalities, pricing structures and deployment.

So, how do you choose the one that fits your needs?

It’s best to do a self-audit of your small business requirements and then find that perfect fit.

Let’s see how…

Key considerations for deciding on the best marketing project management software

One of your key considerations as a small business is to invest in a software solution that is low-cost and yet offers all the major benefits.

Think over these points to understand your unique requirements.

  1. You may not want your clients to have access to all the same resources as your in-house team that manages marketing projects. You might want an external portal to collaborate with your clients.
  2. While running marketing campaigns, many team members might be involved in the various stages of the review process. Do you want a solution that automatically forwards marketing material to the next stage and sends alerts to those responsible?
  3. If you are using cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive to store project assets, then does the marketing project management solution integrate with these?
  4. Marketing software can be cloud-based or on-premises. The software also has to be able to run on Windows, Mac or mobile devices if the employees are going to use it on their laptops.
  5. If you are using freelancers for marketing work, are you able to set permissions for accessing certain information.
  6. Does the project management tool integrate with other software that you are using like QuickBooks, CRM tools like Salesforce, social media apps and analytics tools?

How to evaluate the best marketing project management software

Now you should have a fairly good idea of how you are going to use the marketing project management software.

Let’s dive into the features currently available. Prioritize those that are important for you and narrow down your choices.

So let’s get started.

  1. Task management

The software should provide enough flexibility of breaking down a complex task or a goal into manageable tasks that you can track separately.

  1. Dashboards that give the complete overview

Dashboards should display the real-time status of your projects, processes, action steps, responsible people, deadlines, fees and expenses. Dashboards are visual elements and should be customizable with charts and graphs.

  1. Easily generate reports

Project managers need to generate lots of reports for management and audit purposes. The tools should come loaded with customizable report templates.

  1. Project or task completion timelines

The project roadmap should be full of tasks and timelines. As you check off tasks, your tasks’ timelines should automatically update and the next set of timelines should be triggered.

  1. Email integration for direct updates

The project management tool should have the flexibility of integrating with your emails so that you can add comments, set timelines and update tasks right from your email inbox.

  1. Mobile app version to track projects

If you want to check your project status on the go, then a mobile version of the software should be available.

  1. Seamless integration with existing tools

Apart from using the best marketing project management software for your small business, you are also going to use other software like financial apps and CRM tools. Does this project management software integrate seamlessly with other software?

  1. Automated workflows

The more automated routine tasks are, the more efficiency it brings to the team. For example, upon completion of a workflow, the approving authority should be notified automatically.

  1. Pricing

Does the pricing suit your budget? If the benefits outweigh the costs, then adopting the software is the right step. Most marketing software solutions come with a free trial period for you to test them out thoroughly.

Finally, don’t  forget to evaluate the product reviews. They are one of the most valuable resources for knowing the pros and cons of any marketing software.

Your action steps …

So, if you manage a small business, choose from the best marketing project management software available in the market.

Now that you have a fairly good understanding of how these project management software options can help you take your business on a growth spurt, it’s time to take action.

Assess the specific needs of your business and do an evaluation of the platforms available. Sign up for their free version. If it makes your work easier, then continue using it. If not, move on to the next one.

After having tried a few of them, you will know what best suits your needs and can adopt that solution for your organization.