The Importance of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses

The power of the internet has opened many horizons for small businesses to gain more customers and increase their profit. Before the internet, most advertisements were done by flyers or pieces in the local newspaper but that is no longer needed in the twenty-first century, almost all businesses utilize social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter and pay for pop up ads on them. Digital marketing can get more customers through the door and allow a small business to flourish instead of becoming unnoticed especially new small businesses.

One benefit is targeted advertisements on platforms or websites. This allows you to reach your target market using the data or cookies they’ve collected from other websites. For example, if somebody has been searching in a search engine or online for painters, that would collect data or cookies and a targeted ad might pop on their Facebook feed saying “painters for your home interior”. It can also be location-based, so say you’ve got a business painting interiors or decorating in Calgary, it could target people with their location-enabled that are situated in Calgary. This would bring local customers that are specifically looking for the service you offer.

The Methods

Digital marketing also helps small businesses is analytics. This shows small businesses how much people are viewing their advertisements. Unlike using flyers, which a lot of people would ignore and throw away, advertising on Facebook or another platform shows how many people viewed your ad, how many people engaged with it (click on the link), how many people liked it and with that information, you can work out how many people have bought your product just because of the online marketing you. Cookies and data are incredibly valuable for a small business, you could learn everything there is to know about your target customers, businesses might find that they’ve reached a new demographic of customers; this will make it easier to make future advertisements as businesses will understand who’s interacting with their content the most.

E-mail marketing is another useful asset in the arsenal of digital marketing, actually, it’s the most useful. It has the best return of investment than any other digital marketing channel. E-mail marketing can include many aspects. E-mail marketing is so useful because almost everybody checks their E-mail daily, and that means they also interact with your email. E-mail is so useful with the highest return of investments of four thousand percent, which is three times higher than the return of investment of social media, which is incredibly surprising.

SEO

Search engine optimization is a powerful tool for a thriving business, you want as many hits on your site that you can get. Search engine optimization or SEO is ensuring that search engines pick up your website and achieve higher rankings, making the website more visible, search engine optimization is vital, so the right people are seeing your site. Search engineering optimization works by deciding if your website/content is the best fit. By using links and keywords that are associated with your site you can boost your rankings on search engines.

Digital marketing can also be a useful tool to keep track, socialize, and update your customers on offers et cetera. All small businesses have a loyal customer base and keeping in touch with them is vital and creates a bond between the customer and the business. You can do this in several ways; e-mail, social media, or even a blog on your website, albeit the most efficient way, would be via e-mail. For a small business to thrive in the twenty-first century, keeping in touch with your clientele is vital, using digital means and digital marketing.

Strong content is an important aspect of digital marketing; it’s useful for small businesses to have content on their website to make customers engage and have a positive experience, for example, a hairdresser’s website could have a “how to wash your hair properly to have a healthy scalp” et cetera. Video content helps customers engage and get to know your business a bit more.

The importance of Google Ads and Google, in general, cannot be underestimated, Google’s review function is key to getting customers, small businesses need to encourage google reviews. Most people look at reviews of businesses before spending their money there and it’s vital to maintain a good rating on Google. For example, if a takeaway had 3-star average reviews and their competitors had an average of 4.5, the one which will bring in most customers is going to be the higher-rated one, so encourage your customers to write positive reviews. Reviews and online ads are probably the best way to utilize digital marketing for small business and allow it to thrive

Why Confidence Is Key to Success in a Board Room

For those of you who are familiar with the business world, you will know the huge importance of the decisions made based on your work in the boardroom. Making and presenting pitches for business ideas or products can be totally dependent on your confidence. A candidate who lacks confidence can have a serious impact on the decision going in your favour, this is mainly due to the fact that you are not only trying to convince your superiors to invest in your business but, they would be investing in you and your business capabilities also.

 

Personality is what sells a product if you don’t have the personality and sales skills it can come across that you lack the passion and drive to be a worthy investment. The boardroom environment can be a very pressure inducing setting, they tend to be intimate events with a small business team pitching their ideas to a team of very rich people, it is completely understandable that you would lack confidence in this situation but with experience, the ordeal will become easier.

 

How to be prepared.

A great way to reduce some of those nerves would be to ensure you are adequately prepared to give your presentation and answer any possible questions. If you are well informed about the important stuff you will find yourself feeling a lot more confident, showing off and being prepared will work in your favor to possible investors. Knowing what you are talking about displays a level of professionalism and reinforces to viewers that you are very serious and passionate about your business.

 

Things to remember to revise before a boardroom pitch would be finances, plans, products, proposed offers and remember to be clear of the concept you are offering. Putting together an information pack or presentation board can be a great way to remember you cover everything you need to, maybe a slideshow with prompts and important info, this again reflects the effort you put into the business and helps you cover all of the bases. Overall preparation is a great way of combating a lack of confidence, with the relevant work you can really take the opportunity to sell your business.

 

Teamwork.

Another key factor to remember when it comes to being confident in the boardroom is how effectively you work as a team. It is likely that you will be presenting your pitch in a group, different people will be responsible for conveying certain information. Ensuring that everything goes smoothly is heavily reliant on group practising and how well you work together. A good idea would be to spend time getting to know each other to build up a strong bond that can be carried into the workplace.

 

A great way to help build these relationships would be to have fun together, why not plan a day trip, or a lunch or even time playing fun games. Games like never have I ever or  a game of Would you Rather, can be an extremely funny way of encouraging group consensus. If your group has a solid and positive relationship with each other, they are more likely to work cohesively as a solid unit.

 

A high level of respect and good friendships between a group can not only increase confidence but it will also be apparent to prospective investors what a strong unit you are. If your team is strong the situation will seem a lot less intimidating as you are in it in a prepared and happy team. Teamwork is a very professional attribute to have as it is detrimental to a lot of aspects of business, this quality will show off your professionalism and make you a much more desirable asset.

 

Overall, there really isn’t a place for lack of confidence when it comes to the world of business, if you wish to be taken seriously in the boardroom, you must face your fears. At the end of the day, it is your product or concept that is on show, you should be passionate enough about your product to be able to deliver a positive and strong pitch, being confident is a piece of advice you will want to hold on to, in order to ensure your success.

Digital Signage: Why it Works and How to Use It

In the current world, technology has solidified its place in our society and changed the way almost every business functions on a day to day basis. This includes the field of marketing and advertising, more so than most other fields. Any company that is not utilising the new digital landscape to get their advertising done is missing out and setting themselves up to fail. To that end, we are going to be looking at a key aspect of the new wave marketing. Digital Signage. This powerful tool is changing the way companies go about their marketing and has created new and dynamic methods of advertising.

What Is It?

Digital signage is something you will have seen before. Whether in real life or in the movies. Picture Times Square. Covered in hundreds of electronic billboards all pumping out constant advertisements. This is digital signage at its best. It is simply the use of electronic screen systems to present advertisements to the public. There are a number of ways this can be done, which we will be looking at below, but in basic terms, it is no different from a digital photo frame. The first step in setting up any digital signage is finding the right tech to use. Places like Amazon or digitalframe0 are great places to start looking for the right screens.

Methods

There are a few different methods that can be utilised for digital signage. The first, and simplest, is uploading your advertisements to the screen and letting them run. The benefits of this are it requires no constant connection and, as such, is not subject to connection drops. But it does mean when you want to update the content, or if a natural error occurs, you will need to send someone out to sort it out or change the content.

The second method is having the screen set up with remote connection meaning it can be accessed from a site anywhere in the country. This is an excellent method as it allows a company to change the marketing any time of the day and means any errors can be sorted remotely. But why is digital signage so effective?

Why It Works

In this modern world, people are more attached to their screens than ever before. People spend a shocking amount of their daily life looking at screens and online. This means they are almost constantly exposed to the onslaught of marketing and adverts available to them online. Digital Signage meets the best of both worlds. By having the screens separate from a potential customers phone, they do not feel as if they are being bombarded, rather it is something that will catch their eye. Inviting them to look. Secondly, digital signage allows for much more visual adverts than a normal poster. The animations, visuals and even sounds can greatly influence how well a potential customer will engage with the material and allows a lot more creative freedom than traditional advertising methods.

In this age of viral videos and so much content being created on the daily, people won’t respond to just any old poster or advert. It needs to stand out and grab their attention. It needs to be creative. This is why digital signage works well above all else. It allows so much more freedom, not just creating pre-made advertisements, but setting up interactive experiences. By using webcams and scanners, companies can create campaigns that let users interact with the digital signage and the advert will change based around them. This is a sure-fire way for a company to go viral and drum up a lot of potential business.

How to Use It

When we say ‘How to use it’ we don’t just mean the technical aspects, which are still important. We are looking at everything. Once you have decided which method you are going to be utilising, closed-circuit or remote connection you need to decide on a location. And, like in real estate, this is everything! If your advert is shown in the quietest street in a small town, you aren’t going to get much patronage. You need to make sure you have done extensive marketing research to find out your key demographic and find an area that features a lot of foot traffic from that demographic. For example, if you are targeting people in the age range 20-40, you might look at putting them in a shopping centre or a sports stadium. If you are looking at older clients maybe bus stop displays or in food shopping centres.

Once you have decided on a location its time to decide what your advertisement will be. This is perhaps the most important step. You need to delve into your market research, observe competitors adverts and make sure what you are showing is going to, firstly, appeal to your target demographic in a way that is inviting and appealing. And secondly, make sure the advert is clear. You do not want it being misunderstood as this could lead to potential legal trouble for false advertising. You also want to make sure people understand what they are looking at. An advert that a viewer doesn’t understand is as useless as no advert at all.

Taking all this into account, you are ready to take a dive into the world of digital signage and forever change the way you go about advertising and marketing.

How to Create an Effective and Targeted Marketing Campaign

The importance of a high-quality marketing campaign is unlike any other factor when it comes to effective advertising. Without spending the proper time and investment into ensuring you direct your marketing at the correct audiences and in the correct manner, you could be seriously damaging your business chances. Your marketing campaign could consist of online advertisement, physical billboards, leaflets or maybe through a digital webpage. There are many steps you can take in order to create an effective and targeted marketing campaign that will give a much-needed boost to your audiences.

 

STEP 1 – Online Presence

 How you present your business online is a vital factor to consider when developing your marketing campaign, your online presence should be treated as a virtual representation of you and your company. In order to have a positive impact on your online customers, you must ensure that things like your website, and any digital marketing campaigns you plan on using are constructed in a way that appeals to your demographic in a professional manner. The aim of any form of advertising is to encourage customers to invest in your products or services, with the correct methods you can use the internet to your advantage.

 

STEP 2 – Choosing the Correct Audience

 In order to target the correct market with your products, you must take the time to think about who is likely to make a purchase. Effective advertising can be achieved when the correct type of customer is targeted, the customer that has a need for your product is the customer with more chance of making a purchase. Of course, anyone can buy what you are selling but it makes sense to target your advertising towards the people that you feel need it most. If your product has a positive response then it will only grow in popularity and you can increase the range of people that you target your marketing towards.

 

STEP 3 – How to Present your Ideas

 Presentation is key when it comes to representing your business in a way that is professional and will have a positive impact on the customer. When constructing a digital marketing campaign it is important that your advertisements are appealing and eye-catching. Especially when what you are putting out there will be compared to so many other campaigns from the millions of companies that exist out there, you need to think about what makes you unique as a business and take the steps to highlight the individualism of your company, ensuring you stand out from the crowd puts you on the right track for success.

 

STEP 4 – Marketing Campaign

 Another important and pretty obvious part of creating an effective digital marketing campaign would have to be your digital marketing campaign. There are so many factors to consider around your campaign it can be easy to forget about the importance of what you put together. Businesses have been testing different techniques of marketing for years, it is important to find a strategy that fits your business style, but is also something that is manageable in terms of your capabilities. Sometimes it is more appropriate to take a simpler approach to how you present your company, an example of this can be seen in Arizona landscaping company landscaperbuckeyeaz.com, this company uses a fresh and clean style towards their advertising, with a simpler approach and using spectacular photography of their work their marketing campaign has been a real success.

 

STEP 5 – Location

 In terms of location, where you plan on releasing your marketing campaign will make all the difference to the impact it has. First of all, you should think about the type of marketing you are going to conduct whether it be a digital billboard or a television advert. Certain formats will only work in certain situations so it is important that you remember to choose both a location and marketing aspect that suits each other. As previously mentioned the audience that you choose to target is important, you will have to bear in mind your audience to correspond with the location you choose to present your digital marketing campaign.

 

STEP 6 – Building your Team

 When you start to see your business progress it will become apparent that you need to place more and more resources into your marketing strategies. It would make sense to dedicate a team of employees towards the development of your marketing campaigns. It is crucial that effort is put into how you show off your business as it can really have an effect on your success rate. As your business grows and grows you will need to begin creating more high scale marketing campaigns, as the need for advertising increases you will have to dedicate manpower in order to give your business the required exposure to get sales.

 

STEP 7 – Customer Service

 A final point to make is to remember there are other business aspects that will have an effect on your marketing strategy. When so much importance is placed on your digital marketing it can be easy to forget about the other things going on within your company. Customer service is just as important as how you conduct your marketing so you must ensure the standard does not drop in this aspect. How you manage your customers can be the making if of your business reputation, with a good reputation you will be able to deliver a successful marketing campaign.

How Marketing can be Used to Spread Awareness and Incite Change

Marketing often gets a mixed response from the general public. A lot of people simply associate it with advertisements and capitalism. It has a bad rep for being nothing more than trying to trick people into buying things and staying tried to the shackles of capitalism. But there is another side to marketing that is very much overlooked and ignored when it is actively taken in. That is the positive aspect of marketing that is used to spread awareness and incite real and positive change in the world. You might be wondering how that is possible? How are these big cooperate marketing divisions changing the world for the better? Well, below we are going to shatter your preconception of the marketing field.

 

The Boardroom

When people hear marketing they imagine men in suits in a board room toiling over their latest product. This is only one aspect of marketing. In reality, everything you have ever heard of is marketed. This includes charities, environmental agencies, animal rights groups and even marketing and advertising services for medical practices. It is an aspect of the field that is overlooked massively by the general public. Why is it? It is due to these corporate board rooms. Their often shady and evil practices shine a bad light on the field and turn people away from advertisements. People do not like being told what to do or think. And there is a huge notion that advertisements are simply that. Telling people what to do and think. But how can this be used for positive change?

Awareness

The first and most obvious answer is, marketing can raise awareness. Marketing does not always need to be just selling a product. It can also be providing information to the viewer. Adverts, at their core, are just information. So a lot of companies and organizations can use this to spread awareness about serious issues.

A good example of this is environmental agencies. Through their marketing strategies, they can raise awareness of the effect people and companies are having on the environment. And this is great because more awareness means more people are going to want to change for the better. And the effects of this have been seen already. The world has noticed people trying to be more environmentally friendly and petition companies to reduce their carbon footprint. All of this can be said to be a direct cause of positive marketing.

Physical Health

This one may surprise you, but medical awareness has been improved greatly over the last few years thanks to marketing. But how? Firstly there are more health-conscious organizations that seek to get you signed up and taking part in their programs, whether that be dieting or exercise. But to do that they need you to understand the health issues that can occur and what they offer to counter it. Now, while these companies are still selling a product, they are also offering very important and valuable information to the general public that will improve their quality of life significantly.

Secondly, health care providers have started running a lot of more public campaigns trying to raise health awareness in the general public. While these campaigns are not necessarily selling a product, they sill fall under the marketing banner. The health care companies are marketing this information in a way that makes it clear and understandable and provides information to the public that could potentially save a lot of lives.

Political Information

The mother of all marketing. Politics. This is a double-edged sword if there ever was one. The general consensus is that politicians lie. No matter what side they are on, they lie. And you can bet people only think the parties they don’t support lie, while their party speaks the truth. But within this mix of liars and fake news, there are organizations that strive to provide truthful and accurate political information, and they do this by marketing it.

Without marketing, any information will be ignored. You cannot just show people a bullet point list and expect them to take it in. It needs to grab their attention and make them understand. And why is this important? Because politics decides everything. Anyone who says politics does not matter is a fool. Politics decides how we survive. And clear, reliable political information is worth its weight in gold. If a company strives to make the general public understand what is happening in the world of politics then they are definitely inciting positive awareness and change.

All of these points come together to demonstrate just how vital marketing is to the world. Marketing was not invented by capitalism to sell products. It was simply adopted by them to increase the rate at which they can sell.

Why Digital and Brand Marketing are More Important Than Ever

The state of the current economy has made it easier than ever for people to start their own business. With so many businesses springing up in every sector, it’s easy for your business to be lost in a densely populated area. To avoid being lost in the crowd, many businesses have started depending on the use of digital and brand marketing. Correctly utilizing digital and brand marketing is the difference between a failing or thriving business.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is very much the product of the 21st century and utilizes social media and technology as a way of reaching out to consumers. This method has only grown in popularity due to its potential to reach millions of people very effectively,  unlike a lot of physical advertisements that can be easily missed in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here are a few examples of digital marketing methods that people use.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a method that businesses use to target a specific audience. This is a step away from usual spam content and focuses on the use of blogs and other websites in order to push their business into the market. This will usually be done with catchy titles that capture the attention of people who are searching for information that falls under keywords related to your business, this is a very common way people have been boosting their business popularity and has become a crucial part of any businesses advertising techniques.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is one of the more pricey methods of digital marketing as it consists of buying ad space on popular websites. It’s really a case of the more you pay, the better advertising you get.  You can pay for spaces on popular search engines such as Google and have your business appear at the top of any search that relates to your business, once again through the use of keywords.  You can usually recognize a SEM as soon as you look through your search results as they will appear differently than other posts.

Social media

Social media has become a key tool for any small or large business as it is the best and easiest way to build relationships with customers. Social media is especially utilized by small business, such as stonefoot, as it is a cheap and effective method.  The use of social media is the most popular form of digital marketing as it is one of the only forms of digital marketing that allows a business to have direct content with possible consumers. Being able to add that level of personality to your business makes it far more appealing to any customers. The use of social media can also help improve the way that you run your business as it allows customers to leave feedback, this is not usually the case for other advertising techniques as there is not that opportunity for conversation.

Pay per click

Pay per click is one of the most taboo methods of digital marketing yet one of the most effective on the market. This method consists of paying for websites to include a link to your product, for every click the business has to pay a small fee for advertising. This is a sure way for your product and services to gain some attention, however, it is not always a reliable method as once people click on your site, it is not certain that they will stick around.  However, the fees that you have to pay are quite cheap so it’s worth using.

Email marketing

Email marketing is not as effective as it once was as its usually filed under spam for most emails. However, this marketing method consists of keeping in contact with any customers through email. Email allows businesses to send special offers and good deals to current and potential customers.  Drafting and sending an email is also completely free, so it would be a wasted opportunity to not try it out as a means of engaging with customer bases. Emails are a great way to give people more in-depth descriptions of what your business has to offer.

Brand Marketing

Brand marketing is adding identity to your brand. A brand is far more than just its product, its a set of values and ideas that you think that your brand should be associated with.  Brand marketing always allows you to add a bit of yourself to your company, which makes your product or service more appealing to a wider customer base. It’s all the unique features that make your brand stand out in the market. Examples of brand marketing are picking a unique name, logo and slogan that really stands out from any competitors. Brand marketing is really selling the concept of your brand to your target audience by highlighting any aspects that may make it stand out and really represents what you as a brand stand for.

The use of digital marketing and brand marketing as absolutely essential when it comes to owning and running any business. In this day and age, the product is not enough to make you stand out and you really need to depend on your skills in both branding and marketing to really make your business stand out on the current market. Remember to have a good brand, but also good advertising.

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