How to gain attention for your small business: 3 ways

Small business owners do not have the luxury to hire public relations professionals who would strive day in and day out to get the maximum media publicity for the company, nor do they have enough resources to help them navigate day to day business. But just like any other company, even small businesses need visibility and the right kind of attention from its target audience.

Forbes online magazine contributor Nicole Leinbach Reyhle talks about three ways by which small businesses can easily gain attention for their business. In her article on Forbes titled 3 Ways to Gain Attention for Your Small Business, Nicole urges small business owners to partner with like-minded people for business, to work with the local community and seek media attention. The points she listed out in the article has been summarized below –

Partner with like-minded people

It helps to partner with like-minded people who can be of help in the business. If you have an event management business, it definitely helps to have friends who are in the flower, bakery or catering business. The influx of new customers is certainly a perk, as are the opportunities to continuously work with businesses that have the same goal in mind of gaining customer attention and succeeding in being a small business owner.

Work with the local community

Sponsoring local events or indulging in charity work for the development of the local community helps to gain visibility for your business. Additionally, when offering your expertise in select situations on a volunteer basis, it’s ideal to make sure you gain business awareness in return. Often this may be with your logo inclusion in community or charity marketing pieces, other times this may include a formal press release about your participation. Be sure you clearly identify in advance what you expect in terms of visibility in exchange of your services.

Seek media attention

Don’t share stories that media expects to hear, share something that is unique. Instead of reaching out to the media with the idea of simply featuring your business, give them a reason to want to feature your business. As a small business owner, you know more than anyone the value in gaining attention for your business. The key is to consistently seek attention while making sure it’s both quality and deserved.

To read the original article click here http://onforb.es/1kUslFJ

 

Masterful Marketing in the “Digital Age”

In the past, marketing channels were limited to television commercials, radio ads, outdoor signage and print. Today, companies and organizations are able to communicate and build relationships with their customers or members through a multitude of channels. Although traditional media outlets like TV and radio are still relevant, social media marketing is captivating both consumers and businesses. Since we are now living in an era known as the “Digital Age”, it is not surprising that almost everyone has some sort of social media account and most likely spends a significant time on it. With that being said, businesses are eager to place advertisements on these platforms and build an intriguing page to attract a large public following. No longer can businesses devote time to just one element of marketing because the increase in channels calls for integration.

A brand’s message must be consistent across each medium in which it interacts with consumers. This is why marketing in today’s ever-changing, instant environment requires more consideration than ever before. Companies and organizations are investing heavily in marketing and advertising departments to take on the task of promoting and building their brand through the endless channels that are now available; however their execution of the marketing plan doesn’t always pan out.

Here are some ways that masterful marketing can be achieved in the digital world:

  • To engage consumer interest on social media, published content must be creative and engaging. Brands who want to draw a large following must provide the public with unique information that simply cannot be found elsewhere.
  • Because the average adult attention span is 2.8 seconds, content must be made so that it can be absorbed quickly. The most effective way to do this is by utilizing visuals to present the public with what you do rather than explaining it through text.
  • Customers want to know brand’s latest updates, news or promotions, however, they do not want that information exclusively. Companies that utilize social media marketing best mostly publish content that relates to enhancing the lives of their customers instead of product/service offerings.
  • With such short windows of opportunity to grab attention, it is crucial for company websites to open in Internet browsers quickly. Not only is it proven that people will abandon sites that take longer to load, slow sites have even been found to rank lower in search engines.

With all of this being said, it is easy to see that the “Digital Age” has brought many new opportunities for marketers, however the difficulty in fighting for consumer’s attention has only increased.

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/07/31/marketing-mistakes/

Public Relations for Startups: 6 Tips!

The startup culture is no more a new thing in the United States. More and more people are leaving the 9-5 work culture and starting their own businesses. Google, Apple, Facebook are some of the major corporations that were started out by young people who were driven by passion and determination to bring a change into the lives of people. Today, these companies are worth billions. Following the same passion and determination, there are more than 100 million startups opening each year.

The competition to become the next big thing is brutal. Not just the hard work, but how you market yourself is what matters. Public relations is one such tool that has helped businesses to establish strong brand reputation. The main idea is to get the word out about a company, its products and services to those whose are potentially its customers. Public Relations helps to develop an effective communication process between potential customers and the company.
Media plays a huge role in the promotion of a company. It is important to have good ties with the media and help the business secure positive publicity. It requires careful planning and research for the successful implementation of a campaign. One damaging article in the press can have greater effect than ten positive mentions. Therefore, to understand the media and to deliver its message effectively, small businesses should not ignore public relations.

Advertising is good, but PR can bring long lasting impression and facilitate reputation building. Also, an advertising campaign can cost much more than public relations. Startups do not have huge budget for these campaigns, therefore PR remains the safest bet for them.

Shana Starr, Managing partner at LFPR, an independent global-communications firm that delivers successful public relations to companies in healthcare, technology and financial industries, often writes for the online journal, Entrepreneur. In an article titled, The 6 PR Tips Every Startup Should Employ, she gives out some PR tips that can come handy for every startup organization. Her valuable insights have always been helpful for businesses to understand the definitive role and importance of communication and public relations.

To understand the need of PR and the tips for startups, read the full article here.
http://bit.ly/1oecUop 

 

Do Facebook Ad’s Even Work?

It’s actually pretty simple, Facebook advertisement works by allowing you to target specific demographics you want to reach. With a plethora of option to choose from, this allows companies to find the exact audience they want to reach. In terms of spending, you choose how much are willing to spend daily and how long you want to spend it.
You might say, great sounds easy, but does this actually reach out to people who potentially can give me sales? The answer is yes, and here’s why.

Facebook ads should be used because of its ability to reach a large audience. According to Kiran Ross from Kansas City Business Journal, “with 1.15 billion people worldwide using Facebook, it simply cannot be ignored as a platform for marketing and must be included in your digital strategy for 2014.” In today’s digital age, Facebook has the best chance to reach all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds. This is all great, but to reach this audience one needs to have a strategy, a marketing plan. Just because you are advertising on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean you are reaching out to the people you want. Here are a few tips that Cokey Falkow from meritusmedia.com suggested when thinking of strategies:

• What are your ads going to look like?
• Are you refining your audience features to reach an exact demographic?
• Are you tracking the results using Facebook insights once the people who do click the ad come to your website or Facebook page?

These are just some of the few things to think about when planning to use Facebook ads, but the most important thing is that you first come up with a plan before you actually spend money. With the potential that Facebook ads has, it simply can be ignored.

Survey: More businesses turning to non-traditional lenders

A number of new businesses have recently been receiving credit from non-traditional lenders instead of banks. A recent survey of 125 companies showed that a third got their credit from non-banks and 90% said they would do it again.

What is causing this change? Several companies believe that it is an easier process than going through the traditional methods. This includes a simpler application process, less documentation and faster decisions. According to an article written by the Hartford Business Journal, “…companies were also attracted to non-bank lenders by more attractive loan terms, conditions, rates and pricing”. They also decided to go the non-traditional way after banks denied them because of not being able to qualify for a loan.

This kind of migration can lead to problems for banks, because several companies interviewed prefer acquiring loans from more “lightly regulated, non-bank providers.” Although this might hurt banks in the long run, it gives small businesses a larger opportunity to start up and then later expand into new directions.

For more information check out the article at http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140707/PRINTEDITION/307039971

The Facebook Marketing Machine

Facebook has transcended its original purpose as a social networking site solely focused on forming friendships and has become a huge vehicle for advertising.

As a result companies are placing more and more of their revenue into the Facebook marketing machine, which consists of maintaining company Facebook pages and Facebook-only promotions that appear on a user’s home page, many of which are tailored to the individual.Facebook Marketing Machine

Facebook uses information from a user’s profile to spotlight specific companies and advertisements that will appear relevant to a user’s homepage. They compile demographic information such as age, gender, location and education as well as more personal aspects like relationship status. The site also uses psychographic information, the majority of which comes from users’ “Like” preferences. The Like” button has become the most frequently used trigger for personalized ads. Amazon is just one of many companies that pays Facebook to produce ads when users click, Like, or reference their brand or products. Even if the Like button isn’t clicked, Facebook still knows that you have looked at that specific webpage and shown interest.

Another way companies use Facebook is by creating their own Facebook page where they can communicate and interact with potential customers. By creating a company Facebook page businesses enable themselves the ability to connect with millions of users around the globe. According to MSN, Coca-Cola has more likes than any other companies Facebook page in the world with over 84,000,000 likes.

In order to garner a large audience on Facebook it is imperative to remember the importance of creating engaging content for users. Including pictures and videos is one to effectively do this. This is because often times the first thing Facebook users check is photo updates. Descriptions can only go so far…after all, a picture does speak a thousand words. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain up to date information on a company’s Facebook page. Make sure to update your fans with everything regarding your business that you want to make public.

Sources: http://money.msn.com/investing/10-most-liked-brands-on-facebook
Image: http://www.covershub.net/covers/cover/3531/facebook-stock-market-funny

The Difference Between a Regular Website and a Mobile Website

A regular website is usually designed for viewing on a desktop computer. When viewed on a smaller mobile device, the user experience isn’t that great for a non-mobile website as certain elements from the site might not appear or may not function optimally.

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Differences Between a Mobile App and a Mobile Website

A mobile app is a software application, typically available at little or no cost, that can be installed on a mobile device. A mobile app can be an interesting marketing solution, as they can have additional functionality that mobile websites do not, but they are typically more expensive and they do not negate the need for a mobile friendly website. Continue reading