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Archive for Marketing Your Business

What are Key Marketing Performance Indicators You Should Pay Attention to?

buisnessman with tablet pc and graphNot every business owner is analytical in nature. When it comes to running and marketing our businesses, you may not automatically know what to measure, or sometimes even how to measure it.

One area where measuring and analytics are essential is in your marketing. How can you know if a strategy is working if you don’t compare before-and-after scenarios?

Here are the key performance indicators (KPI) you should start with to better assess your marketing results.

 Web Traffic

Ideally, your marketing should be sending more traffic to your website and your blog. Start by looking to see what your traffic is now, if you haven’t been doing much marketing. Or, look in your Google Analytics to see what it was several months ago and compare it to now. Continue reading “What are Key Marketing Performance Indicators You Should Pay Attention to?” »

How to Use Content Marketing to Talk to Your Target Audience

Recently, I zeroed my marketing business in on the software industry. I’d been preaching the benefits of having a niche, and yet I didn’t have one. Once I made that decision, I needed to start attracting software companies to my marketing firm. But how to do that?

I started with my content. I’ve been blogging about marketing for years, but now I needed to tighten the reins a bit so that my audience — software company owners and CEOs — would find my content and feel I was speaking to them. Imagine how much more engaged your audience — each individual buyer — would feel if your content said, “Hey you! Yes you. I understand exactly what you’re going through, and this article/ebook/web copy will tell you what to do to solve your problem.”

Here’s what I did, and what you can do too.

The Website

I was extremely nervous about turning off any other potential customer that might happen across my site if I made it overtly focused on the software industry, so I made subtle changes. I turned the copy into a conversation I imagined I was having with that software CEO:

  • Are your halfhearted attempts at managing your social media pages costing you more than they’re making you?
  • Did you hire an inexperienced intern to help you with your web presence, only to end up managing it yourself?
  • Do you find yourself spending time trying to write blog content that you should be spending on growing your company?

These were problems I imagined he could identify with. If he could relate, he could keep reading. Only once do I use the word “software” on the site. Subtle, right? Yet I’ve gotten several software leads since making the change. Continue reading “How to Use Content Marketing to Talk to Your Target Audience” »

Email Marketing: Offer Opt-In—Or Miss Out!

Offer Opt-In—Or Miss Out!

When it comes to email marketing, you’ve got a fantastic opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers when they’re ready to buy. After all, their next favorite shirt/hat/business service is just a click away!

But how do you get people to sign up for your emails in the first place? Let’s look at a few options.

#1. In the Checkout Process

This is standard fare: when a customer is checking out to buy something from you online, you can include a box to check if they want to receive updates from you. One sly way to get more signups is to automatically check the box. If someone isn’t interested, they can uncheck the box. Most will leave the box checked, and you’ll end up with more email subscribers. Continue reading “Email Marketing: Offer Opt-In—Or Miss Out!” »

Understanding Metadata: 5 Need-to-Know Basics

This is a guest post by John Terra.

In the course of your travels throughout the many exotic locations on the Internet, you may have heard the term “metadata” thrown around. It sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Well, one thing that’s more impressive than how the word sounds is understanding what metadata is and what things are most important to know about it. Here are five basic facts about metadata.

  • The Definition of Metadata
    If you’re looking for a brief, pithy definition, metadata is defined as “data about data”. It’s the summing up of data’s basic information. So for instance that nifty image you have on your company’s website may feature the resolution, when it was created, when it was modified, and image size, and all of that is classified as metadata. In other words, metadata is information embedded in a file that gives you some idea of its vital statistics. Continue reading “Understanding Metadata: 5 Need-to-Know Basics” »

Six Simple Steps to Network like a Pro

Whether you own a business, or are looking for a new job or next opportunity, networking is a must these days. But, networking functions aren’t for everyone. Many people aren’t keen on standing in a room filled with strangers, and feeling like you’re asking and answering the same questions with every conversation.

If networking doesn’t come naturally to you, take heart. There are some simple steps you can take to improve this critical skill and make any networking event work for you:

1. Don’t overlook any opportunity to network: Good networkers will find networking opportunities anywhere…whether it’s a formal networking event or in line at the grocery store or waiting at the pediatrician’s office.   Continue reading “Six Simple Steps to Network like a Pro” »

3 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Press Releases as Part of Your Marketing Strategy

It seems like Google is slapping down every marketing technique professionals like me have been using for years, all in the space of a few months. Press releases, says Google, aren’t appropriate tools for getting backlinks and using keywords.

But does that make them not worth using?

Not at all, and here’s why.

1. Constant Mention of Your Brand Helps You

When you’ve consistently got things happening at your company and put out press releases about your news and accomplishments, people take notice. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn; that’s what marketing and PR are all about.

If someone searches for your company name and sees several press release links in the results, they’ll get the impression that things are moving and shaking over at your company. And that’s an image you want to portray: success and activity. Continue reading “3 Reasons You Can’t Ignore Press Releases as Part of Your Marketing Strategy” »

10 Cost-Effective Ideas to Market Your Business Online

internetemailmarketingThe recession that we’re just barely out of (if at all) has left most of us small business owners wincing at the thought of parting with our hard-earned money. Even when it comes to necessities like marketing, we’re reluctant to spend unnecessarily.

Fortunately, marketing online is extremely affordable, and often even free. Here are 10 ideas you can use to reach a wider audience, increase traffic to your site, and boost sales.

1. Be a Part of the Conversation on Social. Whether you’re following hashtags like#smallbiz on Twitter and engaging with others, participating in LinkedIn groups, or chatting in Google Hangouts, there are ample (free) opportunities for you to connect with likeminded professionals and your target customers. Always contribute value and never push your products.

2. Write an Ebook or Whitepaper. Your customers have problems that your products can solve. But rather than trying to sell the products, offer a useful piece of content like a whitepaper or ebook. Encourage visitors to your site to sign up for your emails in order to download the freebie. Continue reading “10 Cost-Effective Ideas to Market Your Business Online” »

10 Ways to Break the Ice at a Networking Event

Photo by Official GDC.

It’s a classic scenario: you arrive at a networking event armed with business cards and ready to make connections. But once you get there, you can’t seem to pull yourself away from the wall and mingle with everyone who acts more confident than you feel.

The truth is, you’re not the only person who’s nervous about talking to strangers. Many entrepreneurs feel awkward at their first networking event, even if they don’t show it. The key is displaying confidence. Use the old “fake it ‘til you make it” adage, and you’ll soon be rubbing elbows with other business owners.

1. Get to Know People Before the Event

It’s much easier to network if you have one or two points of contact at the event. Connect with the event planner, who will do her best to make you feel at ease, and consider linking to a few participants through social media and starting conversation before the event. This way, you can make a point of introducing yourself to them, paving the way to meeting other participants.

 2. Prepare Your Elevator Speech

If you’ve ever been flummoxed when someone asked you what you do for a living, you know it can make for an awkward situation. Develop a succinct elevator speech that explains your business and your role in a few sentences. Keep it high level; that gives your new contacts the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about what you do. Practice it until you feel confident delivering your elevator speech. Continue reading “10 Ways to Break the Ice at a Networking Event” »

How to Get More People to Share Your Press Release Socially

press release shareBack in the day (oh, about five years ago) a press release was just a thing online that not many people read. But now that we’ve got fantastic social media sharing tools, you can ensure that more people see your release and share it themselves.

Press release distribution sites like PRWeb include what are called social sharing tools on each press release you issue. See them?

By clicking on them, you (or any reader) can instantly share the press release on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, or by email.

Then, anyone following you on these social sites will see your share and can click on the link if they choose. Here’s what my tweet looked like when I clicked the Twitter button:

88% of Small Businesses in North America Believe Working Remotely Improves Quality of Life http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/6/prweb10824517.htm

If this tweet interests anyone, they can do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Click the link to read the release
  2. Retweet my tweet to share with their network

And just like that, a single press release reaches a network of potentially thousands! Continue reading “How to Get More People to Share Your Press Release Socially” »

NEW: Get Your Guides On Social Media Tips and Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

We’re excited to announce that entrepreneurs looking to start a business now can access our three new small business guides: How to start a blog, How to get press coverage, and Social Media Tips for every small business. The guides are all free for download on our website.

“Over the years, we’ve produced helpful business tips and resources such as guides on starting a business, incorporating a business, or setting up a sole proprietorship. However, we know that there’s a lot more involved to building a thriving business. That’s why we’re branching out to provide our small business clients with lots of other free resources, including hot topics like how to start a blog, social media tips and PR,” said Nellie Akalp, co-founder and CEO of CorpNet.com.

The three new guides join other helpful small business resources on CorpNet.com such as Starting a Business Checklist, LLC Basics, and Filing a DBA.

The free PDFs specifically address some of the most pressing small business questions when it comes to building a brand, community, and sales in today’s digitally social age. Specifically, the guides include: Continue reading “NEW: Get Your Guides On Social Media Tips and Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” »