Every Strategy Is Different

Just like no two fingerprints are the same, no two businesses will be identical. There may only be minor differences, but these can make a big difference when it comes to planning a marketing strategy. What is right for one company can be totally the wrong thing for another, but sometimes you just have to try various things and monitor them to see which is working best for you.

Using An Agency Or Do It Yourself?

You may think that using an agency is outside of your budget although, to be honest, they are usually very good at putting strategies together. Doing it yourself might not be too bad if you have some knowledge about the different areas of marketing and know something about programming your website to do exactly what you want. You may find the website at Javabeat.Net very useful in this respect, as it has a lot of information and tutorials to help you.

There will be some aspects you will find easier than others in any marketing campaign, social media being one of the simplest for you to handle.

Let Social Media Help You

Social media is a brilliant marketing tool and should be part of any strategy to help your business. It can be time-consuming, which is why some people employ others to manage it for them, but nothing else will give you such a large reach or as much interaction with your customers. There are analytical tools to help you monitor which of the social media platforms are working for you as well, and that can be extremely useful information to have.

Emails Could Be The Answer

Sending regular emails is something else that you could do yourself. You need to make sure they are engaging and interesting for anyone to read, which is why many companies use a newsletter format. There are programs such as MailChimp, which enables you to send the same email to thousands of people at the push of a button.

Both emails and social media are strategies that could help your business and that you could do yourself if you wanted.

An Effective Website

Just as Javabeat.Net can help you with many aspects of your website, there are tools on the market that will help you to initially set up a website yourself in about an hour. It is not as difficult as some people think, and although it might not look quite so professional until you have made enough money to pay an agency, it can be a good way to start.

Your website can be the first impression a potential customer has of your brand, so keep it simple in its looks and precise in its content if you want them to stay for more than a few seconds.

The problem that many new businesses have is cash flow, and until the sales start to happen that does not improve. The strategy you use to market your business will not be the same as anyone else’s but should make your brand stand out from all your competitors.

Implementing An Effective eCommerce Strategy: A Guide

You’ve done your research and decided that going branching out onto the worldwide web is the best decision for your business. But how do you actually go about implementing that? Building an online store and an eCommerce website requires a sophisticated content management system and a strategy that combines many separate elements. Not sure where to begin? Here is a guide to help you transition to the wonderful world of eCommerce.

Finding your online voice

Firstly, you will need to think about how you want to present your company online. What sort of tone do you want to have? Formal and serious or open and friendly? You will need to consider your product or service descriptions, as your online voice will play a big role in this. If you’re not sure how to go about this, looking at your competitors is a good place to start. How are they presenting themselves? How do they describe their products? Your descriptions will require keywords that online users search for in search engines, as well as being compelling enough to convince your customers to buy.

You’ll also need to take professional quality photos to accompany your inventory, as eCommerce relies heavily on visually appealing interfaces and imagery.

Setting yourself up

The second thing you will need to do is set up your website. This can be done independently, through platforms such as WordPress, or through a professional website designer. You need to ensure that your website is easy to navigate, has a clean and sharp design, and holds all the information your customers might need.

For much large organizations, especially those running ERP, eCommerce will be part of a wider strategy. This is usually outsourced to companies who can implement comprehensive product suites, such as Omnia, which ensure you offer up real time data under the secure umbrella of the ERP infrastructure.

Create a marketing plan

Doing business online comes with many benefits, including the vast array of marketing techniques and tactics for you to utilize, many of which are either free of charge or inexpensive to use.

Take social media for example. Especially due to changing algorithms on media platforms, you should strongly consider paid promotion due to the accurate targeting options on offer. However, you can do a lot for your business by simply engaging with customers on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Regular posting shows consumers you are active and involved with your customer community, and can be a good way of showing your strengths and previous customer loyalty. Many people go straight to social media when checking out a business, as it is the perfect insight into who you are. It will certainly give your brand a stronger, more personable identity.

Focus on customers

In the face of fierce online competition, remember that your strongest strategy weapon is prioritizing your customers. Social media users respond well to brands that build and nurture meaningful relationships, while Google is constantly updating its algorithm to favor those who give greater precedence to the customer experience.

Reasons to Have a Newsletter

Although social media marketing is having its moment in the spotlight right now, email marketing is still very much a relevant and a powerful tool for your business to utilise. One way you can really take advantage of email marketing is via a newsletter, something which appears to be a dying trend.

When you consider just how many of us use email and have access to it around-the-clock through our smartphones, you start to see the raw potential of properly using email marketing to reach your customers and subscribers. Although you may be sitting on the fence, unsure whether or not to create a newsletter, we recommend that you just go ahead and do it – you have nothing to lose and it is really something that can pay off.

If you are unsure how to create a newsletter, there are plenty of guides available online which can help you from beginning to end, regardless of your skill level or experience. Creating a newsletter is very simple and you can have one ready to go in virtually no time. If you are still unsure, read on to learn just how beneficial a newsletter can be for your business or brand.

#1: Newsletters Drive Conversions & Sales

It’s very easy to understand just how email marketing and newsletters are effective when it comes to driving up sales. When a subscriber opens one of your emails, you have a golden opportunity to make the sale right there and then — you already have the recipient’s attention and you need to take advantage of this moment to describe the product or service, explain its benefits, and entice them to make a purchase.

As we all know too well, human beings are impulsive creatures and by including incentives such as a coupon, promotion or special offer in a newsletter, you can easily convince somebody to make a purchase. If statistics are anything to go by – where 7 in 10 adults make use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email or where over 40% of email recipients make at least one purchase per year based on an email – there is no doubt that newsletters can have a dramatic impact on your sales.

#2: Newsletters Create Connections

Although you may not believe so, consumers actually want to receive promotional emails from their favourite brands; many consumers go out of their way to sign up for promotional emails. By creating a newsletter which is interesting and engaging, you enable your subscribers to connect with your brand or business on a personal level.

Email marketing and newsletters are about more than just making sales, they are about providing value and utility beyond sales and profits by sending customers interesting, well-thought-out email newsletters with which they can resonate. By building bridges and connections with your customers, you establish brand loyalty, something which, in the long-term, can spur growth.

At the end of the day, your customers buy from you because they are loyal to your brand and can trust you, a trust which is established through building connections with customers.

#3: Newsletters Boost Website Traffic & Social Media Followings

In your email newsletter, you can add social sharing buttons for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. As you are likely aware, these social media channels are vital to your overall marketing strategy yet growing them can be something of a challenge. Email newsletters are very effective at helping you build up your social media following. For the most part, merely having these social buttons there can be enticing enough to encourage people to follow your social media pages, however, drawing your newsletter to a close with a discussion involving your social media channels can be another way to entice your subscribers to like and follow your pages.

Not only this, but your email newsletter can play a major role in boosting overall traffic to your website or online store. If you want people to come and visit your website, peruse through your catalogue and, ultimately, make a purchase, you need to invite and encourage people to do just that. There are multiple ways you can go about this, including promotional incentives, calls to action and targeted emails.

Although email newsletters have become something of a dying trend with the onset of social media marketing, it is important to recognise the important role they still play for online businesses, especially small-to-medium sized ones which do not yet have much of a substantive following.

Newsletters are a simple way to engage the customers and subscribers you currently have and encourage them to share your business or brand and, ultimately, come back for more. It’s very easy to create an emotive and engaging newsletter which encourages a response from its recipient, and every business should be sending email newsletters often.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

3 Tips on Holding an Event to Promote Your Business

If you want your business to seriously compete with the other players in the field, you need to promote it in the right way. Remember the different forms that promotion can take. For example, your online marketing will constitute part of your promotion efforts, as will any events that you host.

There is no right or wrong way to go about promoting your business; the best moves for your business will depend on exactly what it is, as well as who you are marketing to and competing against. There are, however, a number of things that you can do that will maximise the chances of your promotional event being a success.

Throw the Event You Would Want to Attend

The easiest way of ensuring that you plan the very best event that you can is to make it the kind of event that you would want to attend. It doesn’t mean that everything should match your personal taste, it just means that you should put in as much effort as you would want someone else to put in to an event you were attending.

This thinking should extend beyond the event itself and also include things like invitations sent out beforehand. If you don’t invite people to your event in the right way, the number of respondents who show up at all will be lower.

Make sure that every aspect of your event reflects the care and attention you have put into it. The best way of achieving this is to ensure adequate planning beforehand. It’s no use getting to the day of the event and still not having everything in place. The more organised you are beforehand, the better chance you have of pulling it off without a hitch.

Staff it Properly

There are two components to ensuring that you have the right staff on hand. The first is simply numbers as if your event is understaffed, it will show. Guests at an understaffed event will have a harder time navigating. Even if your event only takes place in a single room, and everything is clearly signposted, you need enough staff members to ensure that food is circulated properly and that any issues can be addressed promptly.

While some businesses choose to staff these events using their own staff, if you want to really push the boat out, and if you want this event to be a roaring success, then you should hire some temp staff externally. Through companies such as Staff Heroes, you’ll be able to find a range of staff that are available to work during the specific date of your event, and then choose each staff member based on their profile.

Promote it Beforehand

Hosting a killer event isn’t going to do much good if no one turns up. And, of course no one is going to turn up to an event they don’t know about (not intentionally anyway). The best way of promoting your event will depend upon a number of factors, namely what the nature of your event is, and who you are hoping to attract to it.

For example, if you are a software company who is hosting an event in the hopes of meeting other programmers and coders, with a view to working with anyone whose skills and interests complement your business’s other work, it would make sense to promote your event in places where coders will see it. By contrast, if your business is one that sells custom clothing, it’s unlikely you’ll be looking to fill a room with programmers. Instead, you should advertise your event with flyers in clothes stores, and any outdoor market clothing stalls near you.

Holding a killer event is an excellent way of raising your business’s, and your own, profile. With the right event, you can achieve almost anything. It is worth investing the necessary time and money to get it right.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

6 Ways to Give Your Content Marketing a Boost

If you’re investing your company’s time and resources into blogging, social media, video content and other forms of content marketing, you will almost certainly need to have some form of strategy. Otherwise, it can feel like you are creating content just for the sake of it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at six ways you can give your content marketing a boost and get the results that your business needs to be a success:

Have a Set Plan in Place

Creating content without a plan will soon see your creative minds getting lost, and you could find yourself stuck for ideas as a result. There needs to consistency across the board, including writing and uploading blog posts on your website that is filled with insights, knowledge and helpful advice for your readers, which are then shared on your social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

These posts should be happening on a regular basis, and many should be planned out in advance, so you keep on message and ensure that you’re not repeating yourself. Your readers/subscribers will soon move elsewhere for their content if you’re not piquing their interest on a regular basis.

The same rules apply to your social media accounts. It’s great to have your fingers in all the social pies, but if you don’t have a plan in place, you’re just going to neglect these valuable and powerful tools and waste your time. Understand each platform, and this includes understanding what content works and when is best to post on each social network. This way you can start devising your content plan accordingly.

Know Your Goals

While it’s great to have a content marketing plan, the best way to boost it towards getting great results, including more newsletter subscribers, social shares, and blog comments, is to know your goals, and then plan and focus your content towards achieving those goals.

If your end goal is to boost the number of book sales, offering your subscribers access to discount codes and advance copies is the kind of content marketing method that will help you achieve this goal. Sit down as a team and talk through your individual goals, before making a wider decision on the content and the marketing methods that are going to help you achieve those goals.

Measure Your Success with Tracking

Whatever your content marketing goals, you need to be tracking them in order to know for sure what methods are having success and which ones need tweaking in order to achieve more success. Tools like Google Analytics will help you keep tabs on your web traffic- including where the traffic is coming from (emails, social media, Google searches, etc.) and which of your posts and/or pages are bringing in the most traffic. If you have product pages on your site, it will also highlight how people find them, and if there are any holes in the navigation of your website that is preventing them from finding them quickly and making a purchase.

Every social media tool will have its own insights feature, which means you will be able to see which posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and co. are getting the most likes, shares and most importantly sales, as a result of following links to your products and services pages.

Encourage Collaboration in Meetings

While it’s great to have access to the best plans, tools, and platforms, what really matters is having the best team around your business, in order to create the best content for all of your channels. Some businesses have set creative teams for these tasks, whereas others believe that content marketing should be a collaborative process that everybody should be a part of, and this is why meetings are so important.

Many businesses have forgotten the power of face-to-face meetings because of the access to technology that makes remote working more affordable and easy. However, there is nothing more creative and rewarding than getting a bunch of people together, getting the whiteboard out and brainstorming ideas as a team. For a great post about the importance of the whiteboard in the office, read more here. You will have more content, more ideas, and a more collaborative environment if you take the time to have regular meetings with your team.

Find the Ideal Home for Each Piece of Content

Ask any social media expert, and they will tell you. It doesn’t matter if you have the great written blog post, the most epic photo or the most informative video content. If it’s in the wrong place, nobody will see it, and it won’t get the results and rewards it deserves.

Knowing where to place your content is essential to reaping the rewards it can bring. For example, Instagram is perfect for photos and short video content, so put your best content in these forms to that account. For blog posts, stats and insights, try Twitter, which is more of a conversational social platform. Facebook is the best place for your more sales-oriented posts, and is great for placing news, discounts and offers because it’s wide reach.

If you’re not sure what to post and where to post it, test your content on different mediums and track the results with Google Analytics. You’ll soon see what works and what doesn’t.

Have Both Free and Premium Content Available

Customers like to feel like they’re being rewarded for their loyalty to businesses, and you can grant this to them via your content marketing by giving them access to plenty of free content, including blog posts and special offers via email. However, to give your content marketing an extra boost, try the addition of premium content.

This could come in a variety of forms, including e-books, paperbacks, podcasts, audiobooks, one-to-one consultations, advance warning of tickets for events you might be running. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you track the success of the premium offers, and get something in return, which in the vast majority of cases, is contact information. These details could be very useful when you have new products and services to offer, and could massively boost your sales as a result.