A Quick Look Inside an Online Keyring Business

In the Beginning…

Like many small businesses, it all started as a bit of hobby; a sort of game and a way of testing our resolve. After several years of successful business and some unexpected times of hardship, I think it’s fair to say we’ve gone through the trials and tribulations that business must encounter. What exactly do we do? We make and sell keyrings. Just keyrings.

There was a time, when we would make every product by hand, from the printing and cutting of the inserts, to the pressing of the plastic and quality control before posting them to our (very first) customers. Times changed and we expanded. We did our best to control all products first hand, but it became obvious that things needed to change. To become a keyring specialist and expert in the field, we would have to expand our product range and that meant selling more than we could produce ourselves.

Manufacturing, sourcing and importing

Although sourcing some of our products from China, we still like to keep everything as local as possible. Our warehouses based in the UK still manufacture products such as our ‘Ad-Loops’, ‘Acrylic Insert’ and ‘Plastic Cards’. Ad-Loops and Insert keyrings can often be the perfect answer for quick and effective promotional campaign.

We’re constantly working on our sustainable range of keyrings and are working with factories in Slovenia, Portugal, Poland and more – all helping to deliver well made, eco keyrings.

Sometimes however, a more specialist keyring in needed. For times like this there are huge choice, benefits and financial gains to be had in sourcing your products from further afield.

Recent developments in synthetics and flexible plastics have opened up a new market and opportunity to use keyrings in a promotional way. Indeed keyrings have now become a very effective method of company branding, not just a free giveaway. Instead, companies are using recognisable key fobs that attract attention and sell for big money. From car manufacturers to fashion giants, every big business has a custom-made key fob. For this type of design flexibility we depend on a good working relationship with our partners in China.

What’s the best way to expand your business?

Provide the right product for each and every business and have every option available. Sometimes this means doing it yourself and sometimes not. What’s important to us is that we do always try hard to get our customers the results they’re looking for. It’s a philosophy that has been the key to providing the service we remain proud of.

3 ECommerce Challenges & Solutions for Tough Times

How to Start Selling Online More Effectively

To call these “tough times” may be a bit of an understatement to you, or perhaps you’ve pivoted your marketing strategy nicely and aren’t negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

There’s no arguing this pandemic has led to increased internet traffic as people work, socialize, and entertain themselves online.

Distributel, a company that buys wholesale access to Rogers Communications Inc.’s internet backbone, has seen a traffic increase of about 50%.

But an increase in internet usage doesn’t necessarily translate into increased sales for your small business.

Many consumers are hesitant to buy, either because they aren’t sure when they’ll be able to use the service you sell, or because they’ve been laid off or have had their hours reduced.

That’s why I’m sharing 3 eCommerce challenges and solutions to help you maintain and even grow as an entrepreneur during this crisis.

The Challenge: Making Your (eCommerce) Business Essential

Many entrepreneurs are panicking because they don’t have a traditional eCommerce business model, or an eCommerce website.

And, many worry they don’t have an “essential” enough product or service to offer online, like grocery stores do. (According to Apptopia, downloads of Instacart, the Walmart Grocery app and Shipt have increased 218%, 160%, and 124% compared with a year ago.)

Okay, so chances are you don’t sell groceries. But you can still be essential to your customers.

Are there certain products or services you can focus on that will better serve your target audience? For example:

  • If you have a clothing store: fabric face masks, casual outfits for working from home
  • If you offer financial, life, or other counseling services: 30- or 60-minute mental health sessions; many people are feeling lonely and isolated because of COVID-19
  • If you sell entertainment-related items: create short videos highlighting games, crafts, or puzzles that will be fun for bored kids or adults

While it’s not possible for every small business to pivot this way, the reality is that if you don’t adjust to this “new normal” as much as possible, your small business will suffer.

Changing your marketing strategy can be tough, but it’s amazing how a bit of creative thinking can transform your situation and increase your web presence.

The Challenge: More Customer Questions & Complaints

While having a phone number on your website and in your Google My Business results may have been enough pre-pandemic, your customers need your support now more than ever.

More people online means an increased number of questions, comments and complaints could be coming your way.

I’m sure you’ve been incredibly frustrated at one point after being put on hold for ages, or not getting an email back when you inquired about something. Don’t let your customers have a similar experience on your website.

If you don’t have the capacity to manage customer service, consider implementing a chatbot to increase your web presence. A chatbot allows business owners to provide responses and solutions-and even generate leads and sales-24/7 through automated customer service live chat.

According to IBM, up to 80% of routine customer service questions could be answered by a chatbot. While not every query can be tackled by a chatbot, it could take on the easier, yet still time-consuming, questions your customers might have.

The Challenge: Website Tech Issues

Let’s say you already have an eCommerce site for your small business. If you have a broken link, 404 page or slow loading times, your visitors will go elsewhere. (This is true all the time, not just during COVID-19).

Even a clever 404 page can’t save you from losing visitors (and potentially sales).

Also, you’re not going to build trust among your audience with a poor user experience. Nobody is going to enter their contact or credit card info if they don’t trust your website.

Not to mention, an unkempt website is a target for hackers.

Remember: You’re not only responsible for protecting your own data, but also for your visitors’. Security requirements are always changing, and no small or large business is safe.

That’s why it’s essential to monitor for glitches, update your software and back up your site regularly for an optimal user experience.

Now, what if you have to start selling online in response to COVID-19? While there are sites out there that let you start an eCommerce website yourself, remember that your website is your number one marketing tool.

From calls to action to the font type and images on your pages, how you present your small business to the world makes a big difference to how you’re perceived.

Also, you’re not going to have the same customization options if you go the DIY route.

A professional webdevelopment company will understand not only the technical aspects of the build, but also the best ways to get your message across to your target audience.

READ: “17 Strategic Business Pivots to Make in the Time of COVID-19”, on our website.

Just like that we woke up in a different world! The coronavirus epidemic has completely changed our lives and transformed the way we do business.

For many, this can be an incredibly frightening time to be a business owner. You worry about the health of your employees and the business, the bills that keep coming, your income and family obligations.

But rather than let worries overwhelm them, smart small business owners can use this opportunity to plan and prepare for future growth and success. We’ve created a COVID-19 checklist to help you make the most of this uncertain time.

Whether you have to start an eCommerce website from scratch or adjust your existing marketing strategy to increase your web presence, now is not the time to sit back and wait for the pandemic to blow over.

Right now, your target audience is “living” online, so you’re going to have to tackle eCommerce business challenges as quickly and smoothly as possible. Be proactive, pivot your marketing strategy, and learn from this journey!

The Importance of Empathy-Based Marketing

3 Ways to Use Empathetic Content Marketing

When I say the word “empathy,” what do you associate it with?

Kindness to a family member going through a hard time? Supporting your partner when they’ve had a bad day? Or, does a business-related example come to mind?

I’m going to guess that many people don’t associate “empathy” with buying or selling.

Unfortunately, many brands don’t either!

But as we move forward from COVID-19, empathy-based marketing isn’t just the right thing to do, your customers now expect it.

Many studies done during the pandemic are showing that people want brands to be more empathetic and aware of the long-term impact it will have on their lives.

Hopefully, you communicated authentically and empathetically with your customers during this time, and you’re going to have to continue to do so!

So now that we’ve established that being empathetic is important, let’s define exactly what it is.

Basically, it’s putting yourself in your customers’ shoes to better serve them. And unlike sympathy, which is feeling compassion, empathy means imagining yourself in another person’s situation.

Examples of Brand Empathy

Let’s look at a real-world example: IKEA recently created a video using footage shot by employees, capturing moments at home.

By thinking like their customers, the company showed solidarity and connection during the COVID-19 crisis⁠-and reminded people that maybe they should spruce up their space!

Here are a couple of ways a small business owner could use empathetic content marketing:

  • Make a DIY blog or video to show people how to create something using your product. Whether it’s growing herbs, updating their wardrobe with a few key pieces, doing crafts, or tracking their finances, this could be a good way to provide something useful to customers or social media followers who are spending more time at home.
  • Give a portion of your proceeds or donate products to a charitable cause. During the pandemic, one of our clients, Malarys, was very active in the community, donating a number of face masks to health workers. People are going to be looking to brands to continue these charitable efforts post-pandemic.

No matter how you approach empathy-based marketing, make sure you’re offering something of value to your audience.

According to Forrester’s 2019 research, 65% of consumers say they already get too much material from marketers, and nearly that many think they’re getting useless content.

Being empathetic isn’t your excuse to peddle fluff or lose sight of providing people with an actual solution.

How to Use Empathy to Enhance Marketing

1. Tap into emotional triggers.

Yes, your product or service offers buyers a solution, but that’s the logical side of the equation. What emotions drive your customers’ behaviour?

For example, one of our clients offers financial therapy services. Rather than focusing only on the numbers and figures, Wendy Wright dives deeper into the why of financial decision-making.

She talks about her previous struggles with money and the importance of looking at finances with “compassionate curiosity” to empathize with her clients, who often feel shame or anxiety around debt or savings.

2. Listen to your customers

A 2018 study by M&C Saatchi looked at how well 34,000 customers’ actual experiences with brands lined up with their promises. They discovered that 18% of consumers had stopped using a brand in the last 12 months because of a broken promise.

Twenty-seven percent believe that experiences are getting worse with brands, not better.

Are you following through with the quality and service that your customers deserve?

I’ve talked about this many times before, including the importance of dealing with negative customer reviews. At the core of brand empathy is how you treat your customers when they provide negative feedback.

For example, when a customer accused Airbnb and a host of racial discrimination after being refused a booking, then accepted after using a fake profile of a white man, Airbnb responded swiftly.

They launched their ‘Open Doors’ policy, which places any guest who feels like they are being discriminated against somewhere else, whether that’s in another Airbnb property or in a hotel.

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READ: “How to Evolve Your Business Model as Times Changes” on our website.

As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s obvious some things are forever changed. In a recent survey, 81% of Canadians agreed the crisis will create a new normal and have a lasting impact on society.

It’s time to look at your marketing and evaluate if it still makes sense to your target audience. I share some great tips on defining and meeting customer needs for your future success!

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3. Remember and respect differences.

No two customers are alike, even if they both fall into your target audience. People from different geographic locations, generations and genders aren’t all going to necessarily want the same thing from you.

When you’re creating your empathetic content marketing strategy, start with in-depth customer persona research. A marketing persona defines a segment of your audience, for example “tech-savvy millennial”, or “thrifty young mom.”

To design these useful marketing tools, you can look at your demographic data, survey and/or interview your customers and listen on social media.

By developing these marketing personas, you’ll have a much better idea of how to approach-and appeal to-your audience by offering them relevant content they will appreciate receiving from you.

Chances are you had to pivot your marketing strategy during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be back to business as usual now.

It’s time to walk a kilometre in your customers’ shoes. So be kind, understand the emotional level your client is at right now, and provide valuable content that is relevant to them as we all do our best to move forward stronger than ever.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

7 Steps To Creating A Successful Business Plan

When you go on a trip, typically you get out a map or you use GPS to ensure that you get to where you want to go in a relatively uncomplicated manner. You don’t just strike out without any idea of where you’re going or how you’ll get there.

The same thing should be done when you start a business. Map out a plan, starting with the end. In order to make the plan, ask the following 7 questions:

1. Who Are You?

This question really has two parts; one, who are you personally and two, who is your business? How you want the public (and customers) to view you as a business is important, because it can inform how you proceed with every aspect of your business.

2. What Do You Offer?

It’s true that you offer something that can easily be named, xyz service or xyz product, but what you really need to answer is what solutions are you providing? Is it freedom? Is it time? Is it something else? If you can answer that, you’ll be able to move your business forward faster.

3. Who Is your Customer?

Customer identification is an important part of owning and running a successful business. It doesn’t end once you figure out who your customer is either, because you will need to continue to study them over time. Try creating a customer avatar so that you can look at it and know exactly who you’re doing it for.

4. What Differentiates Your Offering?

Usually, someone else is offering something like yours or close to it. But, there is always something that makes yours stand out from anyone else’s. What is that thing? How can you emphasize the thing that makes yours better, different, or special?

5. How Will You Deliver It?

It’s important to know the means by which you’ll get your product or service to your audience. Without knowing that, it will be difficult to succeed in your business. Work out these plans in advance.

6. How Many Do You Need to Deliver for Success?

One thing many business owners forget to do is figure out how many widgets they need to sell (or hours if you’re in a service business) to break even, and then how many to be successful. When you know this answer, you can break that down to how many a day you need to sell. That then helps inform the rest of your plans.

7. What Is Your Timeline to Profitability and Success?

Once you know all the other information, it will be easier to determine how long it will take for you to be successful. Knowing that info you can start from the date you want to show your first dollar profit, going backwards and entering in the actions you need to take each year, month, week, day and even – if you wish – hour of your day.

5 Steps to Help You Build an ECommerce Store

Your Guide to Starting an Online Business

Whether COVID-19 pushed you to pivot from a brick-and-mortar store to an online environment, or you’ve decided to take the plunge and set up a web-based shop, starting an eCommerce business can be a rewarding venture.

From 2017 to late 2019, approximately 28.1 million Canadians made purchases online. That’s a lot of people who are landing on webpages and whipping out their wallets if they like what they see.

But there’s more to the process than buying a domain name and loading your site with products or services. There are technical aspects to navigate and content to consider.

Do you DIY with a website builder or hire a pro? Should you stick to SEO or focus on paid ads too?

As a small business owner, I’ve helped many clients create successful online companies. So I’m sharing this five-step guide to starting an online business with you to make the process clearer and less stressful.

1) Figure out what you want to sell.

If you’ve already got an established store, this might be a breeze. But if you’re just starting an eCommerce business and are focusing on products, you’ll need to think about what you’ll offer, and where you’ll get it from.

The first thing in figuring out what to sell and in what form is to ensure it’s relevant to today’s consumer. COVID-19 has made consumers much more in tune with their spending habits. Ensure there is a consumer first and foremost who is willing to spend their money for the product you aim to sell.

Next define how you want to sell your products. Here are just a few of the options:

  • Business-to-consumer (B2C): This is the most common business model, with many different approaches. Basically, you sell to the end user, but there may be a third party acting as a middleman (think Amazon).
  • Direct-to-consumer (D2C): From design and manufacturing to sales and promotions, the company does everything. Dollar Shave Club is a good example of a D2C business who started small and grew using this model.
  • Subscription service: Books, clothing, organic produce, baby gear… I could go on and on. Nearly every industry out there has harnessed the power of subscription services to deliver cost and time savings to customers on a regular basis.
  • Dropshipping: Rather than having to stock a warehouse full of products, when you sell a product on your site, you’re essentially purchasing the item from a third party, who ships it directly to the customer.

2) Buy a domain name.

If you already have a business name, this part could be simple. However, you’re not going to get a short and sweet dot com name unless you lay down big bucks. And you don’t want a domain name that runs five words long or is difficult for customers to remember (or spell).

Ideally, you use your company name like we did, with a dot com-or a dot ca if you’re in Canada. There are a lot of other TDLs (Top Level Domains) to consider such as.net,.co and.org but strive to get the revered.com as your primary domain if at all possible.

3) Build an eCommerce store

From incorporating branding into your layout to loading products/services, there are so many things to consider when you’re starting an eCommerce business, including:

  • Your shopping cart software. Shopping carts can be built with a variety of coding languages including ASP, PHP, JavaScript and HTML. They can be provided by a 3rd party service provider (such as Shopify) or installed in your WordPress website like WooCommerce to avoid monthly fees. Choosing the best shopping cart software requires a lot of pros and cons analysis of each choice. Many times the choice depends on your needs, your budget and the desired functionality.
  • The visuals (copy and images). How your store looks and feels to the shopper has a significant impact on whether they will trust making a purchase from you. Moreover, how each of your products are described along with using professional-looking photos can make or break a sale if not done properly.
  • Installing a Secured Security Layer (SSL) Certificate. This keeps your website secure and is mandatory in today’s online commerce environment. Even Google will favour your site’s search ranking if it detects an SSL installed.
  • Your shipping model. If you’re selling physical products, you need to decide how they are going to get into the hands of the purchaser. Are you sending customers items directly? Or are you using a third-party? Will you offer free shipping, or ship internationally? Do you want the shipping automatically calculated on checkout or will it be a flat shipping rate?
  • Your payment gateway. Are you going to accept only credit cards, or debit cards and PayPal too? Will you use a hosted gateway that takes people off your site to pay, then redirects them back, like our client Ripping Vintage Packs? Or is an integrated payment gateway more your style?

This is where it is so worth it to hire a a professional web development company. You won’t have to spend your time Googling “SSL Certificates” or trying to set up shopping cart software.

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READ: 3 eCommerce Challenges & Solutions for Tough Times

To call these “tough times” may be a bit of an understatement to you, or perhaps you’ve pivoted your marketing strategy nicely and aren’t negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

There’s no arguing this pandemic has led to increased internet traffic as people work, socialize, and entertain themselves online.

That’s why I’m sharing 3 eCommerce challenges and solutions to help you maintain and even grow as an entrepreneur during this crisis.

Read more on our website.

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4) Focus on SEO

Did you know that SEO has the highest ROI of any online marketing tactic? Despite this fact, many small business owners build their sites with very little consideration of how the search engines see their content.

SEO means doing keyword research to discover the keywords that your target audience is using to find what they need.

Your SEO strategy will be focused largely on on-page techniques like keyword-rich content and meta tags.

5) Create valuable content

Your customers don’t just want to see pages and pages of products, or a one-liner selling them services. They want you to be a trusted expert who can provide them with everything from useful tips to reassurance that their credit card info is safe.

Content marketing is an ongoing process. If you want to please your target audience and the search engines, you’ll need to be regularly posting articles, blogs and videos that are valuable to your audience.

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No matter what your small business model is, you’ll need to keep testing and tweaking after you build an eCommerce store. You’ll want to dive into your data to see your customers’ behaviour, like:

  • Are they spending time reading your carefully crafted content?
  • Is there a broken link that’s causing people to abandon their shopping carts before they’re finished buying?
  • How many of your website visitors are converting into customers?

Of course, there’s a lot more to starting a web-based business than what I’m able to cover here! From promoting your business on social media to creating paid ads to drive traffic, you’ll want to have a marketing strategy in place as you move forward. But this guide to starting an online business will help you lay a solid foundation for a successful eCommerce site.

9 Video Marketing Challenges & How to Solve Them

Your Video Marketing Guide for Success

I’ve established that a video marketing strategy is a must these days in earlier blog articles. I’ve shared how important it is to engage your audience, and how creating compelling videos can help you increase brand awareness, improve SEO and boost leads and sales.

In fact, Google research shows that 55% of consumers use videos for purchase decisions. According to this research, marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year by using it. And a survey conducted by Wyzowl shows that nearly eight out of every ten users have purchased a piece of software or app after having watched brand videos.

But while I’ve focused a lot on video marketing benefits, what I haven’t covered yet are some of the challenges that small business owners face.

So in this week’s blog, I’m highlighting 9 video marketing challenges, and provide a solution to each one.

1. Not having an objective.

It’s crucial to define your objectives. To understand why you’re making videos, go back to your target audience and their pain points. What problem are you going to solve for them? Why should they trust you to help?

Next, think about the type of content you want to share. Here are some examples:

  • How-to guides
  • Q&As
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses
  • Events
  • Interviews
  • Unboxings (if you have a physical product)

It’s also good to define the type of emotion you want your viewer to feel: touched, excited, inspired… If you’re going for funny and light-hearted, make sure you’re not going to come across as insensitive or even offensive.

2. Not planning before you hit play.

It’s essential to plan out your delivery before you get behind the camera (or camera phone, in many cases). This is not the time to “wing it.” Write down some bullet points you want to cover-you can even tape them somewhere you can see them while you’re recording.

As with many things, practice makes perfect. Don’t read from a script, because the more conversational and authentic you are, the more connected your audience will feel to you and your brand.

3. Not capturing your audience’s interest.

Just as a compelling headline is essential for your blog article, an opening hook is what’s going to make your viewers watch until the end.

You only have a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention. So decide what question you can ask to pique their curiosity and have them wanting to learn more.

4. Making your messaging too salesy.

Too many small business owners jump right into why you need to buy their product or service, without telling a story or gaining trust.

Determine how you can add value to people’s lives. What can you teach them? How can you inspire or entertain them? If you’re not providing something of value, you’re not going to get the results you’re hoping for.

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READ: How to Create a Video Marketing Strategy That Gets Results

Are videos a part of your marketing strategy? If it’s not, it has to be! Why? Well, consumers are now comfortable with being marketed to via videos, and many now expect it from the brands they know and trust.

There are many video marketing benefits, including building awareness around your product or service, engaging your target audience and helping to retain customers.

It’s time to seize the opportunity to utilize this essential, yet often-overlooked marketing tactic. Here are three steps to create a strategy that increases engagement, leads and sales.

Read more on our website.

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5. Not including your branding.

I’m sure you’ve watched commercials that stuck with you, but do you always remember the brand that created the ad? While your messaging is a big part of building brand awareness, it’s not everything.

It’s important to brand your content with your website URL and logo to remind people of who you are and keep your company top-of-mind when they do make a purchase decision.

6. Forgetting about video SEO.

It’s not just written content that benefits from being well-optimized for search engines. But video SEO isn’t the same as regular SEO. Here are a few basic tips:

  • Include a target keyword in your title.
  • Say your target keyword (YouTube can understand what you say in your shots).
  • Write an engaging meta description not only for people, but for search engines (notably YouTube and Google).

7. Expecting if you build it, they will come.

You’re not likely to get much traction if you put what you film on the homepage of your website and do nothing to let people know it’s there. You need to understand effective video marketing, including:

  • Paid ads to drive traffic to your website
  • SEO so people find it in the search engines
  • Sharing it on social media platforms including YouTube
  • Embedding it in a blog post
  • Including it in an email newsletter

You’re going to have to work to get an audience. This is where having a professional marketing company who can help you tackle video marketing challenges can be a huge advantage.

8. Not having a CTA.

Your end goal is to have your viewers take action, whether you want them to buy something, like and share your content or subscribe to your newsletter.

It’s wise to tell your audience what you’d like them to do (think of it like a verbal CTA!) and give them a button or link to follow to take the next step. Otherwise, they’ll be much more likely to leave your site and head to your competitor’s.

9. Not measuring your success.

You’ll have to decide what some key metrics are for your business, and track how you’re doing. For example, how many people bought the product you’re selling after watching?

If lots of people are watching but nobody is converting into a lead or sale, it’s time to take a closer look at your data to see where and when you’re losing visitors. Try some A/B testing between pages and posts and see how your engagement is with your users.

5 Reasons Content Marketing Is Important To Building Your Brand

The expression “Content is king” is an absolute truth. It seems that there’s a brand-new shiny object each week to get sidetracked by, but content marketing is still the most powerful technique for building an audience and generating leads. In this short article, I’ll give you 5 of the top reasons that you need to be doing content marketing as a big component of your advertising and marketing method.

Content Marketing Reason # 1 – Establish Trust as well as Build Reputation

There are dozens of effective content advertising methods. Blog posts, podcasts, videos, or interviews all are powerful ways to demonstrate your experience in your market and assist your prospective clients at the very same time. Content marketing will not just show your trustworthiness as an expert, but it will certainly help you build rapport with your target market which is crucial for brand awareness.

Identify the most common difficulties or pain points that your target market deals with and also develop material that helps them find options. And don’t make your content a huge sales pitch! The objective of content marketing is to develop goodwill by offering solutions which will also develop your brand. This will ultimately lead to even more organic sales ultimately without being a constant pitch fest.

Content Marketing Reason # 2 – Build Brand Recognition

If you’re refraining from doing content marketing routinely, then opportunities are you might be undetectable. You may even have the most effective services or product in deep space, yet unless people learn about you, you do not also exist. Web content advertising can aid you transform that. When people arrive at your content to get the answer or find remedies, you raise brand recognition organically. Utilize your content to demonstrate your competence, as we stated above, and also to increase web traffic to your web site.

Content Marketing Reason # 3 – More Leads = Extra Customers

Having a constant increase of leads as well as customers is vital, right? And also content advertising and marketing allows you to reach a boundless stream of customers that could have otherwise not understood regarding you. When you offer pertinent, prompt, and useful material, you draw in leads like a magnet. Plain as well as simple.

Quality material additionally keeps clients coming back for even more. People are more probable to return to a resource that has aided them in the past. Once they begin to depend on you to provide appropriate web content as a professional in your area, your clients will automatically go to your content whenever they have a demand pertaining to your market.

Content Marketing Reason # 4 – Online Search Engine Rankings

Your material permits you to integrate search phrases that will certainly help you rate greater in Google search results page. The more you publish pertinent web content, the greater your authority, and that implies more website traffic to your website. A small portion of individuals endeavor past the initial web page of search results page, so the higher as well as longer you place, the far better your results will be!

Also, if you upload high quality material, other organisations will want to connect to your site, which even more expands your target market. And also, these “back links” are great for your site’s SEO. Intend to rate greater? Backlinks are a significant part of getting you there.

Content Marketing Reason # 5 – Attract Your Target Customer

Yes, the function of content marketing and marketing in general is to bring in leads, yet you do not want unqualified leads or tire kickers that never in fact employ you. Rather, you wish to attract your target customer, your perfect client, so that you don’t waste time or power with the incorrect people. So, exactly how does material advertising and marketing bring in the optimal customer? In other words, just those who have an interest in your industry will certainly search out your material. And also only those that seek your material will click your Call To Actions and end up going to your touchdown web page and watching your service or products. This indicates that quality leads will certainly be thinking about purchasing from you.

Go Produce Even More Content!

There’s no time like the present to begin creating and providing top quality content as a component of your marketing method. Add content marketing to your technique, as well as invite those organic leads!

The Importance of Blogs to Increase Engagement

5 Advantages of Blogging for Marketing

No matter what type of small business you have, blog article writing is extremely important for a number of reasons. It is a key ingredient in your marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and drive traffic back to your website.

Today, there are a whopping 600+ million blogs out there, out of over 1.7 billion websites. This week, I’m going to share some of the advantages of blogging for marketing and the components of an effective blog post so you can join them!

So first, let’s explore 5 advantages of blogging for marketing:

1. Your blog drives traffic to your website.

Whether you use SEO to help people find your blog, promote it in paid ads or post it on social media, all roads lead back to your website. The more relevant and search-engine-optimized blogs you share with the world, the more traffic will come to you.

And once your data shows you what types of content are performing best, you can start to write multiple posts related to the most popular topics.

2. Blogging boosts your search engine rankings.

Search engines are always on the lookout for fresh and relevant content. By writing a blog, you’re inexpensively creating new content for the search engines to index.

You need to start by doing your research to find relevant high-volume, lower-competition keywords to include in your articles. But you don’t want to stuff your writing full of keywords to try and get the search engines attention-this will actually have the opposite effect.

A professional SEO company can help you create blogs with just the right amount of keywords. Also, read How to Get Higher Blog Post Rankings Using SEO Yoast on our website.

3. Valuable content can increase sales

When you share content that adds value to your readers’ lives, they’re more likely to buy something from you. Rather than simply driving traffic from your paid ads or social media to a website full of links, you can direct people to blog posts that complement your product or service.

Well-written copy offers the perfect opportunity to educate and inspire people, who now better understand the value of what you’re offering.

4. Blogs build trust among your target audience.

Blogging lets you connect with website visitors and customers in an authentic way. If you consistently provide high-quality content to your target audience, you’ll start to be seen as an authority in your industry.

Gaining people’s trust can’t be rushed, however. Don’t revert to pushy sales tactics or churn out a dozen articles in a few weeks expecting a huge increase in readership and sales. Be patient and genuine for the best results.

5. Your social media presence can benefit..

One of the main advantages of blogging for marketing is that it easily supports your social media efforts.

When you share on social media, people who see and like your content may be tempted to share it with their followers, which increases traffic to your website and awareness of your brand.

Secondly, you have the opportunity to interact with followers who comment on your posts, which helps build trust and brand loyalty.

Components of an Effective Blog Post

Now that we’ve established the importance of blogs to increase engagement, let’s look at the components of an effective blog post:

1. A compelling headline: Think of what you’d like to see if you were looking for a solution to your problem. For example, this article’s headline is “The Importance of Blogs to Increase Engagement.” Would you want to read it if it were “Why Writing a Blog is Important”? It’s less likely.

2. Directive subheads: This is especially useful for longer blogs. Subheads break up your content and guide your reader to the next step. For example, the section you’re reading now is “Components of an Effective Blog Post,” which tells you exactly what to expect.

3. Well-researched, value-adding content: The meat of your article is what people will pay the most attention to. Back up what you’re saying with stats or research from industry leaders to make it more credible.

Give your readers real-world examples of how your product or service will enhance their lives, not just a list of features.

READ: How to Excel at Engagement-Based Email Marketing.

Engagement-based email marketing relates to how your subscribers interact with your eNewsletter. Once they’ve opened it up, you still need to wow them with your content.

An article can be a great tool for engagement-based email marketing. You can either place the full article in the body of the newsletter or just have the first few paragraphs of the article in the newsletter, and then link back to your blog.

Read more on our website.

4. A strong call to action: Often referred to as a CTA, a call to action is a button, image, or text link that directs the user to the next step in their website experience. (In SEO terms, these steps make up the conversion funnel.)

Without a CTA, the user has no idea where to go next, and you risk losing them to another website/competitor. So what are you trying to get your potential customer to do? One of the main components of an effective blog post is letting people know whether to buy now, learn more, download an eBook, etc.

5. Visually appealing graphics: Using visuals that match your brand can be incredibly engaging. There are so many advantages to using imagery:

  • They help create an emotional connection with readers.
  • Many people are visual learners, so images help you tell your story in the most effective way.
  • Posts with relevant images perform better in search engines.
  • Blogs with images receive higher engagement than those without images. For example, Facebook posts with photos receive an average 37% increase in engagement.

6. Good meta description: Basically, meta descriptions provide a description of the content of your post within the search engine.

So as someone is deciding which search engine result to click on, which do you think they’ll pick? A creative, customized meta description that encourages them to learn more, or a generated, often irrelevant, meta description generated by the content platform (e.g. WordPress) that you use?

There are so many advantages of blogging for marketing. Never underestimate the importance of blogs to increase engagement.

If you take the time to understand your target audience, do your keyword and topic research, write engaging copy and promote it on social media, it will be worth it.

In fact, you might find that your blog is the most powerful marketing tool you have!

5 Top Advantages of Promotional Tents for Events

Business Can Be Taken To Different Locations

Most companies conduct business and engage with potential customers by means of showrooms. However, the problem is, traditional showrooms are rigid and inflexible. If they want to let more people from other places know about their brand, it is best to rent or purchase a marquee tent, which is available at local event companies.

All they need to do is set up the pop up tent at trade shows, community fairs, markets or wherever their customer base is located. They will have their own space and use customized branding so consumers will remember their business.

Boost Engagement Using a Standout Display

Companies can network and engage with prospects at trade events. However, it can be hard to get the people’s attention when there are lots of other businesses around. Therefore, they need to do something to let their company stand above the rest of the crowd.

They can customize their event tents with colored walls of their choice and canopies. They can also print their branding in full-color text complete with graphics. High quality tents can draw more customers and provide them with an opportunity to market their brand and products.

When businesses participate in trade events on a regular basis, a marquee event tent can help a lot.

Tents are versatile and User-Friendly

A number of the biggest companies join extravagant traveling road shows that feature modified trucks and campers. This can be cost prohibitive for a lot of businesses. On the other hand, a tent can be a versatile and cost-efficient solution that offers most of the several advantages given by a motorized showroom.

Modern tents are not only safe; they are also easy to assemble using uncomplicated tools. Basic marquee tents can be assembled by only a few skilled team members, reducing costs in the long run.

Marquee Tents are Effective for Sponsorship

One of the effective ways to develop a brand is by engaging with a community. When a business entails some sort of sponsorship, it would be a great idea to rent a marquee tent for a single event or invest in a customized one to use for a long time. This can be used in community functions, sports events and local farmer’s markets, to name a few. When businesses are active in their community, using a tent with clear, visible branding can provide people with a shaded area during events.

They can optimize their marketing by means of creative brand exposure at sponsored events.

Promotional Tents Are Cost Effective

To minimize costs while keeping their business lean and agile, companies can rent or buy a commercial/event tent from their local event tent company. A marquee tent allows them to set up wherever they are, when they are hosting an event on their property or heading out on the road.

The features of versatile marquee tents include interchangeable canopies and walls, mounting solutions for decorations and lighting plus connecting structures that can create a bigger complex of tents for projects like trade shows.

Selling on an ECommerce Site Vs. A Social Media Marketplace

The Difference Between Social Media Selling & eCommerce

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some tips on improving your eCommerce website as well as some of the different ways to sell on social. This week, I’m going to help you choose whether you should focus on selling on an eCommerce store or opt for a social media marketplace.

But first, a quick refresher:

  • Selling on an eCommerce store means you’re selling products or services on your own domain. You’re responsible for everything from web design to creating compelling content and managing SEO.
  • Selling within a social media platform or marketplace involves utilizing the platform’s selling capabilities to actively market your products. Generally, if someone clicks, they’re driven back to your website to complete the purchase.

You’ll have to figure out how to process transactions either way and install shopping cart software or drive buyers to a third-party site like PayPal.

Here are some of the marketplaces you can sell on:

  • Facebook Shops: Allows you to add products in different categories, communicate with customers and get insights around data.
  • Facebook Messenger: While still a part of Facebook, this involves communicating with customers (either manually or with chatbots) to reach your target audience.
  • Shoppable Instagram posts: You can tag brands and products in organic Instagram posts, then your audience can tap to see more details and buy the product.
  • Pinterest (stats show that nearly half of all users are logging onto the site just to shop).

The Differences Between Selling on an eCommerce Store & Social Media Marketplace

Now, if you’re selling on an eCommerce store, you can use a combo of SEO, content marketing and paid ads to drive traffic to your products or services. Because you can use your branding and content to your advantage, this can offer a more authentic experience to your customers.

If you’re using an online marketplace, it’s less time-consuming. The platform is already there, and you’re populating it with your images, copy and products/services. It may be easier for some small business owners to engage with their audience on a site like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram vs. growing visitors to their website organically.

However, the competition is high. You’re competing against many other brands, both big and small. Your company could get lost in the noise, so to speak.

You’ll also often pay a fee to sell. For example, the selling fee on Facebook Shops is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

So what’s a small business owner to do?

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READ: Your Guide to eCommerce Social Media Marketing

Your social media accounts aren’t just platforms for sharing content and engaging with visitors to accomplish those goals. From Facebook to Instagram, it can be a powerful way to market your products and services to your followers.

But despite these statistics, many small business owners still don’t understand the value of using these popular platforms to sell. That’s why I created this guide: to not only help you understand how important eCommerce social media marketing is, but to give you actionable tips to drive traffic, leads and sales.

Read more on our website.

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Sell on eCommerce First & Social Media Second

I recommend you start out with a website that allows people to buy what you’re selling on your own site. Then, as part of a bigger strategy, if it makes sense to your target audience, you can use a service like Facebook Shops to increase the size of your audience.

I don’t advise you to only sell on a third-party platform. Here’s why:

  • You have far less control over technical issues. If something breaks or the service goes down, it could create a negative experience for your customers-and you may not even know it.
  • If you are having a technical difficulty or issue with your online store, you’ll have to connect with the site’s third-party customer support vs. contacting your web development company.
  • There can be marketplace limitations around how your business can brand itself. Your own site allows you complete control over the visuals, content, coding, videos and of course, SEO.

4 Tips for Selling on eCommerce or on a Social Media Marketplace

While there are some important differences between selling on a third-party platform or on your own eCommerce store, there are some similarities in how you should approach things.

1. Build, don’t push.

Focus on building relationships, not pushing your products or services on people. You’ll have to spend time nurturing relationships and growing engagement, whether that’s through in-depth blog articles on your site or replying to comments on Facebook.

2. Know your customers.

There are so many questions that can help you understand your buyers. Who’s your target audience? What networks are they active on? Do they leave reviews? Do they prefer to consume video content or written content?

3. Understand your website weaknesses.

You’re driving potential customers to your site, so make sure it’s at its best. If traffic isn’t converting into leads or sales, it might not be your paid ads or product images.

Check your CTAs, look for broken links and take a long, hard look at your navigation. Also, check your Google Analytics data to learn what’s working and what isn’t.

4. Listen to your customers.

Whether you’re selling on social media or through your website, your reputation depends on how you treat your customers. Monitor your comments, answer questions and complaints promptly and keep tabs on online reviews on sites like Google My Business and Yelp.

So there you have it: if you can, take both approaches to connecting with your target audience! These two tactics can really complement each other and be a key part of your multi-channel marketing strategy.

However, there’s more to the process than buying a domain name and loading your site with products or services or creating a profile on a social media marketplace.

Hiring a professional marketing company can save you both time and money. Contacy us today to learn how we’ve helped many small business owners succeed.

To your business success,