Powerful marketing tips for the small business

pwfulmarkMarketing needn’t be rocket science or indeed anything to be scared of, to get the word about you just need to be a little creative.

Rob Steele – marketer for roller banners looks at some of the best tips.

Fully integrated marketing techniques – Try varying your marketing don’t get stuck in a rut by employing just one. Social media, press adverts, press releases and classified adverts.

Communicate with potential customers in different ways will help to keep the potential customers digest your marketing and not find it tedious.

Create customer loyalty – When a customer purchases a product, strike while the iron is hot and send them an offer or discount. Thank the customer for their business and offer a discount with expiry date to encourage a spend.

Direct mail – some businesses or marketers think this is old school marketing but in my opinion it works even today. Produce a nice designed leaflet or flyer and mail it out to your customers. Why not send your customers a brochure whilst sending the product, saves on postage and could increase further spend.

E-news – Cheapest option there is for marketing, sending customers e-shots to the subscribed email address keeps them in touch and can also increase repeat visits to your website. Add a subscribe form to your website home page, add an offer if they sign up today to encourage sign ups.

Go social media – keep your brand in front of the customer each time you have a new product or service to offer, tweet regular and keep followers in touch with your brand.

Go easy though on how much tweeting and face booking as it might become annoying.

Gumtree – advertise on gumtree, its free and has lots of free traffic. Gumtree also ranks high in google searches.

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Creating a successful Poster marketing Campaign

piranha_french_poster-270x300To be a success a poster campaign needs to reach the targeted audience in a short time frame. A successful campaign really depends on a number of key elements. Below are some tips to consider:

Who is the audience you wish to target?
Where are they and where would you find them?
How do you measure the return on investment?

Audience

What can motivate your audience to use your services or buy your product’s? How will you use the poster copy to demonstrate your business as problem solver for them?

Location

Where will you position your poster, a poor or error on location will only result in a poor return on investment. Do some research into a prime location and whether this would suit your chosen audience?

Find a good Graphic designer

Ok so you have the message and the call to action, you have done your homework into gathering information from the call to action to report if the campaign has been successful. Next step, get a good graphic designer preferably one with large format poster design. A poster looks great on a computer screen but most certainly different on a bus stop.

Gather quotes

Online printers usually have quote calculators on their websites for quick quotes unless the spec is really bespoke a quick call may be required. Some printers have good feedback and testimonials, these are the best ones to select. Be sure to check if your printer includes proofs and is proof read for you. Some printers don’t include these services and simply just print the artwork they have received, if your budget requires it is important to select a printer that has a good reputation in the print industry. Any reputable printer will have testimonials and a portfolio of their previous work.

Make your WordPress website seo bullet proof

This article will help those websites using the powers of WordPress in the backend. WordPress open source created a revolution for website owners and editors alike to have the ability to update the website using a backend content management system. Some of these tips will help even a non WordPress site, the seo plugin’s however can only be used in WordPress.

seoFirstly seo is not for the in patient creatures, it takes time to get a page ranked in the top engines, these tips alone will not get your site onto page one but will however get your site moving in the right direction. On page seo is extremely important part of seo, before beginning the long haul work of link building techniques.

There are many ways to seo your blog or website, by utilising the power of WordPress Plugins it can easily be accomplished even for the seo newbie’s. Tread carefully there are lots of WordPress seo plugins to choose from making the right decision is important.

All businesses know the potential of seo but running a day to day business your focus is the day to day work and seo is often on the back burner. Some business hire seo consultants to take on the role and produce great results due to the time they spend on seo but costs are high and can run into many months of seo work to get the website ranked well. If you are looking to complete daily tasks yourself this article is just for you. Just to get things straight this article won’t get your site number one over night, but it will give you a brief look at the ways seo can be applied to your site or blog.

Basic on site WordPress seo

Changing your permalinks is the very first step in on site seo, in basic format the permalink is the url you see in your web browser hence permalink, permanent link. To change these go to your WordPress backend, click settings>Permalinks>

You can choose one of the “common” structures or enter your own url in the “Custom structure” field using the structure tags. The default permalink is ?p=<postid>, is not very seo friendly or easy to remember, so I prefer to use  http://mydomain.com/post-title/ for example.

WWW vs non-WWW

Search engine look at sites with no www or a www very different to make your domain seo friendly go to go to the WordPress general settings, under Settings → General changed the domain name website field to include the www. You will also need to do this in your Google webmaster tools in settings → Preferred domain, decide which you would like to use and stick with it don’t change it.

Keyword research

To find what users are searching for isn’t a guessing game, Google offers a free keyword tool for this so business can find there targeted keywords. Look at keywords which are med or low competition before embarking on a lengthy seo campaign.

Optimise your page titles

Once you have found your keywords, add these to the relevant pages or posts on your site, the page title is the most important aspect of on page seo. The title tag is the title which appears in your browser window.

Optimise content

Add your chosen keywords within your body copy, not over use but add a few and maybe even link these to the relevant pages on the site to create internal links for Google.

Create anchor links using your chosen keywords, this is especially important when creating an external backlinking campaign.

Customise Image Titles and Alt-Tags

Naming your images with SEO keywords will bring in lots of traffic from image searches performed on search engines. Try to use keywords in your image names and captions.

Keywords in urls

Whether in WordPress pages, posts or straight html pages using your keyword within your page urls is of great benefit to seo friendly urls.

Sitemaps

Create a sitemap of you site, this will include all the pages and links to each page on your site or blog. XML sites also tell Google when your site has been updated, create one and upload it to your Google webmaster tools.

Increasing revenue with email marketing

Online marketing is a way of getting potential customers to click on your link to visit your business website or attract users to your site through search engines.

·         Organic search engine optimisation (SEO)

·         Backlink campaigns;

·         Targeted email campaigns (e-shots);

·         Search advertising (PPC) Google Adwords or Yahoo;

This article will focus on email campaign, any online marketing should include all the above forms.

What is an email campaign (e-shot)

Step 1 – building your mailing lists

Build a database mailing list, add a form on your website pages with an offer or incentive to encourage users to sign up. You can also have a hard copy sign up form on your business card or marketing flyer if you have a physical store.

To comply to rules include a declaration on your website and hard copy explaining to the user what you are using their email address details for
(i.e. to receive regular newsletters etc). You will need to have a routine of combing website emails with hard copy email addresses.

Step 2 – designing your e-shot

There are many rules to follow when building your e-shot;

1.      Use text more than images, don’t use text within images include a text-based version of your e-shot.

2.      Keep your e-shot clear with a call to action.

3.      Make your e-shot image free friendly, if the user has images turned off your e-shot won’t display correctly.

4.      Tell the user why they are receiving this email at the top of your email.

5.      Show the user how they can unsubscribe from your email; you wouldn’t want your e-shot classed as spam.

6.      Make your offer bold, if you have a saving show it large.

7.      Use promotional codes as a discount to discourage users to unsubscribe.

8.      Test, test and test your e-shot in as many email clients as possible, mail chimp has a good tool called inbox inspector to do this.

Step 3 – Choose a bulk email provider

Once you have completed the design process, next stage is to choose a bulk email provider.
With so many to choose it’s quite a market, the two I have experience with are Mail chimp and Dotmailer. Both provide report stats to record click through and open rates, successful deliveries, bounces & unsubscribe. Choose a good time to send your campaign, avoid sending last thing on a Friday your email may get caught up in Monday’s emails and won’t be read correctly or worse case deleted.

Lastly, make sure you always send your email campaign in HTML and plain text. This is fairly easy to do as most mailing providers have this facility built-in.

How do I Track my stats?
As above most email providers have a stats/reporting section
where you can track all things email related. In particular they can tell you:

How many successful deliveries
which email accounts bounced
Clicks to website
was the email forwarded

These stats help you see how successful your campaign was and whether you need to change anything to improve these results.

A/B testing

The trump card in your pack is A/B testing for email campaigns.
Some email providers offer this service, Mail chimp does it very well. It is well worth the effort to A/B test if you want to improve your open rates.

Subjects lines can make a huge difference in whether a user opens your e-shot, with A/B testing you can change the subject line and send to a percentage of your list to see which subject line has the highest open rates.

Promotional Tablecloths – Another Marketing Opportunity

Marketing techniques are extremely varied, are increasingly innovative and becoming extremely sophisticated, therefore the increasing popularity of the humble promotional tablecloth may come as a surprise to some.

By paying a little more attention to any event that includes a table or table top presentation you can create an eye catching professional appearance with a branded tablecloth printed with a logo and corporate message. Take registration desks at seminars and training courses for an example, the attendees are aware of the brand image immediately they arrive.  Table top presentations and displays at road shows and mini exhibitions that use promotional tablecloths stand out more from those that use plain stock or none at all as well making the company easily and quickly identifiable.

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Exhibition tablecloths – just another gimmick or something that adds value?

When planning an exhibition stand that is centred around a tabletop presentation, or a reception desk at a conference or event, how do you make it look professional, neat and tidy?

Exhibition tablecloths have become an increasing ‘must have’ in such scenarios for a number of reasons; they can be tailor made to fit the table exactly with a choice of having the corners box fitted with no need for extra pinning and loose fabric to the four corners of your table or just have a simple drop to the floor in folds, and decide if you want a short overhang at the rear of the table  so someone can sit at the table comfortably if required without having to deal with unnecessary material. If this is not the case you may wish to have the cloth drop to the floor at the rear as this then hides anything you may wish to store under the table, which can be a very useful function. So far they provide a tidy finish and can have a practical function.

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