5 Strategies for Getting Press for Your Small Business

5 Strategies for Getting Press for Your Small Business

Small business owners have a lot on their plate. Oftentimes they’re doing it all — ordering inventory, responding to customers, managing employees. Marketing their company is the last thing on their mind. And with a smaller budget than large corporations, hiring a PR firm to do the legwork isn’t always feasible.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t still get press for their small business. Here are five strategies to easily incorporate into your small business’ daily routine And the best part: they won’t break the bank.

1. “Newsjack” relevant breaking news

Always keep an eye out for breaking news that is relevant to your business. You never know when an opportunity to “newsjack” may arise. For example, perhaps there’s an impending snowstorm, and Channel 6 is looking for a local plowing company to give viewers some wintry weather safety tips.

For no cost at all, you can lend your expertise while getting press for your business.

To seize opportunities like these, sign up for Google Alerts for keywords related to your business. When you get an alert for a relevant article, reach out to the reporter and offer your expertise. Be sure to include the caveat that if they don’t need you as a source now, to keep you in mind for future stories.

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Why Building Your Business’s Brand Through Graphic Design Is A Good Idea

Why Building Your Business’s Brand Through Graphic Design Is A Good Idea

The building of your business’s brand should be atop of your priority list each and every day. Without a brand, your business won’t draw custom. And when your business can’t draw custom, it can’t make any profits. And when it can’t make any profits, it can’t pay any of the outgoings that are necessary for its survival. So, if you don’t want your business to meet this unsavoury and untimely end, give the building of its brand the precedence it deserves. And do so through graphic design.

It provides brand building

By creating and funding a graphic design department within your business, even if its comprises of just one or two people, you will be doing all you can to build its brand. Why? Because, today, graphic design is one of the most effective ways to not only build a brand in the first place, but to maintain and even keep growing it. It is so because it provides brand building with day-to-day dedication: the type of dedication needed to make any part of a business a success. For instance, you wouldn’t just take to looking at your business’s finances every so often, would you? No, you keep on top of them and probably check them every day. The same sort of precedence needs to be given to your business’s brand building. And it can be given to it through a graphic design department.

It creates an impression

But a graphic design department offers more than just day-to-day dedication to the building of your business’s brand. It also helps your business to create the perfect first impression also. The importance of the first impression in business is huge; sometimes, it can be the deciding factor in garnering custom, and repelling it. When it comes to the first impression you make on a potential customer, you want it to be a number of things. You want it to be professional. You want it to be a snapshot of the personality of your business. And, above all else, you want it to give credibility to your business. A graphic design department would be able to provide all three of these things for your business. They would do so through the logo they create for your business, the way they present your marketing campaigns and the designs they create for your online presence. Above all else, they would do so because they would create these things in the highest quality possible due to them being trained and skilled in this field. And when a potential customer sees high quality graphic design as their first impression of your business, they will be more likely to stick around past this initial impression.[…]

Why You Need To Advertise On Instagram And Brands That Are Doing It Right

Why You Need To Advertise On Instagram And Brands That Are Doing It Right

It is said that a picture says a thousand words. On Instagram, a picture speaks to millions.

Instagram is a purely visual social platform and the platform’s popularity has soared in the past couple of years. It has over 700 million monthly users and out of all the social sites, Instagram’s audience is the most engaged.

There are 8 million registered businesses using Instagram business profiles and in March 2017, over 120 million Instagrammers visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or direct messaged to learn about a business based on a business ad.

What are the benefits of advertising on Instagram?

You’re guaranteed to reach your target market: Instagram is the favoured platform among millennials [most users are between 18-29 years old]. If that’s your target audience, then Instagram is the place for you.

High engagement rates: The audience on Instagram is highly engaged and the platform’s targeting is based on Facebook’s targeting which means you can use custom audiences, demographics, interests and more to get your ads in front of the right eyes. […]

The Top Digital Marketing Tools to Grow Your Online Presence

The Top Digital Marketing Tools to Grow Your Online Presence

In the ever-changing business world, it’s hard to know where and how to invest your time as a small business. It can be especially confusing when you’re new to digital marketing and looking to improve your online presence. As a small business owner, you have more important things to do than to spend your time research digital marketing tools, which seem to be introduced on a weekly basis.

Well, you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up five great digital marketing tools that will help your small business grow its online presence. With these resources at your disposal, you’ll be primed to quickly and effectively see how your business is doing from an online perspective and make necessary changes to boost your online credibility.

Without further ado, here are our digital marketing tool suggestions[…]

How to Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan

How to Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Plan

Do you wish you had a better plan for your social media marketing initiatives?

Looking for tips to help you succeed?

In this article, you’ll discover how to choose, pursue, and track your progress for four important social media marketing goals.

How to Identify the Right Goals for Your Business

What works for one business doesn’t necessarily work for others, even if you’re in similar industries. Before you define one or more goals, figure out where your business stands. First, audit your brand’s digital presence, including a social media audit. Then, analyze your marketing and sales funnels to determine where improvements could have a significant effect.

Should you build awareness, generate leads, nurture your community, or learn about your audience? Through the audit and analysis, you’ll discover which objective, if achieved, would benefit your company most at this point in time. When you can answer that, you’ve got yourself a goal.

Goal-setting matters because your ability to produce results from social media marketing is highly correlated with your ability to identify meaningful goals. This correlation makes sense: You can’t identify success or failure if you don’t know how much closer or farther away you are from reaching your goal. […]

Back to Basics: Optimizing a Facebook Company Page

Back to Basics: Optimizing a Facebook Company Page

My second installment in our “Back to the Basics” series. The first was driven by a specific client request for help optimizing a LinkedIn company page. So naturally, we move on to the most popular social network, Facebook, for the same kind of post.

We will again assume that you have a page already, but if not, simply go to facebook.com/pages/create and start by selecting what type of business you have and follow the instructions from there. Note that each category is different and it will ask you for unique information. If you are not sure what type of page to create, check out this post on How to Determine What Kind of Business Facebook Page to Start.

Since this is a “Basics” post, I am not going to focus on Facebook Business Manager. However, if you have or plan to have multiple pages and/or run Facebook advertising campaigns, I recommend using Facebook Business Manager. The page elements and strategies are the same, but it is easier to switch between pages and to NOT accidentally post as your page when you want to post as yourself and vice versa. Don’t worry if you do not know if you will advertise or have multiple pages as you can always switch to Business Manager in the future.

Whether you are creating a new page or editing your current one, here are some tips for the overview section. I am going to use a side project podcast (which I’ll create as an “Entertainment” page) for this example:[…]

3 Ways to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Brick & Mortar Store

3 Ways to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Brick & Mortar Store

With the surge in online shopping, some business gurus, pundits, and futurists have been sounding the brick and mortar world’s death knell for so long, that it’s kind of a white noise that just continues in the background. Indeed, it’s as if we’re all waiting for the day when we walk or drive to a shop or mall, and find a giant, tumbleweed-whirling wasteland instead of familiar stores full of nice people and useful things that we can see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Heck, we can even break them (and then buy them, as per store policy).

And while it’s true that some parts of the retail world have been damaged or pretty much destroyed by the e-commerce, rumors of brick and mortar’s total obliteration from the business landscape have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, Amazon has already launched seven retail stores, with more on the way.

All of this means that if you’re running a retail store — in addition to or instead of an e-commerce site — then you don’t necessarily have to start racing for the exit. Instead, you can focus on what retailers like you since time immemorial (give or take) have needed to do: increase foot traffic. Here are three practical and proven ways to make this happen:

1. Leverage Search and Social

First, Amazon makes its way into the retail world that it spent the last few decades scourging. Now, you’re being advised to use search and social to drive foot traffic into your store. Is this bizarro world? No.

Search and social are actually allies in your quest, because 85 percent of your customers are going to live in a five mile radius of your store — and many of them are going to discover you by conducting an online search. Making sure that you’re easy to find in all of the right places (e.g. Google Places, Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) isn’t just smart, but it’s essential.[…]

7 Ways to Turn Instagram Followers Into Customers for Life

7 Ways to Turn Instagram Followers Into Customers for Life

The following excerpt is from Kim Walsh Phillips’s book Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

If you don’t take action, the product, program or service you offer won’t be able to help those who need it so much. You need to put yourself out there so your audience can be reached. One way to make this happen? Start selling. Don’t focus solely on follower growth through your Instagram account. You have to get to a stage of selling so you can receive an ROI from your Instagram marketing.

Here’s the thing though: In order to sell, you have to do something most won’t — you have to be different. You have to stop looking, sounding, and appearing the same as everyone else. You are different after all, so stop appearing just as your competitors do. Maybe you don’t think you do. Most of our private clients don’t realize it. When asked about their competitors, almost every new client answers the question, “We don’t really have any.”

Unfortunately, your prospects won’t see it that way. If your marketing isn’t showing up any differently, chances are you appear just like everyone else. That makes you a commodity. And commodities only compete on price. (Just ask Walmart how that’s going for them. “Being the cheapest sometimes on most of the days” is not a great distinction. I’m in Target twice a week, but I refuse to step into Walmart after way too many bad experiences.) What makes you different from your competitors? And how can you leverage that in your marketing so that you can excel at sales? […]

5 Small Businesses Who Are Doing it Right on Instagram

5 Small Businesses Who Are Doing it Right on Instagram

Since its launch 7 years ago, Instagram has become one of the leading social media platforms for image-based content, with over 600 million active monthly users. But where this platform really shines is its level of user engagement. Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter. What’s more, this platform is nicknamed “the king of social media”, accumulating 4.2 billion likes per day.

Using Instagram can put your small business in front of the right audience. I have discovered many new brands over Instagram myself. Their gorgeous pictures were the first step in convincing me to visit their website and make a purchase. What sets Instagram apart as a social media platform is the ability for businesses to show their products without overtly advertising them. As Kissmetrics says, “images allow viewers to make their own decisions without feeling pressure from your business, removing the dreaded used-car salesman from the scenario.” Brands who do well on Instagram show off their product without coming off as too pushy, resulting in creative imagery.

Check out these five small businesses who are doing Instagram right, and what strategy fuels their successful social feeds:

1. Pura Vida Bracelets

Pura Vida Bracelets was established in San Diego five years ago, by two recently graduated friends. Their website tells the story of how it all started: “Pura Vida” is Spanish for “pure life,” a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Slowing things down, celebrating good fortune and refusing to take anything for granted embodies this laid back lifestyle. “Pura Vida” means choosing to live life to the fullest. It’s more than just a saying… it’s a lifestyle.”

Instagram strategy: This lifestyle fuels Pura Vida’s Instagram feed, promoting this way of life. When scrolling through their pictures, you are transported to a laid-back, sunny and simple place. Every picture is full of personality, allowing viewers to imagine themselves with the product. Their product has reached customers all over the world with the help of their Instagram account. As a small business, you can use Instagram to showcase your products in action. Show the culture and lifestyle that surrounds your products, this will associate positive feelings with your brand. […]

Social Selling: How to Build Your Brand Online

Social Selling: How to Build Your Brand Online

With business opportunities like Uber, Amway, Etsy, Postmates and Poshmark now within anyone’s reach, becoming an entrepreneur is easier than ever. Of course, that doesn’t make entrepreneurship itself any easier – it still requires commitment, dedication, and constant outreach. For individuals looking to build an Amway business or gain exposure to their Etsy shop, social selling is increasingly becoming a viable approach. These platforms count users in the billions, after all, so it only makes sense to leverage them for business purposes. Here are five ways to build your brand online.

1. Know Your Audience

Much of advertising’s success comes down to knowing who to reach out to. Target the wrong market, and no amount of effort will yield positive results. There’s a reason you don’t see billboards for John Deere tractors on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles – nobody’s buying! If you are in business for yourself, consider who your target market is. Who is interested in your products? Do they fit a pattern? Use social platforms to target these individuals, and create compelling content (more on this below) to keep them engaged. Platforms like Facebook make it easy to go after specific demographics and subset groups.

2. Use the Right Tools

When it comes to social channels, there are no shortage of options. Facebook certainly has the largest audience, and should be considered a pre-requisite for anyone interested in social selling. However, perhaps your product is better served by a different platform, like Yelp, Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest? Knowing which tools are best equipped to sell your product can make your job that much easier. If you’re selling a product that is highly visual in nature, consider using a photo sharing app, so that customers can see the product in use. Alternatively, if you’re selling your product primarily on the charms of your personality, perhaps creating a YouTube channel will better suit your needs. Think about the tools that suit your business model and put them to use. […]