Saturday, October 10, 2015

Local Business Marketing 101

We are living smack dab in the middle of the most competitive business environment in human history.

Not only are you going to have to go toe to toe against all of your local competitors every single day of the week, but you’re also going to have to square off against global competitors that can reach your local market through the power of the Internet 24/7, 365 days a year.

That’s pretty stiff competition, and you’re going to need to get very savvy about local business marketing if you’re going to have any chance of success whatsoever.

Hopefully we are going to be able to show you a couple of tips and tricks in this quick guide that get you up and running, the kind of tips and tricks that give you a competitive advantage over everyone else so that you can start to squeeze them out and secure your financial future.

Shall we jump right in?

The big money is in your customer list…

The overwhelming majority of local biz marketers are sitting on the biggest pile of gold they could be, and they don’t even realize it!

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, and have any amount of customers, you already have an asset that you’re going to be able to put into play immediately to start boosting your bank account.

I’m talking of course about your customer list, the contact details for everyone that has already stood up, said that they trust and like you, and handed you with their cold hard cash for the products or services that you have to sell.

You’re going to want to do absolutely everything in your power to not only nurture that list, but also grow it and sell to it with way more gusto than you probably are right now. This is where the big money in your business is going to come from – repeat customers that you don’t have to convince to do business with you.

… But large pockets of profit are in the lists of other businesses as well!

Your list isn’t the only gigantic pocket of profit that you should be tapping into as often as you can – your ideal customer is going to shop at a bunch of different businesses in the local area, and if you’re able to market to those (with the help of the business owners that all those lists), you’re really going to be able to multiply your sales efforts.

Start talking to businesses in your local area that sell similar products or complementary products and services, and see if they’d be willing to swap customer lists and do what is known as an “endorsed mailing”. This is basically where the list owner talks glowingly about the person that is borrowing the list, and encourages their customers to become customers of the other operation as well.

This is next level marketing, but it’s a kind of joint venture that can completely transform your business overnight.

Cut your nose off before you cut your advertising budget

The very last thing that you ever want to do is cut your advertising budget – you may as well cut off your nose or cut your business’s throat when you make that kind of decision.

Instead, you’ll want to redouble your marketing and advertising efforts, create better marketing and advertising pieces, or come off with new and creative ways to get your name out there. Too many businesses get alligator arms in recessions or when business is tight, but if people don’t know about your business or aren’t exposed to your marketing on a regular basis, they have no real incentive to give you money.

Cut back on everything else if you absolutely have to, but never cut back on your advertising budget.

Here are some more ways you can market a local business.


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

13 Simple Tips for Improving Your Web Design

Want to ensure that visitors will exit your website almost immediately after landing there? Be sure to make it difficult for them to find what it is they are looking for. Want to get people to stay on your website longer and click on or buy stuff? Follow these 13 Web design tips.

1. Have a polished, professional logo--and link it to your home page. "Your logo is an important part of your brand, so make sure it's located prominently on your site," says Tiffany Monhollon, senior content marketing manager at online marketer ReachLocal. "Use a high-resolution image and feature it in the upper left corner of each of your pages," she advises. "Also, it's a good rule of thumb to link your logo back to your home page so that visitors can easily navigate to it."

2.Use intuitive navigation. "Primary navigation options are typically deployed in a horizontal [menu] bar along the top of the site," says Brian Gatti, a partner with Inspire Business Concepts, a digital marketing company. Provide "secondary navigation options underneath the primary navigation bar, or in the [left-hand] margin of the site, known as the sidebar." 

Why is intuitive navigation so important? "Confusing navigation layouts will result in people quitting a page rather than trying to figure it out," Gatti says. So instead of putting links to less important pages--that detract from your call to action or primary information--at the top of your home or landing pages, put "less important links or pieces of information at the bottom of a page in the footer." 

3. Get rid of clutter. "It's very easy these days to be visually overloaded with images, to the point where our brains stop processing information when confronted with too many options," explains Paolo Vidali, senior digital marketing strategist, DragonSearch, a digital marketing agency.