Times have changed. While more users always have their heads bent, busy with their phones; it does not imply that users are busy checking their news feed on Facebook. Instant messaging is the order of the day. Almost every social media app has a corresponding messenger application/option. So does Facebook.
Video Ads are more than mere trends on Facebook and far more than a feature that is sure to come and go. If you’ve been active on Facebook, the tendency is to have seen video ads on the site for different brands/companies.
Have you harnessed social listening?
As I peruse trends for 2019, I see a lot about listening on social. And I have to chuckle … how is this trendy or new?!
In any case, if part of your marketing strategy involves social media it should also involve social listening.
Here are four easy ways using listening on social media can inform your marketing strategy.
Some benefits of social media and content marketing are normally inaccessible for small businesses and startups because:
Owning a small business is exciting. You get to do what you love, day in, day out. But traditionally, small business accounting isn’t exciting. So how can we change this stereotype and make accounting fun and easy?
Email is a notoriously fickle channel. Something as simple as tweaking the subject line can be the difference between an 8 percent or an 80 percent open rate.
A few weeks ago, the new shiny iPhone XS entered the market. For all the Apple lovers out there, this might mean being the first to wrap your hands around the irresistibly smooth all-glass design, or finally upgrading your old glitchy iPhone 6 to the new model.
If this is you, I’m guessing you’re focused on the opportunity to start afresh, buy a new case, clear all those apps cluttering your current device, and start playing with its new features. Right?
Successful businesses spend that little bit of extra time on record keeping and getting their tax right, including preparing and lodging business activity statements (BAS). Once set up and organised, you’ll save time in the long run.
We equate being busy as being virtuous. When we’re maxed out, it feels safe. It must be productive. (Or is it?) It’s a badge of courage, honor or something …
Cloud computing got you perplexed? You’re not alone. Most of us talk about ‘the cloud’ without even realising what it really means. We’re clearing the air on cloud computing and how it can benefit your small business.
Anticipating future demand is a tough job, wrought with ways you might go wrong. Proper demand forecasting and inventory control can save a company from buying too much or too little of something, which of course avoids expensive overstock scenarios or stockouts.
We no longer need studies to tell us: Smartphones are almost everywhere. Most of the customers coming through your doors have a mobile device with them. And these devices aren’t always shoved in pockets or bags — shoppers are using them while they’re in store too.
Question: are you planning to bring anything new to the in-store experience? If your answer is “no,” then brace yourself. The coming years could be rough for your retail business.
With more than 800 million active monthly users, Instagram is a social media channel of massive proportions. And, when used strategically, it can reap major benefits for your retail store.
An accounting firms' success is increasingly due to their people skills, rather than just their ability to crunch the numbers.
Successful marketing is key to raising brand awareness and growing your advisory services. By ensuring that clients receive a professionally branded report and a tailored advisory experience at each meeting, you will enhance the overall perception of your brand to the wider business community and are more likely attract new clients.
Students in the US won’t be flocking back to campuses until September, but for retailers, it’s high time to ramp up back to school (BTS) and back to college (BTC) marketing campaigns.
Your profit margin is a metric that should always be on your radar, and for good reason: it answers critical questions about your business, like whether or not you’re making money or if you’re pricing your products correctly.
These days, it seems like every retailer is running some sort of sales promotion. 25% off, $5 off a purchase of $50 or more, buy-one-get-one-free — these approaches are becoming so commonplace that it’s easy to get lost in the mix.
Father’s Day is just a few short weeks away, and while this holiday isn’t as huge as the day dedicated to moms, consumers still increase their spending quite a bit.
When was the last time you gave your retail checkout counter some love? (And no, we’re not just referring to cleaning up your countertop or moving some stuff around.)
While millennials are still a significant consumer segment for retailers, there is another shopper group that’s continuing to gain spending power.
Local store marketing is critical for many retailers, particularly those who have brick-and-mortar stores. Chances are, the bulk of your foot traffic comes from people in the neighborhood, so it’s vital that you get yourself in front of as many locals as possible.
Impulse purchases account for a significant chunk of the consumer spending pie. According to a study by Marketing Support, Inc. and Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, about one-third of all consumers make a sizeable impulse buy every week, with a median purchase of $30.
Whether you’re just setting up shop or been running your store for decades, acquiring new customers is always the name of the game.
Who is your favorite retailer and why? We posted that question on LinkedIn last week because we wanted to learn more about the retailers that consumers love.
One of the best ways to get inspired in your retail business is to see merchants like yourself who are killing it.
The 3 Best (and 3 Worst) Things You Can Do On Social Networks. Successfully managing your social media efforts takes more than just creating an account and posting a few updates every now and then.
Most small businesses are trying to grow their market share and revenue. This typically means thinking deeply about one of the major factors affecting inventory management: pricing strategy.
If you’ve been keeping abreast with the latest trends then you’ve likely heard about the shifting shopping habits of consumers.
Is your New Year's resolution to update your website? Use our tips to help you create engaging content! Is your New Year's resolution to update your business website?
Business to Business (B2B) marketing practices are changing. Here we identify the latest trends and best practices of 2017.
There are several advantages to getting some good PR for your business. In addition to generating buzz, getting covered by the press can drive traffic and sales while boosting your credibility in the process.
Don't cut corners when creating content for your website. So you’ve decided to start an online business—congratulations!
Millennials. They’ve been called everything from entitled and lazy to fearless and empowered. But whatever you think about this generation, one thing is clear: Millennials (aka Gen Y) continue to have a significant impact on the economy and society in general.
Millennials have a significant influence in consumer trends in a wide range of industries. The alcoholic beverage industry, for example, is becoming increasingly conditioned by trends among millennial consumers.
Writing great job ads is often more difficult than it looks. As well as selling the key requirements of the role, and presenting your company in a positive way, the job ad has to attract the right talent, and drive a response from suitably qualified candidates.
Gift cards. No matter what type of store you have or how big your business is, you’ll likely benefit from carrying them in your shops.
Retailers in various industries—be it fashion, homeware, or food—are reaping the benefits of Instagram.
You’ve done the hard work by setting up your business and establishing solid foundations with a good client base – congrats! So how do you expand, and do so profitably?
Over the past five years, mobile devices have begun to dominate the consumer landscape around the world.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful drivers of traffic and sales for retailers. According to McKinsey, it’s the primary factor behind 20 – 50% of all buying decisions and can influence purchases in ways that traditional advertising can’t.
Word of mouth is like the holy grail of marketing. And to help you tap into it, we’ve compiled some tips that you can put into action in your store.
Every successful company, large or small, has a strong brand. In fact, the most important and valuable asset of some of the largest companies in the world – Apple, Google and Coca-Cola – is their brand.
But you don’t need a massive marketing budget to build a successful brand. It can be done with just a few simple changes to the way you think about and operate your business.
I believe that a useful goal in marketing is to have people remember us positively. In other words we want them to be thinking and saying good things about our business as often as possible.
A recent High Court case shows companies need to take extra care when claiming their products are New Zealand made, an intellectual property expert says.
“The cheapest trainer in the world is too expensive if the client isn’t yet sold on your value” – Jon Goodman, Ignite the Fire.
Andrew Smith and neighbour Shane Dryden founded Yuppiechef, South Africa’s most loved online store, in 2006. The pair had been working on a couple ideas, including a business selling flags and bug zappers, but decided to run with Yuppiechef.
It’s an issue a lot of our customers face: being priced out of work by newer, shinier and yes, cheaper competition. If your business is losing clients this way, it’s time to assess what’s going on.
As any business grows, one of the biggest challenges is keeping costs to a minimum while bringing in more revenue and staying profitable. In others words: achieving business efficiency. So how can you go about doing this?
Some company names have interesting stories behind them. For example, Nike is named after the Greek goddess of victory. Yahoo! Is short for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” Steve Jobs came up with the name Apple after a trip to an apple farm. He thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”
If you want a quick and low-cost strategy to get more jobs quickly, then email marketing is a must do. But how do you make it work?
When starting a business, one of the things you’ll need to work out is where you’ll operate.
Each business has different requirements, so it’s important to consider what will work for you when deciding on a location for your business.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an increasingly popular concept in the retail world. More and more merchants are realizing that giving back doesn’t just make the world a better place, it’s also good for business.
One of the easiest ways to drive sales for your business is to have repeat and referral customers. But if you want a customer to keep coming back, or to refer you to their friends, you have to keep them engaged. This doesn’t mean hammering them with emails or making sure they’re following all your social media accounts. It means interacting with them in a meaningful way, a way that makes an impact.
Over the last few years we’ve been able to get a pretty good handle on your biggest pain points as a business.
Understanding your target audience is vital for developing a marketing strategy that works. Without a particular ideal customer in mind, your efforts amount to little more than wishful thinking. There are very few niches where a business will be unopposed, and if you aren’t making efforts to refine your marketing focus to build better leads, you can be sure that your competition is. Having a great product is only part of the equation. Getting it in front of the right faces is as, if not more, important.
There is one quality that every trades or services business needs to survive – trustworthiness. Without it, a company and all who sail in her are destined for a watery grave.
Five customers from 100 leads is huge. But what about the other 95 that started out interested? The answers lay in digital marketing.
This week, Xero Gravity host Elizabeth Ü chats to Michael Mothner, Founder & CEO of online marketing firm WPromote. He’ll bust digital marketing myths and provide solutions that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. We’ll also explore questions like, “We created a website, what now?” and “I get business from world of mouth, why do I need digital too?”
With smartphones at our fingertips, customers are searching online more than anywhere else to research a product. As a small business owner, it’s critical that you have a website ready for customers who are looking you up. Understanding why it is important and figuring out where to start can be intimidating. Here’s what you need to know.
Customer retention is vital for the growth and sustainability of any eCommerce business. The cost of acquiring new customers means building loyalty within your current customer base should take precedence.
When business is booming and everything’s going well, it seems fair to cut back on your marketing efforts. More business means less spare time, so investing effort in marketing becomes difficult, and easy to neglect.
Social media. It’s big, it’s fast, and it’s growing. What can you do to make sure you’re using the right social channels to connect with your customers and market your brand?
In this episode of Xero Gravity, hosts Elizabeth Ü and Gene Marks are joined by Mychelle Mollot, CMO at Klipfolio, and Raheela Nanji, Director at Ree Consulting Inc., to discuss all the nitty gritty details of social media in business.
As a small business owner, it’s quite likely you play both the role of salesperson and debt chaser. On one hand you want to keep the relationship positive so you can continue selling to that customer, but on the other hand you need your bills paid for your business to survive. Maintaining customer loyalty and satisfaction while keeping a credit control policy that’s abided by can (at times) put you in an awkward position.
One of the most frustrating things in life is when you get all fired up and decide to make some big improvements in your results.
So you set goals to get in great physical shape, improve your business results, spend a lot more time with your family etc.
We all know by now that it’s essential for a business to have an internet presence; a company website is the mainstay for anyone doing business in the 21st century.
But what about a company Facebook page, Twitter account or LinkedIn profile? Are you losing out on potential customers by ignoring these social networking heavies? Do you panic when you think about how your lack of social media savvy has caused you to miss out on reaching your sales goals?
With many products and services you can increase sales and attract large numbers of new clients by using personalisation.
Personalisation just means you modify what you are selling so that it has more value to a particular type of customer.
Writing a fantastic blog is just the first part in the process of channeling more traffic to your site. To be of any value, it needs to be read and shared by your audience and beyond. Below are five of the most common and effective ways to give your content exposure.
Blogging is one of the most valuable tools that a business has to engage with customers; it’s a direct communication channel to share timely and relevant information, plus, it fuels SEO for your business website.
One of my favourite marketing experts is my good friend Troy White in Calgary Canada. 7 years ago Troy had an epiphany. He realized that the best marketing promotions he had done for his clients involved some wacky themes.
When you sell an expensive or high priced service there are three marketing challenges you need to solve…
I received some excellent marketing advice recently from Lori Nash Byron the founder of Famous in Your Field. Lori was talking about the power of content marketing. And here a few of the tips she shared with me about content marketing.
In today’s competitive marketplace, there is little room for error for owners and operators in the field services industry. Businesses are under more pressure than ever to deliver an exceptional service that aligns with what customers expect.
Social media isn’t just about viral videos or selfies. For consumers, sites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are playing an increasingly large role in their path to purchase.
This is why it’s so important for retailers to invest in social media marketing. Having a strong presence in relevant social networks not only gives you an avenue to communicate with your audience, it also allows you to stay in the radars of your customers. This in turn, increases the likelihood of a shopper choosing your brand when they’re ready to buy.
Instagram is one of the big four social networks, alongside Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It took what people loved most about Facebook, sharing photos, and turned it into a global phenomenon. An average of 55 million photos are uploaded to the platform every day, which means a lot of users and a big opportunity for brands that can harness Instagram’s power.
The results are in. If you’re not proactively listening to business online reviews, you might be missing out on key insights into how to grow an online business.
This consumer review survey by BrightLocal highlights how customer reviews play a vital role in helping businesses build trust with their audience.
A gift guide is one of the most powerful tools you can have during the holidays. It allows you to showcase your products, inspire shoppers, and stay top of mind throughout the season.
But it’s important to note that creating a winning gift guide takes more than just rounding up your products and putting them in a catalogue. Releasing gift guides is a tradition in the retail world, so you have to be creative with how you craft and market them.
Developing product and brand names that become iconic is an art, with a whole range of factors that need to come together at the right time. These include things that are in your control, such as the words themselves, and other societal elements that no one can predict. To give your new name the best chance of success, consider the following when creating a moniker for your business or latest product.
Branding is the emotional response your business evokes in its audience. It is more than a logo or a series of advertisements, it encompasses all the accumulated interactions your business has with customers. A brand is the core identity of your business and can be a powerful tool in ensuring your customers return, as well as recommend you to their friends and family. Successful branding is about capturing the hearts and minds of customers and turning them from people who use your product to advocates who go out of their way to choose you over a competitor. This loyalty is the foundation of many successful companies, from Apple to McDonalds, Coca Cola and many more.
As a small business owner, you should take any edge you can get when it comes to being successful. You never know what piece of advice is going to be the key to breaking your business wide open.
That’s why we launched our Make or Break? report,which looks into what makes businesses more likely to succeed or fail, in honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week. We want to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about your business.
Here’s a quick flow chart to help you decide how to take the next steps in your business.
In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we want to celebrate women who are out there working hard on their businesses. We know starting and running your own business presents new challenges everyday. From getting funding, to keeping on top of your cash flow, to trying to be more productive. Every day it’s something new.
We asked 500 small business owners about how the run their business and the things they think about every day. We found that the women in our survey are constantly hustling for their business. Not only that, they tend to only turn to their accountant during tax times. We know that having a great advisor can be the key to maintaining a healthy business.
Take a look at some of the other findings from our survey:
The promise of free-shipping can seem too good to be true, and often it is suspected that the shipping costs have been absorbed into the price of the goods. This can sometimes be true, but with products that are available online direct from the manufacturer, it makes it harder for retailers to add their own mark-up. Competing on price becomes impossible and retailers have to find other ways to set themselves apart. Free shipping becomes the next logical step.
At Xero, we use the power of technology to foster innovation, connection and entrepreneurialism. To create beautiful work that makes a difference. This is why each month, we speak to business leaders within our like-minded community – to see how they apply similar values to shape their businesses, and their futures.
This month, we speak to Ted Gethen – founder of The Black Label Tailoring. Together with his business partner, Brendan, Ted has built a strong supply chain and opened four stores which give men the opportunity to dress with style and comfort, at a price point they can afford.
Ted tells us in his words why personal customer service has become the cornerstone of their success. And also how, in a world of internet shopping, their bricks-and-mortar business continues to thrive.
Does your business use telemarketing or fax marketing to promote goods or services?
If so, you need to be aware of your obligations under the Do Not Call Register Act External Site.
There’s no shortage of events this time of year, and it can be challenging to make your voice heard over all the holiday noise. Here’s how to get your event on people’s radar and turn it into a can’t-miss occasion.
Customer retention is the most important form of marketing. These are people who have already engaged with your business and their return depends on the quality of your products and the standard of your service. A loyalty program offers added value and a tangible reason to shop with your company again.
I used to think that LinkedIn was just a networking tool to keep in touch with business contacts, associates, colleagues etc. But all of this changed recently, when I came across an entrepreneur called Alex Pirouz.
I had the opportunity recently to meet with Nicole Crump the owner of Tactix Marketing. We were both speaking at a seminar for a client in the sales technology field. I discovered that Nicole spends a good amount of time showing SME’s how to put together an effective marketing plan. So I invited her to share some ideas on how to do this.
Great opportunities to grow your business are actually all around you.
Whenever a new business starts, it tries to consolidate by focusing on its native region, a market it is familiar with. It is a natural instinct to make the most of one’s home advantage. But sooner or later a moment comes when we realize that there is a need to move out of one’s comfort zone and explore other territories in search of growth. While it is a delicate task and the specifics will vary from case to case, let us list out a few basic strategies that should help you get started.
As a service business, you don’t usually need product photographs for a catalogue or online shop, but what you will need is a great photo of yourself. Images on your website help make you more approachable and real, and if you’re going to do anything online, you need a decent headshot to accompany your profile. From your website about page to your social media profiles and any article ever written about you by any publication, ever, you’re going to need a decent picture to use … and a selfie taken with your camera phone just isn’t going to cut it.
Before we consider the ways to optimise your website for local search, let's see what local search really is, and why it is important for your business: If you ever used the Google now feature on an Android phone, have you noticed how Google is able to return the results for places to eat around you, or popular shopping destinations in the vicinity? Similarly, have you ever wondered how Siri on the iPhone is able to tell you how many good Italian restaurants are in your neighbourhood? Another example is a set of listings you see on Google desktop search.
Developing a brand for your business means giving it an ‘identity’ or personality.
Whether you’re running a cafe, a landscaping business or you’re a virtual assistant, repeat customers and positive word of mouth are important to your business’s success. Here are some great ways to make sure your customers remember your business and recommend you to their friends.
Cash flow is a hot topic for any small business. We caught up with the people over at Fundbox, who know a thing or two about the importance of having cash on hand. Anna Eschenburg offered to give us the rundown on how to get better at lead conversion.
“Everything that can be invented has been invented,” said the Director of the US Patent Office in 1899. It was a breathtakingly naive thing to say even then. But many business owners today still make a similar mistake. They look at the market around them and assume it’s fixed. Having marked out their territory they believe nothing will change.
Business owners have so many distractions that it’s easy to… where was I? Oh yes, to lose focus. But there’s a way you can keep yourself on track.
No doubt you started your business for a good reason. It might have been to get rich, to escape the rat race or to challenge yourself. It might have been to change the world for the better. It might have simply been to generate a regular income while being your own boss instead of having other people tell you what to do.
A potential customer has landed on your website, and your home page has so far convinced them enough that they like the vibe of your company. But your site’s job is not done yet. Before they decide if you’re the right business for the job, your customer will click through to your service descriptions to make sure that what you offer fits with what they’re looking for.
Most of us today have very busy lives in our businesses.
So I like marketing tips that I can get quickly and put into action fast.