Free Branding and Promotional Tips For Small Business

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Branding, marketing, and promoting your small business can be challenging. 

Mainly because there’s a wealth of information both on and offline telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. 

And while you think this would be a good thing, the variety of information out there can often be confusing and overwhelming for small business owners and managers. 

Fortunately, we’ve put together the following guide on free promotional tricks that you can use to grow your small business, perfect for those with a limited budget!

 

Google My Business

Creating a Google My Business profile is a beneficial and free marketing strategy, particularly for local businesses that want to tap into their local markets. 

This free listing will allow your company to appear on Google Maps, displaying a variety of relevant information about who your business is, what areas you serve, and how to get in contact with you. 

It’s also a place where you can cultivate reviews and testimonials from your existing customers, which can serve as a great marketing strategy on its own.

Not to mention the fact that having a Google My Business listing simply makes your business appear more professional to prospective customers! 

 

Social Media Marketing

Increasing social media interaction and creating an online community is a cost-free way to expand your small business while also sharing your brand’s personality, graphics and logo, and gaining confidence from your audience. 

Create company profiles on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and then get active on those platforms to increase your brand awareness. 

Whatever your inspiration, make sure you’re involved and constructive on the social media pages you build. 

Consistency and portraying your true personality are critical to having a successful social media presence.

 

Using Hashtags

Incorporating hashtags into your social media posts is another free and highly effective marketing technique that can help you expand your scope and reach new audiences.

Although broad or trending hashtags can help you strengthen your brand awareness, they shouldn’t be your only option. These hashtags are often highly competitive, which means that they might not help all that much for a small business. 

Therefore, when you’re sharing resources or tips in your posts, descriptive and relevant hashtags are often more helpful than using the most popular hashtags. 

If you’re a local business, you should also use various hashtags specific to your location. 

Just make sure that you’re using various popular, relevant, and location-specific hashtags in your posts to ensure they reach your intended audience.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform that is often underutilized, especially for B2B businesses looking to grow their brands.

In fact, for B2B brands, LinkedIn is more important than the other social platforms we’ve mentioned. 

But don’t just make network connections and then disappear; engage in conversation with them, share your blog posts and business deals, join and contribute to existing discussions, and share others’ high-quality material.

You will develop your brand and gain confidence and respect in your industry by educating your potential customers and helping other professionals to grow. 

Furthermore, it would help if you encouraged all of your staff to participate in the platform, leading to more interactions, testimonials, and referrals for your business. 

 

Local SEO

The best thing about Google’s algorithm is that it’s designed to provide the most reliable, high-quality, and appropriate results for any given search query. 

So in terms of SEO, aiming to rank for local search results is often easier than aiming for industry-wide results. 

For instance, if you’re a marketing agency, you’ll often have better luck ranking for terms such as “content marketing Oklahoma” rather than simply trying to rank for the keyword term “content marketing,” which will be a far more competitive keyword. 

Remember that SEO takes time, so get started now and keep working at it; the rewards can be substantial over time. 

To rank locally, the most critical thing to do is to add location-based keywords to your website’s meta descriptions, tags, blog posts, headings, etc.

 

Free Branding And Promotional Tips

Branding and promoting your business doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars! 

In fact, by listing your business on Google, being active on social media, using the right hashtags, and optimizing your website for local search results, you’ll be well on your way to building a popular and successful small business!

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What Do You Have to Consider to Build Your Brand and Promote Your Business Online?

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It’s been a while since businesses could avoid being online; today’s businesses live or die primarily by their online presence. However, there’s a big gap between knowing that and knowing exactly how to build your brand. Even if your business isn’t web-based, building your online presence can help you promote your business and drive new customers through your doors. Here are some considerations when trying to build your brand and promote your services in an online setting.
Graphics Library

If you’re going to be promoting your business online, you’ll need a decent amount of graphics and visual content to support it. This starts with a logo that you own and can use wherever you need; this logo should match anything your business uses physically to avoid confusion. If you don’t have a logo, head over to LogoCreator, where you can design your own professional logo for absolutely free. 

Besides a logo, other content you’ll want to have is pictures from your business, promotional or marketing graphics for use in online marketing or video content you have of your business in action. All of this content helps you engage people with your marketing, rather than relying solely on long text-based content. Building this library and using it often can help promote your business online.

Use Google My Business

If there’s one place online you want to have your business registered, it’s on Google My Business. The most important benefit this free registration provides is people’s ability to see and find your business on Google Maps. People everywhere depend on Google Maps not only to help them get where they’re going but also to explore their local area and see what’s available. Your business is listed on Google Maps gives you a great promotional tool with a minimal cost associated.

 

Social Media Marketing

It’s hard to avoid social media, and as a business owner, you’d be ill-advised to do so. Social media offers an instant and constant way for people to interact with their favorite businesses, post reviews, and find local services. They often filter information by someone’s precise geolocation. People often ask for local suggestions for different services or products they need.  

You can target people in your area with relevant advertisements using the various social media platforms, which makes your marketing dollars stretch farther as well. It’s generally free to create a profile, although you may want to use paid advertising. The point is, social media gives you a chance to get your business in front of a lot of people who are in your local area and are most likely to use your service.

Email Marketing

Even if you aren’t inclined to build a website, you can get customers signed up for email newsletters after their visit. With a list of people who’ve already bought from you, you can send out periodic newsletters to let them know what you’re up to and all about the great deals you’ve been having. Email marketing is a very effective and reliable form of direct-to-consumer marketing, so you should really consider using it. Benchmark is a highly-rated email marketing service that automates many more mundane tasks, giving you the ability to create professional emails that get your customers to respond. 

Even if your business isn’t web-based, you should seriously consider building a robust online presence. People spend so much time on the internet and social media that by relying on more traditional promotion methods, you’re missing out on a lot of potential clients. Harness the reach possible online by keeping these considerations in mind when deciding how you want to promote your company.

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Top Design Tips to Boost Your Sales in 2020

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Effective Design Tips to Improve Your Sales in 2020

Running a business can be challenging, and 2020, the year of the COVID-19, has been especially trying.  You find that you are struggling to make sales, and you’re starting to worry that you may have to shut down. With the right design tips, you can boost your sales and keep your doors open, even in these challenging times.

the word create written in pencil

2020 has proved to be a very challenging year for everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the business landscape leading to the closure of many companies.  Those that have managed to survive have had to implement cutbacks and other cost-saving measures. 

In the same breath, they are looking for ways to increase their sales to remain afloat. Platforms such as Mr.Bet have excellent tools for those operating online casinos and are looking for tips to design a game. But what tips can help boost sales for other businesses?

We will show you the top design tips to boost your sales in 2020 below.

1. Have a professional website built

What are web design tips?  Simply put, it is any techniques you will apply to increase traffic to your website.  One of the best design tips for websites is not to have sliders on your homepage. They can confuse people whatever you want to tell your audiences.

Other things you need to incorporate in your web design include:

  •       A strong call-to-action
  •       Visible contact information that works
  •       Aligning your website to any advertisements 
  •       Developing design tips by understanding exactly who you are talking to and their point of need
  •       Having trust icons such as social proof, security measures, and safe shopping guarantees, among others
  •       Creating a sense of urgency around your promotions or products
  •       Making the checkout process easy
  •       Simplifying the checkout process and removing the navigation bar from the page. You do not want to present customers with the option of abandoning their carts.
  •       Incorporating customers voice in your copy

2. Put the Customer First

With the pandemic being such a painful reality in 2020, business owners must put the health and safety of customers first.  If you’re operating a brick-and-mortar store, ensure you have proper sanitization and social distancing rules.  

Communicate with the customers via your website, email, social media, or even mobile apps.  Information around the pandemic and staying safe is especially welcome at this time.

One of the best design tips in marketing you will get is to go over and beyond customer expectations. When customers see that you care for them, they will remain loyal and even send some referrals your way.

Invest in training staff members to build passion around the brand and give customers the same experience.

woman holding her head in front of her laptop

3. Design and Optimize Your Gaming Website

Online gaming is on the rise. If you are a new developer, here is what you need to know.

  •       When designing, think of the end-user by having an easy-to-use interface
  •       Hook your players with your characters
  •       Provide quality sound to enhance the mood
  •       Provide consistency and balance in gameplay
  •       Unique designs will ensure you stand out

Optimizing your website is so much more than having the right keywords to attract visitors. The use of graphics and video will help reduce bounce rates.  There are some fantastic design tips graphics you will find online to help with the process. 

Design tips in Photoshop will help you customize photos or even create virtual tours for your visitors.

Customize your website to make it accessible on smart devices such as tablets or mobiles. A large percentage of visitors will browse it via such devices. 

4. Offer Money-Back Guarantee

Have you ever wondered why companies offer money-back guarantees? Not only is it a very effective marketing tactic, but it shows that you have faith in your product. 

When customers know they can return a purchase they are not happy with, it’s likely they’ll trust you with their money. Just be sure to offer a guarantee that you can live up to it.

5. Don’t Forget Your Existing Customers

If you have existing customers, repurposing your marketing content to mitigate them is a good move.  By developing messaging that directly talks to them, you increase the likelihood of return purchases.

Think about promotions that target them directly. It could be a way of saying thank you to them for their loyalty.  In return, they will stick by you and continue to be faithful customers.

Conclusion

We have shared what we consider top design tips to boost sales in 2020.  Everything you do should be about the customer. Safety and information during this pandemic period are critical. 

Pay attention to your website design and take advantage of smart devices so that you can reach those who shop via their smart devices. Most importantly, pay attention to your existing customers through promotions and exclusive offers, where possible.

What other tips would you have for a business that wants to stay afloat in 2020?  Head over to the comment section to share your feedback.  

 

Author’s Bio 

 

Alex has many irons in many fires, including starting an eCommerce store and his own marketing company. He is very busy, but the work is rewarding, and freedom has allowed him to fish, see friends more regularly.

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10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

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Every writer has a story to share about the blogging mistakes they made at the beginning of their careers. Seasoned bloggers say there’s no such thing as a mistake, only lessons learned. Let’s put the words of wisdom aside for a second and help you to avoid some of the early day blunders if you can.

Alex Lysak shares some of the best tips to keep in mind as you grow your blog. He’s a trusted SEO specialist and a regular guest writer on various blogs. You can learn a lifetime worth of wisdom from him and the Scanteam bloggers. 

Let’s take a page from the experts on blogging for beginners and avoid the common pitfalls.

a person using a laptop

1. Choosing the Wrong Platform

It’s understandable; free blogging platforms have fantastic marketing campaigns that make it very enticing and convincing to fall for. Most of it also offers free plans that most new bloggers need when they’re starting. 

Providers like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace do sound easy to set up and offer loads of free templates. It’s not a wrong place to start from, but in the long run, you’ll end up wishing you invested a bit more for the usability offered by WordPress

The essential cost of setting up on a WordPress platform is currently at about $65 per year, and worth planning for if you’re serious about your blogging career. When you pay for hosting platforms, you’ll end up with a more professional looking blog and have plenty of tools to help grow your blog. Free hosting sites will fill up your space with ads and popups, trying to cover its expenses of offering you open space.

2. Choosing a Difficult Name

Your domain name should be easy to remember. If a potential follower searches for your domain and gets it wrong the third time, they’ll get frustrated and search for something else.

Keep it relevant and catchy without using unusual grammatical or spelling methods. Less is more when it comes to selecting a domain name.

3. Broad-Spectrum Topics

We get it; as a new blogger, you want to share as much as you can, trying to capture your audience with informative content. What the old-timers will tell you, however, is that readers enjoy bite-size chunks of information more. Your content should pack a punch of knowledge with as little words as possible.

  • Choose a precise and well-defined topic
  • Be concise and don’t play around with words to fill a page.
  • Give your readers value for their time and high-value links to your affiliates.

Some excellent tools can help you nail your blog topics, such as automated topic generators. Don’t be shy to use whatever is available to help you streamline your blog. 

4. Trying to Write for Everybody

You’re not chocolate; you can’t please everybody. One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is writing about everything. The best advice we can give you is to find your niche. When you write about what you know and have a passion for, it will never seem dull. 

If your interest and knowledge are about plumbing and sanitation, don’t waste time writing about kitchen equipment. Focus your time and your energy on your area of expertise. In that way, readers will know where to go when they’re looking for advice on how to fit their new taps.

5. Making the Blog Too Personal

Your blog’s personality should have a life of its own and not be a copy of yours. Yes, it’s heartwarming to share some personal tidbits now and again, but write a novel if you want to publish a diary.

Readers should get to know you through your writing style, not by personal accounts of your day-to-day life. If you’re blogging to build a career from it, you’ll focus on your niche markets and consumers. People read blogs to learn impressive new facts about a specific brand or product. Teach them well with valuable information, and they’ll keep on returning to your page.

6. Writing for SEO Points and Not for People

You’re writing for people, not algorithms. It’s essential to stick to the blogging tips shared by expert SEO guru’s, but keep it real. Readers will know if you’re writing for them or only to maximize your affiliate links

When you write, imagine that a good friend is sitting across the table from you and using words that are part of your everyday vocabulary. Don’t try to sound like somebody you’re not. You won’t be able to keep it up, and your audience will see right through it.

7. Not Being Consistent

You must write and upload content consistently. If needed, set up a calendar to remind yourself when your audience expects to hear from you again. Planning is a part of your blogging career. Long before you post your first article, you should have a few week’s worth of content ready to upload.

With this said, don’t spam your subscribers daily. Publish good quality content at regular intervals. You want your readers to get excited when they receive a notification from your blog, not annoyed.

8. Publish Without Editing

Blogging is a very personal way to communicate with an online audience. The quality of what you publish is a direct reflection of how much you value your audience. If a reader has to find mistakes continually, it’ll make them feel unvalued.

There’s no reason to publish content with unnecessary mistakes. Online tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway are but two of many products that’ll help you edit and perfect your writing.

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9. Not Proving Your Point

If you’re writing about a specific topic that you had to research, link your research to your article or cite your sources for your audience. Without it, your readers will lose trust in what you’re stating.

When you link your researched sources, it increases your website authority with your readers, and ultimately with Google. It’ll increase your online visibility in the long run, so this point should become a habit when writing blog posts.

10. Writing Each Blog in a Different Style

Although there are various types of blog posts, your template should remain recognizable. You can create a set of templates for a variety of topics you write about. You can create a template for reviews, one for a “how to …” blog, and so forth. 

Once you’ve created templates and section headers, it’ll become increasingly easier to find the content of value. Your template outline also helps you focus on the core ideas or information you want to share and narrow down your research.

Conclusion

Each blogger will make mistakes in the process of becoming a great writer. Some of these tips might help you get there a bit quicker. Your blog is your business and should represent your brand well. The sooner you can work out the little kinks, the sooner you can start connecting with your audience in a valuable way and increase your following.

Your ultimate goal is to build lasting relationships with your subscribers for affiliates to want to be associated with you. Blogging is an excellent way of sharing your passions with the world out there and making a living from it. Persevere, learn, adapt, and change until you find your perfect style and audience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:IMAGE OF ALEX LYSAK

Alex Lysak – CEO of ScanTeam / Digital Marketer. Alex is working in online marketing since 2011, his main areas of expertise are marketing research, social media marketing, and SEO. During 9 years of experience, he has helped many products and startups to develop marketing strategies and to implement them further.

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Best Content Writing Tips to Boost Your Personal Blog Storytelling

People love stories. That’s a fact. There is something about that compelling narrative that makes us want to know more. So, if your blog embodies personal storytelling you are on the right path to win over an audience. However, besides the powerful form of storytelling, you need great content writing to keep the audience engaged.

Your blog can exude with impressive stories but without a good content writing strategy, it won’t reach its full potential. Are you ready to boost your personal blog storytelling? If the answer is yes, then keep on reading and employ the following content writing tips.

Express Your Voice

Authenticity is what the audience seek for. Give your blog authentic form by finding and expressing your voice. People will memorize your stories and link them back to you if they recognize a specific type of writing each time.

You can notice this in different types of content writing. Successful brands have a unique voice that makes them recognizable. That’s what gives a more personal tone to the content.
Your voice should present your personality. Everyone is unique in its own way so the easiest way to find your voice is to simply let your personality shine in your stories. The consistency of using the same voice will make your blog wholesome.

Grab Attention with the First Sentence

The first sentence is the crossing point. A good one will lead the reader further into the story and the bad one will make them give up on the post instantly. There is no SEO strategy that can help you acquire more readers if you ruin the first impression.

There are several ways of creating a good start for your story:

  • Quote – A relevant quote will tickle the readers’ imagination and give them a sense of what your story will be about.
  • Anecdote – Anecdotes can make the readers’ laugh or educate them. Either way, they are always interesting to read.
  • Question – Questions have the power to get people to keep reading as they subconsciously need to get an answer.
  • Statistic – Statistics give credibility to your story.

 

Have a Key Message

Ask yourself: What’s the moral of this story? This question should resurface in every new blog post. If you don’t know why you are telling that story neither will the audience. That’s why defining the message is a good start.

Use your stories to convey the message that carries some sort of solution or revelation. Each story you include in your personal blog should have a purpose. This is what all content writers do. Whether they are writing a brand copy or video script, they form a message that will be conveyed.

The message of the story can be in the opening or closing part of the post. If you include it in the beginning, it will give the readers a reason to read it. On the other hand, if you form it as a conclusion it will sum up for the audience what they can learn from that story.

Incorporate Elements of a Good Story

Storytelling is a method that is popularly used for different purposes. From website content to promotional material, it can be found everywhere. What we can learn from various uses of storytelling are the elements of a good story.

A good story is:

  • Well-written
  • Entertaining
  • Educational
  • Organized
  • Truthful
  • Relatable

“By analyzing numerous storytelling content, our team has come to the conclusion that you can spot the same elements is all of them. It’s important to mention that we only considered successful storytelling campaigns and content forms. Using elements such as good structure, authenticity, everyday language, and relatable stories, you will increase the effectiveness of your blog,” says Cara Gordon, a senior writer, and editor at writing service TrustMyPaper with years of blogging experience.

Easily relatable stories such as a different crisis that most people go through will not only make boost your blog but they can truly help people. Be honest, speak from experience, and focus on delivering a story that speaks to people.

Use Visuals

As visual beings, we tend to navigate towards content that is enhanced with images. Complete your stories with appropriate imagery and you can bring them to life. When readers get the help of images to visualize what you are writing about, the story will be more memorable.

Try to avoid stock photos in your personal storytelling. Instead, include the photos you took or images of quotes. You don’t have to add images that portray you, just take original photos that will complement the story. If you’ve been using stock images it’s time to re-evaluate your visuals.

If you want to build your social media presence through the blog, adding your Instagram feed to the website is a good option. It can give users a glimpse into your world and add some color to the website.

Final Thoughts

When you combine strategic content writing with an amazing story you’ll have all you need to build an army of followers. Apply what you have learned from this content writing tips to your blog and you’ll be able to boost the effectiveness of storytelling. Remember that success demands strategy just as much as it demands talent and authenticity.

Dorian Martin is a professional content creator who writes the best essays for expert academic services. In his free time, Dorian runs his own blog and reads publications from fellow writers.

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5 Psychological Factors Of Brand Awareness And Trust

Brand awareness efforts are critical in achieving business success and overall marketing goals. It gives your brand a personality, an outlet to be sincere and transparent, and the ability to establish a trusting relationship with your consumers. Solid, positive brand recognition has the power to help your business thrive. If you’re an emerging entrepreneur wondering how to make a lasting impression on your audience, here are a few psychological factors that influence brand awareness and trust.

Create an engaging visual identity for your brand. The three main influences you should think about are: colors, logo, and font. Colors are important psychological factors since they convey feelings, emotions, and experiences. The colors you choose for branding and marketing your products can have a significant impact on customer perception and purchasing behavior, so be sure to use them to your advantage. For example, the color blue is associated with being dependable and trustworthy, while green can make one think of health and nature. 

In today’s digital world, having a presence on social media can help increase your brand visibility. Consider developing a social media posting strategy and creating a friendly personality for your brand. By engaging with your audience on a personal level, you can build a better experience for consumers. 

Moreover, if your content is compelling, customers are likely to share it beyond your following. This can help assure prospects that your brand is trustworthy. You can also run social media contests to further expose your brand by having your followers tag their friends in the comments section. For more factors that influence brand awareness and trust, see the accompanying infographic.

 

 

Author bio: Rebecca Purrington is a Promotional Products Expert with Crestline Custom Promotional Products. She has more than five years of consultative sales experience in the industry and holds degrees in both Social/Behavioral Sciences and Business Management.

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Are You Ready to Give Up on Email Marketing? Read This First

Are you so frustrated with the results of your email marketing campaign that you’re ready to throw in the towel? Don’t worry about it – we’ve all been there. Email marketing seems like a simple way to boost sales.

And it can be, provided that you can get your subscriber to open the email in the first place. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing message is if no one ever reads it, does it?

In the busy world that we live in, you need to time the email perfectly so that they get it when they have time to open it. Is there any point in sending it through late on Friday afternoon when everyone’s getting ready to go home, for example?

Security awareness training is another thing that you’ll have to consider when crafting your email. Many companies have software that allows them to remove any suspicious messages and spam before they get delivered to their servers.

There are a good few more, but these will be dealt with in the EveryCloud infographic that we’ve published below. You’ll learn:

·         Why email marketing is still the best thing since sliced bread

·         How people use emails and whether or not they view them on their mobile phones

·         What might make people consider your email spam

·         When the best spending times are

·         And a whole lot of other interesting facts

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