Running a business isn’t just about the freedom and the power to pick and choose what you do — it’s also about handling the responsibility of it. Big companies have internal departments — scaled up due to the number of employees they have– to handle certain jobs, like Human Resources, Payroll and Accounting, IT Support, etc. When you run a small business or a one-person service, you’re the pivot point– you’re the one to decide what to do with that kind of specialized work.
Plus, running an online business means promoting your services and selling your products, something which in bigger organizations means using sales and marketing departments.
While having dedicated teams can leverage the brain factor and parcel out the workload, when it’s down to a tiny group or just you, being the sole overseer-slash-gatekeeper can really leave you feeling yanked in all directions when it comes to researching, planning, and executing marketing and sales.
This is where organizational and goal alignment comes in very handy. When people are committed to working together,they help each other up and forward in ways each can’t do on their own. When people work against each other, the most polite way you can say about that is that they’re working at cross-purposes.
Continue reading Why You Need To Align Marketing and Sales
When you ask any business owner what they want from their marketing campaigns, their answer can be generalized with this simple statement: “I want it to be a success, of course!” Success means profits. Ask marketers the same thing, they’d say they want to see great results. Success means engagement. Success means high ROI. But what they want and what they get isn’t always the same. Marketing plans that take months in the planning can result in mediocre results. Expectations get dashed. What accounts for the discrepancy between their campaigns and the result these get?
For the most part, it’s the lack of specific action taken to increase the odds of success in their favor.
In business as in life, if you want good things to happen for you, you need to make it so it’s more and more likely that the good things will happen. If business owners want to succeed, they needs to work primarily to ensure that their products or services answers their customer’s needs thoroughly, and that they have a good relationship with their customers. For a marketer to be successful, they have take the action the work requires to make sure their campaign’s well-crafted message gets to their target audience at the right time and in the right way to get the most positive results.
Marketers and entrepreneurs can make a lot of mistakes in planning and executing their marketing campaigns. What follows are a few of the most common — can you see yourself doing them? Continue reading 4 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Marketing
When it comes to online marketing, one of the key pillars of a building successful online business is having a healthy and growing mailing list.
It’s simple, very basic business advice for today. You establish a website, you give good, valuable content, relevant to your target market, and you build an email list.
- You offer freebies, people sign up to get those in exchange for their names and email addresses.
- You get names and email addresses, you build a mailing list of people who have given you their permission to contact them and who have shown they are interested in your content.
- You build a pool of subscribers, a group of people who have pre-qualified themselves to be your customers simply by signing up, whether to get notified every time you update, or receive a free report with relevant, valuable, helpful information.
That’s part of the basic practices. The further on you grow into managing your business and connecting with your customers, the more you can develop an eye towards spotting the nuances and driving needs of your market. You want to succeed, so of course you study better ways of monetizing your website, leveraging your content, and converting your leads into actual sales.
You study your customers. You study your conversion rates. You read customer feedback, etc. and you act on what you learn, adjusting your actions to make the best next choice. With this consistent study, the real-time analysis, and staying on top of things…you sharpen your business acumen. And you develop your gut instincts.
The further along you get, you can realize that some tactics or strategies need to be revamped or discarded entirely, to make room for ones that work better. It’s at this stage that you can truly start taking counterintuitive-seeming steps that actually help maximize your work and leverage your mailing list. Continue reading How To Get High-Value Sales Leads from Your Opt-In Page
Business depends on profits to survive and to thrive. Whether you sell products or services, all the processes that keep money coming in must be given particular focus to keep the pipeline open and healthy. Marketing sometimes gets shifted off to the side, but it is still an integral process.
Marketing is not just getting clicks or sign-ups. It has evolved to take a bigger presence at the decision-making table, and shouldn’t be relegated to a ‘follow-up activity after product development.’ You can’t afford to do that. Technology, competition and communication-wise, there’s too much going on to leave things to chance. At the speed which commerce moves, important business processes like R and D, marketing, and customer and public relations must be aligned and responsive, not reactive.
Marketing contributes to the bottom line too. It’s not just a money-pit. To see that, you have to have the hard numbers, get the quantifiable data. You put money into marketing, you have know the returns you’re getting on that.
The proof will lie in the solid results and analysis that comes from in-depth data-crunching and aggregation. Anything that gives you an edge over your competition, advances your position in your market, and helps you give your customers a better experience? You better know about it.
What are the metrics that matter?
Don’t just glance at the surface metrics that garner surface attention. The number of ‘likes’, re-tweets, and followers can easily swell the ego, but ego means squat to the bottom line when you can’t measure the impact of these numbers on your revenue. Get an objective assessment: You need to pin down where your marketing dollars are making the best contributions towards your profitability so you can make the best decisions on where to spend more money, now and in the future. Continue reading 3 Pillars of Marketing Effectivity
Let’s start with the facts:
YouTube is the third most visited site in the word, right after Google and Facebook. The site gets over a billion unique users visiting on a monthly basis, and their viewership base is helped along by the sheer number of videos they offer, with more coming in: a 100 hour’s worth every minute, according to them.
If you’re a US based business, Nielsen ratings identify YouTube as reaching more US adults (18-34) than any US cable network, and you can also reach a world-wide audience easily, what with 80% of the traffic coming from outside the country. When it comes to accessibility and global reach, YouTube “is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages.”
With millions of subscribers, it’s virtually impossible not to have a significant population of your target market included in the YouTube tribe. When you include videos in your marketing strategy, you’ll be adding an enormously powerful tool and YouTube’s brand to work in your corner. In conjunction with Google ad platforms (Google bought the company in 2006), there are thousands of channels making money for their content-creators. You won’t be limited to laptops and desktop users, since the videos are also available on mobile device platforms.
Another good thing is that you’ll have a form of copyright protection built in with YouTube’s Content ID system, which filters identical files uploaded by other members and checks them for matches.
What can you do with YouTube?
Inform, educate, respond. You can teach your customers how to get the most out of your products. Continue reading How Video and YouTube Can Strengthen Business and Market Share
There are many ways to make money via using social media; you can check it for yourself with a little judicious research. After all, with the internet connecting everyone, on a personal level you already get to see how much time people spend on Facebook, or YouTube, or tweeting, and then witness other people managing to monetize those activities , for example, with revenue from ads and sponsors.
What is your main goal?
Okay, you want to make money using social media. That’s clear. Now, how do you want to go about doing it?
- Do you want to make money in addition to your main income via a sideline, some moonlighting, or by setting up an additional stream of income?
- Or do you want this venture using social media to make you money by itself ?This is a lot more involved.
- Or do you want to venture out as an expansion of your online presence? This takes a good view of the long-term.
Your action plan will of course differ with your main goals, so you need to be very clear on what you want, and what you’ll have to do to make it happen.
- Are you using social media to funnel visitors to your website? That’s income if they buy something, or click-through your affiliate page.
- Are you using it to inform your customers or educate them? That’s informational and promotional, and falls under marketing too.
- Are you using it to solicit feedback on a project ? That’s testing the waters to see if an idea can make money.
You can use social media marketing to fulfill a business goal (make money, promote a product, solidify brand awareness), gain exposure, or even change public perception. Maybe your brand is in trouble – social media marketing can you get real-time assessments and feedback from customers, faster than any formal focus group. That can help you address issues before they gain a life of their own. Continue reading How Do You Make Money From Social Media?