Kickstart Your Marketing Department in 2014

One of your 2014 resolutions for your business may be to improve your marketing skills in order to hopefully increase both your reach and your revenues. Sometimes in businesses marketing is an area that is put on hold. However, marketing can make or break a business.

Here are different ways to kickstart your marketing department in 2014.

Create a Facebook page.

Do you have a Facebook page for your website? Facebook can be an easy way to keep your customers and potential future customers updated with what is going on at your business. You could post questions each day, statuses, pictures, and so on.

Kickstart Your Marketing Department in 2014Engage with your market on Twitter.

Twitter is another good way to engage with potential customers. You could find potential customers by easily searching hash tags. You could also join Twitter parties so that others can find you easily.

Join the Pinterest train.

For consumers out there, Pinterest may be a place where they determine what they want to buy. They pin things that they want, things that they like, design ideas, recipes, and so on.

Make sure that you have nice images on your website so that people will want to pin your images for others to find.

Have an e-mail list.

Do you have an e-mail list? There are several good e-mail websites that you could join in order to kickstart an e-mail list for your business.

You should be looking for quality contacts. Contacts that don’t lead to anywhere and just inflate numbers don’t do anything and don’t help you at all.

You could send out details in e-mails such as sales, discounts, coupons, news, and so on. It can be a great way to remind customers of your products or services and hopefully bring them in to see you.

Have an engaging blog with quality content.

There are many positives of having a blog to go along with your website. Engaging content means that you have the possibility to bring readers and customers back over and over again. New clients may also be able to find you if they search something within a post.

How do you plan to market your business this year?

 

A quiet night in: an exercise in frugal saving.

image1As much as any couple, family or group of friends might like going out, it’s never cheap. Whether it’s fine dining or going out to your local bar or restaurant, these are costs that add up all too easily. They may seem cheap once in a while but once you start doing it on a weekly or semi-regular basis, it becomes a larger and larger chunk of your expenses.

In contrast to this, understanding the benefits of a quiet night in can prove useful. More than offering something different and relaxing it can demonstrate a way to stay cheap and cost effective whilst still enjoying the usual perks of life.

Food

If you go out to eat, you should know how much this can cost. Cooking for yourself is usually the cheapest but there are still other options. For instance, if you have the urge for Chinese food, it may be cheaper for everyone to pool money together for chinese takeaways than visit your local restaurant. It’s much cheaper and doesn’t have the added costs of additional drinks and restaurant prices and other service charges that are often forgotten about.

Entertainment

Likewise, if you’re not going out, there is nothing to stop you from being social. Your home can prove entertaining enough with the right company. Cheap entertainment can be anything from a movie rental (if you’re only going to watch it once, don’t buy something you don’t need) to various games, which offer entertainment again and again. These are all cheap, whether you use it once or buy it to use again and again. This is another lesson to be learnt in saving, by understanding the real value of something.

If you come across some movies that you and your friends love, it makes sense to purchase the DVD so you can all watch it whenever you like. Luckily, you can save money by ordering your DVDs online, so you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. To make things more interesting, consider having each person purchase a DVD online and then choosing between your favorites every time you gather.

Additional expenses

Hopefully the two areas above should highlight how easy it is to cut down on those little costs for every social occasion but there are always other areas to look at. Take your appearance, for instance. If you don’t go out to an expensive restaurant you might not need to risk your best shirt or shoes. It can also save on other expenses, such as getting a taxi home late if you’ve been drinking or other travel costs.  So, next time you think you might go out, suggest staying in to the others and see how much can be saved.

Seven Marketing Tips That Will Help You Save and Make Money

Marketing can be as expensive or cheap as you make it. If you are trying to pare costs down, there are ways to make money without spending too much of it. The most effect marketing campaign is still word-of-mouth and luckily, that doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With new technologies, like social networking, and good old-fashioned marketing know-how, you can position your company to make money while saving a few bucks too.

Creating Buzz with Little Cash

If you’re not a mega-millions company who can’t afford a marketing spot during the Super Bowl yet, don’t fret. You can still make use of some smart marketing techniques to get you there. The trick is to get others to help to get the word out. With enough incentives, you can fund a marketing campaign that creates leads that will eventually turn into a steady stream of cash.

  1. Social Networking – Tell a friend or a follower and they will tend their friends and followers. This is the cheapest way to get the word out and only requires that you put up profiles on social networks. After that, you can use apps to put up shops or engage followers with contests and free giveaways.
  2. Give Out Expert Advice – While you’re on these sites, you have the perfect chance to set yourself up as the expert on a particular topic. The topic should be something to do with your company brand or product offerings. Once people look to you for advice they’re more likely to like your pages and share your online content.
  3. Make Use of Virtual Freebies – Everyone loves a free promotional item. Simple things like personalized pencils or pens with your brand are great promotional tools, and they’re not that expensive. However, nothing beats the virtual freebie with your marketing information, like a free e-book, video class, or tip list.
  4. Seminars and Classes – If you have a group of your friends all in the same business, it might be time to set up seminars or classes that you can use to promote your businesses. Split the cost to create the material with partners. You can use venues like Udemy.com or YouTube.com to engage a larger audience.
  5. Discount Coupons – There are ways to create online coupon codes to motivate people to buy today, not a month from now. They don’t cost a lot to implement and can be used with limited time offers to spur sales quickly. You can even use a paid service like CouponTank.com to create coupons for social networking sites.
  6. Local Listings – Free local listings in newspapers, in church bulletins, or online directory listings can help others find your business. If your listing is online, don’t forget to ask patrons to your business to review your offerings online.
  7. Referrals – Word-of-mouth is all about referrals. You can create an affiliate program to pay for those referrals or you can give a freebie out for those that give you a referral.

 

Word-of-mouth is one of the easiest ways to creating marketing campaigns that will yield marketing leads and create sales. Online activities excel at creating word-of-mouth through likes and shares. Add a few promotional items and marketing enticements, and you will cultivate sales through casual conversations online.

Are You Aware of These Small Business Marketing Mistakes (That May Be Hurting Your Business)?

When you’re running a small business and trying to make everything work like it’s supposed to, you often pick up bad habits that can have disastrous consequences in the long-term. Sometimes the mistakes we make with our marketing and business connections are simply the result of trying to save some time and money. It’s a lot cheaper to take a do-it-yourself approach when you’re dealing with clients and trying to attract new ones. There’s nothing wrong with trying to cut costs and take a hands-on approach to your marketing, but there are common mistakes that many small businesses fall victim to every day. Beware of these, and you will be well on your way to launching your successful marketing campaign.

Using Template Responses

If you’re dealing with any number of clients throughout the course of your day, you’re likely writing and replying to a ton of emails. Now, people have been using emails for a while, and a client will be able to spot a template email from a mile away so you really don’t want to be using these. It may save you a lot of time, but could end up costing you clients down the line. You should also have your own email address that’s specific to your site. This is, of course, depending on the size of your business, but if you’re using a generic email account, it looks really unprofessional. [Read more…]

Five Basic Mistakes Most People Make While Picking Keywords (and End Up Crippling Their Income Significantly)

So you’ve picked out your niche based on fantastic money making ideas. You’re sure it will attract swarms of traffic and catapult you to the top of Google in no time. All you need to do is throw in some content, put up some ads and wait for the cash to roll in, right?

Well, not quite. How are people going to find this terrific site of yours?

They just type in Google what they’re looking for and my site will pop up, right?

Not quite.

The thing is, you can’t take the risk that someone searching for something in your niche will find your site, informative as it is, “magically”. You need to pave the way for this to happen by making sure you have used the right keywords to attract the right kind of traffic. Keywords (or keyword phrases) are the terms people type into Google and other search engines when they need information. How can you be sure that your content contains the right ones?  The key is to do a little bit of keyword research before your build your site.

Here are some of the mistakes most people make when they build a website. Avoid them, and you will increase your earning potential significantly.

Mistake #1: Building a site around a keyword or phrase that you think is “obvious” or “great”

[Read more…]

Lessons in Entrepreneurship: Think Outside the Bag

(This post is a part of the “weekend’s are for fun” series.)

If you are an entrepreneur (or plan on being one), then it is likely that sometime in your entrepreneurial career, you will have to work on creating brand recognition and advertising. For the most bang for the buck – think outside the bag (you’ll see what I mean). Here are some innovative ads that really amused me – hopefully they will inspire you in your quest for creating the most captivating ad as well.

Note: These images have been floating around for a while and you might have seen some of them already. So, I categorized them into three sections so you can skip over the sections that you have already seen. How thoughtful, huh? 🙂

  1. Shopping Bags
  2. Truck Ads
  3. Bus Ads

Shopping Bags

Advertising on shopping bags (“bagvertising”) can have a similar effect as advertising on bill boards. At a much lower cost, though. Compared to billboards, the advantage of using bagvertising is that shopping bags are mobile ads, whereas bill boards are stationary. So, bagvertising can reach all sorts of places that bill board advertising just couldn’t. The key here is to be innovative. Have an “oomph” design that will make a lasting impression to not only help with brand recognition, but also tempt the audience into going and making a purchase themselves. Here are some examples. Look to the bottom of the page for links with more pictures.

Stop ‘n Grow nail biting deterrent

Dubai Autism Center

Pieter Aspe – Belgian Crime Novel Writer

I am assuming this one is for a lingerie store!

Panadol brand pain reliever (Australian?)

Truck Ads

OK. Say you are stuck in traffic. And to make it worse, let’s you are caught behind (or next to) a huge truck. What would you rather stare at – the boring hind side of a truck with the name of some company in block lettering or some clever ad that amuses you? (For those of you who said – “Neither, I hate all kinds of ads”, I say “I pity the fool who cannot face reality and adapt to it!”). Anyway, a German company called RollAd sponsors an annual advertising competition for the cleverest ad designed for trucks called the Rhino Awards. Here are some of my favorites from the winners from 2005 and short-listed entries from the 2006.

Pepsi Light

Falk Navigation Systems

Sushi Factory (Does anyone else think an aquarium with cute fish is a bad idea for advertising sushi???)

Coca Cola Zero

Universal Pictures (King Kong)

Bus Ads

This is a genre similar to truck ads. In big cities where the public transportation is one of the primary means to get around, this can be a great means of advertisement. I wish every advertiser would recognize the value of “funny” and design ads that amuse us instead of bore us!

Duracell Batteries

Dr. Best Tooth Brush

Jet Star Asia

Mint

Toys ‘R Us

I know we money bloggers shun advertisements and gripe about how they corrupt the mind and tempt people into buying stuff that they don’t need. But at the end of the day, the reality is that there will always be advertisements around us. If you plan on having your own business or entrepreneurial venture, you may as well make peace with ads and use them to your advantage. I hope these ads here convinced you of the potential that funny and innovative ads have, and I hope if you ever choose to create an ad campaign you will be be kind to us consumers by entertaining us instead of bugging us!

More Cool Pictures at:

  • Shopping Bags 1
  • Shopping Bags 2
  • Shopping Bags 3
  • Shopping Bags 4
  • Truck Ads 1
  • Truck Ads 1
  • Bus Ads 1
  • Bus Ads 1