User-Friendly Websites: A Basic Guide for Non-Techy Entrepreneurs

When you’re in the process of putting together your business website, you’re going to receive a lot of advice on what to do and not to do. One such advice that has become very common these days is the idea that your site needs to be user-friendly for it to effectively achieve its purpose.

While this may seem to be like some basic advice which you can pretty much ignore the fact is that you definitely want your site to be user-friendly. Or, what’s the point of having a website if it’s not going to be able to be used by those your business is looking to target?

But,

What Really Is Website User-Friendliness?

User-Friendly Websites

When website designers talk about user friendliness or user experience (UX) they are basically referring to the art of making your website simple and easy to use. The idea is to make the presentation of information in a clear and concise way. The arrangement of content and important items on the site should be free from any form of ambiguity. To achieve this you need to understand your customer’s online behavior. Without this insight building user-friendly websites can be daunting.

In these days when more and more people are using the internet for their shopping and other activities having a user-friendly website is not just something to be desired but a necessity. Applying the concepts of usability into your website design will significantly improve how easily visitors move through your website. This will in turn increase the amount of visitors who stay on your site, improve your conversions, and ultimately grow your business profits.

It’s tempting to think this is something that good website design will largely take care of for itself – and that might well be the case. However, you’d be surprised how many poorly designed sites there are that miss this vital component. It’s important therefore that you perform a check on your website to make sure you’ve got your grips on all of the following factors necessary for a user-friendly website.

What Makes a Website User Friendly?

1. Text Should Be Easy To Read

The easiest way of ticking this box is by choosing a dark text on a light background. It doesn’t have to be jet black on pure white; in fact, a cream background is thought to be easier to read off than perfect lily white. However, something within this general area will suffice.

Don’t use a dark background and light text anywhere on your site. It’s difficult to read for anyone, never mind those who might have vision impairments. It can also make a site look out of date, as this was a design “feature” many of the early websites used.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about the size of the text. Make sure it’s readable to your eyes, but aside from that, this is something most users will do for themselves by adjusting the screen size.

Power of Social Media

2. The Process Should Be Intuitive

If you’re guiding people towards a purchase of goods or services, then you don’t want to have them guessing at any step along the way. Keep contact details at the top of the site, along with a brief flowchart of what they should do to place an order or make a purchase online.

If this is a particular concern for you, then use sites like Fiverr and ask someone to complete a task on your site. They can then tell you what the experience was like with new eyes, rather than you trying to judge based off how you know the process works.

Website User-Friendliness

3. Keep the Basics Front and Center

It’s great if you want to talk about a new innovation on your business site – you should be doing that. Nevertheless, there are some sites where the “news” and other marginally irrelevant pieces of information dominate the landing page.

The most important thing for you to do is direct someone to using your site to make a purchase. That means the essentials for this should be easy to access from anywhere on the site. Place links to the about, contact, and ordering pages on every single page – this is easy to do using permanent headers, footers, or sidebars.

You don’t ever want to have someone lost in your site, wanting to make an order, and not sure where to click next!

What Makes a Website User Friendly?

Conclusion

All in all website usability or user-friendliness is about simplicity and ease of use. The above are just some suggestions on what you can do right now to improve the user experience on your business website. While there are many other things to consider start with these and you will see improvements.

3 Incredibly Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Make More Money Online

As a small business entrepreneur are you looking for ways to make more money from your business without unnecessarily adding to your cost? Then this article is for you.

Frankly, many small business owners think that it’s easy to make your business a success online. But that’s not true at all. Fact is, it’s easy to setup a new business online but it’s not so easy to make it a success. There are a lot of high scale problems that might just confront you. These include, lack of attention or a more popular competitor taking all the business.

Besides, it’s possible that all the customers that you want are already buying the product that you offer from another business. And of course when this happens you can never see the type of profits you’d like to from your online company.

The question therefore is, how can you make your business more profitable online and transform a dwindling model into a money making machine?

While there are different profit making opportunities you can apply to take care of the situation I have the following to be truly outstanding. These simple ideas will help you make more money with your business without spending a lot of money to do it.

Clever ways to make more more with your small business

Simple Ideas to Make Money with Your Small Business Online

1. Increase Opportunities

Perhaps one of the best ways to make your business more profitable online is to ensure that customers have as many options as possible to buy.

To do this, you need to think about more than just your website or social media but rather what type of device your customer might be using. For instance, you might find that the majority of your customers are viewing your site on a mobile device. If that’s the case, it’s important that you ensure your site still works effectively when viewed on mobile devices. To do this, you need to make sure that it is mobile responsive.

Any top digital agency can arrange this for you and ensure that there’s no problems with a lost audience because they can’t view your site. Don’t forget this year Google have started penalizing site owners for not being mobile responsive. This should tell you how important it is.

Apps are important too. With the right app, you can get the attention of customers and ensure that they want to buy from your business. It’s important that the app is fun and easy to use.

You can also make sure that it has Third Party SDK Integrations. With this type of design, your app can connect to other areas of your business campaign. Due to this, customers will find it easier to get from one area to the other.

They can also use the app to check for updates from other areas of your campaign such as your Twitter. However, the most important thing about your app is it is fun and easy to use. If it isn’t, customers won’t keep it on their phone long enough for you to see an impact.

Make mobile buying easier on your site

2. Make Buying Easy

Next, you need to think about making buying for customers as easy as possible. It’s crucial that your customers can find the product they want and buy it immediately without delay.

The trick to making sure purchases are fast and easy is great security. If you have all the available security measures in place, you can get customers through as quickly as possible. You can even have ID systems that mean they don’t have to log in. Instead, the site remembers them, and one-click purchasing is possible.

You can also look at social media buy buttons. Rather than social content pushing customers towards your site, you can instead get them to buy right then and there. That way, there’s no chance of losing customers who didn’t follow the link. Or, who didn’t have time to click from one site to the next. It streamlines the purchase process, making things simple for you and the customer.

Make buying easier on your sitess

3. Expand Your Reach

If you expand your reach online, you can boost your customer numbers and reach a wider audience. This, in turn, will lead to higher levels of profit.

So, how do you boost your reach as a business owner?

Well, the simplest option is to make sure that you are constantly looking at ways to improve your marketing campaign. For instance, you should think about working on the quality of your content. Remember, quality is always going to be more important than quantity and will actually lead to a larger audience.

You might think that the best way to attract more people is to release as much content as possible. That’s not the case at all. In fact, you’re more likely to get increased interest if the content is shared more and that will happen if it’s a quality product. Therefore a little greatness will pay off a lot more than a ton of shoddy work.

It’s also possible to boost the reach of your business with new business partnerships. Look for a company that isn’t directly competing with you but shares the same market. You can then work together to create one massive marketing campaign that makes an impact.

Expand your business reach

Conclusion

In concluding this piece I will want to say that gone are the days when business owners were wondering if they should move their businesses online. Marketing your small business online is the best decision you have made but today that is not enough. The competition is increasing by the day. It is important therefore that you find out different ways to make more money from running that business online. Implement these simple but clever ways and you’ll see your business profits soar in no time at all.

Are You a Strategic Entrepreneur Or a Business Opportunity Seeker?

There is no doubt about it. The internet is a great potential for achieving our dreams of financial freedom and being our boss. And this is the single reason why everyday hundreds of thousands of people troop to establish their digital presence.

Recent stats show that every 60 seconds 511 websites are created, 11,000 professional searches are conducted on LinkedIn, 72 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube and more than 200 million emails are sent!

This is interesting indeed.

Unfortunately, a good number of these people, many of whom are online to make money, are no more than opportunity seekers.  They are always looking for some quick money instead of building a real .  The result is that you have a lot of promotions online with headlines like:

  • How to make $5,000 part-time online – NO selling whatever!
  • Your guaranteed blueprint for making $100,000 every week, working in your pajamas!
  • My done-for-you, business-in-a-box home business. Get it now & start making money online in 30 minutes!

The purpose of this article is to prevent you from falling into this mess. It will guide you on how to become a strategic achieving your dream of financial freedom through building a solid business on the net.

being a strategic entrepreneur
But first,

Who Is An Opportunity Seeker And Who Is A Strategic Entrepreneur?

Opportunity seekers are always after the quick buck. They only think opportunistically and are always on the lookout for the next big thing.  They are never focused rather they are always looking to make lots of money from the hot item of the day.  These are the types of people who are readily taken in by every business opportunity that comes their way.

Most of those promoting these opportunities know the mindset of the opportunity seeker is always, “Can I make money from this?” and so their ploy is always to emphasize the money making aspect. Ask them what is the product or service you are selling and how does it help my target audience? And you are sure to receive any particular answer!

But remember, every business makes money by either selling a product or rendering a service!

The strategic entrepreneur on the other hand, thinks in a completely different way. Rather than the “hit and run” mentality of the opportunity seeker, the true entrepreneur..

a. Starts with one opportunity,

b. Have a strategic vision of what they want their business to become; and

c. Stay the course until their dream is realized.

To ensure that their dream become a reality, the strategic entrepreneur will always develop a plan on how they are going to get to their desired goal.

The result is that while the opportunity seeker is struggling to take care of their business because they are always taking action based on what appears to be the most appealing thing that day, rather than having a long-term vision of what they want to accomplish with their business, the strategic entrepreneur steadily and gradually moves towards their goal doing what brings success everyday!

Related: What Does It Really Take To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?

Alright, let’s get with…

5 Simple Ways on How to Become a Strategic Entrepreneur

1.    Have  A Clear Vision

Have a clear vision of your success

Your success as an internet entrepreneur starts from within. As the saying goes, As A Man Thinketh, So Is He!

To build a real business online you must first have a clear vision of what you want to build. You should be able to visualize the end result before it ever happens. Create a clear picture of what you want in your imagination because the truth is that your imagination is the workshop of your soul. It’s where the end product (your business) is first shaped and formed.

Having a clear vision from the beginning will ensure that you know what to focus on instead of jumping about.

2.    Invest Time In Building Your Business

build your business

Building a solid business is not something that is done in a day just as the saying goes. Rome was not built in a day!

Your business requires an investment of time. Unfortunately, this is where many fail because they are always looking out for the Greenbacks. And when these delay in coming, they simply jump ship.

You must dish the quick buck mentality and put in the time to achieve your vision. We all have 24hrs a day – the rich and the poor alike; the successful and the unsuccessful. One thing however is, how much you get from that 24hrs depends on how proactive and productive you are in the use of the 24hrs you have.

Invest them judiciously in your business and you’ll reap the rewards in no distant time.

Related: Why Is Everyone NOT Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur?

3.    Learn The Skills Necessary For Succeeding Online

Building a successful online business

In every trade you need certain skills to stand out. Succeeding online is not different.

FACT: The hardest part of building a profitable business online is not really the act but knowing WHERE and HOW to START.

It is about knowing exactly what to do!

GOOD NEWS: You can always learn these things because there’s enough information out there to help.

BAD NEWS: There’s way too much information out there that you could spend eternity trying to learn the WHAT, the HOW and the WHERE.

But it can be done. I recommend you start by downloading the 7-Day eProfit Blueprint! Click here to get it!

4.    Stay Focused

work your plan

Why do many jump from one opportunity to another with so much ease?

Simply put, they lack focus…

… which of course is a product of not having a vision!

However, if you have set your vision as stated above and you are putting in every effort to achieve your vision, focus will not be problem.

We are quite aware that there are a hundred and one things online that will readily become a distraction. But if you can set your target and focus your energy in achieving your dreams, the skies will be the limit.

Related: Are You A Blogger or an Entrepreneur Who Blogs?

5.    Be Disciplined

Stay disciplined and get success

This is necessary if you are going to be a strategic entrepreneur. Working strategically does not come in a platter of gold. It requires all of your mental and physical concentration. You need discipline in managing your time and resources.

Like I mentioned above distractions are everywhere. And faced with such situations it is only self discipline that will help you.

A simple trick that will help is to have a to-do-list with time frames. Once you have this in place you can then train yourself to concentrate on each task at every point of time.

Alright, there you have it, my recipe for escaping the opportunity seeker’s mentality and becoming a strategic entrepreneur. I hope this was helpful.

Let’s continue this discussion in the comment section below.  Feel free to share your thoughts.

Do you have problems being a strategic entrepreneur? Is the opportunity seeker’s “JUMPOLOGY” mentality still plaguing you? There is a solution; and it’s FREE! Click here to get it!

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4 No-Brainer Online Store Success Tips That Will Separate You from the Rest!

With more and more people taking to buying products online there is no doubt that ecommerce is the way to go if your business must succeed in these times.

For example, in a recent study the Center for Retail Research reported E-commerce as the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America.

From the research, online sales in the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Poland and Spain grew from £132.05 bn in 2014 to £156.67 bn in 2015 – a  +18.6% increase!

Furthermore, the study showed that online sales are expected to reach the £182.80 bn mark in 2016 and £215.38 bn in 2017. Now, one interesting point about these figures is that they relate only to retail spending, which is defined as sales of merchandise to the final consumer, excluding cooked food, restaurants, automobiles and vehicle fuel!The growth of ecommerce - online selling

This is indeed a great incentive for any wise business person to start an online store as launching an online store is an excellent way of getting a share of that money. You could decide to build an online store in addition to your brick-and-mortar store or, if you so desire, build an online store and rely mainly on online sales alone.

Whatever the route you decide on you can easily grow your business to become something successful. However, you must remember that there is a lot of competition out there. If you want to make a name for your business, you have to differentiate your store from the rest. You should focus on making it better than many of the cheap online stores you might have seen online. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling your own products or someone else’s, you need to stand out and get noticed.

To help you get started on building and growing your online store here are some industry-tested tips. Use these to make your online store better than your competition.

How to Make Your Online Store Better Than All the Rest

1. Get a Professional Design

Many people will choose a website builder that they can learn to use themselves. It makes sense, as it’s often cheap and they don’t need any technical knowledge. However, these tools can be limited in both functionality and design. If you want a unique website, you should look for a professional designer. They can create you a website that has useful features for you and your customers, and looks great too.

They can also build you a store that you can manage yourself, without having to have a designer or developer on board all the time. It might be a little pricier, but it’s worth it.

2. Focus on Usability

When people visit an online store, they want buying a product to be easy. The process shouldn’t take them a long time or be confusing. A website that they can use without too much fuss and gives them what they need is essential.

At a basic level, you should start with your store’s load speed. If it takes a long time to load anything, customers will quickly give up and go somewhere else.

Customers also want to be able to find out as much as they can about your products. Providing functions such as zooming in on images or even just a search option will help them get what they want.

Building a succesful online store

3. Make Sure You Look Trustworthy

One of the risks of shopping online is falling for an untrustworthy site. Customers are handing over their personal details to someone, from their address to their credit card number. As well as ensuring that you are a trustworthy business, you have to present your store as one that can be trusted.

There are several ways you can do this, starting with having a good website design. It’s difficult to trust a poorly designed site, riddled with grammatical errors. You can also ensure you have security measures in place to protect your business and your customers. Display your certificates to show people your site is safe.

4. Unique Content

If you sell other people’s products, don’t just use stock images and descriptions. Your site won’t stand out for SEO purposes or to your customers. Make sure that your content fits your brand. Try to provide a range of content too, perhaps including videos or rotating images of your products.

Conclusion

As a business I’m sure you don’t want to miss out in the huge growth of online shopping that we are witnessing today. But to take advantage of these trends you simply need to position your online store to stand out from the rest. You have to go beyond standard templates. Creating your store from scratch with the help of professionals is a sure way to stand out.

Use these tips today and you will see great success from your online store.

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Should I Get A Professional To Build My Business Website? [FAQs]

Having a quality presence for your business is a MUST these days. This is because many businesses now depend on online trade to carry out their operations. But even businesses that aren’t running an online shop, or providing some form of online matching service, need a quality site.

Why?

Simple, when anyone hears about your company for the first time, they’ll go straight to your website to find out more about you. This means, the way you present yourself online is important since how you’re perceived by your potential customer matters a great deal to your business success.

So, having the right image could mean the difference between gaining their business and not. If a customer arrives at your website and it looks, amateurish; or if it looks like the web page was made back in the 1990s, it’s going to put them off.

Professional website design

Now, you could opt to make your own website using a free website maker. But it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to produce a site that looks professional and actually meets all your needs. If you’re doing anything other than the most basic of blogs, it’s probably a good idea to think about investing in professional web design.

Here are top reasons why you should invest in a professional webdesign:

1. Get a Great Design

This is perhaps the top of the list of reasons for choosing to go with a professional, rather than . Professional website designers have an uncanny ability to generate the look that you want. This is the case even when your instructions seem garbled and confused.

They know the industries they’re making websites for, and they get what works in those industries and what doesn’t.

They will also allow you to escape the generic, template look of DIY website builders like Godaddy and Wix. Customers will get the sense that you’re a true professional, and your company has significant backing.

One last thing before we move on. Don’t forget that Google ranks your website on both desktop and mobile versions. Professionals will make sure that your site is optimized for both.

2. Customize Your Site to Your Brand

If you’ve got a company logo or company colors it’s often hard to seamlessly integrate these into your website. A good web designer, on the other hand, will be able to consult with you on exactly how you want your logo to be integrated. And they’ll probably come up with a theme to match.

3. SEO  Optimization

Getting somebody to optimize your website for search engines is essential. It can mean the difference between to your website and not.

It might seem like a straightforward task, but ensuring that your website is optimized is far from easy. Often the searches people make when they’re looking for the service you provide are not what you think.

Professionals like Pixelate Web Design Services have tools at their disposal to find the exact words most commonly used in your industry. They can then use these to optimize your website’s SEO.

4. Ongoing Support

Finally, business needs change all the time. That’s why quality website builders will always offer ongoing technical support. Some even offer tutorials on how to make edits to your website so that you can make changes on the fly.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that there are various free and DIY options out there for you to build your . As much as these options may come cheap at first ultimately, the cost will outweigh what you may have saved both in terms of finance and time. Getting a professional to do your business website from the beginning will help you not save now but in the coming years of your business operations.

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. So, if you think otherwise, why don’t you share your thoughts with us in the comments section?

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The Wise Entrepreneur’s Essential Guide to Marketing in a Digital World

Do you own a business enterprise or, are you working in the marketing industry?

If you answer yes then it’s important that you understand all the ins and outs of marketing online. Unfortunately, promoting a business online has become rather more complex in recent years, and there’s a lot to get your head around.

For example, if you own a business, you need to know what services you should invest in. on the other hand, if you are an internet marketer, you should understand what services your customers will be interested in buying. Two different groups but the information is just as important for both.

We need to start by examining the question, has internet marketing taken the place of offline promotion. Will offline promotion soon be obsolete?

I’ll give a resounding yes to both questions. My reason for that lies in the first form of internet marketing that we are going to discuss and dissect. Never forget the fact that we are today living in a digital world where the internet now plays a major role in dealings whether it be our social interactions, entertainment, education, or business. So understanding how to market your business online is something you mustn’t handle with levity.

Guide to online marketing

That being said, here are…

5 Forms of Internet Marketing You Should Know & Use Today

1. SEO

What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a way of ensuring that a website is seen online. By using SEO, you ensure a business site is at the top of a search engine results window. If you think about the internet as a series of roads, the different sites are buildings. To get people to stop at your building you have to put signs up. That’s what SEO is. It’s a method of putting up invisible signs that lead users to your site.

Technically, you can set up SEO yourself without any help from any internet marketer. But, as we said, online promotion has become really tricky. It’s harder to make sure that you are in fact having any impact when you DIY SEO. One of the reasons for this is because if Google determines your SEO is not natural, they’ll slap you with a penalty. That will reduce your search ranking leaving you with the opposite of your desired effect. SEO has become more than just link building and using keywords, but it’s a good example of how it works.

You need to make sure you’re using the keywords people search, when looking for the product or service you’re selling. For instance, if you are selling used cars you would make sure you have “used” and “cars.” You might also include pre owned, ford, cheap, local, etc.

Rather than mess around with this themselves, many business owners instead use the help of a professional. That’s where the internet marketer comes into play. They’ll help make sure your business is noticed online and ensure that you don’t get any penalties.

There are two different forms of SEO. These are local and global. Quite obviously, local SEO will attract local users and global will attract global users. That’s why we think offline promotion will soon be dead. Why do you need fliers when you can make sure the people a mile away find your business online? If you’re an internet marketer, you should be offering both these services to get the most clients

2. White Labeling

Now is probably as good a time as any to introduce the concept of White Labeling. White labeling is when an internet marketer works as the middle man. The business speaks to the marketing company to get a service like SEO or perhaps web design. The marketer then uses the services of a white label company to get the job done. 51 Blocks is a white label company that constantly receives high reviews from its partnered marketers.

The white label company will never be seen by the business owner. As a business owner, you’ll be working with the internet marketing company. But a white label company can be vital for a marketing agency that is dealing with excess demand. They’ll handle the jobs you don’t have time for.

3. Social Marketing

Although we do realize some business owners pay the marketing company to use social promotion for them, there’s no need. It’s so easy for a small business to use online networks to boost their profile. For instance, your business might attend a trade show or a conference. If you do, you should be updating your business Instagram account with pictures from this event. Once the pictures start to get shared this increases your search ranking with no cost involved. Or, you can pin a couple of pictures from your site on Pinterest. By doing this, you’ll make users interested in looking at the rest of your web page and get more traffic. Again, this is going to increase your search ranking.

But, it’s not just about sharing pictures. Keeping your profiles up to date with the latest information is important as well. We suppose that’s why business owners hire marketers to manage their profiles. They don’t have time for the daily updates and to add links. But you should make sure this is occurring for your business because it will increase your presence in the online market.

4. PPC

Pay Per Click marketing is an alternate service that you can offer business owners as a marketer. By forming a partnership with a search engine company like Google, you can get your clients website as one of the sponsored links on a search page. Around thirty percent of users click these, so it is an attractive possibility.

However, the business owner should know exactly what they are buying. If you use a PPC service, the amount you pay will depend on how many clicks you get. Does this mean if it doesn’t work, you won’t pay anything? Not quite because there is no guarantee once they click, they’ll purchase. You’re paying for interest, not customers.

5. Web Design

That’s why it’s important you also look at a web design service. By getting your site designed by a professional company, you can guarantee your customers will be impressed when they see it. If they are, they should commit to a purchase, making your investment worthwhile. You should also look into designing a company logo. This will give users an image to associate your business with, in their minds.

There you have it a truly quick guide to marketing online. As a business person if you understand these different forms of marketing, you will know exactly what you need to succeed.  The online marketer on the other hand should know these things also for them to be aware of what services their clients will be interested in. I do hope you make good use of this information when setting up your internet marketing strategy.

The 5 Pillars of a Successful Business Marketing Strategy (Are You Missing Any of These?)

When you think about the biggest brands and companies in the world, there’s one thing that CLEARLY really sets them apart from the others.

What is that thing?

It’s their marketing! Take it or leave it, your marketing strategy is such a powerful thing that it can make or break your company.

Now, if you carefully examine it there are two key facets to it. The first is identity. Businesses use marketing to carve out their unique place in the industry. They use it to create an identity, and show off their differences. Secondly, it’s all about awareness and recognition. You need to get your product or brand in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

As a small startup on a budget, it’s tricky to know where to start. But don’t worry, I’m here to offer some help in this area.

In this post I will walk you through the five core pillars of marketing. Each have their unique benefits, and you’ll need a good mix to stand out in the modern world.

So, if you are ready, let’s get started!

Pillars of Marketing Success

1. Traditional Advertising

One of the cornerstones of marketing is advertising. Paying money to access a huge community of potential customers is still one of the best ways to get your name out there. Traditional advertising refers to TV adverts, radio adverts, and magazine placements. They focus on old media. Now, many marketers have pronounced this market dead. But, if you create a powerful and compelling TV advert, you’ll reach the masses. Plus, magazines are still one of the best ways to reach a niche audience.

2. PR

PR stands for ‘public relations’, and it usually involves hiring a third-party company. It’s their job to introduce you and your product to the press. Natural press coverage (in magazines and online) is much more powerful than advertising. It means that journalists and tastemakers are actively promoting your product. Customers tend to trust their recommendations, so it’s a crucial part of your marketing strategy.

3. Digital Marketing

Of course, the dominant form of marketing now takes place online. If you’re a small startup or new business, this is where you should begin your activities. First of all, it’s much cheaper than traditional marketing, and it’s much more targeted. You can use online advertising through Facebook or Google to reach highly specific audiences. You can build a website, start a blog, and create a rabid community of followers.

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media is part of your digital marketing strategy, but it deserves a category of its own. It is incredibly powerful when used correctly. Some modern companies have built their livelihoods through social media. Creating a community on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest is your best way to reach customers.

5. Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is a little more tricky to get right. But, when you do, it’s the most impactful of all. You’ll need to get a little more creative here. It’s all about creating an experience, and making an emotional connection with your brand. Think about Red Bull’s marketing campaigns. It’s all based on extreme sports and challenges. It makes you feel something. You connect their brand to a particular emotion. That’s experiential marketing at its best.

Conclusion

Take another look at the above again. How many of these pillars of marketing are you currently using? Can you think of any room for improvement?

As mentioned above, your marketing strategy is very important. What you do and how you do it will greatly impact on your business success. So no matter what you do you should take your marketing strategy very serious. You can take one of the above marketing concepts and concentrate on it or take a few and use them as a combination to drive your business to the next level.

Does Your Business Have A Unique Brand Identity?

Creating a unique brand identity is a tricky business. It’s the thing that separates the biggest companies in the world from the ones you’ve never heard of.

Apple, for example, have a strong brand identity. Their logo and messaging instantly portrays their unique identity. They are visionary, forward-thinking, and aesthetically beautiful.

The question then is, does your branding say the right thing about your business?

Is it easily identifiable from a simple logo or color scheme?

If your answer to the above questions is no, then there is definitely an urgent need to improve your brand identity. In this post, we’ll explore the key ingredients required to set yourself apart. This of course include every decision you make, from visual imagery to your wording on social media. All of these have an impact.

The biggest companies are incredibly careful about how they present themselves. So why shouldn’t you? Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

The Apple Brand

How to Create a Unique Brand Identity

1.    Define Your Vision And Mission Statement

A brand identity always comes from deep within the company. It’s based on a set of values and core ideals that drive the business. Set out a strong mission statement that defines the heart of your company. What drove you to start the business? How does your product or service make a difference in the world? It’s these values that inform your public perception. Adidas and Nike, for example, have aspirational and motivational core values. That comes through in every single thing they do. What’s yours?

2.    Logo

You can identify the biggest brands in the world from a simple logo. A small image or icon is all it takes to set you apart, and build an entire image around your brand. Think of Twitter’s bird or Starbucks’ Siren/Mermaid. They’re iconic and immediately recognizable. You need something equally powerful. Don’t worry if you’re not very creative, there are plenty of design services online. In fact, you can search for logo designs, and order now. Within a week, you’ll have a design that you can start to work with.

3.    Tone Of Voice

You’ll notice that the biggest brands have a unique tone of voice that captures their aesthetic perfectly. We’ll use the example of Adidas again. Throughout their website, social media platforms, and adverts, they’re incredibly motivational. Every word encourages you to pick up a football or hit the gym! That’s the power of good tone-of-voice. It encapsulates your brand and portrays it through the right wording. You can do the same to help promote your brand online.

4.    Color Schemes And Images

Our brains are highly visual. That means we actually respond better to colors and images, over words. So, while words are important, you must also focus on the imagery. Think carefully about what your colors and photographs say about your business. Did you know that certain colors appeal to certain demographics, for example? Visit the Land Rover website, and you’re flooded with their trademark army-green color. They also have photos of their cars halfway up a mountain. This has all been carefully chosen to strengthen their brand identity.

Nike Brand Identity
Nike: one of the most recognizable logos ever (photo)

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that you need a unique brand identity for your business today. Don’t be left in the dust. Use the above to check how your business compare to the strong identities mentioned in this post. And start right now to think about how you can create a unique brand identity for yourself.

How to Make Your Business Website a Profit Generator in 4 Easy Steps

When you set up your business website, there are a few things that you need to remember. Forgetting to take these things seriously will only put you in a position where you will end up wasting time and resources.

So, what are these things you must remember?

For one, you must understand that a website is your chance to market your business to consumers, clients and investors. No matter your target market, knowing how to effectively market to these three groups is sure to make you a success. However, if you waste the opportunity that your website presents, you could end up losing big profits.

I’m sure you don’t want that, right?

Then you will need to follow these basic steps when setting up your website.

Steps to a successful business website

4 Easy Steps to a Profitable Business Website

Step 1: Start With Social Networks

If your company is brand new you are probably in the process of putting your website online. But before you do that, you should instead focus on increasing your presence on social networks.

Perhaps, you already have a good online presence but if not, sort this out before the website is up and running. By doing this, you are giving your site a source of immediate visitors because then you can leave links to the site from your social pages.

If you do this, your website will have visitors as soon as it is online, rather than waiting around for SEO to work.

Step 2: Design Your Site

There are lots of different ways to design a website but it is becoming rather important to do it properly. For instance, your website needs to be responsive. This means that the way it works changes depending on how it is being viewed. If it’s on a phone screen, your website still needs to be clear and have all the information a customer needs.

You can sort this for yourself, but you will see far better results if you have your site designed by professionals. Take a look at thomas-design.co.uk and see the type of design your company site could have if you choose to have it professionally styled.

Another advantage of using a professional company is that they often use CRO. This is a set of gathered statistics that can be used to design a site which encourages viewers to become customers.

Step 3: Write Your Content Correctly

Once your site is designed beautifully with followers ready to view it, you need to think about content. You are going to have several pages on your site and perhaps a few articles. These need to be colorful and attractive so make sure you use pictures and videos.

You should also include links through your site to make it easy to navigate. By using links, you can get customers where you want them, whether that is a news article about your company or your online shop. But, you have to make sure the links are natural, and this is to do with SEO.

Step 4: Use Search Engine Optimization

Your final step setting up your website is to use SEO. Search engine optimization is a method of making sure customers can find your site on search pages. They will type in a keyword related to your product or services and should find your company site. SEO can be done for free, but you can also hire a professional company to complete the process for you. The choice is yours.

Do these things correctly and you will soon see your website up and running, and of course, receiving visitors and making profits for your company!

5 Easy Forms of Content Every Business & Blog Should Be Creating

Every good marketing blog has one golden rule: Content is King!

You definitely must have heard that said before, right? it’s now about to become your new mantra, if you run a business website or a blog. This is because content is one of the most powerful tools you must have in your marketing arsenal.

Why?

For these reasons:

  1. It strengthens your reputation as an expert
  2. It feeds your existing community
  3. It boosts your social media engagement rates
  4. It helps you reach new eyes and spread the word about your business.
  5. You can monetize it and create a new revenue stream

Content is the foundation of your online marketing strategy, as it touches all corners of the web.

Now, the best thing about good content is that it’s relatively easy to make. You can do it yourself, right now at home. In the following few lines I reveal to you the best types of content on the web that you can start creating now.

Long-form articles

Blogs and articles are the most abundant form of content. It doesn’t take much effort to write down your thoughts and opinions and publish them to the world. If you can be insightful, entertaining or informative, then even better! For a long time, people churned out lots and lots of short blogs. Now, everyone is slowly realizing that the power lies in long-form articles. Google prefers them, and rank 1000 word articles higher in its search engine. Readers are more likely to share it too. Go deep with your content!

Video

Easy marketing content types

Thanks to YouTube, everyone’s a film-maker! It’s easier than ever to sign up for a YouTube account and start posting video content. You can even record straight from your webcam. Of course, we suggest taking the time to make creative, innovative video ideas. Perhaps you could make a tutorial or showcase your products if you’re an online store. Get creative here and use your imagination.

Webinars

People love to learn. So if you’ve got specific knowledge in a niche area, create a webinar and host it online. If this sounds like an alien concept, it’s easier than you think! We use a simple webinar software to get it up and running, and our visitors love it. If you can teach someone something new, they’ll remember it. They’ll come back to you when then need a bigger problem solving.

Infographics

For a while on the web, infographics were the most powerful piece of content out there. They were getting more views, shares, and interaction than any other form. The buzz is dying down a little, but we still love a good infographic! If you’ve got a dense and lengthy blogpost, try turning it into a simple graphic instead. Readers love seeing information displayed simply and easily.

Photos

It’s so simple, but still works so well. There’s a reason why Instagram and Pinterest are thriving. High-definition, beautiful imagery always generates interaction. Use photos to show people behind the scenes. Get creative and find a new way to capture attention.

Conclusion

With content, you can build a huge online following and represent yourself as a market leader. Best of all, you can monetize it. So, start with these forms, and see where you get to!