May 02

Numero Uno Web Solutions, a Leading Toronto Internet Marketing Company, Hires Rick Pisani as Business …

U.S. Economy: Four Reasons Why the Recession Is Already Here

Silver Prices: 3 Reasons Why They Will Continue to Soar in 2016

Gold Prices: These Two Factors to Push Gold to Record-High in 2016

The Imminent 2016 Stock Market Crash

Gold Prices: If This One Buyer Steps In, Gold Soars to $3,000

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May 01

Inbox Blueprint 2.0 – Anik Singal Launches an Easy to Follow Online Marketing Program for Beginners in Email …

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 30, 2016 / With rapid technological advancement and expansion of electronic operations, many entrepreneurs are availing the rising opportunities and have successfully launched their ventures in various electronic fields. One of such rapidly expanding field is email marketing. Regarded as one of the easiest and most convenient ways to be successful on the internet, Email marketing offers a variety of tips and techniques to help individuals achieve their business objectives.

It involves following a consistent time schedule, using the same professional template in all the emails, and highlighting the important information, that will together build up the customers’ perceptions and expectations about a particular business.

Email marketing is also an advanced and innovative way to achieve and convert a marketing strategy into a strong product or service and thereby promoting it to the respective target group of people in order to make it to their consideration sets. Here the development of an effective email list is highly important and it requires substantial knowledge on the subject. One of such programs is the Inbox Blueprint 2.0 that has already had a compelling impact on its audience since its official launch.

Click Here To Check Out Inbox Blueprint 2.0 Review PLUS Limited Bonus!

Inbox Blueprint 2.0 is a simple, easy-to-follow, and step-by-step internet marketing program that provides an extensive amount of valuable knowledge to its users on how to effectively build and manage any online business through the latest trend of email marketing, and be a significant “Inboxer” in the accounts of customers.

Essentially developed and formulated by Anik Singal, Inbox Blueprint 2.0 is a unique business model that facilitates the potential online business startups (initiated by beginners) by carefully and comprehensively guiding them through each and every step in their ventures with the help of detailed video lessons and other over the shoulder methods covering core areas of email marketing shedding light on how mere email subscriptions can be highly successful in online marketing business.

Anik Singal is a highly renowned, eminent, and a reputable name in the internet-marketing niche, who has started off as a successful affiliate marketer. He has also been named as top 3 young entrepreneurs by “Businessweek” and twice by “Inc 500”. He is also the mastermind behind some of the most popular products in both personal development and IM. He is widely known for carefully selecting techniques and methods in entirety in his courses that are considered essential in the successful completion and understanding of his programs.

ALSO READ: Does Inbox Blueprint 2.0 Really Work? Must Read Information Before Buying

In addition, his training courses are equipped with helpful information that is relevant and up-to-date, with exquisite training videos. Anik constantly comes up with new tips and tricks, and updates all of his courses regularly to make them stand out in the rapidly changing online world.

Inbox Blueprint 2.0 is one of his recent online marketing programs that teaches the users some of the most essential procedural tips and techniques on how to build an email list of subscribers from the scratch by making them undergo several useful learning methods in the form of written reports and video lessons.

Each subscriber’s email address on a specific email list will potentially earn the users a dollar, for instance if a user have 5,000 emails in his list, he can potentially make $5,000 per month as his income. A simple and easy to follow online training course, Inbox Blueprint 2.0 is specifically designed for beginners or newbies who aspire to pursue their careers in internet marketing or simply want to excel at this rapidly growing field.

Inbox Blueprint 2.0 is LIVE. Click Here To Check Out The LIMITED Inbox Blueprint 2.0 Bonus!

Anik Singal’s revolutionary online marketing program provides an in-depth analysis of how the users can use the power of email marketing to kick start their online ventures while achieving the best possible results in the form of earning regular money by just simply emailing people. This is the secret of most of the successful internet marketers who have achieved immense successes through their email lists.

The Inbox Blueprint 2.0 encompasses proven techniques, methods, and procedures that are especially aimed at building a successful internet marketing business from the scratch. Anik Singal has carefully designed Inbox Blueprint 2.0 to enable the users earn a good fortune and turn their dream business into reality.

The program offers well-designed opt-in pages, which have a better chance of yielding more subscriptions to the page and delivers a relatively good comprehensive training, with loads of valuable information. The learning videos and webinars included enhance the understanding of the course and help the users grasp the knowledge in a faster way. It uses swipe files, power words, and subject lines that demand less effort on the part of users for writing effective emails.

[Free Download] No Cost Book Reveals 5-Step Profit System – Circle of Profit 2.0

Building and maintaining an email subscription list is one of the best ways of building an online business and to reap the guaranteed rewards but just like any other business, it is definitely going to take time, and so patience and consistency on the part of users are the key here. Anik Singal has taught the basics of this type of internet marketing in the easiest way possible.

The users will be provided with a LIVE Demo on how to build a $10,000 a month business in 60 Minutes or less, The 5 Step System that is a simple proven system used by over 20,000 students and a Revolutionizing Software that allows them to be the first one to experience the software Anik invested $200,000 in developing.

Since Inbox Blueprint 2.0 is primarily geared towards people who are either beginners or are looking to further grow their knowledge on email marketing, the membership payment and the initial purchase comes with a 60 day money back guarantee meaning they are risking absolutely nothing and can file a refund if for any reason they are not satisfied with the Purchase.

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SOURCE: Inbox Blueprint 2.0

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Apr 30

Why Is McDonald’s Buying a Bunch of Tablets?

I was at a conference last week, discussing the impact of a $15 per hour minimum wage on small businesses, particularly retailers and restaurants. 

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“What will these businesses do?” one participant asked. “How can they possibly manage to survive with their wages increasing this much? It’s not as if they can just raise their prices.” Some businesses may be able to do that. But not most. 

But something else will also happen. These businesses, particularly the ones run by smart business owners, will figure out how to get more stuff done with less people. How? Ask McDonald’s.

McDonald’s last week announced that it will be rolling out Samsung tablets at all of its locations across the United Kingdom in the coming months. According to this report, the tablets will be used for games and web browsing and not to order food. 

Don’t believe it.

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That’s because mobile devices are being deployed at a rapid pace by major restaurants and retail chains this year. And no one’s playing games. Just take a look around. Mobile point of sale maker Ziosk is installing its devices at thousands of Uno’s, Chili’s, Red Robin’s Ruby Tuesday’s and Olive Garden’s around the country. Its main competitor, Elacarte counts Applebee’s and Johnny Rockets among its largest customers. Retailer Urban Outfitters has launched a program to implement mobile point of sale at all of its locations. Apple is already doing this.  Revel, ShopKeep, Shopify, Ambur and Erply are just a few of the new and quickly growing industry of mobile point of sale software and devices providers. 

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It’s all going mobile. And it’s all going self-service. McDonald’s may say publicly that these devices are for “gaming,” and maybe for the short term that’s true. But you don’t think the smart executives at McDonald’s aren’t recognizing this trend? Of course they are. And so are their competitors. It’s only a matter of time before most fast food providers – from McDonald’s to Starbucks – implement a self-service process with customers punching in orders and making payments on a tablet. And if you run a shop or a restaurant you’re going to need to do the same if you want to survive and grow over the next few years.

The technology is now becoming commonplace. We’re seeing it already in supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations and airports. Millennials have grown up on this kind of technology and those of us who are older have been quickly adapting. The software has become more uniform and user friendly over the years and anyone with a smartphone or tablet of their own is familiar with using these devices. Cloud based applications are easier and cheaper to deploy as Internet accessibility has grown and processing speeds have improved.

And if you’re running a restaurant or a store, you’re in need of reducing your overhead. And your people are your biggest expense. You ask yourself:  why am I employing all these people? Why not give my customers the ability make their choices on a menu and swipe their credit card? Have them fill up their coffee on their own or pick up their order from a window. Or better, order online or with a mobile app in advance and have everything ready for pickup like Starbucks and Cozi are already doing. More and more of us are using mobile payment software anyway. We want more convenience and if doing stuff ourselves gets us in and out faster, why not make it easier? And why not take advantage of the other features these software applications provide – loyalty coupons, metrics and integration with marketing systems or social media services so that you can better measure your performance and offer a more personal experience to your customers that’s tailored to their favorite products?

Of course, you’ll never completely eliminate people. You’ll always need some people in your shop to fulfill, make food or answer questions. But if you’ve got 10 employees and you’re able to eliminate just one or two because of self-service technology driven by tablets, you’ve made a huge impact on your overhead. Particularly when minimum wages are doubling, overtime rules are changing, paid time off legislation is proliferating nationwide and the cost of healthcare is soaring.

McDonald’s isn’t playing games. Not when the cost of employing people has risen so much. Smart employers are looking to technology to reduce their headcount and maintain their profits. This is not such great news for people looking for jobs. But it’s reality.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/why-is-mcdonalds-buying-a-bunch-of-tablets/

Apr 29

27 businesses you can start for under $1K

If you’re looking to start your own business, think about what skills you have, career experts said.

“Ask yourself, ‘What’s my passion?'” career and life coach Deborah Brown-Volkman said. “People want control over their career, and so creating their own business for under $1,000 gives them the ability to test it out, to see what works and what doesn’t.”

Experts say once you feel you’re onto something, purchase some sort of business insurance, which will likely be a big chunk of your costs. Basic business insurance usually ranges from $200 to $500 a month, varying depending on location.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/27-businesses-you-can-start-for-under-1k/

Apr 28

USDA Offers New Resource to Help Food Hubs Improve Financial Performance

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Contact:
Christine Feroli (202) 401-0080

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USDA Offers New Resource to Help Food Hubs Improve Financial Performance

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2016 – Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers today announced a new resource to help food hubs improve their financial performance. Food hubs, which are a businesses or organizations that manage the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of locally-produced food, play a key role in creating opportunities for small and mid-sized producers while also satisfying growing consumer demand for local products.

The new report, Running a Food Hub: Assessing Financial Viability, provides modules and best practices for food hubs to maximize profits and control costs. Part of a multi-volume series published by USDA Rural Development, the report provides technical assistance for food hubs at different stages of development. For example, it gives beginning food hubs advice on writing sound business plans, and it includes guidance on how established food hubs can expand into financially viable long-term businesses.

“Food hubs are an exciting and growing business model,” Rikkers said. “They create new opportunities for producers and are critical elements of vibrant local and regional supply chains in communities across the country. With this report, we’re excited to share practical steps that food hubs can take to be even more successful.”

The number of food hubs in the U.S. has more than doubled over the course of this Administration, with more than 350 now operational around the country thanks in part to support from USDA. Food hubs aggregate products from small and midsize farms and distribute them to large-volume buyers, such as grocery stores, in the local region. According to a comprehensive survey by Michigan State University, on average, each food hub supports 20 jobs and generates nearly $4 million in annual sales.

Rikkers presented the report at Washington, DC’s Union Market, a food retail space with more than 100 businesses employing 1,500 people in food production and distribution. Joining Rikkers at the market were representatives from the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, a non-profit organization that operates a farm, mobile market, food hub, and farm to school program. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the Arcadia Center brings local produce to neighborhoods that would otherwise have limited access to fresh food.

Rural Development’s efforts to support food hubs and other regional food enterprises are part of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative (KYF) which coordinates the Department’s work to develop strong local and regional food systems. USDA is committed to helping farmers, ranchers, and businesses access the growing market for local and regional foods, which was valued at $12 billion in 2014 according to industry estimates. Under this Administration, USDA has invested more than $1 billion in more than 40,000 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects. More information on how USDA investments are connecting producers with consumers and expanding rural economic opportunities is available in Chapter IV of USDA Results on Medium.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (#USDARD ) has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 180,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

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Apr 27

Internet Marketing Agency fishbat Shares 3 Tips For Veterinary Technology Companies To Drive Website Traffic

PR Newswire

LONG ISLAND, N.Y., April 27, 2016

LONG ISLAND, N.Y., April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — fishbat is a leading internet marketing agency which combines proven digital marketing strategies that include search engine optimization (SEO), digital ads, and social media optimization (SMO) to help businesses increase profits and expand brand awareness.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160426/360073LOGO

The world of business today is highly based off of digital communications and Internet marketing. A company without an online presence will struggle to achieve the kind of recognition and clientele that they are aiming for. Especially for veterinary technology companies, having an effective website promotes consumer accessibility to information about the company and its offered products or services. fishbat shares three tips for veterinary technology companies to drive website traffic:

1. Utilize social media. Being active on social media is the best way to connect with clientele and drive traffic to a website. Include your domain URL in the allotted space in your bio as well as internal links, such as a Products page or blog articles, on your social media posts. In addition to maintaining a company website, utilizing social platforms like Facebook or Twitter will enable current and potential clients to stay updated and learn more about your products and services.

2. Enhance your SEO strategy. Get actively involved in the search engine optimization (SEO) of your company. Add keyword saturated links to all posts shared within your social channels and website content in order to drive site traffic and boost search rankings. Regularly producing and sharing high quality content that is associated with your business or industry will be excellent for your company’s SEO strategy as well.

3. Hire a third party agency. Consider hiring a professional, third party agency to focus on your online marketing efforts for you. Not only does it take the pressure off your hands, enabling you to focus on the technology and business itself, but this also ensures you are achieving the best possible results. fishbat is proven to assist veterinary technology companies in promoting traffic to their website that consistently drives leads and boosts. If you are seeking assistance from a professional internet marketing firm who specializes in SEO, social media management, and more, don’t hesitate to contact the fishbat team today.

fishbat is a full-service online marketing company and social media agency dedicated to connecting all types of businesses with their target audiences in the most effective and efficient way. Through innovative strategies in social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), branding, web design, reputation management, and public relations, fishbat promotes a consistent and professional online voice for all of its clients.

Media Contact:
Morgan Mandriota, fishbat Media, 855-347-4228, morgan@fishbat.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

SOURCE fishbat

PR Newswire
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Last updated on: 27/04/2016

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Apr 26

More Universities Need to Teach Sales

For decades, Sales and Academia remained worlds apart and the business world did fine. But Sales is changing, Academia is out of touch, and this is bad for business and the academy.

Compared to professions like engineering or business disciplines like Finance or Operations, the concept of a dedicated salesperson is relatively recent. Sales was traditionally seen as a form of service work, with an emphasis primarily on developing moral character. The Order of United Commercial Travelers, for instance, was founded to “improve character and instill temperate habits,” and Gideon bibles were originally put in hotel rooms to help “eliminate gambling, drinking, dirty jokes, Sunday trading and other forms of temptation peculiar to traveling (sales) men.”

As Walter Friedman documents in Birth of a Salesman, sales wasn’t seen as a function that required specialized training or education until well into the 20th century. And companies performed the training, not schools. Salespeople were told what to say (word for word), how to dress, what expression to wear, how to hold their hands, and even how to hold a pen when handing it to a customer to “sign on the dotted line.” You still see this Taylorite assumption that selling can be deduced to a series of behaviors in various areas: generic assessment tests, selling methodologies and “pitches” that allegedly apply across all sales situations, and chic “neuro-marketing” factoids about buying and selling.

For their part, universities viewed sales as “trade-school” stuff and didn’t typically offer sales-related courses. Even when the boom in MBA programs coincided with the rise of Marketing as a discipline, Sales was treated like a stepchild at best. As Theodore Levitt, the great former-Harvard marketing professor and editor of HBR, once put it, “Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it.”In other words, why serve hamburger when you can teach people to cook steak?

This mentality is still prevalent. More than 50% of US college graduates, regardless of their majors, are likely to work in sales at some point. But of the over 4,000 colleges in this country, less than 100 have sales programs or even sales courses, and of the more than 170,000 students who earn MBAs annually, only a tiny fraction learn anything about sales.

This gap used to be less of a problem, for a few reasons. In the past, MBA programs often favored applicants with work experience, and many incoming students already had some sales experience. So a school could legitimately prepare a student for a business career while omitting training in sales. Now, however, students’ college and pre-MBA experience is more likely to be in a finance area or perhaps in coding. Similarly, years ago, selling in most industries was less data-intensive and more dependent upon contacts and extra-curricular social relationships than now. Many Wall Street firms, for example, were unabashedly overt about hiring the “Harvard or Princeton man” (rarely a woman), and it wasn’t because of their grades in economics courses! In its own blunt and unfair way, the world outside the classroom bridged the gap in education and preparation.

But a lot has changed.

Take, for example, the impact of online technology. Buyers now have easy-click access to information about products, prices, and other buyers’ opinions and usage experiences. Does this mean that all business goes online? No, despite the fact that the internet has existed for over 20 years, eCommerce accounts for less than 10% of retail sales and less in most B2B situations. But this contextual change does impact how sales people must navigate the needs of clients and customers as well as their own organizations.

Selling is increasingly a research-based activity. If you want to see big-data analytics in action, don’t just go to Google or Facebook. Look at what consumer goods salespeople must now do to get shelf space, design promotions, and garner in-store support at retailers. You might assume that wholesale distribution, where firms resell products manufactured by others, is a simple transaction sale. But a study for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors finds the same need for business-acumen and analytical selling skills in this sector — in part because transactional sales can migrate to the web. As one interviewee stated, “Relationships are retiring every day,” which requires distributor sales reps to do more to secure their place in the channel.

Web sites, blogs, and other digital media have also made vendors’ organizations more transparent to buyers. Prospects now touch a company at many points during their buying journeys and they expect the rep to purposefully orchestrate those interactions. As the phrase implies, a sales representative represents her company to the customer. Academics call this a “boundary role”— someone who operates at the boundaries of different organizations and must respond to the often conflicting roles and procedures of each.

Salespeople must work across their firms’ functional boundaries, and, depending upon the buying process, with multiple people and functions at clients. Each group has its own operating procedures. Many salespeople (typically a majority in our experience) now cite navigating their own organizations as a bigger challenge than managing customers and clients.

Because of these changes, companies are having trouble finding suitable people to fill sales roles. According to Burning Glass, a labor-market analysis firm, almost 60% of job postings for wholesale and technical sales reps now require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum and employers spend an average of 41 days trying to fill sales jobs compared with 33 days for all other jobs. Further, “quality of fill” is not tracked; if it were, the results would generally be more discouraging.

Better dialogue between Sales and Academia is timely, and society can benefit: studies show that jobs in sales are among the highest in career lifetime value, and, given the amount spent on sales forces in our economy (about $900 billion annually—by far, the most expensive part of strategy execution for most firms), this is also a significant productivity issue.

What can colleges and universities do to mind the gap? That’s a big topic in its own right. Selling is not a science reducible to timeless rules, and many variables affect market performance and sales success. But effective training and development should begin with awareness and shelf space in the curriculum: making sure that sales is a topic in management education worthy of the name.

It should continue with the cross-disciplinary study relevant to realistic training in the area. Right now, there is a significant supply-side problem: PhD programs for future faculty rarely focus on Sales, and academic promotion increasingly relies on big data-set research within a discipline, not the interplay of economics, psychology, and dyadic behaviors that are at the heart of most sales tasks.

And it should probably culminate in action-learning practicums that require the help, support, and sponsorship of companies. These would expose students to real-world customers and experienced practitioners.

It’s in the best interests of companies to support Academia. As markets change more rapidly, relevant selling behaviors will change as well. If students are better prepared, companies will have a better supply of talent to choose from.  And make no mistake: it’s still human talent, not websites, that is the key in sales. Despite hype about the death of the salesperson, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that in 1999 there were 12.9 million workers in sales occupations in the U.S. In 2014 (the most recent data available), the BLS indicated an increase to 14.25 million.  Almost all serious research about talent underscores the abiding necessity of training and development, and, at 10.5% of the total employed workforce, salespeople should be a major focus for companies and educators.

Please don’t misunderstand: we are not arguing for old-time trade-school courses, glib “pitch” fests, or making university research and course development a subsidiary of corporate RD. There should always be creative tension between forward-looking educational institutions and profit-maximizing companies. But there’s a difference, and a mutual value-destroying gap, between creative tension and ignorance or indifference.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/more-universities-need-to-teach-sales/

Apr 25

The complicated local path to purchase: 7 marketing tasks to do yourself and 7 to outsource

mobile-shopping-store-visit2-ss-1920

Today’s consumers have lots of options to find local businesses, and they use them all. There’s no fixed path to purchase — customers each travel a different route through their favorite apps, media and websites to find and select where they will spend their hard-earned money.

The Local Search Association (LSA) conducted its annual Local Media Tracking Study of more than 8,000 consumers in 2015 and found that consumers started their search for local information most commonly with search engines, but only by a plurality — 40 percent.

The rest of consumers turned to a variety of other media as their first source, including company websites, directories, review sites, newspapers and mobile apps, as illustrated below.

LSA-path-to-purchase

Source: 2015 LSA Local Media Tracking Study

LSA data also reveals that consumers’ choices flatten out away from search engines as they venture deeper into the path to purchase.

Typically, when consumers are ready to make a purchase, or they make one last visit to a media source, they choose the types of media that provide more direct contact with a business. These include company websites and directories, or those that help people confirm their prospective decisions, such as ratings or review sites.

Data from YP corroborates this trend. In a report titled ZigZag: The New Consumer Journey Zeitgeist, YP found that 36 percent of local search started with a search engine, with the rest spread out over numerous other media.

Courtesy: YP Marketing Solutions

Courtesy: YP Marketing Solutions

A study commissioned by Google in 2011, the results of which were published in an e-book entitled, “Winning at the Zero Moment of Truth,” revealed that in one year, consumers essentially doubled the number of sources of information they referenced to make a shopping decision, from 5.3 sources in 2010 to 10.4 sources in 2011. That was a time when the top three stimuli for generating interest in a product were TV ads, direct mail and newspaper ads.

Today, more time is spent in apps than watching TV. Thus, it’s now likely that the total number of sources referenced before making a buying decision is much higher than 10 — or at least overwhelmingly digital.

While the zig-zag through the path to purchase includes jumping between devices like desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, mobile phones are where much of the action lies. All four devices are used extensively at home to browse the web. But at work (47 percent), when shopping (57 percent) or while on the go (47 percent), consumers predominantly use their smartphones.

The other devices scored no higher than 29 percent at work. While on the go, tablets were used only by 20 percent, and shopping was even lower, at 11 percent. Desktops and laptops were understandably in single digits.

However, for online purchases, once research is complete, consumers prefer desktops and laptops. LSA’s Local Media Tracking Study indicated that a combined 84 percent of consumers prefer desktops and laptops when making online purchases while only seven percent preferred tablets and nine percent preferred smartphones.

Source: 2015 LSA Local Media Tracking Study

Source: 2015 LSA Local Media Tracking Study

Together, this poses a challenge for local businesses. Their customer base and audience is fragmented, and reaching them requires a presence on many different devices, locations and media channels.

Each form of media also has numerous platforms or outlets. For example, deciding to have a social media presence might require content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and others. The permutations of combinations of variables are overwhelming.

Is it possible for a local business to manage this complexity on its own? When is it appropriate to use a marketing agency or partner? There are very substantial things that business owners can do on their own that will make a huge difference in being found, no matter where the consumer is in his or her search, discovery or purchase decision.

But there are also some that are, for most business owners, too technical or time-consuming to handle. I’ll briefly cover the major areas you can DIY and those that you should work with a marketing expert on.

DIY marketing areas

Following are some basic tips on things you can do yourself to make sure you get found no matter how the consumer searches. I should caution that this is not a recommendation that you do it on your own.

It may be necessary from a cost standpoint or a control/quality standpoint, but any time you spend on marketing is time away from managing your core business. A marketing partner can also help coordinate all the individual marketing pieces into one cohesive marketing strategy. Nevertheless, these can be effectively done on your own:

1. Claim your online business listing

Search remains the dominant way for businesses to be found. Search drives almost 39 percent of all traffic to shopping websites, according to SimilarWeb’s 2016 Global Search Marketing Report. While at first blush, that might seem low, social media, display ads and email came in at 3.91 percent, 1.32 percent and 0.56 percent, respectively, so search drives 10x or more traffic than each of these. Direct traffic and referral traffic are the other major drivers.

Your online business listing with the major search engines is the foundation of your online presence and identity. You need to claim your listing, make sure it is accurate, provide relevant details that allow users to find your business and provide information to help them choose it. These listings will impact not just local search on search engines but other tools such as maps.

2. Update general listings and directories

Do a Google search for your business category locally, and you’ll find that many results are actually other directory websites. For example, first page results for the search “Electrician near me” might surface results from Yelp, the BBB and Yellowpages.com. It’s important to claim your listing and profile on these sites, as well, where many consumers find business information.

Critical information to update includes business contact details (name, address and phone), business category/description, hours, a link to your website and pics. YP’s report found that images were far and away the most desired content, with 78 percent of consumers stating that they liked to view images.

Here are links to a few of the major sites where you can claim your business listing for free:

3. Claim vertical website listings

YP’s report states that 48 percent of local searchers start searching at a topic site for familiar subjects, and 37 percent prefer specialized search for things like travel and restaurants.

For example, those searching for doctors might visit ZocDoc or Healthgrades. Those looking for lawyers might visit Avvo. Travelers visit TripAdvisor and homeowners visit Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack. Each of these sites allow businesses to provide various degrees of detail in their free listings or profiles.

4. Use listing services

You can already tell there are a great many places where your business might be listed and found online, and those mentioned above are just a few of the major ones. Most business listings are obtained by directory sites from a few primary sources called “Aggregators” and become the default information for unclaimed listings. There are even reports that on some sites, the information from these aggregators overwrite listings that have been claimed.

These are free for the business to claim and update so that the information being disseminated is consistent and accurate.

5. Asking for and responding to reviews

Reviews have become an integral part of the path to purchase — so much so that they are no longer just part of the rating sites like Yelp, but every listing you find online, including Google Maps, Yellow Pages and Amazon. YP reports that nearly half of all consumers never buy without first checking reviews online.

I’ve previously reported that while 90 percent of consumers would leave a review if asked, only seven percent have been asked. That’s a huge opportunity to boost a valuable marketing resource that most consumers find important to their evaluation of a business, and it’s an opportunity that presents itself at the point of sale.

And while 80 percent of consumers who posted reviews did so after a positive experience, local businesses fear the consequences and dealing with negative reviews. While this is not the place for a tutorial on how to deal with negative reviews, responding is a case-by-case decision, and the response itself is a personalized message addressing the complaint. It’s best for the local business to handle managing these reviews on its own.

6. Email marketing

Email is familiar and easy to understand. There are hundreds of email software programs to help you manage it on your own. It is a direct communication and can be sent immediately or scheduled for the future.

There are many nuances and tricks that can make email more effective, such as targeting, personalization and persuasive writing, but regardless, it is a medium you can keep simple. Because of the familiarity of using email, it’s fairly easy to manage this type of marketing on your own.

Here’re a few of the more widely known email software companies:

7. Informational content

Providing core content about your business, such as hours of operation, directions, menus, website links and business descriptions is easy to do, and the fairly static nature of such information means it doesn’t require frequent updating. But if it does change, make sure you update it.

The fastest way to lose customers is to frustrate them by being closed when information indicates you’re open, direct them to an old store location, or even charge them more than they expected based on seeing an old menu.

Other content that is appropriate for you to manage on your own includes communicating custom events such as sales, special deals, store events or community involvement. Use of social media, emails, website updates and other media can get the word out about these events quickly and timely.

Marketing areas where you should ask for help

Of course, you could do any of these tasks on your own. You could represent yourself pro se in court in a legal dispute. Just because you could, it doesn’t mean you should.

Local business owners’ expertise also varies widely, and what might be practical for one business owner to manage would not be for another. But in general, these tasks require a higher level of expertise or a greater commitment of time than some of those mentioned above and are good areas to look for help with.

1. Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO involves optimizing your content, website and listings to appear in organic search results when a user types in a search query on Google, Bing or other search engines. SMBs consistently rate SEO as the area they need the most help with, and it’s not hard to see why.

Moz publishes an annual report on the factors that influence page rank within Google’s search engine algorithm. A brief glance at some of the 2015 survey results indicates how complex an area this is. Enough said.

2. Search engine marketing (SEM)

SEM involves paid advertising that is displayed in response to a search engine query. The ads often appear as “sponsored” listings at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) or in some other form, such as banners or enhanced listings but related in content to the search query. Google’s AdWords is the most popular SEM platform.

At LSA’s SMB Bootcamp in March, we asked how many local businesses engaged in an SEM campaign. Only two or three people out of more than 100 attendees indicated they currently were using an SEM campaign, although 40 percent to 50 percent indicated they had tried one in the past.

This indicates two things: (1) These largely DIY business owners did not have great success managing SEM campaigns; and (2) there seemed to be an opportunity to get visible placement on SERP if SEM could be managed successfully given the seemingly low level of competition.

Good marketing providers have the expertise to help plan and manage an SEM campaign within your budget and help optimize ad campaigns for platforms like mobile.

3. Content marketing

Content marketing includes things such as blog posts, social media updates and newsletters — content that tends to be focused more on education or information rather than selling. YP reports that 55 percent of consumers find it important to view related content when searching for products and services.

The problem is that content marketing is extremely time-consuming. Even updating informational content discussed above may be simultaneously easy and daunting. While it may not be rocket science, writing quality content on a regular basis can be a challenge. A survey conducted by Thrive Analytics for the Local Search Association reported that 60 percent of content by DIY SMBs only gets updated every six months (or less frequently).

Getting found is only half the battle. Getting chosen requires appealing to the customer, and bad or stale content is a turnoff. Fresh content boosts SEO, engages audiences and raises the profile of your brand. It’s worth investing in.

4. Mobile website

A surprising number of small businesses still do not have a website. In fact, a recent 2016 survey by Clutch indicated that 46 percent of the small businesses it surveyed did not have a website. Only 12 percent of those indicated that they didn’t have a website because they were using a social media profile as a substitute.

The biggest reason given for not having a website: 32 percent felt it was not relevant to their business or industry. Twenty-one percent felt they lacked technical knowledge or didn’t want to manage the ongoing maintenance.

This is surprising given the many sources that support the importance of a website. LSA’s own research shows that 50 percent of consumers state they are extremely likely to look at business websites when searching for a local business, and 57 percent of consumers won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed site.

So get someone to help you build a website. While there are DIY platforms to help build your own website, the number of technical variables is high. Things to consider include mobile optimization, use of keywords, load time, page format and other technical factors.

5. Video

There are numerous ways for small businesses to use video in their marketing, including instructional videos, demonstration videos, product review videos and showcase videos.

The popularity and demand for video is well-documented. According to a white paper put out last year by Cisco, video made up 64 percent of all internet traffic in 2014, and that number is predicted to grow to 80 percent by 2019. Video also can have a material and positive impact on SEO.

LSA’s research revealed that 47 percent of SMBs found budget to be an obstacle to using video, and 45 percent said they lacked expertise. But newer technology makes video much more accessible and cost-effective for small businesses today. Marketing providers can help you determine the best video format and style for your budget and produce high-quality videos that appeal to your customers.

6. New technology

It may seem like overkill for local businesses to try and adapt to the constantly changing marketing technology scene like wearables, virtual reality and personal assistants. Yet there are some that are worth looking into — technologies that help lower costs and improve efficiencies, such as programmatic advertising and CRM tools.

Other technologies that consumers are rapidly adapting to and demanding, such as e-commerce, online booking, mobile payments and fast-loading web pages, are sufficiently established that investing in them should pay off. Early adopters can also get a competitive advantage over those who lag behind.

While you should certainly be selective in choosing what new technologies to try, marketing providers can help you understand and explore those that make sense for your business.

7. Marketing strategy

One mistake that many businesses make is segregating marketing media and platforms into separate islands, even though consumers expect cross-media experiences. They want to research a product at work and buy it when they get home. Or look up a business on their PC and later get directions on their phone.

Lacking a cohesive marketing strategy can also lead to buying ads that drive traffic to a stale social media page or website. It can result in inconsistent or even conflicting information that frustrates customers, such as different prices or incorrect store hours. Inconsistent messaging also waters down the compound synergy necessary to building a brand.

In marketing, the sum is greater than its parts. A good marketing provider will help design a cohesive strategy so that all pieces complement one another and work together toward the big-picture goal of growing your business.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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