Jul 13

Why Experiential Marketing Is the Future of Business

By that, I mean that they base their core values on experiential marketing. The one thing that determines the success of a company is the fact that it delivers an exceptional experience to its customers.

Think about it. When was the last time you stepped into your favorite fast food joint, knowing precisely what you’re going to get? Moreover, you probably knew how the staff is going to treat you and how the process of ordering and consuming the food is going to look.

Real experiences have much more significant impacts on our senses than abstract ideas and, therefore, stay in our memory for longer. According to a study from the International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 100% of respondents (customers) said that brand visibility experiences induce curiosity in them about a particular product or a service that is being offered.

The definition of experiential marketing

Every marketer will give you their view of experiential marketing. It comes in many forms and sizes. It’s also called “live” or “engagement” marketing and serves as a tool that encourages the customer to take part in an activity your brand organized.

Those activities often look like random happenings. However, they are carefully-planned events to drive brand awareness and teach customers about your company and your products. Sadly, not every company knows how to deliver a top-notch event.

What’s more, a badly-executed experiential marketing campaign might look like a publicity stunt or a way to push your product to the customers. People don’t like brands pressuring them into making purchases. Even worse, such an event could damage your image in the industry.

The most critical factor in your customer reach is engagement, so if you still haven’t, start learning about your customers and tactics to create a successful campaign. Experiential campaigns take longer to execute but are far more rewarding than your regular social media campaign. Plus, they can give you more repeat customers than the ads you put on Google. 

Why experience brings value

To strategically plan an experiential marketing campaign, you will have to forget everything you know about digital marketing strategies for a second. Social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and similar forms of advertising can personalize your customer’s experience to a certain level, but they will never come close to building the real interaction between a person and a brand.

Traditional marketing tactics help with an already established customer base and can give you data about potential customers. However, they are only visual and verbal and can’t get to the customer on a deeper level.

Experiential marketing, on the other hand, is a “3D” version of a marketing campaign. It makes the customers dive into the brand much easier and much faster than through the screen. So, here are the three values experiential marketing creates for your company.

  • Customer engagement

Except for going out to gatherings and events, people love to brag to others. The single most valuable factor of the campaign experience-wise is customer engagement. An innovative strategy can create the need for posting on Instagram or Facebook. If people are genuinely interested in your event, they’ll share where they’ve been. In other words, you can essentially build your online visibility without investing in digital marketing. The numbers only go in your favor. According to the most popular social network stats, Facebook still leads the game with over 2.2 billion monthly active accounts, while 1 billion monthly active users use sixth-ranked Instagram.

  • Media coverage an online visibility

Recent eCommerce statistics showed that 68% of customers would trust a business if they see something positive about it on the internet. Once you successfully create engagement, your campaign can attract other forms of marketing (that will also come in a free form). For example, events in small communities often get significant media coverage. Although I said before to forget everything about digital marketing strategies, let’s return briefly to them. Your successful event-only experiential campaign could have indirect digital marketing effects and give you the online visibility (you would typically create with digital marketing).

  • Building brand affinity

There are many brands like yours out there. Customers easily switch between brands, so you must come up with a way to retain them as long as possible. One effective method is to give them authentic interaction at an event. Experiential marketing campaigns ensure your customers will learn more about you firsthand, as well as be able to test out your products for free. You’ll then slowly build brand affinity and generate better sales.

Types of experiential campaigns

After you learned why experiential marketing brings value, let’s see which types of such advertising you can choose for your company. It will depend on the kind of service and the product you offer, as well as the preferences of your target audience.

1.Product testing

Everyone loves free stuff, mainly if it’s their favorite brand that’s handing out the products. You can organize product testing with free samples of the product. Not only will it engage the participants, but bring new potential clients into the picture.

2.Organizing a workshop

Another type of campaign is a workshop. Here, you’ll need an expert who will guide the customers through the class or a practical workshop, but it can be quite rewarding. Your customers will learn a thing or two about how to make something, and you’ll have a significantly larger customer base once word of mouth spreads from the satisfied workshop participants to the potential customers.

3.Having a tour of the facility

If you have a production facility nearby, make sure to organize free tours (with the option of testing). Why? Because now more than ever, customers like to know the origin of the products they’re buying. Let them know how you do it and lead them through the process. This kind of engagement stays with them for long because they experienced your brand in its entirety.

How you can implement experiential marketing to your strategy

  • Research your target market. Ask yourself why users want to connect with your brand, what exactly motivates them, which channels they prefer, and what you can do to give them what they need.
  • Come up with a message you want to send. Create an event around it and decide which marketing channels to use based on your previous research.
  • Announce your event. Digital marketing channels will now come in handy since most of your audience probably use social media. Announce it on all your channels and consider the live streaming of the event once it takes place.
  • Partner with a reputable name in the niche. If you know any company that could share the event with you, great! Invite them to partner with your company. Find a sweet spot between your services and the services from the partner company. What I mean by that is, you have to see the ways one company can complement the other and show it to the audience.
  • Talk from the heart. Once you get to the event, make sure your words get through to the customers. Be honest and show them your product in a way they have never seen it before.
  • Go live. During the event, it’s best to film the event and broadcast it live on Facebook, YouTube, or any other platform that enables live video streaming.

What do you think?

Do you believe experiential marketing is the future of customer engagement? If so, start learning more about it and implement it into your strategy. Your customers and your business will profit from it.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/why-experiential-marketing-is-the-future-of-business/

Jul 12

Financial Advisors And Outsourcing Internet Marketing: 5 Questions To Ask

Lead generation is essential to a financial advisor’s business, but it’s time-consuming. Every hour spent on Internet marketing for financial advisors – crafting emails, writing blog articles, reviewing your website and nurturing leads – is an hour not spent doing the work that makes you and your business money. Your focus should be on producing revenue through product sales and strategy. After all, you’re not a marketer, you’re a financial advisor. Your skillset is needed once someone walks in the door, not getting them to the door.

That’s why outsourcing your financial advisor marketing needs is crucial.

If you’re still not convinced, and can’t justify the upfront cost, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long run, here are 6 questions you should ask yourself.

1. What am I doing right now to generate leads?

Are you still using outdated Outbound Marketing strategies, like cold calls and snail mail? These strategies no longer work.

The Internet has changed the way investors research and hire financial advisors. Investors don’t want to talk to you and hear your pushy sales call during dinner. Most likely, they immediately throw away your expensive marketing materials with the other junk mail they receive. Instead, they’re heading online to research advisors and find someone who meets their needs.

If you’re still practicing 90s marketing techniques, it’s time to get professional help to get you on the right track. The right marketing firm can build you a modern day website that is interactive and compelling. A firm can establish benchmarks and goals to hit. An expert marketing team can expand – or start from scratch – your digital footprint, including a social media presence.

2. When was the last time I received an organic lead?

When used properly, the Internet can make it easier to identify qualified leads and turn them into clients through a process called Inbound Marketing. Early Inbound Marketing users are already seeing results with increased business growth and less time wasted trying to track down and convert potential clients. But while Inbound Marketing has the potential to revolutionize the way you grow your business, it requires a fair amount of expertise to do it right.

Inbound Marketing is a technique for sourcing customers through content marketing, which uses search engine optimized online content such as blog posts, videos and social media posts to connect potential customers with your business and brand. Instead of relying on cold calling for hours on end or sending mass emails and snail mail brochures to thousands of prospects each day, Inbound Marketing brings your customers to you.

For decades, financial advisors have used Outbound Marketing via cold calling and mail to initiate contact with investors. The very nature of Outbound Marketing makes it costly and time-consuming with little to no return on your investment. At the same time, it can be emotionally exhausting to the point where many advisors leave the industry after burning out on attempting to contact people who don’t want to be reached.

As Outbound Marketing has become increasingly inefficient and difficult with investors using caller ID and spam filters to avoid unwanted solicitations, more and more RIAs are transitioning from Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing turns customer-sourcing on its head by letting potential clients come to you rather than you having to hunt down potential clients.

Inbound Marketing is so effective because it uses what people are already searching for to direct potential customers to you. It’s an investor-centric process by which Search Engine Optimization helps investors find your website when they’re looking for relevant information.

Since Inbound visitors are connected to your website when your site matches their search query, they’re more likely to view you as a solution to their problem rather than a solicitor offering a service they don’t think they need. This makes them more qualified leads than those generated in Outbound Marketing techniques and it becomes much easier to turn them into customers. They were already looking for you; they just didn’t know it until your site came up in the search results.

3. How much time am I currently spending on marketing efforts?

Despite the power of Inbound Marketing, research shows that only 14% of financial advisors feel they have an effective Inbound Marketing strategy that contributes to the growth of their business. This is no surprise considering how difficult creating an effective Inbound Marketing strategy is.

Creating an effective Inbound Marketing strategy needs a great deal of expertise, and trying to handle Inbound Marketing internally gets difficult quickly. For instance, you’d need a firm grasp of Search Engine Optimization practices to rank highly in search engine queries. Research shows less than 5% of advisors generate significant investor traffic to their website.

4. Do I want to write another article this week? Do I really have time?

Quality content doesn’t stay relevant for long. Especially in the financial services space where RIAs face the additional risk of compliance and credibility issues if their websites become out-of-date. Regularly researching, designing, writing, optimizing, publishing and distributing relevant and timely content is a huge time commitment and can be costly to procure.

Before you can even begin creating content, you need a content strategy that details the type of content (such as blog posts, white papers, eBooks, videos and other shareable media) you’ll create and when you’ll distribute it. Then you need a separate refresh plan for how you’ll keep your content up-to-date.

5. Do I have time to stay up-to-date on marketing trends?

The Inbound Marketing field is rapidly changing. It’s constantly evolving as Google and other search engines change their ranking metrics and users change their search behaviors. When you’re already busy running your business as an RIA, finding time to effectively market yourself and your firm can be nearly impossible.

Rather than spending your valuable time learning about, implementing and perfecting an Inbound Marketing strategy, it makes sense to outsource it to experts who specialize in your industry.

Inbound Marketing experts have entire teams of trained and experienced writers who can effectively communicate your brand’s story to potential clients. They know how to create content that’s relevant, on-brand and search engine optimized so prospects can find you. They also know how to provide a fair exchange of value that will induce website visitors to willingly provide their contact information.

Experts who specialize in the RIA business are equipped to understand and address your unique business needs. They understand how investors use the Internet to find advisors so they can target your ideal clients and create a strategy that will bring them to your website and ultimately your book of business.

Inbound Marketing experts can leverage technology to get the right message to the right people at the right time so leads become clients without you needing to lift a finger. They can do the legwork of drawing in and nurturing qualified leads without you needing to worry about a thing.

With a team of hard-working professionals who can and will concentrate on keeping your Inbound Marketing strategy running at full speed, you and your team can focus on doing the work that generates revenue for your business.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Jul 11

Ranking results – Overview of digital marketing

MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW

Times Square Chronicles

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Jul 10

7 Basic Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses

In an age where people connect more and more via the internet and social media, many small businesses are trying to utilize new strategies to get their products and ideas out there. Doing so can generate more sales and draw in new customers. However, this can only happen if those tools are being used correctly and to the businesses utmost advantage. To a small business, adapting to internet marketing can be quite overwhelming. With sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, eBay, and LinkedIn, to name a few, it’s hard to know what tools will work best for your needs.

To attract the right customers, it is essential for small business owners to educate themselves regarding the fundamental ways they can integrate social media, SEO, and content marketing. Here are seven marketing techniques for small businesses that incorporate SEO, social media, and content marketing.

7 Basic Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses

1. Blogging

Having an excellent blog can combine the benefits of SEO and social media. By using a business blog, you can write about topics that will interest your audience. Write a piece that will answer a customer’s most frequently asked questions, for example. Offer editorial guides on products and how they are used. Many blogs can be linked to other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. This means that when you post on your blog, it will send out an automatic message to these social media sites, letting more people know.

2. Social Networking and Media

Customers expect to see a business interacting on social media sites more and more these days. They want a place where they can engage the market, and it creates a better social connection by making your business appear more accessible and “real.” Building a strong customer/business relationship is the key and can honestly go a long way for you. You need to choose a platform that will work best for you. To get a better idea of which social media sites will work best for you, try utilizing some of the social media monitoring tools and social search tools available online. You can also use content from your blog or newsletter, tweak it up a bit, and cross-promote it on media and social networking websites.

3. Email and Newsletter Marketing

Another excellent way to connect with prospective customers is through the creation of newsletters. You can offer tips, facts, relevant topics, and highlight new products in a newsletter. This is also a genuinely fantastic way to keep existing customers in the loop and aids in reinforcing the customer/business connection. It can also help generate referrals. You can also publish newsletters on social media sites with the option to sign up to the newsletter. This often leads to prospective customers visiting your website.

4. Videos

YouTube has become a hugely popular means for advertising a business. It helps the customers get to know you and your business a bit better and promotes a better connection. People like to “see” whom they are dealing with, and YouTube plays as a powerful influencer for bringing in sales and new customers. You can create an advertisement, an introduction, or product demonstrations on YouTube. It also offers a means of presenting customer testimonials. The significant part about this is that videos hosted on YouTube and similar sites can be easily embedded in your blog posts, websites, and shared on social media sites.

5. Resource Center

Useful content can be an excellent resource for customers, so becoming a resource center means customers will place a higher value on your business. You can take topics related to your company and create podcasts, videos, and articles. It’s a helpful way to attract links from other sites and allow the customer to share the information, bringing more traffic your way.

6. Contributed Articles and Media Coverage

Another way to boost customer awareness is through mentions in trade publications and local business media. It also lends more credibility to your business, which, in turn, can create new business. This one takes a bit of time because you will need to compile a list of local business bloggers, editors, and writers and then make inquiries regarding your business contributing articles to their sites. Some business blogs will have a monthly or weekly guest blog post, for example. That guest could be you! It’s an excellent way to get more exposure to a new audience.

7. Mobile Content

With the use of tablets and smartphones, more people use mobile searches than ever. It can be a great marketing opportunity for a small business if used well. Some tools can check where traffic is coming from to your site. If you see that quite a bit is from mobile searching, then make sure that you check whether your website can be easily viewed on mobile devices. Make sure that your business is correctly listed in places like Yahoo Local, Google My Business, and any other local area listings that are accessible via the internet.

One thing to bear in mind is that all of these take time to build up. So don’t get frustrated if you don’t see immediate results. If you feel overwhelmed regarding the daily maintenance and upkeep of social media and marketing, let staff take care of those simple tasks or hire a blogger to keep your blog and social media sites updated. One of the worst things you can do is to create a Facebook Page, Blog, etc. and then let it stagnate.

You don’t have to use all of these tools either. Choose one or two that will work for you to get started. If you find you can integrate another step, then go for it. However, trying to juggle too much at a time can lead to spreading yourself thin and having those tools become stagnant. Focus on what your customer’s needs are, and over time, your business can become the “go to” place for many others.


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Jul 09

Using digital marketing to boost your business’ brand

If you are going to establish your business, then you must focus on the ways that will help in boosting your profit in a short time. To boost your profit, it is vital to increase your sales of products and services. For this purpose, there are two ways; one is to introduce your product and service at a wide level in the market. This is called marketing. The other way is to improve your performance, using modern ways of production and reduce the cost of production. You should satisfy your customers. If customers, come to you once due to effective marketing techniques, then you need to grab them and compel them to come again by satisfying them. It is possible only due to the expert administration and high-quality performance.

Earning money is the major objective of everyone’s life. It is very difficult to find the ways that can provide you a maximum amount of income to meet your routine expenses. The present is the age of modernism and new technology. Moreover, the internet is the greatest invention of modern technology. The advent of the internet has brought about the revolution in the world in all fields of life. It is the source where you can search for work, customers, and make money in just a click.

Marketing

Business marketing is important to establish a new business. Digital marketing is popular around the globe. It is a cost-effective way as compared to traditional marketing sources. The digital marketing trend comes about as the new customer’s behavior and reaction to new technology. It satisfies the need of the modern customers and market. For example, an increase in mobile marketing was a direct reaction to the rise in the use of the smartphone.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing advantages are several for the business of all sizes. At an affordable price, it gives access to the mass market. This is better than print advertising and TV ads because it allows personalized marketing. The prime benefits of digital marketing are to the target audience measurably and cost-effectively. It includes driving online sales and brand loyalty. It refers to marketing via digital channels like mobile apps, email, social media, websites, search engine marketing, and many more.

By developing and designing your website, you can get access online. It does not finish here; you need to introduce your website to attain maximum traffic. It needs SEO marketing. This is the procedure that gives you high-ranking on the search engine, and you get access in the local market. In this procedure, the prime focus is to present your products and services in an innovative, unique, and professional way.

The majority of the business owners prefer to target the local market by boosting up the ranking of their website on Search engine and recognition of their brand in the market. You should know how to grab the attention of customers by making your presentation more attractive. It is a budget-friendly way. You have to pay very less amount or nothing on some social media.

This is the best way to introduce your products at a vast level. This helps to get maximum customers.

Is it possible to go for digital marketing on your own? It is very simple to advertise your products and services on social media. You can develop your website as well. If you are looking for a good output and you want to make sure that you do not lose your business, then you need to find the professionals who can advertise your business online. To get 100% result of your marketing campaign, it is good to hire the professionals. These experts know how to do their job expertly. In this way, you will be able to target the local market as well as international market. Also, it will allow you to check the output you are getting on every day. You will be able to find the output instantly and will be able to get the opportunity of changing your strategies according to the circumstances.

Implementation of the Technology

One of the most important benefits of implementing new technology in the new business or a system is to automate function that needed workers. Tasks like management, contact management, bookkeeping, analytics, and data entry are entirely or partially automated. It allows the business to perform more effective way without the danger of human errors. Technology evolves with modern software emerges to solve inefficiencies and problems that organizations may not know about that. To improve your business productivity and increase the efficiency of your workers, implementation of modern tools and apps are essential. There are several benefits of technology implementation in your system.

• Helps in satisfying the clients

This is the prime source to increase the efficiency of your employees. In this way, you can reduce your cost of production. You can provide high-quality products and services to your clients that can increase the level of their satisfaction. They get updates about your products and services and able to provide feedback. It is great for your business productivity.

• Makes management simple and easy

Use modern software for your business management. These modern tools help you in reducing your costs, paperwork, and improving business productivity. For instance, if you are using software for property compliance requirements, then it is good for your business productivity. This tool will help you handle the needs of the business management. It offers immediate cost, management, administration, IT, and other savings. If you are using this tool in your company, then you will be able to get the visibility of all the asset compliances status in real time.

It is great to provide you solid support for your business. Not, only this tool, the use of cloud computing, data storage, and accounting tools, you will be out of the risk of mistakes.

Speeds up workflow

The objective of modern technology is to increase the speed of workflow procedures. It can save you money and time. It enhances business productivity.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/using-digital-marketing-to-boost-your-business-brand/

Jul 08

Hemp’s legal. Tell that to the financial service providers, social media companies, industry officials say

The 2018 federal farm bill legalized hemp. Hemp products can be sent through the mail under certain guidelines. But Linda Main can’t find a credit card company willing to process transactions at her store in Fort Morgan, where she sells CBD merchandise.

“There are one or two out there that do, but there’s a waiting list that is out of this world,” said Main. She and her husband, George Henning, own GL CBD Oils.

For now, the store takes local checks and cash. Main figures she loses hundreds of dollars in potential sales when she tells would-be customers where they can find ATMs and they don’t return.

“Imagine going into a Safeway and getting groceries and they say, ‘Oh no, we can’t take your card,’ ” Main said.

Main’s situation reflects some of the growing pains of an emerging industry that has hit the ground running before learning to walk steadily. The demand that already exists for hemp-derived CBD  — cannabidiol — drove the market’s worth to about $627 million in 2018, according to the Brightfield Group, an analytics and market research firm for the legal CBD and cannabis industries.

Brightfield projects the U.S. market for CBD will surge 143 percent by 2022, hitting nearly $22 billion. Large chains, including Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and Kroger, are jumping on the hemp bandwagon with plans to sell CBD creams, salves and other topical products.

“Now that the 2018 farm bill passed, it’s the clearest legal landscape that we’ve been dealing with to date,” said Michael Harinen, chief marketing officer for Louisville-based Bluebird Botanicals, which produces CBD from hemp.

However, the legal landscape for Bluebird Botanicals and similar companies is still tricky. Companies report having problems finding banks or credit companies willing to do business with them because hemp is a cannabis plant. Facebook and Google won’t advertise CBD products.

Hemp has negligible amounts of THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana, but some companies apparently don’t want to risk it, Harinen said.

Production specialist Amethyst Brandin checks on packaged hemp products before they leave the company’s new production lab and are moved into the stock room to be shipped out at Bluebird Botanicals in Louisville on June 27, 2019.

While the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp, it maintained the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over hemp and the agency says it’s still illegal to market CBD in food or as a dietary supplement. However, industry officials consider that guidance rather than law because formal regulations haven’t been issued.

The FDA is gathering information about hemp and the manufacturing and marketing of cannabis-related products and will eventually write regulations. The agency is taking public comments until July 16.

The farm bill caps the amount of THC allowed in industrial hemp to 0.3 percent.

“The farm bill, by completely removing hemp and hemp-derived CBD from the Controlled Substances Act,  should have solved this. From a legal perspective, it did solve it on the federal level,” said  Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a coalition of hemp companies.

At the state level, the industry is grappling with patchwork of rules. Forty-six states have passed laws to lay the groundwork to develop the hemp industry, Miller said. So far, Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho and South Dakota have not.

Meanwhile, other industries are trying to figure out how, or if, to get involved with hemp companies. Miller, speaking at the Outdoor Retailer June 19 in Denver, said companies he meets with say although they understand hemp is legal, they don’t want to risk breaking the law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote a letter in April to ask the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the U.S. Treasury Department to offer guidance to any banks with concerns about providing services to legal hemp businesses.

“Legal hemp businesses should be treated just like any other businesses and should not  be discriminated against,” the senators wrote.

Along with Colorado, Oregon and Kentucky have been at the forefront of the hemp industry. Colorado is one of the leading producers of hemp and is a leader in the CBD industry.

In this Monday, June 17, 2019 photo, Gabriel Recendiz, left, and Soloman Figueroa plant hemp in one of William Corbin’s fields in Springfield, Tennessee where Corbin previously grew tobacco.

As of May 29, 2,300 farmers in Colorado were registered to grow hemp and 80,000 acres outdoors and 9 million square feet of indoor space — greenhouses — were licensed for hemp production, according to figures compiled by Hemp Industry Daily.

It’s not just individual companies running into problems with credit-card companies and other financial institutions. The U.S. Hemp Authority, which has developed standards and a certification process for the industry, was notified in early June that Stripe, which processes payments for internet businesses, is dropping it as a client.

“We had been working with them since January or February of this year,” said Marielle Weintraub, president of the authority. “They said they would no longer be working with us because we’re a cannabis-related business, putting us in a high-risk category.”

But the Hemp Authority only processes fees for licensing hemp business that are certified by a third-party auditor, Weintraub said. “We don’t sell a product, manufacture a product. We’re not shipping a product.”

A June 7 email from Stripe to the Hemp Authority said “it does seem that your business is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement, section A.7.b (Restricted Businesses and Activities).”

Stripe didn’t answer requests for comment.

Weintraub said other services charge considerably more. She added that she’s more worried about hemp business owners or farmers who might run into trouble with their banks.

“It may or may not put the rest of their banking in jeopardy,” Weintraub said.

Jesse Stanley, who along with his brothers started Colorado-based Charlotte’s Web, a leader in the CBD industry, said at the Outdoor Retailer that in the beginning, banks would do business with the company for a while and then back out.

“It was kind of like relief pitchers: We’d bring in the next one until we’d exhausted them,” Stanley said.

Winston Latimer, left, helps Brandon Briones look at their CBD products at the Charlotte’s Web company booth during the Outdoor Retailer at the Convention Center in Denver on June 18, 2019. Colorado-based Charlotte’s Web manufactures and sells hemp tinctures.

Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter is sponsoring a bill to open banking and financial services to marijuana businesses in states that have legalized marijuana. The bipartisan bill got its first-ever hearing by a U.S. House committee earlier this year.

“I have heard from constituents and businesses about many of the problems facing both the marijuana and hemp industry,” Perlmutter said in an email. “As the SAFE Banking Act continues to move through Congress, I am working with my colleagues to ensure all legal and legitimate businesses are able to access full banking service.”

Another hurdle for the quickly growing industry is the inability to advertise places where everyone else does — on Facebook and other social media platforms. Forbes reported that Cannaramic Media Inc. is suing Facebook for rejecting a series of ads.

“It’s really been a big impediment to the industry because the way that market and advertising works these days, those are some of the most powerful tools for companies to get their names out there,” said Harinen of Bluebird Botanicals.

Bluebird and the Denver-based Hoban Law Group joined the Hemp Industries Association  in a campaign called “Hemp is Legal.” They put up a digital billboard in New York’s Times Square that reads: “Facebook: Stop Censoring Hemp.”

Content and advertisements promoting the sale of cannabis or cannabis-related products, including CBD, violate Facebook’s policies, the company said in an email. Ads of hemp products that aren’t ingested and don’t contain CBD are allowed, said Facebook, adding that the company continues to review its policies.

Social Media Manager Amanda McConnell measures out two “calm” gummies at the Charlotte’s Web booth during the Outdoor Retailer at the Convention Center in Denver on June 18, 2019.

Advertisements for CBD products violate Google’s policy on health care and medicine because it’s an unapproved pharmaceutical and supplement, according to an email from the company. Google doesn’t have a specific policy against advertising hemp products.

In Colorado, state agencies are leading an initiative to help manage and promote the hemp industry from cultivation through production and manufacturing to marketing. Helping businesses navigate the twists and turns of working with banks and other financial service providers will be part of the work by the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan, said Hollis Glenn, the project’s co-director.

State banking officials as well as other experts and industry representatives are among the roughly 180 participants, said Glenn, director of the Inspection and Consumer Services Division at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

At the federal level, Miller said the Hemp Roundtable is working with members of Congress to encourage the FDA to finalize regulations over the next year.

Already, the U.S. Postal Service has released guidelines for shipping hemp and CBD products. The shipper has to comply with all federal, state and local hemp laws and must keep all documentation for at least two years after the shipment.

Previously, the Postal Service guidelines were varied, depending on the post office or postmaster, Harinen said. A couple of Bluebird Botanicals’ shipments were seized and later released.

“It’s great to see that we’re getting offered the same access that other legal companies are being offered. We think it’s a big deal because this is a government agency we’re talking about,” Harinen said. “And we’re hoping that sends a message to the companies that are still really hesitant to work hemp and CBD companies.”

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Jul 07

Businesses grow wary about hiring | News, Sports, Jobs

AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Corri Smith is planning to hire a full-time project manager for her public relations firm and make her part-time assistant full-time. But she has a wary eye on the economy.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had some trouble in the economy. It can’t all be wonderful — something will happen,” says Smith, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Black Wednesday.

Smith, who believes an economic downturn is likely in the next 12 to 18 months, says. “I will be extra cautious with hiring alongside also making plans to stockpile and save revenue.” She’s aware that marketing is one of the first budget items to be slashed when corporate executives are anxious about profits.

Small business owners, who have taken a conservative approach to hiring during the economic expansion, are becoming even more careful amid concerns that the economy is weakening. They’re well aware that economists believe the country’s gross domestic product slowed considerably in the second quarter — forecasts give the GDP an annual rate of about 2%, down from 3.1% in the first quarter. Owners’ concerns and caution are increased by the Trump administration’s trade wars.

Some owners are cutting jobs, likely by not filling their open positions as well as by laying off workers. A report from payroll processor ADP released Wednesday showed that its business customers with up to 49 employees cut 23,000 jobs in June on top of a 38,000 reduction in May; this is the first time ADP has reported job cuts since September 2017. So far this year, small businesses have added about 25,000 jobs on average each month, compared with an average 52,000 last year and 56,000 in 2017. Their hiring pace has lagged behind that of larger companies, which have fed the hiring boom in the country the past few years.

Although the Great Recession ended 10 years ago, small business hiring never recovered to the levels before the downturn began in 2007. Owners who had laid off workers didn’t want to go through that devastating process again, and new entrepreneurs learned from the unhappy experiences of others.

Hiring is an ongoing balancing act for Scott Fish and business partner Sonja Skvarla, co-owners of Off Road, a business consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon.

“Businesses are charging ahead, but there is a small element of uncertainty in the economy, and we are noticing that it continues to be on the minds of business owners,” says Fish,

So although Fish and Skvarla are considering as many as five new staffers over the next year, they’re also treading carefully, hoping that their hiring is in sync with the work clients have for them.

“It’s a chicken-before-the-egg thing — do you have enough clients to support the cost of hiring someone great, or do you hire some great people and hope the revenue comes in,” Fish says.

Ethan Segal’s decision to hire freelancers for his internet marketing firm was based partly on the economy. After the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December, some of his largest clients put their projects on hold.

“All of them decided to table not just my work but other companies’ as well. It was shocking and sudden,” Segal says. There are currently about 10 freelancers working at Philadelphia-based Segal Co.

Many small businesses also struggle to find qualified workers. While that can be a problem for companies of all sizes, small businesses generally can’t offer the salaries and benefits that big corporations do, and with an economy that’s looking iffy, the smaller player are at an even greater disadvantage.

Because of competition for staffers from giants like Google, Facebook and Netflix, not only does software maker Gunner Technology not expect to hire in the next year, “we are looking at how we can get by without replacing employees we are sure to lose,” CEO Cody Swann says.

Swann’s solution is to automate some of the work that software developers generally do at his Las Vegas-based company.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/businesses-grow-wary-about-hiring-news-sports-jobs/

Jul 06

5 Reasons Why You Should Respond to All Your Reviews

Competition is fierce in today’s digital age, with nearly every business claiming the best products and services and touting fantastic customer service. How then do people decide which company they’re going to do business with?

The answer is customer reviews, and it’s why my business offers an affordable reputation software solution that makes it easy to do online reputation marketing. Notice that I didn’t say online reputation management. The truth is that managing your brand’s reputation is essential but marketing it is critical for the success of any business.

To improve your online reputation marketing efforts, you can simply start by responding to all your existing customer reviews. Sadly, this is one of the most neglected and under-utilized online reputation marketing strategies around, yet it’s one of the easiest to execute. Here are five reasons why you want to respond to every single customer review.

1. Let the world know you care about every customer, not just the ones who complain.

I see companies make this mistake every single day. As you research a company and read its reviews, you’ll hopefully see some positive reviews. Suddenly, you discover a negative review, and that’s when the business finally decides to take the time to respond. It’s really a shame. The business is rewarding someone’s negative comments with their time and attention, instead of replying and showing appreciation to all the customers who took the time to share a positive review of the business. 

What does it say about your business when people see positive reviews ignored, but then see a lengthy response to a bad review? It says your business cares more about your reputation than about your customers and their experiences. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? 

That’s the real difference between reputation management and reputation marketing. The business is managing a negative review, instead of marketing its brand using all the reviews. If you thoughtfully respond to all your online customer reviews, you can market to your existing customers and attract new customers as well.

Here’s a tip about replying to positive reviews. Don’t just respond with a simple “Thanks!” or “We appreciate you.” Instead, personalize your response where appropriate and possible, so your customers know you took the time to compose a sincere and meaningful reply. You might think that you can’t afford the investment of time to respond to all reviews. However, when you invest the time, it will provide you with a positive ROI every time.

2. Increase the lifetime value of your customers.

When you respond to your customers’ reviews, you are given the golden opportunity to market to your existing customers. Did you know that when you respond to a customer review the customer will know that you replied? Most review platforms notify customers when the business responds to their review. This is an easy way to make your existing clients feel appreciated, and they are much more likely to become repeat customers. 

Too many business owners and entrepreneurs are so focused on acquiring new customers that they ignore their existing ones. Do you believe a customer will be more inclined to do business with you again and refer you to new customers when you express your gratitude publicly to their positive review? Exactly.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right online reputation management service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

3. Enhance Your SEO efforts.

Every time a customer reviews your business, whether good or bad, it’s your opportunity to provide additional SEO value for your business. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo crawl the internet to find new information so they can provide the most recent and relevant content for their users. When you respond to each customer review, you can add context about your customers’ experience with your business. 

Let’s say that you are a plastic surgeon in Maryland and a happy patient just posted a glowing review online. You could reply, “Thanks for the great review! We are constantly striving to be the best cosmetic surgeons we can be. I’m so grateful you chose our practice. If you need help or have any questions, call our Maryland office anytime. Remember, you also have my private cell phone number and can reach me anytime, 24/7, if it’s urgent.”

Did you notice how I mentioned the keywords “best cosmetic surgeons” and “Maryland” in the reply? This is additional relevant content that will enhance the SEO value of that review page, especially for your Google local business listing. Google specifically states in its help system that reviews can improve your listings’ visibility in its results.

Warning: don’t overdo it with the keywords in your replies. Otherwise, Google and other search engines may penalize your listing, and you could potentially offend your client or patient if they feel like your response isn’t authentic. Remember, these responses are public for everyone to see. The good news is you can add to, edit, or update your replies at any time.

4. Protect your business reputation with trust and transparency.

When you fail to implement a reputation marketing system in your business, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to attack. If you are neglecting your online reputation, all it takes is one or two bad reviews to cripple your business. Did you know that just one bad review can cost your business as much as 22% of prospective customers? Your potential to lose customers skyrockets to 59.2% if people find three negative articles or reviews about your brand. 

However, if you’re actively marketing your brand reputation and requesting online reviews, you can drown one or more negative review in a sea of positive reviews. Remember, in today’s digital age, consumers are well-educated. Most people know that you cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Your competition likely has a negative review or two, as well. The key is having dozens or hundreds of positive reviews to outweigh the negative ones. When you combine positive reviews with personalized responses to all your reviews, you are creating an impenetrable fortress around your brand’s reputation.

The fact is when people see dozens of positive reviews and an occasional negative review; they are likely to discount the negative review – especially if the business has replied to all the reviews with sincere honesty and transparency. People understand that companies make mistakes and can even empathize with them in certain situations. It’s critical that if you or an employee makes a mistake that you own it and take responsibility. People will understand and forgive you if you craft appropriate and thoughtful apologies to your negative reviewers. 

Many times, it’s your responses that will attract new customers to your business. When they see you responding to all your clients and observe how you handle difficult situations, most people will trust you to do a good job or to do the right thing if you don’t.

5. Attract new customers who post reviews.

2017 study found that 78% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s why it’s critical to implement a reputation marketing strategy that helps you develop trust with your prospective customers.

As you earn more reviews for your business and consistently reply to them, prospective customers will see why they should choose you over your competition. They will see that you care about all your customers. As a result, more people will trust your business, and you will become the clear leader in your marketplace.

When you invite your new customers to share reviews about their experiences online, simply remind them why they chose your company. Your odds of getting your new clients to post a review online are substantially higher since it was customer reviews that attracted them to your business in the first place. Of course, this only works if you deliver on your promises and do good work.

Bonus tip: How to handle negative reviews.

Most entrepreneurs and business leaders make every effort to satisfy and please the customer. However, no matter how hard you try, sometimes it just doesn’t happen and your business is forced to address a negative online review. When that happens, it’s crucial to consult with people you trust who have legitimate business experience and acumen before you respond. The last thing you want to do is to reply in an emotional state of distress or anger.

Instead, think of how you can reply in an authentic and meaningful way without compromising your integrity. Let’s face the truth: some customers will try to sabotage your business to get free products and services or to simply get attention. Don’t let this happen to you. Stay true to your core values and do your best to reply in a professional and thoughtful manner.

Here’s an example of how we coached a client to respond to a negative review. One of our clients found a negative review that labeled their chiropractic clinic as “another cattle-in and cattle-out operation.” Ouch! The business owner wanted to share a fun and light-hearted response and wasn’t afraid to repel people who didn’t resonate with his message. After careful consideration and discussion, we decided to create a video response using a humorous, yet authentic, approach and posted it on Facebook. Remember, it’s okay to have a sense of humor in business, as long as you are genuine and sincere.

We got thousands of views and lots of positive feedback from the business’s Facebook fans. However, this reputation marketing strategy could have backfired if the business did not have dozens of five-star reviews. This is why every entrepreneur must be laser-focused on building a five-star online reputation for their business and brand.

Permanent link to this article: http://homebiz2bizreview.net/internet-marketing/5-reasons-why-you-should-respond-to-all-your-reviews/

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