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Marketing Advantage Named Best Small Business Marketing Blog 2016

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 17, 2016

small-business-marketing-growWe are pleased to announce that The Marketing Advantage blog has received the award for Best Small Business Marketing Blogs 2016.

In an era where blogs are a dime a dozen, I am honored that our blog stands out among the rest for providing valuable content for small businesses. We are credited with providing tons of great tips and tricks for content and social media marketers who are new to the business.

There is also plenty to be found on The Marketing Advantage for more seasoned marketers.  Don’t spend hours searching the web for solutions to your marketing problems when you can stay tuned to our blog for expert information. Recent posts have included:

·  Why Should Your Small Business Conduct Market Research?
·  Top 7 Best Marketing Reads For The Fall
·  5 Marketing Hacks You Need Now

A big thank you to CreditDonkey for naming us a Best Small Business Marketing Blog for 2016!

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Top 10 Social Media Tweets for Small B2Bs

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 25, 2016

Social Media has the power to transform your small business. But it can be complex and it’s tough to know where you should be focusing your efforts. My Top 10 Tweets will help you get it right.

4 Basic Elements Of Successful Social Media Strategies

Entrepreneurs have the chance to connect with employees, customers, shareholders, and those who don’tknow them yet through the power of social media. Read more


Social Media’s Future Role in Small-Business Marketing

Many small business CEOs ask about the likelihood that social media will play a major part of the marketing efforts for companies. Some are even hoping that it is ‘just a flash in the pan’ because it takes time and certain skills to make it happen in an effective way. Read more


Study: Engagement Key to Social Media Success

The more interactive your company is on Facebook and Twitter, the more likely customers are to shop with you, new research finds. Read more


Social Media Forces Change in Rebranding Strategies

We live in impatient times. Digital content can spread like wildfire within minutes and then disappear just as quickly. That acceleration of speed has had ripple effects on every aspect of marketing, including the company rebrand. Read more


How to Generate Good Leads Using Social Media

“Knowing how to generate good leads to your site is very important for you, if you are into internet marketing.” Read more


How to Automate Social Media Lead Generation and Engagement

Marketing ideas are floating everywhere. However, that’s definitely not enough for a marketer when it comes to ensuring the maximum yield at minimum effort. Read more


5 Trends That Will Change How Companies Use Social Media In 2016

Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes offers a look ahead at the social trends that are fast reshaping how companies do business. Read more


5 Ways You Can Make the Most of LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is today’s business-to-business media powerhouse. So, how do you take advantage of it? Read more


What the Evolution of Social Media Means for Marketers

It’s an exciting time to be a social media marketer, though not without challenges. Read more


What Your Small Business Should Do To Look Like A Social Media Pro

Learning how to use a wider range of social media tools can help small businesses target prospective and existing customers on these platforms. Here are four tips to consider. Read more


For more tips on small business marketing and social media, follow me on Twitter: @LMKasprzak.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Marketing Hacks You Need Now

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 28, 2016

It’s the middle of summer – the perfect time to try one or more of these five marketing hacks to refresh your marketing efforts!

  1. Syndicate Old ContentTime for tips and tricks concept with red word and sign printed on a clock face.

    Once you create a piece of content, push it out to social media, and follow up with your initial rounds of commenters, most brands consider that source “tapped,” and never revisit it again. In some cases, this is necessary—especially if the article is news-based or otherwise temporary in nature. But if the article is evergreen, it will hold a permanent value. Why let this value sit idly on your blog when you could continue tapping it periodically for long-term dividends? Keep a list of your old evergreen content pieces, and re-syndicate them occasionally. This will generate new interest from new followers, and may be valuable to older followers who didn’t see it the first time around. Read More

  2. Use Custom Landing Pages

    Building a landing page takes time and effort, but they’re far more useful when they exist as a cluster. Each individual landing page should serve a highly specialized purpose, targeting a niche audience and serving one specific need; this allows you to refine the small details of your approach to cater to one specific type of conversion at a time. But beyond that, you’ll need to create multiple versions of each functional landing page, splitting your strategy even further into variants. The goal here is to compare and contrast how all your different landing pages perform, giving you more data and more user insights you can use to speed up the development of your campaign. Read More

  3. Create a Google My Business Page

    This is a great way to boost your online visibility. This listing will make your business easy to find on Google Search and Google Maps. It will also allow Google+ users to easily review your business. As local business reviews increase, your search engine rankings will also improve. It would also be a good idea to add your business to the Yahoo Local listing. Read More

  4. Curate Content for Social Media

    In order to build a loyal following on social media, you need to be considered a consistent source of high-quality content from a variety of sources that either informs, entertains, inspires or helps your followers whenever they see it. Ideally the content you will curate and share should meet more than one (if not all) of those criteria. You need to find other companies and social media users who are sharing quality content in your niche. Once you find them, you can re-share the things that they’ve shared and benefit from all the work they’ve put in to creating or finding that great content. Read More

  5. Make Your CTA Painfully Obvious

    Before you begin implementing any type of content marketing strategy for your company, the most important thing you need to decide is what you want your website visitors to do while they are there. Because we are consuming information faster than ever before, we are all the more likely to ignore the more subtle marketing messages we might encounter online. That’s why it’s so important that bloggers and business owners include a clear call to action as frequently as possible while still feeling natural and logical within the content. Read More

Share your favorite marketing hack with us.

Posted in Business, content marketing, Marketing, marketing hacks, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My Top 10 Small Business Marketing Tweets

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 30, 2016

When you’re running a small business, you’re wearing many hats. These Top 10 tweets provide tips that can help make your marketing hat just a little easier to wear.

How Small Businesses Can Improve Online MarketingPortrait Of Male Bookshop Owner Outside Store


You’ve used all of the standard, popular marketing strategies with only moderate success. You wonder – are there things I am missing? Could there be other avenues I don’t know about? Read More


How Small Businesses Can Get the Most Out Of Their Marketing Dollars

If you’ve got a small marketing budget, you have to be smart about priorities. In this post I’ll share some things I’ve learned along the way to help small businesses make the most of their small marketing budgets. Read More


Small Businesses: Four Steps To Enhance Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing involves branded responses to current events or customer interactions. The tactic only works if those responses are executed, quite literally, in real-time. Read More


15 Tools to Create Automation in Your Small Business

These business automation tools can make your business reach a success by leveraging email, social media and web services. Read More


How And Why Small Businesses Must Adapt To Social Media

Among the countless factors a small business owner must consider when running his or her business, social media is quickly becoming one of the most important. Read More


How To Quickly Master Social Media Marketing For Small Business

It’s no secret that social media is here to stay and that its stake in the success or failure of a business is growing larger everyday. If you’re looking to ramp up your own presence and quickly master the art of social media marketing for business, follow these tips. Read More


Is Small Business Branding Possible? You Betcha And Here’s How

Large companies the world over have long recognized the value of creating a brand. But even a small business can benefit from the impact of having a well-honed image. Read More


Coming Up With Content Ideas Can Be Tricky For Small Businesses. How To Overcome Writer’s Block In Your Content Marketing

It is the most common question I get when speaking about email marketing, social media or small business in general… “What should I write about?” Read More


How Can Your Small Business Benefit From Pinterest?

So what exactly is Pinterest, how does it work, and why is it important to your small business? Read More


What Your Small Business Should Do To Look Like A Social Media Pro

As social media use continues to grow, so does the number of marketing opportunities for small businesses. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults now use social media. Read More


For more small business marketing tips, follow me on Twitter: @LMKasprzak.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing automation, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

7 Easy LinkedIn Profile Updates

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 11, 2015

Update your LinkedIn profile

Update your LinkedIn profile with these quick fixes

We all know that LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional brand and connect with others. You probably already have added your work experience to your profile and gotten your recommendations – if for no other reason then LinkedIn routinely nags you about these items.

But if you haven’t updated your profile in a while, you may not be presenting yourself in the best possible way. These seven quick fixes can refresh your profile, make you easier to connect with, and boost your position in search rankings, without a great deal of time or drudgery. (To make these changes, be sure you are in LinkedIn’s Edit Profile screen for your profile.)

1. Show your creds right up top. Include your credentials next to your name (e.g., CPA, MBA, etc.)

2.  Update your photo – SMILE!!!

3. Use your 120 headline characters more effectively. Include your title, company, and keywords. Some examples:

Senior Tax Manager, ABC Accounting, LLC | Tax Planning| Audits | Tax Compliance | Real Estate Taxes | Tax Research
Staff Accountant, ABC Accounting, LLC | GAAP | Financial Reporting | Account Reconciliation | Accruals | Bookkeeping

4. Create a custom URL for your Public Profile. This is easier to read and remember than the default URL LinkedIn sets up for you. For example: Get step-by-step instructions on customizing your Public Profile URL.

5. Make it easy for others to get in contact with you by adding to your contact information. Be sure you have:

Included your company address, phone and website, and a Twitter name, if you use Twitter too.
Included your email – which will be visible only to your connections.

6. Add or edit your Profile Summary to highlight your accomplishments. You will want to:

Summarize your work experience – use keywords and focus on the results you’ve achieved.
Add a short summary of the company you’re working for and the solutions it provides to clients.

7. Showcase your work in your Profile Summary or Experience sections. Add an article, video, or slide presentation that highlight your excellent, valuable work.

Let these quick fixes inspire you to build an even stronger LinkedIn profile by adding volunteer activities, honors and awards, and more!

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, career, LinkedIn, Marketing, personal branding, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 of the Biggest SEO Myths

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 22, 2015

seo-mythsSEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is a big deal if you want to drive traffic to your website. But, according to HubSpot, there seem to be many myths around that can undermine your optimization efforts and may even affect how your rank in major search engines such as Google.

Don’t fall prey to these SEO myths:

1. More links are better than more content

Should you invest in link building or in generating content such as blog posts or webpages? Companies too often focus on the quantity of links to their site, rather than the quality of their site’s content.  Your website’s focus should be on having relevant, quality content, so that others will want to link to it over time.

2. SEO is all about ranking

While studies have shown that most searchers prefer to click the first three search results, first-page ranking is not the prize it used to be. According to HubSpot, other studies have shown that on subsequent pages, being listed toward the top of the page gets you similar click behavior. The bottom line here? First page ranking matters less than you think. It’s more important to provide content that is useful to your readers, so that when they click through to your site, they stay and share your content.

3.  Keyword optimization is the key to SEO

While keywords have always been an important part of Internet searches, Google no longer exactly matches keywords typed into the search box to the keywords on a webpage. Instead, it searches for the intent behind the keywords used, so that it can provide relevant, high-quality content. This means that search engines won’t punish your website for not having enough exact keywords, but you will be if you overuse keywords.

4.  My homepage needs a lot of content

Your homepage is the gateway to your business. You don’t want it to be littered with content, but you also do not want to have a barren homepage with little to no information. Your homepage should describe who you are, what you do, where you are located, and what visitors should do next. Anything more than this can overwhelm users.

5.  My website doesn’t need to be mobile-friendly

Many website owners think their websites are only viewed on laptops and desktop computers. The fact is, more websites than ever are viewed on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. To reflect this trend, Google instituted a new algorithm on April 21, which uses the mobile-friendliness of your website as a ranking signal. Talk to your website developer. If your site is not mobile friendly, your developer should put a plan in place for fixing it right away.

Posted in brand building, Business, Internet business, Marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

7 Twitter Tips You Need To Know Now

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 9, 2015

Put these tips to work today to build your company’s Twitter presence and increase awareness of your brand.

Put these tips to work today to build your company’s Twitter presence and increase awareness of your brand.

Is Twitter in your marketing tool kit? It should be. Twitter allows your company to gain more traffic, gather more leads, and generate more customers. Here are some tips from HubSpot to help you make full use of what Twitter has to offer:

1. Create a keyword searchable bio

In the bio section of your profile, include commonly searched terms and hashtags to increase the number of times that your page will show up in search results. This generates more traffic and makes your profile easier to access.

2. Use eye-catching images

Including images in your tweets will make them stand out and catch the attention of more users, generating more leads for your business. Most users scroll quickly through their timeline, and only stop to read the tweets that look interesting, so including a picture will drive more engagement from Twitter users. The ideal size for an image is 1024 x 512 pixels.

3. Include GIFs

For the same reasons as tip #2, including GIFs in your tweets will tremendously upgrade your Twitter arsenal. GIFs that are embedded into tweets are converted into MP4s and play automatically. This is another great way to catch the attention of potential leads.

4. Include hashtags related to your content

Having commonly searched hashtags will help your tweet to be seen in more search results, but it’s important to not be obnoxious about it. One or two simple hashtags included on each tweet is the perfect way to generate more traffic and reach a wider audience.

5. Keep tweets short

Keep it short and to the point. Tweets with 100-120 characters generate a lot more clicks and engagement than tweets with 140 characters. Most users only skim these tweets, so keep them as succinct as possible without sacrificing content.

6. Curate Twitter lists to segment users

Twitter Lists helps you to organize users into groups. This can best be used to build strategic connections by allowing you to sort users that you are most interested in engaging with. Twitter lists can be also used to follow a separate group of users from those you follow. This is a valuable resource for targeting the users that you want to reach out to.

7. Engage with your audience consistently

Keeping your tweets interesting is only half the battle. Keeping your tweets consistent is the key to gaining new leads. We recommend that you send around five tweets a day, to stay relevant and reach the widest audience possible.

Put these tips to work today to build your company’s Twitter presence and increase awareness of your brand.

Posted in brand building, content marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Whole-Brained Approach to Marketing Is Most Valuable

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 2, 2014


Today, you need both creative and analytical/technical components to your marketing plan, if you expect to be successful in engaging customers.

By guest blogger Laura Carter

When we think about marketing, we most often think of creativity, innovation, and visual appeal, traits that typically come from so-called “right-brained” thinkers. However, a new trend is taking over, where “left-brained” or analytical thinking is just as valued and respected in the marketing world.

The main goals for marketing have always been to understand the customer and then guide him or her towards a purchase. The path that a buyer takes to that purchase has evolved over the years. According to the CEB Marketing Leadership Council, customers now progress nearly 60% of the way through the purchase decision-making process before actually engaging a sales rep. This places a heavy burden on marketers to deliver value and education early on in the buying process.

As a result of changing buying styles, businesses must embrace the role of technology in their marketing strategies. If you expect to reach and engage customers today, your marketing strategy must employ both analytic/technical and creative strategies. In other words, you need to have both geeks and creative types contribute to your marketing.

Those who don’t include technology and analytics will surely be left behind, if they haven’t been already.   Spending in this arena has already increased and is still on the rise. In fact, Laura McLellan of Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs.

The best companies must know how to generate interest using technology and turn that into actual revenue. They also must realize that their products and brand need to have a broad appeal that comes from a full right and left brain marketing approach.

With more money being invested in marketing technology, businesses want to see that they are actually getting a return on their investment. This often requires a more refined approach to analytics than what we have seen in the past. Modern marketers need to constantly monitor these analytics to know which areas to focus on and which areas to drop.

Marketers are not only expected to provide good marketing skills, but must also be able to track results with accurate analytics. They must also be able to merge fine details with creativity, analytics with the abstract, and logic with imagination to capture market share.

What marketing strategy do you use for your business? Is it a left-brained, right-brained, or whole-brained approach?

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing automation, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Test Your Social Media IQ!

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 27, 2014


Now that it’s summertime, we thought it might be fun to have a quick quiz about social media. Let us know in the comments section how you score!

1. Who is the founder of Facebook?

a. Al Gore      b. Mark Zuckerburg      c. Bill Gates       d. Steve Jobs


2. Which social media uses 140 characters?

a. Facebook      b. Google+      c. Twitter      d. InstaSelfie


3. What should you NOT do on a social media site?

a. Comment on and “LIKE” others’ posts

b. Post inappropriate photos of yourself or others.

c. Provide interesting content such as quizzes, news or links


4. Which social media channel reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network?

a. Houzz      b. Instagram      c. Twitter      d. YouTube


5. This is the world’s largest professional social network and is a fantastic place to find a job or to recruit.

a. LinkedIn      b. Facebook       c. Twitter       d. Pinterest


6. Which of these statements is NOT TRUE?

a.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

b.  Houzz provides architects & contractors with the opportunity to showcase their work to home owners and design enthusiasts.

c.  A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

d.  Pinterest is predominately used by men looking for recipes and wedding dresses.


7. This social media network has features such as Pages, Profiles, Circles, Community, and Hangouts, that let you interact with customers and friends. It can also raise your Website in Google’s rankings.

a. Pinterest      b. Google+       c. LinkedIn      d. Facebook


Answers:  1. b    2. c    3. b    4. d    5. a    6. d

If You Got:     You’re:

6-7 correct     A Social Media Whiz

4-5 correct     Smarter than a 5th Grader

2-3 correct     A Social Media Beginner

0-1 correct     At the Starting Gate


Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter’s New Profile Layout

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 7, 2014

twitter-logoBy guest blogger Laura Carter

Twitter profiles now have a new look, aimed at being more eye catching and customizable. This new layout is now available to everyone and according to Twitter, focuses on an “even easier” and “more fun” way to express yourself or your business. There are a lot of cosmetic changes, but the way that you use Twitter is basically the same. The new web profile lets you use a larger profile photo, prominently display your best tweets and more. Here’s what to expect from this new web profile.

Header and Profile Photos

One of the most striking new differences is the large horizontal header image, very similar to the design on Facebook. Twitter will automatically resize your image to fit this space perfectly, but for the sharpest quality you’ll want to choose a 1,500 x 500 photo for your header. Profile photos are now bigger too, so chose a picture that is at least 400 x 400 pixels for the sharpest looking picture.

Streamlining Tweets

The new profile will highlight specific tweets and allow people searching through profile pages to find the specific kinds of tweets that they want more easily. Here are details on the main features:

Best Tweets

With the new design some tweets will have larger font than others. These are your best tweets, the ones that have the highest level of engagement. This helps make your most popular content easier for others to find. It also makes it easy for you to see exactly which content your followers are interested in.

Pinned Tweets

Have a tweet that you don’t want anyone to miss? Now you can “pin” that tweet to the top of your profile. This pinned tweet will stay at the top of your profile until you unpin it or change it. This could be useful for small businesses that are using Twitter and want to highlight a press release or promotion.

Filtered Tweets

There are several options for filtering tweets that are now easier to use since they are all together in one place, right under your header photo. They allow you to filter the tweets on your own page as well as other profiles that you view. You can choose between three options for filtering: tweets, tweets with photo/video or tweets and replies.

What do you think of the new Twitter layout and features? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Leave a Comment »

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