The Marketing Advantage

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Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Tips for Building Better Content

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 2, 2017

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

Nothing will better arm your content marketing department than interaction with the people who talk directly to the audience on a daily basis. Here are four ways you can build better content by encouraging collaboration with your team.

1. Build a FAQ section

One of the most efficient ways to curate popular questions on your site is to create a FAQ section.

2. Create an on-site glossary

You can expand your list of terms using keyword research tools. This step also improves your chance to rank high for many of these terms

3. Create lead magnets

Most sales teams have various content assets being developed year after year — case studies, white papers, PowerPoint presentations, etc.

All of these documents can be powerful lead magnets. Advantage Marketing can help you create your lead magnets. Contact me at me at 908.233.6265 or LKasprzak@advantage-marketing.com to find out more.

4. Leverage buyer personas in your content

By knowing the wants, needs, and even demographic information of a customer base, content marketers can better personalize their efforts.

Source: contentmarketinginstitute

Posted in B2B marketing, content marketing, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Steps to Develop Your New Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 16, 2017

Time for new Content printed on an old typewriter.

How do you unify efforts when you have different team members, initiatives, and strategies for your blog, email and social media marketing? You need to come up with a content marketing strategy that accounts for each channel.

Following these five steps will help you create a cohesive marketing plan.

Step 1: Define your goals

Clearly lay out what you want your team to achieve and when you want them to achieve it.

Step 2: Set brand and editorial guidelines

Establish the guidelines and processes that will enable your team to produce consistent content.

Step 3: Tailor distribution for individual channels

The days of individual start-and- stop campaigns are long gone. An integrated, holistic approach requires that your campaigns work in harmony.

Step 4: Have the team sync regularly

When you’ve integrated the plans for all your marketing channels, you also need to make sure your team is just as unified. Make sure you and your team meet up frequently for progress updates. Doing so is vital if you want to avoid the silo effect — keeping your team stratified can only lead to limited communication and creativity.

Step 5: Measure

The final step: Have your marketing team look at specific metrics and KPIs, such as unique visitors, newsletter subscribers or leads.

These steps can help you create a cohesive plan and give your team a better understanding of how they can work together to contribute to the overall content marketing strategy.

Source: marketingprofs

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

4 Tips to Make Your Content Marketing Stand out

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 2, 2017

Woman hand holding a white spech bubble with a illustration on blue background. This illustration has a yellow crown and content word into window computer.

Every B2B company needs a solid content strategy, including a social media strategy. This is the age of what social media-marketing expert Mark Schaefer refers to as content shock — where there is so much content that it overwhelms readers.

How can you stand out in this veritable sea of content that has flooded the internet? Is it even possible? The content marketing gurus at Hubspot and BuzzSumo have joined forces to conduct research into what works and what doesn’t in B2B content.

1. Size Doesn’t Matter

For years in B2B blogging, it was thought that long-form posts performed better — and while that might be true in some aspects, social media isn’t one of them. Long form posts did not receive any more shares than short-form.

2. LinkedIn Has Proven Its B2B Social Value

B2B content dominates the LinkedIn playing field — with an average of 25.7 shares, compared to 9.8 shares for B2C content. With all the tools that LinkedIn provides that are geared towards business and thought leadership, it really does make a perfect home for your B2B company’s content.

3. Don’t Count Facebook Out Yet

Facebook currently has 1.71 billion active users every month. With such a huge audience potential, how can you pass up this social network?

4. People in B2B Companies Want Content That Will Help Them Succeed

Focus on posts that will help your reader succeed. Whether it’s a numbered list or a how-to article, make it engaging and geared toward reaching one of a reader’s goals such as gaining more customers, increasing office efficiency, or succeeding in a leadership role.

Don’t go it alone! Contact us for help with your content marketing.

Source: business2community

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Steps to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by advantagemarketing on January 19, 2017

People Meeting Connection Social Networking Communication Concept

Brand awareness is essential for the success of small businesses and startups. Done right, successful content marketing will not only generate more revenue for your small business or startup, but it will also help your brand build credibility, authority and thought leadership in your industry, which benefits your entire company all around, everything from building sales to hiring top talent.

Here are 5 steps to help you develop an effective content marketing strategy that will keep your small business or startup top of mind:

1. Understand Your Customers

An effective content marketing strategy starts with knowing your customers inside and out. So before you create any content, take the time to really listen and understand who your target audience is and what content they want and need.

2. Define Your Brand

Your brand is the promise you make to your customers. It’s what ultimately differentiates your small business or startup from your competitors.

3. Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy

Those who have a documented content marketing strategy are significantly more likely to meet their content marketing goals and achieve success.

4. Create and Amplify Your Content

To be effective, your content needs to be relevant and appropriate to the channel or platform where it will be published and consumed by your target audience.

5. Measure and Readjust Your Content Marketing Strategy

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you don’t know whether your content marketing efforts are working or not, how will you know if your marketing objectives are being met?

Don’t go it alone! Contact us if you need help building your content marketing strategy.

Source: marketinginsidergroup

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Videos to Improve Your Networking Skills in the New Year

Posted by advantagemarketing on January 5, 2017

Casual Catering Discussion Meeting Colleagues Concept

Is your new year’s resolution to improve your networking skills? These 5 videos will help you establish lasting connections and get the most out of networking events.

How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

At networking events, you often have to introduce yourself in 10 seconds or less.This might sound easy, but many people stumble over this short introduction.  This video offers some good tips that will enable you to leave a great impression quickly. Watch Now

How to Start a Conversation

Nobody likes uncomfortable moments, especially at a networking event. Here are a few tips to kickstart a conversation and avoid uncomfortable silences with those you meet. Watch Now

7 Tips for Effective Networking

Networking goes far beyond just meeting people. Effective networking means establishing meaningful relationships with potential clients. Here are seven helpful tips that will help you after the initial meeting. Watch Now

10 Great Questions to Ask at Networking Events

Getting people to open up to you is a great first step to networking with them, but to make a stronger connection you need to keep them talking. Here are 10 questions to ask that will help you establish meaningful connections with those you meet. Watch Now

How to Make a Great First Impression

Did you know that people remember the way that you made them feel instead of the words that you actually said? To make a great first impression, it’s important to prepare yourself with positive thoughts before you even meet your first connection. In this video, you will learn how to do just that. Watch Now

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, lead generation, Networking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Your Business Missing out on Mobile?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 27, 2016

Business People Working Technology Devices Cocnept

I’ve had small business owners – especially those who own professional service firms – ask me: “Why should we invest in a mobile-friendly website? We get all our business from word of mouth anyway.”

While referrals are a very important way to maintain your business, you still need to have a website optimized for mobile to support lead generation that will help grow your business. The Managing Technology column in the Wall Street Journal recently discussed the need for a mobile-friendly website:

Consumers are ditching their desktops and buying on mobile phones. But a lot of businesses aren’t making it easy for them — according to RBC Capital Markets, only 33% of small businesses have their websites optimized for mobile. This can become a nightmare for customers: “More often than not, people start on their phones,” says John Scheer, founding partner of Herman-Scheer, “If you have to pinch and zoom to find the address or phone number, that’s not an easy user experience. People are more likely to leave that site.”

So how can you design a mobile site that’s a dream come true? Keeping these two simple tips in mind can make your mobile site a pleasure to use and drive more sales:

The User Comes First

The customer is always right, and your website is no exception, according to the WSJ. “You should design around the user experience as opposed to what you want the customer experience to be,” says Luke Wroblewski, a product director at Google.

Looking at how people actually use your site is crucial to its design: What features are people always hunting for? Are any sections of your website particularly frustrating? You may think users will prefer complex features or assume they are browsing on big monitors, but that’s not always true. Ask someone try out your website on a few different devices, and observe where they have difficulties. Try to alleviate those difficulties when you’re making changes to your site.

 Everything Up Front

Experts advise keeping things simple and giving customers what they want the moment they land on your page. A restaurant, for example, should make its contact information and a dinner reservation form some of the first things users see when they enter the website. If your landing page contains all the essentials without being cluttered, mobile users will be much more likely to use your website.

Some helpful additions to every mobile site are:

  • One-click contests and promotions to engage customers
  • Clickable phone numbers that will trigger a call
  • Large font sizes and a simple navigation bar

With the growing flood of mobile users, every business needs a good mobile site. Keeping important information up front and taking into account user experience can make your site a pleasure to use and drive sales. Many businesses are missing out on mobile — make sure yours isn’t too.

Need Help with Your Website?

Contact us if you need help with your website. The Advantage Marketing team is expert at creating mobile-friendly sites with the right content to drive lead generation.

 

Source: “Missing Out on Mobile,” by Dennis Nishi, Managing Technology; Wall Street Journal, 11-21-16.

 

Posted in Business, lead generation, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing, Website, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Top 15 Marketing Tweets of 2016

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 13, 2016

Top 15 Marketing Tweets of 2016

Follow me on Twitter @LMKasprzak

At Advantage Marketing, we want to help you stay aware of the latest in marketing, so that you can grow your business. These 2016 Tweets offer timely advice and insights.

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

 

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

 

How to Get Your LinkedIn Ads to Reach More Small Businesses

Do you use LinkedIn ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to reach more small- and medium-sized businesses via unique LinkedIn ad targeting. Read More

 

How to Use Twitter Moments for Business

Have you heard of Twitter Moments? Twitter Moments lets you combine groups of selected tweets, sharing your message in more detail. 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

 

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

 

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

 

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 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

 

Does Your Content Answer Searchers’ Questions?

How well does your online content answer questions that your audience is asking? Your ability to helpfully answer critical questions not only assists your audience, but it also helps your SEO. Read More

 

5 Tips To Double The ROI On Your Marketing Efforts

There’s no way around it: marketing is a time-consuming and costly business. It makes good business sense for you to look for ways to reduce marketing spending or to increase the amount you are getting back from those expenditures. Read More

 

Demystifying Social ROI in B2B Marketing

When it comes to attributing ROI to a top-of-funnel social media strategy, the challenge is often in having access to enough data points to correctly understand its impact on revenue. Read More

 

More Brains Than Budget? Steal These $0 Marketing Strategies.

Here’s what’s happening: These companies are marketing, but they’re doing it in a far more personal way. Read More

 

How Content Strategy and Content Marketing Are Separate But Connected

One of the things that I often discuss in workshops, and with CMI’s clients, is the distinct need for content strategy within the approach of content marketing. Read More

 

4 Basic Elements Of Successful Social Media Strategies

It’s a scary time, with new “grams” and “chats” popping up every month. But I’m convinced we are living in a revolutionizing era of business breakthrough akin to the land expansion of the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution. Read More

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Marketing: Process or Patience

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 2, 2016

developing a marketing plan

My colleague and friend Eileen Sinett, CEO of Speaking that Connects, recently posted this about developing and executing a marketing plan. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

If you are self-employed, you may have had the experience of contracting a consultant to develop a marketing plan for your business.  In my earlier business days, it was frustrating to hear, “Well we never really know what’s going to work or when these efforts will bring in a client.  Your plan needs many touches, different types of connecting…” 

With a grimace of doubt, I accepted the unknown, resigned to something is better than nothing.

Fast-forward to the present – 2016. I finally get it!  Marketing is not a direct transaction but more a process of connections working simultaneously. The bottom line is plan proactively, execute, and be patient.

Here’s my story:

Two years ago, I was a featured speaker for a trade organization. The workshop went well and following the engagement, I entered the participants’ names into my database as I always do so I can stay connected through newsletters, blogs and other business communications.  Two years later I receive a website inquiry from one of the workshop attendees.  He left his telephone number and we arranged a conversation.

Mr. X mentioned that he had been receiving my marketing communications and appreciated them.  He also shared that he was the Program Chair for another trade organization and had an opportunity to bring in a speaker.  My eblast kept my name “in front of him.”  He went to my website to get a current view of my business, clicked on the video and voila!   He liked the segment where I quickly demonstrated improvement in a speaker and thought this process might work for his group.  Our conversation resulted in a paid speaking engagement – one of my key marketing targets!

The Marketing process is a journey and mine had these landmarks:

  1. Participant in workshop shares contact information at seminar
  2. Contact information entered into business database
  3. Business sends eblasts, newsletters, event communications, blogs
  4. Participant reads blog which reinforces business brand and evokes interest
  5. Interest takes participant to website
  6. Video on website is viewed , liked and valued
  7. Participant emails business through website
  8. Website leads parties to telephone discussion
  9. Telephone discussion becomes a business opportunity and sale!

Truthfully, I never thought much would come from this local speaking event.  However, with time and wisdom, I have learned to dispense with the “probably NOTs” and replace them with trust, possibility and most of all – patience.

Marketing is a process without guarantees, but with focus, intention and patience, it can generate opportunity and prosperity!   My bottom line:  stretch your patience and stay connected.  Good things are bound to happen.

Have you had experiences similar to Eileen’s? Tell us about them!

 

This article was originally published on Speaking That Connects.

Posted in Marketing | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Join Me at the GWACC Small Business Expo

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 11, 2015

GWACCIf it’s Fall, it’s time to start networking!

Join me at the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Fall Expo at The Westwood in Garwood on Wednesday, September 16th from 6-9 pm. This event is open to the public and will be a great time for learning about valuable resources in the area and for networking.

Stop by the Advantage Marketing table for freebies, to enter to win my book RESULTS! Impactful Solutions to Drive Business plus a copy of the Advantage Marketing guide, “Turn Your Practice into a Client Magnet.” These resources are designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners gain the information they need to have a successful business and see RESULTS! They will also be available to purchase.

If you are a small business owner looking to grow your business, you won’t want to miss this event. There will be hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, wine, beer, and plenty of opportunities for networking. One lucky event attendee will even win 2 tickets to a Mets game! Purchase tickets for the event online: advance purchase $15 or $20 at the door.

Posted in Business, Networking, small business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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