All posts by RICHARD Thurman

Are You Setting the Best Marketing Goals for Your Business?

Goal setting is an important part of doing business. You have to set goals for every aspect of your business and that most certainly includes marketing. You’ve likely heard that goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. The reason this is a good plan of action is that it gives you a place to start when it comes to setting out your goals. You might think that the goal of marketing is always selling, but it’s not.

Know Your Purpose

You may have goals for various purposes for your marketing such as spreading awareness, building your email list, getting more social engagement or something else entirely. The important thing is to understand the purpose of the marketing that you’re doing.

Where Do You Stand Now?

If you don’t have much of a list or a social media following, then it’s important to access what you should do first. Should you build more of a following and if so, exactly how will you accomplish it?

Where Do You Want to Be?

Look toward the future of when you meet the goal that you set for yourself based on where you currently stand.

Determine What Is Next

Always knowing what you’ll do next when you reach a particular goal is helpful to setting the best marketing goals for your business. It’s always first things first – build your blog, build your list, market to the list. Repeat.

Map It All Out

Creating a map of where you have been, where you are now, and where you want to go will help you succeed in the marketing goals that you set for yourself. It will also enable you to see gaps in your choices so that you can fill them.

Don’t Jump the Gun

If you haven’t tried content marketing yet, don’t drop a grand on banner advertising. You want to start where you are now, and work your way up to where you want to be.

Understand Your Audience

All marketing starts with your audience, and without knowing who they are it will be difficult to create a marketing plan that will work for you.

Know Your Products and Services

Understanding how your products and services benefit your audience will also help you know where to start with your marketing efforts. Does your audience know that they need what you have, or do you need to educate them?

Do the research you need to do in order to know your audience, learn your products, and to evaluate where you stand today. This is necessary to ensure that you choose the best marketing goals for your business today and in the future. What works for you today will not work for your business tomorrow.

Content Syndication – How to Do It Right

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ne way to increase your reach with your content is through content syndication. Content syndication licenses your content, or parts of your content, to be published on other platforms and can help lead new audiences to your website or blog. Content syndication can help you build a larger fan base, bring more publicity, improve SEO, and allow for more widespread sharing of your content on social media.

Choose the Right Syndication Partner

Syndication isn’t about duplicate content; it’s about forming a relationship with a partner that will help push your content out to their audience while providing a link back to your website, giving you more credibility and perhaps also putting you inside an advertising network of sites so that you can share revenue. Some examples of sites that do this well are SheKnows.com, StyleList.com, BlogHer.com and WomensForum.com.

Know Your Niche

Part of choosing the right syndication partner is to understand who your audience is, and what your niche is. If you have a technology blog, you don’t want to syndicate on a food network and vice versa. Ensure that you choose a popular, legitimate, and well-run network so that it will pay off for you in terms of increased traffic and revenue.

Syndication Networks Legitimize Your Content

There are syndication partners in every niche that accept applications for participation in their network. One popular one is outbrain.com. Outbrain is focused on finding great content for their audience. It revolves around using the content on your site to recommend other content to your audience that resides on your site and other people’s sites, depending on which plan you choose. When you sign up you put the code on your site, as others have it on theirs, and you each have an equal opportunity of recommending the others’ content.

Syndication Offers Monetization Opportunities

As you can tell if you’ve looked at some of the recommendations, these syndication sites are advertising networks. While recommending your content to others and sending them deeper into your site, you will also share in ad revenue that the network sells based on having thousands of smaller sites banded together. This makes advertising sales more lucrative for even the small publisher.

Build Your Traffic Up First

To syndicate your content, work hard to build up your traffic. The more traffic you have, the more leverage you will have with the networks you apply to. In the syndication game, traffic is currency.

Know Your Syndication Goals

Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to provide education? Know your goals so that you can choose the right network that will help you reach those goals.

Work on Your Content Strategy

To be accepted by legitimate syndication networks your content needs to address your audience, be honest, not be spam, and look professional. Professional content has compelling headlines and benefits for the reader whether they choose to sign up for your list and buy from you or not.

Understand the Different Types of Syndication

There are free and paid syndication. An example of free content syndication is SlideShare.net. Then there are advertisement-supported networks as mentioned earlier. Finally there are licensed syndication networks like Outbrain.

Once you have worked out these issues and understand your goals, you can work on your syndication strategy. Before joining any network, read all the fine print. You want to ensure that you never break the rules or contracts to make the most of a syndication network.

Why Facebook Ads Work

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acebook ads are inexpensive, effective, and something any small business owner should consider getting involved with. The reason you should be running Facebook ads, whether they are sponsored posts or other types of ads, is that they do work. Here is why.

People Live on Facebook All Day Long

People use Facebook on PCs and on their mobile devices, and keep it with them all day long. They take Facebook with them to dinner and some people never turn it off. This is a real chance to connect with your audience that you cannot pass up.

They Are Relevant Due to Extreme Targeting

Facebook allows you to target your individual audience down to their interests and gender, and you can even provide email addresses for the exact people you want to target.

Easy to Include a CTA

The tools that Facebook offers the people who want to run ads help to create compelling CTAs that your audience will be more likely to answer, whether it's as easy as liking your page or downloading your app.

It's Easy to Make Professional-Looking Ads

The tools that Facebook offers let you create professional Facebook ads without having the ability to make ads. They lead you through it with their system to make it simple, so you're more likely to repeat the process.

Easy to Include Great Value

You can easily include enough information in each ad that shows the value of your offering. With just a few clicks you'll have an awesome ad that your audience can see the value in.

They Offer Disruption with Significance

In many cases people are blind to advertisements, but on Facebook the disruption is noticeable and your audience will want to check it out. This is due to the ability to target the ads so closely to your target audience.

They Are Simple to Create

The ads are easy to create and it gets easier all the time. As Facebook makes the ads work better for business owners, and easier to do with a click of a button, they become more relevant, more valuable, and more useful to you as a business owner.

Easy to Run A/B Tests

Due to the ability to duplicate an ad and then easily edit to change one part of the ad such as the title or the image, you can run ads simultaneously. You can even target different audiences to find out which works better.

Facebook ads work for a variety of reasons. However, they will only work if you plan them out and spend the time ensuring that you run relevant ads. They must be of value to your audience, grab the attention of the viewer and include a compelling call to action.

Use the Tools Facebook Offers

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sing the tools that are already offered in Facebook is important because they are really great. They are set up to help make it as easy as possible for you to market your business online. They are pretty much foolproof because they are made for Facebook.

You can learn straight from Facebook what works best for marketing your business on their platform. You can learn new skills, study fast or slow depending on how you want to do it, and you can access your courses from anyplace. On a side note, if you want to offer services for your clients on Facebook, getting these skills is in demand.

If you really want to get to the next level of learning how to succeed with Facebook on Facebook's platform, learn how to make the most of your Facebook page, how Facebook ads work, how to measure results, and exactly how to create ads that target your audience.

Free Analytics Apps

Using the analytics that Facebook offers is important because it gives you the real insights that you need in order to know whether or not your efforts are working on Facebook or not. You can measure views, clicks, sales and more.

Facebook Segmenting Tools

Facebook allows you to look at different groups of people according to their demographics and other segmentation modes. You can market directly to people who are on specific platforms, and even in particular states or in certain groups on Facebook.

Create Funnels

When you use Facebook to create a funnel, you can see how people move through your funnel and become customers. It will give you enormous insights into what your customers are doing once they enter your funnel.

Business Pages

Facebook allows you to create a business page for free. Once you create your business page, you'll have new tools opened to you to help you promote it. You can create a call to action, put your newsletter sign-up on there, and more.

Communities

Using communities to market your business is a great way to use Facebook for marketing. You can not only communicate in a new way with your customers, but you can also promote the posts and more in the communities.

Facebook is a wonderful platform to use to promote your business - whether it's a bricks and mortar business or a digital business. It doesn't matter because you can use it to market internationally or hyper locally when you use the tools they make available to businesses.

Using Facebook Ads Effectively

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acebook is a wonderful tool to use when marketing your business, products and/or services. They make it really easy for anyone to do it, whether a large corporation or a small home business. You can run Facebook Ads effectively by setting a goal, and then taking the steps necessary to reach that goal. Test what you are doing, and check in on how everything you’re doing is working.

Build Your Email List

Using Facebook to build your email list is very effective because they make it easy with the ability to add tabs and a call to action to get people to sign up for your list. Plus you can put up a nice banner that points people to the CTA.

Get More Page Likes

Using Facebook Ads to get more likes for your business pages or to promote your communities is a great way to increase engagement. Make the ad truly relevant to your audience and you'll get a better response.

Segment Your Audience

You have a large audience, but you also have smaller subset audiences that you can use to narrow down who you're targeting from your audience. It makes writing copy easier if you have a small segment to think of as you develop ads.

Target Interest Groups

Facebook makes it easy to target people based on many demographics, including interest. This is wonderful way to target specific groups that will be interested in what you're offering.

Sell Your Product Directly

Using Facebook to sell your products and or services directly is a great way to use Facebook Ads; however, you want to ensure that they still sign up for your list.

Use CPM Instead of PPC

PPC means pay per click, and CPM means cost per thousand and is measured in views. Facebook has a good system that when using CPM it will do what works best and gets the most bang for your buck.

Include Pictures That Are Relevant

You want pictures that draw attention to your advertisement to your audience. Know what they like and choose those pictures, because you don't want to do anything that turns them off.

Promote Your Posts

hen you write a good post and share it on your Facebook page, it's important to promote it so that more people see it. Paying to promote posts will ensure that more people see it, and you'll get more engagement. Be sure to ask for a CTA.

The important thing is to have a goal before you start so that you know that you're being effective with the actions that you take. Without a goal you have no idea whether what you're doing is successful.

Nine Ways to Create Buzz about Your Business

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reating buzz about your business means that you do something to get people talking about you and your business. Today, creating buzz about your business is important, especially as there are so many people to compete with. But, if you can set yourself apart in this way, you’ll win a lot of new customers. Here are nine ways to do that.

Send Out a Press Release

Press releases are still viable and important ways to get buzz about your business, even in this day of social media and blogging. Press releases should be sent out to your contacts every time you have something newsworthy to share.

Create and Share an Infographic

Infographics are long, pictorial graphics that tell a story about the data and information that you have. These are great ways to encourage sharing, especially if you include data that is relevant for your audience that they'll enjoy.

Release a Free eBook on Kindle

Having a book launch with a free Kindle book is a great way to create buzz. Ask the people who download the book free to give you a review and feedback, which will help move your book up on the list that Kindle recommends to people.

Create Viral Videos

While you might not be able to just willfully create a viral video, if you create regular videos that are of interest to your audience then one of them is bound to resonate enough to go viral. Videos get shared more often than text, so you're off to the right start when you create videos.

Have a Facebook Contest

Contests are great way to create buzz about your business. You can have them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog... however you want. Just follow the rules of the platform and make sure your prizes are relevant to your audience.

Conduct a Blog Tour

A blog tour is where you plan to place a guest post that is original to the place where you put it, and which is about something you're promoting. The way to set that up is to contact people to join the tour and allow you to post your information on their blog.

Host a Webinar or Teleseminar

These are great ways to build your email list and get buzz about your business. A good way to do it is to ask other people to do them with you. That way you all promote to your own email lists too.

Start a YouTube Channel

A YouTube channel can be almost as good as having a television show if you plan out the content you want to do, post content on a consistent basis, and try to be as professional as possible.

Connect to a Charity

You don't want to do charitable things just because you want to create buzz. But, if there is a charity that you like, you can donate a percentage of proceeds all the time to it, or you can have yearly sales where all proceeds go to the fundraiser.

If you want to create buzz about your business, using social media is a great way to do it. Try these different ways and see what reactions you get. Keep doing new things as often as you can to keep the buzz going.

Using YouTube Videos on Your Website or Blog

U[/thrive_drop_caps]sing YouTube videos on your website or blog, whether yours or someone else’s, is a great idea for helping fill out your site and get more traffic. The following tips provide best practices for using YouTube videos on your website, as well as reasons why you should.

Save Bandwidth

When you use YouTube to host videos, you save an enormous amount of money on bandwidth and secure hosting services. It will be impossible to use shared hosting when you host your own videos, so using YouTube for hosting is a winner right out of the box.

Deliverability Is Higher

When using YouTube to host your videos, you will not have to worry about whether or not your audience can view your videos on multiple devices. Your audience also will not have to download anything. They'll just be able to watch how they like watching.

Provide Commentary

Don't just embed someone's video without making some sort of commentary on the blog post about what's inside the video. Add your thoughts about the video before showing it, and add some commentary after the video also. Also, only use video that belongs to someone else if embedding is allowed.

Embed Your Own Videos

When you publish a video on YouTube, automatically embed it into your blog, on a blog post scheduled for whenever you normally schedule that type of content. By embedding it in your blog, and providing commentary as instructed above for other people's videos, you'll increase viewership exponentially.

Include Snippets

If you see a video that had a point you want to expand on, and that allows embedding, then embed only that part of the video. The system provided by YouTube allows you to choose when to start and end the snippet. Provide your commentary and content in text surrounding the share of this video content. It can be a great catalyst for a blog post. You can even do this with your own videos, giving an added boost to videos already shared.

Choose the Right Location

On your website you probably have different categories for content. Ensure that when you start adding video that you create a category for video, and also subcategories to enable your audience to find the video they want to watch easily based on the topic or subject.

Notify Audience That Video Is Included

Putting in the title of your blog post will enable your audience to know that when they click through they'll see a video. This is useful for many reasons, but one is that search engines like video and apparently so do people. So, if you want that post to rank higher, let everyone know that a video is included.

One Video Per Page

One thing you need to be concerned with when it comes to using video on your website or blog is page speed. Putting too many videos on a page can not only slow page load speed, but also it will confuse your audience. Using one at a time will ensure that focus is maintained.

As you become accustomed to using YouTube to host your videos on and off your page, and use the content that YouTube and its members offer to the public, you'll be able to enhance your website and/or blog in ways you never thought possible.

Using Social Media to Build Your Online Presence

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our online presence is one of the most important ways to market your business to the world. It honestly doesn’t matter whether you have a strictly online business or a bricks and mortar business; using social media is a great way to get the word out about your business and to establish your identity online.

Ensure that Your Brand Matches Throughout

While each social media network has its own personally, your brand is always your brand. You should keep your brand the same, but adjust it slightly to fit in with the personality of the platform. But don't change it too much because you want your audience to recognize you and interact with you.

Keep Your Profile Updated and Complete

Social media networks are always changing so a complete profile today will be incomplete tomorrow. Keep it up-to-date by checking it often, updating the things you have changed, and adding in information as the platform creates new ways for you to share.

Be Consistent with Your Posts

One of the keys to making social media work for you to build your online presence, is putting up regular posts and updates. You want to do it more than once a day on social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter. For example, if you have a blog post you want to share, set it up to share twice in the day instead of only once.

Become an Expert on One or Two Platforms

You can't be everyplace and do it well, so choose one or two platforms where your audience likes to hang out, and become an expert at those systems. You'll do yourself a huge favor. If you can afford to outsource to every social network, it will be fine, but if it's just you, take it easy and become an expert of one or two.

Develop Content Specific for Each Platform

You don't want to rehash the exact same content in the exact same words on each social media network. For example, when you share a blog post you wrote promoting your widget, you want to share it with a special blurb for each different network.

Engage with Others

Don't forget to talk to people on each network. Answer questions, share your knowledge, and interact and engage with them. Social media is supposed to be social. Automation is fine, but you do need to answer people and talk to people in real time, too.

Share Other People's Updates

When someone shares something important that your audience will find interesting, share it. The people you share and congratulate and interact with will do the same for you. Plus, it's another form of content that can help establish expertise.

Join Groups

Most social media networks right now have some forms of groups that you can join. Even Pinterest has group pin boards that you can join. Joining these, then interacting with the people, is a great way to network and get known better.

Social media is an excellent way to build your online presence along with your website and blog. Use the social media to promote what you put on your website, as well as to stimulate sales of your products and services.

Eight Ways to Market Your Biz Online Cheaply

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arketing your business online inexpensively is a real possibility. You can practically market your business for free if you know what to do. That’s why online marketing is so completely awesome and fun. The barriers to entry are low, and even the learning curve is small. So before you know it, you will bring your business to profit with free or cheap marketing.

Content Marketing

This is one of your most important marketing weapons in your arsenal. In fact, you'll use content for all types of marketing including every inexpensive way mentioned below. Content is needed that sells, educates, engages, informs and excites. You need content for all aspects of marketing - up to and including customer relations.

Use Social Media

Social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ all have a place in your online marketing endeavors. Well, they might. You have to determine which social media networks will work for you and it will depend on your niche and your audience. Where do they hang out? Be there.

Blog Often

Blogging is a big source of traffic, and in some instances the only source of traffic for many website owners. It's a great way to get the message out to your audience while not spending much money. You can write the posts yourself or you can outsource. Most people write them themselves when starting out. It can take time to get used to doing it, but writing a post a day can help gain momentum. But you also want to consider doing longer blog posts, less often, to get results.

Remember SEO

If you are not familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), it's important to learn. SEO changes constantly and is how you optimize your website for search engines. There is both on-page and off-page SEO that you can do for your business. Learn all you can about it.

Send Out a Press Release

The good, old-fashioned press release is still a thing, believe it or not. You can still get a lot of value out of sending out free press re-releases if you know how to do it. The trick is to have contacts to which you send the press release directly and not just out to never-never land.

Perfect Your Website

Your website is your store front, and even if you have a bricks and mortar store front, your website is the store front your customers will likely see first. If it doesn't look great, why would anyone purchase from you

Join Relevant Communities

Communities are a great way to get your name out there. There are communities you can join on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as self-hosted and owned "inner circles" and mastermind clubs that you can join. They can help you get known as an expert, as well as help you get more links to your website.

Get Listed

There are directories that are free or inexpensive that you can join to help market your business. Ensure that the directory is niche oriented, and that it is run by a reputable person so that you are listed with other reputable business owners. You don't want to be on a list that is associated with spam. Your local chamber of commerce is one such list that you can get on for the price of your membership.

Finding inexpensive ways to market your business online is a great way to get started. But even after you have a great business, you'll want to keep using these inexpensive ways to market your business.

Software for Webinars

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here is a lot of software to choose from when it comes to conducting webinars. Before you look at the products, write down the features you want the software you use to have, as well as how much money you can afford to spend on the technology that you choose.

Using this software for your webinars is a great choice because it's not expensive. And it has a lot of features that make marketing easier, such as automatic recordings and playbacks so you can record a webinar once and resell it over and over again. They offer a $1.00 trial for a week. Check them out here:  https://smallbusinesscommunity.org/go/instant-teleseminar/

GoToMeeting

This webinar software is a little more expensive but it has the ability to set up webinars easily as well as charge for attending the webinars. It offers top-notch professional features that enable you to run truly professional conferences. However, the space can be more limited without paying a lot more money. Check them out here: http://www.gotomeeting.com/

Zoom.US

We use Zoom exclusively for Webinars and recommend that our clients do the same.  They are priced right and allow you very cool functions like integration with Facebook Live.  Check them out here:  https://smallbusinesscommunity.org/go/zoom/

Adobe Connect

With different plans up to 500 attendees, whiteboards, screen sharing, easy recording capabilities, and a relatively low price compared to other similar services, this is a winning choice for pretty much anyone who wants to do webinars. Check them out here:
http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html

Anymeeting

This free service offers the ability to conduct webinars without having to spend a future. You can upgrade to get more features. Their screen sharing lacks some bells and whistles and the host has to download to use it, but it is sufficient. Check them out here: http://www.anymeeting.com/

ClickWebinar

This very modifiable service allows you to set up webinars that don't look too cookie cutter. But, it's harder to monetize this software than some of the others; however, there are always ways to work around it. Check them out here: http://www.clickwebinar.com/

These various software choices come with many differing benefits and price points. Most of them have a free trial version that you can test out. The best software in the world isn't good enough if you cannot figure out how to use it comfortably.

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