Weekly Bitz: The Risk of DIY Marketing and 5 Digital Mistakes to Avoid

Weekly Bitz: The Risk of DIY Marketing and 5 Digital Mistakes to Avoid

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

The Risk of DIY Marketing is Doing it Wrong (March 14, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “Most small businesses choose to approach online marketing with a do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality. From managing social media, website updates, listing management (Google My Business, Yelp, etc.) and more, DIY is the cost-effective approach. However, new research shows that many small businesses are overlooking critical and fundamental aspects of any marketing strategy.”

5 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (March 16, 2018)
Arvig Media: “Businesses need to be more focused and determined on their digital marketing strategies. This is the only way to generate substantial gains in growth and profit and boost the reputation of your website to your target audience. Otherwise, chances are, you might never be able to generate enough attention to rank higher on the search engine results pages of Google.”

How to Write Small Business Marketing Copy that Makes Customers Buy (March 12, 2018)
Business 2 Commmunity: “For many small businesses, writing your own marketing copy becomes the sensible, practical move. Maybe it’s what makes sense for the budget, or maybe there’s someone within the business who has the previous experience to be able to pull this off.”

YouTube for Business: Everything You Need to Know (March 12, 2018)
Business News Daily: “YouTube is a social networking platform that allows users to upload their own video content and interact with other users’ videos. The platform, which was launched in 2005 by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jawed Karim, is web-based, and also has a high-performing mobile application. Google bought the platform a year later, which is why YouTube accounts are linked to Google Plus.”

8 Tips for Optimizing Your Mobile Emails (March 12, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “There’s no doubt about it: these days, your messages are most likely going to be opened on a mobile device. The trend has been heading in that direction for quite a while, and it was confirmed in a study conducted by Return Path last summer of 27 billion email opens. As Email Marketing Daily reported: “Fifty-five percent of emails analyzed during the study period were opened on a mobile device — an increase from 29% identified in a similar study in 2012.” Other studies have indicated the percentage is even higher.”

Weekly Bitz: Effective Ways to Conquer Local SEO and Tips to Optimizing Your Small Business Mobile Site

Weekly Bitz: Effective Ways to Conquer Local SEO and Tips to Optimizing Your Small Business Mobile Site

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

Effective Ways to Conquer Local SEO (March 6, 2018)
Arvig Media: “Local SEO is a highly effective form of online marketing, which enables businesses of all sizes to promote their products and services to local customers. While mastering the local aspects of your SEO campaign may sound daunting, it’s one of the best ways to help your business achieve great success. Are you looking for ways to conquer local SEO?”

What Does Facebook’s Newsfeed Update Mean for Your Social Strategy? (March 7, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook would be once again changing the news feed algorithm. Now, there will be more priority on content from “friends, family, and groups”, meaning that Pages will be less visible. While this may be a good thing for consumers who are tired of seeing their feeds inundated with commercial content – it’s not a good thing for businesses that rely on Facebook marketing to connect with current and prospective customers.”

5 Ways to Bootstrap SEO When You’re on a Tight Budget (March 6, 2018)
Entrepreneur: “Every business should be implementing SEO strategies in order to improve their website’s search engine rankings. But unfortunately, there are a lot of marketers and small-business owners who are not. Why? Many of them use the “it’s out of my budget” excuse to justify their decision to ignore SEO. However, SEO is more cost-effective than many other forms of marketing, including pay-per-click ads and social media marketing.”

Google for Business: A Small Business Guide (March 6, 2018)
Business News Daily: “Google helps you find just about everything you could possibly need. Hungry? Find the closest restaurant near you. In the mood to shop? Browse the latest sales. Wondering what your boss just meant by the acronym she used? Look up possible meanings.”

5 Tips to Optimizing Your Small Business Mobile Site (March 5, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “If your small business has not yet optimized the mobile user experience for your site, the time has come. Mobile-friendly sites are no longer an option, but a necessity whose need is continuing to grow. Currently, mobile usage accounts for 71% of all online time in the United States, which means your small business must accommodate mobile users to stay competitive.”

Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Small Business

Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Small Business

BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey detailed that an overwhelming amount of consumers (97%) read online reviews for local businesses in 2017. Which begs the question for small businesses: How important are online reviews, and how much do they impact a consumer’s purchasing journey?

Not only can positive reviews help build trust with potential customers, but they can increase your web visibility and search ranking. Additionally, in 2017, Small Business Trends reported that positive comments from customers or clients produce an average increase in sales of 18% and that consumers are likely to spend 31% more because of positive reviews.

Consumers are looking at reviews at a rapid pace, and 85% are beginning to trust them as much as personal recommendations. Reviews, both positive and negative, are beginning to have a significant impact on whether or not consumers will use a local business. As seen in the chart below, 68% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to trust a business. In turn, 40% say that negative customer reviews make them not want to use a local business.

How Online Customer Reviews Influence a Consumer’s Decision to Use a Local Business

It’s important for your small business to acquire positive reviews in order to both gain new customers, as well as help drive their search traffic. Positive reviews also help build trust with your customer base, and provides a platform for your customers to have a voice. They also help solidify your reputation within your respective market, and build loyalty to your brand. As consumers become more engaged with online research prior to purchase, it’s important for you to prepare for this change.

Google’s Growing Suite of Free SMB Marketing Tools

Google’s Growing Suite of Free SMB Marketing Tools

In an effort to help small businesses connect better with their customers online, Google is promoting five non-advertising tools to create and manage a business’ online presence. The free tools, which Google released last year, provide a number of benefits and help highlight the uniqueness of an individual business to potential customers.

The tools serve various purposes: improve the search experience, help small businesses (SMBs) reach and engage with customers, and generate more original content on Google. Additionally, the tools can be managed via Google My Business (GMB).

The first of the tools, and arguably the most valuable, the website developer allows SMBs to create a website for their business within minutes. In roughly the first month, according to Mike Blumenthal, Google saw the creation of approximately 250,000 websites. This is a dramatic pace — many thousands of sites per day.

The website is created using information generated directly from a GMB listing, and can be edited with custom text, photos and various design elements. Users can choose a custom domain, and manage their website from any device. All of the sites are mobile responsive, and update automatically with new information from GMB listings.

Posts, another tool offered, allows users to engage in unique ways with their current customers, and helps attract new customers. Whether you’re looking to highlight daily featured items, or promote upcoming events, Posts allows users to share relevant updates in real time. These posts then appear on your Google business listing, where customers can read and share them.

The Questions and Answers feature allows businesses to add frequently asked questions to their GMB listing. The tool allows businesses to curate the content by featuring the most common or important question and answers prominently on the GMB listing.

Another resource, the Business Dashboard, provides a means for business owners to regulate their online presence on Google directly from Google Search. Users can enhance their business listings, share relevant photos and posts, and monitor views. The Business Dashboard is designed to help businesses grow their customer base and increase engagement.

To assist customers looking to contact your business quickly, the Messaging tool allows customers to text a business directly on the GMB listing. Business owners can then respond promptly, and provide immediate, useful feedback. Phone numbers remain private when using this feature, so customers can communicate safely and easily.

These features appear to be geared towards cost-conscious businesses with an appetite for DIY marketing. However, given Google’s prominence in the local marketing space, these tools offer powerful ways for businesses to engage with potential customers online. It will be interesting to see how adoption of these tools and the content generated from them impact search results.

Making the Most of LinkedIn for Your Small Business

Making the Most of LinkedIn for Your Small Business

If you’re thinking about adding LinkedIn to your marketing plan, but aren’t sure how to best utilize its features to benefit your small business, you aren’t alone. With over 500 million users, LinkedIn is a great platform with numerous amount of ways to connect, promote and grow your small business.

The goal with LinkedIn is to make it easy for people to find you, and to do that, you’ll need to fill out as much information as possible for your company’s page profile. The more information available, the more potential customers can learn about your company and what sets it apart from the competition. Highlight your businesses’ unique story, mission, and company culture, as it will ultimately help build trust in your brand. Include brief descriptions of both products and services, using keywords that highlight your businesses’ experience and skills.

Once your company profile is complete, it’s time to start attracting followers and promoting your page. Be sure to announce the launch of your new company page on your personal LinkedIn profile, and encourage your employees to do the same. According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees garners eight times more engagement than the brand sharing it.

Cross promotion across multiple social channels is another great way to showcase your company page. Providing a link to ‘follow’ on your company’s website, as well as in marketing emails and newsletters can also prove beneficial.

So you’ve created your company page, promoted it and gained some followers, what’s next? Now’s the time to start creating and sharing content. Remember, content is king, so the more of it you have, the better. According to Hootsuite, more than 1 million people utilize LinkedIn’s publishing platform, sharing over 130,000 posts per week, so it’s important to find unique ways to stand out from your competition. Be sure to include relevant links and images within your posts, as both increase engagement (45% and 98%, respectively) tremendously. To ensure that your followers have a sufficient amount of content to engage with, make sure you’re staying updated and posting consistently. When a post is well received, you may want to consider promoting it using LinkedIn Sponsored Content to further its visibility with a broader audience.

If you come across a roadblock on what to write about, consider posing questions to your followers: What do they want to learn more about? What questions do they have regarding your industry? You want to establish your business as a resource that people can trust and learn from, and what better way to accomplish this than by being direct. You’ll also be providing your followers with a unique perspective by sharing your opinions and expertise.

Having a solid profile with informative content is excellent, but it’s not enough. It’s also very important to engage in relevant groups, as it will help build credibility and establish your business as an expert in your field of work. It’s a great forum for growing your community of followers, and engaging in meaningful discussions that relate to your industry. Make sure the groups you join are active, and that you can provide added value to them. Avoid self-promoting content, as it will hinder your mission, not help it. Remember, you’re simply looking to showcase yourself as an expert in your field, not boast about your brand.

When utilized correctly, LinkedIn serves as an invaluable networking resource for small businesses. Establishing your SMB as an innovator in your respective field through LinkedIn will provide you with endless possibilities for growth.