How To Implement Product-Led Marketing For Your Business

Product-Led-Marketing

Product-led marketing has become increasingly prevalent as businesses have shifted their focus from acquiring new customers to retaining and increasing sales with their existing customer base. This shift is driven by the fact that it is far easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones.

Product-led marketing is a great way to grow your business. It is worth considering if you’re looking for a growth strategy that specifically helps you acquire and retain customers. This article will discuss the basics of product-led marketing, including its benefits and how to implement it in your business.

Product-Led Marketing And Its Benefits For Businesses

Product-Led-Marketing

Product-led marketing (PLM) is a strategy focusing on promoting and selling a product or service through its features and benefits rather than through advertising or other marketing efforts. It is a data- and customer-driven approach that puts the product at the center of your growth strategy, causing product-led growth. This contrasts traditional marketing, which focuses on the customer first and the product second.

In other words, product-led marketing is all about letting the product sell itself. To be successful with product-led marketing, it is essential for the product to be truly differentiated, offering a unique value proposition. Product-led businesses are usually built around a freemium model, where the basic features are free and customers can pay, or upgrade, to access the premium features. This allows customers to try the product before they commit to paying for it, which reduces the barriers to entry.

Steps Businesses Need To Take To Implement Product-Led Marketing

To successfully implement product-led marketing, here are some key steps you need to take:

Step One: Define Your Target Market

The first step in any marketing strategy is to define your target market. You need to ensure that your product appeals to your target market. To do this, you need to carry out market research to understand your prospects’ needs and wants. This will let you know if your customers will love your product.

Step Two: Identify A Market Gap You Can Fill

Once you know what your target market wants, you need to make sure your product solves their problem. Make changes to your product to ensure it fills a gap in the market. Your product should also solve a problem better than any other product on the market. This will make it more appealing to your target market.

You need to focus on promoting the features and benefits of your product rather than on selling it. You are much more likely to generate interest in it. Customers should feel that they are getting something valuable from your product, not that they are being sold to. This increases the likelihood of making sales.

Step Three: Build A Great Team

A product is only as good as the team behind it. To create a successful product, you need to assemble a great team of talented individuals with different skills and experiences. This will ensure that all aspects of the product are covered, from design to marketing.

Step Four: Promote Your Product

You need to promote your product to your target market to let them know it exists. The aim of your promotion should be to generate interest in your product and get people talking about it. The more people know about your product, the more likely they will use it.

There are many ways to make sure your product is easy to discover, including the following:

  • Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure your product appears in search results when potential customers are looking for a product like yours.
  • Create informative and keyword-rich product pages on your website.
  • Create social media profiles and pages for your product.
  • Invest in paid advertising to promote your product.

Step Five: Get Feedback From Users

It’s important to get feedback from users of your product because this will help you to improve it. Some ways to get feedback include online surveys, user testing, and social media. Feedback makes the product more user-friendly. It’s also important to listen to feedback when it comes to pricing, as this can be a sensitive issue for users.

Step Six: Analyze Your Data

Data is a key part of product-led marketing as it can help you understand how your product is being used. Data is essential in identifying new marketing opportunities and making changes to the product that will benefit the user.

Step Seven: Always Be Improving

The final step in product-led marketing is to keep making improvements. In other words, constantly make changes to the product based on feedback and data. It’s important to never rest on your laurels and always look for ways to improve the product. This will keep users happy and ensure they continue using your product.

Product-led marketing takes some focus to succeed. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can create a successful product and build a loyal customer base.

Benefits Of Using A Product-Led Marketing Strategy

Product-Led-Marketing

There are many benefits to implementing a product-led marketing strategy for your business, including the following:

  • Reduced Marketing Costs

Product-led marketing encourages word of mouth. This is perhaps the most valuable benefit as it can help you attract new customers without spending any money on marketing. If your product makes the customer happy, they are likely to tell other people about it, which can help increase your customer base without additional effort.

This can help you to save on marketing costs since, instead of spending money on advertising and other marketing efforts, you can invest that money into developing and improving your product. This will save you money in the long run and ensure that your product is of the highest quality possible, which is essential for attracting and retaining customers.

  • Better Customer Relationships

Another benefit of product-led marketing is that it can help you to build a stronger relationship with your customers. When customers feel they are being sold to, they are often turned off and may even seek a competitor. However, when they feel they are being given information about a product that can genuinely improve their lives, they are much more likely to develop a positive relationship with the company. This can lead to loyalty and repeat business, which are essential for any business.

  • Faster Time To Market

Traditional marketing strategies can take months or even years to implement, whereas you can implement product-led marketing much faster. This is because product-led companies focus on building a product that customers will love rather than spending time and money on marketing campaigns.

Summary

To sum up, product-led marketing can be a powerful growth strategy for your business due to its numerous benefits, but it’s important to keep the above things in mind to be successful. If you’re thinking about using it to grow your business, make sure you take the time to understand the strategy and how you can apply it to your business.

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Small Business Deliveries Amid Supply Chain Delays

Small-Business-Deliveries

The last few years have been tumultuous to say the least, with a combination of pandemic-related disruption and other economic and political pressures placing unprecedented strain on global supply chains. In spite of this, it is possible for small business deliveries to account for potential hold-ups and satisfy customers. Let’s talk about what tools and techniques are available to organizations of all sizes that want to fight back against shipping delays.

Working with Third Parties to Guarantee Next Day Delivery

Consumer expectations have grown exponentially, and if customers are able to order goods online from your website, then offering next-day or even same-day delivery is becoming a base level service that even smaller companies must provide.

Enabling this in-house is often impractical and prohibitively expensive, which is why lots of organizations work with overnight courier services to get the job done.

As well as taking charge of the actual delivery of products, modern providers are capable of encompassing other elements of the supply chain, including warehousing. This reduces the budgetary burden that small business deliveries have to bear in order to ship items to customers quickly.

Being Realistic about Delivery Windows

Small-Business-Deliveries

Speed isn’t everything when it comes to keeping customers happy at the delivery stage. In fact it’s arguably more important to give them a precise idea of when their package will arrive, regardless of whether that’s in a day, a week, or a month.

Everyone appreciates honesty from the companies they use, and if you know that supply chain delays are throwing a spanner in the works for your operations, there’s no point over-promising in the hope of luring shoppers away from competitors.

Of course you need to think about this from the other direction as well; if you don’t give customers any indication of when their delivery is due, that’s just as unhelpful as being imprecise or overly optimistic.

The point is that by keeping customers in the loop, and also providing updates on any delays as soon as possible, you’ll nip the potential for discord in the bud rather than allowing it to bloom and do damage to brand loyalty.

Planning for Seasonal Shifts in Demand Small Business Deliveries

Another must-do for any small business is the act of putting a plan in place to deal with peak periods of business, usually focused around particular events throughout the year as well as the holidays.

It’s not just a case of knowing that the number of orders you receive will rise at these times and making internal preparations, but also managing relationships with third parties to accommodate the challenges you’ll face.

For example, if you know that the couriers that you usually use for next-day delivery will be swamped after a certain date, setting a deadline for orders to be placed for fulfillment prior to this on your site will sidestep customer consternation.

Tracking Changes to Availability in Real Time

Your inventory will likely change rapidly, and when supply chain delays are a looming issue, you cannot afford any inaccuracies in this arena. A customer seeing that an item is in stock on the product page, only to find that it’s unavailable when they reach the checkout, will be rightly disgruntled.

Likewise if you only reorder best-selling goods from suppliers once they have sold out, you’ll face a time lag between restocking, during which time you’ll miss out on sales unnecessarily.

As such you have to invest in the latest systems that let you track changes to the availability of products in real time, and also be proactive about restocking the hottest items in your inventory.

Rectifying Delivery Dilemmas by Demonstrating that You Value Customers

It’s not possible to completely eliminate mistakes from the operations of any small business, so it pays to be prepared to deal with the aftermath of snafus.

This is particularly important when it comes to deliveries, as even small delays or missteps can leave customers feeling frustrated.

Those that do experience a less-than-stellar service, whether it’s the fault of your company or one of your partners in the delivery process, should be compensated. This could mean providing a discount off their next order, or an offer code to receive free shipping.

As well as patching up a rocky period in your relationship with a customer, this is a good way of increasing the likelihood that they’ll come back for more in the future.

Keeping Delivery Costs Low

Small-Business-Deliveries

In among the supply chain delays, consumers have also had to contend with the gradual increase in the price of shipping from the businesses that they buy from.

This is an inevitable knock-on result of issues like rising inflation and growing fuel costs. But this also gives companies an opportunity to make themselves more conspicuously pro-customer by offering affordable or even free delivery.

The added perk of providing inexpensive shipping as an option at the checkout, or even as the only service available, is that it will temper the expectations of shoppers. Any service which does not cost them extra cash also won’t need to be especially swift.

There are ways to factor in the price you’ll pay as a business for supplying free delivery to customers. Rebalancing pricing on certain popular products, or making efficiency improvements to the way you run your warehousing, will give you the wiggle room you require to justify this.

The Last Word on Small Business Deliveries

Up and coming companies have to be competitive with global competitors when it comes to shipping if they want to gain momentum. Customers won’t stand for sub-par service quality more than once, and even known supply chain delays aren’t enough of an excuse these days.

You don’t have to overcome this obstacle alone, and there are meaningful ways to work around it which require proper planning and preparation, as well as regular reviews of key performance indicators to see if there’s even more room for improvement. This will leave you with a more robust and resilient business as a result.

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On-Demand vs. Automated Webinars: Which Suits Your Business?

Webinars

Many businesses today are considering webinars as a tool for reaching a wider audience. That’s because they’re a cost-effective way of bringing your business big rewards.  For starters, hosting a webinar allows you to show your expertise in your field. Talking to existing and potential clients about your business builds a good brand reputation that’ll help you gain and retain customers.

In addition, while webinars aren’t about making a hard sell, they’re a good way of generating and converting leads. This is because sharing information about your business, services, and products increases engagement, which promotes lead generation and conversion. 

Nonetheless, deciding whether to host an automated or on-demand webinar can be challenging because they can share similar benefits. If you’re unsure which of these two webinar types is best for your business, this article is for you. This post explores automated webinar and on-demand webinar to help you determine the one that suits your business best. Stick around to find out more.

Understanding Webinars And How They Work

Webinars

A webinar, also called a web seminar, is a video conference that businesses use to educate, train, or demonstrate an idea or concept. They help you reach existing and potential clients in a way that adds value. They’re also a convenient way of reaching larger audiences worldwide despite their geographical locations.

Webinars work similarly to in-person workshops, save for the face-to-face experience that characterizes the latter. They often involve a host, a panel of participants, and attendees. The role of the host is to facilitate the discussion. The panel, meanwhile, is responsible for presenting their ideas within the designated time frame.

On the other hand, attendees watch the webinar and interact with panelists via chat or, in some instances, audio. The average webinar has 100 attendees, but some can have up to 500 viewers. The majority of webinars are free, but some charge a registration fee.

Automated Webinars Vs. On-Demand Webinars

Automated webinars are pre-recorded events scheduled to begin and run automatically at a specific time with or without a host, panelists, or attendees. In this type of webinar, the host determines the content they’d like to present. This can be a presentation, a survey, a pre-recorded video, or a third-party program recording. The nature of an automated webinar requires attendees to join the webinar at the specified time to avoid missing the beginning.

In contrast, an on demand webinar doesn’t have a specific schedule despite being pre-recorded. Instead, once the webinar has been recorded, the host sends it to the participants. This provides them unlimited access to the content and allows them to join the event at their most convenient time.

Benefits Of Automated Webinars

  • They’re Efficient And Time-Saving

Automated webinars cut back on the tasks required to run a successful webinar, which saves time. For example, deciding to play an automated third-party program recording or a presentation minimizes the need for a host. This leaves you with more time to plan the next webinar or answer questions from your attendees, thus increasing engagement. 

  • They Enhance Customer Service

Customer service is critical to any business. Excellent service increases customer engagement, lead generation, and lead conversion. An automated webinar improves customer service by granting you ample time to respond effectively to your customers’ requests. This translates to good customer support, which is vital to customer satisfaction.

Additionally, automated webinars facilitate efficiency during the registration process, ensuring that registered attendees can access your webinar without trouble. Consequently, satisfying your customers’ needs enhances customer service and increases brand loyalty, allowing your business to thrive.

  • They Offer Convenience 

The success of your business is dependent on more than just webinars. Nonetheless, for your business to flourish, it’s essential to ensure your webinars are successful. The convenience of automated webinars is one of the ways you can accomplish that.

Automated webinars help you reap the benefits of connecting with your clients without working too hard. For example, because the webinar is pre-recorded, you can run it without hosting it. Instead, you get to focus on responding to your customer’s questions and concerns promptly. 

In addition, you can also take advantage of the real-time feedback to pre-record another webinar. This helps you increase engagement because your viewers see their opinions being considered, thus making them more inclined to associate with you.

Benefits Of On-Demand Webinars

Webinars

  • They Increase Lead Generation and Conversion

As mentioned above, on-demand webinars allow attendees to access a webinar anytime. This is convenient to most individuals because of their varying schedules. It also means that your attendees join the webinar because they want to, not because they’re required to.

Additionally, attendance increases because attendees can join at their convenience. This increases lead generation and makes it easy for you to convert them into customers because they’re genuinely interested in what you offer.

  • They Enable You To Concentrate On Other High-Level Tasks

The nature of on-demand webinars also means that you spend less time running the webinar and more time fulfilling critical tasks. For example, while your customers attend the webinar, you and your staff can attend to other duties.

Since your operating hours and the time the attendees are on the webinar may not match, you can ensure that your business’s needs won’t be neglected. Additionally, it gives you and your team time to brainstorm more creative ideas for upcoming webinars. This helps you enhance engagement and promote lead generation.

Which Between On-Demand And Automated Webinars Is Better For Your Business?

On-demand and automated webinars are an excellent way to grow your audience. However, choosing between on-demand and automated webinars can be challenging because both benefit your business immensely. The primary difference between these webinars is that the former is accessible at any time, while the latter has a specified time for attendees to join.

Therefore, an on-demand webinar is more convenient if you’re dealing with a wide range of clients from different continents. This is because their different time zones don’t affect their ability to join your webinar, as access is unlimited. If your client’s time zones aren’t an issue, then either type of webinar would suit your business.

In Summary

Webinars are a convenient tool for reaching a wider audience. Besides being cost-effective, they help you build a good brand reputation while increasing engagement and generating leads. Choosing between an automated and on-demand webinar can be challenging because both offer similar benefits, including convenience and efficiency.

Their only difference is that automated webinars have a specific schedule for attendees to join an event, unlike on-demand webinars. Therein lies the basis for your decision on which suits your business best. If your clients’ time zones aren’t a factor, feel free to experiment with both webinars to discover the one with more potential.

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How Can Your Small Business Benefit From eSignature Solutions?

eSignature

Every business, small or large, has a lot of paperwork to deal with in everyday operations. For instance, managers must sign contracts with various suppliers and service providers. They also need to sign customer forms to agree with their content. An electronic signature (eSignature) is the most effective way to sign company documents.

An Overview Of eSignature Solutions

ESignature is a process of signing digital files, and it’s an equivalent of a handwritten signature. In other words, it’s an electronic indication of an individual’s intention to agree to the content of an online file. It, therefore, enables one to sign legally binding contracts without printed papers. Some situations you may use for eSignature solutions include sales agreements, invoice processing, new hire documentation, vendor contracts, purchase orders, etc.

To create eSignatures, you must utilize an electronic signature generator. This is an automation tool you can use to sign online documents. It allows you to type your signature, download it, and attach it to your files. And the good thing about such a tool is that it allows you to customize your signature to make it unique.

Benefits Of eSignature Solutions For Your Small Business

eSignature

Your enterprise can benefit in various ways by leveraging the power of eSignature technology. They include the following.

Helps Reduce Cost

Reducing costs is one of the most effective approaches to ensure your small company continues to thrive. When you minimize expenses, you can save money and promote your firm’s profitability. For that reason, ensure you find effective ways to keep costs at the lowest level possible. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by shifting to eSignature solutions.

Signing documents online enables you to minimize expenses in many ways. For instance, it eliminates the need to deal with physical files. As such, you won’t need to purchase things like printing machines, ink, and paper. Everything will happen online, including creating, signing, and sending files to users.

Additionally, signing documents online means storing them on the cloud. Therefore, you won’t have to hire a large storage space. A small one will just be enough for a few files you may want to store in your office. That helps reduce your rental expense.

You also need to note that dealing with physical documents requires you to hire delivery services anytime you want to send them to users. And that attracts extra costs. On the other hand, eSignature solutions enable you to send documents online, eliminating the need for document delivery services. All these go a long way toward ensuring you reduce expenses to maximize the profits of your small business.

Helps Save Time

You’re wasting a lot of time if you still use traditional document signatures. For instance, you must spend several hours printing documents, signing them, and then scanning them again if you want to transfer them through online platforms. If that isn’t the case, you might keep running up and down searching for delivery services to help send your files to recipients. That leads to a waste of time.

Besides, signing documents in the traditional way probably implies that you’re storing physical files in your office. That also can take much of your time, especially when arranging large volumes of documents in your office. It can also come with many hassles as you try to locate a single document from piles of files.

ESignature solutions can help you to save time. For instance, you don’t have to print the documents to sign them. You can do it online in seconds. And because you can share the signed documents online, you won’t need to keep traveling to find document delivery services. That way, you can save a lot of time, which can be utilized to complete other important tasks.

Improves Document Security

Sticking to traditional signatures exposes your documents to a lot of security issues. For instance, unauthorized persons may access your company’s information, especially when you leave documents on printing machines. Also, your files may fall into the wrong hands with delivery services. All these expose your business data to security issues. That’s why you need to invest in electronic signature solutions.

With eSignatures, you won’t necessarily have to deal with physical documents. You can send them only to the intended recipients through online portals. And because most digital document-sharing platforms have the added layers of identity verification and file encryption, you won’t be worried about cybersecurity attacks. That ensures you improve the security of your documents or company’s information.

Provides Better Customer Experience

eSignature

You must be careful about customer experience and satisfaction when running your small business. With poor customer experience, your small business will barely take off the ground.

Using traditional signatures can hurt your customers’ experience in many ways. For instance, they might be forced to keep going to the postal offices or come to your office to pick up the documents you want them to sign. That harms their convenience and flexibility, and you might lose them.

You must understand that customers will always want to do business with companies with electronic services. It’s, therefore, necessary to shift to eSignature solutions. It’ll make customers happier, thus enhancing your retention rate.

Ensures Compliance

Another great benefit of eSignature solutions is that it helps your small business to comply with legal requirements. As companies continue to use technology, so are many regulations drafted regarding the collection and transfer of personal information. It might not be easy to comply with some of these regulations when using physical documents and traditional signatures.

On the other hand, most eSignature solutions are built with most of the data regulations in mind. Therefore, you won’t be worried about noncompliance. You’ll always remain compliant with the relevant guidelines when dealing with customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders’ information.

Takeaway

Small businesses face a lot of challenges. Therefore, any strategy that can help save your company should be implemented. And one of them is eSignature solutions.

As detailed above, there are several benefits of eSignatures for your enterprise. However, you must ensure you find the most suitable solutions.

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How to Start a Retail Company in 4 Steps

Retail-Company

In today’s time, numerous opportunities and available tools have made starting a business easier for anyone. In whatever industry you plan to build your brand and company, it is always important first to make yourself equipped with what’s needed for you to be able to catch up to existing similar businesses. A retail company, in particular, provides target customers with small quantities of products and services made available in-store, online, or both. Some retail businesses include supermarkets, clothing stores, department stores, and many others. If you plan to start your own retail company, here are some steps you may need to know.

1. Create a Business Plan

Before starting a business, different ideas about what products to create and what services to offer can come to mind simultaneously. One way to organize these thoughts and ideas is by creating an effective business plan. A business plan helps entrepreneurs document and set up necessary information about the business to create. This may include the following:

  • Business Concept. The business concept section of a business plan includes information about the company itself, which may include the form of business organization, vision and mission, business model canvas, target market, and the proposed product or services.  
  • Business Environment. The business environment section explains the different factors that affect and contribute to the business. Some of these factors may include economic, social, technological, legal factors, etc.  

Including a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat Analysis, also known as SWOT analysis, is vital to prepare your business for possible successes and challenges in the future. 

  • Marketing Plan. A marketing plan includes a thorough discussion of product descriptions, prices, budget, the location of the business, promotions, sales plans, and competitions. The price section of the marketing plan presents the amount needed for raw materials and the pricing strategy used in the business.  
  • Operations Plan. The operations plan explains the actions needed in each operation of the business. This section includes the hours of operation, process flows, material requirements for the business to operate, and the business layout, if applicable.  

When looking up what retail business to create, looking up what is most needed and the trend in your location can best help you decide what business to pursue. For example, in America, grocery stores, electronic shops, and home furnishing businesses are one of the highest-operated retail businesses in the country.  

Similarly, in Australia, the consumer goods retailing industry has generated over $239 million in revenue this year. Thus business owners, especially groceries and the like, are investing in needed materials and equipment for their businesses to operate efficiently. This includes proper shelving equipment and racks, accurate and reliable retail weighing scales, etc., to ensure that they provide fast and honest services to their customers.

2. Register the Business

Retail-Company

After creating a business plan, for sure you now have enough knowledge about what your business is all about and its operations. Making your retail business official means registering it. To do this, you must set your business name and determine the business’s legal structure, which is already part of your business plan under the form of organization section.

In choosing your business’s structure, consulting a business attorney or an accountant to guide you is necessary. This legal structure can determine the tax, liabilities, and certain classifications that regulate your business. Legal business structures include Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Liability Company, and Corporation.

Moreover, obtaining documents like retail licenses and permits is also necessary. Business insurance is also of great help to ensure that the business and your employees are protected should common risks occur.

3. Pick a Location for Your Retail Company

The location of your retail business can determine its profitability. Is your store accessible to your target market? Is it a safe location for an established business, or is it better suited for a startup? These are just some of the questions you can use as a guide when choosing a location for your physical store.

Looking closely at your target market, their location, and common interests are some of the aspects you’d want to prioritize for your business locations. Try looking at a safe, accessible space that can match your retail business’s concept and your budget.

Another way to grow your business is by building your online presence. If your business allows, you can also set up an online shop through social media or a business website. That way, you can easily transact, connect, and attend to customer concerns, generating more customer leads and business profit.

4. Hire Employees for Your Retail Company

Hiring the right employees will help you and your business to operate smoothly. Depending on your retail business needs, hiring employees that can work efficiently, provide excellent services to customers, and are knowledgeable about what they do are qualities you should look up to.

Setting up specific skills, abilities, experiences, and many others through a job description is one great way to help you find the right employees for your retail business. This way, you can easily match up staff that can satisfy your business goals and operations. 

Conclusion on Starting a Retail Company

Knowing and following the steps to starting a retail company can help make the journey more manageable. Establishing your own business can equate to learning and exploring different ways to achieve growth and success. All you have to do is follow steps that can work well with your business’s initial goals and purpose; other processes will likely follow. 

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10 Different Ways to Get the Most From Your Marketing Budget

Marketing-Budget

Whether you are looking to expand your business or are getting ready to release a new product into the market, marketing is vital to engaging with your audience, creating awareness, and boosting sales. But without proper management, your marketing efforts can end up underperforming. And, in the worst-case scenario, even drain your company’s budget! Luckily, as a small business owner, there are steps you can take to ensure that your marketing budget is optimized. Learn how in the guide below. 

Carry Out Thorough Marketing Research and Set Clear Goals

Blindly redirecting a portion of your revenue to marketing can turn your well-planned marketing efforts into a money pit. To better manage risks, consider spending time to research your competitors’ marketing strategies, analyze current market trends, and study your target consumer’s behavior.

You can then use these insights to make more informed business decisions and minimize the risk of making the wrong marketing investment. 

Use a Performance Marketing Agency

Marketing-Budget

While each business’s strategy is unique, there are a few key marketing truths worth keeping in mind. These are:

  • In today’s overcrowded digital landscape, the help of a professional marketer is invaluable;
  • Marketing efforts should be data-driven and performance-based.

So, when choosing a marketing company to work with, you should look for an agency that leverages a performance-based approach. But, what exactly is performance marketing?

Performance marketing is described as an approach to the digital market that focuses on results. Digital marketing companies operating in this way often use KPIs and multichannel indicators to continuously adjust their marketing efforts and optimize the chances of success. 

Be Clear About Your Marketing Budget

When it comes down to setting up your marketing budget, there is no “one size fits all” formula you can rely on. However, according to estimations, B2B companies spend 2-5% of their revenue on marketing, while B2C tend to spend around 5-10% of their revenue.

Of course, your digital marketing expenditure should vary depending on multiple factors, including the nature of your business (i.e.: online-based vs brick-and-mortar businesses), target audience, and future goals. Nonetheless, once you have set your budget, it is important to stick to it and prevent infructuous marketing efforts from draining your budget. 

Upcycle Your Content and Marketing Material

It is undeniable that high-quality content is a vital element of any marketing campaign. Whether it is video marketing, blog posts, Instagram reels, or Tweets, content is critical to engage with your audience, hook viewers, and spread brand awareness.

However, creating new content can be costly – especially if your editorial calendar requires you to produce new videos and posts on a daily basis. That is why you should have a content upcycling strategy ready to deploy!

To utilize material you already have, consider updating cornerstone and evergreen articles, repurposing videos you already have, or posting old material on different platforms. In any case, make sure that the content you decide to post is still relevant!

Experiment and Test Your Assumptions

Marketing is both a science and an art, and getting your strategy right from the start isn’t always possible. That is why you should be open and ready to experiment with different materials, landing pages, email copy types, and call-to-actions.

A/B testing – also known as split testing – can help you compare how your audience reacts to different marketing efforts, thus preventing you from misspending most of your budget on inefficient projects and campaigns. 

Monitor Progress and Track Your KPIs

One of the best ways to get the most out of your marketing budget is to track essential indicators and KPIs. Although these KPIs may vary depending on your marketing goals and business nature, some of the key ones worth tracking include:

  • Revenue and sales changes
  • Number of Leads
  • Customer Acquisition Cost
  • Sales Cycle Length
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Return on Investment 
  • Return on Ad Spend
  • Cost Per Lead
  • Lead to Customer Ratio

Be Ready To Pivot and Adjust Your Strategy

Marketing-Budget

Data-driven marketing strategies are one of the best alternatives to drive business growth. Nonetheless, no matter how much research you have done, any marketing investment comes with a significant level of risk. And, this is true for both small businesses with limited marketing budgets and large corporations with an international reputation to protect.

That is why it is crucial to be ready to pivot and adjust your strategy even as your campaign is already running! Be sure to have a contingency plan in place to reduce reputation damages and financial losses. 

Leverage Free or Inexpensive Marketing Tools

Thanks to the advent of inexpensive web hosting platforms and social media platforms, most tech-savvy business owners and entrepreneurs today have access to free or affordable marketing tools.

Establishing a social media community, using SEO techniques to improve your website, and striving to secure a spot in Google’s Local 3-pack are all great options to start building an online presence for your business on a budget. 

Get Involved With the Local Community

Establishing a company is certainly not a one-person job. And, there is no doubt that, to succeed as a small business owner, you’ll need the support of your local community. That is why for growing businesses, community involvement is a lifeline.

Aside from creating meaningful connections with your direct target audience, getting involved with the community can improve your business’s reputation, enhance your public image, and gain the trust and loyalty of local customers.

If you are unsure how to get started, great ways to get involved with the community include:

  • Partnering with local charities
  • Offering pro-bono services to low-income households
  • Launching charitable initiatives
  • Being present at local events and festivals
  • Partnering with other businesses in the area to offer added value and discounts to customers.

Think Outside the Box with Your Marketing Budget

The tips above can help you optimize your marketing budget. But if the competition begins to feel overwhelming, be sure to make a conscious effort to think outside of the box. And, don’t forget that, in marketing, no idea is too creative or unorthodox! After all, Alexis Ohanian managed to create the Reddit empire with a $500 marketing budget and memorable stickers!

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10 Tools That Will Help You Improve SEO Strategy

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is widely used to improve business marketing operations. Visibility has always been at the core of thriving businesses. With the rapid expansion of e-commerce, brand visibility and online presence go hand in hand.

SEO is a viable and affordable way to drive organic traffic to your website. Even though it is easy to begin, SEO is hard to master. You will need additional SEO tools to inspect your online traffic, keyword ranks, backlink quality, etc.

Luckily, there are hundreds of professional SEO tools at your disposal. This article will help you choose the correct SEO tools to improve your SEO strategy. They will help you climb to the first pages of Google and secure a stable position for positive, long-lasting organic traffic. 

1. Ahrefs: An Ultimate SEO Tool

SEO

Just like Google dominates the search engine market share, so does Ahrefs relating to SEO. There’s hardly an SEO professional not using Ahrefs at some point. Ahrefs excels at information availability with a “Web Crawler that powers the 12 trillion link database for Ahrefs online marketing toolset.” You will not find a better place for exhaustive site audits, historical data, data comparison, and other valuable Ahref features. For growing businesses, competitor analysis will illuminate their backlink strategy to improve yours.

Simultaneously, established brands use it to keep an eye on website performance, fix broken links, monitor website authority, and more. Ahrefs remains one of the most popular tools in the SEO field. Mastering it will significantly improve your SEO practices. 

2. Semrush: Competitive Data Analysis 

An all-in-one marketing tool Semrush is among the favorites in the SEO community. You will find reviews praising its design, information accessibility, user-friendliness, and more. You can use it for content structuring, keyword analysis, website performance improvement, and other significant SEO tasks.

What’s more, Semrush provides an outstanding Keyword gap feature. It’s a second-to-none tool to compare your websites against competitors. It allows a side-by-side comparison of up to five competitors, including their subdomains for premium subscribers. This makes Semrush one of the best tools for competitor analysis and overall SEO improvement. 

3. Proxies: Enhanced Data Accessibility 

Proxies are an essential online networking tool for regulating online communication. However, SEO specialists use proxies to enhance several SEO operations. Firstly, proxies grant access to localized Google search engine results page (SERP) results and keywords.

When you browse Google, it marks your IP address’s geographical location and returns localized results. SEO tasks often require results from various foreign markets. You can connect to a proxy server to get its alternative regional IP address. For example, you will get U.S. regional SERP and keyword results if you connect to the U.S. proxy while based in Europe.

Even though some SEO tools provide different geographical location analyses, proxies add additional value. SEO tools don’t have an inherent function to bypass geo-blocks. Sometimes it might distort their global keyword analysis. Moreover, via a proxy server, you can access geographically restricted information to enrich your SEO analysis with additional data.

Additional SEO-related proxy use cases involve real-time HTML tracking, automated keyword collection, and publicly available data gathering. Instead of gathering vast amounts of data manually, you can combine proxies with search engine crawlers for efficient and geographically unrestricted analysis. Proxies are an invaluable tool for advanced SEO practices. 

4. Answer the Public: Content Idea Generator

SEO

Any successful SEO strategy relies on possible content ideas. However, how do you know if your content is relevant to broader audiences? Answer the Public is an excellent tool to get possible content ideas and generate leads. Moreover, it’s straightforward to use from the very beginning. You can select a keyword and get a list of related questions, prepositions, comparisons, etc.

Answer the Public allows you to download this information in a .csv file to integrate with additional software. If you run out of ideas for your business blog, use this tool to inspect consumer queries and drive more relevant traffic. Furthermore, its free version is sufficiently equipped for primary SEO tasks. 

5. KWFinder

KWFinder is a professional software to generate new keyword ideas. It will also provide exhaustive information on keyword difficulty, volume, paid vs. organic, and other key metrics. It’s excellent for selecting long-tail keywords for a durable website structure. KWFinder stands out in its simplicity and additional features. Even if it is your first experience with SEO, KWFinder will make it effortless to start optimizing your website for better visibility.

Moreover, businesses value pop-up alerts when online users search for your selected keywords. It will give you a better real-time idea of SEO campaign performance. KWFinder is part of Mangools SEO toolkit, alongside backlink analytics, rank tracking, SERP, and SEO metrics analysis.

6. Google Analytics for SEO

Google Analytics is a powerful marketing tool that brings a lot to the table. Coming directly from Google, it offers more information than could be found elsewhere. Its available demographic statistics include age, location, interests, and more. It’s an essential tool to construct your consumers’ psychological profile for better product placement.

Simultaneously, you will see your landing page performance statistics, such as impressions, clicks, bounce rate, etc. You can install a unique tracking code for each website you want to monitor. Google Analytics offers numerous marketing tools. You can track visitor conversion rates, manage PPC spending, and inspect traffic referral sites. Mastering Google Analytics will significantly improve your SEO and overall digital marketing. 

7. MozCast

SEO

The worst SEO pro nightmare is waking up to keywords that are not ranking anymore. This happens more often than one could expect. In fact, it’s an integral part of SEO. Because Google owns the most popular search engine, its results depend on Google’s decisions.

What’s more, Google is continuously changing and improving its search algorithm. What was ranking one day may be thrown into the desolate second page the other. Google does this to improve search result relevance, fight backlink spamming, and other reasons beyond mortal understanding.

MozCast is a real-time Google algorithm weather station. According to their site,

“Every 24 hours, we track a hand-picked set of 10,000 keywords (across 20 industry categories and 5 major US cities) and analyze page one of Google organic results, comparing it to the previous day. The MozCast temperature reflects the degree of change in the day-over-day rankings, with an uneventful day being about 70°F. Put simply, the hotter the temperature, the more change we saw in Google rankings in the previous 24 hours.”

Instead of panicking regarding low keyword ranking, you should check MozCast. SEO is in big part adapting to new Google regulations. MozCast will give an idea of a happening change within Google algorithm. Use it to keep up-to-date regarding the latest changes and improve your SEO strategy accordingly. 

8. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is free keyword-tracking software. It’s an excellent choice with a limited budget and provides sufficient features to compete with paid services. Ubersuggest will assist in identifying short to long-tail keywords, reveal user search intent, keyword rank, and more.

You will need to upgrade to premium to unlock its full features. However, the free version is sufficient for most keyword-related operations. And the premium version is moderately priced. Ubersuggest is praised for its simplicity, accurate keyword data, and relevant content update suggestions. It’s an excellent tool for junior specialists that want to learn the discipline without spending hundreds of dollars. 

9. Google Trends for SEO

Google Trends is another valuable tool. It’s a free Google asset that provides meaningful insights into Internet user queries. It is extraordinarily simple to use, yet provides exclusive knowledge when used professionally. Google offers decades of online data to illustrate researched trends. You can see the popularity of specific queries over time, sort them by geographical location, compare them with other queries, and more.

As always, Google provides an endless repository of valuable data to work with. SEO specialists use Google trends to accurately predict possible keyword volumes and content opportunities.

10. SpyFu

SEO

SpyFu is a professional paid search analytics tool. It wasn’t developed for SEO beginners, but its intuitive design has a gentle learning curve. SpyFu offers a lot to businesses providing keyword monetary value and detailed search advertising metrics.

Moreover, instead of ranking keywords based on Domain Authority, SpyFu populates the results with the exact monetary keyword’s worth. It’s a unique way of providing keyword results that come in handy for numerous marketing operations. This choice is perfect for improving email marketing campaigns, affiliate marketing operations, and retail site analysis. 

Final Words on SEO

SEO may sound straightforward, but there’s a lot to learn. Firstly, SEO is nearly impossible without a myriad of tools. What are netizens searching for online? What exact phrases do they use? Are they expected to keep searching or lose interest? All of this can be found on Google’s first page. However, specific tools can narrow the information to the smallest detail.

Moreover, technologically advanced Internet users combine SEO tools with proxies for more detailed insights. As you will know, SEO is closely related to the development of Internet technologies. Whether it’s an ever-changing Google algorithm or a trick to avoid geo-blocks, your SEO strategy will significantly improve if you master using the tools above.

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How to Increase Employee Happiness and Improve Productivity

Employee-Happiness

If you are a business owner or team leader struggling to improve productivity within the workplace or team, then you have come to the right place! Here is how you can improve workplace productivity by increasing employee happiness.

How does employee happiness affect productivity?

Happy and motivated employees are proven indicators of productivity, and as a result, better profitability. To enhance overall business success, it is suggested that you start with improving the happiness and wellbeing of your employees.  

If your employees feel appreciated and valued by the company, they are more likely to be productive and deterred from quitting. Therefore, employee happiness is crucial in lengthening the longevity of your business! 

Rewarding employee performance

One way to boost employee happiness is to of course offer employee rewards and bonuses – whether this is a cash prize, or something like gift cards or a free trip to somewhere, these rewards can help to increase employee happiness.  

Additionally, as these rewards act like incentives, it may motivate employees to perform better and work harder at their tasks if it means receiving a reward in return! You need to show that their contributions to the company are extremely valued and appreciated, so rewarding excellent employee performance is a must.  

Boosting morale and wellbeing

Employee-Happiness

Happy employees mean high morale and wellbeing – how to achieve this? Implement things that encourage this such as a biking to work scheme or discounts on gym memberships, or, and possibly the popular of the bunch, support flexible working arrangements.  

If your company survived the COVID-19 pandemic, your employees would have most likely worked from home during the lockdowns, but if you have recently enforced full-time office working, you may want to consider offering work from home solutions. 

Working from home can boost your employees’ wellbeing as it can improve their work-life balance – and, they may find it easier to work from home anyway, eradicating commute times, so productivity is enhanced regardless. 

It may also be worthwhile to actually take the time to know your employees on a personal level – remember their birthdays, significant life events or anniversaries, and surprising them with a gift, may just be the motivation for their happiness.  

Cultivating a positive work environment

Happy employees can influence the work environment positively, so you need to ensure that your employees are thriving within the workplace. Fostering a safe and comfortable space for your employees to work in is crucial when it comes to increasing employee happiness and productivity.  

In addition to this, when it comes to feedback surveys, you may find your employees to be more honest and genuine as you have empowered them to feel safe and have trust in the company to be truthful. 

How to create such an environment? Encourage and support your employees both individually and as a team. You should consider planning company events to build relationships and rapport between employees, as well as having absolutely no tolerance for discrimination nor workplace bullying and harassment.

Overall, it is clear that you must be willing to actively listen to your employees whenever they have concerns and problems so that they feel that you do care and value them. In doing so, you will see a boost in morale, and thus naturally improve productivity.  

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8 Digital Marketing Strategies for a Successful Startup

Digital-Marketing-Strategies

Starting a business from the ground up is a challenging process. Apart from your investors, family, and close friends, no one really knows about your products whether you’re selling t-shirts online or gadgets and offering services until you actively promote them. Getting the word out is what marketing is for, but where to begin is a challenge in itself. Digital marketing strategies are very integral to the success of your business.

Digital marketing is perhaps the best route a startup can take because of how accessible it is, regardless of your budget. Digital marketing is a wide and diverse field, but here are eight of the best practices that some successful startups have employed in their own business strategies.

1. Create digital marketing strategies

One can’t talk about digital marketing without mentioning content marketing, the process by which a business creates, publishes, and promotes relevant content to its target audience.

Every startup should begin by analyzing the market and identifying its audience. After all, a great product or service is all for naught if the people who are most likely to avail of such are not aware that the business exists.

2. Build a clear brand identity

Digital-Marketing-Strategies

You have to set yourself apart from the competition, and that means building a brand identity that is both unique and practical. Every startup has to figure out its name and logo since these will appear everywhere, from your website to your social media pages to your printed marketing materials.

Your logo and brand name don’t have to be complicated, but you should make sure they’re easily recognizable. They should also tell the story of your brand.

3. Advertise on Google

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of marketing where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Google Ads is a type of PPC wherein you can place ads on Google’s search engine and the entire Google Display Network.

If your ad wins the bid for a specific keyword, your ad will appear on the first page whenever someone searched for that keyword on Google. It can be tricky to figure out what keywords to use or how to write the copy for the ad, that’s why it’s recommended to partner with a Google Ads expert.

4. Use social media to raise brand awareness

Advertising on social media is perhaps the best digital marketing strategy to build brand awareness. It’s hard to grow your social media pages organically since there is a lot of content online competing for the limited attention of your target market. This means that you have to regularly churn out fresh and up-to-date content so that people would know that your business is active.

5. Don’t dismiss email marketing

For the naysayers that say email marketing is dead, a report shows each $1 spent in email marketing has a return on investment of roughly $44. However, you have to craft personalized emails to urge customers or clients to actually open their mails and browse through your website. Personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened so make sure it’s not only catchy and engaging but also specifically targeted to the client.

6. Build a customer service program

Traditionally, customer service is a totally different aspect of the business from marketing but social media has changed that. Businesses who provide subpar customer service may find themselves in hot water when users complain online of a bad experience they had dealing with you. Mind you, news travels fast. Naturally, it’s less likely that you will attract new customers if you’ve gained a bad reputation from the public.

7. Run retargeting ads

Digital-Marketing-Strategies

Sometimes, people are just not ready to make a purchase the first time they visit your website. This is where retargeting ads come in. Retargeting is most effective when you present clients with a special or limited-time offer. This is pursuant to the scarcity principle that people are most likely to purchase something from you if they feel that the supply is limited.

8. Invest in Search Engine Optimization

SEO is optimizing your website so that it will rank higher in the results pages of search engines. People are less likely to scroll down or move to the next page of results if they’ve already found what they’re looking for on the first few websites. Higher ranking could mean more traffic coming into your website. A lot of companies invest heavily in SEO because it’s efficient in getting traffic to your website without paying for ads.

Final Thoughts on Digital Marketing Strategies

The deluge of competition will make it an uphill battle for any startup. New businesses must also consider if there is a demand for their products and the logistics that come into delivering these products into the hands of consumers, apart from marketing. Digital marketing ensures that your intended audience is aware of what you have to offer. It takes time to build a presence, but in time and with enough hard work, you will see considerable traffic to your online pages.

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An Essential Guide To Building A Company Warehouse

Without warehouses, the supply chain will not thrive, leaving customers, manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers waiting for essential items for weeks and months. More importantly, the global e-Commerce industry will only be as robust as it is today if not for these commercial spaces. A warehouse is vital to any businesswhether an online merchant or notthat sells physical goods. With proper storage areas and fulfillment systems, companies can store their inventory, have them packaged, and shipped out to customers most efficiently. 

According to estimates, there were 151,000 warehouses worldwide in 2020. The continuing online shopping boom is seen to drive the numbers to 180,000 by 2025. If you’re planning to build one for your business, check out this guide for some insightful ideas. 

  • Be Clear With Your Company’s Objectives

As with any significant business movement, building a company warehouse requires owners to have clear goals for the project. What are the company’s priorities, and how does having a warehouse align with its vision?

The answer to this question must be clear from the get-go. Your company is bound to make poor choices in the location, design, and other essential warehousing elements unless you’ve settled on what your business hopes to accomplish. Additionally, it’s important to understand the firm’s current performance as a benchmark, so your company can set measurable objectives.

  • Set A Budget for Your Warehouse

The cost of building a warehouse varies greatly and depends on various factors such as location, size, materials, and layout. Apart from building construction, companies will also have to spend on industrial equipment for handling materials, stocking goods, and automating the process.

Companies should consider the following cost factors when erecting a warehouse:

Warehouse

  • Building construction costs 
  • Office equipment 
  • Warehouse management system (WMS) software
  • Positioning devices like clamps, worktables, etc.
  • Transport equipment like forklifts
  • Storage tools like shelves, pallet racks 
  • Packing and shipping equipment like boxes, pouches, bags, label printers, and scales
  • Barcoding and scanning devices

Operational expenses like fuel costs, maintenance costs, warehouse staff wages, electricity bills, and consumables must also be considered.

  • Identifying The Right Location  

As with any other real estate transaction, location is a significant consideration in setting up your business warehouse. Ideally, your warehouse must be strategically placed and accessible to your staff, suppliers, transport, and shipment hubs.

Is it easy to scale?

A forward-looking company must also think about its future operations. Consider how much tax rates your company has to pay in the location and whether the area is suitable for expansion or future operations. Visiting several potential sites and knowing the locality’s development plan can be helpful before deciding where to build the warehouse.

Workforce issues

Despite the automation of some warehousing operations, human intervention is still needed in various tasks like picking and packing. More importantly, staff members must operate the WMS and other software tools. 

Relocating interstate workers to the newly built warehouse can be challenging, and some might refuse or quit. That said, ensuring workforce availability in your chosen warehouse location is crucial. Hiring staff members with warehousing experience is best, but you can give trainable workers with the right attitude a chance.

  • Size, Design, And Layout of Your Warehouse

These have got to be three of the most critical components of a warehouse—yet it can be easy for businesses to make mistakes in one or all of them. 

In most cases, company warehouses are built to improve the fulfillment process. These include sourcing raw materials, storing inventory, shipping the products to customers, receiving and processing, or picking and packing the goods. Within these processes are workflows that optimize efficiency by improving space usage, inventory management, and the safety features of warehousing operations. 

Size requirements

An excessively large warehouse leads to high operational costs, while an undersized one can lead to inefficiencies. Either way, wrongly estimating your warehouse size requirement is a costly mistake.

There’s no standard warehouse size, as business and consumer needs are always shifting. But the need for larger spaces has been noted in a study by the real estate services company CBRE. Comparing current and previous demand peaks, the company found out that the average warehouse size built in the US between 2012 and 2017 increased by 108,665 square feet compared to 2002 and 2007 figures.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to consider your entire business operations when assessing your needs. Think about the types of products you keep and the warehouse’s inventory movement. Once you’re done contemplating the size, you can proceed and think about the warehouse space and layout.

Design and layout

Warehouse

Besides storage capacity, you must allot space for other tasks like sorting, inventory, packing, and shipping. You’d also have to include the office area and additional workflows specific to your business type. These elements will decide how your warehouse will look and influence your decisions, including the ceiling height, column spacing, etc.

Think about how your operations will look once everything is set up. Visualize how the materials are placed in the warehouse, where they go, and how they are sorted. Additionally, consider the next stages involved in picking, packing, and shipping. This step is crucial whether you operate a physical or online store, or both. 

Establishing the flow of materials inside the warehouse and maintaining worker accessibility and safety are paramount before deciding on the design. A poorly designed warehouse will hamper the entire warehousing operations and expose your staff to certain occupational risks. 

Contractors often have experienced in-house warehouse designers who can help you with this crucial construction planning component. Before sealing the deal, ask for a copy of the design and conduct a final analysis of the product flows, equipment placements, and staff positioning.

  • Choosing The Right Contractor

After going through your company’s objectives and warehouse size, design, and layout, choosing a contractor comes next. Picking the right warehouse building experts to work with is crucial in making your vision come to life. The contractor should provide valuable warehouse construction insights and ensure the project stays on track. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Ask other businesses for referrals. 
  • Read the reviews and contact at least one of their previous clients.
  • Make a shortlist of three to five companies and ensure that they’re reputable and experienced in building commercial warehouses. 
  • Ask for a quote and proposal from each builder and compare them. 
  • Study each proposal and pick the one that aligns best with your business goals. 

Your budget will likely be a significant contributing factor to this decision. But going with the cheapest or priciest quote isn’t always the best way. Think about the company’s reputation in the industry and the trust its clients have in the firm. Go for the contractor that provides the best value and possesses the most capability without going overboard with your assigned costs.

Concluding Thoughts on Having a Company Warehouse

A warehouse is essential to the growth and success of a company that produces and sells physical goods. With it, companies can store and manage their inventory and make the order fulfillment processes more efficient and scalable. 

Thus, setting clear goals and identifying the right elements, including construction experts, are crucial when building a company warehouse. Getting these things right eliminates the risk of significant operational constraints and business losses in the future.

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