social

Small Business Marketing

First | Prev | Page 4 / 4 | Next | Last

Blogging – The Small Business (Not-So) Secret Weapon

Posted by

Small business owners may find themselves unsure where to focus their online marketing resources. Email endeavors, newsletters, and the plethora of social media options (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and so on) – the number of channels can be overwhelming. And finding the time to dedicate enough resources to those efforts adds another layer to the puzzle. That’s why the simplicity of business blogging – the not-so-secret weapon of a small business – is so appealing.

Blogging may seem unsexy compared to some options, but it works. Here’s how:

  1. Blogging - Small Business' Content Marketing WeaponBlogging creates credibility – Potential customers are looking for expertise. Blogging offers an easy way to convey your stature as a key thought leader in your industry. And those customers are likely to tell their cohorts about their new source of expertise.
  2. Blogging gives your company a voice – As an extension of building the perception of expertise, blogging enables you to position your organization. It also provides a channel to talk about services or products your company offers, the latest industry news, and upcoming events.
  3. Blogging allows you to begin conversations with potential customers – Marketers are always looking for ways to speed up the sales cycle. A blog gets that relationship started by increasing online activity. Companies that blog generate 55 percent more website visitors, 97 percent more inbound links, and 434 percent more indexed pages. In addition, 7 of 10 businesses believe blogging has led to an improvement in their lead generation success.
  4. Blogging on a consistent schedule builds a library of content to share across other social networks – Your social media audience is looking for valuable content. By pushing blog posts through these channels, you’re pulling people back to your company site and encouraging your network to share your blog posts with their extended networks as well.
  5. Blogging improves search rankings (SEO) – The more you blog, the more often Google will recognize the value of your content in its overall algorithms. As long as the content is of high quality, your ranking will improve.

Blogging is here to stay. More than one-third of companies now use blogs for marketing purposes, and those companies that do blog receive 55 percent more website traffic than companies that don’t. More traffic leads to more opportunities for sales. For the small business owner, ignoring the value of blogging as a marketing tool is a poor business decision.

Does your company need assistance creating a blog and putting together a content marketing strategy? If you are planning an upcoming web design or website development project, don’t forget to include a business blog.  Marketpath can help get you started. Contact us at our Indianapolis office today!

link
| comments (1)

Credibility is Paramount for Small Business Websites

Posted by
When discussing website strategy, everyone likes to discuss visibility and conversion, but for many small business websites, generating credibility may be the most important factor in your online success. Your website is the new yellow pages for any small business – it’s the first place any prospect will go when they want to learn more about your company and what you do.
link
| comments (0)

What is the Value of Your Time? The Case against Open-Source CMS

Posted by

The debate has raged on for years now about the value of an open-source Content Management System (CMS) versus the on-demand Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CMS model. Yes, Wordpress, which holds a large chunk of the market, is free. Anyone can pick a template and toss something up on the web. And everyone likes things that are free, right? Perhaps, but you also get what you pay for.

Marketpath CMS - Efficient and Effective Website MarketingThe concept of a free CMS is a bit misleading. Yes, it’s true that open-source code is developed by a community of people who offer it to users at no charge. But just because a technology is available doesn’t mean you’ll know what to do with it.

Suppose you get through the basic steps of getting a site up and running. Now what? Who do you turn to when you have a question? What happens when it’s time to update the source code? Free technologies don’t come with award-winning 24/7 customer service departments. Your likely options are suspect online documentation and Wikipedia. Not too comforting. How much time do you want to spend digging for answers? What’s that time worth to you?

Take the lack of help desk support a step further. Basic technical support is one thing; get hit by a virus or hacked, and you’re looking at a whole other set of problems. Security should be a primary concern for anyone carving out online real estate. Open source plug-ins can solve some security issues, but they’re not a guarantee. Worst case scenario, you get bugged, information is compromised, and the site comes crashing down. Again, who do you call? How much time do want to spend trying to fix the problem?

How about new functionality?  With open-source systems you can find free plug-ins that add new capabilities to your site.  But you’ll need someone to install them and hopefully understand them from a technical perspective.  With Marketpath CMS, upgrades are included with your subscription and you receive them automatically – no hassle. 

Take a few moments to consider the overall potential for frustration. If you’re a business owner, your focus needs to be building the company - and your website should be a strategic component of your plan to do so. You can’t afford to be bogged down in technical minutia. Marketpath’s on-demand, custom CMS eliminates these concerns so you make the most of your time, increase revenue, and reduce costs.

Contact us today to learn more about our content management, web design and website development services..

link
| comments (0)

Why You Need a Mobile Website

Posted by

The internet is inundated with statistics about the growing importance of mobile websites. If you haven’t gotten the message by now, you haven’t been listening. So, for the benefit of those who’ve yet to grasp the full implication of this trend, we’ll state it one more time: Smartphone usage has exploded. If you want your brand to cut through the clutter, be accessible, and look good to the hundreds of millions of people checking out your company or product on their device, you need a quality mobile website.

Here’s why:

  1. Indianapolis Mobile Website DesignMobile is Immediate: When users hear about your product or service, they don’t have to wait until they park themselves in front of their laptop to get a glimpse. They flip out their phone, tap their browser and get to work. The Will Rogers quote still applies: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” State your case and make your contact options – email and phone – obvious and easy.
  2. Mobile Removes the Fluff: The average mobile web surf lasts less than a few minutes. Your mobile audience wants you to get to the point. They expect simple, direct, memorable, and concise calls to action. Content is valuable, but make a user wade through the morass of excess copy and large images and you risk ticking them off. They don’t want to have to modify images or tweak resolution. Put yourself in the user’s shoes. Make it easy for them to understand your sales proposition.
  3. Mobile Means Forward Thinking: A potential customer wants reassurance that you’re at least on pace with the industry curve. If they bring your business up on their smart phone and find something archaic – or nothing at all – that leaves a negative impression. A quality mobile website indicates that you’re thinking not just about the current state of your business, but where it’s headed going forward. Perception is critical.

What’s the current state of your company’s mobile website? Would you like to learn more about optimizing your mobile presence? Contact us today to find out more about designing your website and implementing a quality mobile website.

link
| comments (0)

Don't be a Screamer

Posted by

Don't be a Screamer - Write Great Marketing ContentIt's 8 AM on a Monday morning. I just dropped two kids off at school and one at daycare. The entire trip is about an hour of driving with constant chatter - sometimes laughing and giggling, sometimes whining or crying, usually just a lot of questions and bickering.

After my parental duties are finished for the morning I check out by listening to the 70's station on satellite radio and Player's Baby Come Back is streaming through the speakers. What a great classic song as I let out a sigh of relief.

I look at the car to my left. A mid-sized family sedan with two parents in the front seat and looks of stupefied exhaustion. Then I look in the back seat and there's a baby, maybe about six months old (when they find their voice). His face is red with anger and he looks as if he's been screaming for hours.

Back to the front seat. Empty, lost, fatigued, bloodshot eyes.

Then it dawns on me. Those parents are everyone else. Everyone is just like them. In a world where content is king and the screamers become louder and seem to clone themselves, we are all fatigued and lost. Yeah, I got all this from a screaming baby.

It's no wonder that neighborhoods and communities are choosing to stay home and inside more than ever where there's less noise, less screaming. It's no wonder more and more people are abandoning big tv and, instead, buying into choice with services like Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, and Apple TV. And it's no wonder people are jumping away from newspapers and magazines, only to subscribe to niche providers of greater interest. These choices all result in less noise.

The world is loud. And the noise level is still growing. If you're a marketer or content writer I have one request - don't be a screamer.

Instead, be a teacher. Be a storyteller. Be a philosopher. Be something. Just don't be a screamer. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say until you tone it down and provide something meaningful.

I ignore screamers (as much as possible) and relish in knowledgeable, engaging, and sometimes entertaining content, whether it be a video, a blog post or a white paper. If it's good, I'll share it with a few friends or coworkers. If it's fantastic, I'll be a fanatical advocate and tell everyone I know. And that's exactly what you should do - write or produce copy that is worthy of being shared by someone. Yes, I said "some ONE".

Seth Godin recently wrote a short post about how to write content that goes viral by writing for just one person. I like that approach. Screamers tend to be more vague and more general as they get louder hoping to catch the attention of the broader audience. But if you were writing to just one person, you'd focus less on catching everyone's attention and more on truly engaging that one, single individual.

Whatever you do, just don't be a screamer.

link
| comments (1)

Website Magazine Names Marketpath One of Top Content Management Platforms

Posted by
Marketpath is honored to have Marketpath CMS, our easy to use website content management system, named as one of the industry’s Top Content Management Platforms by Website Magazine. Last month, Website Magazine selected Marketpath CMS as one of their Top 50 Web Content Management Platforms (CMS), based on extensive evaluation criteria. 
link
| comments (0)

A Good Content Marketing Plan Will Keep You in Business

Posted by

The typical business owner has a fairly stable gauge for assessing success. Solid revenue, a strong sales funnel, and opportunities for growth. Sure, there are plenty of other metrics you can apply, but these form the core. How a business owner goes about establishing that foundation, however, is open for discussion. At the very least, passively waiting around for the phone to ring is a bad idea. You have to proactively get business.

Content Marketing improves credibility and SEO, while driving leadsFor many companies, hard sales tactics don’t work. Small businesses frequently can’t afford a dedicated sales team. In many cases, the owners know they’re just not good at it. But one way that any business, regardless of size, can create opportunities is through content marketing. As business models continue to change, a good content marketing plan may very well be the tool that keeps you in business.

Content marketing is the practice of brands developing and curating content that communicates a story which resonates with customers. Readers find the content useful or entertaining and worth sharing. As a result, the brand, product or service highlighted in the story reaches several audience layers. Decision makers who reside within those layers and have need for your services could then pick up the phone or contact you via your website.

Now, before you go throwing every random piece of content up on your website, you must first consider your audience and intent.

  • Who do you want to read your blog?
  • How would you define the ideal person you want to click on your video or read your email?
  • How and where will your audience find your content?

Beyond that, after your intended audience reads or views your content, what do you want them to do next? Share it on Facebook or Twitter? Pick up the phone and call you? Sign up for your newsletter?  You need to identify your strategy.  You should also make sure your content strategy is directly related to your search engine optimization (SEO) objectives – if done right, strong content is the best way to drive improvements in search rankings.

And, oh by the way, the content should be good. A house painter wouldn’t throw a sign in the yard of a home where he butchered the job with unclean lines and painted shut windows. A blog post with bad grammar, absence of style, and lack of thought gets you nowhere.  But a well written post might provide credibility and turn a prospect into a lead – a lead that looks at your company as an expert in your field.

Is your organization currently employing a content marketing strategy? If so, is it working? If not, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to find out more about the benefits of content marketing.

link
| comments (1)

How Easy is Marketpath CMS? Build a New Web Page in Minutes!

Posted by

The holidays and the Super Bowl are over, so it’s time to get back to our “How Easy is Marketpath CMS” series.  This week, we’ll demonstrate how easy it is to create a brand new web page using Marketpath CMS, our web content management system for small businesses.   

Think about it.  Marketpath lets you create any type of new page in minutes: new product pages, promotional offers, event pages, news, resources pages, project galleries, and more.  Now days, online success is all about content marketing - and we’ll let you easily create the content and calls-to-action your business needs to enhance customer engagement, increase credibility and create leads.  In short- we’ll make your website and online marketing easy

Keep an eye out for our next installment to see how Marketpath lets you easily manage your website’s on-page SEO.

link
| comments (1)
First | Prev | Page 4 / 4 | Next | Last