3 New Year’s Marketing Resolutions for Small Businesses

Planning your marketing strategy for the new year? Check out these three small business marketing resolutions for 2014 from our friends at BoostSuite, and you’ll see results in the form of traffic, leads and new customers.

This guest post is brought to you by BoostSuite, the easiest way to build more website traffic and get more marketing conversions.

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season thus far! This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. One of the main reasons why is because there’s a tremendous sense of hope when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

Hopes are high for 2014. This is especially true amongst the small business community. Every solopreneur is gearing up for the new year, making sure they’ve dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s in “marketing.”

To help you achieve your marketing goals in 2014, I’m going to share three New Year’s marketing resolutions that you can easily add to your strategy to generate more results in the form of traffic, leads and customers.

1. Start a Blog, or Blog More Often

Blogging is quite possibly the best, easiest and most cost-effective way to add content to your website on a consistent basis. If you’re not getting visitors to your site and want to start attracting the right audience, blogging is a crucial addition to your strategy. Getting the right audience means more engagement in the form of comments, social shares, guest blogging opportunities (read: inbound links), leads and customers.

Build an editorial calendar based on your customers’ FAQs, your new products or services and their enhancements, company and/or industry news, and topics curated from other relevant sources. Post at least once a week. The more often the better, but make sure your posts are valuable, unique and interesting. Don’t just post for the sake of posting.

Once you get the hang of it, it should only take you about 30 minutes a week to write a good 500-600 word article, post it on your website, add a strong call to action, and promote it in your social channels and monthly newsletter. More on that in a second.

Keep in mind that one new page of content on a small business website or blog receives on average 55 new unique website visitors each month, forever. Think about that as opposed to paying for that same traffic via Google AdWords.

2. Start a Monthly Newsletter

You have customers and other people who visit your website and/or store who want to hear from you on a consistent basis. Email newsletters are one of the best tools for retaining your existing customers and engaging prospective customers.

Newsletters allow you to provide updates, send promotions, and generally keep in touch. You can easily add a newsletter signup form on your website. Check out the services of MailChimp and iContact. They’ll help you create your template, build your subscriber list and get started.

Think about all the brands you love the most. Now think about how many of them send a monthly newsletter. I would bet that most, if not all of them do. Win over your customers by keeping them engaged, and they’ll reward you with referrals and word-of-mouth advertisements.

3. Use Tools to Get Organized

The easiest way to streamline your marketing is to first make sure everything else in your business is organized. You can’t spend time writing high-quality articles and newsletters if you have a cluttered workspace. A clean workspace equates to a clean mind.

Use a tool like Shoeboxed to get organized in the new year. Eliminate all your paper clutter and spend more time on your marketing and other business tasks. Once you take care of organizing your desk, use BoostSuite to organize your content marketing.

BoostSuite will help you research keywords to find the best ones to write about in your blog posts and newsletters, identify and fix on-page SEO errors, optimize your website conversion funnel to get more leads and customers, and build your authority by working with thousands of other marketers just like you!

Aim High in 2014

Many New Year’s marketing resolutions never come to fruition because they’re too ambitious or difficult. When you set your goals for 2014, do yourself a favor and make sure they’re actually attainable.

There’s no better feeling than setting your mind towards something and then achieving it. It may take baby steps at first, but soon you’ll hit a running stride. Take risks! That’s what being a solopreneur or small business owner is all about. Without risk taking, the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps most small businesses going would cease to exist!

I hope that you add my recommended marketing resolutions to your list for the new year. If done correctly, you can make a significant impact in the amount of revenue your business generates. Do you have any other marketing resolutions you’re setting your sights on? Let us know in the comments.

Happy New Year! From the entire BoostSuite team, I wish you and your businesses success and prosperity in 2014.

About the Author

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is an internet marketing zealot, sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

 

5 Triangle SaaS Tools Keeping Small Businesses Organized

Check out these five Triangle software as a service (SaaS) tools that are keeping small businesses organized. You may find that your small business could really benefit from using one, or all of these tools!

This guest post is brought to you by BoostSuite, the easiest way to build more website traffic and get more marketing conversions.

Small businesses all across the country are popping up and doing great things, especially in the tech space. The Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) is no exception. In fact, Raleigh was just listed as the #3 best places for businesses and careers by Forbes magazine.

Startup incubators like The Startup Factory in Durham and H/Q Raleigh provide enthusiastic entrepreneurs with the resources they need to get their businesses up and running.

These small businesses often support one another by using each other’s services. This creates a healthy, self-sustaining business ecosystem that benefits all involved. I feel lucky to work for a small business in the Triangle. I’ve met tons of smart people who are game-changers, asking the right questions and constantly pushing the envelope of what can and cannot be accomplished.

Enough with the gloating already. Don’t simply take my word for it. Check out these five Triangle software as a service (SaaS) tools that are keeping small businesses organized. You may find that your small business could really benefit from using one, or all of these tools!

1. Shoeboxed – Digital Document Management Software

Organization is the name of the game for Shoeboxed.

Do you have an old shoebox full of receipts, business cards and other financial documents? Instead of keeping that disorganized, hulking mass, try Shoeboxed out for free. Their service is the fastest way to turn a pile of receipts into digital data to save you time, money and hassle.

Since 2007 the Shoeboxed team has been working tirelessly to keep their users organized and give them more time to focus on their business, their family or whatever it is in life they love to do. And with over 500,000 users in 100 countries worldwide, I think they’ve gotten pretty good at it!

2. BoostSuite – Website Marketing Automation Software

Researching keywords for your content marketing strategy and optimizing each page of your website requires a lot of time and organization.

Good thing BoostSuite is here to organize all of these things for you automatically.

BoostSuite automatically discovers new keywords from your search engine visitors and automatically determines their opportunity levels (based on search volume and competition levels). This saves you hours of time each month compared to doing this manually. BoostSuite also grades each page of your website and provides you with a prioritized to-do list of on-page SEO changes you can make using these high-opportunity keywords. No more guesswork or wasted time!

Sign up for free today and optimize your website properly and in a timely fashion.

3. Argyle Social – Social Media Marketing Automation Software

Argyle Social helps small businesses keep your social media marketing strategies organized by providing them with the tools needed to integrate all your social media accounts, schedule posts, engage followers, support users and customers, and measure the results of each campaign.

Argyle focuses on relationship management and finding qualified prospects for your business through social media. You can identify current prospects and customers on social networks by using the prospect list that already exists in your marketing automation software to help refine and target all your social engagements.

You can also compare individual posts or groups of posts via campaigns to determine your most valuable social content. Their Google Analytics integration gives you further insight into the minds of your socially savvy prospects.

Contact Argyle Social today to learn more about how they can help you generate more revenue through your social media campaigns.

4. ArchiveSocial – Social Media Archiving Solutions

Like email, social media creates business records. These records have to be maintained and organized. The way your business communicates with your audience has changed. What used to be an email to customer support is now a post on your Facebook page or a Twitter mention. There is no doubt that social media has become a key channel for business communications.

As conversations shift to social channels, it is important to remember that those communications constitute meaningful records just like emails and documents — records that could be critical for compliance, legal e-discovery and other records management needs.

ArchiveSocial preserves your social media content in a way that looks, feels and behaves like a carbon copy of the original social network. You can expand comment threads, view full-sized photos, play videos and more. Hence, you can actually make sense of your records.

Request a demo from ArchiveSocial today to see how they can help you out.

5. Adzerk – Online Ad Server

If you’ve ever run ads online, you know that it can be tough to keep everything organized. That’s where Adzerk can really help.

Adzerk’s adOS is the best solution for managing your site’s ads.

adOS is your ad management platform. You’ll have an advertiser portal to share logins with your advertisers, and adOS will even help you calculate earnings. Give advertisers the ability to upload creatives for you to approve. Their super easy three step process will have you serving ads in minutes.

Their simple user interface keeps your ad campaigns organized and allows you to easily measure the results. Sign up for free now.

I hope you take the time to try each of these awesome tools out. They’ll help you stay organized, saving you time and allowing you to take your small business to the next level!

I know there are a lot of other great Triangle-based tools out there that I didn’t mention in this article. If you know of any more, please mention them in the comments!

About the Author

ryan kettler

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is an internet marketing zealot, sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

5 Tools to Improve Your Internet Marketing Results

It’s a fact: you need to market your small business effectively online in today’s world in order to attract customers and see real results. Add these five tools to your internet marketing arsenal to boost traffic and conversions for your small business website.

This guest post is brought to you by BoostSuite, the easiest way to build more website traffic and get more marketing conversions.

 The competition is fierce, which means you must be relentless with your efforts. You need to research and find keywords in order to find content opportunities, write and optimize high-quality articles, test your content to determine what works best, and promote your business using social media and email.

Phew! That’s one heck of a to-do list! With so many tools on the market today, it can be difficult to sift through them, determine the pros and cons of each, then decide which to add to your toolbox, all while maintaining your regular day-to-day work responsibilities.

Now for the good news. I’ll help you save time and effort by sharing with you 5 tools you can use to improve your internet marketing results, without breaking your bank.

1. WordTracker – Keyword Research Tool

The first and most important component of your internet marketing strategy is keyword research.

You need to know which keywords are best for your business. For example, if you’re a flower shop in Raleigh, NC, that specializes in orchids, you aren’t going to see any results by optimizing your articles with the keyword “flowers.” You’ll be competing with FTD, 1-800-Flowers, and all the other big fish in the market. You need to find long-tail keywords that match your product/service offering, like “Buy moth orchids in Raleigh.”

That’s where WordTracker comes in. You can sign up for a 7 day free trial and get started researching your competition and uncovering your most valuable keywords. Be sure to start a master spreadsheet of valuable keywords that you can use for content marketing purposes in the future.

2. Optimizely – A/B Testing Tool

After you start publishing more valuable content to your website, as long as you have online forms, a shopping cart, or other conversion points on your site, you’ll start to see results in the form of leads and/or customers. And that’s great!

You may notice in your site analytics that some pages on your site convert visitors into leads or customers better than others. You can use Optimizely to leverage that information and fix the bottlenecks. This tool allows you to test calls-to-action, buttons and headlines to determine which versions convert your visitors into leads/customers the best. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial and get started today.

3. BoostSuite – Keyword Research/Analysis Tool, On-Page SEO Checklist, Conversion Optimization Tool

This is your go-to, all-in-one website marketing tool. It shows you a single easy-to-understand letter grade at all times so you always know where your website optimization progress stands.

This tool automatically discover new keywords from your search engine visitors and automatically determines their opportunity levels (based on search volume and competition levels). It then automatically assigns your top opportunity keywords to your existing website pages where they will have the most impact (based on similar content on those pages). This saves hours of time each month compared to doing this manually.

BoostSuite then constantly scans all pages of your website looking for violations of search engine guidelines. It brings those violations to your attention in the application and twice weekly via email when issues are found.

Just like with Optimizely, BoostSuite automatically finds your worst bottleneck pages and allows you to instantly run Headline A/B tests with your real website visitors to determine what content is most effective at turning visitors into new customers. When a winning headline is found it is automatically served to all visitors and your website instantly starts receiving more marketing conversions.

Sign-up for a free 14-day trial today.

4. HootSuite – Social Media Management

After you publish your valuable content online, you must promote it through your social media channels so your target audience can read it and share it with their followers. This creates the viral effect you’re looking for. It also creates inbound links that are important to your website’s search engine optimization.

Instead of doing one-off posts in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, try using HootSuite instead. It allows you to manage multiple social networks, schedule posts in advance, track mentions of your brand and analyze your traffic to provide valuable insights.

You can sign up for a free account with them now.

5. MailChimp – Email Marketing

Another great way to keep in touch with your customers, prospects, and readers alike is with email marketing. It’s not a customer acquisition tool like BoostSuite, but more of a customer retention tool.

Using MailChimp, you can easily create your own email template and send mass emails out to your subscribers regarding product improvements, new features, promotions, sales and other company news.

If you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send less than 12,000 emails a month, then you can sign up and use MailChimp for free!

Do you have any experience using these tools or any other internet marketing tools? Was it good or bad? Why? Let’s hear about it in the comments below!

About the Author

 Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 9.45.01 AMRyan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is an internet marketing zealot, sports fanatic, devoted runner, avid golfer, beer connoisseur, and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found running 5ks, sampling IPAs, and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Image via Flickr