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HubSpot Launches Small Business Marketing Tool for Beginners

Small business marketing is not as simple as used to be, and the constantly shifting technological landscape may be partly to blame. HubSpot’s new Marketing Hub Starter has been created to simplify the process for small business owners. According to HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS), the Marketing Hub Starter platform was specifically designed with small businesses in mind. With this new solution, businesses will have access to all of their marketing tools in one platform. At the same time, HubSpot is going to be offering comprehensive marketing solutions that are more affordable. Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot, explained the challenges small businesses face when it comes to deploying their marketing strategy. In a recent release, Bodnar said, “Historically, small businesses looking for an economical way to get started with marketing have had to cobble together disparate point solutions to perform tasks like sending emails and targeting ads. Unfortunately, what they save in dollars they often lose in time spent trying to connect and manage all of those systems.” HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter Features Powered by HubSpot’s free CRM, Marketing Hub Starter removes the need to manage disconnected tools and data on different platforms. This means you will have more time to actually market your business. You can now convert traffic into leads with ads and forms while engaging with your audience with personalized email marketing. The email marketing includes drag-and-drop email editor and post-send analytics. And according to HubSpot, the reporting goes beyond email opens and clicks. It tracks returning contacts, top personas, engagement over time, ad performance, and more. The integrated tools include forms, lead ads, email marketing, list segmentation, HubSpot CRM, and reports. Marketing Hub Starter comes with all these tools and it is now available starting at $50 per month for 1,000 contacts. There are additional tiers for companies with more contacts. What is HubSpot? HubSpot offers inbound marketing and sales software to help organizations attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. HubSpot provides a comprehensive marketing solution for today’s digital and ecommerce businesses. In addition to tools for email, websites, SEO, marketing automation, landing pages, analytics, social media and…

Creating Great Business Newsletters Doesn’t Have to be Hard, See This (INFOGRAPHIC)

A new infographic from email marketing platform moosend.com looks to help you create the ultimate newsletter with a checklist of things you should include. Appropriately titled “The Ultimate Retail Email Newsletter Checklist,” the infographic has some suggestions for how you can make your newsletter stand out. An email newsletter lets your business connect with your customers, establish yourself as an expert in your field and build a long-term relationship with your audience. But creating the right newsletter takes some doing. Does Email Marketing Still Work? Yes, it does, and it has some great ROI. But in order to make it successful, you have to personalize and optimize your email campaigns. According to eMarketer, the share of total revenue attributed to email marketing rose from 17% in 2016 to 21% in 2017. How to Create an Email Newsletter In an official post on the moosend blog, content writer Ine Alexakis says you need to make the emails you create count and not make mistakes. With that in mind, here is the checklist to help you make that happen. Create the Best Content It all starts with getting your content in tip-top shape. This means a well-edited email that is coherent and cohesive without typos. Alexakis says, “Spelling and punctuation play an important role in every published document and online newsletter campaigns are no exception.” If there are mistakes in your newsletter, it won’t be farfetched for readers to connect them with how you run your business. Other suggestions in this section of the infographic include adding personalization, A/B testing, sending from a “reply to” account and occasionally sending from different email addresses depending on the occasion. Target the Right Audience Send your newsletter to the right lists and segments. As Alexakis says, you can’t be all things to all people, so choose the segments carefully. While on the subject of reaching out, make sure you always update your lists and check to see your contacts are opted-in. Tweak for Best Results In this stage of creating your newsletter, you need to do some more tweaking and make sure your images and overall…

10 Expert Tips for Putting Together Your Own Digital Marketing Puzzle

Building your marketing plan is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. One piece might be video marketing. Another might be email marketing. And there might also be some related to social media and content creation. To help you put together those pieces in a way that makes sense, check out this week’s top marketing tips from members of the online small business community. Create Great Marketing Videos With more and more brands catching onto the power of video marketing, it’s more important than ever for you to create videos that actually stand out and get results. In this post on the GetResponse blog, Victor Blasco offers some tips for stepping up your video marketing game. Check Out These Top Referral Traffic Sources As you’re looking to build traffic to your website, there are plenty of different sources of referral traffic you could use to grow your own website. In this Guest Crew post by Praveen Verma, you can see what more than 90 bloggers and marketers do to build their own referral traffic. Then check out what BizSugar members had to say here. Avoid These Digital Marketing Mistakes With so many digital marketing tips and tactics out there, it’s natural for business owners to make mistakes at some point. But if you can learn from the mistakes of others, you can potentially avoid some of the most common pitfalls. Check out this Social Media HQ post for more. Write Marketing Emails That Don’t Get Marked as Spam Email can be a wonderful way for you to connect with customers. However, if your content just gets sent to their spam folders. It’s not going to be able to make the impact you’d like. In this Quick Sprout post, Neil Patel provides some tips for ensuring that your marketing emails actually get seen. Create a Killer Landing Page That’s Perfect for Mobile Landing pages give you a way to control the experience when customers visit your website. But with the importance of mobile technology in today’s world, it’s essential that you create landing pages that are optimized for mobile devices.…

How to Make a Great Small Business Landing Page (INFOGRAPHIC)

A new infographic by Ice Cube Marketing points out why a landing page with a great concept and design is so important. Having a great landing page for your website communicates a lot about your business. As one of the more important lead-generating tools in digital commerce, a poorly designed page can drive your customers away too. Titled “Anatomy of an Optimized Landing Page,” this Ice Cube Marketing infographic looks at everything from the Top Fold to personalization, unique selling points, authority, clarity, and more. For small businesses with a website, creating a landing page with the features Ice Cube Marketing outlines in the infographic can go a long way in generating more leads. But the company says it all starts with knowing who your customer is. In the post, the company says: “Before you set off to do any copywriting or planning of landing page, the requisite is to first know your audience inside out. Incorporate as much of their language as possible. Speak like your audience and you will do fine!” Creating Great Landing Pages The Top Fold It all starts with the Top Fold. This is because it is the first thing a customer sees when they land on your page. With that in mind, the company recommends using this precious real estate wisely. Having a good headline, a personalized image or video, and the form are some of the elements you will need. Personalization When creating your Top Fold, the infographic says, personalize the content. This includes the images you select and the words you write. Use images of yourself, employees and the premises of your company. And when it comes to the content, write it yourself. People can recognize stock images and generic content. Authority and Social Proof The authority and social proof in your landing page lets your visitors know they can trust you. When it comes to authority, it means providing the associations you have with other businesses and recognized brands. As for social proof, it includes testimonials from your customers. Ice Cube Marketing suggests you post testimonials which include the problems, benefits and…

You Can Thank Us Later — 6 Copywriting Strategies You NEED to Know for Small Business

Copywriting can be overwhelming. It’s extremely time consuming, and it requires consistency and a solid strategy. Without those three key elements, your content marketing could fail. The most important one—and the one we’ll discuss here—is strategy. You can find someone on your team to write content for your business, or you can outsource the work to a freelancer relatively easily. However, creating a strategy requires a better understanding of your business, its customers, and its direction. In this article, you’ll find the top six copywriting strategies for content marketing I use, both for myself and for my clients. I hope they can be useful for you, too! Copywriting Strategies for Content Marketing 1. Understand Who You are Writing For One of the first things I do to create a content marketing strategy is to identify my personas or readers. Those are the profiles of the people who will be reading your content. Try to define them as much as possible by identifying their demographics, lifestyle, interests, and behaviors. The idea is that, by understanding who you are writing for, you’ll be able to better tailor your content to specific readers—thus, allowing your content to be more relevant to your readers and, therefore, more impactful. Notice that I say readers, not reader. Many businesses just focus on one main persona or don’t define personas at all—when chances are, they have more personas they can target. By just focusing on one single persona, you’ll narrow your reach and ranking potential. For instance, let’s say you sell protein shakes for working out, and everyone in your industry is targeting people who are already fit. By exploring different readers or personas, you may be able to find new untapped targets, such as people who don’t work out but want to lose weight. The content that someone fit would consume would be different from the one someone overweight would consume. See example below: Jason (fit person) Goes to the gym regularly (every day) About 25 years old Interested in content about improving his workout routine, e.g., How to Perfect a Squat Tony (overweight) Rarely goes to…

Secrets of Better Content Creation Revealed: Use these 10 Tools

Every digital marketer understands the importance of content for their success. The top 3 percent of your content result in 95 percent of the traffic, awareness, leads and sales. These are your content marketing unicorns. Behind those unicorn brands is valuable, unique and relevant content that makes them stand out in the sea of donkeys. In fact, in any successful digital marketing campaign, there is some magical content creation behind it. Creating unicorn content is one of the biggest challenges for content marketing success. Content Creation Tools With the help of these marketing tools, you can ease up the burden of curating and creating top unicorn content. 1. BuzzSumo BuzzSumo is a tool for research, monitoring and generating content ideas. It is particularly used to find content that is mostly searched and shared on social media. It helps you discover topics by entering a keyword, a domain or an author’s name. 2. Portent’s Content Idea Generator Portent’s Content Idea Generator will help you generate catchy titles, headlines and topics. So if you’re running out of fresh content to write about, this easy-to-use tool can do magic. 3. Google Alerts Nothing but the search engine giant, Google, generated Google Alerts. It is particularly designed as a notification service that alerts subscribers, through email, for new results including web pages, blogs, newspaper articles, and scientific research – everything that matches the search terms of the user. What can you do with Google Alerts? Keep track of your business sector news. Stay updated with your competitors. 4. Quora Quora is a Q&A site where people can ask a question and get answers from other users. Fortunately, Quora allows you to develop new ideas that will resonate with your audience. What can you do with Quora? You can ask questions that target a specific group of Quora users. You are able to search for questions related to the topic of your business. You are allowed to spend some credits so your questions will get on the front page where more people can view it. 5. Reddit Reddit offers a comment section that is open to every culture and sub-culture. It reaches millions of people every day…

Thinking About Digital Signage for your Small Business? Try These 10 Options

Digital signage can be rather expensive. But it does offer plenty of benefits for small businesses, including the ability to easily change up messages and catch customers’ attention as they pass by. Luckily, there are some affordable solutions out there that even the smallest Main Street businesses can take advantage of. Here are some different solutions to consider that would work for businesses with all different types of budgets. Digital Signage Solutions Stewart LED Signs These LED signs from Stewart Signs consist of many tiny LED lights, so they can show basically any type of image or animation you come up with. This type of sign can get a bit pricier than other solutions. Those interested can request a custom quote or design. But it could be worth it for businesses that are very visually oriented or really want to get people’s attention with custom animations. LED lighting is also fairly energy efficient. Signtronix Combination Lighted and LED Signs This option from Signtronix offers both a traditional lighted sign and an LED sign. So you can show your business logo or a classic visual that you want to communicate all the time, along with a LED message that you can change regularly. Webstaurantstore Scrolling LED Sign For restaurants, bars or lounges, this simple scrolling sign from Webstaurantstore can display a welcome message or a short list of specials for the day. At $180, it comes with a remote, 16 display colors and built-in trivia games. Adaptive Outdoor LED Displays Adaptive offers a line of LED signs that you can put up outside of your business to display full color messages and animations. It comes in a few different versions, depending on how sophisticated you want those animations to appear. It also comes with a built-in editor so you can create and even pre-schedule messages based on promotions, holidays or special events. Signs Plus Mobile Signs If you want your message to be seen around town, rather than just in front of your business, you could consider a mobile solution like this one from Signs Plus. It uses LED lights and…

Deciding Whether to Mix Personal and Business Brands Doesn’t have to be Hard, Read This

For both businesses and individuals, a consistent online brand is essential for attracting the right audience and establishing expertise in their industries. Corporate brands and personal brands are often distinct, but when you are the face of your business, as many entrepreneurs are, you’ll have to decide how you want to integrate the two – or if you want to integrate them at all. In order to get some perspective on the issue, a group of Young Entrepreneur Council members were asked the following question: “Branding is an exercise most of us engage in, both in our businesses and in our personal lives. How does your personal brand intersect with your company brand online, if at all? If the two don’t intersect, why don’t they?” Should You Mix Personal and Business Branding? Here’s what YEC community members had to say: 1. Keep Them Separate “I keep my personal brand separate from my company brand because of the fact that I operate more than one business and brand. It would get too confusing to audiences if I blended them all together. Also, not every audience member is interested in my personal or company brand.” ~ John Rampton, Calendar 2. Core Values Are the Only Intersection “The only way my personal brand intersects with my company brand is through the core values. There is no other intersection; I’d like my personal brand to stay focused on my personal lifestyle and who I am as a person. At the end of the day, people don’t buy your product, they buy from the people they like. It is an emotional buy. When people know me, they are far more enticed to buy my services.” ~ Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing 3. Personal and Professional Brands ‘Seed’ Each Other “We believe strongly in the integrity of our businesses brand, it’s a reflection of us as people. For us, it all has to be related. There cannot be a separation between business brand and personal, the personal has seeded the brand and then as the business grows and hires, the brand “seeds” the personal brand of everyone it employs.” ~ Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure 4. A Personal Brand That Reflects Professional Expertise Drives Business “A lot of my personal posts are related to the field of startups or tech, which has helped both myself and my business. When I have a tech company, many people…

Standing Out at a Trade Show Doesn’t Have to be Hard, Read These 7 Tips

Online marketing is attractive for its cost-efficiency and sheer potential reach, but sometimes, it’s outclassed by traditional marketing strategies. Though mistakenly seen as a dying industry, trade shows are as popular as ever, and they have the potential to be even more valuable than their online marketing counterpart strategies — so long as you know what you’re doing. Why Trade Shows Are Still Valuable If you’re wondering why trade shows are still valuable, we get it. trade shows can be expensive — usually a hundred to a few hundred dollars per square foot of space, depending on your industry and the nature of the event. But consider the distinct advantages: One-on-one interactions. At a trade show, you don’t have to collect leads from random traffic on the internet or use emails and phone calls to try to make a sale. Instead, you can meet with new leads, prospects, and contacts face-to-face — and gain the ability to forge a much stronger connection. The lead pool. Another major advantage is the quality of the potential leads circulating at a trade show; up to 92 percent of trade show attendees are specifically there to learn about new products and services. A lead at a trade show is inherently more valuable, on average, than a lead acquired through other means. Location density. At a trade show, everything in your industry is concentrated in one location. You’ll have access to news, announcements, prospective customers, and competitors, making it valuable no matter what your goals are. How to Stand Out at Your First Trade Show That said, you’ll have to deal with hundreds, or even thousands of other attendees at this event. How are you going to stand out? Do your research ahead of time. First, do your research on the event ahead of time. What type of attendants are they expecting? How many are there going to be? What kind of competition will be there? The better you know your target audience, and the more intimately you know the venue and event, the more specifically you’ll be able to focus your marketing efforts. Choose…

The 15 Biggest Clues Your Business is Ready for Chatbots

Chatbot technologies and AI keep advancing. Maybe you’re wondering if the time is right for chatbots for your business. Is it Time to Look at Chatbots for Small Business? Here, 15 signs it’s time to invest in a chatbot. 1. You have a Blog A chatbot can function as a blog RSS blaster, giving your posts high visibility. You can deliver them with push notifications on Facebook Messenger and get 8x the open rate of email! 2. You have an Email Marketing List Chat blast in the same way you always have with the same benefits as email blasting — but in a more natural, familiar and engaging way! 3. You’re Doing Facebook Ads Messenger ads are an ad format with even more to offer businesses — contact info and opt-in to future messaging. 4. You’re Doing Marketing Automation Chatbots support marketing automation — scheduling, reminders, surveys and more. All that can be done via Facebook Messenger with a chatbot, where you’ll get more engagement than with traditional means like email. Chatbots plug into your other business systems to connect all your lead and customer data from your CRM, to lead management, email marketing, web analytics and beyond. 5. You’re Doing Drip Campaigns If you have a long onboarding process or a solution that requires training, you use drip campaigns to help lead users through the process. Drip campaigns work great with Messenger chatbots. 6. You’re Already Doing On-Site Chat Support What’s better than an on-site chat support? Chat support on Facebook Messenger. You save all chat history. You get people’s contact info. You can message those contacts later. Chatbots never make customers wait, not to mention the fact you can cut back on expensive operator staffing. 7. You have a Healthy List of FAQs Chatbots are great at answering frequently asked questions. Just set up the page you want to trigger based on keywords. 8. You’re Interested in a More Engaging Conversion Funnel With a Facebook chatbot, you can offer conversion forms in a natural and familiar interface. Woo! 9. You’re Tired of Low Email Open Rates The average email open rate…

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