Trends For Digital Marketing Nowadays

Jameson General Store was a historical treasure in the small North Carolina Community. Jim Jameson, the owner, had been part of the family legacy over 100 years old. The company had seen bad times, including The Great Depression. However, their hard work and customer loyalty had sustained the company’s success.

Even when a neighboring community got its Walmart’s Marketplace Store, their customers remained loyal. Jim did not believe in utilizing online advertising and social media platforms. He believed that these activities were only a fad. Yet, their customers gradually started shopping online because Jameson General Store was limited in its product offerings.

In fact, most of the business that Jameson Store lost was not to local competitors, but online sellers. Jim was adamant about resisting the temptation about shopping online. Yet, when he saw his own 10-year-old grandson purchase a difficult item to locate in the area online at significant costs, Jim had to ponder his current marketing strategy with the changing landscape in the nation.

Today’s customers can purchase a variety of items online with minimum effort. Given this scenario, brick and mortar companies are fighting to stay alive with the fierce internet competition. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics looking at 1,164 U.S. business owners, the following observations were made:

  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.
  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online.
  • 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop online rather than in-store.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).
  • 51% of seniors have shopped on marketplaces, 66% at large retailer sites, 30% on web stores or independent boutiques, and 44% at category-specific online stores.

Marketing professionals understand the importance of the internet and how to effectively leverage this power. According to Socialmedia.com, 90% of marketers use social media for their businesses. Sadly, many small businesses do not recognize this fact. Many businesses had opted to bury their heads in the sand in hopes that this ‘internet thing’ will go away. It hadn’t!In fact, e-Commerce is growing more than 23% annually; however, 46% of American small businesses do not have a website according to Square and Mercury Analytics research. This article focuses on how small businesses can leverage digital marketing to achieve greater success and enhance their market opportunities.

Digital marketing should be a tool that every serious small business should utilize. Digital marketing goes by many names such as e-commerce marketing, online marketing, and internet marketing. Digital marketing can be defined as “the marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers.” The key objective is to promote brands the usage of the internet.

Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet. Some digital marketing channels include websites, social media platforms, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, podcasts, and online advertising to name a few. Beyond technology gimmicks, businesses should know their customers and their core competencies. Digital marketing is not a silver bullet. Digital marketing is a tool for the savvy business professional.

Catherine Juan, Donnie Greiling, and Catherine Buerkle, authors of Internet Marketing: Start to Finish, suggest that effective digital marketing requires plenty of careful planning. They add, “The heart of getting real traction out of your internet marketing program is to tie marketing and sales data together, with metrics. Track what you’re doing, track the impact, and track the resulting sales.” Looking at the landscape of technology and internet innovation, small businesses should think strategically about the following five digital marketing trends:

Artificial Intelligence – Some people develop elaborate doom-day scenarios of machines to control the world. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a way of life in marketing. AI can be defined as ‘the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.’ Voice Activation technology like Amazon’s Echo is bringing AI into public attention. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their purchases without interacting with a person.

Internet Searching – Buyers are more knowledgeable than ever with access to the internet. In fact, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. Thus, exploring how to utilize search engine optimization and getting your business at the top of searches is an invaluable step.

Mobile Communications – Most Americans have grown accustomed to instant gratification and easy access to technology. Mobile and tablet e-commerce will reach $293B by 2018. Smartphone and tablets are part of this wave of innovation. Mobile will account for 72% of the U.S. digital ad spend by 2019. Marketers recognize that mobile marketing is an untapped business tool.

Social Media – Social media platforms, like Facebook, allows buyers to connect with each other virtually. 65% of business-to-business companies have acquired customers through LinkedIn ads. Marketers realize this value.

Web Content – Good content will attract customers. In fact, customers are more likely to purchase from sellers with good, relevant videos/photos on their website. 52% of marketing professionals globally name the video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Faced with the tenants of competition, small businesses need to utilize digital marketing. Some small businesses may be hesitant to explore digital marketing due to their lack of trust and understanding of the internet. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, note “Top firms are comfortable using technology to improve the way they do business with their business-to-business customers.”

Technology Tips You Should Know For Small Business

You may be the CEO of a new business with a lot of requests from clients or you may be an IT professional at a small firm where new infrastructure is required. No matter what position you are on right now, you need advanced technology solutions. However, you may want to keep in mind that installing and maintaining new systems can pose a challenge. So, you have to be ready to deal with this challenge. One way is to hire a dedicated employee or outsource the tasks to a good team of professionals. Given below are a few tips that can be used to organize remote tech support.

Identifying the results

First of all, what you need to do is identify your desired results. It’s important to keep in mind that each small business has its own requirements as far as tech support is concerned. So, it’s a good idea to decide on what you want to achieve. Moreover, you may want to find out about the technical issues that you may encounter. For instance, your requirements may be different if your area gets regular power outages.

Your next step is to make a list of your main IT tasks and the desired results that you want to achieve. This will help you get a better idea of your needs and choose the right type of technical support.

Choosing the provider

It’s not a good idea to take this decision without thinking a lot. You should take your time to do the research and look for the right company. The provider should have good reputation and a support plan that won’t break the bank.

Considering in-house tech support

A dedicated IT staff can help a lot provided you take into account all the important factors, such as the company size, tech challenges, and your internal and external needs related to your customers.

Considering hybrid solutions is also a great idea where you can bring a professional to handle critical issues. For other projects, you can use a remote IT support team. For instance, you can use this team to take care of emergency issues.

Investing in good software

Your business may have more than one location. Your commitments may be time-sensitive and your deliverables may be complex. Your customers or clients may be diverse with needs that keep on changing.

To meet these needs, you need to buy a reliable remote app in order to offer support to each of your client. The same app can be used by your staff to get access to important data as needed.

Consulting IT pros

If your business experiences small issues on a route basis, you can get advice from the pros whose job is to fix those issues on a daily basis. For instance, you can head to tech support forums where many pros offer advice for free of charge to those who need it. You may be amazed to know that even complicated issues can be solved with simple tricks.

Getting Rid Fear When Starting Business

Self-doubt, uncertainty and fear are all emotions that can impact a person’s ability to start-up a new business. Many entrepreneurs feel the pressure of investors, partners and employees relying on them. In order to overcome the mental roadblocks that can slow progress, there needs to be a wholehearted commitment in every area of building a successful business.

Here are a few things to consider in the process of starting a business:

Set attainable goals

A first step to starting a successful business is to create an overall company mission, which is then broken down into a series of achievable tasks. These small tasks can be used much like stepping-stones in the process of reaching the final target. Plus, this will make the process of starting a business seem less intimidating and also gives a clear outline of the work that needs to be completed as the business grows.

Also, in the early stages of starting the business it isn’t necessary to be a perfectionist. Start to set-up a professional looking website and test the service or product. Any fine tuning can be completed before the service is finally launched to the public.

Build up a solid foundation

Building a solid foundation and passionate community is essential from the very early stages of putting a business together. It is essential to have the right support in place to give time to reach the intended goals. While a lot of passion and determination is great, there is also a need to have a certain level of financial stability. The basic foundation to have in place is likely to include the keen customers, partners and investors. Each of these groups will help to achieve the desired financial success. Talk to as many people as possible when starting out to create a useful support system that will help build a lot of confidence and guidance.

Invest the right amount of time

In the early stages of starting a business it can be difficult to set the most ideal work-life balance. In the beginning, there will be a need to invest a lot of energy and time into the business to see the successful results. However, in time the business will start to have less of an impact on relationships and personal life. Plus, with a proper support system in place, this will further help to make a business owner’s day-to-day life easier. It helps to have an understanding with other people in your life that won’t leave you feeling guilty about the amount of time spent working.

While many people will think up ideas for a business product or solution, only a very few will actually take the leap and attempt to pursue their dream and build a business based on that idea. Questioning and vulnerability are typical with all types of decisions, but with the proper focus and commitment there is every possibility of getting a successful business up and running.

All About Office Service As Freelancer

Freelancers, or virtual assistants, provide the services which many firms, particularly small or medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses in the early stages of their development, need but cannot always afford on a full-time salaried basis. By paying for those services as and when they need them, they are effectively sharing the wage bill with the freelancer’s other customers. It is an arrangement which suits everybody involved, and from which everyone benefits.

Some of the services which can be undertaken remotely by a contracted freelancer are ones which may otherwise have been beyond the means of a small business owner. Not every entrepreneur can afford to hire a personal assistant, for example, but by outsourcing the work of a PA it is sometimes possible to have such services provided on demand, saving both on the wage bill and on the expense of unproductive employee retention during periods of relative inactivity. By using resources such as People Per Hour, where freelancers can offer their services and businesses can look for help, a match can quickly be made.

The International Virtual Assistants’ Association even operates its own members directory as a useful tool for companies who are looking for some help.

Concentrate on Building Your Business

Other functions which can similarly be delegated to an outside service provider include accountancy, web design, search engine optimisation, graphics and images, market research to gather information of customer trends and content design and management. In fact whole swathes of the operational side of the business can be placed into the hands of the virtual assistant, leaving the entrepreneur free to concentrate on the task of growing the company.

In terms of setting yourself up in business as a virtual assistant or freelancer, the first step would be to identify an area, or areas, in which you specialize, or for which there is a demand which would appear as yet to be unsatisfied. The next, and of just as much importance, is to establish a presence and build a high profile on the web which will enable potential customers to find you and to see what it is you have to offer them. One good way of achieving this would be to set up a blog and to keep it updated with fresh and interesting content. It is worthwhile too adding to your portfolio by building a Facebook page associated with the service you offer.

Working as a freelancer offers the freedom to work as you please, and without being committed or beholden to one specific employer. It works for both parties which is why it is increasing in popularity throughout the US and elsewhere.