Today we’re going to hit pause on our Small Business Promotion series to talk about something new and exciting that’s coming from Google. On Wednesday the tech giant announced on its blog that users will soon see a brand new inbox when they log into their Gmail accounts.

Gmail’s new inbox will automatically sort your emails into customizable categories or tabs. You can click each one to see what’s new in each category when you have time to browse, or go straight to your Primary inbox when you don’t. READ MORE

We’re continuing our series on small business promotion. Today’s topic is Paid Search Advertising so we brought in the big guns, aka Asheley Dozier, our Acquisition Marketing Manager. Enjoy!

We’ve talked a lot on the blog about search engine optimization (SEO), but there is a whole other side to getting found in search engines: Paid search. Often referred to as SEM (search engine marketing), paid search advertising is made up of text ads or sponsored links that are found at the top and on the right side of a search engine results page. All search engines have paid search programs, but Google AdWords and Bing Ads are the most popular. READ MORE

When you run a non-profit, you work just as hard and put just as much energy in as any other business — only with a fraction of the budget. So it’s essential that you learn how to do more with less.

Luckily, there is this wonderful tool called the Internet that levels the playing field and allows non-profits to reach a vastly broader audience than they ever could using traditional media.

The first place to start is with your website. This is your number one resource. If you have no time or energy for any other promotional activities, make sure you at least have a robust and well-built website. Websites today can be very inexpensive to build and maintain if you choose the right solution (we, of course, recommend this one). In our increasingly digital world, your website is most likely the way that almost everyone will first interact with your organization. It’s your storefront, your billboard, and your communications center. READ MORE

Today’s Webs user example website comes to us all the way from Reykjavik, Iceland! Jon Arnar is an artist who uses his website to promote his exhibitions, show off his fantastic body of work, and sell paintings through an online store.

Aside from being up-to-date and robust, one feature that really makes Jon’s site stand out is his use of a very appropriate Webs theme called “Gallery” (appropriately).

This is a clean and understated theme that offers a little something extra toward the footer to give visitors a sense of place. This is especially nice for artists like Jon who live in a particular city but sell their artwork to people all over the world. READ MORE

We’ve recently talked about how to promote your business by promoting yourself, but have you thought about where to do this?

Well, the short answer is everywhere. You never know when a great networking opportunity may present itself, so you should always bear in mind that you are the face of your business. The long answer (aka, this blog post) is at small business networking events where you can meet others who are in your community and possibly in your industry. These events are often educational, but are valuable beyond that for building a network of people you can go to for advice, and who can recommend your business to people in their own networks. READ MORE

Our series on promotion for small businesses rolls on today with an insightful look at the power of promotional products from our friends at Vistaprint. In a recent blog post, they discussed five major benefits of using promotional products as a marketing tactic, which we’d like to share with you today.

Consider this statistic: of the people surveyed, 52% said their impression of a company is more positive after receiving a promotional product from them, and nearly 50% use those products daily. How did your last marketing tactic stack up against those numbers? READ MORE

This week’s Webs user site is a great example of how small businesses can use branded events to promote themselves and create exposure and buzz. One of the big advantages of having a small business with the interaction you can foster with your local community. It’s a great way to get your name out there, form relationships, and get people spreading the word about your business.

Beantown Cornhole, located in the Boston area, builds and sells high quality boards and bags for the game of Cornhole. In addition to the products that they sell, however, they also host weekly contests and charity tournaments year round. This strategy serves two important marketing purposes: READ MORE

Promotion, one element of your marketing mix, is the set of tactics business owners and marketers use to achieve a defined goal for the business or brand. And whether your next promotion is digital (a contest, a landing page on your website, an email) or print (brochures, a postcard mailing, your business cards) there are number of pitfalls to watch out for. Here are 10 of the big ones that can really tank your next promotion:

1. Failing to identify your goals. A personal trainer once told me, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This also rings true in marketing. Without defining what you hope to achieve with your promotion, your effort is doomed from the start. Wikipedia identifies 3 possible objectives for promotions as READ MORE

Continuing May’s theme of promotion for your small business, today’s topic deals with how your presentation of yourself as the owner of your business can help (or hinder) your marketing efforts. Turns out, our Head of Marketing has recently had a lot of experience on this front, so we’ll turn this one over to Rochelle: 

No matter how much time and effort you spend on creating a compelling and consistent brand for your business in order to have effective marketing and promotion, there is one element many small business owners overlook: their own personal brand.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently in my personal life.  My husband and I bought a new home in September, while we’re committed to doing a lot of the work ourselves, we are currently interviewing for some of the more difficult jobs. READ MORE

Time for another great website example from a Webs user! Feels like it’s been awhile since our last example site review, so let’s dive right in.

Today we’re going to take a look at the website of El Faro Restaurant in Summit, Illinois. The first thing you’ll learn about El Faro form their website is that this is the home of the Giant Burritos (we’re sold already!). The second thing you’ll notice is that they are open 24 hours, which is great because the middle of the night is the perfect time for a giant burrito. READ MORE


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