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Today’s post is for anybody who has ever looked at their Google search results and wondered, “Now why does that guy have his picture beside his content and I don’t?”

The answer is, that guy has successfully set up Google Authorship for the content he shares online. In a nutshell, Google Authorship is a way for people searching for content to immediately see who wrote an article, identifying them by their name a photo.

If you have a blog and are consistently creating posts as part of your content marketing strategy, you have a huge opportunity to do something relatively simple that can have big benefits for you and your small business. What kind of benefits, you ask?

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In honor of Social Media Week (hey, did you know that it’s Social Media Week?) today’s post will address one of the most asked questions in all of social media marketing: what are the most effective tactics for posting on social media?

As luck would have it, our good friends at Pagemodo recently created an infographic with social media posting tips for 4 of the most popular platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. In it, you’ll find answers to questions like:

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For today’s installment in our content marketing series, we’re going to take a look at three very different brands doing content marketing in unique and interesting ways. And while these are well-developed brands with a fair amount of capital (human and financial) behind their efforts, the techniques they employ are absolutely accessible by small businesses as well. Let’s dive right in.

1. Saveur Magazine
Of all the types of content you could create, video certainly has the potential to go viral very quickly, and with very little added effort on you part. The key is to create something that will answer a question that a lot of people might have on their minds. Saveur does exactly that with their SAVEUR Basics video series. While there are probably a number of expert chefs consuming the magazine and website, the majority are more the aspirational set. People who cook frequently and want to be able to expand their skills so they can be more like the pros. Enter this series of just a handful of tutorials that are brief, helpful, and beautifully shot. I find these incredibly useful and really make me value Saveur as a brand. And judging from the YouTube details, over 1 million other people feel the same way.

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Our series on content marketing continues today with a discussion about the benefits this marketing strategy can have for your small business. Now that you are familiar with what content marketing is, and some different types of content you can create, let’s talk about why you should be doing this in the first place.

1. Content is great for SEO
Search engine optimization trends come and go, but relevant, quality content never goes out of style. Each time Google updates its search algorithm (like the recent switch to Hummingbird), SEO experts pepper the Internet with articles about how to take advantage of the new system. And a lot of that is great advice, even if it can be impossible to keep up with. But one sure-fire strategy for improving your ranking without living on SEO blogs is to regularly publish quality content that people will find useful.

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In our recent introduction to content marketing, we talked about the established and ever-growing trend of publishing content as a means of drawing more potential customers to your front door – virtual or physical.

Marketing has taken a sharp left turn in recent years away from the old broadcasting style of communication and toward more customer-focused tactics. This provides big benefits from both a human and a search engine optimization standpoint for your business – especially if you’re on a budget. You might not be able to afford a TV or radio spot to get your name out there, but you can probably afford to start a blog and a set up a few social media profiles.

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If you’ve spent any time on this and other blogs related to small business marketing, you’ve probably run across the term “content marketing” more than a few times. And while content marketing as a strategy is quickly gaining popularity in the industry, some people are still not quite sure what it means. In a series we’re starting today, we’ll see if we can help with that.

Content Marketing Institute (yes, that really exists), offers the following definition:

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When LinkedIn recently released its fourth quarter numbers, the professional-leaning social network reported having added 18 million new members over the preceding three-month period. That puts the platform up from 259 members to 277 (Mashable).

With numbers like that, you have to ask yourself: am I using LinkedIn to the fullest to promote my small business?

One great way small business owners and marketers can take advantage of this platform is through Showcase Pages. For our purposes here today, we’ll assume you already have a LinkedIn Company Page (if you don’t, you should make one, and then check out their 10 Best of 2013 for inspiration).

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It’s no secret that the most effective marketing plans are those that are multichannel, and don’t rely on just one avenue for getting the word out. Sometimes, however, small and micro business owners make the mistake of thinking that this means they have to do everything all at once when they first start out. This often leads to an “all or nothing” situation in which busy entrepreneurs who don’t have the time to market on every channel end up doing nothing because they get overwhelmed.

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Today’s post comes from Webs’ Lead Analyst, Alex Mitchell.

In today’s tech-enabled world, there are hundreds of startups and established companies trying to simplify the way businesses collect money Online and Offline from customers.

In the blog, we’ve talked about specific Online payment solutions and tools for business owners with something to sell, but we believe it’s time for a definitive top 5 list of the best Online and Offline payment solutions.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that solutions on this list may be better or worse options for your particular business based on your product, sales volume, or number of employees/locations.

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Today’s article comes from Laura Kranz, Acquisition Marketing Coordinator at Webs.

Today we’re going to take a look at digital coupons, and how your small business could factor them into your marketing plan.

A coupon is a promotional tool used to offer specific savings to help persuade the customer to buy your product or service. A digital coupon allows the customer to redeem it online through their PC, laptop, or mobile device. Before you test any coupons, make sure your online store is equipped with a coupon code box at checkout.

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