Admittedly, the marketing strategy of offering a rewards program is nothing new. But as with the success or failure of many tactics, it’s all in the execution.  You will likely get some benefit from a generic ‘refer a friend’ or ‘spend more, save more’ type of program, but to really maximize your rewards program ROI, think about offering something that really resonates with your target market and reinforces your brand’s role in their life.

Take, for example, Sweetgreen restaurants. They will be our case study today not only because everyone in the Webs office is loving that they just opened a franchise across the street, but mostly because Sweetgreen started out as a small business, possibly much like your own.


In keeping with this month’s theme of trends and inspiration, today’s example site was chosen for its great use of a major trend in marketing right now: content marketing.

Content marketing is a strategy that involves creating and sharing various types of content (articles, photos, whitepapers, etc.) with the goal of boosting SEO, driving traffic, building loyalty, and acquiring new leads. If you’ve been reading the blog here for awhile, you’re no doubt already familiar with Content Marketing – not just because we’ve talked about it before, but also because a blog is a great example of content marketing!


Have you ever run a search in Google for your company’s name or a product and noticed that a competitor has usurped your number one spot? If you have, you’re not alone. Many companies have fallen from their cushy top spots only to be replaced by a copycat website who spells their name just differently enough to avoid a lawsuit or a website which uses keywords related to your business, but have no relation to their own. These types of competitive practices are downright dirty and can be frustrating to deal with.


Today’s post comes from Webs’ resident social expert, Social Media Manager Irina Kabigting.

Social media channels have the power to make or break your brand. When creating your a social media strategy for your brand, it is important to take the time to figure out how your brand elements and attributes translate into the social world and what you can do to protect them.

How to Elevate Your Brand on Social Channels

1. Be Active Where It Matters. Nichesocial media channels are popping up all the time and while new portals may seem appealing, it is important to have an active presence where majority of your customers like to hang out.


Last week we talked about how some brands will base their brand values on the ideals of their founder or a prominent figure in their company. Often, one of those ideals is the importance of doing good in the world outside of your industry.

Have you ever been trying to decide between two competing products and found yourself looking for a tie-breaker? At least for me, that tie-breaker has sometimes been a brand’s emphasis on corporate citizenship. I was recently deciding whether to buy a pair of shoes from a local big-box store or to order a pair of Toms. All other factors of comfort and style being equal, I ultimately decided to pay a few dollars more and go with the Toms because I am aware of their philanthropic pursuit to give shoes to kids in need. That’s a very specific example, but we make decisions like this all the time — consciously or unconsciously — when we chose to which brands we will be loyal. We have a sense that some brands share our values, and therefore we choose to support those companies instead of the alternative, even when there is a notable difference in price.


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


Our roundup of useful tools for your small business toolkit continues today with a walk on the practical side.

If there are two things that small businesses are short on — almost by definition — it’s time and space. That’s why it’s important to have great tools on hand to help keep all of your files organized and out of the way. Enter: The Cloud.

Why store your important documents in bulky file cabinets and on breakable, scratchable CDs when you could store them in a magical place in the sky? Sure there are some documents you need to keep paper copies of. But for everything else, going digital can save you lots of time and space in your office (read: kitchen table)


Our series on tools for small business owners continues this fine Monday with some options for editing your own images.

The importance of great imagery for your website and printed materials can’t be overstated. Images are a great way to draw visitors and prospective customers in and show them something about your business’s personality. But not all images are created equal. If your images are too dark, distorted from resizing, or show things that should be cropped out, they can have a detrimental effect on your brand.


One of the great things about featuring Webs user example sites as long as we have been is that we get to see how they change over time. Once such example comes to us today from Kim & Ellory’s Kitchen, a personal chef and catering service run by a husband and wife team.

We first featured Kim and Ellory’s site in June, 2011. At that time, their company’s website looked like this:

Since then, as their business has evolved, so has the style of their website. Here is their website today:


Now that you’re familiar with the concept of SEO and what it does, it’s time to build upon that foundation. Part two of this series aims to show you just how critical SEO is to your online success by discussing its benefits.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to read the first post in this series, Search Engine Optimization 101, I highly recommend giving it a quick read. It will give you a very basic foundation for what people mean when they use the acronym SEO and why it’s important to your business.



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