Customer relationship management vector

Small business budgets can be, well, small. Whether you’re in the beginning phases of a new business or are an established entity, budgets are tight and every penny is allocated to a specific function. When it comes to marketing budgets, they are often non-existent. Yet, marketing continues to scale the ladder of importance when it comes to small business operations.

The real question, then, is how does a small business integrate marketing efforts with minimal budget? One practically free means of marketing is to enlist your current customers as unofficial brand advocates. Tapping into your captive and loyal consumer base offers your business endless opportunities to increase brand awareness for minimal spend.

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creative lightbulb vector

Is your marketing campaign sufficiently visual? Images are at the core of modern marketing, but it’s important to grasp the full extent of visual marketing strategies now available, from traditional photography to the increasingly popular infographic. It’s no longer enough to stick to just one form of visual content.

Luckily, putting extra energy into your visual material will be worth your effort, since blogs featuring appropriate image content accrue 94% more views than those without such content. But, of course, some of these visuals are more powerful than others. It’s important to play to your content strengths.

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Brand name compilation

Naming your business can be one of the most challenging pieces of launching a business. There is so much equity tied up in a name, how it correlates with your logo, and the emotions and connotations it stimulates from its audience. One can easily fall down the rabbit hole while trying to pick the perfect name.

Fortunately, we’re here to help! There are a few tried-and-true tips to narrow your search and come up with a long-standing name for your business. While many of you already have a business name, you may be considering a rebrand or renaming, and these tips apply to you, too.

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Content marketing vector

Content marketing has become synonymous with successful businesses over the past few years. However, it remains an anomaly to many. Today, we’re going to dive into what content marketing is and how it can significantly impact your small business. Let’s start with the basics.

What is content marketing?

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action,” according to the Content Marketing Institute.

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holiday_email_marketing_tips

With Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and more eating up all the virtual column inches these days, good old email marketing doesn’t get a lot of attention anymore. Everyone is so worried about whether or not they’re live-tweeting, self-broadcasting, and keeping up with all the other ‘shoulds’ of modern marketing that they forget to perfect their strategy on what remains one of the most effective platforms – email!

With the holidays just around the corner, now is an incredibly important time to optimize your marketing efforts – especially if you sell things online. Even if you don’t, email is a great way to bring people in to your physical store and keep your brand top of mind as people are filling out their holiday gift lists.

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mothers_day_marketing_ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10th—have you planned your promotions yet? Even if you’re patting yourself on the back for remembering to order flowers for mom this year, if you haven’t planned a promotion for your business, your work is not yet done!

For big brands, turning the wheels quickly enough to get a marketing campaign off the ground in short order can be a challenge, but small business owners still have time pull it off. Here are 10 ways to engage with your audience and make the most of the Mother’s Day marketing opportunity!

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user-generated-content

Does an inexpensive, highly effective marketing tactic that requires minimal time investment sound too good to be true? Well it’s not – and it’s called user generated content (UGC). The best part? Other people do most of the work for you.

Okay, that last bit might have been a bit hyperbolic. While it’s true that a UGC campaign does center on content provided by outsiders, the best campaigns do require some time investment from the marketer running them. There is planning the campaign, and then effectively leveraging the materials that are generated by it, but everything in between is up to brand advocates – your current and potential customers.

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Lead generation ideas

Online marketing is a whole arena encompassing many effective forms of promotion. At every turn you come face to face with a new development, strategy, or platform. Keeping up with this world of digital marketing may sound daunting at first, but having spot-on information about the different ways of generating leads online certainly makes it easier.

Just like the inner workings of businesses differ according to their industry, so too do their online marketing efforts. Knowing how to navigate the different techniques and what to focus on is the root of the strategy. What works for a retail company does not necessarily work for a marketing firm. To help you identify what is out there and what works for your business, I’ve compiled a list of effective methods of generating leads online. Diving into the “what,” “how,” and “why” will give you a better understanding of the different techniques available to attract valuable customers.

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Cyber Monday Email Envelope

Ever since 2005 when the Monday following Thanksgiving became the blessing/curse that we call Cyber Monday, marketers have done their very best to capitalize on the opportunity – mostly through our inboxes. Before I became one of those marketers myself, I saw the inundation of emails as a bit of a nuisance. Now, I see it as an opportunity.

If you market a small business (which you probably do if you’re reading this blog) you should make sure that today of all days you view your inbox not as a consumer, but as a marketer. If its anything like the Promotions tab of my Gmail account right now, it’s a veritable treasure trove of email marketing dos and don’ts.

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Collection of sports gear

Looking for ideas for a fun and engaging promotion to share with your audience this season? Look no further than the world of sports. Fall here in the US is rife with opportunity for sports-related marketing, but no matter what time of year or where you live, there’s always some opportunity to newsjack sporting events and create relevant coupon codes.

The first thing you’ll need to do in order to run this type of promotion is take a look at your target audience. Of the people whom you wish to engage, where do their sports loyalties lie? Here in Washington, DC, we have dozens of area sports teams, so local marketers would need carefully gauge who the majority of their customers are rooting for when planning a promotion. There are, of course, some events – like the World Cup – where it’s safer to assume who your audience is pulling for.

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