Bullseye - Content Marketing Mission Statement

Looking to get started (or start fresh) in content marketing for your small business? You’re in luck – we picked up some great tips at Social Media Examiner’s recent Social Media Marketing World conference and we’re dying to share!

The first session we attended was with content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi. One of the takeaways we most wanted to share with you from the presentation is the idea of creating a content marketing mission statement.

Long before you create a blog, brainstorm topics, or write your first blog post, it’s critical to make sure that you (and anyone else who will contribute) know exactly what it is you’re setting out to do. If you aren’t sure, how can your audience be?

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Email marketing alternatives

The smartphone explosion has created a number of ways for digital marketers to reach out to potential customers. And while email marketing was once an effective—and cutting-edge—way for marketers to deliver their messages, things are rapidly changing. The rapid shift of mobile users away from email to other communications platforms calls for digital marketers to use new avenues in order to stay in front of their audiences.

To that end, here are 6 alternatives to email that organizations can use to make their marketing campaigns more relevant and effective.

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Webs Facebook Cover Photo CTA

Facebook gave small business owners an unexpected early holiday gift yesterday, December 11th – new CTA buttons for business Facebook pages! Calls to action (CTAs) are an incredibly important – but often forgotten – part of the design of any piece of marketing. How are you supposed to get your potential customers to take the action you want if you don’t tell them what it is?

CTAs typically show up most in outbound marketing pieces like emails and online ads, but savvy business owners know that it’s also key to have highly-visible calls to action on their websites. The online viewer is fickle and easily distracted, so it’s imperative that they know immediately what they’re supposed to do while you have their attention.

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Lezzetli ice cream website

Given that we live and breathe small business marketing at Webs, it’s no surprise that seeing our users whip up a great website for an interesting business really makes our day around here. Today’s day-maker? Lezzetli Turkish-Style Ice Cream.

This mom-and-pop-style ice cream company is run by a couple who fell in love with traditional Turkish ice cream while traveling, and decided to bring the tradition back home to New York City.

One thing that shows Lezzetli is serious about their business is their consistent brand. From their web, to their social profiles, to their physical packaging, everything reinforces their energetic and natural style.

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Happy Halloween Picture

The most effective marketing strategies are ones that capture your audience’s attention. And the best way to do that is to show that your company has personality.

That’s why when holidays like Halloween roll around, it is always a good idea to show your spirit (see what we did there).

This year we saw some great examples to spook your imagination for doing some last minute efforts today, or get you ready for next year!

Your Email

Sending out a Halloween-themed email can be a subtle, yet effective, way to impact open and click-rates for this time of year. While some may believe your inbox may be cluttered with similar messages, dare to be different to drive your customers to be curious about your message. Instead of just saying “Happy Halloween,” try some cheesy Halloween subject lines where your audience can’t help but laugh at (and click) your email! The best message I received this year came from Ann Taylor LOFT.

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Robert Allan Salon header

On its own, Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool. When combined with a solid web presence that completes the cycle, the impact is even stronger. Such is the case with today’s Webs user example site, Robert Allan Salon.

When looking for websites to feature here on the blog, I am always delighted when I find myself taking exactly the path that the site’s creator intended. This suggests to me that they’ve done a really great job thinking through the user experience and strategizing about their website’s purpose.

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Small business trends infographic header

The small business landscape is one that is always changing. What’s true of this intrepid group one year may take an unexpected turn the next. So it’s always fascinating to touch base with business owners and learn about their needs, challenges, and aspirations for their businesses.

The infographic below summarizes the Webs Small Business Digital Trends Survey – the latest findings based on the responses of over 2,200 small business owners in the United States. Much of what you find below will probably confirm what you have experienced, and some of it might really surprise you. Here are a few of the stats that really stood out to us:

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Vine Website Screenshot

Unless you’ve been in some sort of social media deprivation tank, you have probably seen a Vine, or at least know what it is. While Vine, which came on the scene in early 2013, has enjoyed quite a bit of success with both personal users and brands, it has yet to become as ubiquitous a marketing tool as the company that owns it (Twitter).

Vine is newer than Twitter, sure. But another reason for the slow adoption, specifically among smaller businesses, is the tech intimidation factor. It’s easy enough to download the Twitter app, write a message with a link or a hashtag in fewer than 140 characters, and hit send. But with Vine, busy entrepreneurs might be stymied by the idea that they have to plan a video, figure out how to shoot it, figure out how to share it, etc. But we’re here to tell you that not only is Vine not that hard, it can be incredibly worthwhile.

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Screenshot of Snapchat video

We have talked before about whether or not your small business should care about Snapchat – what it is, how it could deepen your relationships with your customers, and how you can evaluate its effectiveness for your business.

There have been a few updates to the Snapchat app since its inception, including adding filters, font changes, and, most recently, Storytelling. But yesterday, Snapchat threw a curve-ball and finally brought the “chat” to Snapchat.

In an announcement on their blog, Snapchat expressed their sense that there was an important part missing from their app for conversation: “presence.” So how did they manage to bring in the missing puzzle piece?

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Image from Kate Spade's Facebook profile


In theory, it sounds like a great idea to have your website coordinate with your Facebook page, doesn’t it? But theory and practice are two different things, and for small business owners who don’t have a graphic designer on call, this might sound like a tall order. That is, unless they’ve tried the newly-revamped Cover Photo Designer from our friends at Pagemodo.  This tool has been making Facebook cover photo creation a snap since 2012, and the update that was released yesterday makes the process and results even better. They’ve added lots of new themes and a whole new design interface that let’s the user add custom shapes, text, and logos to make a totally personalized image. It’s an easy way to create a great looking cover photo if you have limited design skills and no budget (it’s free).

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