Without local support, the majority of businesses will fail! Yes, that’s a shocking statement when you consider how important being online is nowadays but online isn’t everything when it comes to your business. The local connection is just as important which is why it’s essential that any business hoping to prosper has strong local support.
One of the best ways you can do this is to ensure your businesses brand is properly promoted within your local community. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth, even today this more old-fashioned way of promoting your business will usually always get customers to come to you.
Recommendations and local reviews can be a huge help when it comes to expanding your business but how do you get them and what other ways can you help your businesses brand grow amongst your local audience?
Well that’s a lot to think about isn’t it and while I wouldn’t say it’s easy the mistake many businesses make is that they over complicate things. Promoting your business’s brand to your local community can be achieved using more simple methods, so before designing huge campaigns why not consider some of my tips below.
Highlight What You Do Differently
If you want your brand to grow on any level (whether local business such as salonca.com/barber-chairs.html or international) then you need to find a way to stand out from the competition. That might sound simple but trust me it can be more challenging to get your USP into words than you think.
But it’s essential that you do work out a way to explain or outline what you do differently to your local customers. Do you use only local ingredients, do you use a portion of your profits to support the local community? There are lots of potential ways your business could be different from your competition.
So, find a way to promote that to your local customers so they can see why coming to you is going to be better than going to your competitors.
Find Local Influencers
You don’t have to grow your brand all on your own, in fact, if you’re doing it all yourself then something is likely going wrong! Boosting your brand locally should be something you set in motion and keep an eye to ensure it’s still on track, if you do it well your local community will help it grow.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to find local influencers online and then set-up a working relationship with them. All types of social media can be used for this, but certain types will be better suited for certain businesses, if you’re a fashion retailer for example then more visual sites like Instagram will be better suited for you.
Finding local influencers is also easier than you might think, simply search by location find the most popular people and then get in touch with them. Then work out an arrangement, you could send them some free products for them to advertise or invite them down to your business.
There are lots of ways you can use local influencers to great effect when it comes to boosting your businesses brand, so get online and start tracking them down.
Add Value To The Local Community
If you want your local community to support your business then you will need to prove that you are valuable to them! Depending on where you’ve set-up your business you could have competition from plenty of other similar outlets.
So, how do you stand out from them? My first tip about highlighting your differences is a great first tip, but you can do more than just that. If you want long-lasting local support from your community you should be working on a way to make your business a pillar of the community.
Yes, this isn’t something you’ll be able to do straight away, because it will take time to build up support, but you can get the ball rolling straight away. Depending on the nature of your business you could support local charities, sponsor local events and get involved in local initiatives. Show how valuable you can be to your local community and they’ll be sure to support you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Personal
OK, this is probably not the best phrasing but let me explain if you really want your business’s brand to grow then you shouldn’t be afraid to get your face out there! You are the physical representation of your business after all, which means if you are likable and friendly more people in your local community will want to support you.
In essence, you are your business’s brand in many ways, so get out there and talk to your local community whenever you can. Simple things like introducing yourself to new customers can make a big difference yes you have an important role behind the scenes, but you shouldn’t stay hidden there. Give your businesses brand a face and personality because it will be sure to boost support amongst your local community.
Run Local Events/ Competitions
Running events and competitions won’t just be a great way of building support it will also be a great way of promoting your businesses brand. They don’t have to be time consuming or difficult either holding a sale can be an event! Yes, it might not be the most exciting event ever, but it will likely get people into your shop or looking at your website.
Think about innovative ways to build up support, you could run a competition with local school children by asking them to design a character that your business could use or invite local groups to join in with a celebratory event you’re holding. There are plenty of ways you can boost your brand while also getting the local community involved so don’t be afraid to try something new.
Boosting your brand awareness locally can seem difficult but it’s simpler than many people think and the best thing about these five tips is that many of them can be used together to great effect.
There are many ways in which we can start a business, and the Internet means that most us are able to run a business with minimal setup costs. However, there will always be some form of recurring payment that needs to be made, and in some instances, could even be a legal requirement.
Although there are legal requirements in place for a business, this doesn’t mean the business has to pay the first amount presented to them.
The initial research can take a little time, but once you know what reductions can be made, you’d be amazed at how it can help maintain a more positive cash flow.
Every company that offers insurance will state that its insurance package is the most beneficial, but it’s important to consider some important factors agreeing to a specific policy.
If you’ve already committed to a policy, then you may have to use this solution for now, but it’s important to carry out a review when the policy is due for renewal to be able to shop around for some better deals.
As well as business loans, from companies such as https://toploancompanies.com there can be many forms of insurance, depending on the type of business being operated. This can often include liability insurance, property insurance and in some instances, healthcare insurance.
Even checking with the local trade association could introduce a business to some rates it didn’t know existed. A business may not always find a better deal, but it’s something it should investigate when reducing costs that can eat into the profits of a business.
In some instances, a business may try to run before it can walk and assume that offering an attractive wage will persuade the more loyal and hard-working employee that many businesses are looking for, but this isn’t always the case.
Not introducing a trial period when employing somebody for a role could be detrimental if the employee isn’t able to show enthusiasm in their role and can often mean that a business is investing more than it’s able to make back.
This isn’t to say that a business is going to experience an issue with every employee it hires but having some safeguard in place ensures that you’re not wasting money on an employee who is merely looking to take advantage of their opportunity.
Regardless of what type of business you have, ensuring that the company taxes are paid on time is of paramount importance. Although you may assume that there is no harm in being a couple of days late when paying taxes, it could end up costing the business more money as a result.
Collating our company records quickly could mean that we’re missing expenses, which could mean that the company ends up paying more tax as a result.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your business has some form of system in place that helps determine what the upcoming financial obligations are, and what services and products the business can gain tax relief on.
IT may not seem important to capture the smaller expenses, but this can pile up over the tax year, and business owners are often surprised at how much the company can save when ensuring that the smaller purchases are accounted for.
If the business has no experience when it comes to keeping accurate account, it can often assume that using a professional service will be expensive. Although there will be varying price points, many businesses find that they are able to source a reliable accountant that can help contend with the more difficult aspects of accountancy.
If the business does have experience, but just wants to ensure that it’s able to simplify the process, then there are a series of operating systems, programs and apps that can make light work of accounts. Regardless of whether it’s a spreadsheet or a dedicated app, you can be assured that more often than not, there will some form of software that can help make accounts less intimidating.
There are many forms of advertising available to a business depending on the message it’s trying to convey. However, some companies can put too much faith into a strategy that’s not able to deliver the desired results.
Television and radio advertising can be very effective, but it’s not ideal for being able to pinpoint potential customers within different demographics, which means while your advert may be heard or seen, it may not be acted upon.
During the early days, it can be more effective to make use of social media and SEO. Although it may not have the reach of television or radio, it does means that the advertising will be noticed by people who will genuinely be interested in the product or service you have to offer.
Facebook is especially useful for new start-ups and small business, as you can literally tailor your ads to be put in front of those within a certain demographic, while being able to make use of their interests.
Although a business should never assume that every single person will interact with its ad, it can prove to be more cost-effective when it comes to make a return.
Digital marketing is essential and any business regardless of its size will need an effective digital marketing strategy. The majority of businesses, especially in this more digitally orientated world we now live in will need digital marketing to drive sales and get people’s attention.
Digital marketing just like more old-fashioned traditional marketing can be done in many different ways. However, the variety of options you have is a double-edged sword it gives you many creative and exciting ways to market your business but also dramatically increases the risk factor.
This is why many people struggle with digital marketing they either play it too safe and therefore simply don’t get noticed or capture their audiences attention. Or they over complicate it and simply come off looking sloppy and unprofessional, you don’t have to just get someone’s attention with digital marketing you have to keep it.
Competition in the digital world is also fierce, thousands of businesses are trying to get people’s attention and while there is room for everyone making a small business stand out from a big one is difficult.
But it can be done with effective digital marketing if you pay attention to the trends and are strategic. It’s easy to make mistakes but you shouldn’t let that scare you and below the amazing team over at Summon Digital who are a digital agency in London have listed some of the more common digital marketing mistakes and outlined how you can avoid falling victim to them.
Jumping On Trends
The internet is full of trends and while some have staying power others will quickly fade away within a few days. A certain website or platform might be trendy at the moment and get a lot of interest but in a week or two everyone could just as quickly forget about it.
So, investing time and money on short-term trends is something any business should avoid. But the difficult part is in knowing whether a trend will be short-term or not, if you jump on the trend straightaway you could end up being one of the first to take advantage of it and build-up a big presence very quickly.
However, if the trend just fizzles out then you’ve wasted time, effort and resources with no payoff. Trends are a big gamble, so you need to be strategic and think carefully before jumping on the bandwagon. Don’t blindly follow the latest trends if there is no benefit to your marketing strategy either because it will all just be a waste of time.
Focusing On Quantity Over Quality
You might have heard the “Quality over quantity” saying at school and it still holds true today especially when it comes to digital marketing. One of the most important parts of digital marketing is staying engaged with your audience, whether it’s through social media posts, blogs or videos to name just a few of the possibilities.
You’ll always be producing content that will capture your audience’s attention, however, it’s the quality of the content that is most important not the amount of it. Sure, it’s good to update regularly but simply bombarding your audience with content will not build an effective digital marketing strategy.
It’s just going to annoy your audience and will make most of them unfollow you and if your producing content every hour it isn’t likely to be very high-quality is it? So, be flexible and strike the right balance of posting quality content to keep your audience’s attention without overpowering them.
Forgetting The Mobile Platform
It’s 2018 is there really any excuse to not build for the mobile platform nowadays? I certainly don’t think so and if you want an effective digital marketing strategy you should think the same. Smartphones and tablets are how many people surf the web nowadays and it isn’t just the younger demographics either.
You could have a beautiful, high-quality website that looks great when you view it from a computer but is completely unusable when viewed through a tablet or smartphone. So, ensure your website as a mobile-friendly version at the ready because that is likely what the majority of people will be seeing.
Not Being Personal Enough
That subheading is a little misleading because like many areas of digital marketing personalisation is a balancing act. You don’t want to be too personal because that is likely to make many potential customers feel a little uneasy, but personalisation is very important because it shows you are treating your customers like people and not just numbers on a chart.
It gives your business character and helps build a stronger relationship, personalised marketing is also much simpler than you think, and even little touches can go a long way. Use engaging language in your newsletters and make sure people are responded to by their names, little things like that can have a big impact.
Not Understanding SEO and CRO
Let’s make this final tip a double shall we? Both search engine optimisation and conversion rate optimisation are very important when it comes to building an effective digital marketing strategy, but they are often misunderstood or forgotten about. Let’s look at SEO first, SEO is built around building up your rank and presence online.
Keywords and backlinks are two of the most important components but far from everything, however, the mistake many people make is that they overdo it. You can’t just throw keywords and links around. That won’t build quality content and will likely just see you get sanctioned by search engines.
CRO is about actually getting the people who visit your website to convert, to reach the goal you set-up. For businesses this will mean buying either a product or service from them, you might get thousands of visitors but only a few actual converts. CRO is designed to help increase your visitor to conversion ratio.
CRO, therefore, is incredibly useful if you want to actually make a profit and you need to focus on CRO if you want to increase your chances of making a sale. This can be done in many ways but it’s easy to do it wrong just like SEO, so focus on plotting out the customer’s journey, actively seek feedback from customers and ensure you have a structured approach.
Raising finance for debt in business is often a different concern to raising finance for debt in our personal lives. In fact, according to The Debt Advisory Service who provide various debt solutions such as Individual Voluntary Arrangement’s raising finance for debt in business is often a very healthy way of moving forward, in order for growth and development, whereas in our personal financial situations if we’re attempting to raise finance to enter into debt it can often be because we’ve overstretched ourselves or haven’t the monetary needs to live the life we set out to.
In business however, you may be looking to raise capital to enter into an opportunity that requires funds you haven’t accrued yet, or for equipment that we may help expand and diversify your product or service. Yes, it can also be to provide a stop-gap when cash flow has become an obstacle; to pay wages or suppliers, or to cover charges and other fiscal commitments, but when approaching methods to accrue fresh capital there are many reasons lenders will see credit as a positive entity for both parties, a means to make money on both sides which will safeguard their investment in you.
There are two standard terms of debt finance and several methods that outline ways to respond to them. Short-term and long-term plans depict an outline of what the capital should be used for and the time it should take to clear the debt and also the means and methods of accruing the finance to repay the amount.
Short-term debt finance
A short-term finance option should be for temporary fixes to cash flow problems. Elements that apply in this area could well be finding capital to pay for equipment, for stock or supplies needed to provide or produce your product or service, or perhaps simply to acquire the day-to-day items your business depends on while waiting for the payment of outstanding work. Perhaps you need to find additional capital to fund marketing or advertising? Without which you may have insufficient clients to sell to, and without them there are no sales, no profit and no business model. You could even utilise short-term finance options to pay for sales staff as an alternative to marketing and advertising if that’s a proven method shown to create greater results in your industry or field of expertise.
The simplest form of short-term loan is credit. You can apply for a credit card to help you over a simple hurdle in a healthy manner if you adhere to a repayment schedule your business can safely manage. A credit card will offer an extendable solution of finance if your repayment plan doesn’t happen as smoothly as initially planned or if in clearing the primary amount another situation arises where a secondary credit requirement becomes necessary.
Short-term business loans
Short-term loans will generally have a higher rate of interest than long-term, and will require some form of collateral to be approved as a low-risk option for the loan amount. Often the loan can remain an open-ended operation so that an option of additional capital is available if required for continual business operation, as long as the repayments are being made regularly and as outlined in your loan arrangement. This option offers advantages to both the lender and borrower by feeding capital into both operations.
A business overdraft is another simple solution to overcoming short-term needs. An arrangement for access to extended operating capital at a suitable interest rate is standard practice for many business operations.
Long-term debt solutions are options to fund the on-going performance of your business, to develop growth and expansion, and to sustain the comfortable operation of your organisation while you do.
Deciding on a long-term solution will depend on the amount you need to cover your operational and purchasing costs and how long you estimate it will take to repay. A long-term loan will have lower interest rates and can offer varying options for regular repayments, one off and lump sum repayments or for an early complete repayment.
Unsecured business loans
An unsecured loan requires no collateral but it does require a good credit score. You may have to prove you can raise an amount of capital in a given time to reassure your lender that you are a healthy risk for the loan amount.
Typical interest rates will vary from 6% to 20% with terms of up to and over 6 years. There may be restrictions in how you can utilise the funding which will be covered and outlined through your application process.
Secured business loans
The opposite of the unsecured loan requirements are shown here giving that collateral has to be pledged to show repayment capabilities yet in turn means you may still be approved even if you are carrying a lower personal credit score.
A business with a good long-term record and steady cash flow is the basis for a secured loan approval. Interest rates and loan terms are similar to unsecured loans.
Start up loans
A government-based scheme offering amounts up to £25,000 for new or newly operational small businesses over a term of up to 5 years is available at a standard rate of 6%. Encouraging new businesses to commence operation by offering this means of funding the scheme also offers free mentoring, guides, and unique offers in order to help the applicants achieve their best chances of success.
An equipment loan is a type of credit specifically outlined for purchasing equipment with a long lifespan of operation. This equipment will be seen to be imperative to the operation of the business and the repayments can be made over a term in consideration with the lifespan of the apparatus.
Equipment loans can be seen as a healthier option to hire purchase or leasing of equipment by offering lower rates of repayment and with the option of owning the resources at the end of term as an investment into the business inventory.
Peer-to-peer business loans
A peer-to-peer loan is often a simple and straightforward alternative to a bank loan. Businesses or individuals with available capital are matched to those seeking such, often over Internet-based platforms, where those looking for a return on their investment can find simple ways to enter into such a scheme. Multiple lenders can be involved in raising the required capital amount that can be anything from a thousand to several million depending on the business and its need.
Peer-to-peer lending is regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and borrowers will need to show a proven track record, present complete financial accounts and to pass various credit checks throughout their assessment.
Running a business can be an exciting time, but it can also be a complicated one. As well as ensuring that you have what you need to run the business, you also must ensure that your business is prepared for any forthcoming financial obligations, which can present themselves in different ways.
A business can only be a success if the right steps are taken, especially from a financial standpoint. As such, it can be useful to know some of the consequences that can occur if we’re don’t have the necessary capital in place at the right time.
When we first start in business, it can be tempting to leave the more mundane tasks until later on, and this can include ensuring that the business accounts are up to date. Although some may not consider this an urgent task, the business could soon suffer if it’s not able to establish what its current incoming and outgoings are.
Regular bookkeeping not only ensures that your current financial commitments can be met, but also allows you to make plans for any future financial commitments, ensuring that the business doesn’t have to come to a standstill because the necessary funds aren’t in place,
Not Planning for Upcoming Tax Obligations
As the paying of taxes can be sporadic, it’s easy t assume that we can catch up with tax obligations in the future, but the longer it’s left, the more pressure the business will be under when it comes to that all-important due date.
As taxes can come in at sporadic times, it’s best to come up with some sort of system that allows money to be set aside on a monthly basis. Of course, there will be times when the amount is more than the business expected but having a majority of the funds available avoids unnecessary panic.
Overpaying of Taxes
Although underpaying taxes can be problematic, so can overpaying them. The reason many people pay too much tax is because they have failed to keep tracks of their expenses. This could be due to irregular bookkeeping but could also be due to not keeping receipts. Regardless of whether it’s a new laptop or a jar of coffee, if it relates to the business you need to ensure that the business is claiming the tax relief available.
While these amounts may not seem like much at the time, they can soon add up over time, and could make all the difference to the bottom line of the business.
Not Keeping Personal and Business Accounts Separate
If we’ve not got around to opening a business account, then it’s likely we’ll be using a personal account in the short-term. However, the longer we leave opening a business account, the more confusing out finances become.
Not only does having a business bank account offer more clarity when it comes to paying taxes, but it also ensures that we’re not using personal money for business use and vice versa.
Having both our personal and business income in one account could mean that overspending has a detrimental effect on either aspect of our life.
Employing of Staff Before Carrying out Research
People will have different outlooks when it comes to running a business, and some feel that hitting the ground running is the best approach when it comes to ensuring the business is a success. However, not taking the potential pitfalls that could arise into account could means that you’re cutting staff roles as soon as you’ve filled them. Not only does this disrupt the business, but the personal lives of others. Of course, there will be times when difficult decisions have to be made but carrying out research will ensure that there is damage limitation in place and you wont require a bad faith lawyer houston, even during the hard times.
The factors to consider can vary on the niche of the business. If you’re running a small store, then how many staff can you employ, while still ensuring you can meet other requirements. Are you filling roles simply to make the company look busy? The employing of staff is a expense that if managed in the right way can bring a lot of benefit, but shirking away the research could mean that any investments cause detriment to the company’s profits.
Pricing Products or Services Too Low
The introduction of the Internet means that more budding entrepreneurs can start a business with a relatively low budget. However, the abundance of businesses means that some businesses can worry that their service will be overshadowed.
This can often mean that companies look to lower their prices and hope this attracts more business, but this can only do more damage to the company’s turnover.
When promoting a service, it’s important to showcase its value and what benefits it offers the customer. Simply lowering the price of a product or service could mean that customers devalue the service.
Pricing Products or Services Too High
Just as a company shouldn’t undersell its products, it shouldn’t look to profit on unsuspecting customers. Although there may have been a time when companies could prey on the less-informed, nowadays customers are able to research a product in a manner of seconds.
Although they won’t be looking at the price alone, anything that’s priced unrealistically will often be ignored. As such, market research is key. For example, there may a cheaper version of your product available, but it may not yield the quality or benefits of yours, so the price difference isn’t going to shun potential customers.
When running a business, it’s common practice for mistakes to be made, but this doesn’t mean a business should just allow them to keep happening. Making the changes and scheduling your admin can mean that there are less forks in the road when it comes to running a successful business.
It is our unending belief that when you care about something, you try your hardest to understand it. That way, you can fully support it in every sense of it—not just something that you say you’ll do. In light of this, we have decided to share some of the events that anyone interested in supporting or starting their own small businesses should look into.
Going to events or even if they are just webinars provide everyone with useful skills, tips, and lessons that were carefully cultivated and perfected through the years of personal experience of speakers. Much like what this website aims to achieve!
Mind you, some of these events happen annually. Some may change the information at the last minute—so it would be best if you followed up on their websites to procure more information.
The Small Business Expo
This particular expo has a pretty wide schedule as it has stops over several major states in the USA. Not only does this event have keynote speakers that share their wisdom borne from years of their experience, there’s so much more to see. This expo is also quite famous for the exhibitors that join. As the event travels, the exhibitors that join differ from place to place. This ensures that there will be a lot of small businesses that will get a chance to show what they have to offer.
Last year, this event was held in Boston. They are pretty good in providing information about any trends that would impact small businesses. What we like about this event is the fact that they combine the utilization of technology along with business processes. This provides a pretty modern insight for any mom and pop firm that is struggling with the concept of tech related business.
As our technology will only keep improving (and not regressing) it would be highly prudent for any business owner to attend.
Join the many like minded individuals in Silicon Valley come February this year. For anyone that wanted to learn more about starting their own business but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it, this is one event that you should not miss. This event features keynote speakers from LinkedIn, Slack, Reddit, and so many other big names!
Pick their brains as to how you can improve your business processes. If you so wanted to, you can secure a spot and present your startup idea—there are thousands of investors in attendance.
As You Can See…
There are a lot of opportunities to obtain further information about small businesses and how they are better supported. There are a lot of other events lined up this year. It is certainly exciting to see which event provides groundbreaking information that will just utterly change the way that you view small business processes.
Infographic by: www.designinfographics.com
Over the past 20 years search engine optimization has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy for most commercial entities across the globe. After all, Google is primary way we find the companies that we are looking!
SEO is a channel that has remained consistent relevant since the launch of the very first search engine back in 1990. No matter what type of company you are, search engine optimization is critical to achieving your business objectives.
You must have been told countless times that you need to allocate a larger portion of your marketing budget to search engine optimization. Sellers of SEO services must be bombarding you with cold calls, leads and emails in order to obtain their expertise. An important point they miss out on is to explain why SEO is vital for your start-up business.
Your entire network of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances utilizes Google to attain product knowledge or the level of customer service at a company. Hence, it is logical as to why SME owners aspire to be at the top of Google’s search results.
Amplify Brand Awareness
It does not matter whether you have been functioning in the business arena for twenty years or only twenty days, building brand awareness will always be one of your primary long-term goals.
In order to maintain growth rates, especially, as a small entity or start-up, it is imperative that you continue to attract customers one way this can be done is by submitting you business to sites such as atlanta-business-directory.com. Which is a great local business citation should you be looking to rank your website within the local search results.
When you deploy the right marketing strategy and utilize both traditional/digital channels of marketing, your website will appear at the top of all search engine results.
This will mean that you are generating the correct keywords and buzzwords in your content that your customers are familiar with and apply when seeking out your brand. Of course, your website traffic will grow and eventually lead to an increment in sales.
Awesome User Experience
A lot of individuals are under the misconception that search engine optimization is all about ranking websites. Whilst that is certainly true-SEO is also about fashioning user-friendly, streamlined websites that offers your visitor an auspicious online experience with your brand. To break through the clutter, companies are now mostly opting for minimalistic sites with a clean, clear look.
When a customer has direct access to clear-cut information about your product, he will loiter around your website and browse. This will effectively reduce bounce rates and improve the number of page views. Providing pertinent, interesting content will definitely capture his attention.
As a start-up, you may have limited access to cash and may need to tighten the financial belt whilst simultaneously striving to increase your current volume of sales. Search engine optimization provides an effective return on your investment as it can be customized to match the parameters of your marketing budget.
As one of the most economical marketing instruments available, it will aim to build your digital footprint over a lengthy period of time with marked, quantifiable results. The reason for this is because every marketing dollar you dedicate to SEO can be accounted for.
Stronger Conversion Rates
Websites that are backed by search engine optimization are easier to use due to fast loading times reader friendliness, and general responsiveness. Not only that, the process of SEO permits you to gain access to your most relevant customer segment. The reason for this is as the power of SEO exists on its associated keywords.
You an estimate and predict the capacity of incoming orders through keyword analysis and understand the size of the market potential. It is important to remember that many SEO gurus combine behavioural reasoning to infer the intent for keyword selection. Once this has been understood, you can amend your brand as per your clients’ issues and truly be a solution provider.
Strategic Consumer Insight
Once your website jumped on the internet bandwagon, ensure that you set up your Google Analytics account as this service will become your best friend.
You will be able to view and analyse your visitor base from sundry dimensions such as their topographical situation, what time they visited, what time are the most active, what keywords they implemented, how much time they spent on each web page, and how they ended up at your website.
These insights can be incorporated into your marketing plan for better targeting messages and promotional efforts.
Without engaging content, any SEO strategy will render useless. It has to be a part of a combination of efforts which enforce other channels. Then only, will it make your brand more visible, credible and win your customer’s trust.
Everyone is Online
A study conducted by Bright Local, an SEO company, discovered that ninety-seven percent of online users searched for all kinds of brands within their district in the year 2017.
Out of this sample, fifty-four percent frequented the web at least once a month for such research purposes. One cannot disagree that any brick and mortar entity may not require a digital presence.
Yet, it can benefit from positive online reviews, structured consumer information and location data. Hence, local search optimization may prove to be an effectual marketing means to gain consumer trust.
The world is getting more and more addicted to its smartphones. As a species, we are spending more time interacting with our network via our mobile phones. It also means that we are using the internet more through this medium. This implies that websites have to be SEO-backed to appear on SERPs effectually.
Social media platforms are evolving into trusted forms of search databases. SEO and social media go hand in hand in improving your brand’s visibility. Let’s not forget that brands that come recommended from references and friends will have a higher probability of sales than your competitive counterparts.
Advertising in the gambling industry has always been a fast-changing space, with many regulations and guidelines being implemented over the years companies such Easyslots who offer many casino offers have had to adapt their strategies. After a number of policies were made stricter in 2017, many gambling operators saw themselves facing hefty fines.
And it’s about to get even tougher with advertising rules for the industry becoming even stricter in 2018. Read on to find out a little more about what took place in 2017, and how it’s continuing to evolve this year.
Many Changes Were Made to Gambling Advertising Regulations in 2017
In 2017, many online operators in the gambling world went through a tough year. A number of the major players in this field had to pay large fines for some of the advertising they put out there. Their advertising content was deemed misleading by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which is the local regulatory authority for the sector.
One of the industry leaders, BGO, had to fork out a hefty fine of £300,000. Several others also had to pay penalty fines of varying amounts for their failure in adhering to the strict advertising regulations set by the UKGC.
Last year, larger well-known companies such as Sky Bet and Ladbrokes were also fined big amounts by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which is the main advertising regulator in the UK working across many sectors. The ASA fined them based on the view that their advertising was targeted at customers who may be more vulnerable and tempted to gamble.
They felt that the adverts were misleading such customers to believe that gambling was an easy way to obtain lots of money. After these fines, Ladbrokes and Sky Bet decided to reconsider their number of partner affiliates. Ladbrokes reduced the number considerably while Sky Bet decided to end them completely.
Later on in the year, the ASA, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), and the Gambling Commission all challenged gambling operators with local licenses for creating advertising content that was aimed at minors. It was too easy for minors to access their marketing content, and these operators were told to remove such content from their sites. By the end of 2017, the rules around advertising in this sector were made even tighter by local regulatory authorities.
Further Changes Are Expected From the UKGC in 2018
When it comes to protecting gambling customers and removing misleading or otherwise faulty advertising content, the UKGC have made it clear that they will continue to be strict on operators in 2018. And they didn’t wait long to do so. In February of this year, the UKGC and the ASA worked together to introduce tougher guidelines for advertisers in the gambling sector to follow. The primary aim of the new guidelines was to ensure that any advertising wasn’t focussed on targeting those who may be more vulnerable to and tempted to gamble compulsively.
All types of adverts, including promotional ads and online ads were to be developed to adhere to these regulations and checked against these new standards. Operators have to be especially careful around those adverts that offer incentives to customers to gamble using their services, as these can be too tempting for those with even a slight gambling addiction to resist.
The new regulations also clear state that certain phrases shouldn’t be used within any marketing content by online betting operators. These phrases include such call to actions as ‘Bet Now’, which are often used by operators to try and convince their customers to place bets while live sports events are playing. Any advertising content which urges customers to place repetitive bets is also strictly not allowed. Basically, any messaging which could lead vulnerable customers to feeling tempted to place bets when they shouldn’t is banned.
Many gambling operators will try and tempt customers into placing bets by offering bonuses that are ‘risk free’. This can be deemed to be highly misleading as they are not in fact risk free at all. Players who take up these offers are definitely taking a risk with their money, as they have to place a deposit to get these ‘free’ bonuses. All this was usually stated in the terms and conditions section in the past, but many customers don’t often read through the lengthy T&Cs of an advert.
The days of seeing such messaging in gambling adverts is over now, as the UKGC have made it clear within their new guidelines that the fact that they aren’t risk free needs to be stated clearly in the advert itself rather than hidden in the T&Cs. This will enable customers to be fully informed of the risks before making a decision on whether they want to go ahead and avail the offer.
Within the new standards, it is also stated that gambling cannot be marketed as a quick and easy way of making money.
Those Operators Not Adhering to 2018 Regulations Will Risk Facing Hefty Fines
Gambling and betting operators have been given until April to improve their policies to protect customers and remove any advertising content that doesn’t follow the new regulations. Any operators who decide not to comply will be penalised with hefty fines.
One of the biggest names in the UK betting space, William Hill, has been heavily penalised by the UKGC this year for not complying with their regulations. They had to pay a staggering £6.2 million to the UKGC in February. They were charged with failure to prevent money laundering and fraud, as they profited from customers who had deposited large amounts of illegal funds with them over the last couple of years.
With all the constant changes in the guidelines for gambling advertising content, operators in this field are advised to keep a close eye on them before developing and putting out any new ad campaigns. The financial risks of not complying with the latest guidelines are too severe, as is evident by all the fines that have been issued to major players in this sector over the last few years.
If you are looking for great ways to improve your business, whether it is by attracting customers and clients or to improve on company morale, a corporate golf event is one great way to do that. Not only can you fully brand them so they are always reminded about you and your company, but it also gives you a chance to spend a greater amount of time with them than you normally would have the chance to.
It is very likely that you have heard of these kinds of events in the past. Perhaps a colleague or client has spoken about one they have been to, but you have remained on the fence about them and their effectiveness and have not gone ahead hosting your own. To help encourage you to consider hosting on in the future, in the following post we will look at seven great benefits of golf events.
Quality Time With Clients
It can be hard to arrange time with your prospective clients due to their and your own busy schedules. By hosting a golf day, you have the opportunity to spend a longer amount of time with them. You will have the chance to connect with them on a personal level, without offices agendas and suits getting in the way and making things too formal.
A recommended approach is to invite prospective and existing clients to these events, it gives them the chance to mingle and explain the service and relationship you provide as a business. Existing clients can take on the role of sales staff during your event.
In addition and almost vitally, golf events provide the perfect mixer and chance to pair attendees together that can be an advantage to one another. For instance, your accountant could play with on of your newer clients who has a growing account, to develop an effective and positive working relationship.
Can Reflect On The Professionalism of Your Business
Clients will look at the way your golf event is organised and run which can reflect on the professionalism of your business and how you run it. Therefore, a corporate golf day that is run well, will reinforce the quality of your services. Proper preparation is paramount.
So work alongside your event organiser and the club it will be held at, to ensure nothing is missed out. The particular golf club you choose can have an impact on how your business is portrayed. So choose one that you feel is on your level.
Distinguish Yourself From The Crowd Of Competitors
By hosting a corporate golf event, you are able to distinguish yourself from the crowd of competitors your company has. Do your utmost to ensure that your golf day is the event that your existing and prospective clients want to be at.
If you host an event every year, bring something unique and different to it every year. Whether it’s a putting or teeing off coaching clinic, a trick shot demonstration or a trendy food truck at the halfway mark. Work on creating moments with your clients, as this will help them to have positive feelings associated to your company.
Helps To Increase Awareness Of Your Brand
Speaking of crating moments with your clients, you can hire a photographer as a way to create good memories for your clients. Ensure that your photographer is available for the entire day, from the moment guests arrive, through to teeing off, working round the course, and the reception drinks and dinner afterwards. Consider creating a photo album on your Facebook page for the event or upload them to a photo hosting site and make them free to download.
Improves Your Company’s Exposure On Social Media
Shares and engagement rules over all in modern internet marketing and social media plays a huge part in the perception of businesses, groups and individuals. With this in mind when you host a golf event, you can have a hashtag assigned specifically for the event. To draw attention to it and increase engagement with social media, a screen can be set up at the event showing a live stream of how the event’s hashtag is being used.
Helps You to Create Future Content
Recurring events can be hard to market in the beginning, with there being limited content available to use to attract the initial sponsors and clients.
A production team is worth investing in for your first event that will last you for a number of years to come while you establish recognition and collect usable content. It’s also a great way to follow-up with clients who attended your event afterwards to show them photos and footage, continuing the conversation that was started during your event.
Great Way to Recognise And Thank Your Clients
Corporate events like golf days or tournaments are also great ways to thank your clients for the business they bring to your company and their continued loyalty.
Although your company does not benefit from this, loyalty is further promoted and your clients realise you are not just selling to them and appreciate their support. People like to know that they are appreciated, even from the company they do business with regularly.
Successful business growth is possible in an important way by establishing relationships and a corporate golf event like those available from ClubsAway Event Management, is the perfect way to establish and work on these kinds of relationships.
There are a lot of great reasons to host golf events, whether it is simply hiring a nice golf club and their course for the day or hosting a golf tournament for your clients and customers. In addition to the golf, which is a great way to unwind in the great outdoors and get to know each other without the formalities of offices, you can have drinks and a proper sit-down meal. This provides plenty of opportunities to continue discussions and conversations started on the course in a more formal, but still reasonably relaxing atmosphere.
If you’re launching a startup then you’re probably convinced that there’s a place in the market for your product of service.
However, that place in the market remains open for someone else unless your marketing efforts are effective and timely – so you need to make sure that what you’re doing is based on tried and tested methods that are going to deliver results.
What those tried and tested methods are will be somewhat particular to your business – but there are universal truths that will underpin your strategies that apply to every industry out there. Let us run you through the 5 most important ones:
- Get your personal brand right
In days gone by, the formation of a company was enough to hide even the most dubious reputation – but now, there’s no hiding anything a great example of this done right is willshapools.com. They have a great website, use eye catch imagery and the content they use on the website is highly relevant to their target audience.
Getting your personal brand right is like digging the right foundations for your house – get it wrong and it’ll be difficult and costly down the line.
When you’re starting out in business people are going to look for you online. They might be customers, contractors, freelancers, business opponents, investors – and more, maybe even all of them. There aren’t many people on that list that you’re going to be able to operate without, but that doesn’t stop thousands of people taking a serious risk with their personal social media every day.
Air strong political opinions on LinkedIn? Enjoy a slightly bad taste joke on Facebook? Publicly linked to people who do? Well, you’re taking a risk, a risk that you’re going to put someone off you or your product. I know what you’re thinking – it shouldn’t matter, but I’m here to tell you that it does – social media profiles are losing more people jobs and business today than ever before.
Getting it right is easy though. Master your privacy settings and before you share anything and ask yourself “would I say this in a room full of potential customers and investors?” – if the answer’s no, then act accordingly!
- Have an effective website
When you’re trying to establish a foothold in the marketplace you might want to reframe the way you see your website.
Rather than thinking of it as a place where customers can find contact details to get in touch with you or someone else who’s got their business soundbite or sales pitch nailed, start thinking of it as a sales person itself.
It makes sense, someone’s taken action to visit your site – when they’re there you might think it’s okay to expect them to jump another hurdle to get to a salesperson – but by doing so you’re losing serious numbers of interesting people.
So, you need some exceptional copy on your site. What I’m talking about here runs deeper than your average ‘about us’ and ‘products’ content – I’m talking expertly written copy that speaks to the real psychological need inside your customer.
Don’t be fooled into thinking your customer wants to know about your mission statement and values, they don’t – at their absolute core they want to know what you or your product is going to do for them. Every word of content on your site needs to be geared toward answering that question – and when it is, your phone is going to be ringing with orders – not just enquiries.
- Create effective content
Now, no matter how good your site’s copy is, you’re not going to be able to fake solid industry experience – and that’s where creating brilliant and effective content comes into play.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could work your way into your potential customer’s subconscious and plant seeds there that suggest you’re exactly the right person or product for the need they’re looking to fulfil? Even better – wouldn’t it be great if you could work your way into your potential customer’s subconscious and develop that need – before presenting the solution?
Well with content marketing you can – and there’s no need for any unethical hypnosis!
Content can be created around every tiny element that’s gone into making your product what it is today. Taken it in one direction when there were a variety of possibilities? Document it. Stumbled and made an error? Write about it. Found a brilliant tool that’s revolutionised your workplace? Tell the world.
When you present every part of your business and it’s workings you’ll find that people engage – and when they’re engaged and reading, you can start to gently steer the ship in the direction you want to take them.
- Treat every customer like they’re royalty
It might seem obvious but making sure your initial customers are really well looked is something that a great number of startups fail to do when they’ve got their sites on big customer numbers or the next impressive client sign-up.
It’s easy to think you should be putting your brand out into the world constantly – but actually, study after study shows that if you’re willing to invest your time and care in the people who are buying from you and engaging with you from day one then your reputation grows in exactly the right way.
Don’t underestimate people’s desire and willingness to share a product or service that’s serving them well – and also, don’t underestimate people’s willingness to share a bad experience – a combination of carrot and stick motivation that you’d be foolish to ignore!
- Measure, measure, measure!
Our last tip is short and sweet! Measure everything you do – and if you can’t measure it, find a tool that makes measuring it possible.
It’s only by understanding where your marketing results come from that you’ll be able to reinvest your time in the right activities. If you can follow every single enquiry you get all the way through your conversion journey then you can go back and double down on the stuff that’s producing results.
The Perato Rule says 80% of your business comes from 20% of your effort – and 80% of your effort shows a poor return, offering only 20% of your business. When you work out what’s involved in that golden 20% of your effort, you can scale in an incredibly efficient manner…