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  • Is Your Company Guilty of Inconsistent Branding Strategies?

    brand attributes

    A consistent brand image makes your business instantly recognizable to the public. Consider some of the larger companies out there and how their branding works. For example, when you think about Subway, does freshness come to mind? When you think about Nike, you likely think about fitness or sports. These brands have consistently advertised their companies in a way that creates a powerful image that stays with consumers.

    In a survey of 3,000 consumers, researchers found more people are looking for an omnichannel shopping experience, where they interact with brands across physical and digital platforms. As the way consumers shop changes, look for ways to present a consistent image across every channel where your company does business. Inconsistency may make you seem untrustworthy, and at best, will confuse your customers.

    Minor differences in marketing are sometimes tricky to spot, however. Recognizing where you're not consistent is one of the first steps to fixing your branding issues. Here are nine questions to determine if your branding is spot on or needs some work.

    1. Do You Have a Mission Statement?

    Does your brand have a mission statement? Your mission isn't what you sell, but why you run your company. For example, perhaps you saw a need for working families who want to put quick, but nutritious, meals on the table, so you started a meal kit delivery service. Your mission is to help families enjoy healthy meals that are easy to put together. You may need to brainstorm a bit to figure out what your mission is and what value you add to the world, but with a little work and collaboration with employees and leaders in the company, you should be able to come up with a solid mission statement.

    2. What Is Your Brand Personality?

    Some brands make a mistake because they have one personality on social media and another on their website or in person. You need to figure out what your brand personality is and use it in all interactions with your customers. Think about your typical customer — if you serve generation Z, your brand's personality is probably young and fun. If you serve baby boomers, you might be respectful and serious. Whatever your personality, define it and use the same tone across all content. That helps consumers develop a sense of trust that your brand is authentic and not playing games.

    3. How Do You Involve Current Customers?

    One of your best brand ambassadors is a customer who already loves your product or service. Reward your customers when they refer someone to you. A consumer who comes to you from someone they know is about 18% more loyalthan one who stumbles across your brand accidentally. Companies are sometimes uncertain about how to implement a referral program, so they avoid it. However, all you need to do is figure out the value of a new customer and share some of that profit with the referrer. Get your accountant involved if necessary, but figure out a way to reward your word-of-mouth marketers.

    As for consistency, when you have fans promoting your brand, you must develop a strategy that allows them to share the word about your company, but provides them with the materials that match your image. So, you might post memes on social media and ask followers to share, or you might send out an extra promotional item for them to give away to family and friends. Doing so helps you control the message.

    4. Does Your Team Have Access to Templates?

    If you want a consistent look across ads, social media posts and other elements your team designs, you must create templates different team members can use. Platforms such as Canva and Adobe Cloud allow you to develop a template any member of your design team can download and adapt for a new campaign. So, if you want all your hero images on your website to be a certain size, the template ensures that. However, you can go further and add a frame to all Facebook posts or add a specific font and size for text.

    5. Have You Created Document Guidelines?

    Write down your expectations for how your brand appears. Since your sales team may send out something different than your marketing team or leadership team, it's essential to develop some brand standards everyone in the organization adheres to. Place your guidelines in a readily accessible document and include details such as the tone of voice with examples, commonly used phrases, color palette, typography details and what fonts and sizes get used when and where. Add details to the document as you wade into new marketing outlets. Creating a document also makes onboarding of new employees much smoother, as you'll have references in writing of what represents your brand best.

    6. Do You Know Where Your Audience Hangs Out?

    Small businesses sometimes throw a bunch of marketing out there and hope something sticks, but this isn't the most effective use of your marketing dollars. You must first know who your target audience is, then you can look at factors such as that 55% of 18- to 29-year-olds use Instagram. You must study where your people hang out online, as well as where they hang out in real life, and come up with branding that reaches the right demographic.

    7. How Is Your Internal Branding?

    Did you know your employees are some of your best — or worst — brand ambassadors? They share details about where they work and what they do with family and friends. If you create excitement and consistent internal messages, that will translate when your employees go out into the world. Treat your employees like they're part of a family, and develop a company culture that reflects your mission and brand values. Going back to the example of starting a company to help working moms, how does your business help the working moms on your payroll?

    8. Who Are Your Brand Police?

    Have you ever seen a post go up on social media, only to have the brand remove it shortly after? This situation is a result of inconsistent messaging and not having the safeguards in place to protect your brand from hiccups. Ensure your company has consistent messaging by appointing a few people to police social media posts, advertising, communications with others and anything that goes out with your brand name on it. Ideally, your "police squad" should involve people who've been with the company for a long time and fully understand the values and message behind the name.

    9. Do You Look for Positive Associations?

    Be careful who you align your brand name with. You might have complete control over your image, but if you partner with a brand that suddenly has an image crisis, it can reflect poorly on you. Make sure you fully understand the purpose of any cause you put your name behind. Choose charities in keeping with your goals as an organization. For example, if your mission is to help those working moms, you might team up with an organization that provides free resources to single moms.

    Create a Stable Image

    Uniform branding requires attention to detail and making sure you monitor what people are saying about your brand and how you are communicating to the public. You'll spend years ensuring your branding is consistent — it's an ongoing job. However, the result is a brand consumers recognize and trust, so the effort pays off in the end.

    Lexie 1

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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  • Marketing Your Website - The Importance of Using Analytical Tools

    website trafficYou create a beautiful website for your business, optimize it for search engines, market it through social media, and start receiving visitors. But wait! Do you even know where your visitors are coming from? Are they even interested in what you have to offer or are they just passing their time? How many of them are actually interested in purchasing your product or service?

    Answering such questions might seem difficult, but it won’t be once you setup a tracking tool within your website. A tracking tool will enable you to track your visitors, their sources, the number of clicks, the number of conversions, etc. Analytics are crucial because they will help you understand why something in your digital marketing strategy works and why something doesn’t.

    For example, you will determine how engaging your latest Twitter or Facebook post was, which landing page is the best, etc. Since you have invested time and money on your website, it’s important to define goals and use them when measuring web analytics. You can use this valuable information to improve your website and make the necessary changes to correct the particular problem.

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  • Marketing Your Website - Through Social Media

    social media marketingOnce you develop your website, you need to develop traffic to the new website. In order to receive visitors and potential leads, you will have to market or advertise your website. One of the best ways to do that is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

    If you’re just starting to look at using social media to market your website, here are the benefits of doing so:

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  • Marketing Your Website – Different Options for Analytics

    sample google analyticsBusiness analytics technology has opened a host of opportunities and benefits for small and medium sized-business to level the playing field with their larger and well-established rivals. Through the use of analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, businesses can have up-to-date information about customer preferences and use it to fine-tune their marketing strategies to ensure high sales revenue and growth.

    Google Analytics had so far been the first choice of many businesses for taking advantage of analytics, because it is free and very comprehensive. However, there is a premium version called Google Analytics Premium that is out of reach for most small business entities, with an annual cost of $150,000.00. That may make it worthwhile to look for alternatives.

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  • Marketing Your Website – Review Sites Like Yelp and Zomato

    How Can Yelp and Zomato Improve Your Restaurant’s Business

     

    Yelp ZomatoThe success of a business depends upon its clients and customers; as long as they are satisfied, the business will boom. But if they are not, the business will likely fail. This is true especially for small and medium-sized businesses like restaurants. Since a restaurant provides an important service, it is at the forefront of consumers and they can expect many reviews on social media platforms and review sites including map listings.

    Reviews can essentially make or break a restaurant’s business; they can either be negative or positive and that depends on the level and quality of service you are able to provide as a restaurateur. Online review sites have changed the way businesses are conducted. Some of the most popular review sites are Yelp and Zomato.

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  • Marketing Your Website- Advertising a Website in Traditional Media

    website on billboardDespite the fact that the advent of information technology has revolutionized everything, including the advertising and marketing industry, the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of advertising is traditional media. Traditional media is a tool which is still an important means of communication to users.   

    Traditional Media

    Traditional media has been the key element of marketing plans and strategies for decades because of its wide accessibility. A majority of businesses have been using traditional media sources to reach out to their target audiences and for marketing their products and/or services. Newspaper, magazines, television and radio are all considered as traditional media sources for advertising.

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  • Marketing Your Website- Hiring an SEO Company

    SEO CompanySearch Engine Optimization (SEO) is a comprehensive and complex task, and it can be difficult for those that do not work in the field to follow and keep track of all the requirements and algorithms of search engines to improve the rating of their websites. For one, this is a process that requires knowledge about both the technical and creative aspects of website ranking. Secondly, it can take a lot of time, and thirdly, it is an ongoing process. This means that you constantly need to update your website to ensure that it maintains its position in the search results. If you do not do this, your website may lose its position, no matter how high it ranks.

    Due to these reasons and many others, Search Engine Optimization is not a job that everyone can perform well. Just like we leave web development, graphic designing and other such tasks to specialists; it is better to leave Search Engine Optimization to the professionals and experts as well. There are many people and companies who can do effective search engine optimization for your website. In addition to knowing all the techniques and tips of the process, they are also aware of the most recent changes any search engine has made in its algorithm and make sure your website always ranks high in search results pages.

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  • Marketing Your Website- Map Listings for Your Business

    google maps sample search for website design richmond va

    Adding your business to popular maps like Google Maps is not difficult and it can yield great results for your company. Having map listings for your business enables you to reach a wider audience and allows them to quickly locate you whenever they are in need of your products and/or services. For many local searches, Google displays map listings above the organic search results, as we wrote about in this post.

    If you have a retail location like a restaurant or store, Google map listings are very important for mobile search. They'll appear when a user searches terms like "restaurant near me" on their phone, and the user can easily call or get directions to your business.

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  • Marketing Your Website- Paid Online Advertising: A Beginner’s Guide

    online advertisingAdvertising your products or services is the key to business growth and development. Until and unless people know what you are offering, and how that can help them, your business will not grow. This is the purpose an advertisement serves.

    Previously, businesses relied on traditional media sources to market their products. But the advent of the internet has changed the face of advertising to a large extent. The internet is not just a source of information, people widely use it for shopping too. Shopping is not only consumer driven but also business to business (B2B) as well. This has resulted in the evolution and spread of online advertising.

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  • Marketing Your Website- SEO - What Is It?

    SEOSEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It is the process of using different techniques to get more traffic to your website by making it rank high in the search results. Search Engine Optimization is an essential component of business marketing that is comprised of both creative and technical elements and is needed for improving your website’s ranking and getting more visitors on it.

    The world today is connected through complex information technology and people have been using it in every discipline in order to perform all their tasks. This has also increased the reach of businesses as they can now connect with millions of people to sell their product(s) or service(s). But, they need to take certain measures to ensure people can easily find them, visit their websites and buy their product(s) or service(s). Since most people use search engines to find goods and services, search engines control majority of the web traffic. Therefore, businesses need to make sure that their websites appear high in search results on all major search engines. This process of attracting a large number of people to your website is called ‘Search Engine Optimization’.

    Search Engine Optimization has become one of the major priorities of businesses today as it aids in their growth by directing the right people to their website.

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  • Multiple Locations Does Not Mean Multiple Websites

    Whether you run a huge corporation with locations all over the world, or you started a small business that has expanded into neighboring towns, centralizing all your operations into one website simply makes sense. Not only will you reduce costs in design and web hosting fees, but customers of one location might be interested in other locations.

    Creating a separate website for each location is a bit old school, and designers did use that model once upon a time. But, with modern location tools and the ability to segment websites, it is less troublesome to serve up unique pages for each location while keeping everything on one website. Google is also shifting the way that it looks at keywords, domains and websites so that it is not as necessary as it once was to ensure you use a keyword specific to that location.

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  • Seven Tech Leaders Who Changed the Industry (for the Better)

    Tech changes at a lightning pace, bringing us new capabilities with each year. You could argue man has invented items to make his life more comfortable since the beginning of time. In 2400 BC, someone invented the abacus, and in 1657, the Christiaan Huygens created the pendulum clock. But, the explosion of technological advances in the last 100 years is mind-boggling.

    Today, technology geniuses continue to change the world as we know it, improving our everyday lives and taking our tech capabilities farther than we ever thought possible. Here are seven leaders in the industry you may or may not have heard of.

    man adjusting tehnology wiring

    1. Bill Gates

    No list of tech giants would be complete without Bill Gates. He is best known for co-founding Microsoft and changing the interface of computer operating systems, so they were easy for anyone to use. The world likely wouldn't be the same today without the prevalence of user-friendly computers. Microsoft also introduced the world to the Xbox, creating a generation of gamers and changing the way we look at the world of computer software.

    Gates offers inspiration to future tech leaders because of his inventor's spirit. When something is new, the task of inventing a new method or ability from nothing seems daunting. However, if Gates hadn't left school and put everything on the line to see his vision come to life, the world would have missed out on modern software and many other inventions from this brilliant man.

    2. Ginni Rometty

    Ginni Rometty is the chair, CEO and president of IBM. One of her most significant contributions to technology is the way she's integrated artificial intelligence (AI) into other industries. In addition to focusing on new technologies are deployed for AI, she also is at the forefront of emerging technologies such as blockchain and quantum.

    On the personal side, Rometty has a passion for creating a better workplace for women. Under her leadership, the company implemented extended parental leave and a "returnship" program that allows women to return to the workforce with hands-on training. Rometty shows that women in tech can be tough, smart and caring all at the same time.

    young man using laptop

    3. Wai-Loong Lim

    Wai-Loong Lim, the founder of Y Studios, is known for coming up with unique interface and product design solutions, especially in consumer electronics and telecommunication. He has lived and worked in both Singapore and Canada, so he can communicate between the two cultures and accomplish tasks that someone without that background can't.

    Y Studios is also one of the few design companies with a focus on human/robot interaction and user experience with virtual reality (VR), AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). Lim points to cultural context as the basis of his designs matched with innovation in each industry.

    He'd like to be the one to start a movement where people value experiences over things. His goal is designing quality products that last so people don't have to replace them regularly but can spend that money traveling, helping others or seeing the world. Lim proves you can design high-tech products and still live a life of adventure.

    4. Reed Hastings

    In the 1990s, the way people viewed videos began to change. First, VHS tapes became obsolete. As DVDs took their place on video rental store shelves, Reed Hastings had a vision for a service that mailed your movies to you, so he co-founded Netflix. His bigger vision was a service where consumers could stream movies with no wait time whatsoever.

    Hastings still serves as the chairman and CEO of Netflix — he changed the way we view and rent movies. Gone are the big video rental stores of yesterday, replaced with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Hastings' vision changed the way we experience movies and TV shows.

    laptop being used for technology monitoring

    5. Peter Thiel

    Peter Thiel is the co-founder and chairman of Palantir, a company creating software with the aim of connecting data and human environment. He is the co-founder of PayPal and runs a venture-capital firm called Founders Fund, where he's invested in famous technology companies such as Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify.

    Most people barely remember a time when you couldn't transfer money instantly online. Thiel is one of the first pioneers in digital currency. Imagine a world where you couldn't Venmo cash to your friends for pizza — it wasn't too long ago, actually. Young designers and entrepreneurs should take note that Thiel found success because he saw a need and filled it for consumers.

    6. Mark Zuckerberg

    Mark Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout, but it's unlikely he regrets that decision as one of the richest men in the world and co-founder of social media giant Facebook. Even though social media wasn't new when Zuckerberg arrived on the scene, he revolutionized the industry by providing a user-friendly platform meant to create opportunities for interaction.

    He also monetized social media in a way that drives business and website traffic in the current online marketing environment. Love or hate the platform, it is still the biggest social media site with more than 2.32 billion monthly active users. Zuckerberg proves you can make a path in an already established industry if you bring fresh ideas and ih3nnovation to the equation.

    7. Elon Musk

    Elon Musk, who founded companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, creates a buzz in the tech industry for his visionary ideas. Tesla produces energy-efficient vehicles, and SpaceX has successfully tested reusable rockets. His goal is to make space travel commercial in the near future. Musk has an impressive background with citizenship in South Africa, Canada and the United States.

    Musk has a passion for revolutionizing transportation in any way possible and has accomplished successful testing others said was impossible. He is an excellent example of going after your passions no matter what anyone else says.

    Find Inspiration From Everyday People

    Although the seven tech names above have accomplished great strides toward technology and made an impact on our society, don't overlook the little guy who knows a lot about technology. You can learn new methods and fresh ideas from anyone with an interest in tech. The seven influencers above are certainly influential, but dozens upon dozens of tech moguls are out there with something to teach.

    Lexie 1

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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  • Start Up Business - How To Get Help With Funding Your New Business

    start your own business helpEntrepreneurs require funds through which they can establish their startup businesses and establish a foothold in their industry. However, they usually do not have enough funds and need investment from external sources.

    In the modern era, there are a number of opportunities available for startups to get funding and spread their reach via digital means. However, the abundance of choices also makes it difficult to opt for appropriate resources that can help them cover all expenditures. It is necessary to find the business niche first then perform a search to determine which method is most suitable.

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  • Start Up Business - Maintaining Social Media Presence

    girl searching social mediaSocial media offers the perfect platform for businesses to connect with their target audiences. A strong social media presence has become a necessity for businesses both large and small.

    The fact that social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and others have millions of active users makes it too powerful of a platform to ignore. A company can leverage the power of social media to create a strong bond with their customers, build a brand image, and see their profits climb exponentially.

    While the importance of maintaining a social media presence cannot be ignored, not all companies have the resources including time and manpower to manage a full-force social media campaign.

    The solution, however, is simple: Outsource!

    Outsourcing social media marketing provides many benefits. Here are five ways businesses can benefit from outsourcing social media management to an experienced firm.

    1. Get the Help of Experts

    When you outsource social media marketing to an experienced agency, you can leverage their experience, expertise, and knowledge in creating a strong social media presence. Companies that offer specialized social media services use tested strategies for creating an online presence. This makes the costs of hiring the experts worth it in the end.

    2. Create a Consistent Brand Message

    You should have a consistent brand message across different social media sites. An expert social media agency will tightly define the brand message and integrate it across multiple platforms. A consistent brand message is important to connect with customers.

    3. Social Media Analytics

    An expert social media agency can perform advanced analytics allowing you to gain more insights about your customers. You will know which products or campaigns get the most positive response from online users. The information gathered through social media analytics can help fine-tune your overall marketing strategy.

    4. Save Time and Effort

    While posting on social media sites may look simple, it's not as easy as it seems.  Managing multiple social media accounts is time-consuming. Creating posts and responding to users requires a lot of effort. There are a lot of things to look at to create the perfect post.

    By outsourcing the activity to an experienced social media company, you will be able to divert the saved time and effort of the in-house team to more important aspects of running a business.

    5. Dedicated Team of Experts

    When hiring a social media agency your business obtains the services of a dedicated and knowledgeable team of experts. The team consists of top-of-the-line social media experts, graphics designers, content marketing strategists, and certified digital marketing specialists. Their combined efforts will do wonders for your social media campaign.

    A social media consultant can take the pain out of managing a presence in the cyber world. The rewards of outsourcing to an experienced social media agency exceed the costs. If you want help in creating a social media presence, you can contact BCS Website Services by dialing 804-421-2400 today and book a consultation.

    Previous Article - Start Up Business - 5 Useful Web Services to go with your business website

     

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  • Start Up Business - Risk Analysis

    risk analysisRisk analysis is performed to highlight possible issues that a business can face in the future. Risk is a necessary factor that every business must face at some point. Although it is not possible to forecast all potential risks and their degree, spending time on recognizing and analyzing certain problems for their risk factor can save a lot of time, effort and cost.

    For a startup, risk analysis is critical. A startup business usually starts with limited resources and does not hold brand recognition. It is a challenge to become a successful name among customers and risk analysis is a way of reducing the chance of failure.

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  • Start Up Business - Should You Take the Plunge

    successful entrepreneurWhen we hear the terms ‘successful entrepreneurs’, we usually tend to think of names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Paige, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Jack Ma. Regardless of who we think our ideal business leader or entrepreneur is, one thing is certain – they all possess the personality traits and skills of a successful entrepreneur that makes them leaders in their respective fields or industries. It is what makes them grace the front covers of business magazines and be the focus of news and events in their sectors.

    Undoubtedly, treading the entrepreneurship path will require you to acquire or hone some of these skills if you are intent on taking your start-up or small business to new heights. Some skills you will want to work on:

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  • Start Up Business - Starting Your Very First Startup Venture

    startup ventureFor many, starting a business to avoid the monotonous life of a 9-5 day job can stem purely from gut-instinct. However, such an approach makes one vulnerable to many obstacles and failures, limiting sustainable growth. Entrepreneurs are required to be thorough in their business decision making and ensure they make all the right preparations for getting their business off to a flying start. Of course, even the most successful entrepreneur will have their fair share of failures and hiccups.

    But, with the following pointers, you can have a much smoother means of turning your business idea into reality.

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  • The Best Offline Marketing Strategies for Your Next Campaign

    speaking at event

    Online marketing is a good choice for businesses, since the results are easily measurable and the digital format is less expensive than traditional marketing. Nonetheless, offline marketing is more effective when reaching targeted demographics and delivering specific messages. As a result, businesses are prudent to acknowledge both online and offline advertising as part of their campaigns.

    Seven effective offline marketing strategies that are relevant to most business niches are:

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  • Why Your Employees Are Your Best Form of PR

    Figuring out how to get the word out about your business isn't easy or inexpensive. Advertising, even online, is notoriously difficult to track. You may never fully realize how successful a campaign was.

    In today's highly competitive marketplace, just keeping up with your nearest competition may be expensive. Across all industries, small businesses spend about 1.08 percent of their revenue on advertising. If you're just getting started or fighting against a competitor nipping at your heels, then your marketing costs may be higher. Your employees are a great source of word-of-mouth PR both to help bring in new customers and new hires. Here are six reasons why that is.

    1. Consumers Trust Their Recommendation

    One resource you may not have tapped into is your employees' ability to share what they love about your brand. Studies show that consumers are 92 percent more likely to trust a recommendation from someone they know rather than from the brand itself. Get your employees involved in talking about your brand. Encourage them to refer family and friends by implementing a reward program.

    Direct sales companies figured out referral structures to perfection. Young Living is just one example of a direct sales company that rewards its distributors for bringing other customers on board by giving them free products and a percentage of sales.

    2. Employees Best Understand Your Product

    Your employees understand your product better than a third-party advertising firm. They work intimately with it day in and day out. It's also a smart move to provide samples to your employees. If you sell clothing, give each employee the latest shirt or a budget to order a certain amount of pieces for their personal use. Encourage them to tell others about what they're wearing. If you offer a service, have your employees test it.

    One thing top restaurants do that all businesses can learn from is let people test out their dishes so they know how they taste, how they're made and what is unique about each of them. Then, when a customer has a question, the employee is ready to answer from a personal standpoint.

    3. Develop a Culture

    Do you want your employees to feel highly satisfied in their work, so they strive to do their best, feel like part of something bigger and are more likely to stay long-term? Developing a company culture all leads to employees who are happier.

    You can create a strong company culture in several ways. Make sure everyone feels valued and free to add their input, spend time together doing fun things outside of work and show appreciation when someone does something exemplary.

    macallister machinery company puts safety first to build a strong company culture

    MacAllister Machinery Company offers an excellent model to study if you want to learn how to build a strong company culture. Anyone thinking about working there will notice they put the safety of their employees first, something that isn't always a priority in the industry. They also point to other elements, such as using a balanced scorecard to run their business and looking at innovative ways to solve common problems.

    4. Offer Profit Sharing

    If you want to encourage employees to help you advertise your products, offer a profit sharing program. The incentive is simply to get the product in the hands of more people and increase company profits. Employees then receive a percentage of those profits, giving them a strong incentive to promote your brand. No matter how much an employee loves their job, when the work day is over, it's not likely they will continue to promote your brand unless they have the incentive to do so.

    Profit sharing helps everyone feel that are part of the big picture and their effort is valued. When you offer incentives, you will begin to see employees go above and beyond to get results.

    5. Attract Top Candidates

    Attracting some of the top candidates in your field isn't easy. You're competing against giant companies that might have more funds to offer. However, you can stand out from them with an amazing company culture and lots of incentives. Not everyone wants to work for a Fortune 500 company or get lost in the shuffle of a big corporation. Focus on your strengths, then figure out how to encourage your employees to share those strengths with people they know who would be a good fit for your company.

    pure insurance offers a referral program and culture that translates to a referral rate between 40 and 60 percent

    Start an employee referral program so those who bring in new hires receive rewards for helping you find the best people possible to fill open positions. Pure Insurance offers a referral program and culture that translates to a referral rate between 40 and 60 percent. The majority of their employees come via referral from another employee, which is unusual. The way they achieve this is simply asking if their workers know anyone else who would be a good fit for the company.

    6. Empower Employees to Be Vocal

    Invest time and resources into training your employees to be a mouthpiece for your company. Training should include everyone from the manager of a department to the evening cleaning crew. Train employees about your company philosophy, how best to represent your brand and how to tell others about where they work.

    Training should include a full array of elements, including how to present yourself on social media. The last thing you want is someone giving your brand a bad name. However, with a little training, most people are capable of sharing info about your brand positively.

    Encourage Employees to Help With PR

    Most of your employees are probably quite happy to help spread the word about your brand, as it creates job security for them if you do well. They just need the encouragement and training to do so and know they won't get in trouble for mentioning the company. Use these six tips to start encouraging them to recommend your company to everyone they know.

    Lexie 1

    Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

    Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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  • Why Your Small Business Must Be Active on Social Media in 2017

    Participating on social media platforms for your business is no longer a question of “if” but “when.” Whether you have a large marketing budget or a small one — there’s not much that has the reach of social media.

    When you jump into social media marketing, it’s important to know how much time to invest in it. Too little, and nothing will come of your efforts. Too much, and its counter-productive. You must also know which platform is right for your brand and marketing strategy. If you’re doubting its power, consider that according to Social Media Examiner, 90% of marketers say social media is important for their business.

    With so many questions, it’s easy to dismiss social media marketing. It seems complicated, and, when you do get involved, you must choose a platform, then learn how to use it for business.

    Most social media networks are free, but most offer some paid perks for businesses. With some time, a bit of money and dedicated resources, you can turn your social media campaign into a win.

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