managing
socialmedia

3 Strategies to Inspire Your Social Media Marketing

by Nick Rojas

Social media has become one of the most important outreach and marketing channels available to brands, which in turn means that it’s important to have a social media strategy as a core part of your overall marketing plan. Social media channels offer businesses a cost-effective way to promote their companies, to increase brand awareness, and... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_106614497

4 Ways to Turn Your Website into a Marketing Heavyweight

by Kaitlyn Borysiewicz

Your company is in the ring. There are 12 seconds left in the last round. Will your digital brand take the knockout throw, or will it crumple on the mat? That really depends on one major thing: your company’s website. As more and more people consume online content, the importance of standing out from your... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_215960878

Customer Loyalty 101: How to Get Consumers to Do What You Want

by Katherine Halek

Have you ever been in awe of brands that seem to have mastered the art of “customer whispering,” frequently getting casual onlookers to buy on the spot? Much of this comes from consumer attraction techniques that anyone can learn and apply easily. Follow us as we demystify conversion and customer retention with the help of... Read more »

managing
2014 Top Articles

Our 10 Most-Read Articles of 2014

by Jonathan Michael

  2014 is on its way out. I don’t know about you, but as the year comes to a close, I love looking back to consider how the year unfolded. Did everything go as planned? What things were unexpected–good or bad? What did I learn from my experiences? Finally, what can I take with me to help... Read more »

planning
target-marketing_small

Target Marketing 101 [Infographic]

by Jonathan Michael

The term “target marketing” has been around for decades, but that doesn’t mean that everyone knows what it is or how to apply it to their business. If you’re just starting out, or if marketing your business has been something that you do without fully understanding it, then getting a grasp on target marketing will... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_73197265

What Big Name Brands Can Teach You about Content Marketing

by Brittany Klontz

For small business owners who are not 100% up to speed on the online marketing world, all this talk of content marketing may be a little confusing. Your business is online, and you’re on board the social media marketing bandwagon, surely that’s enough to keep up with your competition? Perhaps it is. But who wants... Read more »

planning
unique-selling-proposition

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition

by Lisa Furgison

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or thinking about joining the ranks, one question you’ll have to answer is: What sets your business apart? The answer to that question usually leads entrepreneurs to define their unique selling proposition, or USP. To help entrepreneurs create a unique selling proposition, we’ve written this handy guide to walk you... Read more »

starting
14-1106-College-Grads

The Millennial Entrepreneur: Idealistic or Realistic? [With Infographic]

by Jonathan Michael

Earlier this spring, studies in both the U.S. and the UK have reported declines in entrepreneurship: more startups failing, fewer getting off the ground, and low growth expectations for those currently open. After all this time, is it possible that entrepreneurs are now an endangered species? I hope you can sense the sarcasm in my... Read more »

managing
onlineclass

Top 10 Free Online Classes for Small Business Marketing

by Angelique O'Rourke

A lot of small business owners know their fields and industries like the back of their hand—it’s why they are so good at what they do. But when it comes to marketing your business, there might be a few (or more than a few) gaps in your formal education or training. That’s okay, because a... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_83327209

How to Handle and Avoid Negative Publicity

by Candice Landau

We’ve all heard of at least one social media disaster story—whether that’s the NRA posting a pro-gun tweet right after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, or Gap’s somewhat insensitive tweet encouraging those caught up in Hurricane Sandy to do some online shopping—and the reality is, these social media disasters happen. Sometimes they’re honest mistakes, other... Read more »

managing
best blogs to grow your business

The 22 Best Blogs to Help Grow Your Business (That You May Not Be Reading)

by Jonathan Michael

There are plenty of popular business-advice websites that make it on these kinds of “best of” lists, but I wanted to take a different approach. The problem with many of the popular sites is that they often offer little more than fluff pieces that don’t actually help you improve your business. They’ll share entrepreneur success... Read more »

planning
marketingplan

Help! My Business Needs a Marketing Plan and I Don’t Know Where to Start

by Gina Smith

Congratulations! You are among a select number of small business owners and executives who recognize the need for a marketing plan. As a marketing strategist, I recommend a marketing plan to all of my clients. More often than not, business owners feel they can just “wing it.” That, my friend, is a recipe for disaster.... Read more »

managing
applecustomervalues

What Apple Can Teach You about Marketing

by Jack Holt

Few iPhone users would identify “hedonism” (or the pursuit of pleasure) as a core value in their lives, but when you look at the sentiments behind Apple’s marketing strategy for the past 30 years, you might not be so quick to disagree. This extremely human core value is a key factor in Apple’s success today, despite... Read more »

managing
A few of the goodies Crane gives out to interested people.

Does Your Business Have Swag?

by Lisa Furgison

Promotional gear, goodies, swag—whatever you call it, items with your company name and logo are a great marketing tool. They provide a way to connect with customers, improve brand awareness, and help drive your sales up. Crane, a home appliance and wellness company, uses promotional gear to promote their brand and products at various events and trade... Read more »

managing
gatorade

Gatorade and the Kings of Cool

by Ryder Cochrane

When you are developing a marketing plan, it’s important to focus on the aspect of your product that you mean to be the selling point. You have to have that thing that makes you stand out from the pack, and that’s what you focus on. You’re the cheapest. You’re local. You’ve got the highest quality product.... Read more »

planning
Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

by Sarika Periwal

To survive as a business you need sales, and to generate sales you need marketing. It is for this reason that most businesses set aside a sizable chunk of money for advertising, but wouldn’t it be grand if you could generate sales by getting your existing customers to do your marketing for you? If you... Read more »

planning

Marketing

by Tim Berry

The set of planned activities designed to positively influence the perceptions and purchase choices of individuals and organizations. Marketing is a highly important part of business that focuses on perception, desires, and more to convince customers that your product or service is the one they should choose. Read more »

managing

Using Analytics to Drive Your Online Marketing Strategy

by Casie Gillette

Do you know who is coming to your website?  Who is buying your product?  Where they are coming from?  What they like and dislike? Analytics are an extremely valuable asset when it comes to your website and your online marketing efforts. The more informed you are on where and how your customers interact with your... Read more »

managing

Be realistic when you set your measure of success

by Tim Berry

All of us plan for success in our businesses. That IS the goal after all. To be successful. But how exactly do you determine IF you have succeeded? Regardless if you are a start up or an established business, you need to establish, right up front, during your business planning process, what success will look... Read more »

managing

Not Everybody is Your Customer

by Tim Berry

This is hard to write about, and hard for business owners to accept. It seems so negative. Still, it seems like we all need a fresh reminder. Bill Cosby said it well: “I don’t know the secret to success, but I do know that the secret to failure is trying to please everybody.” This reminds... Read more »