As a marketing professional I am immersed with marketing – particularly online marketing. And sometimes it’s easy to forget that just because I’m heavily involved in marketing, other business owners are not.
That’s why I shouldn’t have been surprised by a study by RBC that shows only 46 percent of Canadian small businesses have a website and only 39 percent use social media. A similar study shows that 60% of UK small businesses are not online.
In fact I wasn’t entirely surprised. I have had several people come to me in the past year asking, “Andrea, do I really need a website?”
The short answer: YES!
Why? That same RBC study shows 38 percent of small businesses generate a quarter of their revenue from online sales and 22 percent Read More→
When people are making a purchase, part of the decision process is looking the salesperson in the eye and deciding how well they trust this person.
That is part of the reason why online sales is a little harder. It’s also why social media is so effective as a marketing tool. It gives your online customers a chance to get to know, like and trust you first.
This is why having a photo of you, not your logo, is so important in your social media marketing. It gives people a chance to virtually look you in the eye before making a decision to buy from you.
But I see a lot of people with photos that aren’t doing them justice. Your photo should reflect you and how your work with your clients. There shouldn’t be any surprises. Read More→
Images are becoming increasingly important for online marketing. On social media, content that includes interesting and attractive images gets 94% more views than content without images. And with sites like Pinterest and Slideshare popping up, images are king.
But there’s more. When people are searching on Google, 37% say they are more likely to click on a link when there’s an image associated with the link.
When you sell online, images are even more important. According to a study by The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, almost half of the participants said that a website’s design is the number one indicator of credibility. In other words, if your website is visually appealing visitors will find your business to be more credible.
But what can you do if you are a small business and don’t have a big budget for marketing? How do you get quality images for your marketing?
You can pay for them. Google “clip art” and you’ll find a number of sites where you can purchase images for use in your marketing.
Flickr is a image-sharing social media site. Many of the images are licensed through Creative Commons and are available for you to use for free or for a small fee. There are some great photographers on Flickr but understanding which images you can and cannot use can sometimes be a challenge.
The cheapest and easiest way to get images for your marketing is to take them yourself. Just about every cell phone now has a good quality camera. Get in the habit of taking photos on a regular basis. I now have a stockpile of nature photos that I can crop and edit for my marketing. They are great for inspirational quotes.
I also will take targeted images. When I write a blog post I often put together some objects from my house and take a photo to accompany the article. Sometimes I use them as-is, other times a little Photoshop goes a long way.
In any case, if you haven’t been using images in your online and social media marketing, now is the time to start.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Where do you find quality images for your marketing? Leave a comment and share your sources.
Much of social media and online marketing can be described as “content marketing”. This is the process of creating informative, helpful, entertaining or engaging “content” as a means to attract prospects to your business, getting those prospects to know, like and trust you, then staying in front of these people until they are ready to buy from you.
A blog post (like this one), a video, an audio, photographs, infographics – anything that communicates.
The idea of a social media bomb (a concept created by Dreamgrow Digital) is that you take one great idea and turn it into a variety of media that you spread over a wide range of social tools. This way you reach more people without majorly increasing your workload.
When you’re a solopreneur or small business providing a service it can be hard to define your brand or USP (unique selling proposition). What makes you different from everyone else who does the same thing? And how do you tell the world?
I’ve been looking at branding of other people and many of the really successful ones have edgy, quirky or outrageous online personas. Some of them say goofy things, some curse and swear, some are in-your-face.
These people all stand out from the crowd and sometimes I wish I could be more like that. But I can’t.
Yes, in private I can swear like a trucker when I stub my toe (my apologies to truckers who do not curse). But I can’t bring myself to do that online.
And I can’t be in-your-face, aggressive or outrageous. It’s just not me. I’m too nice.
It reminded me of Read More→
“Which social network should I use?”
“Do I really have to be on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and YouTube and Google Plus and …”
“How do I manage my social media marketing and still run my business?”
There are some tools I don’t do enough with and there are some I’m not using at all. How can someone whose business is not marketing keep up?
The answer … don’t try!
Seriously. I give you permission not to be on every social media site that’s new and “hot”.
Now don’t get me wrong – most small businesses don’t do enough marketing. Read More→