3 "Secret" Ingredients That Consistently Drive Business Growth

May 24, 2019

Is it a question of mindset? What can we learn from those companies that have achieved a pattern of stable growth throughout the decades?

Hard work, talent, dedication, commitment to excellence and even more hard work. These things – especially an unending supply of hard work – make up the not-so-secret secret formula used by companies that have attained consistent growth. On top of that, the leadership within these companies keeps a future-oriented mindset. “This business is being built for years – and generations – yet to come,” is a much better leadership outlook than one that says, “I have built this by myself and for my own glorification right now.”

But really, it’s all about hard work. That’s why the secret formula is really pretty obvious. We all know the value of hard work, and we all believe in it. Some of us even practice what we preach when it comes to hard work. But do you know exactly what hard work looks like? Have you ever realized that hard work takes many shapes and forms? Does your company – do you – work hard at everything you do?

Shortcuts are not hard work

Shortcuts look smart. They look efficient, easy, quick and painless. They offer a chance to deliver a higher volume with little or no extra effort. But they are not hard work. Working smart and keeping up with best practices is crucial to your product’s quality, but it should never be the end you seek. The product’s quality is all that matters; that, and your character, are all your customer will ever really see. Minimal effort work (i.e., work that’s full of shortcuts) produces a minimal effort product. Minimal effort is what your competitors provide, inferior quality from others is what drove your customer to you …

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5 Effective Content Marketing Trends to Improve Your Strategy

May 22, 2019

Content marketing is essentially the creation and distribution of content to achieve various marketing goals. If done right, it can be the most potent weapon in your marketing arsenal. It can help you build your brand, spread brand awareness, get website traffic and even drive sales.

This means it’s pertinent to keep yourself up to date on content marketing trends and design your content strategy with these trends in mind. Here are five key content marketing trends that can help you shape your content strategy.

1. Content marketing will become more mainstream.

Content marketing will be the single most prominent form of online marketing going forward. This is primarily because content is the key component for all forms of digital marketing techniques, be it SEO, social media marketing or influencer marketing.

Content marketing can be used to accomplish almost all digital marketing goals. According to a Content Marketing Institute (CMI) study, some of the key goals that marketers accomplish with content marketing are spreading awareness for their brand, engaging their audience, generating leads, building customer loyalty and increasing sales. 

2. Visual content will be the most popular format.

Which is more likely to grab your attention as a reader – a long, text-heavy post or a video?

If you picked the latter, you are not alone. Most people prefer visual content to text because it is easier to consume and understand, so you should include more visual content in your content strategy. Be it infographics, photos, videos, memes or gifographics, take your pick and start creating visual content.


Editor’s note: Looking for help with your business’s online marketing? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.



Among visual content, video content will continue to dominate. According to a Cisco study, videos will …

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Low on Funds? How to Market Your Business for Free

May 20, 2019

Nowadays, many bootstrap minded business owners have found ways to navigate tackling their marketing details to bring in sales with little to no money upfront. Here are four tips you can use to do the same.

Ask for referrals from your customers and clients

The best form of publicity and marketing is word of mouth. People love hearing first-hand accounts of other people’s buying experiences. Consider Google and Yelp reviews. If you leave a review, they’ll email you to tell you how much your review is being seen by others. You want your customers to love being a patron of yours so much that they leave honest reviews that help attract you more business.

When you are strapped for cash, the people who do love your products or services can be your walking billboards. Leverage the people you already have connections with to bring in more potential buyers. Offer incentives that entice people to be an advocate for you.

Use your social media platforms to plug your business

For so long, social media platforms were the perfect avenue for marketing small businesses. Due to “friends” and “followers,” many new business owners had ready-made pools of potential customers at their fingertips. Now that these social media platforms have found ways to monetize the efforts of businesses who want to advertise, small business owners have had to start investing to get seen.

There is a workaround, however. It centers around you being intentional about every interaction you have on social media. From status updates to commenting or engaging in groups, use every opportunity you can find to let people know what you have to offer. If you run across someone asking a question that your expertise can offer a solution to, answer it.

Also, connect with others in similar industries as yours. …

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How to Start Accepting Guest Posts on Your Blog

May 17, 2019

But, have you considered allowing others to guest post on your website? When someone guest posts on your site, they’ll share their work once it’s published, giving you free marketing for your blog. This gives you a chance to increase your traffic and can lead to more links to your site. Plus, you don’t have to do any of the work.

Ready to reap the benefits of guest posts? Here’s how to start accepting guest posts on your blog.

1. Build a community.

Before you start accepting guest posts, you need to build a community. Just because you have a blog with a lot of useful content, doesn’t mean that you’re ready to accept guest posts. After all, nobody will want to guest post for your blog if you don’t have an active community of readers.

If you’ve got some website traffic but lack an active community, there are a few things you can do to build one. First, you should be starting a conversation with your readers. At the end of your blog posts, ask them a question or ask them to leave their opinion in the comment section. Next, you should be engaging with readers in the comment section. Readers will be more likely to comment if they know they’ll get a response from you. You should also spend time commenting on other popular blogs. This will help you build a relationship with other bloggers and their readers, who in turn, will start interacting with your blog too.

2. Create guest posting guidelines.

Once you’ve built a community, you can start thinking about accepting guest posts on your blog. But before taking submissions, you need to create guest posting guidelines. You should only be accepting quality guest posts because your reputation is on the line too. Determine …

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5 Ways Small Business Retailers Can Win Social Media

May 13, 2019

Social media as we know it got its start in the early 2000s. Sites like Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube came out at that time, and they’ve grown like wildfire ever since. It’s estimated that there were 2.77 billion social media users around the globe in 2017. Many dismissed social media as a fad, but the past decade and multibillion-dollar valuations for companies like Facebook have silenced any naysayers.

To drive the point home even further, it’s estimated that there were 80 million SMB Facebook pages as of 2018. To put that in perspective, there were only 1,128,112 retail establishments in the United States as of the last census taken in 2007. I think it’s safe to say that social media isn’t a passing fad and that investing in a business page, retail or otherwise, is a rule rather than an exception.

As a retailer, you know how important it is to connect and build relationships with your customers. From the niche boutique hosting an invite-only wine tasting to merchandisers running loyalty programs, customer loyalty, brand affinity and repeat business is essential for growth. With retail facing uncertain times, social media can provide a competitive advantage for retailers being forced to compete against e-commerce behemoths like Amazon, eBay and Walmart by focusing on the very things that set them apart: locality, independence and their small size. Let’s dive into the five advantages that small retailers have when it comes to using social media.

Editor’s note: Need online marketing help for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.


1. You’re more connected to your customers.

The biggest retailers can leverage their brand recognition, vertically integrate their supply chain and take advantage of economies of scale to pass discounts to …

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