marketing

Get Started Quickly With Proven Marketing Tips

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Some startups launch quickly but run out of gas early while others get off to a slow but sustainable start. Is it possible to combine the best of both launches for fast and sustainable results? Recent startups like TripADeal, Australian Skin Clinics and TOBCO Constructions here in Australia prove its quite possible to achieve three-figure growth quickly and sustain it year over year. Let’s look at how these companies did it, so you can apply these marketing tips for startups to your business.

1. Find your Customers, and Market with Them in Mind

Have you found a niche you’re trying to fill? “Everybody” is not an easy niche to break into even if you’ve got massive financial backing for aggressive production, marketing and sales pushes. Instead, determine the demographics that are most likely to want what you offer, then tailor everything to them from the colors you use in packaging to the style of ads or corporate gifts you employ to attract positive attention. Stay focused on your primary market until you get traction with it…and then build a huge following within it before you even think about expanding the focus. Broadening the target too quickly is a classic mistake of fast starters that fizzle quickly.

2. Build Mutually Beneficial Partnerships

Part of the entrepreneurial spirit is the willingness to go it alone, to believe in the dream when nobody else does. However, as Web Smith, now Director of e-commerce for Gear Patrol says, “While that spirit of adventure has launched many entrepreneurs, the greatest — and most sustainable — startup success stories tend to be tales of partnerships.” Smith suggests choosing partners with the same values, mission, style and target audience, and then mutually supporting and promoting one another’s online and offline efforts.

3. Brand to Be Remembered Positively

Mundane branding doesn’t spark anything in people’s brains, so don’t be dull. Choose branding logos, overall design, color schemes and visuals, motto’s and jingles with the creativity and uniqueness to stand out from the crowd. John Guidos of Chicago’s experiential marketing agency ICE Factor recommends branding that is memorable, creative, appealing to the five senses, cost-effective, quirky without seeming forced and enthusiastic yet professional. Summing up the approach, Guidos says, “The ultimate goal of experiential marketing is for the consumer to remember the experience and discuss it with others after the campaign. More importantly, the consumer should recognize the brand and how it applies to their world.”

Get Started Quickly With Proven Marketing Tips

4. Use Corporate and Promotional Gifts Effectively and Effusively

One way to brand to be remembered is to have a large supply of gifts on hand that appeal to your demographics and fit the style you’re creating and then to give them out enthusiastically. Entrepreneurs know they should always be marketing, and giving away useful promotional products like these is a fabulous way to get noticed and convert recipients into customers.

5. Give Back

People support businesses that make a difference. Find both local and online ways to give back that fit your company and will resonate with your target audience.

6. Get Noticed Locally

Let your local news outlets know about your company and how you are giving back to make a difference. They’re always looking for feel-good stories to counteract the daily dose of bad news to be reported. Toss in a few of your best promo gifts, and you’ll probably receive free and positive attention.

7. Market and Sell Online and Offline

We know offline businesses must have a relevant online presence, but If you’re primarily an online business, is there anything offline you can do to boost sales? When you go huge, you can open stores like Amazon is doing, but short of that, what are your options? Send customers samples to try. Australian companies like GoHaus (timber flooring) and Sephora (makeup) do this as a side promotion. Warby Parker, the $1.2billion eyewear store, sends samples to customers to try on as its main way to do business.

Slow Down for a Faster Start

When talking about startups getting a fast and sustainable start, we’re addressing the period after launch. The preparation phase must be slow and deliberate, a period in which you tailor these proven marketing strategies to your business. If that takes you six to twelve months longer than you’d like, keep your spirits up with the realization your company will get a healthier start with them and be far more likely to succeed as you hope it will. Be patient, get your ducks in a row with painstaking detail, and your launch trajectory will be higher and stronger for your efforts.

Is A Hard Loan A Good Investment Tool For Your Situation?

Is A Hard Loan A Good Investment Tool For Your Situation?

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Getting a mortgage today is nowhere as easy as it used to be. Less expensive interest-wise, if you don’t have the right assets or income to debt ratio, you may be left without many options. Hard money loans are the answer to many difficult investment situations. They are structured differently than traditional loans and are most commonly associated with much higher interest rates. Before you take one out, it is best to decide if it is worth it for your investment purposes.

Hard money loans are the perfect solution for investors who intend to purchase a house but never own it long enough to worry about the rate of interest. People who buy an investment property and expect to sell it quickly can benefit from a hard money transaction because they can get quick money without jumping through all the hoops or having the equity that it takes to be approved for a mortgage.

Hard money loans differ from traditional loans in many ways. Often not coming from a traditional lender, hard money lenders or HMLs are typically loaned from either small equity groups or private individuals. The major advantage is that they often do not take into consideration things such as credit scores. As much as twice the average of interest mortgage loans, they also are associated with high origination fees.

Other major advantages are that you can borrow up to 100% of the value of the home. Using the property as collateral, you can mortgage the property with the property, that is very attractive for business who are purchasing the home to fix it up and build quick equity then pay it off just as quickly. Often not making more than a couple of payments on the hard money loan, they aren’t concerned with the rate because it will likely not affect them.

Hard money loans are usually approved with very little paperwork and within just a couple of days. With traditional mortgage loans taking as many as 30 to 45 days to close, it is sometimes an attractive proposition to the seller. Being able to close quickly and to give cash on hand, many sellers may be more willing to take less than to have to own the house for longer than they want to.

So, is a Hard Money Loan for you?

If you are looking at buying a home for personal use, then a hard money loan is not the way to go. If you don’t have the funds to pay for a mortgage now, it is much smarter to clear up your credit, save for a down payment, and try to go the traditional route. If you are looking at a property merely for investment and quick equity building, then it may be a smart decision. The allure of being able to close quickly may save you on the price of the house, and although having a high-interest rate, you likely won’t be paying more than a month or two before you can pay the entire balance off. For more information about the potential to obtain a hard money loan, contact Blue Jay Equity investments for more information about whether it is in your best interest.

MasterCard Survey Nets Curious Responses

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Security is a big concern for everyone. MasterCard recently surveyed cardholders about their wants, needs, and fears, and while security topped the list of wants, needs, and fears, other answers were curious to those in the processing industry. While card security has been iffy the past few years, it is set to change (hopefully) in 2016 with the implementation of chip and PIN cards, the worries about card security are warranted.

According to the survey, 77% are concerned about identity theft. 92% are taking steps to secure their identities and keep themselves safe online, yet 46% rarely or never change their online banking or credit card passwords. Sadly, and perhaps most disturbingly, over 1/3 of those surveyed admitted to using a public computer or public Wi-Fi to check their online banking or credit card accounts. Forty-four percent also use the same password for multiple online accounts.

While online security is a big deal, many want security but are not taking the steps to ensure their security. Perhaps it is out of habit that they commit these financial sins, or perhaps they are not sure what to do. The financial industry needs to do a better job of educating the public on what they need to do – and avoid – when dealing with online banking and financial accounts. If not, everyone suffers, from the consumers to merchants, to processors having to deal with a chargeback.

The good news is that 69% already use a chip card, or want one when they are implemented. Some companies are using them as a voluntary option, and so far the feedback is positive. This cuts down on chargebacks, but merchants need to make sure that they have chargeback insurance, regardless of what type of card is being used by their customers. There are few chargeback insurance providers in the USA, but when you find one, make sure that you ask questions. Question their knowledge about the industry you are in, and question how their process works. Every chargeback insurance provider operates differently, and not all are the right choice for every merchant.

Top Tips For Small-Business Online Marketing

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Small-business owners are often short of two things – time and money. So when it comes to maintaining an effective marketing strategy for their online presence, this can often slip down their list of priorities. These tips will help focus on the key aspects of the task and will help it seem more manageable. They will lead to better online presence and performance for any site.

Plenty of Content

Search engines are now geared up to scan the content of a site rather than just meta tags. Users also enjoy interesting and relevant content relating to the product or service on the site, which helps ensure they come back again and again. It needn’t be long or complex – just a few facts or tips about your product category or industry sector can be sufficient.

Stay Fresh

Search engines also track how old the content is on your site and how frequently it changes – so keeping it up to date is vital. Just setting aside an hour a week will keep it looking well maintained.

No Shortcuts

Some companies will promise to be able to get your site to the top of search results overnight. Unfortunately, the search engines know when shortcuts are being employed and are constantly fighting to stamp them out – so you may well find that you have paid for a high rank which only lasts a few weeks.

Relevant Links

Yet another element of your site that the search engines will examine is the number of links per page, as well as who your site is linking to. They do not like pages with lists of links, or links that are irrelevant to the content on a page.

Be Organized

This is important not just for search ranking but also for your users – a well structured, logical, easy-to-read site with plenty of clear headings and sections will keep everyone happy.

Make It Accessible

Everyone should be able to access your site, including the visually impaired or colour-blind. The Web Accessibility Initiative provides guidelines on this for site managers.

Good Coding

Although many small-business owners won’t be directly involved in the coding of their site, it is something to be aware of. It needs to be compliant and error-free for search engines to correctly assimilate it. It is possible to run a check on your website using online tools provided by a standards body, the World Wide Web Consortium.

Get Help

Even if you don’t have a lot of spare cash, you can get professional help with your online presence. It’s a good idea to use a fairly local firm so you can discuss your requirements face to face – for instance, if you were looking for website design in Swansea, then a quick search should bring up relevant results such as Swansea web design by Accent-ADC.

Pictures Are Key

Our final tip: whatever you are hoping to sell through your site, high-quality photographs are vital. They’ve got to compensate for the fact that your customers can’t see or touch your product in real life.

Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy

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Having great content on your website is a must for any business looking to stay ahead of its competitors. Content that is fresh, informative and relevant to the target audience will attract people to your site, keep them coming back and is more likely to result in a sale. Here’s how to get your content marketing strategy on the road to success.

Be Original

Make sure that what you publish online is unique. There is so much information on the internet, that what you provide is less likely to be viewed if it isn’t original. Search engines also aren’t impressed by content that has been copied from other sources, so be original if you want to find your way at the top of search engine listings. According to The Guardian original content – whether it’s in the form of a blog, case studies, videos or infographics – will help you define the point of view you want to convey, and should set the tone for all of your content marketing efforts.

Easy to Search

There is no point providing first-rate content if nobody is going to find it, so always ensure that what you publish will be easy for people to find online. Before you get started creating your content, build it around relevant keywords related to your organisation. If you are not sure what those keywords might be, consider using keyword research tools to find the most appropriate words or phrases that people would search for related to your type of business.

Know Your Audience

If you want to improve your content marketing strategy, make sure that what you are putting out there is of relevance to your target audience. According to Entrepreneur delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time should be your mantra. In order to do this, it is imperative that you get to know exactly who your target audience is, including their demographic profile and buying behaviour. Invest in analytics to do this, or engage with your audience to find out more about them.

Measure Campaigns

It’s not enough these days just to churn out content, you need to be able to assess how effective it is in order to fine tune your time and resources to those methods that get the best results for your business. Using the services of an expert content marketing agency, such as mash-marketing.com, who offer content and digital marketing in Edinburgh and elsewhere, can improve your content marketing efforts and ensure you are exploiting the best opportunities for your site.

Build Links

If you want to get more people coming to your site and be seen more favourably by search engine giants such as Google, consider building links as part of your content marketing strategy. Link building involves establishing links to your content via other popular and reputable websites. Choose ones that are similar enough to your own site, without being considered a competitor. Crucially, the other websites should be ones where your target audience will visit.