Business Resolutions: What’s Your Plan?

JESSICA OMAN | January 10, 2014

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What are your 2014 business goals? Perhaps you'd like to increase your revenue, say by 25%. Or, you've decided to hire a full time Administrative Assistant. Maybe one of your goals is to launch a new product.

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Top 8 Small Business Marketing Ideas to Propel Your Business

Article | July 1, 2021

We have more upcoming business challenges for 2021 now that the year 2020 has passed. Therefore, we ought to be prepared with some power-packed small business marketing ideas for the upcoming year. Starting a business, no matter how big or small, is easy; the real challenge is keeping it running smoothly and efficiently. Marketing is critical to the smooth operation of a business. Marketing is an essential component of any business for it to thrive. Marketing allows you to establish and promote your brand, generate sales, generate leads, and so on. It isn’t easy to implement the right marketing strategies for a business. Furthermore, due to limited resources, implementing the right marketing ideas for small businesses is more difficult. Whether you are starting a new business or already have one, it is critical to have an online presence for marketing and brand awareness. Before we get into the meat of this blog, let me clarify a few concepts for a better understanding of business marketing. Importance of marketing for small businesses Marketing is critical for the success of small businesses. Without proper marketing, your reach is extremely limited. Marketing has a long-term impact on your company. It increases sales, helps businesses grow and engages customers. All this necessitates careful planning. Planning entails deciding on the best platform and tools for marketing your company. Develop a marketing plan A marketing plan is a detailed plan that outlines the advertising strategy used to generate leads and reach the target customer and market. It collects various marketing strategies used to promote a company, its products, or services. Thus, preparing a marketing plan is very important to set small business marketing ideas. Knowing your audience, spelling out marketing and promotional strategies, creating buyer personas, generating leads and demands, generating web traffic, , and converting leads to sales, are all part of a marketing plan. It is of utmost importance to keep marketing trends in mind and carry out a marketing plan. Benefits of a marketing plan A marketing plan brings everyone on the same page. Makes marketing strategy documented and easy to consult. It makes it easy to evaluate new opportunities. It gives a better understanding of your marketing strategy. Helps in making the right decision for your business or marketing. Having a plan implies that your objectives are measurable. It enables your business to be proactive and aligned with its vision and goals. There are plenty of small business marketing strategies available for your business. I will assist you in selecting the best ones for your business's success by providing you with a few small business marketing ideas. Top 8 small business marketing ideas Know your audience How would you identify your business's target audience? Any marketing technique aims to attract customers to their brands, but not everyone can be a buyer. For your product or service, you must concentrate on a specific target audience. However, this necessitates some market research, which will assist you in identifying your business's niche. Market research entails gathering information from customers, such as what motivates them to make a purchase decision? What are their requirements? What do they expect from a service provider or a product vendor? Emphasize search engine optimization (SEO) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) optimizes the content on your website. . It is popular and preferred by business owners because organic content is a free source of high-quality traffic and internet searchability. You can bring in more traffic to your content and more leads only through SEO. Top ranking achieved through SEO promotes your website 24 hours a day, seven days a week, where Google searches occur 60,000 times per second. However, reaching the top ranking necessitates a significant amount of effort. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy with remarkable long-term returns. Here are few tips to be kept in mind for the success of optimizing your content via SEO: Produce high-quality content on hot topics in your niche. Create content that focuses on relevant and valuable keywords. Optimize your header tags so that search engines capture your pages. Include your primary keywords in all your website's landing pages, titles, meta descriptions, and so on. Use internal linking that helps search engines crawl and index your pages. Optimize meta descriptions. Reduce page load time by optimizing your website's images. Concentrate on generating backlinks. Use engaging videos to connect Customers are getting video savvy on the social media platform. Videos develop a personal connection with the viewers or clients, and in this age of social distancing, it has proved to be a blessing for business marketers. Videos play a key role in brand awareness of the business. People with short attention spans are drawn to videos (everybody). Video marketing is also done with a limited budget; therefore, it is one of the best small business marketing ideas. Marketing teams use video marketing as a strategy to create, curate, and use videos for marketing their products or services to their target audience. However, the goal is to keep audience members engaged with the brand in a simple and easy-to-digest manner. YouTube receives five billion video views per day. Besides, the average viewing session is 40 minutes per day, a 50 percent increase year over year. Other platforms for live videos, such as Facebook and Instagram, are also very popular. Facebook live videos have a 4.3 percent engagement rate, while non-live videos have a 2.2 percent engagement rate. People watch 16 hours of online video per week on average, a 52% increase over the last two years. Viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video versus 10% when they read it in text. Social video generates 1200 times the number of shares as text and image content combined. Optimize your marketing technology stack The marketing technology stack is a collection of technologies used by marketers to optimize their marketing processes throughout the customer lifecycle. Implementing a marketing technology (Martech) stack allows you to leverage and improve your marketing activities. Benefits of optimizing Martech Marketing teams can streamline workflows. Martech tools reduce internal friction. Allows all departments to work together towards common goals. Marketing technologies help simplify complex processes, measure the impact of marketing activities, and drive more efficient spending. Make social media significant for the promotion Social media networks have transformed the face of marketing and are one of the powerful marketing business tools. According to Global WebIndex research, approximately 53.6 percent of the world's population uses social media. The average daily usage is two hours and twenty-five minutes. The social media platform is the cheapest and most effective for small business advertising. Social media helps you increase your domain authority, brand awareness, improves search engine ranking, and offers higher inbound traffic, among many more. As a small business owner, you just need to invest your time and effort into it. Use relevant hashtags in the post. Visual content (high-quality and eye-catching) along with text. Encourage comments on your posts. Find your brand voice. Make use of influencer marketing. Social media proved to be encouraging small business marketing ideas. Automate your important marketing channels When it comes to simple marketing ideas, automation is the best solution because it streamlines marketing processes. Thus, businesses need to leverage the automation of marketing channels to reduce manual tasks and save time. Marketing automation is done by: Repetitive tasks such as email and website actions can be automated. Marketing process effectiveness measurement. This results in increased operational efficiency. Also helps to increase your revenue. Creating a schedule for social media posts. Marketing automation integrates all business channels and outreach into a single customer database. Automation turned up as one of the key trends in B2C business. Marketing automation makes small businesses competitive. AI is also a part of marketing automation and is often used in marketing efforts where speed is essential. Marketing automation is feasible for small business ideas. Looking at all the above advantages, there is a growing need for automation as a small business marketing idea. Optimize your content for voice search Voice search uses voice technology that allows users to perform searches on a device simply by speaking into it; the device could be a smartphone, a computer, or a smart home assistant (like Amazon Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google home). Voice search has grown in popularity in recent years. For instance, voice input now accounts for 50% of all searches. As a result, now is the time to optimize your web pages for the same. The year 2020 predicted the widespread use of voice search, but 2021 is when consumers are using this technique via voice-enabled devices during the pandemic. Small businesses have a real opportunity to capitalize on a local search through voice. Companies that want to stay ahead of the curve in digital marketing are already implementing a voice search strategy. Small business owners can take advantage of such popular marketing technology trends. Send and respond to review the request and perform referral marketing Customers trust and rely on the reviews and customer’s feedback. Thus, encourage customers to share their experience with the products or services that the company is offering. Customer feedback acts as social proof that your customers trust. The reviews or testimonials could be positive or negative, but it surely helps businesses to improve their business or marketing strategies. Send review requests via text or email that will make the process easy for customers. However, it is equally important that you also respond to the reviews. Responding to reviews can help your business rank higher in search engines. Small businesses often think referral marketing is not their cup of tea and is meant for large businesses. However, small businesses have a lot more to gain from it as it is one of the best ways for lead generation. A referral is nothing but someone you know recommending the product or service to their known or friends. This marketing idea acts as a promotional channel for small businesses. Everything is going online, and digital marketing is booming. Since you are now aware of marketing ideas for small businesses, you are only one step away from putting them into action and reaping the benefits of the above marketing ideas. FAQ’s What are the best marketing ideas for a small-scale business? The best marketing ideas for a small business include social media, search engine optimization, referral marketing, market automation, etc. Why is marketing strategy important for small businesses? How you communicate your value to others is defined by your marketing strategy. Small businesses must improve their positioning. A marketing strategy will help you make sound decisions. How to calculate the online growth of small business? Companies should have year-over-year growth of between 15% and 45 percent as a general benchmark. According to a SaaS survey, companies with less than $2 million in annual revenue grow faster. When you have a diverse audience base, you have all necessary processes in place that show the online growth of the small business. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the best marketing ideas for a small-scale business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The best marketing ideas for a small business include social media, search engine optimization, referral marketing, market automation, etc." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is marketing strategy important for small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "How you communicate your value to others is defined by your marketing strategy. Small businesses must improve their positioning. A marketing strategy will help you make sound decisions." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to calculate the online growth of small business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Companies should have year-over-year growth of between 15% and 45 percent as a general benchmark. According to a SaaS survey, companies with less than $2 million in annual revenue grow faster. When you have a diverse audience base, you have all necessary processes in place that show the online growth of the small business." } }] }

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The best social media platforms for small businesses

Article | March 30, 2020

You probably know social media is an important tool for growing your business, but there’s a good chance you might be a bit overwhelmed with the number of different platforms out there. Not to mention the learning curve involved in trying to master them all! There’s no doubt the world of social media and internet marketing is a fast-changing landscape, but as the internet has begun to mature there are a handful of platforms that can definitely create results for the people who stay the course and try to master them. In this post, we’ll identify four of the big social behemoths, why they have the potential to create a lot of leverage when marketing your business, and which one might be the best for you to focus on.

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Tips for small businesses and consumers

Article | March 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for every business and every individual, creating a new reality. It also provides an opportunity for creative solutions to maximize customer and employee service and value and ways in which each business can individually be of service to others, said Mark Lupo, a consultant with the Small Business Development Center at the University of Georgia. “For small businesses, this can be a time to build relationships with customers and employees on a deeper level, by communicating that you care about them and are concerned for their safety,” Lupo said.

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Artificial intelligence for Small Businesses – Transformation Guide in 2021

Article | July 9, 2021

The effect of COVID-19, the pandemic nationwide, was inevitable and became a catalyst for every business's digital transformation, irrespective of a large, small, or medium-sized business. 2020 saw a boom in digital transformation and escalated demand for artificial intelligence (AI). A few years back, artificial intelligence for small businesses was just a buzzword for owners, and today it is a new reality of our day-to-day life. Many companies have recognized the extensive benefits of AI. As the growing power of AI for small business owners has been considered, they have integrated them to achieve their goals. Artificial intelligence, also called machine learning, offers small businesses the opportunity to become profitable, efficient, and effective. With time and evolution in technology, AI delivers results and has become affordable for small businesses. The unprecedented nature of the pandemic crisis brought in a set of new challenges and forced small companies to change and improvise their business strategies. This crisis led AI and machine learning to play a substantial role in various aspects of businesses. According to statistics, the artificial intelligence industry will be worth $190 billion by 2025, with global spending on AI systems already reaching $57 billion by 2021. The machine learning and deep learning segment accounted for nearly 65% of the market in 2019. According to ReportCrux Market Research, the global demand for artificial intelligence in the IoT market estimated to be around $ 2.64 billion in 2019, revenues are expected to be around $ 15.72 billion by the end of 2027, representing a 25.0% CAGR from 2020 to 2027. Moving forward, before you hit the core topic of this blog, here are few additional aspects you need to know about AI and small businesses. AI and small businesses Today AI is the new headline of every business news and has become a prevalent technology adapted by almost every industry. However, before delving into the implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses, let me throw some light on what artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are. AI is creating computer systems capable of performing tasks that generally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation. Machine learning is defined as “an artificial intelligence application that allows systems to learn and improve based on experience without being programmed automatically.” AI and machine learning have become a mainstay of the new business world. Yet, as per the common misconception, this technology is still considered for bigger businesses with big budget to spend. However, as technology advances, artificial intelligence for small businesses has become more affordable, making it an industry reality for them as well. According to the 2018 Vistage survey on the role of AI for small businesses, 13.6% of small-to-medium companies (SMBs) are currently using AI technologies to improve business operations and customer engagement. In addition, according to another survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses, 29.5% of CEOs support AI technology. Artificial intelligence has gained trust from few big names such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk. AI and deep machine learning can be implemented through AI tools and AI software across different parts of business operations. AI tools help streamline all the processes of the business, thus transform the industry. AI tools for small companies benefit in various ways, including helping to improve sales and marketing efforts, improving recruitment and HR activities, and automating customer service and communications. Here is how artificial intelligence (AI) can help your small businesses improve your performance efficiency. Top 5 artificial intelligence recommendations for small businesses in 2021 AI-Infused CRM Since the digital approach towards business operations, machine learning and artificial intelligence for small business operations are changing. However, it necessitates a well-planned marketing strategy for small businesses to maintain a personal touch in their approach. As a result, customer-relationship management (CRM) systems play an essential role in gathering customer data across various omni-channels such as email, social media platforms, and phone. This customer data aids in the improvement and automation of the sales process. HubSpot CRM and Salesforce have incorporated AI into their technology; these AI-infused CRM for small businesses can help their owners in analyzing customer feedback. As a result, marketing and lead generation activities will be adjusted based on that information. AI-infused CRMs not only improve lead generation results, but they have also begun to demonstrate how AI can be used to acquire marketing and sales-relevant insights, as well as to improve the customer acquisition process. Effortless data-driven predictions and decision-making Data plays a key role for businesses in the decision-making process. The data-driven approach helps to improve decisions, but for this, the companies need to recognize and adapt artificial intelligence (AI) into their workflow. Data holds the insight that enables better decisions, integration of AI and machine learning in workflow validates effortless data-driven predictions and more robust decision making for further actions. The question is, how does AI help in the decision-making process based on data? Here is the solution; firstly, AI examines massive amounts of data and then provides insights to business owners, who make decisions based on this information. Then, do you see how artificial intelligence for small businesses in workflow simplifies decision-making and makes data-driven predictions with ease. Application of artificial intelligence (AI) in human resource The human resource was the most unexpected department into which artificial intelligence (AI) crept. Effective implementation of AI tools in human resources helps to streamline the hiring and onboarding process. Furthermore, it is beneficial to obtain employee feedback on how HR can improve the hiring process. AI tools for small businesses offer their marketing teams to handle repetitive and tedious tasks like data entry, cleaning up extensive data, and testing sales campaigns' efficiency. In addition, artificial intelligence for small businesses empowers them to optimize their staff output. AI-powered customer service The big players in online retail are no longer the only ones. Small and medium-sized businesses are also gradually becoming a significant part of selling their products or services on an online portal. In the form of conversational platforms such as chatbots, IVRs, and visual bots, AI can enable proactive customer self-service. First, however, it is necessary to develop personalized customer service for their satisfaction. This can be done with the help of integration of the most used AI-powered chatbots. Many small business owners are investing in this process to provide customer communication and service. Chatbots use natural language (NLP) processing technology of the machine learning tool. Since the introduction of deep learning in AI, it has become a need of an hour to deliver better results to customers, as approximately 30% of all online retail transactions are made on a mobile phone. Most small businesses are utilizing AI to provide customers with first-hand product experience. According to Gartner, “46% of SMBs (surveyed) are currently using or plan to use a chatbot within the next two years.” Another 21% of the small and medium-sized businesses polled were evaluating chatbots for use, according to the study. Chatbots is like a sales and customer rep working 24/7 for you. Among the many artificial intelligence for small businesses available, this relieves stress and allows you to devote your time to more critical tasks. For example, with AI-powered customer service, you can simplify many tasks, facilitate customer communication and customer experience. Cybersecurity Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most businesses turned online, giving rise to online data storage by companies both big and small. Thus, exposing them to new cyber threats to business and consumer data, which are called cyber-attacks. One of the most talked-about cyber-attacks in 2019 is ‘Ransomware,’ a form of malicious software that is often deployed via social engineering tactics. According to the survey, ransomware attacks increased 350% globally in 2018, and ransomware attacks are expected to cost $6 trillion per year by 2021. For small businesses with a minimal budget to spend on cybersecurity or sudden ransom, such attacks can be devastating. According to recent reports, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months. But luckily, cybersecurity powered by AI may provide some relief from these attacks. AI-powered cybersecurity programs look for unusual activity or cyber threats detected and can stop the attacks or raise alerts earlier. You can revitalize and empower your small business by employing artificial intelligence for small businesses to meticulously maintain an account database, stay in touch with customers, or protect your company from hackers. AI is the future of businesses In the future, AI can transform how businesses interact with customers, compete with one another, and grow in the market. On the other hand, the pandemic served as a catalyst for businesses to embrace the business benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, what would typically take years to implement on a large scale was completed in a matter of weeks and months. According to survey by Salesforce research, 51% of customers say their expectations of companies are now being influenced by AI. According to a report, the global artificial intelligence (AI) market was worth 28.42 billion USD in 2019. According to the same report, the AI market will be worth 99.98 billion USD by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 34.86%. Machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses help their owners reduce manual work and increase productivity with little effort and in a short period. FAQs Can small businesses use AI? Yes, small businesses can use AI and need an hour to implement it in their process. Small business owners can use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the first-hand experience of their products or services to their customers. AI helps small businesses to handle repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease. How can small businesses benefit from AI? Implementation of AI in a small business can help to improve sales and marketing, streamline HR tasks, automate customer communication, provide cybersecurity from unpredictable threats, etc. Thus, artificial intelligence for small businesses can completely transform their position in the market. How is AI implemented in small businesses? AI technology can be implemented in small businesses using various AI-based tools, applications, or software. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Can small businesses use AI?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, small businesses can use AI and need an hour to implement it in their process. Small business owners can use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the first-hand experience of their products or services to their customers. AI helps small businesses to handle repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can small businesses benefit from AI?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Implementation of AI in a small business can help to improve sales and marketing, streamline HR tasks, automate customer communication, provide cybersecurity from unpredictable threats, etc. Thus, artificial intelligence for small businesses can completely transform their position in the market." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How is AI implemented in small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI technology can be implemented in small businesses using various AI-based tools, applications, or software." } }] }

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