Are You Guilty Of Misunderstanding These Marketing Terms?

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

People often simplify certain aspects of digital marketing to the point that when they incorporate these concepts into a campaign, they no longer work. An example of this would be the basic understanding of SEO. You might think SEO is just a matter of adding the right keywords and links to your site. But before you even consider the SEO tactics you could use you should consider the type of SEO you need.

If you’re marketing to a local consumer base, you will need local SEO. That involves using tools like Google Business and has very little to do this with the design of the website. Or, you might prefer to pay for SEO directly using a service such as Adwords. Again, this is vastly different when compared with organic SEO tactics such as adding backlinks or using keywords carefully. Let’s examine some of the other marketing tactics that may get muddled. 

Social Media Marketing
A lot of new business owners think that social media marketing is just about joining as many social networks as possible, posting on them as often as they can. Interestingly though, if you use social media in this way, you won’t find much success with your marketing campaign. Not all business customers use every type of social media, and even if they do, you won’t catch their interest with a basic post. Instead, you need to make sure you are using sharable content on your networks. You need to produce and publish information and graphics that are going to excite or intrigue customers and clients.

To do this, you need to understand how to produce targeted content. This will directly appeal to clients who will be interested in your services and the products sold by your company. Or, you can think about using UGC. UGC or user generated content simply means that you get your clients and customers to create if for you. These are just two of the ways that you can use social marketing to be more effective in promoting your company.

Link Building
As soon as you read the word ‘link,’ you probably thought of something like this. Since that link is connected to a different area on the web, that is a backlink and backlinking can be a key part of an SEO linking strategy. Link building, on the other hand, is something completely different. Link building is a more general term to describe connecting with other websites and companies online to boost your business reach or expand your brand. It can evolve tactics like backlinking, but it might also use other strategies such as guest posts. By guest posting on another site, you can attract the users of that web page to your website, potentially increasing traffic and hopefully boosting customer numbers. If you simplify link building down to just using links within site content, you won’t make an impression on the market.

Growth Hacking
This term is fairly new and the first documented use was in 2010. What do people think it refers to? Usually, if you ask a new marketer what growth hacking is they suggest it’s a blackhat form of SEO or something that is ethically dubious. Of course, that’s not even remotely close to describing growth hacking. It’s actually just a term to describe ways to grow your company while keeping costs low. One possible growth hacking tactic would be using a free form of marketing like building a blog to connect with a customer base. Growth hacking tactics are particularly useful for SMEs with limited budgets.

 

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Six Qualities for Business Success

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

The modern business world is very accommodating for entrepreneurs. The most successful entrepreneurs can achieve great things from very modest beginnings. While the conditions are right for business success, the conditions are also right for your competition. Many elements contribute to the success and failure of a business, but the bulk of those elements start with you as the visionary. Ensure that you possess each of the following six qualities, and you should be just fine.

  1. Financial Control: First and foremost, the success and failure of a business is decided by finances. It might take some time to gain big sales revenue. Therefore, trimming the fat from your monthly expenses is essential. Otherwise, you could fall into the trap of letting the company crash and burn before it even gets up and running. Even if reduced expenses aren’t the difference between success and failure, a tighter grasp will maximize your profit levels.
  2. Leadership Skills: Efficient employees are a crucial asset for any modern entrepreneur as they are the driving force behind the operation. A successful recruitment drive is vital. But if you truly want to unlock the full potential of the staff, you must learn to become a better leader. Motivation plays an integral role. An online BA in organizational studies degree may give you the tools needed to manage the team as well as the business. Meanwhile, you must learn to appreciate personal incentives and use them to your advantage. Because when you get the employees working to their max, productivity and customer experiences will thrive.
  3. Market Knowledge: The quality of your goods and services counts for very little if you can’t get customers excited. Marketing is a complex arena that involves both inbound and outbound strategies. Before you start planning campaigns, though, you must first understand your place in the current market. Different audiences react to different marketing materials. As such, it’s vital that you conduct the necessary market research to create your ideal consumer profile. Once you know the way their minds tick, you can set about building a brand and marketing campaigns that will grab their attention. This is the first step to gaining converted sales, and will immediately boost your hopes of sustained success.
  4. Genuine Care: Those initial purchases will put you on the right pathway. In truth, though, repeat clients that will truly set your company apart from the crowd. Gaining a client’s long-term trust is imperative, and providing positive experiences are the only way to do it. This is why customer care should always be a priority. Most clients will forgive mistakes as long as you’re quick to rectify the problem. Even if your business is new, online virtual receptionist services provide an effective service. This will help preserve your time and money too. When combined with social media streams and human interactions, you should be just fine.
  5. An Open Mind: The world of business evolves at a frighteningly fast rate. Unfortunately, if you allow yourself to be left behind by the competition, there’s only one potential outcome. Embracing the latest and greatest tools and materials can help continue to propel your business forward. This could include embracing cloud computing, 3D printing process, or one of many other elements. Stay one step ahead of the crowd, and your customers will continue to stay enthused by the brand. Furthermore, you should be willing to listen to their ideas too. They might not always be great, but it may unleash one game-changing issue that fires the company to another level.
  6. Great Appearance: It’s a harsh reality, but your business isn’t only going to be judged on its own merits. Customers, employees and financial backers will form opinions based on how you present yourself. While you don’t have to be a model, dressing to impress is key, as is remembering you are representing the business. Additionally, it is wise to remember employees are representing the company too. As such, you may wish to invest in uniforms or dress code guidelines. Apart from anything else, it can encourage staff members to take pride in their job and the business.

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Pros & Cons

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

As any entrepreneur knows, when it comes to business success, marketing plays a vital role. The fact is that you could have the most innovative product or service on offer, but if no one knows about it, your chances of success are low. That’s why for businesses in all industries marketing is an important element.

Until a decade or so ago, outbound marketing was the in thing in marketing. Outbound marketing was the most common form of marketing companies used because it was seen as the most effective marketing method. However, today that is no longer the case. Over the past few years, when it comes to the most effective form of marketing, outbound marketing is on the decline.

Today, inbound marketing is quickly becoming the most effective marketing method. Inbound marketing is not only more cost effective and interactive, but it is also a fantastic way to generate leads for customers and increase sales, which is why it’s so popular with businesses of all shapes and sizes.

What’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a type of marketing that relies on earning a person’s interest, rather than buying it. Whereas, outbound marketing tends to push products and services at customers.

Inbound marketing is a more interactive form of marketing because it allows two-way communication, it’s a form of marketing where customers come to you – they find your brand, products and services. This kind of marketing seeks to entertain and educate. While outbound marketing focuses on one-way communication – the brand communicating with the consumer. With outbound marketing methods, customers are sought out with print, TV, radio adverts, and brochures, banners and business cards. With outbound marketing, there’s no focus on educating consumers or offering them value; it’s simply a case of advertising a product or service.

In recent years, there has been a shift in terms of how the majority of companies choose to market their products or services. The reason for this shift is because of the changes in consumer behavior, with more and more consumers preferring to be in control of the information that they receive. With outbound marketing, the company is completely in control, whereas with inbound marketing consumers have more control over the information that they receive. This shift in consumer habits can be seen in the change in the way that the majority of people view marketing. Studies have found that 85 percent of people now skip TV adverts, while 91 percent of email users have unsubscribed from a company’s email subscription service.

What are the pros and cons of inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on businesses websites and social media channels being found by customers. Inbound marketing allows businesses to earn their way into consumer habits, instead of pressuring their way in with constant adverts and pop-ups. The most effective inbound marketing techniques include content marketing, which many businesses collaborate with an SEO company for and social media marketing. Content marketing is effective because content provides consumers with value as it educates and entertains them, which is what makes content marketing such a useful marketing method.

Pros:

  • Inbound marketing is cost effective and has a high ROI, which makes it a suitable marketing method for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from startups to large corporations.
  • The reach of inbound marketing tends to be high and requires limited effort to achieve fantastic results, making it ideal for anyone with limited time to commit to their marketing methods.
  • Inbound marketing is content rich, which means that it helps to increase brand awareness. By filling your website with niche articles about the area of business that you are in, you are able to position yourself as an expert in your niche. This helps to build brand awareness.
  • Then there’s the fact that inbound marketing allows you to develop a relationship with your customers by interacting with them. The benefit of developing a relationship with your customers is the fact that it will help to make your brand more trustworthy and will increase your reliability.

Cons:

  • One of the cons to utilizing inbound marketing is that to do so effectively; you will require a well-built website. To be able to effectively utilize inbound marketing, you require a website that has a blog section and offers email marketing; it also needs to be SEO optimized.
  • Then there’s the fact that it will take time for your inbound marketing methods to work. For example, to have a website that is an effective marketing tool, it needs to be allowed to grow and develop so that it’s SEO is on point, and its search engine rank is as high as possible.
  • For content to be shared widely, there’s also the issue of growing a large following on social media. For companies with large social media followings, viral marketing is one benefit that can make marketing products or services easier.

What are the pros and cons of outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing has been around for a long time – it’s the oldest form of marketing there is. Outbound marketing sends out blasts of information about a product or service via TV, radio adverts, brochures, flyers, or billboards, with the hope of getting something back from consumers. The results of outbound marketing are harder to track than the results of inbound marketing, yet most companies allocate around 90 percent of their marketing budgets to this form of marketing.

Pros:

  • One of the most common types of outbound marketing is cold calling, and although it’s not always popular with consumers, studies show that it can work well in some instances. This depends, of course, on what it is that is being sold. However, in some instances, cold calling can work well.
  • Another pro of outbound marketing is that it allows you to advertise your product or service to a wider group of people instead of just one small demographic. This is a pro as sometimes you may not realize that a certain demographic would be a good fit for your products or services, but it turns out that it is.

Cons:

  • One con of outbound marketing is the fact that it can be difficult to track your ROI. This can make it difficult to determine the effectiveness of your marketing methods.
  • Another con of outbound marketing is the use of face blocking techniques by consumers. Wondering what this is? Face blocking techniques are ways that consumers ensure they are not exposed to outbound marketing, such as by having their phone numbers put on ‘do not call’ lists and by blocking online adverts and pop-ups.

The issue with outbound marketing is that a lot of outbound marketing campaigns can be high cost and have low results, which means that they aren’t exactly cost effective.

Time Is Money: Is Your Business Efficient Enough?

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

We all know the old saying “time is money.” There’s certainly a degree of truth to this but when you’re running a business, it’s possible that time is actually more valuable than money.

This is because time is the only resource that, once you’ve spent it, you can never get it back. This is why so many businesses spend their time chasing one very specific thing: efficiency. Making a business as efficient as possible is one of those things that every business knows is important, but very few are aware of how they can actually make it happen. It’s one thing to simply say that you’re going to make your business more efficient but it’s something totally different actually to do it. 

Streamline your staff
A lot of businesses simply have too many employees. This is because there’s an assumption that too much work will discourage employees from doing the best they can. Now, this is absolutely true. You should never overwork your staff and doing so can be incredibly dangerous to both them and your business. However, a lot of business owners really underestimate just how much work your employees can handle. In fact, one of the most common reasons that many employees become bored and frustrated at work is because they don’t have enough work to do. By streamlining your staff and condensing various roles into one, you can often both save money and make your employees feel like they are more engaged with more to do on a day to day basis.

Get your business online
This doesn’t just mean that you need to get your business a website and all of the correct social media pages. That is important of course, but it’s crucial to remember that the internet can be incredibly beneficial to your business beyond that. Things like storage are so important to your business that sticking with traditional physical methods simply wastes more time than you have to spare. Having some kind of file management system allows you not only to store your information but to access it quickly and easily as well. Thanks to technology the modern world moves at an incredibly fast pace, it’s important that your business does the same.

Plan everything
There’s another old saying that goes “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Sure it sounds like just another boring and annoying cliche, the reality is, this is one of the most accurate statements there is when it comes to your business. Make sure that every move you make is clearly planned out, from major decisions about the future of the company, to a daily meetings itinerary. Your business is simply too important for you to try and play anything by ear. Planning both in the long-term and in the short-term allows you to adjust to new information and be flexible without things going completely off the rails.

Are You The Best Boss You Could Be?

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

It’s not easy being the leader of the pack. If you’re the big cheese (you’ll find all the boss phrases cliches below!), you may find that leading a team isn’t always smooth sailing. However, there are things you can do make life easier and ensure your workplace runs smoothly. Even if you think you’re doing a good job, it’s worth asking yourself if you’re the best boss you could be.

Skills and training
It’s highly likely that you haven’t got to the top of the tree by accident. If you’re the owner of a company, you probably have a lot of experience and a wide range of skills. The beauty of leadership and management is that you can never do too much to improve your performance. Just as you expect your team to develop and progress, you should look to do the same. Take some time out to spend time shadowing your employees to gain a better insight into what they do, develop your management skills working on a masters in strategic leadership or join some of the training programs you expect your team to undertake. You can always improve, even when you’ve reached the top of the ladder, and your employees will respect you if you invest as much time and effort into self-development as you expect them to.

Listening
If you read a manual of quotes put together by some of the world’s leading lights, you’d quickly realize that listening is often the most important skill when it comes to running a successful business. If people are telling you things, whether it’s a client or an employee, you should take these comments on board. It’s not enough to hear what they’re saying and do nothing about it. Listening can boost morale and improve communication between you and the workforce, and it also helps to improve the performance of the business. You don’t want to be one of those bosses who people don’t want to approach because they feel like they’re wasting their time. If your employees have concerns, it’s your duty to address them. If they have ideas they want to share, these could be incredibly valuable, so don’t ignore them.

Gratitude
It’s likely that you’ve had jobs in the past when you’ve haven’t been in a position of authority. When you’re managing your team, think back to those days. How did your boss treat you and how did it affect your well-being, your energy and enthusiasm for the job and the amount of effort you put into your work? If you show gratitude and you appreciate people, they’re likely to give you a lot more. If you don’t pay any attention to people who are working overtime or going the extra mile to make your venture a success, you may find that productivity suffers and your employees may be tempted to stray.

Leading a team of people is not always easy, but there’s a right and wrong way to go about things. If you’re the boss, ask yourself if you could try harder. Effective leadership will have a positive impact on staff morale and productivity and performance.