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Business Tips for Employers: 5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Online Visibility (and Improve Communication) Using Digital Marketing

We live in the digital age, whether we like it or not. Although it has many advantages, it is often quite hard for businesses to become (more) visible online. A great tool in helping you stand out more in the online waters is digital marketing. Today, we are sharing with you some simple ways where digital marketing can help to increase your online visibility.

Let Your Brand Do The Talking

We will assume that you already have a website. In the digital age, it is a must. The chance of somebody not only finding, but knowing more about your company is close to zero if you don’t have a website. One of the most important things to focus on right away is your brand. A brand is a broad term, but at least initially you need to pay attention to:

  • Your logo
  • Your brand color scheme ( choose colors that align with your brand’s voice and that are not too tacky for the eyes. You need visitors to stay on your site and not leave).
  • About Us section: it is the best place to set your brand’s voice, show your mission and get the visitors to know you. It is also a great place to show what sets you apart from your competitors and what your value proposition is.
  • Relevant information such as contact details, working hours, and services you offer
  • Real customer testimonials because they make you more credible and trustworthy. If visitors to your site see that you managed to solve an issue that they can relate to, the chance is higher that they will turn to you.

Your website is your company’s face and it is your greatest representative. Make sure that you don’t overload your website with unnecessary information. And as we said, it needs to be visually appealing. There are many online resources about web designs, graphic design, etc. where you can get inspiration. Having your personal brand is one of the greatest assets to your business and it will definitely make you more visible.

In a nutshell, a clear, consistent brand is a must.

Blogging

Blogs are essential marketing tools. Why? Not only do they provide useful and valuable content for your audience, but they also give you space to showcase your expertise and knowledge. This way, you can reach your target audience much more efficiently. The more quality content you put, the more visible you would be to your audience. The emphasis here is on quality, not quantity. It is better to have fewer high-quality, SEO-optimized blogs that will hit the target audience than tons of them that are empty in terms of value. Additionally, if you can create so-called “evergreen content”, you’d be positioning yourself quite high. Evergreen content is content you create only once, but the one that you use across multiple channels. You just need to repurpose it a bit, depending on the channel.

You can even think of blogs as web pages on their own. Care about them just as you care about your webpage. By doing proper SEO ( we’ll talk about it a bit later), you will have more opportunities to rank higher on search engines. Higher, in this case, equals more visible. Blogs are also a great communication tool between you and your ( future) clients; they enable you to have an ongoing conversation with them and see what is relevant to them. 

Sharing Is Caring

Apart from providing your own content, you can promote it, too. On average, you should post approx 80% of your own content and 20% of third-party content. If you can connect your content to your social media, you are already a long way ahead.

As well as sharing your own content, don’t be shy about sharing other people’s content, too. This is so important. By sharing relevant posts from relevant people or companies, you increase your visibility because you “get” their followers as well. It goes without saying that you should attribute the shared content to the original author. Sharing the content of others has multiple benefits. Apart from expanding your community, you also build important business relationships with influential third parties. How is that for visibility?

SEO

SEO is an absolute necessity if we speak about online visibility. It is a complex and constantly changing aspect due to constant changes in search engines. You will need to hire an SEO expert along the way who will take care of this process. However, in the beginning, you can learn some SEO basics to help you get started. We’ve already mentioned high-quality content, but let’s also add keyword research to the game. Luckily for you, there are many platforms like SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. that can help you initially. You will get help in finding the best keyword, and learn more about meta description and alt texts, too.

Social Media

If you ask us, this one is quite self-explanatory. Social media are everywhere. You probably know the saying that if something isn’t on social media, then it probably didn’t happen at all. Expecting to become visible online without being present on social media is pretty much mission impossible. However, you shouldn’t frantically post on every single social media platform that is out there. Choose the one or two that make the most sense to your business, make a strategy for them and be consistent. Same as with blogs, it is about quality and not quantity. It isn’t about how many followers you have, but the way they connect and interact with your business. Furthermore, how much they contribute to your business.

By being active on social platforms you are killing two birds with one stone: You connect, you get visible, and you build new relationships. That is why it is so important that you know your buyer persona so you can adjust and adapt your social media strategy.

The above-mentioned items are just some of the ways you can start implementing to increase your online visibility. And although these are client-oriented, don’t forget that their delivery and their success depend on the internal relationships in your company. If there is miscommunication, if it isn’t clear what needs to be done, if your employees don’t feel recognized or heard, you can’t expect to have a great delivery and your audience will feel it, too.

Never underestimate how much internal communication can impede the success of your company. There are great intranet solutions that can help you improve in this area and keep both your employees and your clients satisfied. Ultimately, that is the goal, right?

Building a Scalable Business Website

It can be a daunting task to create a new website — there are so many factors to consider, and where do you begin? Well, start small with the idea of expansion. As your business grows, your website can grow with it.

Figuring out where to start can be difficult, but you can have a perfect scalable website set up in no time by following these best practices from Webprecis.

How to Choose a Website Software

When it comes to choosing a website builder, many options are available. This task can quickly become overwhelming and only make things more complicated. Before selecting software, ask yourself two fundamental questions:

  1. What’s your level of skill with coding and programming? 
  2. Do you want a website you can launch in minutes using pre-designed templates with all required features included?

You can narrow down the software you want to use by answering the questions above. To get some additional ideas, check out these best website builders

Website Best Practices

When building a website, there are a few must-haves, such as speed and user interface. Visitors may grow impatient and leave if the website is slow or lags. The same goes for users who can’t find what they’re looking for in a few clicks or those who find the website too difficult to navigate.

Lastly, having a secure site is of paramount importance. According to a recent study, 46% of visitors leave sites because they’re not secure. This statistic alone makes it obvious why site security is so critical. 

Integrating a CRM System

Integrating a Customer Relationship Management system into your website has many benefits. For starters, you can engage with customers better. Additionally, staff members are aware of all customer interactions, allowing them to serve customers better.

A fully integrated CRM system allows all essential information to be stored in a single location, which saves staff members from having to duplicate work and enables them to focus on more productive tasks, such as closing sales and growing relationships.

Integrating an ERP System

In addition to integrating your CRM, you can automate your business with your Enterprise Resource Planning system. An ERP system makes it possible to let salespeople access a customer’s sales history in a few clicks. It can also give customers full access to their statements and order history and lets them place orders online.

Integrations such as these are great because you don’t necessarily have to start with them. You can build your website slowly and, if you choose software that allows for integrations, you can add on different modules as you go.

Importance of SEO

The Search Engine Optimization component of a website is crucial, and although most website builders have built-in structures for it, you’re still responsible for filling in the meta titles and meta descriptions. To ensure your brand is being found for the right keywords, Google Keyword Planner to research your keywords before implementing your SEO strategy

Leave a Great Impression

Since a website is often the first impression users receive of your business, it must leave visitors with a great lasting impression. To find the perfect template and get going on your website, look at Webprecis for inspiration.

Effective Productivity Apps for Savvy Entrepreneurs

Creating a startup is a goal for many business people. Sadly, scores of dreamers never pursue this ambition, partially because they have no idea how to find the tools they need. In all fairness, technology experts have estimated that there will be 184 billion apps in existence by 2024. Sifting through what’s available can be intimidating. Here’s a helpful guide to some of the most useful business-related apps that can set you on the path to owning a lucrative venture.

Communication

Staying on the same page with everyone under your command is vital. Thankfully, technology helps employees stay in constant contact even when they are in far-flung locations. Chanty offers a variety of connection methods, including text, voice message, and video calling. Additionally, Chanty facilitates project management by letting you assign tasks, and its low price makes this app especially worthy of note.

Another option worth trying is Slack. An extremely popular program, notable features include private messaging, shared channels, and simplified file sharing.

Inventory

Unless you’re in a service industry, you have merchandise or raw materials that need constant monitoring. Numerous inventory tracking apps can provide assistance with this essential aspect of your venture. Critical benefits include automation, reduction in pricing errors, and streamlining of management. If you’re interested in increasing efficiency with wholesale purchases, look for ERP software for wholesale distribution.

Accounting

Keeping business costs organized is important. Expensify allows you to scan receipts and record purchases as soon as they happen, no matter where they take place. It works with both Android and iOS, plus it integrates smoothly with a variety of other business apps. There’s also FreshBooks, which includes time tracking, invoice creation, and budgetary insights. It even interfaces nicely with more than 200 third-party programs and includes customer service at no additional cost. Wave is totally free; if you like it enough, consider paying for their payroll add-on. 

Networking

Exchanging contact information with others has always been a fundamental entrepreneurial strategy. Because we’re living in a digital world, physical business cards are becoming outdated. Use a card scanner app to take away the drudgery of data entry and reduce human error. When arriving home from a business trip or conference, you’ll be thankful for card scanning apps such as ABBYY Business Card Reader, DigiCard, BizConnect and ScanBizCards.

Customers

Now that you’ve got a host of programs working in your favor, it’s time to consider developing one for your customers. Providing them with a mobile app that serves their needs is bound to make your life simpler by automating essential corporate functions. You’ll probably want to build yours so it complements your website, which typically requires significant technical expertise. Unless you are a programming wizard, hire a specialist to build a portal that blends nicely. There are more than 7,000 mobile app developers in America alone. With that much choice, you should be able to find one that is equally affordable and highly capable without much trouble.

These are only a few of the apps that can assist with the operation of ambitious startups and expand their growth. Indeed, there’s a universe of software solutions designed to improve the lives of modern business owners. Take advantage of every benefit that present-day technology has to offer.

Take Your Company to the Next Level with These Tech Upgrades

When you own a small business, you have to think of new ways to move your company forward on a daily basis. At some point, you have probably thought about how technology could improve your business operations. It’s true that more and more companies are using tech to advance their goals and that it can help businesses of all types. 

However, some business owners are hesitant to use tech because of the upfront investment that is often required. Rest assured, there are many kinds of tech on the market today that can take your business to the next level. Some of them are free, and some of them cost a little money upfront, but they quickly pay themselves off. 

If you’re a small business owner wondering what kinds of tech can help your company reach new heights, check out these essential tech upgrades.

Web Development

According to AllBusiness.com, a good place to start is making sure you have a website that appeals to and works for your audience. A lot of potential customers will judge the legitimacy of your company on the quality of your website alone. Rather than stress about designing a site yourself, consider hiring a web developer. When you’re looking for a developer, be sure that any candidate you’re considering is qualified to build an engaging and user-friendly site. 

Mobile Payment 

Mobile payment technology is becoming increasingly popular for companies of all shapes and sizes these days. In short, mobile payment refers to a transaction that occurs directly from a customer’s mobile device, thereby eliminating the need for a physical credit card. Customers want convenience, and if they can’t get it from your company, they know they can get it somewhere else. Plus, mobile transactions are very secure. Square, Dharma, and Shopify are among the most popular mobile payment services. 

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization refers to a practice that aims to increase the frequency of your company’s website showing up in web searches. You can learn some things yourself to improve your results, such as taking a training course specifically for small business owners and learning about some of the foundational terms. For example, learning how to utilize and improve meta tags, anchor text, search algorithms, SERP, and PageRank can go a long way in giving your company a boost and expanding your customer base.

Another option is to hire a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant who is an expert in the field. SEO professionals should be skilled in keyword research and on- and off-site optimization.

Document Sharing

Using services to share documents and other data among your team is a great way to add efficiency to your operations. Programs like Google Drive, Evernote, and OneDrive allow you to safely and quickly share information with your employees, whether it’s an article you are writing, something you found on the internet, or a company-wide spreadsheet. All the information is stored in the cloud, and you choose who you share each document with. 

Telecommuting

Lastly, having the right telecommuting tools will free up your employees to do certain tasks away from the office. This not only increases flexibility for you and your employees, but it can also lead to happier and more productive workers. For example, video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype makes it easy to conduct virtual meetings and collaborate on projects. Collaboration apps like Slack allow your team to work together on projects and tasks, as well as chat one-on-one or in groups. 

The right kinds of technology can propel your company forward. Be sure to hire a qualified web developer who can build your company a great website, consider mobile payment options, and learn as much as you can about SEO. Also, explore your options with document sharing and collaboration tools so that you can streamline work and facilitate communication among team members. When you see how tech like this can boost your business, chances are you won’t think twice to invest in other forms of tech down the road. 

Photo Credit: Pexels

4 Online Business Models for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

You have considered starting an online business for some time now. Schedule permits you some free time and you’re keen to generate a steady cash flow within a reasonable time frame.

One advantage of going down the online business route is that it requires little capital. It fits your circumstances – an individual with limited resources.

While the thought of getting started motivates you, you are not sure where to start. Ideas run through your head but you cannot seem to choose.

If anything, you understand that building an online business helps you obtain and share knowledge. But the picture in your head is not clear and you need, at the very least, some guidelines.

The good news is that, given how much the Internet has evolved over the years, your opportunities are almost endless. Your biggest challenge, however, is to choose a venture that works.

Common Types of Online Business

If you are not sure what kind of online business to pursue, below are three common entry points to help you arrive at an informed decision:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Becoming an affiliate marketer is not as complicated as many online gurus make it out to be. Simply put, affiliate marketing is about re-selling or promoting the products or services of other entrepreneurs and companies. Affiliate marketers earn a specific commission rate for every product or service sold.

The biggest challenge for this kind of online venture is building a stable and large enough audience who can support your brand or product recommendations. Some marketers go the extra mile to build their credibility until they gain a following. They review products on their blog or create a reseller business website, oftentimes evolving into real influencers.

2. E-Commerce Store

This online business model is perfect for retailers or wholesalers who have no capital but plan to build an actual store in the future. With an e-commerce store, sellers can showcase pictures of their goods and encourage visitors to make a purchase.

One of the best ways to succeed in this online business is to direct your energy into creating a user-friendly website. Your website should not only display your products in an appealing way, but it should be easy to navigate and have features that enhance users’ browsing experience.

All successful e-commerce stores come with a shopping cart, which enables users to purchase multiple products at the same time. They also have a built-in payment terminal where buyers can choose from a variety of online payment options.

3. Gigs

Online gigs are mostly means to an end. Any service individuals or companies are willing to pay for online is essentially considered an online gig. This may be in the form of data entry, surveys, email marketing, writing articles, telemarketing or virtual assistance.

Gigs run for a specific duration. Once they end, you will have to apply for and complete another project. The good thing is that you can stow away your earnings to fund a future project or business undertaking.

While considered by many as mere stepping stones to the real world of online money-making, an accumulation of gigs may turn into some kind of online business. That is if you are willing to stick it out and create an effective business model out of it.

Be discerning when it comes to choosing online gigs. The Internet is rife with scammers and frauds. They often populate classified ads, freelancing platforms and content mills to trick freelancers into working without pay.

Always do your research. Obtain as much information as you can about websites offering gigs. Read reviews and forum discussions.

4. Monetise Your Blog

If you do not have a blog, it’s about time you start one. With the right formula in place, blogging can be a lucrative source of income for just about anyone. In fact, some of the most successful bloggers earn around $50,000 a month – even more.

And the good thing about today’s blogging industry is that it’s no longer as troublesome or as time-consuming as it used to be. Platforms such as WordPress and Google’s Blogger have changed for the better. They now accommodate the accessibility needs of various users.

Be forewarned, however, that starting a blog is a work in progress. The money will not roll in overnight. With patience, consistent quality content and a lot of effort, blogs can generate a sustainable passive income in the long run.

Moreover, mind your target readers. What do they want to read? Can you offer something that will benefit them? What you put out on your blog must be useful to your readers, so that the time they spend browsing your blog would be worth it.

New Business Models

online business models that work

As digital technology evolves, so do online businesses. And “information” sits at the core of this evolution.

Experts from various fields can now bank on their knowledge by creating their own e-learning site, offering paid online classes, launching podcasts and releasing training modules to name a few.

Online marketplaces have also spurred the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS) – online tools specifically developed to solve or troubleshoot business issues. These programs automate company systems and help raise profit.

Moreover, web designers now have plenty of opportunities to sell their self-designed themes and templates. Writers, on one hand, can make money from content mills. On the whole, today’s online business models have been a great source of creative freedom.

If the four avenues listed above fail to give you the advantage you seek, you’re free to explore other alternatives.

Selecting the Ideal Online Business

The ideal business model is subjective. You have to understand different business models will not have the same effects on different entrepreneurs or companies. What may work for your business may not work on another. That is why it is important to select an online business that falls in line with your personal preferences and immediate business needs.

To fast track the selection process, ask basic questions. For how long will you operate your business? How soon do you plan to launch it? How much are you willing to invest on a quarterly or yearly basis? Answering these will help you adopt the most viable business model.