Month: February 2014

If you’re thinking of starting a business in 2014, you’re certainly not alone. An estimated 320 new businesses start each month, and about 80% of those fail within the first 18 months. So how do you ensure that your business is in the 20% that makes it? Just tune in to the laws of supply and demand: identify a problem that hasn’t been solved or a consumer need that isn’t being met and address it.

With our economy recovering and more Americans nearing retirement age, there are plenty of industries that are poised to take off. Here’s a look at 5 fields that ambitious entrepreneurs should keep their eye on.

Business Opportunities Word Jumble

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Twitter provides a great platform for businesses to connect with their customers quickly, but its public nature means that companies can damage their customer relations even faster than they can build them if they’re not careful. Nothing goes on behind closed doors on Twitter, and even a post that is deleted within a few minutes can be captured, retweeted, and spread across the Internet.

10 twitter rules to protect your brand

You should absolutely use Twitter for your business—but you also need to be very careful to cultivate the best possible reputation. Here’s how to do that.

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You might not have the budget for a Super Bowl ad placement or a billboard in Times Square, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create an impact with your brand. With a certain amount of creativity and a focus on the right target audience, small businesses can build their reputation and attract new customers on a shoestring budget.

Here are 5 tips to help you start building brand awareness for your own small business.

Branding on a budget piggy bank target

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When advertising is executed poorly, it’s an annoyance that leaves people with a bad taste for a brand, but when it’s done well, it becomes part of the cultural conversation and turns brands into household names. Good marketing ideas get audiences thinking even when an ad is not directly in front of them, get shared across social media networks, and become instantly recognizable.

There’s no way to choose the definitive top 5 most original marketing campaigns of all time because there have simply been too many unique and clever ads that deserve recognition. Instead of attempting to pare down and rank amazing ad campaigns, we’re going to look at 5 campaigns that can serve as examples to companies trying to figure out how to make their name and message stand out.

Woman on whiteboard writing marketing ideas down

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The Vine Revolution in 2014

Vine LogoAlthough its videos are short, it has become clear that Vine is more than just a flash in the pan. The six-second video platform premiered just over a year ago, in January 2013, and quickly became a social media phenomenon. Today, Vine is owned by social media giant Twitter, is available as an app for the iPhone, Android, and Windows 8 phones, and has more than 40 million registered users. It also won Variety’s 2014 Breakthrough in Technology award for changing the face of social media.

Many brands have already gotten on the Vine bandwagon, and for some it’s becoming a platform that’s more successful than print ads, TV spots, and longer-form videos. Of course, since they only have 6 seconds, marketers have to keep innovating new ways to capture their audience’s attention. Here’s a look at a few tactics that are winning new fans for brands in 2014.

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Wondering why a coworker recently seemed hesitant to come up to you or why you’re not drawing a big crowd at trade shows? You might have plenty of great things to say, but if you’re making body language mistakes, you’ll have trouble gaining an audience in the first place.

Body language is a huge part of putting others at ease and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. That’s obviously important in any industry (and in everyday life) but it’s particularly vital if you work in marketing and have to persuade customers, clients, or coworkers to trust in what you’re selling.

Here are 5 basic tips you can try to make sure that you’re conveying the right message with your body language.

Are you Approachable at work?

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Whether you’re a veteran at live events or are working with a new startup and attending a trade show for the first time, finding the right giveaway items can be one of the biggest challenges you face. That may sound like an exaggeration considering all the other logistics you have to work out, but it really is tough finding affordable swag that event attendees won’t just toss on the way out the door or bury at the bottom of a desk drawer.

You don’t want to waste your freebie budget on items that attendees will soon forget—the goal is to stand out from the crowd and be remembered well after the event is over. If you want your swag to be a hit, keep the following freebie types in mind the next time you’re purchasing promotional items.

Best Products for Marketing

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Many businesses believe that a strong social media presence can help them attract a larger audience and build their brand name—and they’re right. Unfortunately, many businesses also believe that just being on social media is good enough and that they don’t actually need a well-crafted plan. They couldn’t be more wrong about that. Becoming an inadvertently annoying social media presence can do serious damage to your company’s reputation and turn away not just potential customers, but also current ones.

Here are 10 of the cardinal sins that businesses make when using social media. If you recognize any of the things on the list as something that your company is doing, it’s time to make a change.

annoying social media traits

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