Month: April 2014

When most businesspeople hear the phrase ‘content marketing,’ they think of things like blogging, producing a white paper, or maybe even making a video series. All too often, we overlook another viable and inexpensive medium: the podcast.

You’ve probably listened to at least one podcast before (for many people, they’re a daily companion while in the car or working out). These audio recordings tend to be short and, much like blogs, aim to inform or entertain rather than just advertise. Unlike traditional radio programs, podcasts can be downloaded from the internet and played on a mobile device whenever the listener wants to hear them. A successful podcast can attract legions of fans who tune in for each new episode, making podcasting a great tool for businesses to build brand loyalty.podcasting-for-your-business

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Before the advent of the Internet, consumers largely relied on print and TV ads or conversations with salespeople when making a purchasing decision. Now, however, people can spend plenty of time researching and reading up on various brands before they commit to buying. In fact, according to Media Bistro, consumers use search engines 62% of the time to research products before purchasing them, and 92% of consumers have more confidence in information gleaned online than information provided by a salesperson or other source.

What does this mean for businesses? Essentially, you not only need to be online, you need to be using the Internet to build a brand reputation that people trust. That’s what social selling is all

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Happiness in the workplace really matters: unhappy workers take more sick days, contribute less to group projects, are less productive, and affect the moods of the people around them. There are plenty of reasons why you might be unhappy with your job, but a common factor is not feeling like you get enough respect at work.

Wondering if this is what’s been making you dread going to the office in the morning? Check out the warning signs that may indicate you’re not getting the respect you deserve.             no-respect

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There’s something very appealing about the idea of being your own boss. You have creative control, can set your own hours, hire who you want, and scale your business how you choose. However, there’s also something terrifying to many people about doing this.

It makes sense. After all, you have a lot on the line if the business fails—and a lot of businesses do fail in the first couple of years. However, many of the feelings that people have about starting a business—both the giddiness and the fear—stem in part from the popular myths that have sprung up around entrepreneurship.

Want to get a better sense of whether you should try to start your own business? Let’s start by cutting through 10 of the most pervasive falsehoods.

10 Myths about starting a business

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As American educator Michael Porter famously said, “You can’t be all things to all people.” After all, even hugely successful brands like Coca-Cola and Apple have their detractors. No matter how hard you try, there are still going to be people who just aren’t interested in buying your product. Instead of focusing on trying to turn everyone into a customer, why not hone in on an ideal, specific audience?

Niche marketing is the practice of targeting a very specific group of people with the offer of a specialty product. Craft beer, for example, is a niche product, as is the Garmin running watch. Niche products typically cost more since they have a higher production cost and are being sold to a smaller audience, but the idea is that certain consumers are willing to pay more for a quality product that fits with their lifestyle.

If you find the right niche, this type of marketing can be very profitable. There’s less competition than there would be if you were competing in a larger market, and consumers who find niche products that they like tend to keep buying those products and recommending them to friends and family. Before you jump into the world of niche marketing, though, you need to make sure you’ve identified a clear niche market.niche-marketing

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Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories are two of the most well-known ways for businesses to market themselves on social media, but there are a couple disadvantages to using them. First of all, both ads and sponsored stories cost money (the exact cost is determined by your daily or lifetime budget and the number of clicks you get), which isn’t always feasible for smaller businesses. Secondly, while Facebook ads can be a good way to get more exposure for your brand, they are very obviously advertisements, which can leave some Facebook users with a bad taste in their mouth.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways you can market your business on Facebook without spending money or being quite so blatant about your motives for posting content. You can still advertise, but in a way that entertains or inspires Facebook users instead of just making them think, Oh great, here’s another ad on my Newsfeed. Here are 5 creative tactics to try

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No matter what size your business is right now, if you’re hoping to eventually scale up, you’re going to need to figure out how to successfully tap in to emerging international markets. Currently, four of the biggest emerging markets are Brazil, Russia, India, and China (mnemonically abbreviated as BRICs). These are the countries that are seeing the most growth from direct investments, and they’re also countries that US marketers should be paying attention to.



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