Month: October 2014

People are more likely to trust their friends than strangers, and this principal holds true when it comes to familiar brands versus brands that people have never heard of. It’s in every business’s best interest to develop a recognizable brand because this will help them attract loyal customers and develop a reputation as a trusted company.

The good news is that even small businesses on a shoestring budget can develop and promote a recognizable and reputable brand. Good branding doesn’t require elaborate marketing ploys, like spelling out the company’s name in skywriting or employing a flash mob (although creativity never hurts). Oftentimes, the simplest strategies are the most successful. Here are a few basic ideas to help you get started.brand-promotion

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Do you remember your business’s first foray into Facebook marketing? If you’re like most small businesses, you probably started out by setting up a Page for your brand and then posting content from that Page in an effort to get more people to discover and ‘Like’ you. All this was, conveniently, free.

Recently, however, Facebook has made it harder for businesses to find an audience without paying. The social media giant has rolled out several algorithm changes to their News Feed in an effort to ensure users see high-quality content that’s most relevant to them, which means users are more likely to organically see posts from their friends who are watching the same sporting event or TV series premiere than they are to see, for example, a non-promoted post from Bob’s Local Umbrella Shop (not that there’s anything wrong with umbrellas).

This boils down to less organic reach for businesses—in fact, Entrepreneur reported back in April that large businesses were organically reaching only 2% of their target audience as opposed to 16% just two years ago.

While some creative marketing might help your business find a slightly larger organic audience, it may also be worth the investment to pay for promotion. To help you decide, we’ve compiled some of the pros and cons of using Facebook Ads.facebook-ad

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Maybe you’ve been running your small business for a while now and feel like you’re finally getting your footing. Maybe you’ve built up a solid customer or client base and are making a profit (even if it’s a narrow one). At this point, you’re probably starting to think about how you can scale your company. After all, if your business is doing well with its current employees, product or service line, and customers, imagine what it could do if you expanded.

However, scaling isn’t as easy as just multiplying the number of employees and products you have and hoping that your profits multiply by the same amount. You need to carefully plan your growth and anticipate potential pitfalls so that you don’t try to grow too quickly and end up going under. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you scale up.scale-your-company

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We use shutter stock for a lot of our images. So we thought it was appropriate to share their colour trends infographic for 2014. Check out the infographic below to discover which colours are en vogue around the world, then scroll on to see which images they used to create it, and to explore six colourful image collections inspired by the 2014 Colour Trends infographic.

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While you could pay for a premium analytics service, many businesses do quite well just by using the free Google Analytics to gauge their online success and set new marketing goals. If you’ve worked in marketing for a while, you probably have at least a basic familiarity with Google Analytics, but if you’ve just started a company or are new to the world of online marketing, you might not know about the features of Google Analytics that can be a boon to your business.

Google Analytics can essentially be used to paint a picture of who is visiting your website and what they are doing while they’re there; you can measure things like how many visitors you get, what they are clicking on, and even how they got to your site. Below are five features that you should start using to better understand website visitor behavior and reach your marketing

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