SMB Marketing Trends

Posted on Wed,Mar 23, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

Small and medium businesses have more and more online marketing tools available to them. Their challenge will be to determine which tools will help them connect to their types of customers. From, marketing trends for small and medium businesses in 2011.

Facebook Supplants Websites
Websites can be complicated to build and maintain. Many companies have moved to Facebook as their primary online presence. It's easier, and more important for social commerce reasons.

SMB Agencies
The complexity of online marketing provides an opportunity for companies to act as intermediaries. Expect agencies to focus on SMB online marketing as their core market.

Location-based Services
SMBs should take control of their business pages on location-based services like Foursquare and Yelp.

SMBs will start to embrace metrics in order to determine customer acquisition costs, lifetime customer value and advertising ROI.

Coupon Sites
The group coupon site will be overloaded. Couponing will be used to drive repeat business rather than customer acquistion.

Blogs, news and reviews are flooding consumers with text content. Consumers increasingly prefer video as a way to learn about a product or company. Producing video content is both easy and cheap. YouTube will compete with Facebook as a channel for SMBs.

Crowdsourcing offers quality help with advertising and marketing at a low cost.

View Original Article

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Tags: small business marketing, Facebook, Marketing Strategy, Social Media Trends, Groupon, YouTube

How to Keep Customers Happy

Posted on Mon,Mar 21, 2011 @ 03:15 PM

Tiny things can make a big difference to your customers. Being treated well often trumps price as the defining piece of a customer's experience. Companies should "sweat the small stuff" whenever they can, so customers don't have to. From Adam Helweh at Social Media Explorer, here are some ways to honor your customers.
  1. Hire employees that are customer-focused, rather than money-focused.
  2. Make your customers feel smart with great content.
  3. Your website should be easy to navigate.
  4. Make it easy to submit feedback and suggestions.
  5. Sell a product that is what you advertised.
  6. Simplify transactions. Selection to delivery should be easy.
  7. Share customer success stories, even when not directly related to your company's product/service.
  8. Quick, sincere, effective responses to your mistakes.
  9. Start by listening.
  10. Take ownership of customer issues, even if you aren't responsible ultimately for the resolution.
  11. Leave your emotional baggage at home.
  12. Have events that allow you to meet customers in person.
  13. Recommend other businesses that might benefit your customers.
  14. Don't make customers languish on hold.
  15. Empower your customer service staff to solve all possible issues.
  16. Be cheerful and polite.
  17. Easy customer communications over multiple channels.
  18. Feature customers and/or customer stories in a blog post or other social media.
  19. Include customer input in new product development.
  20. Unsubscribing from your newsletters should be easy as subscribing.
  21. Accept customer ratings and reviews of your product.
  22. Have a large enough staff to handle customer issues in a timely manner.
  23. No hidden fees or agendas.
  24. Easy product returns/exchanges.
  25. Allow customers to get to know your employees.
View Original Article and Author's Apple Customer Experience

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Tags: small business marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing, Customer Satisfaction

Be a LION on LinkedIn to Grow Your Business Network

Posted on Tue,Sep 28, 2010 @ 06:27 AM

One of the ways to grow your business network is by joining relevant industry groups on LinkedIn and networking with other members.  However, LinkedIn's philosophy is that you should only send connection invitations to people with whom you already have a prior relationship.  While this is obviously the best case scenario, it is seen as a limitation to many networkers.  One way around this is to join open networking groups called LION  groups.  This stands for LinkedIn Open Networking. 

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Tags: small business marketing, B2B Lead Generation, Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn

SMB Lead Generation

Posted on Mon,Feb 08, 2010 @ 07:21 AM

Is there any better small business lead generation strategy than inbound marketing?  Think about the marketing challenges that most small businesses face:

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Tags: small business marketing, small business Internet Marketing, SMB Lead Generation

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