15 Eco-Friendly Promotional Products to Celebrate Earth Day

Why Seasonal Menus Are So Effective
Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, we thought we’d feature some of our eco-friendly promotional products.
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Words You Should (& Shouldn’t) Be Using in Your Content Marketing

Writing Engaging Product Descriptions
You already know how important your messaging is, but did you know certain words can trigger better reactions and conversions than others? Here’s what to keep in mind as you’re choosing your vocabulary.
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To Blog or Not to Blog? That is the Question!

blogging3 Reasons Why Small Business Blogging Might NOT Make Sense

If you’ve been in business long enough, someone at some point has probably told you that you “must” blog. But like any other sort of “must” directive, it’s important to take a step back and consider all sides.

There are many good reasons why you should consider blogging. We’re not going to re-hash them here. Instead, we’re going to take the other side and give you three reasons why blogging might not make sense for you.
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Posted in content marketing, Small Business Marketing, Small Business Resource | Tagged | 1 Comment

Should I Offer Free Shipping? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Hiring a Marketing ConsultantWe all know how powerful the words “free shipping” can be to consumers. In fact, this report suggests that online shoppers are more likely to respond to free shipping offers than price discounts. And this infographic is full of compelling points as well, including these two gems: people buy more when they’re offered free shipping, and more than one third of online shoppers would NOT make a purchase without free shipping.

But is it a smart strategy for your business? Here’s some food for thought.
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Posted in Advertising, Brand Awareness, Customer Relations, Sales Strategies, Small Business Marketing, Small Business Resource | Tagged | Leave a comment

Customer Testimonials: How to Get Them & What to Do Next

Creating “Virtual” Thought Leaders
Hearing kind words from happy customers always feels good, but did you know these testimonials can also impact your bottom line? McKinsey & Company, a global management-consulting firm, notes in one study that “word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.”

But how, exactly, do you get people to make these “word of mouth” recommendations? And how do you leverage these testimonials to your company’s advantage? Read on to find out.
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Posted in Advertising, content marketing, Customer Relations, Small Business Marketing, Small Business Resource | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Pros and Cons of Sponsored Content Across Social Platforms

Sponsored content is leading the charge in efforts to think differently about brand awareness and social engagement. Users may balk at seeing their news feeds playing host to paid content, but when you consider the alternative, it’s a surprisingly elegant solution.

To put it simply, sponsored content can be a blog post, photo or video that is strategically placed in order to reach a wider audience. A sponsored news story might appear toward the top of Facebook news feeds, or a promoted tweet might be nestled neatly in between broadcasts from friends. In either case, this type of outreach represents a more intuitive and unobtrusive way to reach a wider audience.

There are quite a few options available right now from all of the leading social networks. Let’s take a look at what’s out there.
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4 Tips for Evaluating Your Q1 Marketing Efforts

marketingandsales_2.6.14
It’s hard to believe Q1-2014 is almost over. So, yeah: about that marketing plan. What worked and what didn’t? Before you answer, let’s talk about HOW to evaluate your marketing efforts before making any adjustments as you head into Q2.

Note: for the purpose of this post, we’re assuming you’ve created a marketing plan. But if you haven’t, don’t worry. Read this post on six things every marketing plan should have and this post on how to develop a marketing plan.

We’re also writing this post in a straightforward, easy-to-digest way. You’ll be able to find plenty of posts that go into cost analysis and that provide formulas, but let’s face it: as busy small business owners, sometimes it’s best to keep it simple so that we can continue to improve and move forward.
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