One of the most common things we see in startup marketing is that the small business–trying to save a little money–would prefer to take their graphic design or website design to a friend or relative, or even do it themselves as opposed to spending the money to have it accomplished by a professional. Marketing Mistakes

While this may seem be a viable option, typically it’s one of the biggest marketing mistakes a business can make in the beginning. The DIY “graphic designer” who has no formal instruction or years of experience in the field makes some serious mistakes that can cost you plenty in your marketing and SEO.

The most common problems that we see in DIY marketing and SEO include bad or poor graphic design which can bring a heavy penalty in terms of ranking. In many cases the DIY designer is not aware of the newer methods that allow compression and the sites load slowly. Additionally we see a broad range of mistakes in navigation that make it more difficult for the site user to be able to navigate the website easily and well. Additionally, the design looks amateur – and people take notice of this. Your business needs to look professional and trustworthy to earn a good reputation.

These mistakes can cost the company who is doing startup marketing a lot because the site visitor or user will become frustrated with tedious navigation and simply click off the site, finding another one that they can more easily use. In addition, the search engines are beginning to penalize sites which have speed problems and lower their ranking.

When you are just starting in business, why begin on the wrong foot by making marketing mistakes that can prevent your site from ranking and lower your business visibility? In that startup phase, it is important to consider your target audience and how you present your business. Consider a solid website design built by a professional rather than the DIY route. If your best friend made your graphics and you absolutely must use them, pass them along to a professional who will be able to polish the graphics into a usable state, as you want to be able to use them in the correct way – in a professional manner.

There are many affordable web design and marketing companies, but the cheapest will not always be your best bet. Just be sure to check out their portfolio for other happy clients find a design firm that will do great work to get you the return on investment you expect for the money you put in for your website and startup marketing budget.

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Did you ever hear the old saying, “It’s who you know.” No where is that more important than in business. Networking can help you to begin your business and to see it grow and expand. It is a key concept in the initial building and the growth of your business. Networking may sound old school, but it’s a tried and true method of making long lasting connections that can help you in ways that frankly, many of us never imagined that we’d need help. Here are some business networking tips that may help you along the way. Business Networking Tips

Networking is the surest way to get new customers and to make new contacts. Start out by talking to the people that you know and moving into people who they know in order to obtain new customers. A marketing company can be a big help in some of these things. They know many people and are actively engaged in helping them to become more visible.

In many cases your marketing company can be your best contact. They often put together groups or businesses who can offer each other services that will benefit both of them.

Networking is always more effective when it is done on the phone or face to face as opposed to via email or instant messenger. Try setting up a lunch meeting with someone that you think may be beneficial to you and to whom you can offer some services. Those people can offer you new friends and contacts which allow you to move forward in your business.

One of our favorite business networking tips is that when you go to corporate events, make sure that you’re not standing on the sidelines. Actively engage the people that you come into contact with, finding out what they do, how they do it and how it may be compatible with your own business and philosophy. Start a conversation with anyone and listen to what they have to say. The business contacts that you meet today may serve you well for years to come.

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Businesses which don’t have any leads at all may as well close their doors. In effect, if you have no method to generate business leads, you might as well not exist at all. The problem is that many companies don’t know how to generate leads. They rely on the word of mouth advertising that is somewhat effective, but is not effective enough to carry them through economic downturns and is certainly not going to expand their business. Lead Generation for New Business

What are the Best Strategies on Lead Generation for New Business?

Every business has a wide range of lead generation strategies available to them, some just cost more than others. One of the biggest mistakes that the new or small company makes is to rely solely on social media and free methods of advertising. These methods are not actually free in that they take up the time of you or your employees. Social media is an option, but it is one lead generation strategy that is not always reliable or effective for all startups.Time spent here is costly in that it may not net you the return that you need.

Hire a Professional.

Hit and miss at best, social media can bring you a few leads, but businesses today require a more full featured and more dependable method of generating leads. More reliable and more cost effective is the use of a professional marketing company which can offer you leads on a regular basis.

Lead generation techniques that can be used to give you the business that you need on a regular basis are one thing that a professional marketing and lead generation company can offer you.

Lead Generation Strategies.

Full print materials, PDFs that are available on your site and others for the prospective customer to print out and review are other strategies that will generate leads for your business. Small micro sites and guest posting, and networking on a full scale will give you the lead generation and the new customers that you need to grow. These are just a few ideas for lead generation and marketing strategies for new businesses to consider.

Isn’t DIY Marketing Cheaper?

While some “do-it-yourself” methodology in marketing is useful and desirable, such as networking, don’t make the mistake that many small businesses make today. Saving money is laudable in any business, but if that penny saving strategy isn’t providing you with the means to expand and to grow, isn’t offering you the leads that you need, it’s time to find a new strategy that includes professionals with a well laid out plan to expand your small business.

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1. Networking in all relevant spheres is key to both securing new clients and promoting your own business. Networking is one of the most fundamental marketing strategies for startups, particularly for the earlier stages of your company where important professional connections can help you achieve those important initial successes. marketing strategies for startup businesses

2. Startups must work at creating a recognizable and distinctive brand. Regardless of the specific nature of your company’s products or services, you will likely be surrounded by stiff competition on all sides. Many factors go into successful branding, from having a distinctive logo to becoming known for specific services, but it is still a key element of startup marketing.

3. Some marketing strategies simply involve having a sufficiently good presentation. All startups must have a professional website which is user friendly and easy to navigate for your online visitors. Potential customers are extremely sensitive to “red flags” that would indicate they will not have a good experience when doing business with your company. Having an effective web design is an integral component of startup marketing.

4. All modern startup businesses can consider having something of a presence on social media. Startup marketing has changed substantially in recent years, and the importance of social media has been one of the most prominent changes. Generating a following on any social media website certainly takes time, but there are no initial costs to getting involved with social media. Social media marketing is one of many marketing strategies that builds on itself. You can start out with just one profile or business page where it makes sense. Don’t go crazy making too many profiles that you don’t have the time to keep up with.

5. Blogging has become almost as important as social media for startup marketing. Successful businesses will have unique and engaging content on their own websites. They will can also consider including content from guest bloggers among their marketing strategies, which is a way to drive additional traffic to their website. A huge part of startup marketing should be increasing your visibility everywhere, which can be done through activity on social media websites, guest blogging, and networking in person.

Of course, there are other marketing strategies for startups you can incorporate into your plan. Regardless of your budget, the idea is to outline goals and stick to your strategy to create the best return on investment. For more information on startup marketing and marketing strategies, subscribe to our blog!

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After investing the time to register a domain name for your business, taking the time to choose just the right one, now all you have left to do is find a web design company and hire them to make your business website, right? Well….not exactly. In today’s digital landscape, an effective web design is the foundation of any business’s initial marketing strategy. Your website will often be your customer’s first impression of your business, so it is important that you put a lot of thought and work into it. Here are some things to discuss with your web design team as you plan your initial meeting.Starting a New Website

First, you should decide what the main goal of your website will be. What is the main purpose? Is your website going to primarily serve as an online brochure for your company or is it supposed to function as a lead generation page in which it needs to capture the names and email address of prospective customers? Alternatively, would you need your website to sell products or services online? Whatever your needs for your new website, it is imperative that you determine all the features you’ll need prior to beginning any discussion or work with a web design firm to avoid wasting valuable time and money just to add functionality later in the development process that you didn’t think of in the beginning stages.

Secondly, think about how much maintenance you want to do on your own website. If you are okay with having a design firm handle everything, down to writing and posting content, factor that in. If however, you want to be able to publish and edit content easily, you will want an easy to manage CMS like WordPress which will greatly effect which web design company you choose to build your website. Your decision on this matter will especially affect the technology and platform used in constructing the website, meaning, the level of your involvement in maintenance after the launch needs to be determined up front.

Additionally, you have to think about how prospective customers will find your website. Obviously you will market your domain name in ways such as business cards and other marketing collateral, however, proper coding and search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website rank highly for keywords in the search engines to increase the amount of people who come to your site. Other factors like integration with social media can give your website greater visibility so these things should certainly be discussed. Whatever methods you use to get visitors to your website, the idea is that when they get there, the site is user friendly and engaging.

Now you can put some things down on paper and reach out to a few companies for a proposal to build a great website for your company. BMGcreative is a great place when you are starting a new website – check out our Portfolio for some web design ideas or Contact Us today for a quote!

 

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While Google isn’t totally transparent with how websites are ranked on their SERPS, Matt Cutts has at some point in the past told the public on multiple blogs that a website’s load time and speed does have some bearing on rank. Why is this? Matt Cutts tells us that it is due to the fact that fast websites makes online searchers happy. It is very cut and dry. top 10 search engine rankings

Moz did a recent study,  which was carried out by Matt Peters and Zoompf which examined the connection between the load times and speed of websites site speed along with their rankings on Google. Their results confirmed that site speed truly does matter as it pertains to rank, and of course, if you want to know if top 10 search engine ranking is important, just ask all the companies who are vying for page 1 position and paying hundreds of dollars a month to get there.

When building a business website, it is important to find a good balance between user friendly and search engine friendly. The site has to be easy to navigate with great content, but it also needs to be coded properly to performs well on search engines for optimal rankings.

SEO and usability of a website are both important. Top 10 search engine rankings are important for your most searched keywords – hands down. The profitable keywords that will convert visitors to customers need to be found on the first page of search engines but when those users get to your website, it needs to be fast and function well. When your site is done correctly and with the best intentions, SEO and usability will work together to have a great end result.

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marketing strategies for startupsWhen you’re a start-up, the thing that is probably at the top of your mind is how to get to the top of your potential customer’s minds – or rather, how to set your business apart in such a competitive market. While start-ups are vying for attention, you can count on these three tips to get your marketing off to a great start.

1. Stay Focused

First and foremost, stay focused on your target market. Don’t be tempted to advertise to everyone. If you focus your marketing content to those who are more likely to convert into customers, your efforts will be more profitable.

2. Give Your Clients An Incentive To Share

Give referral bonuses, discounts or recognition for sharing your brand with their friends and connections. A little effort on your clients’ part can go a long way in getting your company’s name out there, especially if your clients have some positive things to say about your brand/products/services. If you offer people something of value, they are likely to help you spread the word – people like perks.

3. Use Social Media

It’s there. Use it. Show people what your company is all about, put your brand’s personality on the map. Invest a bit of time and effort and it will provide a great return on investment. Engage people with valuable content, unique content your company has created, and you’ll find that it’s easy to start a conversation. Videos go viral every day and a picture is still worth a thousand words. Social media is NOT the place to make a sales pitch, it is a place to make raving fans of your brand by making an emotional connection. Just keep in mind that social media is not for every business. If you are not going to commit to it and stick with it, don’t do it at all. The last thing your followers want is to see you “here today and gone tomorrow”. That makes you seem untrustworthy.

For more great marketing strategies for startups and small businesses follow us on Twitter @bmgcreative or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/webdesignfortlauderdale

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Lately, Google has been pushing those who advertise with them to design mobile-friendly websites, due to the fact that most generic websites look terrible on smartphones and other mobile devices. Google is now providing more research to support their advice. And this should go for any business owner who has a website. Take Google’s advice – make it mobile friendly!top mobile websites

Google is hoping that the better the mobile interaction, the more people will use Google to search for websites, businesses, and products. A lousy mobile experience not only reflects badly on the business, but also on the Google searches that sent the users there.

In a recent study conducted by a reputable market research firm, about two-thirds of smartphone users say a mobile-friendly website makes them more likely to purchase a company’s product or service, as well as return to the website in the future. 61% of smartphone users say that if they aren’t able to find what they are looking for within a short period of time, they’ll go to another website. Half of these users say that even if they like a business, they’ll use their website less often if it doesn’t work well on their smartphones or other mobile devices. 72% of smartphone and mobile device users say that a mobile-friendly website is important to them.

Google’s advice: Design a fast and simple mobile site. Make it user friendly and easy to navigate around to the different areas of content. Google notes that you can also advertise your mobile site with Google Mobile Ads, which is a notable choice for businesses if you want to reach out to the two-thirds of users who use Google search to find a website.

No matter the smartphone or mobile device (i.e. Android, Apple, etc.) it’s still important that your website is mobile-friendly, and easy to use. Why is a mobile-friendly website so important? More than 800,000 smartphones are activated daily, and more importantly, over 57% of smartphone users search for businesses on their device. The top mobile websites incorporate an eye pleasing design that works well on all devices, including your pc, and deliver great content about the product or service you were searching for quickly and easily. Keep this in mind as you design your next website. What you will find is that much of your web traffic is likely to come from mobile traffic as time goes on and that is just the nature of our tech driven society.

 

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In business, marketing is everything. What we see in our business is that start-up companies and small businesses try to focus on everything except their marketing and by the time they realize marketing is important, they’ve waited too long and they are behind the curve. They are scrambling to catch up with their competitors and get a campaign of some kind together and they want it all as quickly as possible. How this usually turns out is, well, bad.Web Development Company

Many take the DIY route of building a website and throwing together some marketing pieces or even going on a site that lets you design your own set of business cards and other print marketing materials for rock bottom prices because they think that looks reputable and they just don’t know any better.

How you present your business to your potential clients matters. What your website looks like and how it functions matters. Load times matter and content does matter. Where you may be able to cut corners in some places to save money, your business website should not be one of them. The best thing you can do when you develop a website for your business is to make sure it can grow with your company. This means putting your website in a content management system that is easy to use, like WordPress. Make sure you can easily update your content as needed without the need to hire an outside company to do it for you.

A professional web development company can help you put together a website that works for your company by producing a website that is in line with your company goals right from the start. Clearly communicating your goals to your web developer will ensure you are both on the same page and that the end result meets with your expectations.

If you are serious about your start-up, let’s get started on your website and make you stand out from your competitors online. Contact us for a quote online or call 877-887-6397.

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Developing Collateral and Marketing a Startup Business

Without clients your business is just an innovative idea, an inventive product, or a well thought-out service. As such, putting together marketing collateral for your business should be a major priority. If you are just starting out, visibility to your potential customers puts your name out there to help you get real business to keep your doors open.marketing a startup business

In order to have long-term success for your startup business, it is ultimately important to develop targeted pieces that have direct marketing messages intended for your target audience. Your marketing collateral needs to be associated with specific goals. Your campaign should be planned in advance to yield the best results and convert new customers.

Don’t be intimidated by the concept of “marketing” as it pertains to your company. It simply involves mapping out an initial strategy for getting your startup business’ name out there. This does not mean an expensive television commercial. You do not need a Fortune 500 advertising budget. You can easily put together your company’s marketing materials on an affordable budget.

When you’re marketing a startup business, you need to decide on a marketing strategy. Spend your advertising budget where it matters. This includes a professional logo, website, business cards. These are truly the essentials to start with. Don’t be tempted to buy stationery and flyers, etc. Those things are not going to give you the return on investment you need to stay in business. If you are going to do some advertising, think about email marketing and have an email template professionally designed. An email template that you can use multiple times with new content will give you the most value. Definitely use your marketing budget wisely if you are a startup.

For an affordable and professional logo design or other ideas for marketing a startup business, we can help. Contact us for a quote or call 877-887-6397.

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