local-business-marketingIf you’re a local business, which most small companies online today are, then you know that the holiday experience is massively different in –say– Arizona, than it is in Pennsylvania. Use holiday social media marketing to direct your campaigns at local customers. Attract attention to your advertising by adding a little local flavor. Feature images of local businesses,  local decorating or local people shopping. You’ll find that might get a little more notice than if you were showing snow-covered scenes to advertise a Phoenix furniture store.

As much as possible, localize your content to appeal to the audience who would buy from you if you’re a brick and mortar store. Play to the home audience and your sales will quite likely pick up dramatically.

 

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StumbleUponWhen it comes to advertising, StumbleUpon is one of the most cost effective ways that you can advertise.  For small to mid-sized businesses, the Paid Search Discovery at StumbleUpon maximizes exposure for nominal outlay.

The costs are far less than you might pay on any other type of advertising and according to users, StumbleUpon advertising is a lot more effective than many other social networking sites including Facebook. That’s the word from many who use it.

The best advertising methods on Stumble Upon include visually appealing content such as crisp photos or funny content that gains attention. Starting at about 10 cents per click, Stumble Upon is an awesome way to get discovered.

 

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BMGcreative HOSTS ROUND TABLE AND GOOGLE PARTNERS WEBCAST ON SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – BMGcreative will recognize small business owners with an all day free round table discussion, consultation and Google Partners Connect webcast from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Small Business Saturday, November 29, at their offices located at 5601 Powerline Road, Suite 205, Fort Lauderdale.

Small Business Saturday was designed by American Express to encourage consumers during the holiday season to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods. Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and encourages consumers to support small businesses during one of the heaviest shopping periods of the year. According to a Senate Resolution, Shopping at independent, locally-owned businesses puts 52 cents of every dollar spent back into the local community.

Ranked one of South Florida’s top 25 web design and marketing companies and top 20 advertising agencies by South Florida Business Journal, BMGcreative recognizes the importance of small businesses. They will provide free consulting on business, marketing, social media, search engine marketing and strategy before and after the Google Partners Connect webcast.

“Because we understand running a small business is hard work, we will be available to answer your questions on any topic, to hear your concerns and help you develop your ideas,” said Grif Blackstone, president of BMGcreative, “Let’s talk over coffee and get things brewing for your business.”

Topics discussed during the Google Partners Connect event will include “Building Your Business with Google,” presented by Allan Thygesan, vice president of Global Small Business Sale for Google, and “Advertising Your Business Online,” presented by Fred Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist.

As marketing professionals, BMGcreative provides web design, digital marketing, social media management, company branding and logo development as well as creation of collateral materials and printing services. Discover more about BMGcreative at BMGcreative.com or call 954-229-2256.

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Online-Forms-that-EngageTo your website visitors, online forms are like optional extra credit in school. If they are already passing a class, most people don’t want to spend time completing extra work. That extra credit only becomes attractive when they need the points to pass the class. Your visitors won’t look at your forms with interest unless it promises to help them achieve something of value to them. If they can find the information they need through your blog or the products they need through your store, they have little incentive to spend time filling out an optional form.

The solution is not to give up on forms altogether but to create engaging online forms that have value to your visitors. You start by being upfront about what they will receive in exchange for the information asked for in the form.

For instance, you may tell visitors that they can obtain more in-depth information not featured on your blog or website content if they sign up for your newsletter or that they can get discounts on future purchases by signing up for occasional email messages. Think about what benefit a visitor may gain from a specific form, and make sure they understand that benefit. Then place the form in a convenient location on your website and follow these additional tips:

1. Only ask for the information you really need.
The more information a visitor must provide, the less likely they are to fill out an online form. Forms with a lot of fields look complicated and require a larger investment of time. Simplerforms are faster to fill out, so your visitors are more likely to consider the time investment worth the payoff they receive at the end.

2. Use terms that everyone can understand.
If your website is dedicated to a specific industry, don’t use industry lingo. You want to ensure that everyone inclined to fill out your form will understand what information you are requesting. When something is unclear, visitors will abandon the form before it is complete.

3. Design your forms to limit frustration over errors.
Have you ever gotten to the end of a long form only to be presented with a message that there were errors on the page? Going back to fix the error can double the time it takes to complete the form. This is often caused by not using dashes or other small mistakes. If you simplify your forms by accepting data in whatever manner your visitors want to enter it, you can eliminate this frustration and ensure your visitors stick around long enough to fully complete the process.

4. Customize your online forms to your user.
Use your analytics to determine what country most of your visitors come from, and then put that country at the top of your location dropdown list. Small things like that can simplify the form process so that more of your visitors make it to the end of the form.

Notice that these tips are aimed at making your online forms fast and easy to complete. The promise of something valuable on the other end will get many to start the form, but these tips are what will ensure they finish the form.

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Lead-Generation-PictureBusinesses 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.

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

Every business has a wide range of lead generation and marketing strategies available to them. 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 of course important but it is one lead generation strategy that is not always reliable.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 marketing company which can offer you leads on a regular basis.

Lead generation sites 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, networking on a full scale will give you the lead generation and the new customers that you need to grow.

Isn’t DIY Marketing Cheaper?

While some diy methodology is useful and desirable, 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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BMGcreative is company that is one part search engine marketing and one part branding. That mix makes us a bunch of creative analytical geeks who drink a lot of coffee.

It’s great to have your website rank on the top of the search engines but if your brand is not professional and memorable then you will be quickly forgotten. They will simply click and then you’re gone.

If your logo or web design is not memorable, not professional and doesn’t instill confidence your potential customer clicking from your top ranking page on search engines will just bounce away.

Once they’ve found your page, what keeps you fresh in the minds of your prospective customers? When your business branding has a professional edge and creativity your perspective customers will remember you and seek you out for business.

Creating a design that is uniquely your own brand takes some time and usually requires the input of custom logo design specialists who can work with you to determine how you want to portray your business.

Each facet of your company is symbolic to you. Our graphic designers in Fort Lauderdale can help you to nail down the perfect design that will showcase your company and help your name stand out.

When you make a long lasting impression on someone, it is usually because of your branding. Custom logos designed by one of our expert graphic designers in Fort Lauderdale verses an amateur designer will make a statement about who you are and what you have to offer. Your vision and your mission will be captured in a clever logo design that can brand your company and tell the world what you’ve been doing.

Our staff can guide you through the logo creation process to help you to arrive at a look that you can love and get excited about. Our logo design process has been refined for over 20 years and has become an art form.

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Social Media for Business

Since studies show that 69% of business to business buyers are using social networks for business development and networking, social media for business cannot be ignored. B2B businesses need to ensure they are involved in social networks and communities where customers are already engaging. With social media marketing, it is possible to share knowledge, engage prospects, build brand recognition and loyalty and increase sales. If you’re new to social media, here are a few helpful tips to remember as you begin using social media for business to business marketing.

The Value of a Facebook “Like”

Facebook, currently the largest social media site, brings in millions of people each day. Since Facebook currently dominates in social media, using Facebook as a party of your social media marketing campaign is essential. With a quality Facebook page, you can create conversations with business buyers via status updates, images, videos and more. One of the ways businesses can engage with other businesses is to create content that encourages a “like.” Studies show that Facebook “likes” vary in value, but for many companies, a “like” results in higher profits. One study done on Best Buy showed that someone liking the brand not only spend more than $200 more money each year than people who didn’t like the brand, but those individuals were more likely to recommend the brand to other people as well.

Twitter – How and When to Use It

Business today use Twitter for many reasons, including for customer service, brand recognition and marketing. Business users on Twitter want new information, products, ideas and opportunities. Twitter is all about interacting with other people or businesses, making it a valuable tool for B2B businesses. For the best Twitter results, start following people that are involved in your field, connect with relevant users and use the people you follow and those following you to give your business credibility. Make sure you offer more than information on products, discounts and sales. Include engaging tweets, such as pictures and videos, and retweet positive tweets from happy customers.

Don’t Forget YouTube

When companies engage in social media for business to business marketing, they often forget about YouTube – a big mistake! YouTube happens to be the 2nd largest search engine and the main social media site for video content. Video content is a powerful marketing tool and statistics show that a huge percentage of internet users watch videos online. YouTube has millions of users that visit regularly, so if you don’t use YouTube, you’re missing out on a lot of marketing potential. Create helpful, how-to style videos and add them to the appropriate categories on YouTube. You can even set up a brand channel for your company.

Using LinkedIn for Marketing

Since LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals, it’s an excellent channel to use for social media marketing. LinkedIn offers LinkedIn Groups, an excellent venue that allows you to create dialog with other businesses involved in similar industries. Current business clients have the ability to provide your business with recommendations on your company profile, which increases credibility for your business. LinkedIn also has a “Questions” area, which businesses can browse, offering answers to gain the trust of other users.

Google+ Continues to Grow

Google+ continues to grow, setting itself up as a competitor to Facebook. It offers similar features to Facebook, but offers some unique features as well. Not only can you upload links, photos, videos and more, but you can use the Google Hangout Feature to host how-to or informational sessions. Since you can create Google+ circles, it is possible to create unique circles where you can share special offers and discounts.

Social media for business to business marketing offers a unique way for businesses to build their brand and engage with their business customers. Keep these important tips in mind to maximize the benefits social media has to offer.

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internet marketing miamiYou’ve heard it said that you should be using local website designers. It all sounds like a lot of hype doesn’t it? Made up by local website designers who want your business. True enough, we’d love to have your business, but that doesn’t mean we made it all up. In fact, local companies can create something that local customers like best. An internet marketing company in Miami knows how to marketing in South Florida. They know your business nearly as well as you do.

Your business– particularly if it is a brick and mortar business, is in the immediate area. The people to whom you most want to relate are the local people. That means that you need someone to design your graphics, to create your pages and to implement your website who understand and work in your local market. People are–go figure–local, are the ones who are best qualified to know that market and to make sure that your products and your services are going to fit into it. They can ascertain if the kind of content that you want is going to mesh with the local market place. The colors, the navigation and the on page SEO need to be a good fit for the people to whom you are trying to sell.

Much as your website design needs to be appealing to the people that you’re going to be selling products too, so too does your content and your marketing need to appeal to the local arena. If your website designer hails from Alaska and designs a site for you that is reminiscent of ice and snow, how well is that going to sell your paddleboards? Floridians know what Florida wants. Miami website designers know internet marketing in Miami market. We can provide you with the kind of look and feel that your local customers are looking for.

What Makes Miami Unique?

The answer to that is–just about everything. Miami is sunshine and heat and passion. The area is a hotbed of diversity. The culture the people and the travel, the tourism component–all of these affect the way in which we create our sites, the way that we sell and the people to whom we sell. Everything about Miami is unique to itself and it has a big effect on our business and our marketing methods.

That means that you need a local marketer who knows your market and your people and your business. It makes the marketing tactics that are going to be used to get your products and services out to the people who want to see them are going to be on time and on target.

When you’re looking for the right internet marketing in Miami methods, Miami to Manhattan, local marketers are going to be your best option for products that you’re marketing locally. Internet marketing changes from place to place and from person to person. Getting it right means using an company that knows internet marketing in Miami. They know what your customers are looking for–and gives it to them.

When you’re looking for a local Miami marketing company, choose wisely. Look over the prospects and choose those who have well established personnel who are native to your area in order to get the people who understand your market best.Choose BMGcreative for the kind of marketing that has local appeal.

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Ways to Evaluate Your Web Agency

Since your web agency is going to be responsible for your long term success, it is critical to select and agency that provides exceptional results. To be certain you get real results to propel your website to the next level, you need to keep some important things in mind. Since they will handle everything from your SEO to consulting with you, you can’t risk your reputation with subpar results.

When you look at the web agency, it is important they don’t utilize the same formula for everyone they work with. Every company online has their own unique situation and their needs are based on their particular situation. The web agency should take the time to create a comprehensive strategy to provide actual value to your company rather than doing cookie cutter tactics that may only have a minimal impact.

Another critical area look for in your web agency should be key performance indicators, which help to better maintain the success and work towards the goals you set. Working closely with you, they should identify what metrics will be used to help determine the amount of success you have and on a routine basis, they should provide you with a report to give you an assessment of improvement and let you know the techniques that helped to achieve these results.

You should take a moment to also review their website. Pay attention to their top keywords and see where they rank and the layout of their page. If you notice they are struggling and not actually getting the results they have promised you, it might be a good idea to proceed with caution. After all, these are the people you would be entrusting with your own success.

You should even challenge the information they are providing you. Before you sign with the company, ask for proven results and websites they have done business with. Many shady companies will claim to have thousands of results only to have a mediocre track record and by the time you have figured it out, it may have already cost you thousands.

Find out what tools they will be using for your campaign. Most companies utilize some types of tools that will allow them to better optimize your website, track results and to better automate things. While it is fine if they are using tools, it is a good idea to see what they will be using, especially if they plan to install anything on your website. You don’t want any surprises later on.

Above all, it pays to trust your instincts. Watch for areas of concern, such as misspelled words and broken links. If something doesn’t add up, ask them to clarify it or point out the concern. If they sidestep it or become aggressive, just walk away from the situation and find a different company.

Ultimately, your online success is up to you. Make sure you take the time to evaluate any web agency you plan on using, keeping the above tips in mind. That way, you have a better chance of being successful when dealing with them and you should then run into fewer concerns when transforming your website.

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Evaluating Your Marketing Firm and Your Marketing Plan

Most companies have a formal budget that is reserved for marketing. They have an upper level to which they can go. They spend it each month and in all honesty, are probably not entirely sure that the budget is getting a return. If the marketing budget is spent on your website, an SEO team, brochures or articles, it’s hard to measure a real return in some cases, so you’re never quite sure if your marketing firm is working for you.

Any time that we spend money with a  marketing firm, we have to look at that expenditure and ask ourselves how well it working and whether the expense is netting a return. Very few companies actually lay out a plan that allows them to measure whether it is working and how well it is working to determine if the current marketing agency is doing the job or if they need to consider another alternative.

In order to track the worth of your marketing, there has to be a yardstick by which you measure it. What is that yardstick and how do you as a business implement it?

To a large extent the way in which you measure the return will depend on the way in which you are marketing and what you are marketing.

Logically, different types of measurement will apply to your marketing campaigns, those being:

Initiation of Contact. Customer contacts from the marketed area are one logical measurement to determine if the marketing is bearing fruit. If you are using, for example, a phone book advertisement and none of your calls comes from that campaign, it’s reasonable to assume that it is not a workable method.

Visibility-if you’re using a website marketing team and your website is no where to be found in search, does not show up on any keyword term and has no visibility overall in social media, the odds are very good that your particular marketing campaign is not viable.

Creating some bottom lines and benchmarks by which to measure is in the best interests of every company as a means to measure success from a marketing campaign.

When you seek to determine if your marketing firm is working for you, some things that you may want to take into account are these:

Get a starting point for each area of marketing.Determine where you were in search prior to hiring the company and where you are each month. Is there a rise in your visibility?

How frequently did you receive calls prior to hiring the marketing firm that could be linked to your website or your phone ad or other methods that you are using now? Have the number of calls risen dramatically or risen at all?

Once you’ve made the determination that the marketing firm is working for you,(or is not) consider how well it is working and why.

Evaluate what you are spending and how far it will go. Bear in mind that you cannot ask a company to do twice what you want to pay for. Consider the budget, be realistic about what it will do for you and consider expanding on it if you find that the company is giving you a return for what you’ve already spent.

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