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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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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small business website designEvery small business needs professional website designed by a professional. That’s a sweeping statement, but it’s also a true statement. Small business website design is not any different from big business web design. The smaller business today, in order to compete on a level playing field needs to look as though they are capable, established, professional and credible–as most of them are–with the bigger businesses. A larger business has more resources, more staff and more money to spend. They can afford to market their services to a scope that evades small business website design and marketing.

Small business website design requires the same elements that makes the big business websites great but on a budget.

Important elements of a small business website design that are  key:

  • Easily to navigate
  • Easy to search and find what you want
  • Enlightening or informative by the use of quality, unique creative content
  • Eye catching and unique–not one of many cookie cutter type sites
  • Instill trust with a look and feel that matches the brand
  • Ability to rank well on search engines to get noticed
  • Easy to update with internal staff
  • Meets the unique small business website needs

Small business website design and marketing is unique in that it needs to provide the smaller business the appearance and appeal of a larger site while still staying honest and ethical about who and what the small business is. This can usually be undertaken effectively by the use of creative content and custom website design by a consulting a professional.

Sometimes small businesses try to do web design on their own to save a few dollars but is easily lost in return on investment. I always say let the professionals do what they do best. I would never redo my electrical breaker box in my house; I leave that to my electrician. Just like he leaves me to do his small business website design and marketing. We both are better off and it’s a lot safer.

Small Business Website Design for Your Business

If you’re a small business owner today, your website is quite like your first line of marketing. It is a pivotal component in your brand recognition and your marketing to all of your customers. It may be where you gain most of your business and most of your visibility. Or, conversely, it may not be any of those things, in which case your website isn’t working as hard for you as it should be.

The key may well be in the design that you’re using, the inability to search quickly or the way in which the customer perceives you based on the design that you’re using.

The average website owner balks at the costs that may be involved in a custom website design. An honest web design agency will tell you that their design costs are higher than the costs that might be incurred for a cookie cutter template. The reasons for that difference is that custom website design for the small business can afford you a vast array of benefits not given you by the off-the-rack style website design.

If your small business website is using a design that is seen hundreds if not thousands of places online, your website falls to the ranks of the very small business in the minds of your prospective customers. If your design is fresh and unique and easy to navigate, it is, in the same minds, promoted to the ranking of the capable and efficient larger business without their even reviewing or reading your content.

Custom small business website design provides a unique look and feel that will show the world what you’re all about and what differentiates you from the others. It offers you the same look and feel that the larger businesses have and helps to reinforce your long history. Using testimonials from your customers in combination with a custom website design can provide you with the look and feel of being just a little larger than your competition and give you and your company a decided edge.

Get the look and feel that your company needs to grow online; a professional website that shows off who you are and what you can do.

Never Look Small!

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Linked In is often grouped with Facebook and Twitter as a social media website, but it is quite different from most sites within that category. While you can connect with past, current and future customers through Facebook and conduct valuable market research, you can use Linked In for your business in many other ways:

  • Perform competitor research by connecting with professionals from competing businesses.
  • Learn more about job applicants before you interview them.
  • Connect with talented people from around the world who might become investors, employees, partners or simply inspirations for your business.
  • Listen to viewpoints from professionals around the world concerning critical aspects of your industry.
  • Expand brand awareness through effective online marketing.
  • Get your company name in the minds of influential people within your industry.

In order to get these benefits from Linked In for your business, you need to actively participate on the site. This takes time, but if you dedicate even 30 minutes several days a week, it will help your business over time. It all starts when you setup your profile. Complete it thoroughly, including a professional, recent picture of yourself or someone who represents your business well. Your profile should share recent or upcoming events that are newsworthy. All information should remain up-to-date and accurate. Pay attention to the description of your business because the beginning of that section will show up in search engines when your Linked In page is displayed in search results. Make every word say something substantial about your company. Add links to your business website and blog along with compelling descriptions for those sites. Use the space for descriptions and resumes to present samples of your work and highlight the strengths your business has to offer. If you’re going to mention your weaknesses, turn them into strengths. Imagine this profile will become your first impression to millions of people around the world. What do you want them to know about your business? That is what should be the central focus of your profile. Time to Integrate Into the Community Once you have a powerful profile ready to present your business to the world, it is time to become an active member of the community. Start with the following actions:

  • Search for professionals you already know and invite them into your network. Do not include friends and family members unless they work within your industry or are somehow connected to your business.
  • Seek out other professionals you may want to get to know and invite them into your network.
  • Explore Linked In groups and join those that catch your interest. Look for discussion and networking groups dedicated to your industry, professional organizations and regional networking groups. Actively engage in these groups so you become known.
  • Start updating your status with exciting or interesting news related to your business or industry.
  • As people join your network, look at their connections and invite some of them to join your network.

Once you become active on Linked In, you will start to receive invites to connect with other networks. Don’t get desperate and connect with everyone. Select those that will help you benefit from Linked In for your business. As you speak out in forums and engage other professionals, you will receive higher quality invitations. You never know when one invite could become a positive turning point for your business.

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Local AdvertisingMany small businesses or single party sellers believe that a website is an expense that they don’t need and that advertising or SEO is a service which won’t assist them in increasing their sales.

Local vs Global-Can SEO Really Help?

One of the most common myths about the small or mid-sized business is that because they are only doing business in a small local area, that online advertising is not necessary or desirable. The small business owner is often taken in by this myth and doesn’t promote the website or use local SEO or SEM to locally market their business. This is detrimental to the business owner in that they are not well branded and it is detrimental to their bottom line as well. In this climate, who can afford to give away sales?

How People Find New Venders

Whether you are local or global, people are looking for you. Most of those people, statistically are looking for you online. Consider how you and your family may search. If you’re looking for a new product or service, chances are that you’re using local search online to find that product.

Even something as small as a pizza restaurant is being searched in local areas more than a thousand times a day. Many searches take place while people are on the road actively ready to spend money on a local business.

Making sure that you’re online and able to be found means making sure that part of that business comes to you and your company.

Why Advertise Online?

Local people have the idea that the internet is global in nature and local businesses are overlooked. In fact, if you are using the right text and the right keywords local advertising will increase their business in a big way.

Very often searches take the form of –for example–“Omaha fast food.”

Your competition is–by and large–online and working to attain that local traffic and to edge out their competition. Statistics from the marketing industry, specifically from Marketing Land tell us that:

  • The retail industry will spend more than 9 billion dollars on digital advertising this year.

  • Most of that advertising and targeting will take place online.

  • More than 60% of people look for a business online, even if that business is locally owned and operated.

  • If you’re not online, you are leaving nearly sixty percent of the new business on the table.

  • Local SEO is necessary in order to compete with the other businesses in your area.

  • Local business marketing brings in more than 25 billion dollars in new businesses per year.

How much of that business can you afford to pass up before your business is overshadowed by those who are using online and digital advertising?

Advertising Methods

Local SEO and local business marketing using your own website, social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter, Wooxie.com and Pinterest are going to help to improve your visibility and to brand your business.

More than one method of advertising is necessary for your business growth. This is true even if you own and operate a very small business. Your competition is marketing to the local area. The trend is to advertise locally and that is a trend that can be expected to continue and to grow. The internet, social media marketing and online marketing is the wave of the present and certainly of the future. Those of us who are in business today either ride the wave or sink.

 

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Local Business AdvertisingThe business world has been a little shaky for several years. Beginning to pick up slightly, the economy is still slightly turbulent for small business. We’re all looking for ways to run our business with the lowest costs vs the highest efficiency that we can get. Today, with so much up for grabs, it’s certainly not the time to be cutting back on your budget for advertising, but it is a good time to reevaluate it to ensure that the budget that you do have is being used to your best advantage.

Local business advertising is done the best and cost effectively online. It is considerably cheaper-even if you have to hire someone to write your copy or content for you–to advertise online using content to help you to become more visible. In fact, in many cases online advertising is free of charge. The right content and social media copy will go a long way toward helping your company and your products to become more visible and more profitable.

The reality is that local businesses in particular need to advertise online. If your prospective customer can’t find you, they are going to find your competition.

Your small business website is in place, but is it working for you? Does your local business website help to increase the volume of your sales or to broaden the scope of your business? Is it visible, easy to find and does it reflect well on your company?

If it doesn’t then maybe it’s time for a few changes. Even if you’re only doing business in a small local area, your prospective customers are online and actively looking for someone who is in your business. If they can’t find you, it stands to reason then, they are going to find your competition.

The Right Content and Keywords

Ensuring that they can find you means taking a few steps to make that more easily accomplished.Using some localization, adding some local keywords to your content is a good start. People don’t typically search for a local business by using global keywords. For example, if you were seeking a Nottingham carpet cleaner, you would type in just that. Using keywords such as those in your online content will make you easier to find.

Consistency in Advertising

One of the things that you can offer is a consistent business listing that sees every website reflecting your business address and phone number updated and current. No matter how you have them listed, every website should list them exactly the same in every instance. One of the reasons for that is that it is a distinct red flag for a prospective customer to see a website listing that gives two or three different addresses or phone numbers for the same business in various places.

Small businesses who move a great deal or who change their information frequently may be businesses who are not above board. They tend to make companies or individuals think twice before hiring them.

Know Your Competition in the Local Area

The chances are good that you have some local competition who is vying for the same business that you are. Know who they are. The best way to do that is to have a marketing expert in your corner who can help to research not just the main competitors but those who are up and coming and may be more competition in the near future.

Get Help With Your Marketing

While we all hear that SEO and SEM isn’t rocket science, if you’re consistently being beaten out in the SERPs by your competition, it’s time to get some help with local business seo and your local business website in order to create a more visible and more profitable future for your company.

 

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Running a business website can certainly be a challenge for any company. But in today’s competitive market, having an effective web design that works for your business is just one of several startup marketing essentials.

startup marketing essentials

From our own company’s experience, here are three things in particular we have found that every business owner needs to have on their business website:

Prominent Calls to Action

Your online visitors want and need direction. With their super short attention spans and the dreaded bounce rate, you have mere moments to engage your website visitors and guide them where you want them to go. Be direct in your approach – a clear call to action whether it is a sign up form for a newsletter or a featured product  you are selling or even a big phone number in your header to drive phone calls, it needs to be obvious.

A clear call to action on your main page isn’t simply the act of adding a big button, it is about strategy. Make it clutter free and precise, stick to the essentials and take away the distractions.

Compelling and Engaging Content

Unique content is what will initially drive your online visitors to take the action you want them to take. If you are lacking an effective headline or a brief and prominent explanation of your value proposition, your visitors are not likely to make it past the homepage or landing page. Compelling content needs to be simple, short and direct. Motivate your visitors to take action.

Provide a Consistent User Experience

What does this mean? When you provide a “consistent user experience”, you are creating a feeling about your company in all of your marketing, especially as they interact with your website. Several elements influence user experience in your website design:

Web Design Elements – Your website design should embody your company brand. The design should also engage your target market and cause them to feel a certain way. For example, a bed and bath website targeted at middle-aged women, should “feel” like a place where women want to buy things for their home.

Credibility/Trustworthiness – Your website design and functionality also plays an important role in how credible and trustworthy you appear online. It may be seem like a small thing to you, but a person getting their first impression of your company wants to know that they are going to have a good experience and not get scammed. Credibility doesn’t mean having a fancy homepage with seals on your checkout page if you are selling something, it is more about creating an online space that is professional and easy to use.

Ease of use – Your online visitors need to be able to easily navigate your website pages without getting frustrated. You should use clear menu navigation and structure, use best practices to be effective and purposeful to direct users through your pages and make contact information easy to find.

Next Steps

So how do you take the next steps to get an effective web design? BMGcreative is here to serve, as an experienced web design company and marketing partner. Contact us to get started or make an appointment online!

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Why Landing Pages are Vital to your Business

What do you want to accomplish with your website? Of course, you are promoting your product or services. The best way of doing so is to use business landing pages to get people interested in what you are selling. Consider this. You may only get one chance to make a good first impression. Doing so by having landing pages that can help convert traffic into sales is essential to your success. Business Landing Pages

Attracting Traffic for Startup Marketing

A good landing page is really important to attract traffic particularly for startup marketing. The information provided on these pages will guide potential buyers. A professional landing page will get the attention of visitors and guide them to your web site. It will allow them to learn about the products or services you are offering.

You only have a short period of time to get people interested and make an impression. If you can get contact information from visitors via the landing page, you will have a link to further promote your website. You may think all that is needed to start an online business is your website. Although this is an important aspect, having sales oriented landing pages will direct visitors to your website because they are tailored to your specific product or service. It is essential in the competitive online world and search engines that drive traffic based on exceptional and relevant content.

Of course, after they visit your business landing pages and are directed to your website, you will want to keep their attention. Because internet users have notoriously short attention spans, this is not always the easiest thing to do. Well laid out business landing pages and an attractive website that is easy to navigate is the best way to do this. Your content must also be engaging to your visitors.

These are just a few elements to consider in the online aspect of your company’s startup marketing. The competition is tough and it is imperative that you make use of the tools that can make a difference between success and failure.

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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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