• cassandrachan@cassandrachanonline.com

Tag Archive Business tips

Manage Your Audience with MailChimp

The foundation of every great marketing campaign is a clean, reliable list of contacts who are engaged and have permitted you to contact them. MailChimp allows you to store and manage these lists and gives you the tools you need to grow your audience.

You can create as many lists as you want, but the easiest way to maintain the information is to create one list and then use segments and groups to keep them organized based on the criteria you choose.

Managing Lists
Each contact you enter into MailChimp has their own profile containing social data, location, history, and other information that may be useful for segmenting or targeting. Maintaining one manageable list of all of your contacts is far more accessible than creating multiple lists based on specific criteria because people are continually changing and evolving. Your list will do the same as your contacts become more familiar with your product, grow their own business, or create a history of using your product.

MailChimp provides list performance metrics as well, and maintaining one list allows you performance metrics across all of your contacts, regardless of segmentation, so that you can easily see at a glance subscriber activity, click rate, open rate, growth, and campaign performance.

Segments
MailChimp’s segmentation tools allow you to create targeted campaigns based on a number of factors, including interest, location, demographic information, activity, purchase history, and more. By doing this, you increase the relevance of your emails and drastically improve your open and click rates.

MailChimp allows for three different kinds of segments: auto-update, static, and pre-built.

Auto-update lists automatically update as new users meet the criteria you’ve selected for the list.

A static segment contains users that met a certain quality at the time you created the list. It does not auto update or moves users in and out of the list based on whether they meet that criteria today.

Pre-built lists allow you to automatically generate a list based on information you select in advance. MailChimp will move subscribers in and out of the list as they meet or no longer meet the criteria, enabling you to target these customers with just one click.

Groups
You can also set up groups to categorize people by their interests or preferences. For example, if you own a software as a service company, and you have a list of customers who have requested specific feature updates, you can categorize them as such, and then update them as these things become available at the click of a button, without having to remember which customers requested which features.

Sign Up Forms
Sign up forms help to improve your target marketing by allowing potential subscribers to opt-in and easily enter their information and preferences from a number of devices. Automating the signup process gives you more time to create your campaigns while it works to build your lists with the appropriate subscribers.

MailChimp will also allow you to set up Facebook Custom Audiences, letting you target your MailChimp subscribers with Facebook ads that are relevant to them. The Facebook Custom Audiences feature syncs directly with your MailChimp lists and is available to any business advertising on Facebook.

Automate Your Marketing
With all of these features at your disposal, MailChimp is the perfect way to build and grow your email marketing campaign. It’s easy to use, dynamic when you need it to be and allows for customization that other platforms don’t. You’ll find managing your lists fast and straightforward, and it will give you more time to focus on the content of your campaigns rather than who you’re sending them to.

For more information, check out DFY’s lead generation system.

Building Trust with Social Media

One thing that stands out today in the social media world we live in is that it’s important to develop a sense of trust with your followers. This is especially true for small and medium-sized businesses since the amount of trust between business and follower will only serve to build customer loyalty.

Trust is essential to building your brand, and even the best marketers in the world won’t be able to sell a product without first establishing trust with their customer base. They must create stories that offer a connection with their consumers.

But how do you go about building that trust?

Use Your Content
Using content is the most reliable method you have for developing trust with followers. Create insightful, meaningful content that will provoke emotion and establish a connection with your consumers.

Next, convert the data into graphical form
For this, you should invest in professional graphic design. There are some designers and websites that focus entirely on infographics.

Look through a few portfolios and choose a designer who makes attractive-looking, useful infographics. Keep in mind that there are many ways to represent data outside of attractive pie-charts and graphs.

Turn your data over to your designer to be converted into an infographic. Make sure that your website is incorporated into the design. You’ll want to use the infographic for back-linking purposes.

Transparency
Followers want to see that you are a real, live person, not a faceless brand with which they’re doing business. They want to see your thoughts and your suggestions and learn more about you as a person. Consumers care less about the money and more about the relationship.

Take the time to develop and nurture the relationship you have with your consumer base. Show them the real you, and how you arrived at your current destination.

Pictures
Pictures are powerful. Consider the previous point and be sure to post pictures of your daily life. Followers want to see the real, unfiltered life you live. Share your daily routine with your consumers, on a regular basis so that they know who you are and what you’re doing.

Mind Your Manners
Being polite and courteous goes a long way. Even though we may not give these words a second thought, the person we offer them to will remember them. When someone shares your post, make sure you thank them. If you need something from someone, make sure you ask them with a, please.

Accept Criticism
The harsh reality is that you and your business are going to be criticized. It comes with the territory of being truthful. Respond positively to critique. Allow it to be an opportunity for learning and growth. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe, but have an open mind that you might be in the wrong. Followers will notice how you respond.
Have Fun
This is social media after all, isn’t it? You connect with thousands (if not more) of people from around the world in an instant, something never before possible in the history of our species. We have information about anything available at our fingertips. Enjoy what you’re doing. Have fun with it!

Be Adventurous
Don’t be afraid to try something new or unique when it comes to your social media accounts. It may not work, but followers will see that you’re willing to take a chance on something innovative. Sure you might fall flat on your face, but there’s also the possibility that you’ll succeed.

Be Responsive and Respectful
Responding to comments on posts isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Some people simply want to watch the world burn. Be respectful to everyone. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do, but it is the right thing. And as mentioned previously, followers and customers will see how you react, and the correct response now may lead to additional business in the future.

Trust is something you earn, not something that’s given. Your followers put their trust in you because they see the real you and the way you handle everyday life. Use the trust and loyalty others have in you to develop relationships and provide your customers a great experience. For more information, you can check out DFY’s lead generation system

How Link Building Affects Your Marketing Strategy

I get it. You want to be discovered. And search engine optimization is part of that. But it’s easy to stuff keywords into your articles or blog posts anywhere to get visibility. There’s more to online marketing than that. There are specific techniques you can employ to get the best out of your marketing strategy without affecting the readability of your content.

You have to use keywords the right way, or you won’t get noticed like you thought you would. Google and other search engines are smart. They value quality over quantity and can identify keyword density and its effectiveness.

Techniques
Engaging online with people who already interact with you and your website promotes your website to relevant audiences. By showing an interest in your followers, you present yourself as genuine and sincere, and you can provide a more meaningful and customized experience for them. Use a blog to accomplish some of this. You can create sharable content by being unique and original. Linking to other blogs or external sources shows that you foster a community of sharing within the industry and value the opinions of other industry experts.

Case studies highlight individual clients and their success stories. It helps other potential clients feel like they have second-hand experience with what you do and makes you more trustworthy. Present these case studies in a visual format like a video showcasing a client interview, or ask your clients to write a quick testimonial you can post on your site.

Pump out news articles to your readers that are relevant to your industry. Keeping up-to-date on the current trends or industry struggles will always benefit you in ways other than direct marketing. Sounding knowledgeable when you speak with clients will get you farther than almost anything else will.

Online promotions or contests engage your social media followers, inspire friendly competition, and offer freebies that everyone likes. This is one of my favorite SEO marketing techniques because it gets the online community buzzing about your brand, no matter what sort of freebie you’re offering.

You should always use these marketing techniques safely and effectively. Ethical business practices and principles are at the core of everything you do. Using these techniques effectively can help you improve your marketing strategy performance and maintain integrity.

Link Building
Search engines are smart enough to recognize quality over quantity, so link building is an essential marketing tool that you shouldn’t overlook. Acquiring links from education websites and other trusted industry experts can drastically increase your rank on any search engine and make you easier to find.

I would even go so far as to say that it’s impossible to rank on Google or any other search engine without links. Here’s why:

Links are Google’s #1 ranking factor
Links define the entire internet
Links point to other great content that deserves to rank as well
Links transfer power and trust, hopefully back to you
Links help people discover your site

As I mentioned above, blogging is a great way to start link building. Linking to relevant external sources in your blog helps to build credibility with other experts in your industry. By sharing blogs on social media sites, you begin to develop inbound links as well.

Linking to other blogs on your site sometimes generates a ‘return the favor’ sort of attitude within the community, and simply linking to other people’s work can build a good linking foundation. You can also create organic inbound links by guest blogging on someone else’s site.

Researching the links your competitors use is a useful tool for knowledge building. You can learn a lot from the way your competitors link to other content. You gain valuable insight into their strategy, the keywords they are using, and what they feel is important. Using this information, you can build better links to outrank them.

Calls to action with internal links keep people on your site and help them to discover more about you. Writing content that links back to yourself does many things. It creates a backlink, and it promotes other products or services you offer. You can use these tactics to upsell as well.

Providing your users with genuine, useful content comes in many forms. It is critical that you understand how to use keywords effectively because keyword density impacts the readability of your content. Link building techniques provide structure and understanding to what you publish. Check out my done-for-you system for more ideas.

Five Best Opera Extensions for Marketing

Browsers are a highly personal choice. Everyone has a reason for using the browser they use, and often it’s not based on performance or features, but on habit. Switching browsers just feels weird.

With Chrome gaining sixty percent of the market share as of October 2017, the majority of extensions are available for Chrome only. Some are available for Safari, but Opera has been left in the dark for a long time. However, the Norwegian company is pumping out some new features, and users might be pleasantly surprised with the options.

Built-in Extensions

Opera recently introduced their newest version with a built-in ad blocker and VPN service. Ads significantly slow down website performance, so the addition of a built-in ad blocker increases battery life and strain on the processor.

Opera also has a power saving mode that reduces the activity of tabs that aren’t active, decreasing the energy your computer uses. Compared to other browsers, this can extend battery life up to fifty percent. It’s great when you need to power through essential tasks or have a lot of references open at once for writing a blog or scheduling multiple social media posts.

MailTrack.io

It’s important for digital marketers to track email opens, clicks, and generate daily reports. MailTrack used to be available only for digital marketers, but they’ve made it easy now for everyone to use it. One green check indicates that a message was tracked correctly, and two checks mean it was opened. All of this is at a glance and easy to see.

LastPass

The number of accounts you have between email addresses, client portals, and social media accounts makes your head spin. Keeping a document full of your usernames and passwords is highly volatile, using the same username and password for everything compromises every account in the event of a data breach, and writing them all down on a piece of paper is cumbersome.

LastPass is versatile, allowing you to store usernames and passwords, as well as credit card information, shopping profiles, and URLs. You can safely store all of the data you have in one place while maintaining security.

Evernote Web Clipper

If you regularly save articles to reference later or take screenshots, Evernote helps to organize these things, so you don’t lose track of them. You can keep your bookmarks and tabs under control, while never forgetting where that article was that you wanted to read. Evernote automatically syncs with all devices so that you can access your saved pages from your smartphone or tablet as well.

Download Chrome Extension

Just because your favorite extension is only for Chrome doesn’t mean you can’t use it. A lot of people who love Chrome only love it for the extensions and are reluctant to switch to a new browser because they don’t want to lose productivity.

However, if there’s an extension not available at the Opera Store, just use Download Chrome Extension to add it to the Opera browser. It’s easy and keeps you moving with great marketing apps only available for Chrome with the increased performance of Opera.

Opera is one of the best browsers for reduced processor load and faster web browsing because of all of the built-in extensions. Opera continues to increase its offering by offering a power saving mode on all future versions which recognizes when your computer isn’t plugged in and reduces the activity in background tabs, wakes the CPU less often, pauses unused plugins, and much more.

Whether you’ve been with Opera for a long time and are a dedicated user or are looking for a browser to increase your performance and help your laptop run more optimally, Opera has a wealth of plugin options to keep you moving. Check out my done-for-you system for more ideas.

Best Mobile Apps for Marketing

It’s easy to hunker down and turn off distractions to get things done on your computer. But in an increasingly mobile society, sometimes you need to work on the run. With the wealth of apps available today, you can leave your bulky computer behind and work efficiently with your phone on the go.

Tweetbot
Sometimes a never-ending list of tweets is hard to sift through for relevant content topics or sort out what you care about most. Tweetbot organizes your feed however it’s most productive for you. Whether it’s a list or a channel, Tweetbot can separate your stream so you can tweet or reply directly to the app in a more digestible way.

Flow for Instagram
If you’re a heavy iPad user, you’ve noticed that your Instagram feed doesn’t look quite right. The official Instagram app doesn’t render well across devices, but Flow provides a solution. With a display made for iPads, you can browse, follow, comment, or like from the app without dealing with stretched images.

Dropbox
File management is a huge part of an organizational workflow. Instead of making a note for yourself to follow up when you get back to the computer, download the mobile Dropbox app to preview files like images, or share them for an upcoming campaign.

Nimble
Keeping in contact with influencers is critical for marketing managers. The Nimble app integrates with the social profiles for each of your contacts so you can stay connected to your network no matter where you are. Sync your phone’s contacts with Nimble so it will search for new social media profiles to follow.

Mention
Mention listens, so you don’t have to engage as often. You can focus on other things while Mention finds brand mentions all over the web from blog posts, social media updates, or anywhere someone mentions your keywords. Use these mentions to follow up and stay in contact without the effort.

IFTTT
IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from and implement, or you can create your own. Relevant social media sharing gets an upgrade by setting up your profiles to share only when they meet specific criteria.

Aviary
Supercharge your editing power by using Aviary’s suite of editing tools. You can edit existing images or create new ones. With more filters and advanced options that your phone’s default tool, you can share moving images and stand out from the competition.

Flipboard
Link your social media accounts, set up content preferences, and organize categories in this RSS feed in a flippable format. Discover new content, stay relevant on any topic, and quickly swipe through for the latest updates.

Prismatic
Prismatic delivers content catered to your interests, so you don’t have to go looking for it. The more you use it, the more it learns about your tastes, so each individual gets a fully customized stream. It gets smarter, so you get smarter.

Dashboard for Google Analytics
Get the best Google Analytics right on your phone. You can check traffic stats and campaign results on the move, and it shows a visually stimulating display of all the same analytics you find on your desktop. It’s great for managing your social media campaigns.

MailChimp
Forgot to send out that marketing email before you left the office? No problem. The MailChimp app is a helpful way to manage your campaigns from anywhere. You can control lists, send campaigns, and view stats all from your mobile device. If you use an iPad, you can download the companion app to edit on the go.

Quora
Marketing specialists always strive for relevance to their audience. It’s the best way to reach people, promote your brand, and influence the online community. But it’s not always easy to know what people think of you, the latest trends, or what’s happening in their neighborhood.

Quora crowdsources answers, so it’s an excellent source for information and content ideas. You can post questions and answers, or search trending topics to gain valuable insight into products or services.

In our increasingly mobile society, it’s hard to move and work at the same time. These apps make it easier to stay connected to your network of leads, influencers, competitors, and campaigns so you can increase productivity and remain relevant every day. Check out my done-for-you system for more ideas.

Best Chrome Browser Extensions for Marketing

If you’re anything like me, your head is always full of to-do lists, passwords, reading material, and so many other things you can’t possibly remember. We all need a little help sometimes.

Especially in the world of digital marketing, there’s always a social media account to manage, marketing materials to write, and influencers to find. There are plenty of resources available to make life easier. Here are just a few that can help you organize your brain dumps.

Evernote Web Clipper
If you regularly save articles to reference later or take screenshots, Evernote helps to organize these things, so you don’t lose track of them. You can keep your bookmarks and tabs under control, while never forgetting where that article was that you wanted to read.

OneTab
My husband is the king of tabs. It drives me crazy. All the way across the top of his screen are these toothpick-sized things you can’t possibly click on let alone know what they are. Somehow, he still knows what every single one of them is and can return to it in a flash while I remain stumped as to how he can work that way. Until he asks me if I can find something on his computer for him. Um, no. I can’t.

Enter OneTab. The OneTab Chrome extension closes web pages but saves their URLs in a tab for reference later. You can feel better about ‘closing’ those tabs, knowing you can quickly return to them later.

Save to Pocket
Save to Pocket allows you to tag references, reading materials, and other examples for use later with just one click. The tags you assign allow you to sort them so you can keep organized notes for each blog, task, or assignment.

Grammarly
Grammarly is a glorified spell-checker. Plop text for your next blog post, email, or web page in the form, and it can identify improper grammar, word usage, punctuation, overused words, and more. It also suggests changes, so you spend less time editing.

KUKU.io
KUKU.io helps you schedule content for social media with a click. You can also share to multiple networks at the same time. Adapt your post to specific mediums with hashtags, pictures, or original content.

EmailHunter
You no longer have to search endlessly for contact information. EmailHunter finds the email addresses of your leads from LinkedIn pages or a company website and shows you confidence in the source with a percentage of reliability. You can use this service in conjunction with Rapportive to see if an email address is valid.

Rapportive
This extension validates the emails you add as recipients when drafting an email in Gmail. It helps you to reduce your bounce rate and associates each email with LinkedIn and other social profiles so you can gain valuable insights into your contact list before communicating.

Sidekick by Hubspot
Check open and click rates for your emails to help with statistics and tracking. You can schedule emails for later or review your activity history. Hovering over an email address shows the person’s title, company, social profiles and recent tweets.

Giphy for Chrome
Search GIFs and add them to social media posts and emails by dragging and dropping. It’s fast and easy, with a massive library of relevant images, leaving you more time to draft meaningful content.

These should get you started down the path of time savings, organizing your thoughts, and creating more content to increase traffic and conversions. By keeping you sane, these tools reduce stress and condense your ideas into one easy-to-remember place. Check out my done-for-you system for more organization ideas.

Slack for Marketing

Slack enables your ideas all the way to market by keeping everyone on the same page in real time. Slack is a communication super tool allowing your team to send notifications, get approvals, and sign off on the biggest marketing campaigns. From collaboration to integration, Slack has the capabilities your team needs to prepare the best marketing campaigns yet.

Slack helps you to stay organized with rooms for purposes designated by your team and inviting members on a need-to-know basis so that people don’t get notifications that waste their time. It serves as a central command post for all resources your team needs. App integrations to gain valuable insights from customer feedback as well as monitor how your campaigns are performing.

Centralized Communication

Slack provides real-time coordination amongst teammates, even in remote locations, allowing flexibility and availability in your workday. Define deliverables and discuss what you’ll need in a centralized location. You can create public channels to keep everyone on the same page, or you can create private channels for teammates working on specific tasks that don’t involve the entire organization. Each channel allows you to set topics, so everyone knows what the channel is for, and you can pin messages or files so you can easily find the most important information later.

Approvals

Slack is a great place to get input on marketing strategies and campaigns. You can share messages with internal colleagues or clients and emojis make the approval process fun. Try using a set of eyes to indicate something that needs reviews, or a heart to show how much you love the idea.

Gathering Insights

Data matters for marketing teams and Slack can integrate with a number of marketing tools, enabling you with valuable insights. By pulling in data from Statsbot, Amplitude, or Google Analytics, you can stay on top of performance metrics and trends to make informed decisions about the direction you’ll take the next campaign.

You can also pull in stats from SurveyMonkey for the support team or use the MailChimp integration to monitor click-throughs and open rates all on one dashboard. There are many other APIs available, and a talented development team can integrate or enable notifications for almost anything.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is critical to marketing teams. As you learn more about what the ideal customer in your target market wants, you can build more valuable campaigns to meet their needs. You can use Slack to implement real-time social media mentions, or automatically post tweets to your company’s account. You can also post feedback from your company’s help desk tool, or post survey results to a specific Slack channel.

Integrations

With a centralized dashboard for all of your communication and statistics, you can improve your workflow and make it more efficient. There are numerous Slack integrations with marketing apps, including:

• Statsbot
• Drift
• GrowthBot
• Ark
• Slaask
• Translate
• Chatlio
• Smallchat
• Mention
• datacard.io
• Autopilot
• Drum Meetings
• So much more

Community

Sometimes it takes a village. If someone else has been there and done that, use their experience to your advantage. Ask questions, analyze patterns, and figure out the best way for your organizations to proceed. There are Slack communities specifically for this purpose, and here are some of the best marking communities:

• Online Geniuses
• Inbound.org
• Conversion World
• Marketers Chat
• Designer Hangout
• Buffer
• Growmance
• SaaS Community
• Backlinks
• Grey Fedora

Slack is the ultimate tool for collaboration. With integration capability and enhanced communication, marketing teams can get the job done faster with minimal interference. Slack is easy to implement and even easier to use, giving you no excuse not to get started today. For additional help, check out DFY’s lead generation system.

How to Grow Your Blog Into a Business

Most of the time, businesses start blogging as a way to build an audience. However, the reverse seems to be happening. More and more people with blogs are starting to monetize their traffic. It makes sense because one of the hardest things to do as a business owner is growing your traffic. If you grow your blog first, you already have a solid following to support your business idea.

Starting a blog is easy, but if you want to make money later, you need to think about your strategy and set yourself up for success. It’s important to know what you need to grow your blog and grow your traffic.

What is a Blog?
A blog is a weblog of content updated regularly. It’s an online publication written in a personal tone, meant to share opinions, teach others, develop a personal brand, or sell products or services. Blogging is fulfilling, but it also requires commitment.

It’s important to be consistent, no matter how often you publish. Your audience grows to expect your posts, so keep at it, and don’t disappoint them.

How to Start a Blog
Finding the time to flush out your ideas and do it consistently is the hardest part of blogging. Once you find the time, starting a blog is straightforward. Consider your opportunities to monetize your blog, determine your audience, and plan a publishing strategy.

You need to think like an entrepreneur to make this venture profitable in the future, so map out the groundwork for your distribution and monetization now.

Ways to Make Money
Most people think of running ads on their blogs as a way to make money, but there are other ways. Building a loyal audience is more important than building a big one, and you won’t earn the trust of your followers by spamming them with ads all the time.

Instead, think of ways you can sell physical or digital products that align with your audience. Sell your services as a writer or designer. Publish a book. Create subscription-based packages with platforms like Patreon. Do paid reviews or become an affiliate for other brands.
You have to enjoy blogging for it to succeed. Dedicate yourself to serving your audience as best you can.

Pick a Niche
With all of the information on the internet, it’s hard to stand out. Try to choose a topic that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s also critical to choose a niche audience. There are so many internet users that it’s impossible to appeal to all of them.

You can focus on a specific location, present your content in a different style, or focus on a smaller segment of a bigger market. For instance, writing about steakhouses in Kansas City that serve steaks larger than forty-two ounces allows you to focus more deeply on your topic that choosing to write about steakhouses in general.

Choosing a Platform
When it comes to hosting your blog, you have two choices. You can host it yourself or host it on a paid platform. If you host it yourself, you have more customization options. You still have to pay a fee, but it’s less than a paid platform, and you have more flexibility in design.
Using a service to host your blog is the best option for those who don’t know a lot about design or HTML. Some options include Blogger and WordPress. Think about how you want to monetize your blog because not every platform gives you what you need.

You can also use free platforms like Medium or Tumblr. They have built-in audiences, making it easier for you to get started, but they provide less customization, and your blog design ends up looking like everyone else’s on the platform.

Picking a Name
This is a great time to think about what you want to name your blog. Unless you plan to build a personal brand or portfolio, don’t use your name. Think of something catchy, fun, and descriptive of your brand. This name should reflect your blog’s identity, add personality, and be easy to remember and type.

Groundwork for Growth
Thinking about how to grow your blog and having a solid plan in place helps you to build momentum quickly once you get started. If you don’t have a plan, you may end up struggling with distribution because you don’t have a strategy. Publishing is nerve-wracking, but having a plan can alleviate some of that.

Planning for growth involves collecting emails as soon as possible. Use a service like MailChimp to store your subscriber list and make distribution easy. It’s free for up to two thousand subscribers. You can also use MailChimp for signup forms, which is a critical piece of capturing this information.

Embed your signup forms directly into your content with a call to action to subscribe, so the experience is seamless for your audience and easy to manage for you.

Blogging can be stressful, but it’s also a blast. Use these tips to think about how you can grow your blog to make money later. The great thing about starting a blog is that you don’t have to quit your day job until you start making money. If done right, once you start making money, you’ll grow quickly. Don’t forget to subscribe to DFY for weekly updates and more useful tips.

The Four Ps of Marketing

Marketing isn’t easy, and without a proper marketing plan in place, your company may suffer. The main ingredients for a successful marketing campaign are the four Ps. These essential marketing items are a product, price, placement, and promotion. To provide a positive experience for your customers, it is in your best interest to ensure that each P works with all the others.

It takes a lot of work and effort to determine what customers want and need, as well as identifying their shopping habits. Once these steps are taken, you will then need to produce your product, find the right price point, and promote it. All of these actions must be taken together to avoid problems. Let’s explore the four Ps of marketing, determine what they are, and how they work together.

Product
Your product is the heart of your business. It is near and dear to your heart, and if you’ve done your homework, it’s something that is unique to the market, allowing it to stand out from the rest of the competition. The challenge with any product, however, is remaining distinct and unique. From a product perspective, it is best if you have a solid understanding of what customers are looking for in regards to benefits and features.

It’s also imperative that you learn how they will use your product, that way you can make sure the product you’re offering fits their wants and needs. If the product doesn’t fulfill a need, it won’t be likely that customers will purchase it. Perform market research to have a good idea of ways your product will be used.

Price
Of course, your product is only going to sell if you set the appropriate price point. Your business will want to use production costs, projected fulfillment, and other key metrics to determine the proper price for your product. Make sure you are conveying the quality of your product to customers when considering the initial amount of your product. At the same time, do what you can to keep in mind how the price you select, along with costs of manufacturing and production, will have an impact on your product in the long-term.

Placement
In today’s market, placement is no longer simply about identifying the appropriate retailers or best locations. There are now many other channels and outlets to give consideration when thinking about your product placement. Where is the area with the highest foot traffic? Which retailer is showing growth and expansion? What businesses does it make the most sense to establish a partnership with?

These are all questions you will want to consider when it comes to product placement, but you’ll all need to think about the digital aspect of marketing. Will you want to have a social media campaign? Ensuring your product is in a spot which will gain traction and attention in the market is the key to successful product placement.

Promotion
With the continued growth and immersion of our lives into social media, it only makes sense to promote and market your product online. This means that your product marketing needs to be multi-pronged, something that did not require as much attention in the past.

Nowadays, customers want to see the product first-hand. They want to interact with it, ask questions about it, get answers about it and learn more about the brand, all from the comfort of their home. Provide high-quality videos and content to your potential customers, and they will reward you with their loyalty.

Take time to understand each of the four Ps and how they can make or break your marketing campaign. Have a strategy for each ingredient, and focus on trouble spots that may disrupt a successful product. Pay close attention to the four Ps of marketing, but also consider other marketing resources which can accentuate and highlight your product. For more information on the four Ps and other marketing tips, subscribe to DFY now!

Search Engines’ Local Pages Are a Critical Outlet for Local Businesses

These days, it’s fair to say that more customers than not use search engines on their mobile devices or laptops to find the products and services they want.

That means local businesses need to be on local pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. And a very small effort getting these pages set up can yield huge results in the form of new business.

Google Local
Google has the world’s most popular search engine, and buying ads for your business or website through Google’s AdSense program can be expensive. But did you know that you can advertise for free using the search engine’s popular Google Local program?

Google Local is an offshoot of Google Maps, the successful mapping service application. When you search for a location on Google Maps, you have the option of searching for a business, or types of businesses, near that location. When you do, information about relevant area businesses will appear in the left-hand column and little corresponding pinpoints for each business will appear on the map.

With Google Local, getting your business listed on the service is free and simple to do. Just go to Google Local’s website and register your business. It takes just a few moments. Make sure to include a link to your website.

Google Local even lets you post coupons for special offers, deals, and discounts. And your customers can write reviews about your business that will appear anytime somebody hovers over your business name on Google Local. You can even include photos of your business, your employees or your products.

While Google AdSense maybe out of your budget, Google Local isn’t.

Yahoo Local
Yahoo! Local is an online local advertising system that lets you promote your business on the popular Yahoo web pages for free when you use the Basics Listing service.

When you go to Yahoo Local, you can create a business profile by entering information including your business’ name, address and phone numbers, hours of operation, payment methods accepted, and services and products that are available. You can even include a link to your web page.

When users conduct a search for a local business in your niche, your business will be listed along with all of your competitors. Yahoo!

Local offers an enhanced listing service for a small fee, which allows you to include up to ten photos, your company’s tagline, a long description that is searchable by Yahoo! Users and two additional links to other websites you may have.

You also will then be provided with performance reports that give you detailed information about how many people searched for your business, including demographics, geographic locations and other analytics you can use.

Directories such Yahoo! Local is important to local businesses because of people today use websites like Yahoo! to search for the products and services they want in their communities. Web searches have surpassed the Yellow Pages as people’s primary search method.

Bing Local
Bing Local is the new name for the service formerly known as Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search. It is kind of a combination of Google Local and Yahoo! Local in that it offers the best elements of both services.

Like Google Local, Bing Local is tied to the site’s mapping service, so listings will appear whenever a user conducts a search for businesses of your type while using the map. But Bing Local offers additional free features that you can use to promote your business.

Unlike Yahoo! Local, Bing Local doesn’t charge you a fee to include links to supplemental websites. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can include links to your menus, booking forms or even reviews on sites like tripadvisor.com.

All three services – Google Local, Yahoo! Local and Bing Local – require verification of your information prior to inclusion on their pages, but Bing Local lets you verify by phone or even by the US Mail.

Bing, which is owned by Microsoft, recently took over the search engine duties for Yahoo, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Bing Local and Yahoo! Local merged into one service in the near future. Still, in order to get information about your business in front of the most people possible, you should take advantage of the free listing services offered by all three websites.

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