How to Up Your Content Marketing Strategy without Spending More Money

Over 90 percent of businesses small and large these days depend on content marketing to create brand awareness and sell products. The content marketing plan doesn’t exist in a vacuum and should constantly be upgraded. Improving a content marketing strategy doesn’t necessarily mean throwing money at the existing one and hoping it would somehow improve. Rather, there are plenty of other ways to improve a content marketing strategy without wasting financial resource, Global Resources LLC consultants emphasize. Here are several tactics for doing just that:

Use Data to Create the Typical Customer Persona – The “persona” in this context means what your typical customer is like online. Businesses can use existing data to create personas for online customers. When creating content for marketing purposes, target these personas. For example, if your typical customer is a 30-year old woman with a college degree who lives in Illinois, then use this background to create content that a customer like this will find appealing. The aim is to create content customers can directly relate to based on data you have already gathered.

Make Content More Visually Appealing – This is a familiar enough mantra for marketers, but many still struggle to follow. If the content is visually appealing, more people in the target audience will consume what you publish. There are many ways to make content visually appealing, such as using images and infographics.

Make Navigation Easy – Modern consumers seek convenience as much as they seek appealing content. Even if content attracts potential customers, the traffic won’t convert unless the navigation process is easy and convenient. It should be very easy for customers to navigate away from a content page and land on a product page. First and foremost, in the process is speed. Make sure all pages load fast. Also, the navigation process must be optimized for all mobile platforms. Mobile users shouldn’t find it more difficult than desktop users.

Use Micro Influencers – Unlike mega influencers, micro influencers don’t cost much to hire. Some may even help out with marketing campaigns in return for free products. Use micro influencers to increase engagement with users in a niche group. Micro influencers are also great for generating high-quality leads.

Looking for more ways to save costs and at the same time increase the effectiveness of your small business marketing campaign? You can obtain Global Resources Reviews and seek consultations with one of our experts for tailor-made advice for your company.

 

Why Your Small Business Might Need Pinterest

When it comes to social media marketing, only a handful of sites dominate. Small businesses tend to focus their efforts on the main triad— Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Then there are smaller social networks, like Pinterest. If you don’t already know, Pinterest is a social network that works like a digital scrapbook. When users see images they like on various websites, they can “pin” it to their profile. Pinterest is filled with user-generated content.

Despite what preconceived notions you might have about the network, Pinterest has a large user base exceeding 150 million. Here are several reasons why your small business may benefit from using Pinterest, according to Global Resources LLC consultants:

Pinterest is a Great Way to Reach Female Audiences—Over 50 percent of pinners are women. Nearly half of these women are older in the 34 to 55 group. And about 30 percent of these women have household incomes exceeding $100,000 annually. If your small business needs to target women in this group, then Pinterest is a great platform to start with.

Content Lasts Longer—Unlike on Facebook or Twitter, where content lasts only until the newsfeed refreshes, content on Pinterest lasts longer. While recent content do take priority, older pins do not disappear into nothingness. New searchers and browsing makes even older content relevant. Therefore, you get more value for the money spent creating content. Pinterest is possibly the best platform to post evergreen content.

Higher User Engagement– Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have higher user numbers, but Pinterest has higher numbers of actively engaged users. This is hitting the jackpot for companies that are struggling to reach out to dispassionate users. On Pinterest, users seek out content for themselves, so there are less that businesses need to do to get content in front of potential customers.

Attract Traffic with Visually Appealing Content—Marketers know how difficult it is to stand out in the current digital traffic. Pinterest makes it easier because all content on the platform is highly visual. Marketers can generate leads and create links directly using the images on Pinterest. With high levels of engagement, Pinterest is just perfect for generating targeted traffic.

Pinterest is best suited for small businesses with artsy websites or products. But other sectors may be able to benefit as well. To learn more about improving your business social media strategy consider a business analysis of your company.  To find out more , visit GR-US.com.

What Small Businesses Can Learn from This Year’s Nobel Prize Winner in Economics

The Nobel Committee awarded the memorial prize in economics this year to Richard Thaler, a prominent economist from the University of Chicago. The winner’s choice this year was interesting, especially because Thaler’s area of research contains a treasure trove of insights small businesses can take advantage of.

Even people who are not economists are familiar with Thaler’s work. In 2009, he wrote a book called “Nudge,” which is considered the bible of behavioral economics, Thaler’s area of research. Global Resources LLC consultants have learned a lot from this book.  Behavioral economics uses what we know about human psychology to formulate economic theories and action. The basic premise here is surprisingly simple: humans are irrational. If an economist, or a small business, wants a person to take a certain action, a “nudge” is required.

Thaler’s work has serious implications for governments, policymakers, and companies. Thaler showed that people’s actions are not driven by what scientists might call “rational.” He demonstrated this by showing that people use lower gas prices to save money, only to use the saved amounts on premium gas. People readily buy a cheap $3 mug, but will not sell it back for $6. Thaler’s work was remarkably demonstrated with a famous retirement plan experiment.

When people are offered the option to sign up for an employer-provided 401(k) retirement plan, the sign-up rate was quite low. Thaler argued that people do things when performing the action is as simple and pain-free as possible. He suggested that to improve the rate of employees on retirement funds, companies should automatically sign them up for the 401(k) plans. Provide the option to opt out, not opt-in. When policymakers put this theory into effect, amazingly enough, the rate of employees on retirement plans rose incredibly. People simply didn’t want to bother with the opting out process.

Therein lies the main lesson small businesses should learn. Companies that want to increase sales should make the buying process as simple and easy for the customer as much as possible. Want to increase the number of customers on an email list? Design a one-click sign-up process. Better yet, add existing customers to an emailing list and give them the option to unsubscribe. Most won’t.

Nudges, as Thaler explained, can be both simple and complex. The British government found that people were more likely to pay vehicle registration fees if the bill included a picture of a car. Likewise, small businesses should start utilizing nudges that get people to take a certain action. It could be as simple as removing an existing obstacle. To design pain-free buying processes and increase sales according to behavioral economics, you can consult with us at GR-US.com.

 

Study Confirms Clean Web Design is More Appealing to Customers

Some designers complain that all website look too neat and clean and has no style appeal for customers. Businesses tend to use clean, clutter-free and stylistically boring web designs to attract customers. A new study has confirmed once more that web users do prefer clean sites over visually overwhelming ones. New research presented by EyeQuant shows that customers are more drawn to “visually clean” websites that have more white space. Websites with simple designs like this have lower bounce rates than sites that are more visually complicated, EyeQuant concludes.

Now, it’s official. A simple web layout might be what your small business needs to increase customer interest. Here’s what Global Resources LLC consultants suggest for small businesses that want to design appealing websites based on the new findings:

Include Less Text – The study showed that customers preferred websites with less text, increasing the white space. Less text means customers can get an understanding of what the website offers without having to read paragraphs of marketing fluff. Therefore, use a headline and a subheading to quickly deliver what your website is about and attract potential customers.

Have One Big Image – Customers were not drawn to utterly boring websites with one or two lines and lots of blank space. Customers preferred websites that used one or two big images to add visual appeal. In the past, some designers believed that adding many pictures would increase the visual appeal of a site. This is clearly not the case anymore. Including one big picture is good for attracting new customers, and it’s also good for speeding up the loading time.

Avoid Overwhelming the Customer – The study’s authors think that cleaner web layouts are more appealing to consumers because modern customers are bombarded with online content on a daily basis. From tweets to Google ads, customers sometimes get conflicting messages intended to influence decision-making. Clean websites avoid overwhelming the customer in this manner. So, keep web layouts free of unwanted content.

Websites can be attractive and influential without having a complex layout. If you want more targeted advice on how to improve your company’s online sales, get in touch with us at GR-US.com.

Effective Ways to Optimize an Online Store

Online stores need constant reviews and upgrades to optimally attract traffic and drive conversions. Is your online store well designed to encourage people to buy things? Here are some suggestions from veteran Global Resources LLC consultants on how to optimize your website to increase profits:

Remove All Lags and Reduce Loading Time – The most important feature an e-store can have is ease of navigation. Customers won’t be able to easily navigate through an e-store if content takes forever to load. Therefore, do your best to keep loading time under 2 seconds. The faster the e-store is, the higher the conversion will be.

Show Images with People – Market research has actually shown that when online stores have images with people smiling or looking happy, the conversion rate increases compared to e-stores without. Customers follow visual cues more strongly than marketers believe. Therefore, make sure your online store has pictures of satisfied-looking customers to encourage conversions.

Feature Timely Products on the Homepage – Do not randomly select products to show on the homepage. It’s important that the featured products are highly timely. For example, if it’s the summer season, don’t feature insulated boots on the home page. Be aware of what customers need the most each given month. Also, pay attention to current events. If it’s going to start raining soon, you can show umbrellas, rain boots, and similar relevant products on the front page.

Keep Product Descriptions Factual and Simple – Do not include lengthy product descriptions because no one would take the time to read through. Follow the Amazon formula in this regard and show product information with bulleted short sentences. Lengthy details could be included at the bottom of the page for customers who are certain they want to buy the product. Short product descriptions can quickly make up the mind for a potential customer.

Offer Personalized Recommendations – Customers are more likely to purchase from an online store that offers personalized recommendations, and they are also more likely to return to a store that recommends products based on previous purchases. Therefore, online stores with personalization capabilities have higher conversion rates.

Is your marketing plan sufficient to increase your online store’s conversion rate? You can find out with one of our Global Resources Reviews. You can get a comprehensive analysis

What the Latest Trends are Revealing about Doing SEO in 2017

SEO campaigns should be updated at least once every year. Online search is undergoing significant changes due to the rise of new technologies and priorities of major search engine companies like Google. Our Global Resources LLC consultants occasionally find that small businesses stick to static SEO plans that are never updated in a timely manner. This could really hurt your business. To update your SEO plan to suit the changes the industry is seeing in 2017, there are several trends to be aware of:

Search is becoming highly mobile – Last year mobile and tablet users surpassed desktop users in web browsing. It was a major turning point that indicated search overall is leaning towards a mobile world. Google was quick to notice this trend and has already introduced mobile-first indexing. That means sites that are mobile responsive get priority when showing up on search results. Small businesses should therefore definitely pay attention to how mobile responsive their websites are.

Voice search is on the rise – Along with the use of mobile devices, more and more people are browsing the web with the assistance of voice search. That is, searches spoken to voice-controlled smart devices like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa. The main voice search programs currently in use are Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Home. When your company devises a new SEO plan next, voice search should be a priority.

Local search is becoming more important than ever – Because mobile search is on the rise, localized results are becoming more important. Google’s Possum update to its algorithm optimized how well users see local results. Therefore, your SEO strategy should involve the generous use of local keywords, phrases, and listings on local websites.

Video is becoming a premier content format – an online video is no longer an optional form of content. The video is becoming a core form of content, also thanks to mobile users. People are more prone to watching videos on their devices than to reading an article. Therefore, video content should not be overlooked in your marketing strategy.

Is your small business SEO plan made with the above in mind? If not, contact us at GR-US.com to update your plan with expert advice.

Is Your Brand Suffering from an Over Complicated Content Strategy?

Content preparation is one of the core aspects of modern day digital marketing. Small business brands often jump-start digital marketing plans with content. Some marketing plans suffer from lack of content. Then again, as experienced Global Resources LLC consultants point out, there are also marketing plans that suffer from too much content.

Overcomplicated content is the result of lack of vision in a marketing plan. Some managers insist on producing all manner of content and flooding the social media feeds to get the most clicks or views. But content doesn’t work that way. When the content the company produces lose focus, it ceases to be effective.

Here is a list of simple strategies to keep your company’s content marketing strategy from getting too complicated:

Have Focus Topics – Don’t produce articles on dozens of new topics. Your strategy will be most effective when the content is focused on one or two topics that interest the customers. Use content to establish your brand’s voice as an authority on a certain topic. It’s not enough to simply voice opinions on an array of topics.

Schedule Posts – Irregular posting will reduce the effectiveness of your content. It will also make your content delivery strategy a mess. Therefore, schedule posts in advance. You should consider convenience to the business, and also the time periods customers are most likely to respond to content. Use existing data you have on customers. For example, if your Twitter page gets most visits during noon every Wednesday, then schedule to post new content during that time slot to drive traffic.

Appoint an Employee Responsible for Content – A good content marketing plan is always overseen by an employee. Don’t make content production the second or third job of a sales or marketing manager. Separately appoint a content manager to oversee what’s getting published.

Decide on the Most Effective Types of Content – While it’s useful to produce various types of content, like video and blog posts, it’s more cost-efficient and effective to focus on content your customers respond to the most. If your customers prefer video tutorials, for example, produce more of those. But try to produce other content as well, but focus more effort on the preferred content.

Always keep in mind that content should embody good quality. Don’t aim to produce as much content as you can. Produce top-notch content that gets attention, shares, and likes. If you don’t know what to make of your current content marketing strategy, contact us at GR-US.com for some valuable insight.

How Instagram Keeps a British Nail Salon 100% Booked

Sharmadean Reid’s catchily titled WAH nail salon in London is always booked. And she has only one thing to thank for it: Instagram. Reid started her nail salon almost as a side project. Now it is one of the biggest in London with book deals and even partner shops popping up internationally. Global Resources LLC consultants examined how Instagram could make a tiny nail salon into such a major success.

We often find that small businesses use social media channels like Instagram just for the sake of it. Reid shows that savvy thinking and creativity can make a channel like Instagram a major real-life traffic generator for business. This is what Reid did that other small business can learn lessons from:

Choosing the Right Social Media Channel – Reid hit it big with Instagram largely because Instagram is the perfect social media channel for her business. Nail salon customers want to see photos of the products, not read about them. By choosing the biggest photo sharing site out there, Reid directly tapped into the heart of her target audience.

Publishing Posts with Personality – The photos WAH salon posts on their official Instagram account are not always professionally photographed. But each is packed with the unique personality the brand embodies.

Impressive Creativity – The photos are very artful and creative. It’s a strong indication that art really does pay off, so even other brands not involved in the arts sector can reap more benefits by hiring creative talent.

Showing Products in Real Life – The WAH salons nail art is not shown as marketing material, but as actual products in the customers’ hands. The salon posts pictures of finished nail art without adding any additional cause. There’s a realness to the pictures that customers can trust and be engaged with.

Getting the Customers Involved – The salon occasionally posts pictures of satisfied customers showing off their nail art. It definitely increases customer engagement.

If you want to build your brand in a similar manner, start rethinking the Instagram account in a creative way. Hire creative talent to your marketing team and think outside the box. Also, focusing strongly on the most relevant channels will also help. If you need more personalized advice, contact us at GR-US.com.

Alternatives to Patents to Protect Small Business Products or Services

Patents are considered essential by entrepreneurs to protect business ideas, products, or services. However, taking out a patent can cost thousands of dollars, and could sometimes take years to complete all the necessary legal documentation. Your patent could be challenged during the filing process as well. While patents are the best legal tool available to protect your small business’s intellectual property, there are several alternatives a company can consider as well. Read below for the alternatives to consider:

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)—NDAs are commonly signed between employers and employees these days. An NDA is a legally binding agreement that two parties mutually agree to. By signing an NDA, the two parties agree not to share information with another third party. NDAs are often one way, where one party, like an employee, agrees not to share certain information with a third party. NDAs can have an expiration date, or not. NDAs without an expiration date offer the most protection.

Non-Compete Agreements (NCAs)—Global Resources LLC consultants often recommend NCAs to companies that are concerned about an employee or a similar individual from starting a similar business. An NCA can stop an individual from starting a business that could compete with or threaten your business. There are certain legal parameters to be met, however. If your small business is concerned about a former employee or a researcher taking your ideas to make money on their own, an NCA can prevent that.

Work-For-Hire Agreements (WFHs): A WFH is an agreement that allows businesses to hire outside parties to work on a product, but later retain all intellectual property rights to a product. If you hire a third party company or an individual to improve a product at your company, make them sign WFHs. That will prevent the third-party helpers from claiming patent or intellectual property rights to the product your company will ultimately profit from. It’s important to understand that some of the people that help need to be listed on patents when you seek one. But with a WFH, they will have no rights over your product.

You will need legal oversight and managerial assistance before considering the above alternatives to patents. If you need consultancy advice regarding protecting your company’s intellectual property, go to GR-US.com to find a consultant.

Business Management Titles Explained

A number of small businesses we review do not have a highly formal management structure. For some businesses, it’s common for the owner to handle many tasks relating to finances, employees, and scaling, so the formal business titles get conflated. When your small business grows and attracts more clients, it’s important to have a formal management structure to ensure productivity, efficiency, and more importantly, responsibility. Here is a list of explanations for the common management titles people encounter in businesses with explanations from a Global Resources LLC consultant:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Most people already know what a CEO does. In a nutshell, the CEO is the chief strategist of the company who oversees everything. CEOs are responsible for hiring senior staff, authorizing the allocation of various resources, overseeing money matters, and essentially becoming the face of the company. The CEOs of small businesses are often the founders and owners of the companies.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) – The COO takes care of a company’s overall operations. The “operations” here will differ depending on the nature of the business. If the small business is a clothing store, for example, the COO will be the store manager. Some small businesses have CEO and the COO positions being held by the same person. But as the business expands, this would not be an ideal situation.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – This is the person who is responsible for all financial matters of the company, but reports to the CEO. It’s highly recommended for all small businesses to have a qualified CFO if the CEO is not experienced in financial management. A CFO is usually someone who has a degree in finances and really knows what they are doing.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – This is a management title that’s popped up rather recently. Companies with large marketing strategies sometimes hire a senior manager to oversee all operations and manage the budget. Not all companies need a CMO, but it’s recommended to have a qualified marketing person overseeing the strategy.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – The CTO is not the IT guy. The CTO is a qualified manager who stays up to date on latest tech trends and finds ways for the company to adopt these trends. CTOs are responsible for keeping a business technologically advanced. If you run a tech-oriented small business, it’s recommended to hire a CTO.

When conducting Global Resources Reviews we often find that senior management is lacking a qualified financial manager or a CFO. Most small businesses do not have trouble handling day-to-day operations, but finances are another matter. You can contact us to find out how to properly structure your company’s senior management.