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How to Make the Most of Gift Cards for Your Small Business

Consumers spend millions of dollars on gift cards every year, especially during the holiday seasons. Offering gift cards can be a very lucrative strategy for increasing your business profits. Whether an egift card or a plastic gift card, every business needs to have some kind of gift card program.

Here are some of the ways your business can benefit from gift cards: (more…)

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Content Marketing Tips for Healthcare Organizations

Content marketing has become an increasingly popular strategy for promoting businesses and brands. In most industries, content such as case studies, customer reviews and testimonials can be published and shared freely with a wide range of people. However, the medical industry in most countries is governed by laws which protect patient identity and data. You should therefore ensure that your content does not violate any of these laws.  (more…)

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6 Items to Focus on Before Selecting a Web Host

Nowadays, having a website is an indispensable requirement for every small business. A website allows you to reach a wider audience with your products and services. You could even set up an e-commerce site which allows customers to buy items directly from you. When setting up your site, one of the things you will need to decide is where you will host it. With the numerous Web hosting companies out there, choosing the right host for your business can be very difficult.

Here are some guidelines which will help you make the right decision: (more…)

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Tips for Writing Effective Email Subject Lines

When it comes to email marketing, the email subject line is probably the most vital element. A well crafted subject line will grab the attention of your audience and compel them to read the content. However, a poor headline will cause your email to be ignored or even deleted. Therefore, the quality of your subject lines can make or break your email marketing campaign.

Here are some tips for writing email headlines which will enhance your open rates: (more…)

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How to Leverage Webinars for Content Marketing

Nowadays, companies all over the world are increasingly using webinars for hosting online meetings, workshops, lectures, presentations and training events. Such web conferences eliminate the necessity for travel, thus saving you money and time. In addition, they allow you to reach participants anywhere in the globe.

However, many companies make the mistake of approaching webinars as one-off events. The fact is that the material from your webinars can come in handy in many different ways for your content marketing strategy. (more…)

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Time Tracking Tips for Businesses

Keeping track of time is very important for any organization. It helps you understand the amount of time spent on different tasks. This in turn allows you to evaluate the capabilities of different team members and thus assign tasks accordingly. In addition, time tracking makes the process of billing your clients and paying your employees much easier. (more…)

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Guidelines for Effective Content Marketing

Content marketing is becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy for many businesses. More and more companies and individuals are using email newsletters, press releases and social media posts to promote their services and products. Here are some great tips which will help you carry out an effective content marketing campaign. (more…)

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6 Easy Fraud Prevention Tips Every Business Should be Practicing

4 Creative Cost Reduction Tips for StartupsFraud has become a major concern for many businesses all over the world. Scammers have made millions of dollars by simply stealing information such as credit card numbers, passwords and banking details from companies. Business and consumers engaging in online transactions are especially at risk when it comes to fraud and identity theft. It’s so important for businesses to take measures to lower their chances of falling victim to scammers. Business fraud prevention doesn’t have to be huge, scary ordeal. (more…)

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Why User-Generated Content Matters for Businesses

Why User-Generated Content Matters for BusinessesUser-generated content (UGC) refers to any content that is produced by consumers or users. It can take the form of social media updates, reviews, blog posts, Q&A forums, photos or videos. Many businesses use different kinds of UGC as part of their overall marketing strategy and the benefits getting involved with UGC provides are nearly endless for your business.

  • Enriched user experience – UGC allows your customers and prospects to interact with like-minded people and share their opinions – this could be through posting comments on a blog, on discussion forums or status updates.
  • Enhanced understanding of your audience – User-generated content offers you an excellent opportunity to listen to your customers and be able to better understand their needs.
  • Established trust – Consumers usually base their buying decisions on what other people are saying. Having positive reviews on your site enhances the chances of prospects using your service or buying your product.
  • Search engine optimization – Search engines like Google rank sites based on how unique and relevant their content is. Having user-generated content on your site can play a major role in improving your search engine rankings and even make your site more visible.
  • Cost effectiveness – Hiring designers and writers to create content for your business site can be very expensive, but if you work with an in-house team instead, it’ll help you save on money and time.

(more…)

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8 Tips for How Brands Can Stay Connected with Customers via Social Media

8 Tips for How Brands Can Stay Connected with Customers via Social MediaEngaging effectively with customers is very important for the success of any business. Social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn have made it very easy for companies to interact with their customers. Instead of making phone calls or sending emails, customers can raise their questions or complaints by simply posting a tweet or status update on these social networks. This makes it easy for companies to keep track of conversations about their brand or business.

Here are some tips which can enhance interaction with customers via social media.

1. Stay updated

Social media is a very dynamic and constantly evolving field. Find out which apps or platforms can make your customer interaction the most effective and where the majority of your customer base can be found and stay updated on those sites with your accounts.

2. Hire the right staff

Running several social media accounts can be a very daunting task to do alone. Look into hiring a social media professional who can manage your accounts and use the appropriate tools to help make customer relations easier. Alternatively, if you don’t have the budget for a social media manager, you could look into getting some of your staff trained on how to use social media for customer service.

3. Be active

Having a Twitter, Google+ or Facebook account is not enough; you need to engage your customers actively. You can do this by creating a search alert for conversations about your industry, business or brand. If you find someone complaining about your product, service or business, be sure to respond swiftly. On the other hand, any compliments should be shared or retweeted.

4. Demonstrate product benefits

Social media can be a great channel for demonstrating the benefits of your product. For instance, if you are selling a detachable recliner, show your customers how it is assembled, where it can be used and how to maintain it. This can be done using video or images. Videos can be uploaded on video sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo, Flickr, Dailymotion, Veoh, Metacafé, and Break, and then shared on your social media profiles.

5. Don’t just talk about your company or products

If you are always promoting your products or company, your followers and fans will eventually get bored and find somewhere else to go. What people want is helpful and inspirational information. Be sure you provide this information, with occasional references back to your brand.

6. Address complaints and questions promptly

Whenever customers share their complaints and questions through social media, make sure you respond as fast as possible. This will show customers that you are listening to their problems and want to help out, thus enhancing their trust.

7. Don’t edit or delete negative comments

Negative comments can help you identify flaws in your products or services, thus enabling you to make necessary improvements. When responding to such comments, be as gracious and objective as possible. Offer an apology where your business or company made a mistake, and gently correct any of the customer’s misinterpretations. How you handle a negative comment could make all the difference between winning and losing a customer.

8. Be proactive

When your company or business faces major issues such as product recalls or a crashing website, you need to be proactive. Let your followers and fans know what is going on before they get a chance to complain. Assure them that you have already identified the problem and are working on solving it.

Charles Mburugu is a professional blogger who likes sharing tips about internet marketing and ecommerce. Currently, he is writing for Platinum Freight.

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