All posts in Marketing

Small-Business Marketing Budgets Continue to Rise

According to the 2016 Local Pulse Report from Thrive Analytics, 42% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasing their marketing budgets this year. This is an increase from 35% at the same time last year. The study reported that top growth areas among the more than 1,100 SMB owners who responded include mobile marketing at 49% (an increase of 15% from last year) and online display and paid search at 44% (both up 11%).

Just six out of 10 respondents to the study have a website, but 80% use social media platforms, including Facebook (70%), Twitter (32%) and LinkedIn (26%). Seven of 10 owners expect social media to generate leads, while more than half (57%) use it to build awareness and another 57% utilize it to engage their customers. Only 19% of respondents report paying for advertising on social media.

“Digital media continues to be SMBs’ main focus when it comes to marketing, especially with newer businesses,” said Jason Peaslee, managing partner of Thrive Analytics. “However, older and more established businesses continue to see value in traditional forms of marketing too. As SMBs view local advertising as a more strategic source of leads and essential for keeping up with competition, more dollars are being invested across a growing number of channels.”

Almost half (49%) of all respondents stated that mobile is their top growth area in terms of marketing, but approximately the same number state that their websites are not mobile-optimized. In fact, the majority of respondents reported they do not have a solid mobile marketing strategy.

The Local Pulse Report is a comprehensive bi-annual study that examines social media use, ratings and reviews, mobile marketing, marketing budgets and technology adoption.

Read more: Small-Business Marketing Budgets Continue to Rise

25 Digital-Marketing and Social-Media Experts to Follow on Twitter

Twitter is a great source of information. Every tweet is 140 characters or less, allowing you to quickly scan your feed and engage with the content that interests you. While this eliminates a lot of unnecessary noise, you still need to be following the right people if you want to be constantly flooded with great information.

In no particular order, here are 25 digital marketing and social media experts to follow on Twitter.

1. Guy Kawasaki: An industry veteran, Kawasaki’s Twitter feed is a source of inspiration that features a diverse range of topics. With nearly 1.5 million followers, it’s clear that he is doing something right.

2. Kim Garst: A social-media expert, Garst is always discussing the latest social-media-marketing strategies and sharing content from her excellent blog as well as curated posts that she believes provide value.

3. Noah Kagan: The founder of Appsumo and OKDork, Kagan is constantly sharing great pieces of content and bits of information via his Twitter feed. He is a great person to follow if you are into email-list building and growth hacking — and tacos.

Read more: 25 Digital-Marketing and Social-Media Experts to Follow on Twitter

The Easy Way to Go Global With Inbound Marketing

The Easy Way to Go Global With Inbound Marketing.

Why partner with TotalWeb? Read the following article from “Marketing Profs” and learn how we can help you increase market share.

Most companies have heard about the practice of inbound marketing, but fewer know how to effectively implement it.

On the surface, the idea is simple: Great content generates Web traffic, and a proportion of that traffic will end up converting to leads. This is a relatively new concept for many businesses that are used to building a brand by simply pushing out products or services via more traditional methods rather than creating compelling content that pulls in customers.

Many B2B companies have started deploying inbound marketing strategies. At the core of those strategies is content marketing. Some 93% of B2B organizations are using some form of content marketing, but less than half (42%) say they’re effective at it.

Read more

Why Website Optimization is Out and Website Marketability is in

Why website optimization is out and website marketability is in.

Read how Crain’s Detroit Business lays out Website Marketability, explains SEO, and defines the value of a website as being related to it’s structure, content, and evolution.

Of all articles in our blog, this is the most important to us as it explains how internet marketing works in 2015, noting that this precisely matches TotalWeb Partner’s value proposition.

“Building a site is not an end game, it is just the first step… and all of TWP’s standard offers include ongoing support, updating, and marketing to meet the requirements of marketing on-line in 2015.”

Defining Website Marketability

From Crain’s Detroit Business April 17, 2015

Read more

5 Signs That It’s Time to Outsource Your Marketing

5 Signs That It’s Time to Outsource Your Marketing.
For many business owners, it’s easy to try to shoulder a lot when it comes to running a business. But you may face certain challenges you can’t solve on your own — or realize that you’d rather pay someone else to handle certain aspects so you can focus on the things you do best or enjoy most.

Knowing when and how to hire smart and outsource strategically is an important part of building a successful business — and still enjoying your work as a business owner. So, when it comes to the marketing aspect of your business, here are five signs that you may need a digital marketing expert so you can achieve these goals.

Read about the 5 signs…

The Ten Commandments of Online Marketing

The Ten Commandments of Online Marketing.

  1. Have a strategic plan
  2. Have a strong adaptable website
  3. Have a strong and growing visibility in search
  4. Be social
  5. Consistently produce original written content
  6. Get listed or mentioned on other relevant websites
  7. Produce and distribute original photos and videos
  8. Advertise intelligently
  9. Utilize analytics to track ROI
  10. Be adaptable

Read more…

Is Anybody Really Filling Out Your Contact Form?

Engaging Users to Fill Out Contact Forms. 

You’ve spent a bunch of time, money and effort making your website just right.

It has a great design. It’s responsive for mobile visitors and includes optimized content, following the latest SEO best practices. You have multiple touchpoints for people to contact you, including phone numbers, email addresses and a contact form for people to fill out, telling you what they need.

But is anybody filling out that form?

If the answer is no, it’s time to re-evaluate the use of forms on your website.

Read more…

4 Features Every Local Business Website Design Needs

4 Features Every Local Business Website Design Needs.

No business can afford to waste money on tools that don’t work. Local businesses must be particularly discerning when deciding where to distribute the yearly budget.

A useful litmus test for local business website design is whether the website will pay for itself over time. Good design is not decoration.

Your company website should look great and make a winning first impression for your business… but looking “great” can’t be the only goal.

A cost-efficient local business website serves rather like an “employee” for your company, that helps:

Read more…

Inbound Marketing For Beginners

Inbound marketing for beginners.

Inbound marketing describes a business building strategy that, when successful, will attract buyers and sellers to you and your services. Examples include advertising on a local bus bench, in the Yellow Pages or on shopping carts. With this type of marketing strategy, you are trying to place your ad where you suspect your clients are, so when they have a need for the services you offer, you are right there to remind them that you can help.

Inbound marketing has evolved to a whole new level over the past several years. As consumers have embraced social media, online reviews, blogs and video, older mediums like bus benches, shopping carts and the Yellow Pages no longer provide the same exposure that they once did.

Read more…