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Igniting Business Blog

Check out our comprehensive blog where we cover the important Web Design, IT, and Marketing topics which impact small businesses like yours.  

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses: More of Your Best Customers

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One way to generate more revenue in your small business is to acquire more of your best customers.  Rather than continuing broad marketing activities that are not providing quality results, analyze who your best customers and tailor your future marketing efforts accordingly. 

The 80/20 rule

Apply the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule in order to determine your most profitable customers. The Pareto Principle dictates roughly 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. Take note of the characteristics of those customers, because your goal is to acquire more of the same type of customer. Additionally, look for ways to drive additional value to your existing ideal customers.  If you do this effectively it will translate into additional revenue for your company.

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3 Signs You Should Invest in Online Advertising Now

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Online advertising is constantly transforming. It started as text-based ads with hyperlinks, then became static, clickable images. Soon it evolved to videos, recommendations from trusted content creators, and reviews. The full range of what online advertising means is growing every day, and every avenue leads to more exposure and more recognition. If you have a small business and you're wondering if the time is right to start advertising, here are three indicators you likely should invest in online advertising:

You have a site or marketplace for customers to visit. This might seem hasty, but advertising soon and advertising often is the best way to get traffic. Trying to reach a certain traffic threshold or minimum revenue before you start to advertise could leave your small business growing slowly for months (or not at all) when advertising could have made you reach your goals even sooner. If you’re uncertain if your website is ready for the additional visitors, check out our recent blog about how to know if your website is ready for online advertising.You have the tools to track your campaign's success. No matter what you do to your website, whether it's redesigning the landing page, adding a new product, or advertising on a new site, you should have the tools to measure the impact of the change. The information you can gather from tracking new visitors, increased purchases, and duration of visitors on your site is invaluable.  This data can help you fine tune and grow your advertising strategy.There's a market you can't effectively reach without online advertising. Sharing information locally can get you sales. But if you sell a product or service that isn't just a niche for your area, you're missing out on customers across the country and world. Once you know your target demographics and are ready to apply that information on a regional, national or international scale, you're ready to get your campaign started.

It's rarely too early to start advertising, and it's never too late. If you need help with your online marketing strategy, contact us to get started.

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Incorporate These Dynamic Facebook Features to Better Engage Your Social Media Audience

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Social media sites commonly make small tweaks and adjustments to their interfaces in an attempt to find the best ways to keep users engaged and scrolling. While these changes are usually geared towards revamping the user experience, these features can also help small businesses keep their followers engaged. Here are some recent changes Facebook has made to its News Feed that small businesses can use to keep up with their audience.

You can create short GIFs. GIFs are a type of image format that present a series of time delayed, looping images, so they show up as short animations and video clips. GIFs took over the Internet and social media audience and show no sign of stopping.  Peppering your business's Facebook page with GIFs make your content more dynamic, since videos are more active and preferable to text. Consider using a popular clip for a comment, recording a small reaction for comedic effect, or even just showing a small snippet of something attention-grabbing. Incorporating GIFs also makes your page more personal and your business more approachable.You can do more live streaming. YouTube has a live streaming feature for established YouTube accounts. Your small business can use this tool to reach out to audiences more authentically. Now you can do the same thing directly on Facebook with Facebook Live’s live video streaming and receive direct, immediate feedback. Posting your video content on multiple social media platforms will increase your small business’s ability to reach your target market and convert visitors to customers.Links in your followers' feed will be more visible. Potential visitors commonly like to see where they're going when clicking a link. This increases the likelihood your potential visitor will click the link to get the rest of the story or to look at a product. However, the potential visitor’s split-second evaluation of your site should be positive to encourage their decision to click through to your site. Make sure your site looks trustworthy and streamlined for all devices.

Facebook's small changes likely won't drastically alter your content posting strategies, but they do give your small business more options to interact with your followers. Contact us to learn more about Facebook changes, posting on social media, and different marketing strategies for your small business to better engage with your followers and fans.

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How to Get the Most Out of Text on Social Media

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Social media pages are evolving to be a continuous, scrollable presentation of content. They're designed to always offer users something new to look at, so they pull from more and more sources to fill users' homepages and timelines. While that means you have a wider audience for your content, it also means it's easier to get lost in the mix and for users to scroll past your specific post. 

What should you do to grab viewers' interest in the two seconds you’re on their screen?

Scrolling becomes an automatic motion once viewers get started. Your content is more likely to be viewed if it's either surrounded by good content or appears after a long scroll of uninteresting posts. Hoping your post is perfectly placed after a few uninteresting posts (but not enough to make a user leave) is risky, and the only way to make your post appear among trusted or popular providers is to have successful content. How can you do it with text?

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5 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses to Launch Your Business with Impact

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You have done the research, chosen your niche and have the capital to get started. You are passionate about your work and excited to get started launching your business. For a last check, walk through these five marketing tips for small businesses to launch your business with impact to ensure that you are ready to go.

1. Know Your Brand

When marketing your business, you need to know your brand backwards and forwards. Have a solid grip on knowing who you are, your mission, and your value statements.  In addition to knowing who you are, you need to know why/how you are different from your competitor. A potential client will certainly want to know what you can do for them, but ultimately, they also need to know why they should choose you over a competitor. As a business owner, you should have your branding cemented in your heart and mind, so that you can use it as a basis for everything you do.

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Increase Your Marketing Audience with a Vehicle Sign

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Marketing is about getting attention, but if audiences expect a banner ad or a commercial clip, they may easily ignore it if there are other things to watch. That means providing interesting content when there's little competition is a good way to advertise; an easy way to do that is with a vehicle decal.

How can you best use vehicle decals and signs to promote your business?Choose the car(s) wisely. If you do delivery, adding a catchy decal with your business branding and logo on your company vehicle can be some of the best advertising you can do. It spreads name and brand recognition in neighborhoods and locations that have already shown interest in your business, and it acts as mobile, non-static advertisement. If you want to advertise with your personal car, make sure it matches the style of your business before you invest in a cling or magnet.Make the sign bright and attractive without being too much of a distraction. Your vehicle can be a diverting ad during rush hour and can get your message across with just a quick glance. However, if your vehicle signage is too pushy or distracting, it loses appeal. Make good use of the limited space by strategically using striking colors and logical pictures, while balancing informative text.Use a generalized message.  Seasonal advertising can be an effective part of your marketing campaigns, but incorporating vehicle signs and decals are more long-term strategies. Market your primary service or product, and make sure your contact information is clear. Save seasonal ads for in-store and online graphics. For the best visibility, add a sign to the driver's side of the vehicle and more concise decals on the back.

Vehicular magnetic signs and decals are becoming increasingly popular and easier to create, and the space they advertise in isn't yet oversaturated. Consider the specifics of adding vehicle advertising before your competitors do, and contact us for more small business marketing strategies.

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Video Marketing Part 5: How to Use YouTube as a Marketing Tool for Your Business

Video Marketing Part 5 How to Use YouTube as a Marketing Tool for Your Business

Did you know every minute there are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube? Because of all the “clutter,” videos advertising products and services often have an uphill battle to cut through the noise.  With a few additional steps, you can match your videos to the audience you’re targeting.

Think of YouTube like a second Google

YouTube is a search engine.  In fact, it’s the second largest search engine – second only to Google itself. Viewers search the site for solutions, information, and entertainment.  Similar to Google, YouTube searches through an index of all of the information it has on each video to generate a list of the best videos to answer users' queries ranked in the order it think will be most relevant to the search.

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4 Critical Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

4 Critical Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Content marketing offers tremendous opportunities for getting your message in front of potential customers.  However, when done poorly or inadequately, content marketing can result in nothing more than wasted time. Here are four common mistakes that can torpedo a small business' marketing efforts.

1) Lacking a Clear and Documented Content Marketing Strategy

Creating content without a coherent, documented strategy in place is a common error. The best marketing strategists begin with a specific goal - gaining more internet sales, selling more of a targeted category of product, capturing certain info from visitors to the website (i.e. email address), making clients aware of a new service, etc.  The first step is defining the strategy and goal result.  You should then focus content marketing activities towards achieving that goal.  Ultimately that strategy will serve as the relevance test of whether which content is worth generating and distributing.  If you’re not sure where to start with your strategy, consider our content marketing services.

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Video Marketing Part 4: How to Get Facebook Video Views

Video Marketing Part 4 How to Get Facebook Video Views

In the third part of our video marketing series, we mentioned the idea of educational videos. Edutainment has always been a big hit in the visual media world. People love watching how to make or do something, even if they have no intentions of making or doing it themselves, and even if they don't really recall the video later. This video marketing trend is growing more and more apparent on platforms like Facebook, where people scrolling through their feed will pause to watch a thirty-second recipe video if the finished product looks good. So, what are others doing that you can do just as well?

Start with a “money” shot and a text overlay.

People want to know what they're watching and the end product immediately. If you start a video with a two-second clip of a quesadilla or an assembled bookcase with a title of “How to [X],” people are hooked. If you can hook a viewer with the introductory clip, they are likely to watch the rest of the video.

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Video Marketing Part 3: Capturing and Retaining Your Video Audience on Social Media

Video Marketing Part 3 Capturing and Retaining Your Video Audience on Social Media

As we discussed in Part 2 of this series, hooking your audience’s attention is vital to the success of your video marketing efforts. However, to grab that attention, your small business must create the right videos tailored for the right platforms.

Here are a few tips to make sure you capture and retain your audience on social media.

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