A few months ago, I moved to a new flat. Before that, I had been doing thorough research on what part of the city is the most child-friendly in terms of security, what are the prices and how far the flats are from the public transportation. I took many things into consideration before even getting in touch with an agent.
Did I Google things? Of course! Was I keen on reading research on what parts of the city suit my needs? You bet I was! Did I spend some time scrolling on Pinterest for furniture inspiration? Yes, I did.
I was lucky to meet Josh, a real estate agent who has been in the business for some time. We got in touch after I visited his website and read his article about the prediction of real estate prices, plus went through some interesting content on his LinkedIn profile.
I was astonished by the speed of his reaction. Within two days, I had 5 flats to choose from. And a few days after that, I went to see them all.
What I did, nonetheless, within those two days, was thorough research – again. This time, I examined Josh's Instagram profile and checked out the other flats he had to offer. I read the reviews on his Google listings and read more educating articles on LinkedIn. I am a social media freak and I probably use all of them. But Josh was always there… Offering me exactly what I was looking for. At the exact time I needed it.
What I just described, was a perfect user experience and great customer-centric approach. Josh knew his business would grow if he invested in these channels. He also knew what content to serve on each of them. And I engaged, liked, followed – was totally sold! – Successfully ended my buying journey – call it whatever you want. Josh won. So did I.
Do I live in one of these aforementioned flats today? I surely do and I am happy with my decision.
Reach your customers wherever they spend their time. This is a golden rule Josh and other successful businesses completely abide by.
The fact that you are missing out on the chance to speak to your customer or potential customer on any channel can only be leveraged by your competitors… If you don't worship the customer-centric approach, they will.
And by customer-centric I mean going beyond on what YOU want to be doing to what a CUSTOMER wants to do – where she spends time, where she expects to get in touch with your business, where she takes out her wallet and pays for goods or services...
We are not talking solely about social media here. Customers visit your store – interact with you personally, get in touch with someone from support or sales, search for a cheaper substitute on Google or Bing and eventually visit your website. To gain trust, users tend to rely on reviews and customer feedback listed on your social media profiles. One customer – multiple channels. And you'd better be on all of them.
Every touchpoint matters. Everyone builds the complete image of you through your customers' eyes. And everyone determines whether a customer chooses you instead of your competitors.
In 2018, the average time spent daily on social media was 136 minutes. That is more than 2 hours of one's precious time. And more than 2 hours for you to catch their attention with what you have to offer.
What you can count on, is the fact that they will search for products like yours. And if they don't find you, they will buy somewhere else…
This can be overwhelming, but remember you are not alone. Let your friends, professionals, whoever is in the know, help you set up your Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn profile, listing on Google, etc.
Easily said, hardly done. Make sure to produce content that your audience engages with, such as creating or posting things that they find interesting, educating or funny. Make them love your business. Be their TOP OF MIND.
This is not about setting and forgetting. Customers change their behaviour. As they do, make sure to get back to work and revise your channels and their level of engagement.
There is nothing easier than simply asking your customer where they want to communicate, what they expect when getting in touch with you, how satisfied they are with your support and response time. Create polls, surveys, or message your customers directly to find these answers.
If you're new to this, getting started and making sure you approach your customer on multiple channels may be overwhelming. If you need any advice, drop me an email on email@example.com or try out our app that does this in a much more simple way.
You can either follow a trend or go against it. The choice is yours. The truth is, nonetheless, that if you fall behind, your competitors may overcome you – steal your customers and offer a better service or product. Knowing that being a business owner is a tough job, technology is sometimes considered too hard to implement because it is costly to hire a strategic partner or IT support or time-consuming to learn new tactics yourself. These myths may not apply for your business – today's tools are made to be easy to implement and understood by non-technical individuals.
Technology influences every aspect of your business – IT, finances, logistics, sales, support or marketing. New approaches teach us constantly how to become more efficient at what we do. Saving money or time, increasing the scalability of our businesses or inventing new products and business models is backed by the evolution of technology. On the other hand, not everything that glitters is gold… We've written an article about the difference between trend and hype. Watch carefully what's going on in your industry and what your customers need or require (which is definitely the most important factor of all), but don't jump on every train that goes around. Not everyone will make it to the final station. There is a difference between what influences your business and what doesn't.
We will cover some trends for 2020 below, but before we jump into that, let's speak about the context. In 2018, 50% of the world's population was online. Today in 2019, it's more than 54%. Now, most people have jumped into the information age, where everything is moving at an unbelievable pace. Not only are things (goods and services) changing on a daily basis, but their costs are constantly decreasing. Imagine you bought a 3D printer 12 years ago. 40,000 USD is what you'd have paid. Today, the cheapest 3D printers cost around 100 USD. Yes, your math skills are up to par: 400x less.
Everything changes. We either accept it and do our best, or die.
The goal of this article is to encourage you to follow the trend and embrace the newest technology in 2020, not to speak about morbid scenarios.
Going back to where we began: YOU CAN EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY IN 2020, because it is meant to be available for you. When running a local business, you focus on what's really important, right? You don't want to spend time doing things that don't positively affect your bottom line. Being an entrepreneur, there are two key factors to go after:
To achieve one or the other, you might try tactics you haven't tried yet. To understand them, let's dive into a few trends to follow in 2020:
We are bringing you our marketing knowledge, not necessarily the overall business strategy. You know your business best, but we know what saves you time and generates more money when it comes to marketing. Automating routine tasks and delegating the costly work, that you or your agency needs to do, to tools like groost. allows you to manage your online campaign effectively and for a fraction of the price. If you rely on your sales team, CRM systems like Hubspot or Pipedrive strive to help you automate follow up emails or customer retention activities. There is a plethora of tools to use, which we have covered in this article.
"For more than 30% of small businesses is marketing the number one challenge” by Mailchimp
We keep repeating this, I know. But it simply is the Holy Grail – always put the customer in the center of your (not only marketing) activities. I can assure you this won't be relevant only in 2020, but will last for decades. The times in which Henry Ford kept saying “You can have any color as long as it's black” is over. In today's era, your customers' desires and preferences are what should keep you awake at night.
Does this apply to marketing only? Not at all. Imagine you market your product so that hundreds of people are waiting in line to buy from you. Once they approach the cashier they turn back and never come again – unwillingness to serve your customers nicely by one of your employees can be very costly. To give another example, say you run an ecommerce project. Everything from marketing to IT works great, until your logistics crash and the customer does not get what she ordered. Is this something that can badly harm your business? Absolutely! Customers have many touch points when dealing with your business – make sure every one of them is as customer-friendly as possible.
Let's stay in the marketing field for now. You probably run your profile on social media. Having 1,000 page likes brings you nothing if you only reach 20% of them. The organic reach is – and will be – decreasing constantly which we covered in our latest article. You will have no other choice, but to create truly engaging content that resonates with your audience and to invest in paid advertising. What you need to focus on is:
According to the Deloitte Small business technology trends, 80% of small businesses aren't taking full advantage of digital tools. Be the 20% of them.
There are two main communication strategies: inbound & outbound. Inbound makes the potential customer discover you by the content that you create – be it articles on your website, videos on your Youtube channel or podcasts on Spotify. Outbound is focused on push or disruptive strategies – you reach your potential customers while they scroll on their social media feeds, watch videos on Youtube or read articles. Working on your content brings you long-term results. Educating your audience, providing valuable content (and boosting your inbound marketing) is something you should be focused on throughout not only 2020, but every upcoming year.
We've come across a few basic tips to leverage technology in 2020. As stated, even small businesses can – and should embrace the latest technology (not only in 2020, but beyond).
Weird. Your page likes or followers remain the same, but you no longer reach as many of them as you did in the past, right? The reason is obvious – algorithms change as does the business strategy of social media networks. Let me explain what I mean by that.
In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would reduce the organic reach of branded content and will focus more on “meaningful connections”. What is a meaningful connection you may wonder… Facebook no longer aims to keep you on their feed as long as it can, but instead focuses on quality time. Thus, users should be much more in touch with their friends, communities and groups than they are part of and, most importantly, truly interested in when it comes to content.
What is the result of this change? A 34% decline in organic reach on average. But that hasn't been the first time we faced such a drop in organic reach...
In other words, those who were building their community and follower base on Facebook in the “early days” of Facebook leveraged the opportunity to reach almost everyone for free. Today it's totally different.
This strategy applies for more platforms, of course. Instagram (being owned by Facebook) follow the same rules. So do the others… And it makes (economically) completely sense for them.
How to get out of it?
It looks like a huge problem, right? But what if you can use this to your advantage? Focus on great content, optimize according to the data that you get and leverage the latest Facebook formats and you may overcome your competitor pretty soon… Not everyone is able to follow the trend and change the processes accordingly.
Here are some tips to follow to increase your reach:
It is well-known that visual content is the basis of success on social networks. It’s easier for users to consume pictures and videos, than text. It’s also more visible in a mess of other content. According to some studies, tweets with pictures receive up to 150% more retweets than plain text posts without pictures. So, it is clear that the importance of visual content is steadily increasing and you definitely shouldn't ignore it.
You don't have to worry, you don't need to hire expensive agencies right away. You don't even have to learn to work with complicated and expensive tools, like Photoshop. Fortunately, today there are plenty of free online and mobile apps available to create visual content in just a few clicks.
In this article we will introduce you to 40+ tools that are available on the internet for free. We use these tools on a daily basis, so we can highly recommend them.
By far the most famous online tool for creating all kinds of visuals, and not just for social media. Canva allows you to create literally everything you can think of — from nice Facebook covers to Instagram Stories to beautiful Infographics. You can choose from dozens of templates and it all works for web browsers or mobile apps.
Whether you need a simple pie chart or a complex business graphic, Vizzlo's portfolio offers you a broad range of different visualization choices. It works for browsers and it is easy to use. You can enter your data using the simple sidebar, and then choose to import spreadsheets from Excel or Google Sheets. Add the result to your slides and documents or directly share it on all your social media channels.
An endless collection of various templates, fonts, logos, flyers and much more. Graphicriver is where you can find ready-made graphic designs for almost any digital content. You don't need to hire an expensive agency and create all visuals and graphics from scratch. It is often enough to modify existing templates. This saves you not only a bunch of time, but also money, because the prices of the templates are very low.
Tip: If you are not familiar with editing graphics, try to outsource it via Fivver.
Size matters! At least when it comes to social media. Landscape has hundreds of recommended dimensions, sizes and ratios across different platforms and devices. It is easy to get lost in these constantly changing numbers. So try to use Landscape by Sprout, it helps you resize multiple images for your profiles automatically.
Is affiliate marketing effective for small businesses? Can this channel help your business get more customers and earn more money? The short answer is yes. The long answer is thoroughly described below, with all the details and explanations you need to successfully jump into leveraging affiliate marketing for your brand or product.
Customers are already searching for your product. Every second, there are 75,000 search queries managed by Google. That's just one search engine. Now add Youtube, Bing, Amazon – the greatest marketplace – and thousands of forums…. That means you can get in front of their eyes – to offer what they need or desire.
How can you attract the attention of as many people (your potential customers) as possible? Be excellent at SEO and constantly mine as many relevant search terms (keywords) as possible. In order to do that, you need to choose the right tool(s). We've tested many tools to generate high-quality organic traffic to our website. Now we'd like to make your life easier by sharing the 9 best-in-breed tools for keyword research so that you can boost your business in 2020 + 1 hint (really low hanging fruit)!
Before we jump into that, we would like to point out that there will be a HUGE paradigm shift in 2020. Voice search is predicted to be used for 50% of all searches done online! That means that your strategy needs to be aligned with that in mind. Creating voice content will continue to be more relevant over time.
Let's jump into what you are truly interested in, shall we?!
Spyfu is a complex SEO tool that allows you to track the activity of your competitors or market leaders. When it comes to keyword research, it allows you to show the average search volume of keywords, get suggestions on what else people search, it gives ranking history that shows what domains occupy the top positions and how they do over time. Besides that, you can find domains that - if they link to your website – will help you rank high on a desired keyword. Yes, it has a plethora of great tools! Spyfu, nonetheless, is not a free tool. Their pricing plans start at 33 USD a month. Besides keyword research tools, which we mentioned, Spyfu offers a variety of other features.
Google owns all the data from searches on both Google and Youtube. Google Keyword Planner shows you precise volume of searches for a certain period of time. This data can be segmented by either country and region or device. Besides historical metrics, Google Keyword Planner shows you a forecast of how your ads may perform when using certain words. Your paid campaigns can be, thus, perfectly planned. The great news is that this tool is free. The only constraint is that you have to have a Google Ads account.
The great thing about Google Keyword Planner is that it shows you a search volume trend. Thus, you can look at how often your brand was searched at some point in the past versus today. This information shows you the awareness of your brand (or product) over time.
Similarly to Spyfu, Ahrefs offers more features that you can use to boost your SEO. The great thing about Ahrefs is that you can research keywords by platforms (like Google or Youtube). Besides main features like Keyword Research or Backlink Research, Ahrefs offers so called Content Research, that allows you to catch the buzz around certain topics. The pricing starts at 99 USD per month. You can, nonetheless, start with 7 USD for a 7 day trial and see what you can get out of it.
This browser add-on that works both with Chrome and Firefox is a great tool to see similar keywords everywhere! If you type a query on Google, this tool shows you similar keywords and its search volume. If you type a product name on Amazon, guess what… Keywords Everywhere shows you suggested keywords that may appear in your SEO or PPC plan. According to those, you might want to create content on your website, adjust the description of your product or trigger a paid campaign. This extension offers both free and paid features.
Moz is an all-in-one SEO tool that not only gives you a plethora of free features, but also educates you on the complicated SEO industry. Its keyword research offers similar features like the ones from Ahrefs or Spyfu. What makes Moz great – especially for small businesses – is the “MOZ Local” feature that distributes the information about your local business across all important search platforms. Moz is a paid tool that has a few free tools available. The pricing for MOZ Local starts at 129 USD a year, while a basic version of MOZ is available for 99 USD a month or more.
Owned by Neil Patel, an SEO guru, who helps both small businesses and enterprises grow their organic traffic, Ubersuggest is a tool that shows you the search volume for a particular keyword that can be divided by country and language. Moreover, this tool shows you a trend throughout the year so that you can see when certain keywords achieve their peak (like winter jackets do in winter). Metric “SEO difficulty” helps you uncover a potential to rank high for a particular expression. Thanks to this data, you are able to optimise content on your website so that more people discover your business. You can use this SEO tool free of charge.
Are you still with us? Because here is a Google tool that is totally free! Google Trends is all about, well, trends. Shocking, isn't it? Do you want to know the 3 key topics on Youtube in 2019? Sorry, Ted Talks and Baby Yoda moments (he made the chart below ;)), but the topics at the top were Music, Songs and Fortnite…Predictable? Perhaps, if you're an avid fan of Fortnite. Google Trends helps you uncover trending topics that, again, can help you create engaging content and rank high on search engines.
Let's get back to the tools for which you'd have to pay a bit. SEMRush offers an all-in-one SEO tool that differentiates in a few ways from Moz or Ahrefs. Amongst others, this tool gives you a so called, “Keyword Magic Tool” that helps you find relevant keywords, it then groups them to separate them further by topics, picks the most valuable keywords and saves them into the Keyword Analyzer and exports those keywords so that you can play with them on other platforms like Google Ads. The pricing starts at 99 USD a month, so the cost is also similar to Ahrefs or Moz.
Another great tool for in-depth keyword research. The good thing about KWFinder is that it shows you search queries divided into groups: related keywords, autocomplete and questions. Nowadays, people are using whole questions for their online searches, not simply one or two-word phrases. In fact, the average search query has 4 words.
With KWFinder, you can find so called long tail phrases – the ones that have a low search volume, but a higher probability of a user's intention to buy or complete any action you desire. If I search for a “family car”, I probably haven't decided yet, if I truly want to buy a new vehicle or not. Whereas, if I search for a “BMW X7 2019 Black xDrive40i”, I may be much more into making my final decision…
We've presented many tools (free and paid) to mine keywords that people type in when they search on Google, Youtube or Amazon. But what we haven't covered – until now – are forums! You'd be surprised to see how many questions and topics forums, like Reddit or Quora, gather. Is this a relevant source for your keyword research? You bet it is. When you create your keyword list and want to find out what catches people's attention, use the forums. Go through the trending sections, read the questions and answers that are considered the best ones to get a complete idea of what to cover in your web content, ad copy or even product development – yes, what people search may guide you on how to create your product roadmap.
We promised you 9+1 best-in-breed tools for keyword research to boost your business in 2020. 9 tools have been mentioned. Let's finalise it with one last suggestion. The easiest and most obvious one...
Yes, you are right. This is exactly what I have in mind:
Try to type something into Google, Amazon, Bing, Youtube or any other platform that uses a similar algorithm and see what it suggests. These suggestions are not randomly generated. On the contrary, they are based on similar searches (according to relevancy and search volume). Google places these suggestions into two parts: the search field and the bottom of the page:
All in all, you have a complete tool stack to get started with your keyword research! Keep in mind that it is a crucial part of your SEO activities, so make sure to do it properly. Happy searching! :)
This is a short guidance on how to create your business page. As mentioned in the article about facebook formats, the business page is sort of a profile of your business. Once it is set up, you can post any promotion, funny story, new opening hours or whatever you find relevant there.
Creating the page itself is not difficult. You only need your Facebook profile. In the upper bar on your profile, find the button “Create” and select “Page”. Choose “business or brand” and then enter all the needed info.
You will be asked for the page name, your business address (it does not have to be shown to anyone), your profile picture, as well as the cover picture. As you can see in the picture below.
When you enter all the information, you can start building the content of the page and then start inviting people. In the upper bar you can go, for example, to your inbox to check your messages, in the Insights section you can see how posts and the page perform overall, and in the publishing tools, you can schedule your posts as we explained in the previous article about community management.
If there is a specific action you want the visitors of your page to make, you can add a button for “Shop now”, “Contact us”, “Download game/app”, and plenty of other options. It is handy and makes the page look professional.
It is very easy to add any piece of content to your business page, but sometimes it is confusing to switch between your profile and the page. Lots of entrepreneurs struggle with posting personal things on their business page and vice versa :). Don’t forget to switch between profile and page! On your mobile phone you can find your page on your hamburger menu. On the desktop, you can switch to it in the upper bar by clicking the little arrow.
Creating a page is not a big deal, right? To use the whole potential of Facebook for businesses, you should create a business manager account, as well as, an ad account to be able to run your paid ad campaigns. Regarding Facebook advertising, you can find complex info in our e-book!