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8 Affordable Online Marketing Tricks for Startup Businesses

8 Affordable Online Marketing Tricks for Startup Businesses
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According to research, 9 out of 10 startups are bound to fail. One of the reasons why startup businesses fail is the lack of funds to fuel their advertising campaign and become visible within the niche. Since most new companies don’t have the money to invest on traditional advertising strategies, it is a good idea to learn how to use online marketing strategies instead.

Online marketing makes a great alternative to the expensive traditional advertising methods. Online marketing is a cost effective option that even businesses with the smallest marketing capital can use. Thanks to our digital world, a startup can build their presence online at a minimal cost.

Here are eight effective online marketing strategies that startups can adapt.

1. Create superb content

Content is an important currency in today’s world of digital marketing. Content drives traffic, helps improve ranking, and could potentially help your site convert. However, you have to understand that it is not just any type of content. You have to ensure the quality of content that you produce.

How exactly do you make superb content for your online marketing campaign? As rule of thumb, content must be original and valuable. It should contain information useful to a particular niche.

Also, you have to maximize using headlines in order to help readers keep track of what you are discussing. Just how important are the headlines? 80% of people will read your headlines, but only 20% will read the entire content.

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It is also important to include images and videos to keep the readers interested. More importantly, images can be used to get ideas across even better. Next, you also want to consider the length. It has been proven that longer content favors your SEO strategy.

2. Increase the reach in social media

Social media is a game changer for startup entrepreneurs. It has altered the way businesses influence and communicate to their market. It has also benefited startups by providing them with leads. In order to maximize the use of social media, it is pertinent to increase your reach in social media.

Facebook is still the largest social media platform online. With billions of accounts, Facebook is (appropriately) the face of social media marketing. Unfortunately, organic reach for Facebook pages declined since the platform changed its algorithm. From 16% reach in 2012, organic reach is only at an average of 2.7% last year.

In order to increase the reach in social media, you will have to resort to both organic and paid methods. For organic methods, it is important to develop a voice that matches your company’s branding. Next, it is important to know exactly when to post. Timing is important, especially in maximizing engagement. Also, you need to share valuable content more than you promote your products and services.

As for paid methods, you need to first know your market well. This way, you get the most from your advertising budget on social media. It is important to know the demographic, and the location of your market to maximize results.

Also, it is highly advisable to mix the use of social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have different specializations, which make them unique. Each unique social media platform provides another way to help you reach your niche.

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3. Improve SEO

How important is SEO for startup entrepreneurs? According to statistics, organic search leads have generated an average of 14.6% close rate. Also, 75% of Google users will simply stay on the first page of the search result. This means that finding your site even on just the second page of the search result equates lower traffic and fewer views.

In terms of cost, SEO is also cost effective. In fact, it is considered 61% cheaper than outbound marketing. Why is it affordable? SEO experts maximize what any given search engine’s algorithm offers. Marketers simply adapt to the changing algorithm in order to maintain and improve a site’s ranking.

Over the years, Google has improved its algorithm in favor of websites that provide the best user experience. This is why web owners are forced to adapt a mobile friendly site, and to have high quality content to provide their niche. Social media also becomes a game changer as it provides signals to search engine spiders which entries become trending.

4. Use influencers

Influencer marketing is relatively new in the range of effective online marketing strategies. However, in terms of concept, it is a modern means of word-of-mouth advertising. Influencer marketing is the use of a person’s network to promote a product or service.

Influencers can range from bloggers, to famous people on Instagram, and even YouTube celebrities. A startup entrepreneur can manage to increase the reach of their startup company once they have the right influencer. This is also a low maintenance and cost effective marketing strategy. Typically, influencers only require freebies.

5. Make a responsive website

There is no reason for startup entrepreneurs to ignore redesigning an outdated website. It is no secret that with improving technology, we have witnessed an increase in traffic from mobile phones and tablets. 16% of the entire web traffic now comes from mobile sources.

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Your website will reflect what your company is all about in the eyes of your market. According to a survey conducted by Google, almost 50% of users think that the company doesn’t care about their business if they don’t have a responsive website.

In case your site is still not mobile friendly, you are missing out on a lot. In addition to this, 70% of mobile searches have led to an action.

6. Use visuals

It has been proven that visuals can affect how a person thinks. In fact, addition of visuals can boost a person’s willingness to finish an entire text by as much as 80%. Also, associating visual images to information improves the retention of data.

By implementing visual strategy on their online marketing, startup entrepreneurs can increase the likelihood that their market is going to purchase from them by as much as 85%.

What are the types of visuals that you could invest in? Infographics make a great option. According to statistics, there’s an 800% increase in search volume for infographics from 2010 to 2012. What makes infographics popular is their ability to convey statistics and ideas in a simplified manner.

Videos also make a great option for visual marketing. YouTube and Vimeo are among the most popular video marketing platforms used by startups today.

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 7. Email marketing

A lot of startup entrepreneurs may hesitate in using email marketing given the presence of social media. To give you an idea about the power of email marketing, 77% of consumers prefer to receive marketing communications via email. Also, 44% of email recipients have purchased at least once because of a promotional email.

Startup entrepreneurs should understand that email marketing remains a proven effective online marketing strategy. In fact, 89% of marketers believe that email marketing is their primary channel for lead generation. In 2012, email ad revenue has reached $156 million according to a study.

As far as the cost goes, emails are free! In order to get noticed, you simply need to catch someone’s attention with a great headline and content.

8. Offer freebies

Does freebie marketing really work? How can a business afford to give something totally free? For startup businesses, offering freebies can help your business in so many ways. It can open a different market, not to mention prove your company’s worth.

What are things that you can offer for free? Valuable content is usually given for free in order to catch the attention of the market. Content may come in the form of blogs, but for startup businesses that want to take it to the next level, they can make an e-book instead. It is also possible to offer free videos, as well.

There are many creative ways on how to make use of freebies. For example, if you are selling a product, you can give coupon codes, or raffle off free items on social media every now and then.

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Conclusion

It is possible for startup businesses to reach their marketing goals despite having a small marketing budget. By using the right online marketing strategy, it is possible to not only get more people to look in your direction, but also increase your sales.

Featured photo credit: Jay Wennington via unsplash.com

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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