Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a New Product or Service

This guide assumes you've done all your homework in terms of market research. You've developed and tested the idea, built the prototype, gone through beta testing, and now you're ready to launch your new baby into the world. Your strategy can make or break your success, so it's critical to go into everything with a plan. You'll need to first define your sales objectives – and the more research you do in this stage, the more successful you can be. You'll also want to schedule a launch date, so you can develop the appropriate timeline for everything in your product…

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6 Ways to Nail Social Customer Service

A 2013 survey showed 2/3 of customers have used a company's social media website for customer service purposes. And younger consumers, between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to use a brands' social media presence for service interactions than they are for marketing. Another study revealed 33% of customers would rather go to social media than reach out to a company on the telephone. That means businesses must provide customer service through their social media channels, and while some of them are doing a great job (read: Netflix, JetBlue, and Starbucks), others aren't doing much of anything…

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How to Create Solid Self-Help Options for Customers

By 2020, 85% of the customer relationship will be managed without ever speaking to a person. Why is that? Well, it's at least in part due to the fact that businesses are recognizing how much their customers hate dealing with customer service. In fact, 1/3 of people would rather scrub a toilet than talk on the phone to an agent. While that means agents need to be available on other channels, like live chat, email, and social media, it also suggests customers are interested in self-help options that allow them to solve their problems without dealing without customer service at…

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7 Types of Visual Content You Should Include in Your Strategy

Anyone with an internet connection can create and share content – visual or otherwise. This translates to a vast array of professional and amateur content, and a crowded environment. To stand out in any content marketing campaign, you must have quality, of course, but visual content can set you apart from the crowd. Why visual content? 90% of the information the brain processes is visual. 65% of people are visual learners. And, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. But, when that information is paired with a relevant visual, the three-day…

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8 Ways to Test the Validity of Your Product or Service

If you've got an idea you think would make you rich – you could be right. Or, you could be wrong. It's important to test the validity of your idea before pouring tons of time, energy, and money into something. Yeah, you can be excited about it, but just because you are doesn't mean the rest of the world will be. Why waste those resources if you're not going to be able to turn a profit? Check out these eight ways to find out if there's a market for what you're thinking about introducing.   Generating Workable Ideas If you…

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Complete Guide to Integrate PR with Content Marketing

For years, the PR industry has been changing. The increased use of the internet and social media lends itself to a decrease in traditional media readership. It also means more brands are taking control of their reputation online, which in some cases is great PR, and in others, creates a nightmare. PR, according to the Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA, is "a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." Essentially, PR is the art and practice of building relationships. Relationships matter in personal and professional life – they can make or break…

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Eric Sachs on Challenge Assumptions Podcast

Eric Sachs joined Greg and Gene on the Challenge Assumptions Podcast to talk about the world of SEO. In the 50-minute episode, Eric, Greg and Gene discuss: How Eric got started in SEO and digital marketing. The future of SEO and mobile marketing. Keeping transparency in the forefront of your company. Why Sachs Marketing Group has never had a "charge back." [embed]http://traffic.libsyn.com/challengeassumptions/016_Eric_Sachs.mp3[/embed]   Transcript Gene:                        The Challenge Assumption's podcast is brought to you by Dolphin Consulting – your source for the latest sales and marketing techniques and training in any industry. Visit DolphinConsulting.org today. Eric Sachs:               I just happened to…

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7 Email Segmentation Ideas for Maximizing Email Profits

Across different industries, email marketing has proven to be an effective strategy in online marketing. Smart marketers have embraced it already: A survey report by an online technology reviews firm revealed that out of 200 marketers surveyed 97% of them are using email marketing software. If you’re already using email marketing, you need to take it a step further to begin to see dramatic results.   Email segmentation? Here’s how Email Monday defines it: Email marketing segmentation is the art of splitting your list into different groups. These groups – or segments – consist of people with similar characteristics. Segments can then be emailed…

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How to Get Your Fans Actively Involved in Your SMM Campaign

Creating and executing a social media marketing (SMM) campaign is complex business – with a number of variants along the way. You have to think about what networks you're wanting to include, what your end goals are, and how you think current and prospective fans will respond. Nothing really ever guarantees campaign success, but one of the best ways to swing the odds in your favor is to actively involve your fans, somehow. The options are practically limitless, but you'll of course need to factor in your niche, budget, and other considerations before you determine the best way to do…

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8 Business Blogging Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Blogging is hard work. It takes consistent effort, time, and dedication to get it done right. Your blog isn't going to take off overnight, and thus it can be discouraging. In fact, it may even be tempting to trash it in favor or something else – more pressing activities. But, I'm here to tell you, blogging is worth it – especially for your business. But, whether you've been blogging for a month, six months, or six years, there are many common mistakes you can make. And I'm here to show you what they are, and what you can do to…

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7 Time Sucks That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

If you're constantly feeling overwhelmed and like there aren't enough hours in the day to get through everything you possibly need to do, it's time to evaluate your time management skills. It's time to take a look at what's really taking up your time during the day, and become more aware of the things that are killing your work productivity. Whether you work in a standard office like me, or work from home like many of the people I know, I am willing to bet there's at least one, if not more of the things on the list below that are…

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The Fool-Proof Guide to YouTube Marketing

Did you know, YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any cable network in the United States? That's pretty impressive, and incredibly telling about our media consumption habits. If you're marketing to anyone in that age group and you're not engaging in YouTube marketing, you're missing out. Just as with anything else in online marketing, you shouldn't start without a plan. Randomly grabbing your cell phone and recording a video from your living room could work, but it won't necessarily. Save that kind of thing for Facebook Live or Periscope. Ready to dig in your heels…

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Cold Pitching Isn’t Dead: How to Nail Your Next Pitch

If you're cold pitching – you're pitching your story (or your product) to someone you don't already have a connection with, with the hope that they'll run your story, or buy your product. Maybe you don't want them to buy your product right this second, but you want them to attend a webinar or schedule a demo, so you can try to sell them later. These days, it seems everywhere you look, there's someone bashing the cold call or pitch. But, I'm here to tell you – it's not dead. Just like with anything else in marketing, it won't work…

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26 Tools to Monitor Your Brand (And the Competition!)

Brand marketing is an absolutely essential part of your online marketing strategy. You need to monitor your brand – and your competition, too. You may have SEO locked down so people can easily find the relevant content your company produces, but if they are not satisfied with the product, service, or customer service experience, they may be making that displeasure widely known throughout social media channels. But it's not enough to pay attention to what they're saying about you. By keeping a close watch on what people are saying about the competition you can learn from both their mistakes and their…

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Building a Facebook Audience for Your Brand Page – Top Do’s and Don’ts

When first starting to build a social media presence for your brand, it’s important to avoid certain activities, while focusing your efforts on attracting followers. Not just any followers will do, however. Without targeted fans, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. But, building a Facebook audience isn’t just about what you post on the page, and how often you post. Yes, those things play a role, but there are certain things you can to turn an audience away, even as you try to attract them. Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t do as you…

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10 Email Marketing Secrets to Gaining Tons of New Subscribers

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to communicate with prospects and customers. The average open rate varies from industry to industry, with those in the hobbies industry getting the highest open rate of 28.85%, and the highest click through rate of 5.41%. Perhaps not so shockingly, daily deals and e-coupon emails get the lowest open rate of 13.87%, and the lowest click through rate of 1.81%. The point is, some industries do better with email marketing than others, just due to the nature of the business. But no matter which niche you're serving and the size of…

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9 Foolproof Ways to Transform Into a Better Blogger Today

Whether you're blogging for personal reasons with the intention of monetizing and turning it into a business in the future, or you're blogging as a means of lead generation for your business, there is always room for improvement. With tens of thousands of blogs created on just WordPress.com alone, every single day, the competition is always fierce. Granted, many of these blogs are soon abandoned, but with persistent effort and dedication, you can become a better blogger. Check out these tips to help you get started.   Read Other Blogs One of the best ways to learn is through reading…

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Step-By-Step Guide to Building an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

An editorial calendar for your blog helps you keep up with what needs to be written and published and when. It's a good idea to put one together for the month, if not for the year, at the beginning of the year. It helps you plan your blog's content around marketing campaigns, holidays, and other events, too. Knowing what you've got coming up ensures your content and other assets are always ready to go ahead of time off and sick days. Plus, if you’ve got a team of people working on the blog, the editorial calendar keeps everyone working from…

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Your Complete Guide to Creating a Link Roundup

Whether you're a business owner or marketer, you know the value of traffic to your website. One of the best ways to build traffic and links is through a link roundup. And, if you choose to host your own, you'll get a piece of curated content to post on your blog. In this guide, I'll explain what a link round up is, and how to include them in your strategy to build relationships with other bloggers.   What is a Link Roundup? A link round up is basically a blog posts that features links to other people's blog posts. Usually,…

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The Ultimate Social Media Launch Guide

When you're a brand new company, you know social media is an essential part of your success, but getting started can be incredibly overwhelming. There are so many social media platforms out there to choose from, and there's this idea floating around that to be successful, you must be everywhere. The truth is, you should only be where your customers are. If you're not targeting a primarily Millennial audience, then there's not much point in being on Snapchat. If you don't have the equipment to do YouTube videos right now, don't launch that channel yet. The most important thing to…

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Developing a Successful Customer Loyalty Program

Today's consumer belongs to an average of 13.4 loyalty programs, but are only active in 6.7. More than half of brands (57%) say they'll increase loyalty program budgets in 2017. Why? The simple fact is it costs more to sell to a brand new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. It makes good business sense to reward the people who are loyal to your company, to keep them coming back for more, and convert them to brand ambassadors who are out there championing for you. But, unfortunately for marketers, it's not just slapping together any old…

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Understanding Creative Commons Licenses

You use images online and off – for nearly everything in your business. Your business card, flyers, brochures, menus, social media graphics, blog posts… they are everywhere. And if you're just Googling the images you want, and saving from there, you could be in serious trouble. If the licensing isn't right – you're stealing. So, what's the answer? Creative Commons. The Creative Commons licenses are a blessing for creatives and small businesses alike. Creatives often don't want their work used for free without credit, but at the same time, small businesses don't have the budget to be paying for expensive…

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Guest Blogging vs Outreach: What’s Better for Your Backlinking Strategy?

Both guest blogging and blogger/influencer outreach help to increase exposure for your business. These tactics can help you go beyond search engine optimization and social media to help you reach a broader audience, taking advantage of audiences others have already built. Both, however, rely on developing relationships with other bloggers in your industry, which take time to cultivate properly for the best possible result. Learn the difference between the two methods, and how you can use them both to expand your marketing backlinking strategy.   What is Guest Blogging? Guest blogging refers to submitting a blog post that is featured…

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16 Ways to Promote Your Infographics

Infographics have become one of the most popular ways to share large amounts of information in an easy to understand format. When done properly they are visually pleasing, interesting, and useful. One of the best ways to repurpose popular content is to design a new infographic using the information. Once the infographic is ready to publish, use some of the following techniques to promote your infographics and ensure as many people as possible can benefit from it.     Locate the Right Influencers Think about the most important aspect of the infographic and who would benefit from the information. Look…

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Crafting a Social Media Policy That Works

We've all heard stories about people getting fired after their employer discovered something on social media. Sometimes, it's because of something the employee said about the company or a customer; other times, it was because of something unrelated to their work, but a result of their online activity in their personal life. Do you want to avoid these situations and bad publicity for your business? The answer is to develop a social media policy that's shared with employees during the onboarding process. It helps to mitigate the risks for you as an employer and for them as the employee, and…

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