Small Business Marketing

  • Winning the Hashtag Wars: How to Use Hashtags to Increase Your Reach and Strengthen Your Brand

    Hashtags can have a huge effect on your content and, therefore, your brand. How can you use them strategically to strengthen that brand and increase..

  • 51 Online Marketing Tactics That Get Results

    Here’s the thing, you guys. Every business is different, and the internet marketing strategies that work for one company may not suit the goals of another, and vice versa. (That’s why it can be a real plus to have an experienced online marketing agency on your side, like, say, for example… Marketing Zen!) So, to help out as many businesses as we can in one fell swoop, we’ve compiled this huge, humongous, gigantic list of 51 different online marketing tactics, so that you can wade through them all and pick and choose which ones would do the most good in your particular situation. Again, not every tip will work in every situation, so choose wisely. Take your company’s internet marketing resources into consideration when planning your online marketing activities, so you are only taking on as much as you can reasonably handle. And keep your business goals in plain sight the whole time, so that each and every tactic you implement will be in their service. So without any further ado, and in no particular order, here is our list of 51 online marketing tactics that get results. 1. Write a blog. Having fresh content on your business website is…

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  • 5 Ways to Choose a Keynote Speaker that Delivers Value to Your Audience

    Putting together a successful event involves a lot of prep work. You have to deal with finding an appropriate venue that will be comfortable for your audience, a time of year that is convenient for most to travel, a stimulating itinerary for attendees, and more. What many people are now starting to realize is that a keynote speaker is crucial to the success of any conference or event. What most people know then, is that—they should probably have a keynote speaker at their event. What many people don’t know though is how to choose the best candidate to be a keynote. Choosing a keynote speaker is a delicate process and in the end, can be the factor that makes or breaks how successful your event is. That being said, we’re here to make sure you make the right decision. Here are the things you should keep in mind when reviewing candidates for your keynote. Think of Your Budget Credit: Meetings and Conventions, North Star Travel Media Although it’s certainly not the most fun to think about, you have to think about money when it comes to your event. And being that you have to think about money, it’s important to…

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  • Learn How to Market the Zen Way with Shama

    Here at Marketing Zen, our days are spent working hard and constantly corresponding with one another to ensure that our clients’ needs are met and our way of doing things is constantly improving. Behind that drive is our CEO, Shama Hyder. While you don’t get to spend your days with her like we do (sorry, we’ll try not to brag), you’ll get a chance to chat live with her this Thursday, April 23rd. She will join Inc.’s Senior Editor Kris Frieswick for a live video interview. She’ll discuss what it takes to succeed as a young entrepreneur, the best marketing and digital strategy tips for modern businesses, and more. To ask questions before or during the chat, use the hashtag #IncLiveChat on Twitter or Facebook, or write them in the comments section below. We’re looking forward to you joining in on the conversation!

  • MZ Goes Back To College: Marketing Insights From Dr. Bob McDonald

    In today’s rapidly changing world, continuing education is a necessity. No matter what industry a person or a business is immersed in, new technology and new trends require continuous updates to training. But nowhere is the rapid pace of development more evident than in the world of online marketing. One important means of keeping abreast of the latest in online marketing is to tap into the wisdom of experts – reading blogs, watching videos, attending webinars. And here at Marketing Zen, we do all of those things regularly in our effort to be the best. But we’re also taking it a step further. MZ is going back to college – and we’re taking you, our lucky readers, with us! In our new blog series, we’ll be interviewing some of the most distinguished minds in the country – university professors who have dedicated themselves to the ongoing study of marketing. These thinkers will be able to give us – and you – unique perspective and insight into the world of online marketing. We’re excited to be back in class! Our first interview features Dr. Bob McDonald, United Supermarkets Professor of Marketing at Texas Tech University. Kaitlin Bain, one of our content…

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  • Google’s Latest Algorithm Change Infuriates Online Marketers

    SEO: This week, Google’s head of webspam released a video to address a common question: how does Google separate the concept of popularity from that of authority? The answer is that the team is still working on new algorithms to accomplish that. An example given was, although porn sites may be more popular than government sites, government sites are almost always more authoritative. Google’s goal, therefore, is to focus on awarding higher rankings to sites that hold more authority on particular topics. Google recently confirmed that some GoogleBot useragent spiders are not properly passing verification protocol. GoogleBot, crawling over a certain IP range, was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was, “no such host is known.” Acknowledging that the problem is on their end, Google has temporarily stopped GoogleBot activity in the .249.70.0/24 IP range and will fix the issue before continuing to crawl within that range. Technology: Amazon Fire (not to be confused with the Kindle Fire) launched this week, giving consumers yet another way to stream content from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon itself, on their televisions. Priced at $99, Amazon’s set-top box supports 720p and 1080p resolutions and includes features…

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  • Why Personal Use of Smartphones Is Wrecking Your Business

    Today, we here at Marketing Zen are excited to bring you a blog post from contributing author Barry Moltz, nationally recognized author, speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. The smartphone is the silent killer in any business. It keeps many companies stuck in neutral and prevents them from truly soaring to their potential. Most companies don’t enforce rules for smartphones that are being used for personal reasons during work hours. In my “Unstuck” survey of 5,000 small business owners, fifty-five percent revealed they have an informal policy and if people don’t abuse it, they do not enforce it. Only three percent actually ban these devices from work. Twenty percent of owners just throw up their hands and answered “You mean there is a choice?” Many managers see people using these phones on the job, but have a difficult time figuring out what they are doing that is business related. They know that using smartphones keeps employees distracted from effectively doing their best work, but feel powerless to do anything about it. They don’t want to intrude into their employees’ personal lives and realize how attached most of them are to their phones. However, they can’t help feeling this activity does not allow…

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  • Marketing Stars Series: An Interview With John Jantsch

    In our Marketing Stars Series, we bring you insights from some of the top influencers in the world of online marketing. We’ve asked the best of the best to share their insider knowledge with you, our readers, so that you can harness the power of their expert advice, tips, and tricks in your own marketing efforts. Today, we are honored to have the opportunity to bring you our interview with John Jantsch. John is a marketing consultant and speaker, and the best selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine, and The Referral Engine.  We are thrilled that he agreed to answer a few questions for us .  1. John, tell us a little bit about what it is you do, and why you’re so passionate about it. I’m a marketing consultant, author and speaker but mostly I just try to make marketing as simple as it really is. 2. Can you give us a quick intro to Duct Tape Marketing and its mission? Duct Tape Marketing is the brand name I’ve given to my attempt to turn marketing into a system that eliminates the frustration that business owners feel around marketing their businesses. 3. How did you get started in this industry?…

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  • Marketing Stars Series: An Interview With Danny Wong

    In our Marketing Stars Series, we bring you insights from some of the top influencers in the world of online marketing. We’ve asked the best of the best to share their insider knowledge with you, our readers, so that you can harness the power of their expert advice, tips, and tricks in your own marketing efforts. Today, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring you our interview with Danny Wong of Shareaholic. Danny is a rock star in the content marketing space, and we are honored that he agreed to answer a few questions for us .   1.  Danny, for the readers who don’t know you, could you please tell us a little bit about what it is you do, and why you’re passionate about it? As the Marketing Manager at Shareaholic, I wear a number of different hats. Primarily, I edit and manage our blog, where we publish articles about content marketing, traffic acquisition and noteworthy traffic trends. I also work with journalists and bloggers to create buzz around our announcements as long as our *news* actually has industry-wide implications rather than simply news that only impacts our business. I love what I do because I actually…

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  • 25 Signs It’s Time To Outsource Your Online Marketing to an Agency

    You know, we here at Marketing Zen totally celebrate  the entrepreneurial mindset – regardless of your company size. We understand the passion you feel for what you do. The buzz of excitement that keeps you going, even when you’re exhausted. The drive to succeed that keeps you up at night, dreaming of new ways to grow the business. We understand, because we feel the same way about our own company. But sometimes, that passionate dedication to your business can cause you to take on too much or to ask your team to take on more than they can. As an entrepreneur, you may feel that to get things done right, you need to do them yourself. Or maybe you’re just reluctant to let go of any aspect of your business or your job, loving it as much as you do. We get it. But we also know that sometimes, outsourcing certain aspects of your business can be a smart move. Whether you’re a founder with a growing company – and a team that’s tapped out – or you’re a CMO who needs an agency to help get it all done, outsourcing your online marketing can be the way to go….

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  • 7 Ideas for Making Your Company’s Pinterest Page Stand Out

    Yay! Pinterest is so much fun! So many pretty pictures… So many yummy-looking recipes…  So many adorable crafts to make… So many gorgeous products to buy… Soooo many…. Whoa! Sorry about that! See how easy it is to get hypnotized into a Pinterest daze? And if you’re not careful, that’s exactly what can happen to you as you set up your company’s Pinterest page. To avoid getting lost in the pretty, you’ve got to think military strike. Go in with a clearly defined strategy, execute, and then get out. Well, okay, maybe you can look around for a while – once you’ve finished what you came there to do. Don’t worry – those darling hand-crocheted baby booties will still be there when you’re done. The key with Pinterest, as it is with every other social media channel you use to promote your business, is to stand out from the crowd. But how can you do that with Pinterest? After all, with every single user creating individual, unique boards, how can you make your page even more unique than anyone else’s? We’ve assembled a list of 7 ideas for doing just that. 1. Repin. Here’s the thing – even on Pinterest,…

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  • The 31 Best Online Holiday Marketing Campaigns Ever

    With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, most businesses are already thinking about how to convince customers to buy. Of course, with online marketing exerting one of the greatest influences on consumers when it comes to where they shop and what they buy, companies are spending a lot of their time – and money – crafting online campaigns to entice shoppers to their stores. One of the keys to making an online holiday marketing campaign successful is originality – so patterning your company’s campaign after someone else’s amazing idea is usually a mistake. But there’s no harm in taking a look at what others have done in order to get your creative juices flowing. We’ve assembled a list of the 31 best online holiday marketing campaigns from the past few years to help you brainstorm. 1. Target: Of course you remember “The Christmas Champ” – Target’s commercials featuring that crazy lady who was a little too pumped about Christmas shopping were ubiquitous in 2011. But they weren’t just on TV – Target used the same theme in their online marketing as well. Poking gentle fun at enthusiastic shoppers, while also subtly implying that they are heroes for going…

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