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I Have a Business: How Do I Advertise It (Social Media)

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Social Media? What is this? We just got use to email. With Facebook social media was born. So, what is social media? It is websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

While there are too many to mention, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, You Tube and Snapchat are some of the top social media outlets today.

I know some of you may not be a fan of social media. I can guarantee your audience is. With mobile apps social media is even easier to use than ever. Facebook really got the ball rolling. Being able to share your life with groups of people in a user friendly way caught on. Twitter made it easy to “tweet” quick updates. Instagram, get those pictures and videos out there in the moment things are happening. LinkedIn is geared to the professionals, giving people a way to find not just businesses but individuals to do business with.

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Pin those products, pictures, recipes so people can see them and share them. Jump on the Pinterest train. Snapchat seems to have really taken off with the young people. Snap that picture so all your friends can see what you are up to. You Tube allows people to get videos out there quickly and easily. Look how many You Tube stars there are and how fast a video can go viral in a matter of minutes.

From a business standpoint, you need to use some form of social media or you will lose a big part of your audience. Remember, when people tag post and photos of your business, you now are exposed to their social media audience. That is “FREE” publicity and exposure.

It is important that you are consistent with your social media. You want people to see you active. This will keep them engaged and checking in to see what’s going on with your business.

Social media. Whether you love it or hate it is an important part of the puzzle in advertising your business. It’s time to get social.

I Have a Business: How Do I Advertise (Websites)

Internet Background

With the birth of the internet came the need for a website for your business. This use to be a process that required lot of money as you would have to hire a web developer that could write html and other code to build the site. Flash sites were very popular, although now they don’t load fast enough depending on a person’s internet speed.

As time has gone on websites have become easier to make and there are a number of DIY platforms that have made it easier to have a website for your business. These platforms have taken out a lot of the need for custom coding that is costly to be done.

However, you need your website to have some specifics to make it give you the result you need to be successful. Choose a domain name that reflects your business and that his easy for people to remember. You need to have relevant content, pictures etc. so it reflects what your business is about.

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Simple is better. Make sure your site is easy to navigate. The homepage should be simple and clean so people can find what they want quickly and easily.

You need to have a lead capture. This is simply on the homepage where a person can put their first name and email address. This is important. Some people will go to a site and not want to fill out a contact form. They don’t necessarily want to be called. You can have a lot of visitors but if they don’t fill out the contact form or call you then you have no way of reaching them. If you have a lead capture and all they have to do is give their name and email you will capture a good amount of people. When they do this they are giving you permission to market to them.

While we want people to call us and do business with us, make sure that your site is informative not just buy from me. People don’t always want to be sold. Even if your product/service turns out not to be for one person, if your site is informative they might know someone that will want what you are offering and share your site with them.

In this world of mobile you need your site to be mobile friendly. If your site does not come up on phones and tablets in a friendly way people will move on to one that does. Not only that they won’t recommend you to others. One bad mobile experience can really hurt your business.

Most platforms automatically make this conversion. Make sure that it does so you don’t lose potential customers by not being mobile friendly

I Have a Business: How Do I Advertise

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You started a business! Congratulations! Now how do I navigate the advertising jungle to get my business out there? In this 5-part series we are going to help you do just that.

While advertising has evolved over the years there are still things that are still the same. Yes, technology has changed things but it is really adding on to the “old school” ways of advertising. Before the internet it was print advertising. This included: the yellow pages, newspapers, door hangers, flyers etc. We have seen all of these ways change, some seem to have disappeared for periods of time and come back.

Let’s start with the Yellow Pages. This book use to be thick and bulky. When people went to this book they needed a service and for the most part would look at the full page listings first and most of the time call them. Now because of online directories, the Yellow Pages book has shrunk significantly. The publishers of these books have added online listings, websites, and apps to their customers to give them more value. People continue to do business with them to get these add-ons.

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Newspapers have become less effective because like the yellow pages most everything is online. Remember, when the Sunday paper was thick and full of classifieds, coupons, inserts and more. Now like the Yellow Pages, newspaper have shrunk. The same goes for magazines. Rolling Stone use to be a large thick publication and now it is an 8 ½ by 11 book. If you are going to advertise with newspapers and magazines, see if they have an online version as most do these days.

Two print advertising methods that were big in the past and have started to make a comeback are door hangers and flyers. I get things dropped at my house on a regular basis. Businesses wouldn’t be spending the money if they weren’t getting results. If you are going to use this type of advertising here are a few things you can do to increase your response.

Make sure your website address and email address is listed. If you have a mobile app for iPhone/Android make sure the qr codes are on there so people can simply scan and download your app. Doing this people that are technology driven will take the time to pull up your website, email you or download your app.

Yes, technology is the way of the world and is here to stay. However, offline marketing is not going away either. The key is to make sure that you use both together in a way that will benefit your business.

How Do I Market My Business Online?

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With the constant expansion in technology today this is a challenging question to answer. Reason being, most businesses are being bombarded with calls, emails etc. on how should they market their business online. So, how do you market your business online?

The most important thing to know is that it is a puzzle. You need to have all the pieces, not just one or two. The difference with this puzzle is that pieces will be added as technology grows and changes.

What does the puzzle look like today?

The first piece is your website. You need not just a website, but a website that is monetized with the proper keywords for ranking in the search engines. You need your website to be mobile friendly so it comes up on phones and tablets. Google indexes websites that are mobile friendly over ones that aren’t. Also, your audience will move on to your competitor’s mobile friendly sites if yours isn’t mobile friendly.

Next you need to have social media. Whether you like it or not, your audience most likely uses social media. You should at least have Facebook and Twitter. Depending on the type of business you have Instagram, Pinterest and Snap Chat can be good to have. You should have a You Tube account. Videos are good for ranking. Remember, Google owns You Tube so they index well for videos.

Digital Marketing: This is getting you set up in all of the online directories. Most people are fixated on Yelp. However, there are over 50 directories out there. If you are not accurately listed in them you could be losing business. Being listed properly with an enhanced listing that includes a map, video, staff bios, special offers etc. will have people clicking on your listing more and in turn having them coming to your business instead of your competitors.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization: this one is a bit tricky and can be very costly. You want to make sure that when you pay for this you are being informed about exactly what is being done for you. There is more out there than just Google. Don’t get fixated on just being on page one of Google. Don’t forget about Yahoo and Bing. There are also other ways to maximize your online ranking to generate the right traffic to increase your business.

One of the newest pieces of the puzzle is a mobile app for iPhone/Android. It is not just the big guys out there that can have this great tool to market their business. Small to medium size businesses can now have a mobile app for their business as well. When someone downloads your app on their phone you now have residency on their phone. Also, Google is indexing based on if a business has a mobile app.

While it can be a jungle out there in the world of online marketing once you have your puzzle completed you will see the benefits: increased business. Be sure to add new pieces as the come out and you will be well on your way to being successful online with your business.

How Do I Advertise My App – Let Me Count The Ways…..

When you look at the giants such as Proctor and Gamble and Chase who spend over a billion dollars a year just on their advertising. These companies have no problem dropping a few million to promote their app, which is comparable to answering the daily emails. It is a task that has to be done. These big guys have the money as well as the staff to make it happen.

Most entrepreneurs don’t have the budget of a Proctor and Gamble or Chase. As a matter of fact, not even close. Most are on the typical shoestring budget. But fear not, there are many ways you can effectively promote your app at an affordable cost.

Microsites

You can make an auxiliary or what is known as a “microsite”. What this can do is highlight your app as a stand alone entity- not just one small product of your business. Just putting your app on your regular site can cause it to get lost with all the other content on your site. Do make sure to separate your microsite from your business site when you launch it. You still want it branded by your business. Doing this will remove distractions from your potential clients.

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Endorsements

Who do you know? Getting your app into the right people’s hands so they can endorse you is a great way. Obviously, the bigger the name the bigger impact it will have. If you can get a celebrity endorsement that would be the cream of the crop. If you don’t have that available you can find people you know that are well known in your industry. You may not get the top expert but you can find a notable in your industry to help get the word out. An example: if your app helps reduce traffic accidents, you can get endorsements from local police and emergency responders that will help.

Feature App in an Official Blog

You may already have a blog. However, having an official blog that only features your app will help a lot in endorsing the capabilities of your app. Make sure to publish things like screen shots, and any customer testimonials as this will encourage clients to read and find out about the problems your app solves. A good video tutorial or a promotional video about your app is also beneficial. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You want this blog to be something your potential clients will remember.

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Contests

One of the most powerful ways to get the word out about your app is a good contest. Everyone likes a good contest. You should be able to involve your app in some way in the contest. This will help you reach a highly targeted audience. As an example, if your app is a dog park locator then have a contest that gives away free dog treats. This will grab the attention of dog owners. You can also give away copies of your app. If people don’t know yet what your app is yet, you can find an established brand of dog treats and piggyback of their popularity to generate interest.

Guest Speaking Opportunities

Before you say it, I know this one won’t be a fit for everyone. Remember if you’re really serious about getting the word out you need to at least give it a try. It can be a very exciting process to build and launch your app. Most people would like to hear about it. If you work in an industry that is of interest to people even more so. This can create an opportunity for you to offer “your speaking services” at activities such as: luncheons, conferences, presentations etc. The  simple act of getting in front of a group of people to talk about things related to your app can help to generate a buzz around it.

 

There are many more ways to advertise your app. We will be putting out more in the coming days. Hopefully, this will get you started and get the creative juices flowing.

How Mobile Apps Serve the Restaurant Business

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Restaurants are unique compared to other businesses. They have busy times and slow time. They can base some of this on time of day and when people eat their normal meals. There are also many times when a restaurant can become busy in other times as well.

Mobile technology can address some of the issues a restaurant has.

Being able to streamline both ordering and billing in an app is a big plus. This benefits both the restaurant and their customers. With app building being easier with easy to use interfaces and platforms you don’t have to break the bank to have an app for your restaurant. It also makes branding your restaurant much easier.

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It is estimated that by the year 2020 there will be around 6 billion smartphones out there. This is because they make up the majority of mobile devices.

The amount of time that people spend on their smartphones and using apps is increasing everyday. As such more apps are being created in the services industry. This is benefiting both the customer and the business.

So you may be asking why restaurant apps are catching on?

  1. Reservations is a big reason. Customers can book their table from the app easily. The restaurant can plan accordingly knowing when they will have the biggest crowds and staffing properly.
  2. Simplifying ordering by allowing customers to order from their device. They can place and pay for their order, give the time they want to pick up or dine in. Again, this benefits both sides.
  3. The billing process is more convenient with an app. With so many ways to pay, having an app that takes care of this process makes it easier. The customer can even calculate the tip with the app.
  4. Restaurants can automate some of the customer engagement. Print media used to be the primary way to get promotions out there. Now, people are using their mobile devices more every day, social media apps has changed this greatly. Notifications can be easily sent to tell the customer about deals and specials. In-app loyalty programs take away the need for the old school punch cards.
  5. Entrepreneurs are competing to give their customers both ease and convenience. Because your app can actually help the bottom line of your business, it can help yours as well. Address a specific issue or set of issues. You can also improve on solutions that are already available. In the food service industry there is plenty of room for innovation thru technology. With the platforms available will guide one thru the development process. Included is assistance with publication, distribution and monetization of the product as well.

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To conclude we see how much mobile technology is giving the power to the food service industry. This helps to create an amazing yet simple dining experience. While there are plenty of services to help guide you through the app building process, and whether you own or manage a restaurant, or you just want to make an app; there are plenty of resources out there to help you get your business into this exciting and growing world of food service technology.

Why Does My Restaurant Need Online Ordering?

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The first most obvious answer to this question is: almost every person you see these days has a mobile phone or tablet. This is how they do everything from banking, shopping and of course order food. By offering online ordering you allow your customers to order and pay thru the app. I personally like not having to call an order in and then show up wait in line to pay for my food. When I can order and pay thru my phone come in and give my name and my order is sitting there ready and they just hand it to me and I am on my way.

Another reason is at the point when people decide they are hungry and want to get food they are usually already out and about. If they have your app on their phone with online ordering they will choose your restaurant over doing a search for all the restaurants in the area.

Our online ordering does come with the options to choose Eat in or Take Out as well as the time that they want to come in to eat or pick up. This is very valuable to help with knowing when you can expect an influx of both dine in customers and take out customers.

Of course, you can go with a 3rd party app or service such as Eat24, GrubHub. Keep in mind, that every time someone goes to their site or app directly you will be charged 10-15% of that ticket every time an order is made. With your own app and a flat monthly rate you don’t have that issue. You also control your app and can make the changes you want, when you want. You are also branding yourself.

When someone goes to these apps they can look you up, but they also see all the other restaurants to choose from and if they see another restaurant that catches their eye there is the chance they will choose them over you.

In the end, having an app of your own, that you control and have it with online ordering and giving your customers the convenience to order, reserve, pay thru the app is one of the best things you can do for your customers. Remember, if you don’t have this for your customers and aren’t willing to do this, there are plenty of your competitors that are willing to and/or have already done this.

Don’t lose business to your competitors! Check out getting your own mobile app with online ordering.

Google Mobile Search Includes Android Apps

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While the news is big it is not surprising. Google has some upcoming mobile search changes, in addition to that those search results will include Android and that will allow the user to install any mobile apps that are considered relevant to the search they did. What does this mean? All mobile searches will be an extension of the Play Store which obviously Google owns. These changes will greatly benefit both the app developers as well as the SMB’s that have an app.

We all know by now that mobile is growing exponentially and that app growth is not far behind it. Now the best content in any industry will now be able to be found in mobile apps and this applies to any platform. What this change by Google does is allow the user to find the best results for their query, and it doesn’t matter whether or not the searcher has the app on their device or not. This is the next level of App indexing which is the ability to see search results on an app that you currently have on your phone.

You may still be asking yourself: How is this going to benefit me, either the SMB owner or the app developer. Picture the user searching for information on a restaurant in their local area. Not only will Google’s search display the restaurant’s website but it will also have a link to its app as well. You will find the install button right next to the search results. This will take the user to the Google Play store so they can install the app.

This cause for rejoicing by mobile app developers. With app promotion and being found in the app store being some of the biggest challenges for new apps. Google had pretty much solved this challenge for the Android Developers. We will wait and see how Apple responds to this what if any type of support iOS will provide for it’s search parameters and Safari. Should be interesting.

5 Essential Mobile Stats Every Entrepreneur Should Know

There is a four-letter work that will make all entrepreneurs ears perk up? That word is GROW! Of course, everyone is looking to grow their business. One of the most important ways to make growth possible is by adding apps into your business plan.

Gaming and entertainment apps aren’t the only game in town in anymore. Businesses around the world have now found ways to tap into this emerging app technology and popularity and use it to their advantages.

Here’s 5 reasons why every business and entrepreneur should do the same!

View Full Report Here: http://blog.appannie.com/app-annie-releases-inaugural-mobile-app-forecast/

We like to thank our friends at BiznessApps for this informational inforgraphic that shows you these 5 essential mobile stats in more detail

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The bottom line is the technology will continue to grow and the number of people using their mobile phone will also continue to grow. If you don’t have a mobile app for your business you will be missing out on a growing audience that will help your business.

Build the Business of Loyalty

Remember the old punch cards? How many times did you lose the card just when you were about to get the last punch and free item? Offer your customers a loyalty program that is run through your app and see your revenue increase with a spike in repeat business. It’s one thing to have someone come into your business once. It’s even better when they come in over and over again. Check out our info-graphic for stats on how a loyalty program will take your business to the next level.

 

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