Small Business Content Marketing: Is it Worth It?

As a small business with limited time and resources, you may be wondering if content marketing is really worth it? With larger companies that have greater funds and more employees, it may seem like an easier question for them to answer. But all companies, both large and small, can reap the benefits of content marketing, especially when new content is created consistently and promoted effectively.

For small businesses, your content will reflect your niche and will be a key driver for how prospective clients will find you online. Your content marketing strategy needs to focus on your target audience, the keywords those potential clients are using, the type of content you will create and how often, and how you will track your effectiveness (i.e. conversion tracking, etc.). These efforts will be worth your while when you see your traffic and sales increase.

Qseeker can help you create a content marketing and overall search engine marketing plan to drive the right customers to your small business online. If you have any questions, please contact Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

Cultivate an Inbound Marketing Strategy Targeted towards Customers Who Want to Find You

If you own a business, then you are probably familiar with “outbound marketing.” But is it providing the biggest marketing bang for the buck? It employs traditional marketing tactics that include print advertising, direct mail, sales calls, commercials and billboards. Although some of these strategies can be effective in the long run, these advertisements are often seen by many people who have no interest in your products or services, making it a costly effort. With “inbound marketing” however, marketing efforts focused on strategies such as keyword-optimized content, social media, blogging, search engine optimization and paid advertisements will organically attract those who are searching online for your product or service. As written in the article Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing – What’s Best for 2017?, “According to the article, SEO-generated inbound leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Why? Inbound leads are coming from people who initiated a call or navigated to a website. They’re actively shopping and intend to make a purchase.”

As mentioned in our previous post here, now is the time to think about how you want to spend your marketing dollars in 2017. Qseeker can help you cultivate an inbound marketing effort focused on the customers who want to find you, providing you a greater return on your investment. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

Online Marketing: A Must for Small Businesses in 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, businesses are not only reflecting on the past year but also looking ahead to 2017, including analyzing their yearly budgets. In
particular, small businesses have more limited financial resources and need to be smart and efficient with their dollars. Every small business will have a marketing budget, and there is evidence and positive benefits why they should focus more of their dollars on online marketing in 2017.

A recent article on Search Engine Land, Why SMBs should spend more of their budget on online marketing in 2017, lists a few top reasons why online marketing should be given more focus in the marketing budgets of small businesses. First, as traditional advertising spend is falling, online marketing spend continues to rise. For your small business, this means that your competitors are most likely spending more on search engine optimization and search engine marketing because customers are increasingly searching online for products and services. Second, online marketing has a host of benefits, including a higher return on investment, being able to immediately track metrics to provide ongoing feedback, and the low cost of channels such as social media that can reach a larger audience than traditional means. Lastly, the article references a recent study of small businesses, and the results support the trend towards the need for a larger online marketing budget to gain a greater search engine presence and, in turn, more customers.

Contact Qseeker to help you understand how your small business can experience a higher return on investment when you focus on online marketing. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

(image courtesy of jphotostyle.com)

Why is Bad, so Good?

What is it about the antihero that is so likable? Is it that we find them relatable in their daily struggles because we empathize with their failures and rejoice with them when they go against the moral tide, wishing to do that ourselves? Or is it something more? Characters such as Dexter Morgan and Breaking Bad’s Walter White break social norms with their unusual ethics all the while following different moral codes. Perhaps as the viewer, it is our inside glimpse at the lives of these antagonists that humanizes them and therefore allows us to justify their actions and portray them in our own minds as protagonists.

In Dexter’s case, not unlike Batman’s, we root for him because he is a vigilantly putting away criminals and finding justice when the law cannot.  While Dexter Morgan started out as a man with no humanity, it is evident in the later seasons that he has a measurable amount of compassion towards his family and coworkers. Yet Dexter continues to kill and follow his own moral code. Is this transformation real or is it an illusion that the audience perceives to justify his actions?

Conversely, Walter White loses his compassion as Breaking Bad’s seasons progress yet the audience still roots for him and against his non-submissive, ill-treated wife, Skylar. What started out as the Walter White’s raw desperation turns into a thirst for power and the desire to build an “empire.” Why do we root for the antihero that is no longer justifying his means to an end but has become greedy and malicious?  Could it be that the inside knowledge of his motives and struggles allows us to bend our moral consciousness towards a more favorable opinion.

Moral transgression could be only half of the reason that we are drawn to these characters. The other half is that the characters are just so good at being bad that the quality of the their performance has us hooked. What is the lesson for us as marketers? In reality, it means that the story matters just as much as the way that it’s told. As marketers we need to remember that we are always portraying a certain story for our business. In the same way we get hooked on our favorite shows, the quality of the message is half of what hooks the consumer and can be measured by repeat business or desire to watch another episode. Whether it is a product or a service we need to focus on reaching a level of quality that allows a simple, powerful, honest story to be told that will really hook the customer for good.

How to “Sell” Your Legal Services without Selling Out

In the past, individuals would often contact a lawyer using more traditional methods, such as yellow pages, referrals and word of mouth.  Now rather than location being listed in a phone book, law firms need to reach out and be proactive in obtaining new clients.  In a competitive marketplace law firms are coming to terms with the necessity of “selling” their services.  While it is a hard idea for many to grasp, it is a reality for successful practices.  When some think of selling, they picture television advertisements and over-the-top advertising strategies, which may seem out of place if it is not your style.  You need to be proud and confident about your services, and in some cases, shout it from the rooftops. Read more.

The Psychology of Color and Brand Marketing

Anyone who has worked in the business world, knows that appearance is everything. From the shape, size and color, every bit of a brand’s design is carefully thought out in order to reach a target audience. According to an interesting article by Business Insider. the colors chosen in brand design  as important for recognition as the brand name.

While everyone’s perception of color is subjective, some colors have universal psychological meaning. This psychology of color, or symbolism, examines how warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) cause warm and comforting emotions as well as enthusiastic and energetic feelings. Conversely, cool colors (blues, purples, greens) can evoke both a feeling of calm but also sadness or indifference.

We are programmed to respond to the colors and shapes surrounding us in certain ways. For example, the combination of red and an octagon cause us to think “stop.” Colors and shapes are an incredibly powerful form of nonverbal communication. Using appropriate colors in branding and marketing will aid in reinforcing whatever message your company is hoping to convey to your target audience.

Closely take into account color combinations when creating your brand. Common feelings associated with colors are:

Red: passion, energy, love, stop
Orange: energy, creativity, invigoration
Yellow: joy, caution, youth, clarity
Green: money, growth, success
Blue: calm, tranquility, knowledge
Purple: royalty, imagination, wisdom
Black: death, evil, negativity
Gray: uncertainty, neutrality, lack of commitment
White: purity, weddings, perfection

Taking advantage of color psychology as it relates to the personality of your company’s brand and the emotional associations desired of your target audience, may mean making daring choices. However, by enticing your audience with the most strategic color combinations and choices for your brand will leave the desired impression with your audience.

Achieving Quality in SEO

When looking to optimize your site, it may seem tricky at first.  It can be overwhelming to figure out how to optimize.  What works?  What doesn’t work?  Is it possible to overdo it?  What can get you penalized in Google?

The first step is to understand SEO best practices.  The best SEO practices starts with building quality content on a regular basis.   There’s an SEO adage that states “Content is King.”  Without top quality content, a site is not useful and certainly not compelling.  Creating good content can include blog posts, landing pages, etc.   Offering high quality content on your site, instead of irrelevant pages filled with links and poorly written content, will keep users on the page and let Google know that it is a valuable site.

The best way to approach this problem of building your content is to analyze how searches will find your site. How can you answer the question that brought them to your site? Is there way through a piece content that you can uniquely answer their search? Your ability to find that content and create something will determine the quality of your site in the search results. It’s a little bit of a riddle.

Part of the answer is to remember to keep building fresh content.  If your site is not regularly updated, Google will take notice and your rankings are likely to slip. Creating fresh content like blog posts can help you achieve quality but in addition to that, optimizing existing content by inserting important keywords in a natural fashion can help bump up your Google rankings.  Reworking headings and page titles to accurately reflect the content on each page is important for keeping the pages high quality and relevant.

In order to achieve quality SEO results, you must have a quality website.  Once you build a good website with quality content, higher Google results are likely to follow.

Quality is What We Focus on

That is what Qseeker is all about. That is what we help companies improve. Qseeker is focused on improving the quality of the marketing of our clients. Its a simple premise, the better the offer, then the higher the impossibility of refusing. The more effective your products and services are, then the more likely customers and clients will use them if they remain better than than your competition. The secret is how you communicate that value to prospective customers and clients.