Steps to help bring your business online

Steps to help bring your business online

Bring Business Online

To survive, move forward and grow your business, many company owners have realised that they need an online presence to promote, educate and sell their products or solutions online. But how do you move your traditional on-premises, person to person business to the virtual world? Here are a number of steps to help bring your business online:

Research Government Supports

Contact your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) to learn about grants, training events and mentoring support that your business may qualify for, in particular, the Trading Online Voucher (TOV) which offers grants to companies of up to €2,500 to help them trade online.

Develop a website

Contact experienced web development companies such as Agile Digital Strategy and Acton Web to discuss your website, online payments and SEO/digital marketing needs.

Develop a Google My Business Profile

Now that you have your website, the next thing you want to do is set up your Google My Business profile. This is the business profile that allows you to show up in Google Maps for keywords relevant to your business. This is a must-have from the very beginning, and the sooner you create it, the faster you can start building up reviews, social proof, and online awareness for your business.

social-media-sales

Online Directories

Add your business and web address (URL) to as many local business directories as possible. Directories include Yelp, Foursquare, Golden Pages, Chamber of Commerce and Professional Business Associations. Ensuring your business is listed on these directories will allow you to get more visits to your website and ultimately more qualified leads and sales.

Social Media

Setup business accounts on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.. It is important that you make your social handles (business name) uniform across all platforms. The reason for this is to ensure your brand is consistent across all platforms, making your brand easy for customers to find. Find out more here on which social media platforms work best for business

 You can also bring your business online by offering simple ‘click & collect’ or ‘call & collect’ services to your customers.

Calling all Entrepreneurs, Dreamers and Future Technology Disruptors to Ireland’s Mid-West Region.

Calling all Entrepreneurs, Dreamers and Future Technology Disruptors to Ireland’s Mid-West Region.

Tech Disrupt 4.0, LEO, Industry 4.0, Local Enterprise Office, €25,000

Local Enterprise Offices of Clare and Limerick Launch Tech Disrupt 4.0

Up to 25,000 funding vouchers available from Local Enterprise Offices Clare & Limerick

 for developers of Industry 4.0related solutions.

 

Industry 4.0 …The 4th Industrial Revolution

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) Clare and Limerick have announced the launch of Tech Disrupt 4.0, an exciting pilot project where participants can secure up to €25,000 in funding vouchers to help create and launch solutions that align with the principles of Industry 4.0.
The Tech Disrupt 4.0 pilot project aims to encourage cutting edge technology, innovation and software development in counties Clare and Limerick. Managed by the LEOs of Clare and Limerick, the project through a competitive structure, will support individuals and businesses that develop solutions that will deliver automation and smarter decision-making tools to manufacturers and associated industries. The project is open to individuals and businesses who are located or domiciled in counties Clare and Limerick.
Confirm, SFI, LEO, Industry 4.0, Padraic McElwee, Mike Cantwell, Conor McCarthy, Eoin Hinchy
After a series of online events and ideation workshops, interested parties will be encouraged to make a presentation of their proposed Industry 4.0 aligned solution. 6 entries will be chosen to receive up to €25,000 of funding vouchers to help create and develop a viable business solution.
Solutions aligned to Industry 4.0 include, but are not limited to:
  • Big Data and Data Analysis
  • 3D Printing
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)
  • Blockchain
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Robotics and Automation
  • FinTech
  • Life Sciences
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR)
€25,000 Funding Vouchers, LEO, Tech Disrupt 4.0
The Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard, said: “Innovation has never been more important than it is at the present time, so I am pleased to see supports such as this that encourage and facilitate great ideas to flourish. Our businesses and communities have a track record of tremendous adaptability, and I have no doubt we will see exciting technological developments in response to the challenges of the future.”
Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Clare adds, “Ireland’s Mid-West region has always been an innovator and disruptor, from Shannon Airport and Shannon Free Zone to inventing Duty Free Shopping and Irish Coffee. The region is home to some of the world’s leading technology, automotive and med-tech companies such as Dell, Intel, General Motors, Jaguar Landrover, Edward Lifesciences, Stryker, EI Electronics, Uber, Analog Devices and Johnson & Johnson. The Tech Disrupt 4.0 pilot project aims to encourage technological innovation and development in the region by providing the funding and supports necessary to bring an entrepreneurs dream to a reality.”
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Collins said: “Innovation is the key to success. We cannot stand still when it comes to business and enterprise. We need to be focused on the next steps and how best we can innovate to succeed. This joint project will place Limerick businesses at the forefront of using smart technologies in order to grow and compete on an international scale. It shows the edge that we have as a region to work together to achieve a competitive advantage by embracing new technologies and harnessing the innovative ecosystem we have to create results.”
Mike Cantwell, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Limerick, adds “In the long term we envisage that some of the participants of the Tech Disrupt 4.0 pilot project may progress to be leaders in their fields and help the Mid-West region to become a leading location for innovators, disruptors and software developers aligned to the principles and applications of Industry 4.0.”
To find out more and to register your interest in the Clare and Limerick LEOs Tech Disrupt 4.0 pilot project please visit the Local Enterprise Office website
5 Steps to Improve your Google Adwords PPC campaign

5 Steps to Improve your Google Adwords PPC campaign

Google was launched in the late nineteen nineties to help internet users navigate this wonderful, yet daunting, phenomenon called the world wide web (www). However, from its simple humble beginnings, Google has now grown to become the world’s largest and dare I say most important advertising platform. In 2015 a staggering 97% of Google’s $73 billion sales revenue came from the Adwords Pay-Per-Click (PPC) service.

Using Google’s PPC service can help your organisation boost your online presence, increase brand awareness, generate more leads and ultimately close more sales. CPC costs can vary significantly from a few cents per click to over $40 depending on the popularity of the word or words required. As the costs of your CPC keywords greatly increases, you could end up with quite a sizeable bill adding to the overall revenues of Google’s Platinum Towers.

To make sure that you get the most from your Google PPC campaign, The Marketing Centre recommends you take the following steps:

Conduct In-Depth Keyword Research

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any PPC campaign, and finding the best performing keywords is essential to winning clicks and conversions. Too many businesses start piling money behind the name of their business or the industry they’re in, only to find a crowded market and money wasted. Consider a business selling cupcake boxes to bakeries. It may be tempting to include the phrases ‘bakery consumables’, ‘cake boxes’ or even ‘cupcakes’ in their campaign. But these are imprecise keywords that are both very general and very popular, with huge bids required for the business to appear on the first page of Google for each search, let alone position one. Instead, by building a campaign around the phrase ‘cupcake boxes’, only customers with that specific need are going to see the ad. Adding further precise terms such as ‘windowed cupcake boxes’ or ‘pink cupcake boxes’ is going to pick up very specific needs, with the ads generating fewer wasted clicks and facing less competition from more generic rivals.

Have a well designed Landing Page for Google Adwords PPC

It’s possible to design the most beautiful sign for a shop, but if customers get inside and it’s full of knock off brands and second-hand shoes, they’re going to be disappointed. So it goes with PPC. The ad will drive traffic your way, but what the visitor does when they get there is solely down to you. And so much of that comes down to the landing page. The most insidious enemy of any PPC campaign is a high bounce rate. In simple terms, a ‘bounce’ is a visitor who lands on a website (possibly from a PPC ad) and leaves within seconds, without interacting with the website or its content. What makes bounces such a drain on PPC budgets is that while a business has paid for the user’s click, they’ve got nothing to show for it. If a customer arrives at a landing and sees that it doesn’t contain the content they expected, they will quickly move on. The only reason you wouldn’t focus on bounce rate is if your call to action in on the landing page itself.

Have a compelling Call To Action (CTA)

The key is to have a call to action which inspires engagement; a reason for your ad. If you have an ebook to peddle or an enticing sale, PPC will get eyes on your offering. A ‘contact us’ form is not a compelling call to action. If your landing page contains an e-commerce element, or a contact form or some other kind of direct call to action, then the bounce rate point becomes moot; you should instead look at goal completions as a key metric. This is the number of visits for which all points of a defined goal were completed.

Go for Instant Results not Long Term Leads

Unlike many marketing tools, PPC has a very short lead time. With the right keywords and landing page, it’s possible to have a PPC campaign up within hours, following Google’s approval. After that, campaigns can be changed within minutes. And while we would not suggest jumping straight into Adwords without some prior research, this agility means that you’ll see results immediately unlike, say, content marketing, which is a much longer marketing play. PPC’s speed is also beneficial once a campaign has been set up. New products can be launched quickly while allowing opportunities for keyword research in the run-up. By monitoring the analytics for keywords related to a new product before its introduction, it’s possible to ensure that a campaign is on-point at launch, while also capturing interest in the lead-up. The point is, if you need to see results immediately, PPC will make sure you appear on Google’s front page—a magnet for clicks—and you’ll see an immediate uplift in traffic to the site. Of course, you need to know what they’re doing when they get there.

Prepare for Voice Search

Although still in its infancy, voice activated search is growing strong. According to Search Engine Journal, one in five mobile searches in 2017 were made by voice. To be prepared for voice searches, marketers should consider the following:
• Voice search queries are typically longer, usually with a minimum of 5 to 6 words used.
• Voice searches are usually in the form of a question, How, What, Why, When?
• Voice searches have high local worth, e.g. ‘What restaurants/pubs/cafes are near me?’

Done right PPC delivers, but it is not a stand-alone tool. To get the most from your PPC campaigns it must work alongside and often in conjunction with your other marketing channels.

5 Key Elements to a Killer Introduction Email (B2B)

5 Key Elements to a Killer Introduction Email (B2B)

Using email marketing to introduce your organizations products and services to potential clients and partners is still a very important piece of the overall B2B marketing mix.

According to Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing:

“Email isn’t dead. It’s one of the few marketing channels we can use to build an authentic connection with the humans that keep our businesses alive.”

Vital Design adds to the importance of email marketing from a recent Salesforce.com survey:

-For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment (Experian)

-77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email (ExactTarget)

-72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email (Earnest Agency)

So how does one write the perfect email introduction? Well first of all let’s consider what not to do:

x Too long – We are the Twitter generation, brevity in written correspondence is king.

x Too many proposals or ideas – Although tempting as it is to get all your company’s amazing products and solutions down in one email, concentrate on the single most appropriate for now, too many will just confuse readers.

x Too self-centred – Make sure your emails are about potentially solving problems for your customers rather than constantly tooting your horn about how great you are.

Now that we know what not to do, how do we structure a killer B2B introduction email?

Create an exciting subject line for your Introduction Email

The subject line is often the gate keeper to whether your email gets read or not. Do not under estimate its importance and make sure to test before sending any mail.

Introduce

Make it personal. Introduce your company and explain why you are sending them this email.

Build on your Introduction Email

Build on your email with an example of a customer (preferably well-known brand name) you have already helped and the results they were able to achieve.

Make an offer

Give your prospects a reason to respond, make sure you have a CTA (call to action) in your email body.

Follow up

Remind them that you will be following up but also offer them the opportunity to ‘opt out’ of your email marketing database.

7 Ways To Help Increase Lead Generation

7 Ways To Help Increase Lead Generation

What is Lead Generation?

According to Marketo Lead Generation can be defined as the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline. When a stranger initiates a relationship with you by showing an organic interest in your business, the transition from stranger to customer is much more natural. Hubspot recommends that your organisation should create a landing page for capturing leads, a good landing page will capture prospects name, title, company name, phone number, email address and may have a text box for comments.

There are numerous ways to increase lead generation, both online and offline, here are 7 of the most popular Lead Generation methods used by Marketers today:

Content

Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include a call to action (CTA) anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.

Email

Email is a great place to reach the people who already know your brand and product or service. It’s much easier to ask them to take an action since they’ve previously subscribed to your list. Emails tend to be a bit cluttered, so use CTAs that have compelling copy and an eye-catching design to grab your subscriber’s attention. A/B testing will help with this before you release your campaign

Ads and Retargeting

The sole purpose of an ad is to get people to take an action. Otherwise, why spend the money? If you want people to convert, be sure that your landing page and offer match exactly what is promised in the ad, and that the action you want users to take is crystal clear.

Blog

The great thing about using your blog posts to promote an offer is that you can tailor the entire piece to the end goal. So, if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console, then you can write a blog post about how to select your marketing metrics … which would make your CTA highly relevant and easy to click.

Social Media for Lead Generation

Social media platforms make it easy to guide your followers to take action, from the swipe up option on Instagram stories to Facebook bio links to bitly URLs on Twitter. You can also promote your offerings on your social posts and include a call-to-action in your caption. Learn more on how to use Social Media for B2B Marketers here.

Free Product Trials

You can break down a lot of barriers to a sale by offering free trials of your product or service. Once a prospect is using your product, you can entice them with additional offers or resources to encourage them to buy. Another good practice is to include your branding in your free versions, so you can capture other potential customers, too.

Tradeshows and Referrals

Although these two may be seen as ‘old fashioned’ or the ‘grand-daddy’s’ of marketing. They are still as relevant in today’s Lead Generation and Marketing world of IoT, AI, VR….. as they were in the 19th Century. Going to a trade show can be quite a costly expense for any organization, learn how to maximise your returns here. Likewise referrals are always a wonderful way to engage with new prospects. For any sales team it is always wonder to answer any with a prospect opening, “Hi, is that xxx xxxxx, I was recommended to call you by your customer…..” Do not be afraid to ask customers and partners to make recommendations for you to their contacts.

If you would like help with your businesses Inbound Marketing & Lead Generation campaigns please contact RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions today.

6 Simple Steps to Create Wonderful Email Marketing Campaigns

6 Simple Steps to Create Wonderful Email Marketing Campaigns

Why should your organization be interested in developing email marketing campaigns? According to CampaignMonitor.com there are 3 times as many email accounts than Facebook & Twitter accounts combined, and email is 6 times more likely to get a click-through than Twitter.

Here are the steps that will help you establish a great email marketing campaign:

1.       Establish your goals

But before jumping in head first and starting your first email marketing campaign, it’s worth taking a minute to think about your goals and what you really want to achieve. Who do you want to target, what content should you include and how will you measure success of the campaign? The key to establishing the correct goals for your email marketing initiative is to align them with your company’s wider marketing goals & KPIs. Is the goal to drive new signups for your product? New leads for your sales team? More attendees for your event? Or more donations for your charitable cause.

Email marketing is the single most powerful channel to reach your audience, and it can be used to achieve a number of different objectives, so it’s worth spending some time thinking about what you want to achieve with it before rushing in.

2. Build your email/target list

Now that you have established your goals and what you want to achieve from email marketing, it’s time to build your email list so you can start sending campaigns that those goals. There are a couple of different ways you can build your email list, but the right method for each campaign really depends on the goals you establish in Step 1.

Import a list of contacts

If you plan to use email to keep in touch with existing customers and prospects on your database, then your email list can be built largely by importing your existing customers and prospects details into your chosen email marketing tool. Before you import any contacts though, ensure you have adequate permission to email these subscribers.

Build a new list from scratch

If you plan to use email to communicate with an audience whose email address you might not have yet, then you’ll need to start capturing email addresses and building your list from scratch.

3. Select the type of email marketing campaigns you want to send

There are a number of different types of email campaigns you can send to subscribers, and the type you choose really depends on the goals you have already established. Here are some of the different campaigns that can help you achieve your email marketing goals.

Newsletter

An email newsletter is a regularly distributed email campaign that is generally about one main topic of interest. If your goal is to keep in touch with a list of people you already know (i.e. existing customers), then a newsletter is the perfect type of campaign to send. It will keep your business and your products top of mind and drive people back to your website.

Marketing Offer

A marketing offer email is essentially any campaign you send with the goal of driving a direct response. This can take several different forms, including:

  • A campaign showcasing some of the latest stock and encouraging people to purchase
  • A campaign offering a discount or special promotion on your products or services.

The marketing offer email is effective if your goal with email is to directly drive sales. It presents a product or discount offer and includes a direct call to action for people to click-through to your website and make a purchase.

Announcement

An announcement campaign is an email sent to your subscribers announcing a new product, feature, or service

Event Invitation

An event invitation email is a campaign designed to increase awareness of your event and encourage people to attend. It should list date, time and venue of event and encourage your audience to RSVP with their details.

4. Ensure your email marketing campaign is relevant to every subscriber

According to research, campaigns that are sent to segmented lists and contain relevant information can achieve up to a 760% increase in revenue from email. So instead of sending one campaign to everyone, you should segment your lists and send relevant offers and content to each unique segment.

5. Make it easy to convert

To drive your subscribers to click through from your email campaigns, you must make it as easy as possible for them to do so. According to CampaignMonitor.com 41% of email opens are happening on mobile devices, so if your campaigns aren’t optimized across all devices, then there’s a good chance you’re making it unnecessarily difficult for your subscribers to convert.

6. Measure the results

There are two places through which you can track the success of your email marketing campaigns: Your email marketing tool and your website analytics tool (such as Google Analytics). The reports section of your email marketing tool is the place to go to understand how people interacted with your email campaigns. Metrics to be measured should include number of unique opens, number of bounces, number of emails opened, click through rate, unsubscribe rate and shares.

These metrics give you a high-level overview of how your subscribers are interacting with your email marketing campaigns and allow you to compare the success of one campaign to another. Once you’ve spent some time analysing how people interacted with your email campaign, you can take it a step further and look at what happened after they clicked through to your website.

If you would like help with starting or improving your email marketing campaigns, contact us today here.

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