[Infographic] Is Your Small Business Prepared for a Cyber Attack?

Is Your Small Business Prepared for a Cyber Attack?

Is Your Small Business Prepared for a Cyber Attack?Cybersecurity has become a vital part of business as ransomware, hacking, phishing, identity theft, and other attacks have become frequent.

Small businesses are often vulnerable to a cyber attack. Many wonder how they can stay safe when they lack the resources of larger companies.

However, proper security protection doesn’t always involve a monetary component. Some of the best steps to company safety are entirely free. For example, a strong password policy and an administration access policy.

Password Policy

Employee passwords should be complex and hard to guess. As well, changing passwords regularly and two-factor identification adds another layer of protection.

Administration Access

Strictly limit access to any administration area. Make it available to the few that must have it. In fact, many security breaches are caused by employees who install infected software without realizing what it is.

Management should control high-level access. And control what can be updated and installed on company hardware. Train approved administrators properly on security issues. If an employee doesn’t need admin access to perform their job duties, they should not have it.

Thank you to HeadwayCapital.com for this infographic.

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The Secret to Crafting an Awesome Sales Pitch

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The-Secret-to-Crafting-an-Awesome-Sales-PitchTechnology is changing the way people interact with each other. Customers are more informed than they’ve ever been. Many are well researched on a company, its products, competitors, and reputation in the marketplace. This makes crafting a successful sales pitch rather difficult at times. Part of crafting a modern sales pitch is telling a story and using it to connect with potential customers.

Tell A Story

A good sales pitch tells a story. Remember a customer can get basic information about a product relatively easily. Customers want more than just facts, they want something they can relate to. A good story builds trust and creates an emotional reaction. The story itself doesn’t have to be complex. A hero overcoming adversity and succeeding despite difficulties is a classic story and one that works as a sales pitch.

Connect With Customers

People seek out a product or service because they have a problem that needs to be solved. Part of connecting with customers is framing the sales pitch as a solution for these issues. Focus on the positives a product can bring and show how it can remove negative issues. A good sales pitch presents a company as a problem solver.

Thanks to PureB2B for this great infographic.

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Referrals: Your Untapped Source for Generating Leads [Infographic]

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Referrals-Your-Untapped-Source-for-Generating-Leads-infographic-315Referrals are one of the most valuable sources of leads. When crafting a marketing strategy don’t forget the importance of word of mouth marketing. A good reputation, professionalism, and satisfied customers can help drive business. When properly applied referrals can account for roughly 40 percent of a company’s leads. Referrals can come from many sources. Here are three of the best:

Existing Customers

As noted above satisfied customers are an excellent source of referrals. Many people ask their friends for advice when choosing a company for a good or service and a customer with a positive past experience is likely to offer a recommendation. A company can drive a customer referral program by offering bonuses to existing customers who refer their friends and associates.

Former And Current Business Associates

Many companies have existing relationships with vendors and other B2B companies. As companies that focus on B2B sales often have an industry niche they specialize in they can be a great source on potential customer leads due to working with companies focused on the same (or similar) market segments.

Industry Experts

There are many experts who specialize in specific industries be they reporters, writers, educators, or advisors. An industry expert recommendation is not only knowledgeable but also carries with it a degree of respectability from potential customers.

Thanks PureB2B.com for this infographic.

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10 Influencer Marketing Strategies You Should Know [Gifographic]

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10-Influencer-Marketing-Strategies-You-Should-Know-j-01_01Influencers are people who can convince others to buy a product or service because of the number of followers they have.

For an entrepreneur like you, this is great news. You can tap influencers for influencer marketing in order to reach more people. Here’s how:

Takeover

Let your chosen influencers post on your brand’s social media accounts for a limited period of time, from a day to a couple of weeks. It’s a good way to generate fresh content without doing it yourself and to get more followers by the bulk.

Guest posts

If you’re not ready to let someone else take over your brand’s accounts, you can do the next best thing: Get influencers to write guest posts and publish it on your site. Or you can do it the other way around by writing a guest post on their sites.

Freebies

Instead of paying influencers, send them freebies of your products or services instead. In return, ask them to make reviews and publish them on their own accounts. This arrangement is called an exchange deal (or ex-deal for short).

These are just a few strategies you can use when partnering with influencers. Other techniques may work better depending on the kind of campaigns you’re running and the goals you’re targeting.

Our hat is off to Grin.co for this gifographic.

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The Unwritten Rules of Email Marketing [Infographic]

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The-Unwritten-Rules-of-Email-MarketingEmail marketing remains a highly effective method of lead generation. Despite its effectiveness, it does require work for companies to make the most of their email marketing. Therefore, you need to know the rules of email marketing and best practices.

Email marketing campaigns hastily thrown together will not be effective at driving purchases. People receive lots of emails every day. To make your emails stand out from the competition, they must look professional and read well.

Here are the three of the most common email errors:

  • Bad Subject Lines

    An email subject line is the first thing a potential client sees. If the subject is vague, uninteresting, or badly formatted, they may delete the email without reading it. Thus a subject line should be attention-grabbing and above all relevant to its recipients.

  • Unsolicited Mailings

    Nobody likes receiving unsolicited emails. (They have a word for this, it’s spam.) A business should always get permission to send to a readers email address as random mailings come across as desperate and unprofessional.

    In addition, emails must have an unsubscribe link. It’s against the ICANN SPAM laws to send an email without it, and it could get your email marked as spam.

  • Errors

    Professional mailings should look professional. So before being sent, check for typos, broken links, and incorrect formatting.

Thanks to our friends at PureB2B.com

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[Infographic] The Small Business Guide to Google Analytics

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[Infographic]-The-Small-Business-Guide-to-Google-Analytics-315Every business can benefit from using Google Analytics. It tracks the useful information that is vital to a healthy website. This guide to Google Analytics will give you the ability to track how customers respond to your website.

A website that doesn’t draw customers or engage them is not a useful business tool. With Google Analytics you can track where customers come from and what actions they take on your website.

3 Things Google Analytics Tells You About Website Visitors

  • Who They Are

    You can track where users come from, what devices they are using, what web browser they are using, and how many of them are visiting the website.

  • What They Do

    Track where users go once they are on your site, how long are the on various parts of it, how long do they visit the site overall, what do they do while they’re there, and do they fill out any forms while visiting.

  • What Parts Of Your Website Do They Like

    You can track how users respond to your site’s content. This includes how long they visit each page, what pages they visit the most, how they are responding to landing pages, and which parts they click away from without reading?

Thanks, Headway Capital for this informative infographic.

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A Trustworthy e-Commerce Website

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A-Trustworthy-eCommerce-Website-315In a typical online shopping situation, customers pay for their purchases first via a digital payment system. Then, they wait for the seller to ship their goods to them. Thus, trust is a big component of e-commerce, especially from the customers’ perspective.

To make customers trust your business before they even buy anything, here are a couple of key activities you need to do:

  • Be transparent

    Don’t wait for customers to ask you for details they need. On your page, make sure the following information is easily seen: your customer service channels and hours; number of customers served; year when your business was established; list of accepted payment methods (highlight Paypal if it’s included); and any form of verification from the brand you’re selling if you’re a reseller. Even if people haven’t heard of your business before, seeing these details will make them trust you more.

  • Be convincing

    Share credible testimonials from satisfied customers. Knowing other people already had a good experience with will make prospects more inclined to become customers themselves. If you’ve been featured by a publication (whether offline or online), make sure to cite that as well. People need to get reassurance from an authoritative third party before they’ll take a chance on your business.

Trust is hard to build at first, but start it right and you’ll get it in time. Thanks, Kissmetrics for this amazing infographic.

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10 Reasons Why Facebook Is The Best Platform To Promote Your Business

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Social media network usage has spiraled to immense proportions, and “The Social Network” in particular is breaking records year after year. In response, social media marketing strategies are becoming more nuanced than ever, as emerging social platforms attract marketers with new and exciting marketing possibilities. But Facebook remains an absolute staple in every digital marketing strategy, and we’ll explore 10  unbeatable arguments in its favor.

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1. Facebook is simply too big to ignore

With over 2.07 billion monthly active Facebook users, Facebook is the largest social media network in existence. With 1.37 billion of them being daily users, 50% of which go on Facebook as soon as they wake up, it’s simply too important to set aside. The platform shapes their opinions of the world and has a large influence on their consumer habits. If you are not already exploiting this ever-growing market, you are not doing your business any favors.

Whoever your perfect consumer might be, you can rest assured that you’ll find it on Facebook.

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2. It’s versatile

We all know how important LinkedIn is for B2B marketing, or how Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr can help with visual brands in the fashion or lifestyle industries. But unlike other platforms where marketing would make sense if you are in a particular niche, Facebook is for anyone and everyone.

You can use it for local businesses and stores, create a fan page for yourself if you’re a solopreneur or influencer, share content from your blog, run a media page, or increase brand awareness and conversions by running ads and leading users to your website.

3. The best audience targeting

Wondering how to reach the biggest audience on the planet? With powerful audience targeting tools, Facebook is amazing in helping you find your perfect consumers. There are three main audience selection options.

You can either choose a core audience, selected manually and based on characteristics such as location or age; select a custom audience by uploading a contact list on Facebook, or find lookalike audiences – where you use information about your existing consumers to find people similar to them.

4. Businesses benefit from social media recommendations

Facebook is a front-runner, with 44% of people saying that it influences their shopping. This doesn’t necessarily refer to people seeing your ads and liking your products – consumers are also influenced by other users and what they’re saying about you.
That means that your satisfied customers can be your micro-influencers and best brand ambassadors on the platform.

5. Powerful analytics

Facebook is the absolute king of native analytics. You can be sure that you can manage without any additional social media analytics tools when it comes to Facebook. Free or paid, as the platforms analytics tool, Facebook Insights, is nothing short of impressive.

You can get an overview of valuable data such as page likes (organic, paid, net likes and unlikes) post reach from organic or paid sources, and engagement in a weekly, monthly or quarterly view. It breaks down data in all of these parameters and helps you identify your best-performing posts and ads with ease.

6. A lot of ad options

93% of social media advertisers use Facebook ads, and with good reason. Because of its audience targeting capabilities, you can reach the most relevant people to display your content to in an array of available formats.

There are currently 6 ad formats, 3 main objectives with quite a few sub-categories, around a dozen ad placement options and the list is constantly expanding.

You can exploit people’s insatiable appetite for video without the high production costs by simply using Facebook Slideshow. In addition, you can optimize your ads for mobile and give your consumers an immersive, interactive experience with the Canvas, or showcase the best from your product catalog with the Carousel or Collection ad formats.

You can even give Facebook free reign with ad placements and formats when running ads. Therefore, it can test the ads that perform the best and allocate your marketing budget to only the most lucrative ad formats and placements.

7. High click through rates

On Facebook, you can be certain that you’ll be spending your marketing dollars where it counts. Due to the fact that the average click-through rate across all industries sits at 90%.

8. Facebook boasts the cheapest ads

According to Facebook’s Q3 report card, quarterly revenue exceeded $10 billion. Thanks to the more than 60 million businesses paying for advertising on the platform. Consequently, the average ad price has increased by 35% over the course of a year. This was a sure sign that advertising costs on the platform will continue to rise and that a social media empire is in the making. But despite this trend, comparatively, it still remains the cheapest social network for running ads.

The all – industry average CPC (cost per click) for ads on the platform is $1.72. Which is not too shabby, especially for small businesses with modest marketing budgets.

You can spend as little as a dollar a day and see significant results. In return, considering how large the network is, you get maximum visibility for minimum cost. If you don’t know how to go about Facebook advertising there’s no reason to be intimidated – here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you get started.

9. It shows no signs of slowing

Over the last several years, Facebook growth has been through the roof and is likely to continue in the future. The platform is constantly improving its algorithms, focusing closely on expanding marketing opportunities, all while its user base is growing. That makes investing in marketing on Facebook an investment for the future.

10. Your competition is there

Facebook is definitely a crowded marketplace, but that doesn’t mean that you should sit it out. Small businesses can’t afford to, as Facebook might prove the most cost-effective marketing option. If you decide not to use it to your best advantage, you’ll be effectively leaving the playfield open for your competition.

About the Author: Nate Gadzhibalaev
Nate is the founder of Amplifr, a service that assists individuals and businesses by automatically scheduling their social media posts, helping them to earn more money. With a background in product managing, business development, and international growth, he aims to help individuals and businesses by showing them how they can continue to grow their audience profitably and efficiently.

How Mobile is Changing Business [Infographic]

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How-Mobile-is-Changing-Business-Infographic-316The rise of mobile device usage has a strong impact on our everyday life. Even businesses are not exempt. Here’s how the mobile evolution is changing the way we buy:

  • Online shopping

    E-commerce makes up for 10% of total retail sales in the United States alone. This statistic is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as the rate of mobile device adoption increases.

  • User reviews

    As many as 56% of in-store purchases are influenced by recommendations found online. Therefore, people who are eager to share their experiences now have a platform which others are willing to read/watch/listen.

  • Mobile payment

    In North America, Paypal remains to be the most widely accepted among many digital payment systems. In 2016, Paypal had an annual payment volume worth more than 350 billion USD.

  • Geotagging

    People get more local results thanks to geotagging. Mobile ad campaigns with geotags reach a highly targeted audience, leading to an increase in good leads and conversions.

  • In-app purchases

    Digital goods are selling online as well. People prefer to use free apps but are willing to pay for more. Around 44% of users make in-app purchases after at least 10 sessions with an app.

Entrepreneurs who haven’t embraced mobile yet should take steps to adjust now. Mobile is changing the business landscape fast, so make sure you can keep up before it’s too late!

Thanks, Kissmetrics!

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3 Advanced Tips to Integrate Social Media and Blogging to Get More Leads

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3 Advanced Tips to Integrate Social Media and Blogging to Get More Leads-315According to Hubspot, marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. In fact, cost per lead using ‘SEO – content marketing’ (of which blogging is a major component) is the cheapest method when compared with other popular marketing methods.

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Social media can help you generate plenty of affordable leads too. As displayed in the above graph, its cost per lead is only higher than SEO – content marketing.

Social media and blogging are definitely effective for generating leads when used individually. But what if you used them together, would it get you more leads? And how would you go about this?

To find out read the tips I share below. How to integrate social media into your blog to get more leads.

Provide social login/sign up options on opt-in forms:

Social login is when you let people sign up for your blog’s newsletter or lead magnet with their social media accounts instead of typing in their email address and other details.

An example below is the landing page from Long Radius.

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As you can see they provided the option to either sign up for the guide with email or with social media accounts on Linkedin, Google+ or Facebook.

In the above post, they mention that the older version of the landing page only had an email sign up.

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This is a screenshot of the older landing page.

After they switched this version with the landing page offering social login they were able to increase conversion by 52%. This increase occurs because it is a lot easier for visitors to just click a button and add in details instead of typing them in.

An increase in conversions isn’t the only benefit this offers. The other benefit is that you will get your leads’ best email address. People love social media and spend several hours on it daily. So, when they sign up for a social media account they will use their best email address to make sure they get regular email updates.

Therefore, when you capture a lead using social login, you will get the same email address they use for their social media account. This will be their most used email address and will help you reach them better.

Social login can be easily set up with a social login tool.

Add it to your blog’s landing pages, popup forms, and other opt-in forms.

Track site visitors:

A study found that on average blogs convert only 1.95% visits to leads while the top 10% have a conversion rate of 4.77%. This means that even if you are among the top bloggers, for every 100 visits only about 5 will turn into leads. 95 of them will leave and might never return.

To convert more of these lost leads, you can use an advanced analytics tool for tracking website visits, so you can find individual audience members and reach out to them via social media.

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A tool like this provides specifics on the country they are from and the pages they visited to help you filter results. It also shows you if any of your Linkedin connections work at the company to make it easy to get in touch. If you haven’t got any connections that work here it will suggest people you can connect with.

If you are like me and mainly use your blog to get clients you will find this tool very useful. It also helps integrate Linkedin into your blog which is the best social network for B2B lead generation.

When I see a potential lead, I contact them with a Linkedin message. It works a lot like Linkedin’s ‘who viewed your profile’ feature. But it takes it to the next level by integrating your blog with Linkedin. If your blog generates a decent amount of traffic, you should definitely try this tool.

Add share buttons to encourage social recommendations:

Whose recommendations would you trust most on social media? One from a consumer or one from the brand itself.

I would definitely trust what a consumer who has no affiliation with a brand writes about them than what they brag about themselves. I am certain most people feel this way too.

Hence, you should make it easy for people to recommend your blog posts and lead magnets to their friends and followers by adding share buttons. This will drive more traffic and leads to your blog

If you want share buttons to offer strong social proof to everyone who lands on your website you should turn on the share count. Especially if your blog’s landing pages get shared a lot. When visitors see that the lead magnet has been shared plenty they will want to get a hold of it too because the shares indicate that it contains quality information.

Also, add the share buttons to the content’s page so people can share it while consuming the content or after they finish. Share buttons can be added to everything from videos to ebooks.

You can also add share buttons to your thank you page i.e. the page a lead is redirected to after signing up.

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Bryan Harris found that when he did this on his thank you page and offered some extra free content in exchange for the share 54% of people shared it. This drove 3,498 new visits which converted to 349 subscribers.

Therefore, you must include share buttons on your blog’s landing pages, in the content itself and the thank you page too.

Social media and blogging together get you more leads.

As you can see above when social media and blogging are integrated they do generate more leads. They work really well together. The techniques I have discussed here are also very easy to set up and run. Hence, you should try them and boost your lead generation.

How do you integrate social media into your blogging? Has this helped you generate more leads? Please leave your comments below.