Inbound Marketing

I may be jumping the gun here but it seems like summer has arrived - even if only for a short while. This means there is a clamber to get out of work and into the sunshine. For some of us, however, there may be a little feeling of guilt; the idea that we are missing out on business, things aren't getting done or others are getting head of us whilst we top up our non-existent tan. Here are just a few ways in which you can reduce the guilt and make sure your brand is still working for you whilst you're out of the office....

At Strategy Plus, we design and build websites in and around Birmingham for businesses of very different sizes across many different sectors. So it may come as a surprise that we're suggesting your business might not need one. You might be a bit confused given that setting up a website is often one of the first things you're advised to do. But there are a number of reasons why having a website built might not be the best investment in the short term.

It’s commonplace for small businesses to try their hand at various different roles within a business rather than outsource to costly suppliers. However, there are some areas that remain outsourced because the subject matter makes them nervous; accountancy, IT and maybe even online marketing. Now, there may be areas SMEs will never be able to get stuck in to such as website programming and coding. But a large proportion could - in fact - be done in house. Here are just a few lists of tasks you can carry out in various different departments when marketing your business online...

There is a lot of data floating around the internet that tells us quality content is what drives search results. However, not all businesses are taking full advantage of this opportunity. Some businesses will be paying for ‘search only’ content, which is not fit for human consumption (so to speak!). These are ‘technical’ posts designed with one goal: getting ranked higher in searches.

When you run a small business, you and a select number of your colleagues will wear more than one hat. This means you will be trying your hand at accountants, HR, sales... and maybe even tea making!

As the business grows you will be aware of the need to obtain specialist skills in certain areas such as online marketing. This will mean learning certain skills yourself, outsourcing or even employing someone in-house. The problem is knowing what skills are needed and how best to obtain them...

Reducing the cost of visual content creation

Visual marketing is becoming ever more important; a crucial aspect of your overall content marketing strategy in 2016. Not all content is king; it's visual content that is poised to take the throne. But producing visuals, creating engaging content for social media and making sure your branding is on point all take time and cost money. And these are resources that small businesses do not necessarily have. There are some simple tools that can reduce these costs. Visuals needn't be time-consuming. Nor do you need to shell out on expensive graphic design software to acheive this. Instead - with a little planning - you can build a suite of tools to help you create visual content more easily.

The end of the year is a great time to start thinking about planning your businesses' online marketing strategy for the next year. 2016 will see an increase in the importance of content creation, increased growth in mobile, changes to SEO best practices, a diversification of social media and growing investment in digital assistants. We've outlined 5 key online marketing trends that SMEs need to be ready for in 2016 and some tips that can help your business stand out from the crowd...