By the numbers

Lists tell: ways how to make CTAs convert better, keep yourself safe online, market to smartphone users, more.


20 metaphors that explain social media perfectly

OK, they are similes, not metaphors. And the explanations aren’t perfect. However, scanning this list will help you understand why social media is a vital marketing tool for small businesses in 2016.


$10 classes to grow your business skills

Udemy, the online education sites, is having a sale. For just $10, you can take a course in contemporary marketing topics, including a certificate course in marketing, a course in getting your local business website ranking in Google, or one on Facebook marketing. Or pick up a crash course in accounting from the finance offerings. There are lots of other courses and subjects to choose from.  Hurry. This sale ends Sunday, Jan 31.


6 ways to add emotion to your CTAs

A website’s calls to action—CTAs—guide traffic to generate leads, sales, or your other ultimate goals. Research shows terms like Submit  or Download are not particularly effective. An emotional appeal increases responses far more than you might expect. Learn how to craft emotional CTAs.


5 forgotten steps that leave you vulnerable online

Most people forget to take basic actions that will keep their online activity safe. Are you one of them? Check here to see the problems and solutions.


Is your tax accountant an idiot? 3 red flags will tell

Who could resist a post headlined “3 Red Flags That Your Tax Accountant Is an Idiot” especially when it’s written by a CPA who says he is an idiot? Get the rest of the irresistible post at Entrepreneur.


1 free whitepaper on marketing to smartphone users

“Marketing to Smartphone Users: New Strategies for Driving Sales Calls”  teaches:

  • The different ways marketers are generating phone leads from smartphone users
  • How to track inbound calls back to your specific mobile ads and campaigns
  • How to see which search terms are getting people to call you
  • How to automatically score and qualify inbound calls before passing to sales
  • How to include accurate phone lead tracking data in your lead and pipeline reports

The whitepaper is free, but you’ll need to give  Business2Community  your contact information in order to download the document. On the plus side, you get access to ALL the website’s whitepapers in exchange for your information.


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Smarten up

Avoid tax trouble. Avoid data loss. Spruce up your digital marketing efforts.


B2Bs have it all wrong about social media

Most business-to-business firms don’t know how to use social media or even see how it has value for them. At its core, social is a mindset, a concept, and an approach, not a platform. Social can open doors for B2B companies.


Four ways to freshen your website

The look and feel of sites has changed dramatically since the 1990s to give customers a better experiences. Use these four tips to update your site. (Note: The acronym CMS in the text refers to a Content Management System, which in most cases is a blog.)


Create a backup plan for your data

Focusing on data issues like identity theft can divert attention from other smaller but damaging threats from the small business operators and their employees. Learn what to do to protect your small business.


Two glaring tax mistakes startups make

Many startups get into tax trouble before they open their doors. Here are two mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid.


3,000 business regulations coming in 2016

Some of the federal regulations that will have a direct impact on businesses include increasing the number of workers eligible for overtime, limits on retirement options for employees, and a possible Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation of light pollution. More red tape info here.


Cool tools that rural SBOs can use

Job Site Ear Buds are designed specifically for construction workers and tradesmen who need to take calls while motorized equipment roars in the background. $69 at ToughTested.

Sometimes a phone is just close enough to a router to pick up a faint Wi-Fi signal but is far enough from it to only get a snail’s crawl worth of data, even though the phone may show full connectivity. A new app solves that problem by combining  Wi-Fi and mobile data. Download Speedify Mobile and the first 1GB of managed data is free every month. After that the cost is $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.


Farm business essentials in 6 online sessions

An intro-level course in how to assess and manage a variety of risks that farmers face will be offered online in six 90-minute Monday evening sessions March 2 through April 11, 2016. For more information or to register, contact the The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project.


Economics of marketing

Collect the right data and acquire the right education to interpret it. Use stories to make your marketing stand out. More.


B2B marketing challenge of 2016: the process

Find the process that will solve your root-level marketing problem. If you invest the time to collect the right data and acquire the right education to interpret it, you’ll have a scientific basis for every decision you make in 2016 and beyond.


 

5 steps for avoiding Google penalties

Every month Google manually initiates 400,000 actions that reduce a web site’s standing in the search engine results page (SERP). Depending on your penalty, your site traffic can drop anywhere from by 10 to 50% instantly. Those manually-initiated actions are in addition to algorithmic updates that can drop traffic substantially. Learn five steps to avoid Google penalties.


 

Understand the numbers behind your budget

Business budgeting is making intentional financial decisions to support your business goal.This article tells you how to use your budget to reveal where you need to make business changes.


Avoid wasting marketing money by split-testing

Testing communications strategies to a small segment of the target audience before launching to the entire audience is a way to gather data on the most effective method of communication.This article gives detailed but easy to grasp information about what to test and how to use split-testing.


 

Next in sharing economy: Car ownership?

Starting in February at three Texas dealerships, Ford will offer vehicle leases to “self-organized groups of three to six people.”  The aim  is to find new revenue sources for the company.

How could your business or several businesses in your community benefit from shared ownership of some equipment or service?


 

Storytelling has economic value

Humans are not hardwired to understand logic and remember facts for long. But we understand and remember stories. Learn how to use that simple fact to make your marketing messages stand out and convert readers to customers.


 

 

Start 2016 well

Catskill doing happy dance. Content marketing gives B2B biz a boost. More.


Facebook resources for business users

Learn what Facebook can do to help you use its free and paid services for your small business with these Facebook business resources from the Facebook  Help Center.


Cash-only businesses draw IRS scrutiny

Small business operations should use the most sophisticated method of tracking earnings and payments the small business can afford. Cash-only businesses can quickly draw the attention of the IRS.


Content marketing gives B2B marketers an edge

B2B marketers  can outsmart their competition—while increasing brand awareness, brand preference and leads—by providing free, non-promotional  information customers find valuable, through content vehicles such as blogs, newsletters, whitepapers, podcasts and infographics.


What’s the objective for your website?

Even a small business needs a website that does what the business needs done. If you’re not sure what objective is for your businesses, this short article suggests five generic objectives. One of the probably will give you a good place to start your thinking process.


4 ways to make your business better in 2016

Identify ways to make your rural small business better, more profitable and more rewarding this year using these simple directions to help you analyze each aspect of your business:

  1. Look at trends.
  2. Look at your competitors.
  3. Look at your overhead.
  4. Drop the dogs.

Learn about marketing from your competition

Look at what your competition is doing in marketing. See what’s working and what’s not working for them. From that, you can decide what is likely to be a waste of time for you, and what is likely to pay off for you.


Catskill doing a happy dance

Any time move to rural New York is announced in the The New York Times, the move is likely to be a big deal for area small businesses.

The American Dance Institute of Rockville, Md., is moving to the former Dunn Builders Supply in Catskill. The facility will be remodeled to provide a performance space and residence for up to 20 artists.


Test over. Newsletter dead.

I began this blog to test interest in the content to see if it could translate into a subscriber-supported newsletter that

discovers, develops, curates, and publishes news and information to  help businesses with 10 or fewer employees meet the challenges of operating a business in rural New York.

That idea is going out with the trash today.

Admittedly, I ran only a six month test, but I found no rural small business people interested enough in the information to sign up to get the content by email.

I’d hoped to interest chambers of commerce in purchasing the email newsletter for their members. No upstate chambers of commerce followed my Twitter feed, which suggests they don’t see value in the material for their members.

I’ll keep on curating content here at least for a while because I can’t run my business without the information I post here.

It was fun while it lasted.

~ Linda Aragoni