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These Tools Will Make You More Productive For Small Business Owners

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These Tools Will Make You More Productive For Small Business Owners

Small business owners have a lot on their plate. Juggling the day-to-day tasks of running a business with long-term goals and planning can be difficult. But it’s not impossible. There are plenty of tools and tactics out there to help small business owners be more productive. Here are eight of the best.

Even if you don’t have much time, there are ways to be more productive. Here are eight of the best tips for small business owners who want to get more done in less time.

Project Management Software

Many small business owners are overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be completed in order to run a successful business. Project management software is a great tool to help break down tasks into manageable chunks and track progress. This type of software also allows you to prioritize tasks, assign them to team members and create timelines for completion. With project management software, you can easily keep track of the progress of various projects, ensuring that nothing gets missed and tasks are completed on time. Additionally, project management software helps to increase collaboration between team members by providing a central location for communication and sharing files. With the help of this tool, project deadlines can be met more easily while also saving precious time and energy.

Time Tracking Software

The ability to accurately track time spent on projects is essential for small business owners. Time tracking software helps you to track the amount of time that each team member spends working on individual tasks or projects, which can help you identify areas where productivity could be improved. This type of software also makes it easier to generate detailed invoices and calculate employee wages, so you can be sure that all of your finances are in order. Time tracking software also helps to ensure that projects remain on schedule by providing a clear indication of which tasks have been completed and when.

Automation for Sales Operations

Automating sales operations can be a great way to increase productivity for small business owners. With automation, businesses can streamline their processes and ensure that key tasks are completed on time. Automation can also help businesses save money by reducing manual labor costs and freeing up resources. There are many tools available for automating sales operations such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, automated lead scoring systems, email marketing tools, and eCommerce platforms. By using these tools to automate tasks such as prospecting, follow-up emails, order management and tracking, businesses can save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manual labor.

Marketing Automation Softwares

Marketing automation software is a powerful tool for small business owners. It’s an efficient way to automate marketing processes, such as email campaigns and social media management, in order to save time, increase efficiency and gain better insights into customer behavior. Marketing automation can also be used to create personalized content tailored specifically to the needs of each individual customer or segment. With fewer resources needed, it’s a great way to get more out of less and reach customers faster. Additionally, marketing automation can also be used to automate customer service tasks such as managing customer inquiries or providing product recommendations. By automating these processes, small business owners can free up their time for other tasks, while still ensuring their customers receive the excellent service they deserve. With the right marketing automation tools, small business owners can save time and increase their productivity while still providing customers with the best possible experience. Web scraping has several uses, particularly in the area of data analytics. Companies that conduct market research use scrapers to collect information from online forums or social media for purposes like customer sentiment analysis.

Social Media Automation

Social media has become an integral part of the success of many small businesses. It’s a great way to get your message out in a cost-effective and efficient way, but it can be time consuming to manage all the different accounts. This is where automation comes in! Automation tools allow you to schedule your posts in advance, track engagement, and measure performance. This helps you save time, freeing up more of your energy to focus on what matters most – growing your business. From HootSuite to Buffer and everything in between, there’s an automation tool out there that can help you become a social media powerhouse.

LinkedIn Marketing Automation

LinkedIn is a great platform for small business owners to promote their services and products. LinkedIn Automation makes it easy to automate all of your marketing activities on the platform. You can schedule posts, track engagement, create campaigns, and measure results with this powerful tool. This way you can save time while ensuring that your brand’s presence on LinkedIn is up-to-date and relevant. It’s a great way for small business owners to maximize their efforts on this platform.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions

Having a good customer relationship management system in place is essential for any small business owner. CRMs allow you to track customer interactions, understand their needs and preferences, and build long-term relationships with them. A good CRM can help you increase customer loyalty, generate more sales, and optimize your customer 360 platform marketing efforts. There are a range of solutions available for small business owners to choose from depending on their budget and requirements.

Tech-Based Recycling Tracker

Small business owners are always on the look-out for ways to become more productive and efficient. Technology offers a variety of tools that can help save time and money, while also improving accuracy and effectiveness. One such tool is a tech-based recycling tracker.

Recycling services have become an increasingly important part of corporate sustainability initiatives and having a platform that can help small businesses track their recycling activities is invaluable. This technology-based tool can provide visibility into the types of materials being recycled, how much is going to waste, and which areas need improvement. It also helps to ensure compliance with appropriate regulations and guidelines!

For example, a tech-based recycling tracker may be able to identify the kinds of materials that have been recycled, such as paper, plastic, glass, and cardboard. It can also track which areas are most successful in terms of waste reduction or recycling rates. This data can then be used to inform future sustainability initiatives and goals.

In addition to tracking recycling activities, a tech-based recycling tracker can also provide insights into energy consumption and environmental performance. This data can help small businesses make better decisions about how to reduce their carbon footprint, save money, and improve efficiency.

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts


Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

Who doesn’t like to have a good experience consuming content?

I know I do. And isn’t that what we – as both a consumer of content and a marketer of content – all want?

What if you create such a good experience that your audience doesn’t even realize it’s an “experience?” Here’s a helpful mish-mash of easy-to-do things to make that possible.

1. Write with an inclusive heart

There’s nothing worse than being in a conversation with someone who constantly talks about themselves. Check your text to see how often you write the words – I, me, we, and us. Now, count how often the word “you” is used. If the first-person uses are disproportionate to the second-person uses, edit to delete many first-person references and add more “you” to the text.

You want to let your audience know they are included in the conversation. I like this tip shared in Take Binary Bias Out of Your Content Conversations by Content Marketing World speaker Ruth Carter: Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns.

Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns, says @rbcarter via @Brandlovellc @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

2. Make your content shine brighter with an AI assist

Content published online should look different than the research papers and essays you wrote in school. While you should adhere to grammar rules and follow a style guide as best as possible, you also should prioritize readability. That requires scannable and easily digestible text – headings, bulleted text, short sentences, brief paragraphs, etc.

Use a text-polishing aid such as Hemingway Editor (free and paid versions) to cut the dead weight from your writing. Here’s how its color-coded review system works and the improvements to make:

  • Yellow – lengthy, complex sentences, and common errors
    • Fix: Shorten or split sentences.
  • Red – dense and complicated text
    • Fix: Remove hurdles and keep your readers on a simpler path.
  • Pink – lengthy words that could be shortened
    • Fix: Scroll the mouse over the problematic word to identify potential substitutes.
  • Blue – adverbs and weakening phrases
    • Fix: Delete them or find a better way to convey the thought.
  • Green – passive voice
    • Fix: Rewrite for active voice.

Grammarly’s paid version works well, too. The premium version includes an AI-powered writing assistant, readability reports, a plagiarism checker, citation suggestions, and more than 400 additional grammar checks.

In the image below, Grammarly suggests a way to rephrase the sentence from:

“It is not good enough any longer to simply produce content “like a media company would”.

To:

“It is no longer good enough to produce content “as a media company would”.

Much cleaner, right?

3. Ask questions

See what I did with the intro (and here)? I posed questions to try to engage with you. When someone asks a question – even in writing – the person hearing (or reading) it is likely to pause for a split second to consider their answer. The reader’s role changes from a passive participant to an active one. Using this technique also can encourage your readers to interact with the author, maybe in the form of an answer in the comments.

4. Include links

Many content marketers include internal and external links in their text for their SEO value. But you also should add links to help your readers. Consider including links to help a reader who wants to learn more about the topic. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • You can link the descriptive text in the article to content relevant to those words (as I did in this bullet point)
  • You can list the headlines of related articles as a standalone feature (see the gray box labeled Handpicked Related Content at the end of this article).

Add links to guide readers to more information on a topic – not just for SEO purposes says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

You also can include on-page links or bookmarks in the beginning (a table of contents, of sorts) in longer pieces to help the reader more quickly access the content they seek to help you learn more about a topic. This helps the reader and keeps visitors on your website longer.

5. Don’t forget the ‘invisible’ text

Alt text is often an afterthought – if you think about it all. Yet, it’s essential to have a great content experience for people who use text-to-speech readers. Though it doesn’t take too much time, I find that customizing the image description content instead of relying on the default technology works better for audience understanding.

First, ask if a listener would miss something if they didn’t have the image explained. If they wouldn’t, the image is decorative and probably doesn’t need alt text. You publish it for aesthetic reasons, such as to break up a text-heavy page. Or it may repeat information already appearing in the text (like I did in the Hemingway and Grammarly examples above).

If the listener would miss out if the image weren’t explained well, it is informative and requires alt text. General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text. That’s a short sentence or two to convey the image’s message. Don’t forget to include punctuation.

General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text, says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For both decorative and informative images, include the photo credits, permissions, and copyright information, in the caption section.

For example, if I were writing an article about Best Dogs for Families, I would include an image of a mini Bernedoodle as an example because they make great family pets. Let’s use this image of my adorable puppy, Henri, and I’ll show you both a good and bad example of alt text.

An almost useless alt-text version: “An image showing a dog.”

Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.

It wastes valuable characters with the phrase “an image showing.”

Use the available characters for a more descriptive alt text: “Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.”

It’s more descriptive, and I only used 112 characters, including spaces.

Want to learn more? Alexa Heinrich, an award-winning social media strategist, has a helpful article on writing effective image descriptions called The Art of Alt Text. @A11yAwareness on Twitter is also a great resource for accessibility tips.

Improve your content and better the experience

Do any of these suggestions feel too hard to execute? I hope not. They don’t need a bigger budget to execute. They don’t need a lengthy approval process to implement. And they don’t demand much more time in production.

They just need you to remember to execute them the next time you write (and the time after that, and the time after that, and the … well, you get the idea.)

If you have an easy-to-implement tip to improve the content experience, please leave it in the comments. I may include it in a future update.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

If you have an idea for an original article you’d like to share with the CMI audience, you could get it published on the site. First, read our blogging guidelines and write or adjust your draft accordingly. Then submit the post for consideration following the process outlined in the guidelines.

In appreciation for guest contributors’ work, we’re offering free registration to one paid event or free enrollment in Content Marketing University to anyone who gets two new posts accepted and published on the CMI site in 2023.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

Product marketing is essential, even if you only sell one or two products at your organization.

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