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The 2016 Marketer’s Toolkit

Marketing in 2016 is about your ability to automate and to get things done faster. For your toolkit, you need to gather together a number of key tools. This guide is going to show you what those main tools are, which also apply to any business niche.

See Also: 8 Tips for Content Marketing Success

Marketer's Toolkit

Kuia

For your website, you have to get more traffic from it and steadily build up your email list. This tool allows you to do that through its suite of marketing tools. It has everything you need to start growing your online business to heights previously unheard of.

Simple Tools

Kuia comes with a range of simple tools from share buttons to lightboxes. You can even add a bar to your website that offers a custom welcome message based on where that person comes from. This growth machine can apply to practically any type of website.

Customer.io

To continue to grow your company you have to be able to stay in touch with the people who matter most. Customer.io is one tool that can help you to personalize your conversations.

Automation at its Best

Customer.io will aid you in sending automatic emails based on what visitors do on your site. It’s essentially about analyzing the behavior of these customers so you can easily meet their needs. It tracks everything from which pages they click on to whether they add something to their shopping cart.

This is the ultimate way to provide a tailored experience.

Narrow

You can’t spend all the day on social media just to promote your brand. There’s a risk that sacrificing your marketing efforts in other areas will damage your potential right now. But automating everything will enable you to better get through the day. You can engage with your customers, favorite their Twitter updates, and describe what customers you want.

Why Narrow is So Essential

Narrow can do all this, but in terms of your marketing toolkit this is going to save you a ton of time and effort. The main advantage of tools like this is that it can allow you to concentrate on the tasks that matter most. Marketing automation in general is a blessing.

JustReachOut

You need to take advantage of the press if you’re going to get noticed. JustReachOut is a tool that will help you to get genuine reporters interested in the latest developments hitting your company. Just enter a keyword that describes your product and this tool will look through the Internet to find reporters to cover you.

How Does it Work?

It uses advanced analytics strategies to come up with reporters who have covered similar stories before. It will then grab the contact information of those journalists so you can contact them yourself. There are even features that will help you to craft your pitches to get them just right.

Notify

After you start to get mentions in traditional media, you need to know when they go live. Notify is a simple tool that will tell you exactly when they go live. That will tell you when it’s time to start launching your own promotional campaign. It’s important that you know how to ride the wave.

Videolean

These days one of the most expensive marketing mistakes you can make is to not invest in video. Good videos are hard to make, but having no videos is the worst sin you can commit. You absolutely have to have Videolean in your marketing toolbox if you’re going to get ahead of your competitors.

What Does it Do?

Videolean is a tool that makes it easy to put together marketing videos in a short space of time. Just pick a video template and customize the design of it. Add content like infographics and explainer clips to create your production. This is a video editor and a video publishing platform all in one.

Forget about ever spending thousands of dollars on Sony Vegas again!

Colibri IO

Engaging with your customers is what will define your business. The best companies are always talking to their customers. They are spreading around their brands and making sure that people know who they are. Colibri IO will help you to find which conversations you should participate in.

How it Does It

Colibri IO will help you to find conversations just from a few keywords. It will bring up lots of active conversations on blogs and social media. You can choose whether to enter into that conversation. Set your own parameters and decide whether a conversation is perfect for you or not.

Conclusion

These seven tools are perfect for any marketing tool kit. They will help you cover all the basis of getting your name out into the open and engaging with your customers. Failing to make the most of these tools will allow your competitors to get ahead this year.

See Also: 5 Chrome Plugins to Make Marketing Easier

Image Credit: Pixabay, Pixabay 

 

 

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How To Ensure Your Website Cannot Be Hacked Easily

Hackers are becoming an ever-present threat, and you need to be able to respond to that threat. Securing your website against hackers is easier than you think. This guide is going to teach you how you should go about defending your website from malicious attacks.

See Also: 10 Beginner Website Mistakes You’re Probably Making Right Now

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How Hack Attacks Actually Happen

Watch the movies and you may think that the majority of people are sitting behind their computers typing in long lines of code as they break through your defenses. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most hack attacks happen automatically through the use of bots.

Automatic Scripts

Bots and automatic scripts are responsible for much of the hacking that goes on. The hackers only come in manually when they have successfully broken into a system, assuming they ever act manually at all. Since you’re working with a bot, it makes it easier for you to defend your website.

Keep Your Software Updated

This is one of the most obvious pieces of advice that you can give someone, and yet so many people still fail to do it. Your website should be fully updated at all times. Your server operating system and the various bits of software on your website should have the latest version installed.

If anything, you should have updates install automatically.

Managed Hosting Solutions Make this Easy

One of the big benefits of using a managed hosting solution is that they will handle everything for you. For entrepreneurs that aren’t as effective at keeping up with updates, this is the option for them. Updating everything requires minimal input on your part.

Beware of SQL Injection

The SQL injection attack is one of the most common tactics that hackers use to destroy business websites. The way this works is an attacker will use some sort of URL parameter to get into your database. From there, they can insert code into your database that can extract information and delete parts of it.

Parameterized Queries

To stop an SQL injection attack, make sure that your SQL queries are parameterized. Without limits, hackers can add on any parameters they feel like. These can overwrite your already existing queries, which can enable them to do anything they want.

Take into Account XSS

Cross-site scripting is another type of attack that primarily uses JavaScript. A hacker will pass JavaScript, or some other type of scripting code, into your web form so they can run malicious code on your visitors. You won’t even notice what’s going on because it’s your visitors that are being attacked.

Get around this by stripping out any HTML from your web forms.

What Information Should You Give Away with Error Messages?

Error messages are a back door for hackers trying out your security measures. When you get an error message, be as vague as possible with the information you give out. Stick with generic messages otherwise, you could give out information that makes it easier for hackers to get into your system.

An Example

The most common example of this is when someone attempts to login to their account and gets the wrong password. If you tell them it’s the wrong password, a hacker knows they got half of the information right. But telling them they have the incorrect information doesn’t reveal anything. They either got one or both pieces of information wrong.

Dealing with Passwords

Passwords are always a complex issue. You can write an entire book on password security, and many people already have. Hackers are mainly trying to get directly into your interface by grabbing your passwords. This is easier than you think for a lot of hackers because so many people don’t follow good password practices.

Enforce Good Practices

Make sure that you are enforcing good password practices for your users. It can be annoying to have all this required information within a password, but it’s for their own good. Remember that if they do get hacked the first person they’ll shout at will be you.

Encryption Values

When you store passwords in your database, only store them as encrypted. You should stick to one-way hashing algorithms like SHA. SHA will allow you to authenticate users using encrypted information, so passwords always stay hidden from third-party eyes.

Salt the Passwords

To add a further layer of security, you should salt the passwords on your database. This will make decrypting them almost impossible, and even if they do manage to do it this would take weeks to accomplish. It’s what a lot of huge corporations do to limit the damage of major attacks.

Conclusion

These are the main strategies you should employ to keep your website safe from harm. If you want to make sure a hack attack doesn’t happen to you, consider calling in the help of an independent security auditor. They can inspect your website provide recommendations for where you can make changes.

See Also: 10 Reasons Why People Won’t Buy from Your Website

Image Credits: Pixabay, Pixabay

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4 Ways To Sell Your Small Business Quickly

Selling your small business is much harder than you think. It’s not enough to find someone who wants to buy and then to hand over the keys. This guide is going to show you how to get a great deal on your small business quickly. It’s far from easy, but if anything it’s rewarding when all is said and done.

See Also: How to Know it’s Time to Rebrand & How to Begin Doing So

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Who Wants to Buy?

To begin with, you have to figure out who actually wants to acquire you. This may be just one person, but you should also be proactive by going out of your way to find people who may want to buy. Ideally, this should be long before you settle on the decision to actually sell your business.

Why Should You Find More than One Acquirer?

With only one buyer, you only have one choice. That acquirer may not be the best person to take your business forward. If this is a venture that you have built from nothing but an idea on a piece of paper, you want to make sure that your company is in good hands. Multiple buyers also tend to bid up the asking price, so there’s a commercial justification to seek out more than one buyer as well.

Do You Want an Investor or a Middle Person?

This will determine how fast you sell your business. Search for someone who will run the company and it will take longer to find the right person. But find a middle person, such as an investment bank, and it becomes their issue, so all you have to worry about is the price.

Make Sure You Visit Your Accountant

You still have tax obligations when you sell your small business. Any transaction could put up your tax obligations, or in some cases reduce them. Everything about selling your small business fast involves money, so you need to meet with your accountant and continue consulting with them along the way.

Shares and Assets

Sometimes it’s better for your company to sell its assets first. This is a preference of business buyers because they have peace of mind knowing there’s unlikely to be any hidden liabilities. But if you don’t want to do this you can just pass the company over using business stock.

There’s no right or wrong decision. It differs depending on the company.

Prepare Your Company for Sale

A homeowner will clean up the property before they decide to sell it. This is perfectly normal and it enables them to have a better shot at actually selling their home. It’s exactly the same for businesses. Get everything in order first so there are no delays to the selling process later.

What Should You Clean Up?

Get rid of unprofitable customers and remove any unnecessary expenses. Your goal is to boost your business value right now. There’s nothing illegal about artificially boosting your value in the short-term. This is spring cleaning that will make you a more attractive prospect.

What Do Buyers Look For?

Always remember that people are looking for consistency in finances and consistency in sales. Buyers want to make sure that they have the best chance of success after they take over. Consistency is what keeps investors calm. Erratic results could lead to confusion and doubt, which could derail an attempted bid before it gets started.

Get the Right Team in Place

You need to have the right support team to help you sell the company. Your team will consist of a law firm and members of your own company. Try to bring together people from each department so that they can lend their expertise to marketing your small business as a viable purchase.

Find a Respectable Name

Small businesses lack the name brand value to grab the attention of big buyers. Supplement this with the help of a big investment bank or a big law firm. It may mean paying extra in the short-term, but it can increase the speed of the sale and get you more money.

Reward them Well

Whenever you get members of your company involved, you have to reward them for their work. It’s not fair to ask them to work all those extra hours, on top of their usual duties, for no extra compensation. Give them some extra compensation and keep reassuring them that they are being a valuable asset to the selling process.

Conclusion

This is not a process that can be rushed. Selling your small business quickly and selling it fast are two different things. Selling it fast is rushing through the process and accepting the first offer that comes along. Selling it quickly is making the process as efficient as possible so as to get the best deal without any delays.

Will you be selling your small business soon?

See Also: 10 of the Best Email Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Image Credits: Pixabay, Pixabay 

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How To Use Snapchat For Your Business

Snapchat is one of the new generations of social media networks that has come to prominence in recent years. Businesses need to know how to use it in order to access an entirely new audience. This guide is going to show you how you should go about using Snapchat for business purposes.

See Also: Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use for Business

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Why You Should Use Snapchat

Snapchat is a social media network that has managed to target the young. Young people make up the vast majority of this audience, thus making it an essential network for you to have a presence on. You should also have a presence here purely because it’s one demographic that other social media networks don’t do well.

The Difficulty in Holding the Young

Facebook used to have the lion’s share of the young audience. But when their parents started to join it and Facebook became the social media network for everyone it no longer held the same appeal. They left it in droves and, despite Mark Zuckerberg’s best efforts, they have never managed to win that audience back.

With Snapchat, you can target the young again.

Begin by Providing Access to Live Events

To start with, real-time social media marketing has become a thing. It’s a type of marketing that takes into account the here and now. People are actively following this type of marketing as events are playing out elsewhere. It’s forced brands to be faster than ever before with their marketing materials. Snapchat provides the ideal base for real-time social media marketing.

How to Use it for Live Events

Obviously, the main benefit is that you can provide your audience with access to these live events. But you can also provide incentives to tune in. For example, you could release new products, broadcast trade shows, or you could do surprise events like the 1000th customer to enter your store.

The whole idea is to make things as exciting as possible.

Send Over Private Content

Exclusive content is what your audience wants. They want to feel like they are looking at something that nobody else can provide them with. The goal is to offer something that they won’t come across on another platform. Think about something unique to really engage your community of followers.

How Important is Exclusive Content?

There’s nothing more important because you need to bring over fans from other social media networks, as well. They have no reason to follow you on multiple platforms if all you’re doing is sending the same content all the time. And so they won’t do that. Exclusive content allows you to expand your reach and bring people onto multiple platforms.

Unveil Promotions

Everyone loves the chance to get something for free. And that’s why social media promotions have proven so effective over the years. Snapchat allows you to easily unveil promotions, such as discount codes and special discounts for those fans who consume your content.

User-Generated Content

You can even use promotions to help provide you with user-generated content. Provide a discount to people who snap themselves holding one of your products, for example. That way you can use the same content to entice other users to do the same, and to demonstrate how popular you are.

Everything can be linked together using user-generated content.

Take People Behind the Scenes

More than ever before, people are interested in what’s going on behind the scenes. They want to see what nobody else can see. It makes them feel special and it makes them feel as if they are valued above everyone else. With Snapchat, you can give them that peak behind the scenes.

What Should You Show?

It’s a myth to believe that the only things you should be showing off are those things designed to sell. No, there’s so much more to it than that. Offer insights into the office. For example, you could shoot a video of a casual Friday or a company outing.

This is how you differentiate yourself from every other brand.

Indulge in Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is where you will team up with more prominent brands in an attempt to get your brand seen by a bigger audience than ever before. It exists on practically every social media network, but on Snapchat it’s particularly prominent.

How Do You Do This?

Snapchat is built for great videos, so enhance your brand by shooting one with a major personality. Since Snapchat is designed for people who want to consume content in little pieces, there’s no better way to consume content than in this way.

Influencer marketing has never been more important on networks like this.

Conclusion

The ultimate way in which you can boost your business is through Snapchat. There are so many ways in which you can use it and there’s never been a better time to take advantage. These five tips for how to use Snapchat will take your business to the next level.

See Also: Six Social Media Snags That Can Cause Your Brand Harm

Image Credits: Pixabay, pixabay

 

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