4 Low-Cost Marketing Strategies

Every Business Should Know

Let’s be real. Marketing can get expensive. With such a strong emphasis on digital marketing, it can seem like the only way to be successful is through buying ads or paying for SEO. While both of those are very popular and useful ways to market a business, there are also many marketing strategies that come at a low cost, if not for free. These four low cost marketing strategies create organic traffic and exposure for your business, and they all place an emphasis on the most important factor of marketing: the people you’re targeting.

1. Network

Networking is one of the most effective marketing strategies that everyone has access to, and there are plenty of ways to do it. First and foremost, LinkedIn is a platform entirely devoted to networking. As a rule of thumb, you should be adding everyone you shake hands with or speak with, including customers, similar business, and more. In building a personal brand through LinkedIn, you can promote your business brand. To make networking even easier, you can make a group page for your business, or join a local business group and participate with the existing members and audience to boost the exposure of your business.

LinkedIn is far from being the only way to network. Networking is a mindset and an approach that prioritizes people rather than positions and businesses. In putting people first, you can determine who matters most that you need to get to know and what you can do for them. Then you can market your business to a broader audience in a less obvious, more effective manner. The best part about networking is that you can essentially do this anywhere, at any time, with anyone. Is there a local business association that holds meetings? Join it. A chapter of a marketing association in your city? Join that, too. Start utilizing any and every opportunity that brings you in contact with new people.

2.Build a partnership.

Ever heard the saying “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”? That’s exactly how a partnership works.  Let’s say you own a car dealership and there’s an auto detailer and repair shop down the road. If you partner with the auto shop, you can refer people there for maintenance and keep their business cards or flyers in your dealership. In return, the auto detailer can refer people to your dealership when they need to buy, sell, or trade their vehicle and they can also keep business cards or flyers in their shop. Maybe there’s even a discount if they mention that the partnering business referred them.

Building a partnership can market your business to the customer base of another business, and vice versa. This works especially well for local businesses, as it fosters a sense of unity and support within the community. People are exceptionally receptive to recommendations that come from businesses they already trust and have had positive experiences with, and you can use that to your advantage through a partnership. It’s cost-effective, marketing-savvy, and will build your reputation.

3.Ask for reviews.

The only things people pay attention to more than what it says about your company on Google are the reviews that previous customers have left you. I once found a rental property I was interested in, and upon searching for reviews of the real estate agency I found an entire Facebook page dedicated to very passionately written bad reviews about the company (and that was in addition to a low Yelp score). I was horrified after reading all the negative experiences other customers had with the agency, and have since warned many friends to avoid renting or buying any properties from them solely based on those reviews.

What your customers have to say about you is the clearest indication of the kind of experiences future customers will have with you. By asking customers who have had positive experiences to write a quick review on Facebook or Yelp, you can accumulate endorsements and vouchers. Plus, if someone is willing to take the time to write a review, it’s likely that they’ll recommend your business to their friends and family for future needs. All of this comes at little to no cost and lets your customers to do the marketing for you.

According to Carlos Fearn, a Marketing Consultant at Rankology, “Consumers trust online reviews nearly as much as if it were a recommendation from a friend. It is imperative in today’s online society that a business encourages their customers to leave reviews on the major social networks and portals to show their satisfaction with your company.”

4. Blog.

Helping people before they actually need anything from you is a marketing tactic that A) might not even be a “real” marketing tactic and B) has great returns. An easy way to do this is by adding a blogging component to your company’s website where you can offer useful tips and insights about things related to your business. The only thing it will cost you is time, and by blogging about the topics you’re already knowledgeable about, you can market a friendly credibility that’s in the interest of the customer.

For example, if you’re a bakery, share some easy recipes around the holidays, or offer tips on baking for people with food allergies. By providing a real utility to the kind of customers who have use for the information you’re providing, you create a relationship that establishes your business as a helpful authority. People tend to value helpful over pushy and if someone has used tips or recipes from your bakery’s website, you’ll probably be their first thought when they need a sweet treat on their lunch break.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/273560

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Master Marketing

We often hear from our customers that it had always been their dream to own a business – whether that’s opening their own store or starting their own restaurant. Like most entrepreneurs, the goal is to turn a passion into a career.

However, many people are held back by the fear that they won’t be able to manage their business successfully. It takes a leap of faith to open a new business, and it takes business savvy to keep it open. In a series of posts, I’ll explore common challenges small business owners face and how to solve it.

One of the first hurdles a small business owner faces is getting the word out about her new business. Or, if the business is established, growing the business and attracting new customers. At the heart of driving sales is marketing. For business owners without marketing experience, this can seem overwhelming. The good news is there is a lot a small business owner can do to market a business easily and efficiently.

  1. Define your unique value proposition (UVP).

The first step in marketing a business effectively is understanding your capabilities and the white space your business is filling in your industry.

Inevitably, you will face competition, so take the time to outline what sets you apart from your competitors. Become as informed as possible on your industry. Sign up for industry newsletters; read relevant trade publications; and consider participating in industry events. This will allow you to identify trends, and stay up-to-date with important news. It will also help you identify your competitors. Take a close look at what they are doing and how they present themselves to potential customers.

Then determine who your target customers are and what they want. This is important – one of the biggest small business marketing pitfalls is to assume you know your customer without doing research.

Clearly identify the service you are providing and the problem you are solving for your target customers. This will help you define your UVP – the unique benefit you are providing for your customers.

You’re not trying to sell to everyone, which is a good thing. Your goal is to clearly define who you are targeting, why they want your product and how best to reach them. Once you know that, your job is to consistently execute your marketing plan.

2. Maximize your online presence.

Armed with a clear understanding of your business and its industry, it’s time to market it to potential customers.

While there are many marketing channels to consider, typically the most efficient and cost-effective are online.

Take time to audit your online presence. An easy place to start is your website. Make sure the website design is consistent with your brand and that the site is easy for customers to navigate, and find the information they’re looking for.

 

If it’s appropriate for your business, make it easy for customers to sign up for a mailing list. This will enable you to build a database of customers, who give you permission to reach out to them regularly with product updates, interesting news or coupons.

In addition to listing your products or services, consider adding a blog to your website to provide tips and product or service updates to customers.

Beyond your own website, be sure to build your presence on and spend time managing review sites, like Yelp and Angie’s List. These help validate your business and can boost sales. You can even share good customer reviews on your website.

Whether you’re communicating via your website, a blog, an email, a third party review site or social media, be sure to keep a consistent voice. Every customer touchpoint is an opportunity to build your brand.

3. Start a conversation.

Social media channels are a low-cost way to get the word out about your business and build relationships with your target audience.

Choose a channel, which your customers are already on. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn serve very different purposes, so be smart in your choices, and think about the kind of content you like to post. Using platforms specific to your business makes it easy for customers to find and interact with your business online.

When it comes to posting on social media, consistency is key.

Create a schedule to ensure you are posting regularly so your audience knows to expect content. For example, plan for three posts a week, which you can draft in advance.

In order to keep content dynamic, take a three-prong approach:

  • Talk about yourself and your business,
  • Talk about your customers,
  • And talk about your industry.

Share updates about what’s happening at your business, such as a new shipment you’ve received or a peek behind the scenes. Be sure to thank your customers, and engage them through questions.

Finally, share interesting news articles, and invite your social media followers to share their thoughts. In all social media posts, make sure you’re authentic and realistic so your audience can connect with you.

4. Consider paid content.

The paid aspects of social media can also be a great way to boost your business’ profile, and get in front of new customers.

For instance, you can target the exact type of customer you are looking to attract with advertising through Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns, based on the information individuals have shared on their profiles.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282174

Types of customers and how to segment them

types of customers

To ask ourselves why customers are essential for businesses would sound like debating if flying is possible for humans without using airplanes. The obvious answer is simple, but as it is with flying, when talking about customers it is not enough to acknowledge their importance for the business. The focal point for companies is to understand where to find their potential customers, who they are, what they like, what they need, and how you (the business) can bring customer satisfaction.

In addition to this, you will have to comprehend what the different customer types are. Nonetheless, as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to learn, understand, and apply tactics for identifying and serving all the different types of customers that you`ll encounter so you can grow your customer base. So let’s get right to it, and learn a few things about how the art of having a happy customer works. 

What is a customer?

It might not sound very interesting to start with definitions, but it’s essential to understand what you need to grow your business. For example, if you are a brand like Ferrari, one-time-clients might be just fine because one sale can do the trick for your car dealership. But if you are a mere mortal among us and have a small-to-medium business promoted on social media, you`ll want customers. That means people who will come to you customary. Those are the people that will habitually return to you and allow your establishment to develop sustainably.

In economics and sales, the customer is simply the recipient of a service, product or any other good that comes out of a process. In exchange, the customer gives away money or different types of consideration. Not long ago in our history we had an economy based on favors which meant that commerce created somehow permanent human relations. As economics developed, we translated to more transitory needs, we began talking more about different types of customers and customer relationships.

Customer segmentation

When talking about different types of customers we have to understand the concept of customer segmentation. Logic tells us that a customer may or may not be a consumer too.

Customers are usually divided into two categories: the entrepreneur/dealer who purchases for resale and the end-user who buys in order to use that product/service. The tactics will be different when trying to win these types of customers; but for our purpose here, we shall talk mainly about those customers who come to your doorstep to make the purchase for themselves.

What are the different types of customers?

As brands developed and became more and more accessible, we started talking about customers not only as single entities that will buy our products. Still, we created a whole industry to understand better how many types of customers are out there in terms of how they make a purchase. 

It is imperative to identify the types of customers before they make the purchase. That way you will be able to meet their expectations and win their hearts and credit cards. First of all, we have “the lookers” which are just scouting and only buying if something captivates their attention. We also have the “deal-of-the-day hunters” who are every one of us on Black Friday. They are attracted by a huge discount and great 1+1 deals and will buy in bunches if they feel they stumbled upon a bargain. 

Next, we have The Researcher and on the other corner of the room, we have The Impulsive Customer. While the ones in the first category will spend lots of time looking for the best possible price and quality and will turn out to be loyal customers. With the others you might discover they just bought the whole shelf, and the only thing that might scare them is a complicated checkout process. Make sure you are ready for them because they are known to be disloyal customers.

We have the customers that buy while always having in mind the price of the product, and this is important mostly because we have a natural tendency to look for and then choose the lowest price we will find. Most people will be interested in finding the best quality/price ratio. Still, we can`t forget about those who will deliberately go for the highest price to emphasize their material status or just to have the feeling that they chose what’s best on the market. 

While making a purchase, really important for a customer is the reliability of the product. We all have that uncle that is extremely proud of his 30-year-old car and who will always tell you “they don’t make them so good anymore”. Even though we are now millennials and we change phones and laptops every time a new version comes out, we all like things that we can rely on. Talking about nowadays` customers, compatibility is sometimes crucial when choosing a certain product over another one, and so is the experience we get out of its usage. Since we are no longer restricted to using only things that “will do their job”, we can now choose the best experience we can get. Having all the features that customers want or the best design in the market are also tie-breakers, but so is convenience, because we sometimes choose the accessible product over the one that needs 14 days to arrive at our door.

Key tactics for identifying and serving different types of customers

As we can see, there are certain patterns in this business. But identifying them it’s only the beginning of a complex process that might sky-rocket your conversion rates. Probably the most important part of the process is finding the best tactics to increase customer loyalty and attract these newly found customers.

Maybe the most active customer of all is “The driver”. Drivers are controlling and they make fast decisions. You`ll have to be there when they need you, otherwise, they will go looking elsewhere. They are not detail-oriented, but they have discipline. You can easily recognize them because they cannot listen, they will always come forward with comments and sometimes harsh inputs and they are in a constant need of control. The best way to transform them into buyers is to value their time as much as they do, act as an expert, cut short the small talk, and never be too aggressive.

We talked earlier about the researchers and will do it again because it is important to understand how to win this category. Opposite to drivers, the researchers are highly focused on details, they take their sweet time to come to decisions and they have high standards. You`ll recognize them for their tendency to ask lots of questions and this is the area where you can win this category: always bring your A-game in terms of data and make sure you use good and relevant examples. Have a lot of patience and be prepared for a long selling process that could look like an interrogation.

The easiest target in terms of customers might be The Buyers. They are usually sociable and friendly. Most important, they are great listeners and easy to get along with. When in your shop, you`ll recognize this type of customer because they use informal language and will need explanations in bunches. Winning them is fairly easy: make sure you build trust and pay attention to the customer relationship management and then just let the things flow. Act like you are their advisor and you are there for the whole purpose of helping them, ensuring they are making the best decisions, and showing constant interest in their needs. Always be a man of your word because this type of customer appreciates honesty.

Last but not least, we have to understand the ways of dealing with those customers who are emotional. They talk a lot, they make bald decisions and love being in the center of the action. 

In front of them, your marketing strategy has to be simplistic: you will have to speak with great confidence and be able to show that you are up to the task. They will enjoy talking for its sake, so expect long conversations in which you will have to be at your best. The best way to deal with this type of customer is to explain how they will benefit from your service. Bring just enough data to understand that you have the expertise, but don`t get them bored. Also, speak based on your own customer experiences and present other`s opinions.

In conclusion, the key might be very simple advice: because every business’s goal is customer retention, be as flexible as you can be. At the end of the day, if they have money, they can be your customers. 

Source: https://www.omniconvert.com/blog/how-to-segment-customer-types.html

9 tips for getting the best value from your advertising spend during a crisis

As the fear of economic crisis looms on the horizon, companies have now had to cut back on their budgets. One of the first places that sees significant financial cuts is the marketing budget. As essential as these functions are for the growth and development of a business, a company needs to manage its marketing spending in line with what it earns. With less disposable income available in the broader economy, it makes sense for businesses to look at ways to shave budget demands that aren’t critical to the company’s basic operation.

Even with this marketing spend cut, companies still want to develop campaigns that keep their products and services within the public eye. The only way for that to happen is to be more efficient in their advertising spend. Getting the most value for the smaller ad budget available should be the most critical of a business’s marketing goals.

These entrepreneurs from Ad Age Collective  are familiar with making the most of a shoestring budget. We asked them to share their insights on how businesses can get the most value out of tiny advertising budgets. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Start with research.

You need to understand what your audience is going through before you launch any ad campaigns. Are they in a position to buy? Are all other systems such as logistics working? It only makes sense to advertise if people can still carry out normal buying activities. Learn about what’s happening with your audience so that you can make better decisions. –  Syed Balkhi , WPBeginner.

2. Focus on results.

This is a crucial time for many businesses and it has never been more important to focus on advertising spend that is directly attributable to a result. This may mean temporarily reducing your brand spend in favor of investments in performance-oriented marketing. Keep an eye on cost per acquisition — it’s everything right now. –  Michael Lisovetsky , JUICE.

3. Amplify earned media.

Find positive articles written about your company or the problems your solutions solve for customers and amplify those articles via social media. This way, you combine the credibility of third-party media with the precision targeting of digital advertising to get the most bang for your buck. By combining them in this way, you’ll fully leverage your public relations efforts and your ad dollars. –  Dan Beltramo , Onclusive (formerly AirPR).

4. Be flexible and listen.

During a crisis — and before — brands need to build in flexibility on their spend and be able to shift messaging quickly. Don’t do something off-brand, but show you are listening and have empathy. Turn to social or earned media in times of crisis to reach your audience quickly and authentically. And if able, realign ad spend and messages to address consumer needs at that time and as they change. –  Maggie O’Neill, Peppercomm. 

5. Invest more in acquisitions and SEO.

With many advertisers pulling back on ad spend and customers spending more time online, now’s the time to invest in acquisition efforts. CPMs are down with decreased demand and increased inventory, so prioritize high- and mid-funnel messages to build brand awareness, recall and trust. Also consider investing more in SEO. A high-quality, relevant online experience will help maximize sales potential. –  Chad Robley, Mindgruve.

6. Do fewer things and do them better.

Focus on a few things and choose them based on areas where you have the highest propensity to succeed. Build in the industries you already have built a reputation. Finally, go for one call to action and pour your heart into it. Remember, if you went on a first date and liked the person, all you’d want is a second date. What is your call-to-action equivalent of a second date? – Arjun Sen, ZenMango.

7. Tie advertising efforts directly to revenue.

Marketers and advertisers often despise sales, preferring to live in the world of ROI based on impressions, awareness and engagement. As antithetical as it may feel, in a crisis you need to make your peace with sales. Tying your advertising efforts directly to revenue in the short term will benefit your organization and give you resources to invest in longer-term initiatives as the crisis subsides. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap.

8. Send the right message to the right people.

With several industries decreasing or eliminating their media spends, budgets can now go further than ever, so without sophisticated audience segmentation brands run the risk of hitting the same customers over and over or delivering ineffective messages to the wrong people (while results look better than before). It is time to segment your audiences more deeply to make the best use of the budget. – Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive.

9. Seize the competitive advantage and connect emotionally.

To win during and after a crisis, brands do two things: 1) As others cut ad spend, they seize competitive advantage to assure their brand’s share of voice is higher than its share of market; 2) They shift messages to connect emotionally at scale, displaying true commitment to serving communities and customers. The lift in brand affinity, purchase intent and, ultimately, market share gains deliver peak ROI. – Sean Cunningham, VAB.

Source: https://insights.newscred.com/tips-getting-best-value-from-ad-spend/

10 key e-commerce metrics you should measure to increase user engagement

10 Key E-commerce Metrics You Should Measure to Increase User Engagement

Experts from Zyro suggest that it’s crucial to develop a viable strategy for measuring key performance indicators. This includes identifying and prioritizing your short term and long term goals. Also, you’ll get to indicate the main objectives as of what you’re aiming to achieve and set an eCommerce metrics dashboard.

With that in mind, here’s our list of the 10 core eCommerce metrics for increasing user engagement. 

1. Average pageviews per visit

Pageviews is one of the core metrics that refers to the number of times a particular page has been viewed by visitors. 

Measuring pageviews will help you understand how often people visit your website and how they engage with different pages. Additionally, pageviews can indicate when visitors are traveling through your website, failing to find needed information. 

How to calculate average pageviews per visit? 

Average pageviews per visit = Total Number of Pageviews ÷ Total Number of Visits 

2. Conversion rate 

The conversion rate implies the percentage of users who completed the desired action that you want them to perform. These actions vary based on your objectives and can range from subscribing to your email list to completing a purchase after visiting your website or viewing a particular product page. 

Conversion rates are particularly important if you’re running multiple eCommerce digital marketing campaigns. Measuring conversion rate allows you to identify which advertising channels perform and engage users better than others.

How to calculate the conversion rate? 

All of the following formulas are valid and can be used to calculate the conversion rate. The choice of a formula depends on your definition of a conversion event and how you measure website traffic. 

Conversion rate = (Total Number of Conversions ÷ Total Number of  Sessions) × 100

Conversion rate = (Total Number of Conversions ÷ Total Number of  Unique Visitors) × 100

Conversion rate = (Total Number of Conversions ÷ Total Number of  Leads) × 100

3. Retention rate 

The customer retention rate refers to the percentage of customer rate returning to your website after completing a purchase. 

By keeping track of the retention rate, you’ll get a better idea about the longevity of your ecommerce websites. Also, it will help you figure out why customers return to make another purchase. 

How to calculate the retention rate? 

Retention rate = (Number of Active Customers ÷ Total Number of Customers at Start of Time Period × 100

4. Customer Lifetime Value 

 Customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV) refers to the prediction of the total revenue attributed to the future relationship with a customer. To put it simply, it’s the amount of money a customer is expected to spend on your products during their lifetime. 

CLTV is a key metric because it basically shows you how much your clients are worth to you on average. Use CLTV to distinct customers that are economically more valuable to you. 

How to calculate CLTV? 

To calculate customer lifetime value, you first need to identify lifetime value (LTV). 

LTV = Average Value of Sale × Number of Transactions × Retention Time Period 

Now, when you know your LTV, you can calculate CLTV. 

CLTV = LTV × Profit Margin 

5. Gross margin 

Gross margin is a core eCommerce metric that implies the total sales revenue you retain after incurring the production costs. In other words, gross margin is the actual profit you earn per each sale. 

Understanding how much you earn per sale is paramount to increase user engagement and ensure your ecommerce business is scaling properly. 

How to calculate gross margin? 

Gross margin = (Revenue – Cost of all Goods Sold) ÷ Revenue 

6. Average Order Value 

Average order value (AOV) refers to the monetary value of an average customer order on your website. While average abandonment order value (AAOV) is the average value of an order that a client had abandoned during either checkout or in a cart. 

Keeping track of both AOV and AAOV is crucial to increase user engagement. You want to know which elements stimulate customers to complete a purchase and to, oppositely, abandon their orders. 

How to calculate AOV? 

AOV = Revenue ÷ Number of Orders 

7. Cost per acquisition 

Cost per acquisition (CPA) is another key eCommerce metric that refers to the amount of money you have to spend to gain a new customer. Cost per acquisition includes the following factors: 

  • Email campaigns costs
  • Advertising costs
  • Discount offers (and anything else it took to make a sale)

Keeping track of CPA gives you a perspective of how much costs and efforts you spend to engage and acquire new customers 

How to calculate CPA? 

CPA = Total Advertising Spendings ÷ Total Attributed Conversions 

8. Cart abandonment rate 

The shopping cart abandonment rate refers to the percentage of customers who add items to their shopping carts, then abandon carts without completing a purchas . This is a crucial eCommerce metric because it gives you an insight into how many customers are intending to buy products but never complete their purchase. 

When it comes to the cart abandonment rate, the value of items added to the cart, the number of items, and the total shipping time are all important. By comparing this rate to other metrics, you can figure out a viable strategy to increase user engagement and decrease the cart abandonment rate. 

How to calculate the cart abandonment rate? 

Cart abandonment rate = 1 – (Number of Shoppers Completing Transactions ÷ Number of Shoppers Adding Items to Cart× 100

9. Checkout abandonment rate 

The checkout abandonment rate refers to the percentage of customers who first initiate checkout and then abandon the purchase. 

Even though the checkout abandonment rate is similar to the cart abandonment rate, they should not be confused. When customers abandon items during checkout, they’re one step further than abandoning their carts.

This metric is useful as it gives you specific data about incomplete transactions after customers are interested in purchasing your products. Analyze the checkout abandonment rate to develop strategies for better user experience. 

How to calculate the checkout abandonment rate? 

Checkout abandonment rate = 1 – (Number of Orders Completed ÷ Number of Checkouts Initiated× 100

10. Revenue on advertising spent 

Revenue on advertising spent (ROAS) is the final metric closing our list. ROAS refers to the total revenue generated by a specific marketing channel. 

Keeping track of ROAS will help you identify how much advertising it takes to engage users to complete a purchase. Also, you can use the results of measurement to identify the most effective advertising channels and make further improvements accordingly. 

How to calculate ROAS? 

ROAS = (Amount Gained From Advertising ÷ Amount Spent on Advertising× 100

Final thoughts 

How often should you measure eCommerce metrics? Some metrics should be checked weekly or bi-weekly. Others require a longer data window and should be measured monthly or quarterly. So, the best answer is that eCommerce metrics should be tracked consistently. The persistent growth of online stores comes as a result of regular performance analysis over time. 

Source: omniconvert.com/blog/10-ecommerce-metrics-increase-user-engagement.html

Coca-Cola joins Facebook boycott with a pause on all social media advertising starting July 1st

New York City Lights Up In Support Of The 50th Anniversary Of The First Gay Pride March

The Coca-Cola Company is pausing all digital advertising on social media platforms globally for at least 30 days starting July 1st, the soda giant announced on Friday evening.

The move is part of a broader boycott of Facebook and Instagram organized by the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and other organizations called the  “Stop Hate For Profit” campaign. Coca-Cola is going one step further than some of those companies and banning all ads globally on social media platforms, not just Facebook and Instagram. That would suggest the boycott will hit Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms as well.

“Starting on July 1, The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days,” reads a statement from Coca-Cola Company CEO James Quincey posted to the brand’s website. “We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine whether revisions are needed internally, and what more we should expect of our social media partners to rid the platforms of hate, violence and inappropriate content. We will let them know we expect greater accountability, action and transparency from them.”

Earlier Friday, Unilever joined Verizon as the two largest companies participating in the boycott prior to Coca-Cola’s involvement. On Saturday, multinational beverage company Diageo said it also would “pause paid advertising globally on major social media platforms” as of July 1st.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced a series of policy changes that, while not explicitly in response to the boycott,  appear designed to try and address many of the criticisms the company has faced of late regarding its lack of moderation of violent threats, hate speech, and misinformation posted by President Donald Trump and other controversial accounts and pages.

“This continues a significant trend of major brands — including Unilever and Verizon — committing to pause Facebook ads for at least the month of July,” reads a statement from progressive nonprofit Color of Change, one of the organizers of the boycott. “Since Color Of Change and its partners, including the ADL and NAACP, launched the campaign on June 17, over 100 brands have signed on.” Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said on Friday that chocolate brand Hershey’s is also joining the boycott.

Yet while the boycott may be creating a wave of bad press for Facebook and Instagram, it’s unlikely even major advertisers pausing ad spending for one month will have a substantial effect on Facebook’s bottom line, as a majority of the company’s ad revenue comes from direct-response ads from small and medium-sized businesses.

“We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to The Verge. “We’ve opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram. The investments we have made in AI mean that we find nearly 90 percent of Hate Speech we action before users report it to us, while a recent EU report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube. We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”

The Stop Hate For Profit campaign launched last week, starting with popular sports and outdoor lifestyle brands like The North Face and Patagonia. It has since gained steam with mainstream corporate America after picking up support from ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s and film distributor Magnolia Pictures. On Friday, Honda announced it was joining the campaign as well, and would halt advertising on Facebook and Instagram in July. “This is in alignment with our company’s values, which are grounded in human respect,” the company tweeted.

In an open letter posted Thursday, the ADL provided more concrete details regarding the changes the boycott seeks to produce in Facebook’s policies and its approach to moderation.

“Today, we are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July,” read an ad the Stop Hate For Profit campaign ran in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week. “Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/26/21305065/coca-cola-pause-ads-facebook-social-platforms-july-boycott

7 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

When starting a business, your mission is to build something that people want, minimize the risk and maximize your chances of survival.
Do not do it alone. Starting a business alone is very hard. Even harder when you don’t have the money. Find a partner who can share your passion for your product – but don’t look for someone like you. However, there are some economists who like to discover new things and take risks, so they will do so. What are the opportunities and what are the risks?

Either way, you will start your business at the earliest opportunity. Although this is not an easy task. But if you follow these principles, you can minimize risks and maximize your chances of survival.

1. Evaluate your ideas

Is your business idea a great idea? How do you know that? Don’t just ask your friends and family what they think. You will not get straightforward answers. Ask those who are not affected in your potential success (or failure). Then listen to what they have to say. The best way to evaluate an idea is to ask potential customers, but if you can’t do that, try to ask those who go ahead.

2. Find a knowledgeable person

Tell you any problems. Do not look for someone who will assert your opinions; Find a guy (or a girl) who will challenge you for your reason and decision. Even if that person is in the field related to your business, the better. This is not a formal settlement, you only need a small response. You may not like what you hear, but try to listen to their opinions.

3. Bringing customers is the key factor.

Who are they? Where are they? How do you earn customers? Those are the first questions you need to answer. This task should take up half of your time. What about the other half of the time? Take that time to make sure your product or service exceeds customer expectations. If you do well, those first customers will be your sources of reference and research later, and especially they will bring you more business opportunities.

4. Reinvest everything in business.

When starting a company, you often spend more than your customers pay to create a product that is better than they expected. Once you continue doing so, you will not get back anything for yourself. However, if you focus on profitability at an early stage, you will end up with a mediocre product or service. Such mediocrity will not get you more in business. And then after that, you will have to spend all the profits you earn in every way to find a new business. So reinvest in to open up new profits for your company.

5. Saving but being smart.

Do you need new customers? Find a low-cost way to find the most potential customers. You will have to spend more time evaluating customers in order to find the best people. But it’s better than trying to use a risky and costly marketing method that won’t get you anywhere. Craigslist.org is a good example *. It is a website where there are “less money” customers but you will certainly find some good customers there. Savings method also applies to recruitment. Do not rush to hire employees who work all day. Try to find outside resources or contract employees and pay them the same payment method that customers do with you. This way, you will take time to find the right people and certainly will take more time to collaborate with them to produce the product you like. However, if you are smart and energetic, this approach will help you save significantly on employee salaries.

6. Start marketing before you think you are ready.

Too many people start a business all the time and any small amount of money they have to build a product with so many characteristics, including good and bad. However, none of the features of the product were removed at the time the product was introduced to the customer. Look for good, low-cost and effective ways to reach potential customers in the early stages of starting a business. Try to automate your marketing if possible. And whatever profit you make, spend that money on marketing as much as possible. You can start marketing before you have the product and that’s the best you’ve ever done.

7. Don’t do it yourself.

Starting a business alone is hard. Even harder when you don’t have the money. Find a partner who can share your passion for your product – but don’t look for someone who is just like you, because they will give you the same opinion. You don’t want someone who always says “yes” to everything you raise!

Source: https://articles.bplans.com/business-ideas/7-steps-to-starting-your-own-business/