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The Freemium model is a new concept for most businesses and changing to this system from traditional marketing is quite a turn-around. In this video, Peter Froberg gives his advice on how to tell whether your business is suited to a Freemium based marketing and profit structure.
The Freemium model is used heavily amongst web app companies as a way to attract customers. As a small business owner, what has your experience been? Do you think it's an effective way to market your business, regardless of the industry you're in?
At Econsultancy's Online Marketing Masterclass event in London on Wed 18th November, I listened to an excellent presentation by Craig Sullivan on website optimisation and testing strategies. It may sound like a dry subject but if a single button design change can lead to an increase in revenue of $300m in 12 months, surely dry suddenly becomes crisp and clear?
Firstly, read this article on the $300m button - it gives perspective and is the best way to make you focus on the value of testing.
Why should you take testing seriously?
How you can run simple testing yourself without having to spend £000s
My take on testing is that you need to prove the business case first - to do this, run simple A/B tests on your worst performing pages using a free tool like Google Website Optimizer. Test page variations, deploy the best performing option. Keep refining your tests until you have improved conversion and proven the investment model.
Once you've proven the business case it then pays to invest in an analytics and testing specialist who can run sophisticated MVT programs on your behalf. If you can manage this in-house and have the time/knowledge, excellent. Don't be afraid of using an expert, they really can deliver ROI. Just make sure you vet them carefully first and ask the right questions. A badly planned and executed testing plan will cost you money and deliver limited returns.
Before you start set your expectations - not every test works. Sometimes you will produce alternative page designs that decrease conversion. Don't panic. A negative test still provides learning and helps you evolve your testing hypotheses.
You can read more on my Econsultancy blog.
Marketing online, (which more recently has included a plethora of social platforms) is increasingly a popular way to attract new customers and achieve greater brand recognition for small businesses. One of the biggest concerns people have is how to successfully calculate return on investment to figure out which activities bring about the best results for the business.
One of the biggest investments you’ll make in social marketing is time. As a small business owner, how do you ensure that you’re not wasting time and money in your online activities? Are you satisfied that it’s working for you?
In this short video, Tim Smit talks about use of financial jargon and complicated accounting terms which can be overwhelming for the entrepreneur embarking on a new business venture.
Take a few moments to think about how you communicate with clients. Does your business make it easier or more difficult for clients to deal with you? And if you don’t know, why not ask one of your clients!
Does your business have a brand manual? Perhaps you're not quite sure what a brand manual is or why on earth you need one. Let me shed a bit of light on the situation.
Your brand manual is the guide that keeps all of your design on the straight and narrow. It's the document that shows you what your 'house fonts' are, which palette of colours best represent your business. And it shows everyone who designs for your business how to make sure that each piece of collateral look like it's come from the same company. No easy task I can tell you!
It would be easy to accuse brand manuals of making your business design boring, stifling even. But that's not what they're for. Brand manuals allow your designer to be more creative by focusing on the bits they can add value to, rather than changing the font for the sake of being different. Brand manuals help keep your business identity intact. They help you build trust and reassurance with your customers because everything you produce has a common style or theme. That doesn't mean it needs to look the same, but just like it's come from the same company.
Every business needs a brand manual. They will save you time, they'll save you money and they will help you project a better image. What's not to like?
One of the key concerns of business development for many SMEs is how to continue to grow during the recession. As Richard Reed from Innocent Drinks explains – it might be that your business doesn’t grow at all, but if you focus on the fundamental goals of your business – you will survive; and that’s the most important thing.
It’s often said that economic downturns and recessions make sound companies stronger, eliminating weaker competition. In the last 12 months, how has your business scaled back? And do you think that the business as a whole is better for it?