5 Steps to Start a Successful Small Business

Posted by Morgan Sims in Uncategorized on October 22nd, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Any new business is a risk and a challenge. This is especially true for first-time business owners. To step out as an entrepreneur is commendable, but it is no guarantee of long-term success. That only comes with good decisions, consistency, and some luck. To maximize your chances of profiting from your new venture for years to come, there are certain basics to learn, principles that every successful business owner follows.

Know Where You Fit In. Is there a real world need for the product or service you plan to offer? This holds true whether you are creating software or opening up a coffee shop. There have to be customers, living and breathing, who will come to be the lifeblood of your big idea. Be realistic when analyzing just how big and far reaching your business can be. Can it truly survive and thrive? If you feel that your judgment is clouded (and if this is your first time, it likely is), ask a professional or trusted advisor to help you see any potential oversights. It’s much better to find them now than before you’re fully invested. Of course, this process won’t bring to light every problem you will face in...

Busting the top 4 myths of social media advertising

Posted by Jeff Zwelling in Opinions on October 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am

When it comes to any form of advertising, the big question for marketers is always the same: Does it work?

According to eMarketer, social advertising revenues are expected to hit $6.6 billion in the U.S. this year, which means there’s a whole lot of investment now riding on this still-maturing channel. There are many ill-founded concepts about social marketing floating around, however, like ads not swaying Facebook users or millennials being turned off by social ads.

While survey-based responses are useful as a way to show directional trends, actual real-world data is far more enlightening about where social advertising fits (and doesn’t fit) within a marketer’s plan.  The question is how to make social —from both an organic and paid standpoint — work to accomplish a brand’s goal of driving awareness, influence and consideration of a product, and ultimately sales.

A recent study by Convertro, a leading multi-touch attribution provider and division of AOL Platforms, set out to quantify and take on some of the myths associated with social media advertising, including the four most common:

MYTH #1: Social Media Has Limited Value for Brands. The impact of social media on the consumer’s path to purchase has been poorly understood...

5 key ingredients for a buzzworthy integrated marketing campaign

Posted by David Saef in Opinions on October 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am

Are you for #UpForWhatever?

Bud Light is, and thanks to its massive integrated marketing campaign, the Millennials the company targets are, too.

Previously, companies launched email or TV campaigns, perhaps tied to direct mail or a single platform. Today, brands craft campaigns around one core theme or message and appeal to both mass and targeted audiences by spreading that message across multiple channels, including TV, billboards, email, direct mail, social media, and paid digital advertising.

Integrated marketing is more complex and more inclusive than ever before. Brands wanting to make a splash — whether it’s Coca-Cola or a small startup — need to leverage multiple platforms to amplify their marketing messages.

Creating a solid, cross-channel integrated marketing campaign involves a number of moving parts, but the very first thing you need is a big idea. Keep the theme concise to make it more meaningful, and add a dose of creativity to draw emotion and inspiration. Make sure it can easily be leveraged across multiple media.

After you lock in the winning idea, incorporate these five invaluable components to ensure your campaign’s success:

1. Audience Research

Take the time to really get to know your target audience and add important insights to the creative brief. When...

Financial Fraud in the Digital Age

Posted by Morgan Sims in Opinions Uncategorized on October 21st, 2014 at 1:15 pm

New England College Online

Speed Up Your Website and Increase User Experience

Posted by Morgan Sims in Websites on October 21st, 2014 at 9:12 am

The time it takes for websites to load is one of the most important factors to consider when looking at the overall usability of the website. The majority of internet users will stop using a site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds, especially when they can get the same information, products or service elsewhere.  In this article we take a look at how you can dramatically increase the speed of your website.

Optimise your pictures

On most image editing software out there today you can find the save for the web feature. Website speed is hampered heavily by images so you have to put these tools to good use and optimise your images. If you don’t use these software, there are online image optimisation tools you can use.

Be mindful of the tracking codes

This is one of the main mistakes people make that keep their websites running ever so slowly. Obviously web owners love keeping tabs on metrics, like conversions, actions etc. but every tracking code you install simply means the browser of every visitor will have to make a request to an additional server. So 7 tracking codes means 7 additional servers, and all of these slow down the...