Tag Archives: tools

Marketing for Food Businesses: Jennifer Lewis of Small Food Business

Jennifer Lewis of Small Food BusinessJennifer Lewis voyaged into entrepreneurship with her own food business, and now helps other food businesses become successful. Her site, smallfoodbiz.com, has lots of resources and advice for artisan food entrepreneurs. She tells us about the specific challenges of running a small food business, her favorite social media platform, and more.

My questions are in bold.

How is starting a food business different from other forms of entrepreneurship? What peculiar challenges does a small food business-owner face?

People tend to come into the food world because they’re driven by passion for the items they make but they can face an uphill battle getting their products to market because of the numerous regulations that are specific to the food industry. This can be anything from health code permits to labeling regulations. It’s a complex world and one that’s very different from other types of entrepreneurial ventures.

Continue reading

How to Schedule Tweets using Twitter

Twitter announced its new scheduling feature yesterday. This has been expected for a while now, more so because of Twitter’s IPO and the need to project Twitter as a sophisticated advertising platform. Twitter’s official announcement says:

Starting today, all marketers using Twitter’s Ad Products can schedule organic or Promoted Tweets for specific dates and times up to a year in advance. These can be coordinated to go live with new or existing Promoted Tweet campaigns to enable you to plan your real-time campaigns at your convenience.

Twitter’s focus on advertising becomes obvious when you see that scheduling option is implemented as part of ads.twitter.com and not in the core twitter.com UI. But don’t worry, you can schedule tweets even if you are not advertising on Twitter. Here’s how:

Continue reading

Monday Marketing Mashup: Video Marketing Ideas and Tools

Video marketing Everyone seems to be talking about video marketing these days. And the rise of apps like Vine and Instagram video means that very short videos are back in the marketing mix.

Do you want to use videos to market your business but think it’s too difficult or are short on ideas? Well, here are some useful resources to help you get started.

If you are not sure if videos are the right tool for you or wondering what kind of videos to create, start with this recent post by SpinSucks:

“More and more companies are producing PR and marketing videos, and thanks to the web and social media, they have become easily shared pieces of content.”

Continue reading

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Google Won’t Show Search Terms

It’s bad news.

The day many SEO professionals hoped would never come, but feared eventually would, apparently has arrived today. It appears that Google has cut off keyword data altogether.

Nearly two years after making one of the biggest changes to secure search that resulted in a steady rise in “(not provided)” data, Google has switched all searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners.

 What does this mean? Search Engine Land explains:

When searches are encrypted, search terms that are normally passed along to publishers after someone clicks on their links at Google get withheld. In Google Analytics, the actual term is replaced with a “Not Provided” notation.

Why does this matter? Search terms are a great measure of user intent, and we won’t have that anymore. We’ll still see how many visits we’re getting through Google search, but not what those visitors were searching for. So it’s going to be difficult, to put it mildly, to optimize your pages for search if you don’t know what terms you’re ranking for. We’ll all be left shooting in the dark.

So what do we do? Ruud Hein explains five ways to get around this, including keyword data from other search engines and using Google Webmaster Tools.

Edited to add this excellent post that went up after I published this: Neil Patel explains how this move by Google might actually make you a better marketer. He also provides some great tips for managing the change.

Ultimately, none of these other tools will make up for the visibility we’re losing with this change, but we’ve got to work with what we have. The silver lining I see is maybe we’ll stop obsessing over keyword rankings and search results and algorithm changes and focus instead on delivering the best content for our audience.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Productivity and Tools

To-do list on memo padLet’s talk about productivity! Raise your hand if you think you work at a terrific pace and rarely waste time being unproductive or procrastinating. What, no one? I’m shocked.

Check out Nilesh’s post about seven free tools he’s used that might help you improve your productivity.

It’s easy to see which of us is more tech-savvy. My recent post about productivity on the Spin Sucks blog described how I use my favorite productivity tool: paper.

That’s right: I have ten notebooks, each with a designated use. Don’t believe me? Check out the post: I have details and a picture.

This is a really interesting list of apps and plug-ins you can use to counter procrastination. I’ve started using Strict Workflow myself to keep me on track.

I also use Rescue Time to check up on my productivity (since Bhaskar recommended it),  and of course, email (I write myself notes on things I need to remember) and Google Calendar. I have also found Streak useful to keep track of emails I need to follow up on. I’ve used Remember the Milk and Trello as well, but with less success.

And if you’re feeling stressed out about your productivity levels, Amber Naslund’s post might help you gain perspective.

There is no magic system. Stop looking for it.

So let’s get to work now, you and me both.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Forget Automation and Algorithms; Focus on People

If you have spent much time on the internet lately, especially on social media, you’re aware that the noise is increasing. It’s more and more difficult to find relevant messages because of all the content that is created. (And I know, we’re part of the problem.)

Rich Becker muses over where automation will take social media:

The platform shift from conversation to broadcast is a symptom of what marketers measure.

They measure actions (tweets, retweets, link clicks), which discourages dialogue. It discourages it because conversations are not valued on the action scale. It discourages it because the more organic conversations take place, the more marketers have to drown them out with frequency. And it discourages it because scalable actions require automation, which means the marketer isn’t participating.

Also:

Continue reading

Five Ways to Find Relevant People to Follow on Twitter

A common question business-owners who use Twitter ask us is, “How do I find relevant people to follow?”

In my last post, I talked about who you should follow on Twitter: now let’s look at how to find these people.

1. Twitter Advanced Search

A useful but rarely used feature of Twitter is Advanced Search.

Continue reading

6 Free Tools for Creating Product and Promotional Videos

Are videos part of your content marketing? If not, they should be. Be it a quick product demo, a walk through your facility or office, a testimonial from a happy customer,  a training video for some complex feature of your product or an introduction of your team — videos are a great medium for all of this.

But getting professional videos done is so difficult and costly that most of us shy away from it. We recently created a bunch of videos of our product and team, and in the process, discovered that it’s not as difficult as it seems.

There are a number of easy and mostly free tools that you can use to create different kinds of videos quickly. Don’t expect the production quality to be really great, but this will serve the purpose for the most part.

Take a look at the videos we created here, and below is the list of tools we used.

1. Powtoon

Powtoon - Create professional looking animated videos and presentations

Continue reading

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Just Launched

Yesterday Google officially launched its new tool, AdWords Keyword Planner, to help create better AdWords campaigns. Keyword Planner will replace our favorite Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator.

You should learn to use this tool even if you never used Keyword Tool or Traffic Estimator and do not plan to use Google ads. Understanding search terms is important because that tells you what words your potential customers use to describe yours and similar businesses so that you can tweak your marketing and sales content accordingly.

Adwords Keyword Planner

Continue reading

Weekly Reading: Trackbacks and Data Hub Activity on Google Analytics

We have been talking a lot about Google Analytics lately. Do you know of the new Google Analytics reports that show trackbacks and links from social media more explicitly? You should, so read this week’s links for details.

But first, how do you get to these reports? On your Google Analytics sidebar on the left, go to Traffic Sources, and then Social. You’ll see the links for Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks.

Here’s a screenshot of our Trackbacks report. It shows us who linked to our site recently.

Google Analytics Trackbacks for Markitty

Continue reading

Marketing Reading for the Weekend: Social Media Metrics You Can’t Ignore

Is it only a week since I last did this? It’s been Technology Breakdown Week here at Markitty, with laptops, ACs (okay, one AC), and power all refusing to cooperate. But we survived!

This post is a great quick look at five social media metrics and how you can monitor them.

On the Buffer blog, read about five essential social media metrics and how you can improve them.

Jay Baer claims that social referrals to your website is the most overrated social media metric. Most overrated is probably hyperbole (I think that distinction belongs to the number of Likes on your Facebook Page), but as we said on Twitter:

Continue reading

Using Markitty: Compare Website Visits, Referrals, and Social Referrals

I’m going to show you some useful Markitty graphs, stats, and features, and explain why we put them in and how you can use them. For the very first in this series, I’ve picked this graph displaying data from Google Analytics.

Markitty graph screenshot: website visits, referrals, and social referrals

As the graph title says, this line graph shows you the total visits to your website, the number of visits that were referred by other sites, and the number of visits referred by social sites. You get all of these for the last three weeks (if you signed up with Markitty over three weeks ago).

Why did we put this graph together?

Continue reading

The Markitty Story: in the Hustler’s Words

Unmana wrote about how we decided to get started with Markitty: here is my account of the product development so far.

Gathering courage

I had done a bit of coding more than 10 years back, but since then my exposure to the technical side was limited to managing software projects, data analysis, and occasional experiments with SQL or Excel macros. Building a SaaS product of our own was a task I had never imagined taking up.

Outsource or build in-house

We didn’t have a lot of money to hire a great outsourcing vendor or to hire a senior technical lead. We did try looking for someone who could be a technical co-founder but that was not going to be easy.

Unmana and I had both worked in geographically distributed teams for a long time and understood the communication overheads and leakages that need to be dealt with in such a setup. So we were very clear from the beginning that we wanted to have a local team and dedicated developers who can work closely with us. Apart from the cost, culture was the biggest driver behind this decision.

Continue reading

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Let’s Say Goodbye to Google Reader

A sprained ankle, and then food poisoning. The last three weeks have not been good to me. And then I resurface this morning, only to be hit by the news that Google Reader is dying.

Yeah, yeah, it’s been on life support for a while, but still. It’s much too soon, Google. I’m not ready to say goodbye.

Mourning Google Reader

Continue reading

Making Marketing Easier: the Markitty Dream

Pomegranate spilling seedsOn a broad level, marketing is mostly common sense. You figure out who are the best people to buy what you’re selling, try to catch their attention, and persuade them to buy from you. It’s when you get to the details that it becomes tricky.

Okay, so I created a Twitter account. What should I do next? Should I post photos on Facebook or links to articles I like? Why aren’t visitors to my site buying?

Continue reading

5 Reasons I Like Buffer (the Company)

Buffer is one of my favorite tools, but it’s not just the application itself I like, it’s the company. So well, let me count the ways.

Simple App That Focuses on One Benefit

I love how simple and easy Buffer is to use (in fact, I liked the earlier interface even better, because it was more simple). I’ve tried a few social media scheduling tools, but this is the only one I stuck with.

Tweets scheduled on Buffer

One click on the text box, type in or paste your tweet, and you’re done.

Continue reading

Get Markitty Beta Now (Free for Limited Period)

That’s right, Markitty beta is up and ready for use! Go ahead and sign up while it’s still free.

You should get Markitty if:

  • You are a small business (restaurant or retail store or business services or florist or anything, really)

and

  • You have a Facebook Page, Twitter account, website, or blog (at least one of these) for your business 

and

  • You want to make better use of online marketing.

Markitty will help you by giving you your important stats in one place and offering useful tips and suggestions. Try it out for free!

Continue reading

Better Marketing Is Now Markitty

We have been a little quiet on the blog and social media in the last few days, because we were working on a big change. If you’ve noticed, we have moved our website from BetterMarketing.in to Markitty.com. We’ve changed our Facebook and Twitter URLs as well.

Why did we change?

This change was always in the works. We just wanted to wait until we were ready to announce it.

What’s Markitty?

Markitty is our soon-to-be-released software tool that gives you automated, personalized suggestions on improving your online marketing. Click here for details.

What else changes?

Nothing, for now. We’re still offering services, and our blog will continue as usual. We’ve tried to fix all our website links, but if you find something isn’t working, let us know.

Questions? Feedback? Hit the comments section!