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VW plans major World Cup ad push to counter Hyundai

AutoNews - Fri, 2014-04-18 07:30
Volkswagen is planning a major World Cup advertising push that will go head-to-head against official automotive sponsor Hyundai.
Categories: Latest News

Michael Hansen Insurance Agency Opens as First York Farmers Insurance...

PR Web - Fri, 2014-04-18 06:03

Michael Hansen Insurance Agency - Farmers Insurance( announces the opening of the first York...

(PRWeb April 15, 2014)

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Bet You Didn’t Know About These Amazon Payment Services

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2014-04-18 05:30

You know about Amazon’s retail services for selling everything from books to fishing equipment. But do you know about the range of Amazon payment services the online retailer already offers, or plans to offer, to small businesses and consumers?

If not, let us clue you in. Below are some of the programs either already in place or in development for Amazon.

Amazon Login and Pay

First off, last year the company launched its Amazon Login and Pay option for online merchants. The idea is to let customers sign in and pay at other eCommerce websites using their Amazon accounts.

Login and Pay differs from the older Checkout by Amazon program, which requires only copying and pasting a snippet of HTML into your site. It also appears to offer a bit more integration than the older service.

Here’s a video that explains more:

Amazon says the new service allows payments on any device and allows you to add payment options like pre-orders, split-orders and in-store pick-up.

Amazon Payments

You may not have heard, but Amazon also has a peer-to-peer money transfer service letting you send or receive money online similar to a service also provided by PayPal. It’s called Amazon Payments, simply enough.

The feature allows private accounts using an Amazon sign in to send or receive up to $500 a month. Sellers using the service pay 2.9% plus a $0.30 per-transaction fee for payments of $10 or more.

Other Amazon Payment Services Coming

Earlier this year, reports surfaced about Amazon plans to offer small brick and mortar retailers a checkout system built on Amazon’s Kindle.

The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon might be considering the move later this summer and targeting smaller retailers without a good checkout system already in place. The maneuver could get Amazon a piece of the nearly 90% of all sales that still happen at brick and mortar retailers.

Re/Code also reports Amazon is looking into creating a payment option that would let customers handle offline transactions by phone. For example, you could pay for your parking or for a meal at a restaurant by phone.

The post Bet You Didn’t Know About These Amazon Payment Services appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Student/Farmworker Alliance calls on OSU to 'Boot the Braids'

Topix - Fri, 2014-04-18 05:03

As the Coalition of Immokalee Workers ' campaign to persuade Wendy's to join its Fair Food Program enters its second year, college students around the country are taking the fight to their university campuses with the "Boot the Braids"campaign.

Categories: Today's Food News

Red Mango CEO discusses social media strategy - Fri, 2014-04-18 04:17

In episode #036 of the Social Restaurant Podcast, I welcome Dan Kim, Founder and Chief Concept Officer of Red Mango. His brand and company have won more industry awards and honors than any other …


Santa Fe Harley-Davidson Dealership Changes Hands with Services of...

PR Web - Fri, 2014-04-18 03:43

From Vermont to New Mexico, buyers David and Debby Pearson, owners of Green Mountain Harley-Davidson in Essex Junction, Vermont purchase Santa Fe Harley-Davidson with the help of motorcycle dealership...

(PRWeb April 15, 2014)

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Arthurs Bring Painting Experience, Customer Service to Fresh Coat...

PR Web - Fri, 2014-04-18 02:33

Kenny and Tonya Arthur recently opened the new business, Fresh Coat Painters of South Austin.

(PRWeb April 15, 2014)

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Mosquito Shield of Southern Jersey Readies for Second Season

PR Web - Fri, 2014-04-18 02:33

Local team’s mosquito control service helps protect residents from mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry with an innovative residential mosquito spray system.

(PRWeb April 15, 2014)

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French automakers are poised to grab market share in China

AutoNews - Fri, 2014-04-18 01:01
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Renault will soon become forces to be reckoned with in China. PSA is racing to introduce new products while Renault prepares to start local production.
Categories: Latest News

VW plans major World Cup ad push to counter Hyundai

AutoNews - Fri, 2014-04-18 01:01
Volkswagen is planning a major World Cup advertising push that will go head-to-head against official automotive sponsor Hyundai.
Categories: Latest News

Renault uses Formula One to win Chinese buyers

AutoNews - Fri, 2014-04-18 01:01
Renault is using Formula One to promote its brand in China ahead of the French automaker opening its first car factory in the world's biggest auto market.
Categories: Latest News

How to Create Buyer Personas for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2014-04-17 19:00

Many small business owners are revamping their content marketing strategy this year. While there are lots of different ways to alter your strategy and stay safe being discussed among the Webmaster and SEO community, one of my favorites is by creating buyer personas. It’s creative and it’s a great way to try something new, so there’s really no reason not to get started.

How Buyer Personas Work and Why They Matter

Creating buyer personas essentially means you’re really digging into the buyer habits and patterns of everyone in your audience. Typically, you’ll have several different buyer personas in order to fit everyone in your entire audience into at least one group. Everyone is different, but usually you’ll find trends among your audience in terms of where they search before they buy, for how long, and how they form their decision.

The reason I like buyer personas is because they can work directly with many editorial calendars, so you know exactly which content you should show which people and/or make sure you have a good mix of content that’s really targeted (more on this later). Creating buyer personas is an excellent way to compare audiences and determine the content each would want to read most. This might mean more work because you may have to create a different piece of content for each of your five buyer personas, but it’s more personalized which will get you far.

How to Get Started Creating Buyer Personas to Help Your Content Efforts

Below are three different ways to create buyer personas and how to use them to your advantage:

1. Talk with your audience through surveys, phone calls, and user accounts.

Unless you have a company with only 20 customers, it is unrealistic to talk with every single person in order to fit him/her into the right persona. Nonetheless, you can ask customers or visitors of your website to take surveys and answer questions. If you have a system where visitors can create a profile or account, this is a great way to get a lot of information about a potential client. If you work for a big company, having a team of people call everyone who signs up for your service is a great way to get some key information.

When talking with your audience, you’re going to want to get demographic information as well as information about their buying process and interests. Remember that you want to learn about them as buyers, so ask questions such as:

  • How much did you know about the product/service before researching?
  • How do you like to shop for this product/service?
  • What was most important to you about this product/service?
  • How long did it take you to find this product/service? Make a final decision?

Of course, there are other questions you can ask depending on your specific company, but try not to ask too many. If you’re talking with someone on the phone asking more questions is a good idea, but sometimes surveys online can seem daunting if they last more than 5 minutes.

2. Look at your marketing funnel and try to segment your audience into personas.

Segmenting your audience based on the information they gave is how you’re going to determine your main personas. It typically helps to look at your marketing funnel and determine where he/she would fit. This helps you understand how each buyer acts at each step in your marketing process. Once you have your information/audience segmented into your marketing funnel, you should look for trends within each funnel to potentially create even more personas.

In the end, you should have groups of people who act similarly when it comes to buying your product/service, which means not only can you improve your paid marketing efforts or other marketing strategies, but also your content marketing.

3. Think about the content needed to help each persona make a final decision, and use and editorial calendar to schedule content and create these personas.

When thinking about content, you not only want to think about content to be published on your blog or your website, but also what type of content will be published on other channels like YouTube, social media, etc. You will want to take a look at your buyer personas and see which group uses YouTube the most to find information, for example, and then create content that fits in with some of that groups other buyer traits.

I highly recommend using a tool called “CoSchedule.” This is a standalone app that syncs with WordPress. (Extra tip: It does quite a bit more than work with personas.) It allows you to create your buyer personas and then lets you mark which content is best for which personas so that you can target them specifically and make sure you’re putting out an even amount of content for each persona.

Do you have practice working with buyer personas? What was your process to find these buyer personas like, and do you have any tips for using personas to jump start a content marketing strategy?

Persona Photo via Shutterstock

The post How to Create Buyer Personas for Your Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Small Business Trends.

A Plug-and-Play Customer Loyalty Program for Small Businesses

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2014-04-17 17:30

Punch cards for your repeat customers will soon be a thing of the past. But it’s difficult for small businesses to afford those plastic key cards that you might get from a place like a grocery store or gas station.

Huzzah Media says its new Huzzah Loyalty platform is one solution. In fact, the company is targeting businesses with fewer than 10 employees that are still looking for ways to keep their valued customers coming back.

Huzzah VP of Marketing Greg Garrick told Small Business Trends recently that a company survey found nearly half of all small business owners consider repeat customers key to their business’ success. However, less than 20 percent of them offer their customers a loyalty program. Cost in setting up such a program is a major obstacle. Huzzah says that some custom loyalty programs could cost a small business tens of thousands of dollars.

In a company press release, Huzzah’s VP of Product Development Lance Brown added:

“We know that for all businesses today, increased customer engagement is essential to keep customers coming back, and for smaller merchants, this rings especially true. Huzzah brings deep expertise in the small business market and we are committed to delivering a new set of services that enable them to compete with bigger brands and drive revenue.”

The Huzzah Loyalty program is fairly simple. Currently, the company is giving small businesses a chance to try it out for six months for a nominal fee: $1. After securing a credit card, Huzzah sends you an iPad to display at your business and a box of loyalty cards to give to your customers.

When customers visit your store after receiving a loyalty card, all they need to do is swipe it or a QR code on their smartphone in front of the iPad to earn points. These points can be accrued toward rewards that you select as the business owner.

In an interview with Small Business Trends, Brown said that his company works with small business owners to set up their unique loyalty program:

“Small business owners can talk to specialists to help them guide on which offers to offer. We walk them through the process. You answer questions, they set up everything.”

After about five months, Huzzah contacts small businesses that have been using the loyalty program to gauge their interest going forward. Following the trial period, monthly subscriptions to Huzzah’s platform range from $69 to $139. Businesses are required to enter into a one-year contract with Huzzah at that time.

In addition to the loyalty program, Huzzah has also announced several other services aimed at small businesses competing with bigger ones.

Huzzah will design a mobile app for your business, customized with your company’s logo and color scheme. The company’s website claims that you need no coding experience or design skills to get your app active. The company also places it on all the major app stores with a premium plan. Mobile apps designed through Huzzah range from $20 monthly up to $65.

Huzzah also has a mobile ad program designed to drive traffic to your mobile app, website, and eventually your business. The ads are localized so that mobile users in your area are more likely to see your ad. Monthly subscriptions in Huzzah’s mobile ad network get your business between 20,000 and 40,000 impressions for $100 and $200, respectively, the company says. Each level gets your business a banner ad and a mobile landing page when someone clicks on your ad.

Image: Huzzah

The post A Plug-and-Play Customer Loyalty Program for Small Businesses appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Tech redefines fitness franchises

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
More than 54 million Americans belong to a fitness franchise, with membership growth up 6.1% in the past five years, accordin -More
Categories: Latest News

Marriott campaign targets the modern traveler

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
A spirit of innovation is afoot at Marriott International.  -More
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McDonald's may have rebounded in March, analyst says

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
McDonald's March same-store sales likely rose 0.6% after four months of declines, according to Janney analyst Mark Kalinowsk -More

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Are you ignoring or learning from your loudest employees?

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
Every company has a "resident loudmouth," and while they can be annoying, they're also an important asset, writes Rod Miller. -More
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How to spot a problematic job candidate

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
There are factors that should cause you to think twice before hiring a particular job candidate, experts say.  -More

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Restaurant sales rebounded in March, report says

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
Restaurants saw same-store sales growth of 0.7% in March, the first increase since November, as warmer weather melted winter' -More
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Hotel leaders: Industry performance still pointing upward

SmartBrief - Wed, 2014-04-16 14:17
Geoff Davis, HREC Investment Advisors' president and senior principal, said during a panel discussion at the Real Time Hotel  -More
Categories: Latest News