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Whether it’s held online or a physical event that can be attended in person, business events are a fantastic opportunity to connect directly to your audience.
When done well, the dynamism and immediacy of gathering many people together at once offer huge benefits – which explains why 61 percent of marketers believe that in-person events are the single most critical marketing channel.
That’s a consensus opinion that shouldn’t be ignored, even if you need to seek virtual alternatives in the era of the pandemic – so what are some of the benefits that businesses can see from hosting physical and digital events?Brand Exposure and Awareness
By using your business’s name to host the event, you help to solidify your brand as a recognizable figure in the industry. This increases awareness of your company and builds trust with potential customers, positively impacting the number of people who purchase from you.
You can maximize the impact on brand awareness by commissioning a dedicated event app, which allows you to provide all the important information that attendees will want to hand while delivering more detailed messaging about your brand and what you can do for customers.
Top 10 Job Search Websites of 2023Spreading Knowledge and Information
By hosting an event, you can protect your brand’s voice to the attendees and educate them on whatever you choose. There are a few angles you can take to educate and inform attendees, each with its own benefits.
Industry Knowledge: By talking about the latest industry developments, strategies, and technology, you will position your business as an industry leader and build trust with attendees.
Business Information: Giving details into your business, who you are, and your story allows you to create a business image that potential customers can get behind and buy into.
Product Information: Spreading knowledge on your latest products, the technology behind them, and the results they have shown enables you to better inform customers’ buying decisions and improve sales through familiarity and trust.
It’s important not to focus solely on one method, however. If you only discuss the wider industry, attendees might take on this knowledge without associating it directly with your brand or increasing their likelihood of buying specifically from you. Similarly, talking too much about your brand and your product can seem like a sales pitch and lose interest.
Marketing and PR
Running an event is a gold mine for your marketing and PR team. For months following the event, you can produce insightful content relaying what was covered at the conference. You can also curate articles with interesting attendance and uptake statistics to show how much of a success your event was – which can have the knock-on effect of making a follow-up event even more prestigious and draw in a greater number of attendees.Networking
Bringing together a room full of like-minded people and industry experts makes for the perfect networking opportunity, allowing you to collect more business development opportunities for future projects. You can also have direct communication and feedback from clients and customers, helping you to further improve and develop on your offerings.Steph King
Steph King is a content writer from the UK with a passion for writing about Business and Marketing.
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A good idea plays an important role in being a successful entrepreneur and small business owner, but it’s not the only requirement. Unless you have the means to self-fund, the first step is to secure a loan. But do you know how to choose the best one for your needs and objectives?
Editor’s note: Looking for a financing solution for your business? If you’re looking for information to help you choose the one that’s right for you, use the questionnaire below to get information from a variety of lenders for free:The most common types of business loans
If you don’t have any experience in the world of financing, then you probably don’t realize that there are many different types of loans. In fact, there are enough different loan types and formats to make your head spin. Before we dig into some tips and tricks for evaluating and choosing the right loan, let’s take a brief look at two of the most common types of loans, as well as the individual funding options within each category.1. Small Business Administration loans
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers different types of loans specifically for small business owners who meet certain requirements and qualifications. Here are the four major types:
7(a) loan program: By far the most basic and popular loan the SBA offers is the 7(a) loan. These loans can be used for a variety of things, including working capital, to purchase real estate, acquire or expand, and even refinance existing debt.
Microloan program: For brand-new or growing businesses, the SBA offers small loans in the form of microloans. These loans can be used for many of the same things a 7(a) loan can be used for; they just come in smaller loan amounts and have shorter repayment terms. The average loan is $13,000, and the maximum repayment term is six years.
CDC/504 loan program: The 504 loan program gives businesses a long-term fixed rate for major assets like real estate and equipment. The SBA generally provides 40% of the loan, while an approved lender covers as much as 50%. The borrower then has to put up the remaining percentage. The maximum 504 loan is $5.5 million, and details are negotiable to include 10- or 20-year maturity terms.
Disaster loans: Finally, there are SBA disaster loans. These loans – which max out at $2 million – can be used to purchase, repair or replace assets destroyed in a declared disaster.
If you are thinking about applying for an SBA loan, be prepared for the approval process to take a bit of time. To speed up the process, gather all your documentation before filling out the loan application. Many lenders that specialize in SBA loans are willing to walk you through the process, including Truist. Learn more in our full review of Truist.
Loan type ProsConsSBA loan
Long repayment time (up to 10 years)
No collateral requirements
Lower-than-average interest rates
Difficult qualification process
Very specific documentation requirements
SBA 504 loan
Affordable fixed interest rates
Very large loan amounts
Easy qualification process
Strict usage restrictions
Must be used to create jobs (one job per $65,000)
Must be able to cover 10% of loan on your own
SBA disaster loan
Higher-than-average maximum loan amount (up to $2 million)
Lenient terms (up to 30 years for repayment)
Flexible usage of funds
Challenging qualification process
Affordability depends on other financing options available
Must be located in a disaster zone4 tips for evaluating and choosing the right loan
Is your head spinning yet? Those were just a few examples of small business loans – many more exist. Here are some recommendations for choosing the right loan for your situation.1. Become more self-aware.
Before you do anything else, spend time evaluating your business and how lenders see you. A quick credit check will help you understand your score, which is an important factor, but you also need to know your debt-to-equity ratio.
According to business consultant David Duryee, this is one of the most important metrics a lender analyzes. “It is a basic financial principle that the more you rely on debt versus equity to finance your business, the more risk you face,” he said. “Therefore, the higher the debt-to-equity ratio, the less safe your business [is].”2. Consider the interest rate.
You obviously want to consider the interest rate, though this shouldn’t be the only determining factor. For example, if a $100,000 loan has repayment terms of five years, a difference of two percentage points really doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. It would, however, matter if the loan were for $1 million spread out over 20 years. Be smart about comparing interest rates, and give more weight to it when terms are higher.3. Look at repayment terms.
Speaking of repayment terms, how much time do you have to pay off the loan? What does the payment schedule look like? Can you pay off the loan early, or do you have to wait until maturation? It’s easy for these to seem like tiny little details in the fine print of a loan, but they can save or cost you tens of thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done.4. Consider application fees.
Are you aware that some lenders actually require you to pay to apply, while others don’t? Ask if any fees are associated with the application. Some lenders charge an application fee, while others charge fees for items tied into the application, such as the cost to run your credit report or get your collateral appraised.5. Take your time.
You may feel like time isn’t on your side, but it’s OK to take things slowly. The absolute worst thing you can do is rush into this. Prematurely selecting a loan, only to figure out later that you chose the wrong one, can be devastating to your business. Be patient and carefully evaluate all of your options as you navigate the process.
Don’t feel rushed or pushed into a loan product. It pays to take your time and do your research to find the best business loan for your business. Compare lenders and read reviews before selecting the loan that is right for your unique situation.What to consider before looking for a business loan
Business loans come in a variety of types, with varying repayment terms and fees. When shopping for a loan, it’s always important to look at the annual percentage rate (APR). This tells you the total cost of the loan, including interest and fees. But that’s not the only thing you should consider when selecting a small business loan. Here are some other important factors to keep in mind.Credit score
The interest you’ll pay on your loan boils down mainly to your credit score. The lower it is, the more you will pay for a small business loan. If your credit score is in the mid to high 700s, you’ll get a better interest rate than if it’s in the low 600s. [Read related article: When Does Your Business Credit Score Matter?]Repayment terms
Many lenders provide flexibility regarding when and how often you pay back your loan. The longer the terms, the smaller the payments are, but the more interest you’ll pay. Conversely, the shorter the loan, the less interest you’ll pay. It’s important when selecting a small business loan to think about the monthly payment. You have to be able to afford it without dipping into savings or impacting cash flow. Terms can run from as short as three months to as long as 10 years.Collateral
Some lenders require you to offer personal or business collateral to back up the loan if you default. Known as collateral, it could include real estate, equipment, vehicles or other valuable assets. If you can’t pay back your loan, the lender can collect your collateral. Make sure you understand the collateral requirements and risks before agreeing to the loan. For example, our review of SBG Funding found that it doesn’t require collateral.Personal guarantee
In lieu of collateral, some lenders require a personal guarantee. That means the lender can come after your personal assets if your business defaults on the loan. Many lenders require a personal guarantee in addition to collateral.Time to deposit
Depending on the lender you work with, you can have the money in your bank account the same day, within two to three business days or, in the SBA’s case, in a few weeks. Applying for a bank or SBA loan may not make the most sense if you need the money fast. We found through our research that Rapid Finance stands out as a fast-funding lender. Learn more in our Rapid Finance review.
Larry Alton contributed to the writing and research in this article.
It’s always a good idea to reevaluate your workflow and think of new ways to develop and distribute the content your consumers desire, whether you’re just starting to plan a content strategy or giving an old one a facelift.
This article will provide an overview of content strategy. So, let’s get started.Content Strategy
A content strategy is necessary for content production, dissemination, and administration. The plan considers the content’s who, what, where, when, and why. A content strategy is a methodical approach to conceiving, developing, producing, and distributing information to achieve business goals. It’s a method developed to attract new customers while keeping the ones you already have happy.
A content strategy’s primary objective is to maintain brand cohesion throughout an organization’s written output. When determining when and where each content will be distributed, content strategists collaborate with writers, editors, designers, and other stakeholders to develop a content calendar.
Workflows for content development, evaluation, and approval are also developed. Content strategists often create an editorial style guide to guarantee that all published material uses the same voice and tone throughout the company.
Content can take many forms, including text, music, and visual material like images, charts, and videos. You need a solid content strategy to tie everything together to ensure your material is useful, informative, and well-organized. It improves the user experience and is simple to find.How to Build a ‘Helpful’ Content Strategy for 2023
There are many ways to build a content strategy, Following these 5steps will help you create a content strategy with confidence.Create Key Performance Indicators
Writing out your content marketing goals is the first and most important step in developing a simple content strategy.
Allow me to illustrate a startup. Starting by creating brochures and sending out discount offers is a bad idea for a new and comparatively less popular firm because it could easily mislead the targeted audience. It must initially promote its name and its goods and services. In addition, it must raise public understanding and promote its name to reach its target audience.
Setting your company’s objectives and KPIs, such as the number of visitors generated through your website and other comparable content strategies, is an important first step.Know Your Audience
After identifying your objectives, you must understand your target audience’s qualities and demands. You should become well-versed in their likes, dislikes, and other relevant information. This will allow you to better precisely analyze them by providing insight into their psychological conduct.
By now, you should have a good idea of what your audience enjoys and don’t like. This should include their interests, what they want out of life, and so on. If you ask yourself these questions, you can better understand your target market, create a buyer persona, and create a content strategy that resonates with them.
You should also study what procedures consumers take before purchasing from you. According to Hubspot, a real buyer goes through three stages, and in each phase, the customer is looking for a particular quality that would eventually drive them to make a purchase.Create a Content Schedule
After the last step, you must have many ideas. But you don’t know how to implement them. Now, you should start making plans and formulating ideas now. To do so, review your original plans, buyer personas, and the many levels at which they progress.
Imagine, for instance, that you have the task of developing a B2B content marketing plan. You can’t begin as a startup by comparing to other businesses and publishing content about how you are better than them. As the target audience is unlikely to be familiar with your company, this is of no help to you.
Instead, you should focus on creating content that introduces your brand, provides value and connects with your target demographic. You should use helpful applications to keep your thoughts in order. Feel free to fall back on Excel or another application you’re already comfortable with if you’re having trouble with them.Build Your Content
One of the best content marketing tactics involves four stages, the fourth of which is creating the content itself. After you’ve settled on your topics and established what you want to say to your target audience, you can begin developing your content in whatever medium suits your needs best. This level necessitates creativity; the content must incorporate a story or tale.Distribute the Content
Lastly, you’ll want to make your content available to the public through the various platforms and channels described below.
Upon finishing, you must test your content to ensure it functions properly. Now, you must remember the KPIs you specified for your content. You need to track the whole real-time performance of your material. This will help you determine what approaches are productive and which are not so that you can save time and energy in the future.
Content is an adjunct to your company and a way to help others. While you’re writing, keep in mind that your reader probably needs something from you then more clients and money. Align your content strategy with your 2023 objectives while considering your readers’ needs.
Is your business equipped to offer customers personalized experiences across multiple channels?
In the era of instant communications and instant gratification, relationships between businesses and customers are changing. Driven by customers’ need for personalized and seamless interactions, brands are constantly adopting new communication channels, which allow them to reach customers at any stage of their purchasing journey.
Making a purchase nowadays is easier than ever as customers can go from discovering a product on Instagram to an online checkout system in less than a minute. With 51% of UK’s consumers saying they prefer to shop online, the pressure is on for businesses to engage customers in high-touch point, more personalized interactions.
Download our Business Resource – Integrating customer acquisition and retention communications
Our briefing to integrating customer acquisition and retention communications will show you common areas where the two teams fail to communicate, how a customer data platform can synchronize data use by both teams, and how you can create brand ambassadors by improving your customer experience.
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If that is the case, then how can online businesses succeed in offering multichannel customer service that can not only drive sales but create bespoke customer experiences?
The key is human-powered online communication.
In recent years, video calling has become a preferred way for customers to interact with a company – and for good reason. The urgency to deliver great customer service prompted more than 100 of the 500 largest global businesses to introduce video-based customer service in 2023. Being the closest equivalent to face-to-face communication online, the solution enables customers to interact with a customer service agent in real time, without having to interrupt their browsing session.
In 2023, video-empowered communication will comprise an even bigger part of businesses’ multichannel customer service strategy. If you are looking to bring an additional degree of personalization to your customer interactions and provide agents with a unified view of their buying journey, then read further on to discover how video calling would enable you to do so.Offering a personalized shopping experience
Picture this: you walk into a store to return a pair of shoes when you set your eyes on the perfect winter coat. However, your lunch break is almost over and you don’t have the time to go and try it on. How convenient would it be if you could go online later, from the comfort of your own home, and have a customer service agent give you a closer look of the coat’s fabric and fit?
Well, with video calling, many businesses are now offering this service on their websites. The UK’s leading lingerie retailer, Bravissimo, has adopted live web chat and video calling to offer customers a real-time view of their products, enabling them to get an accurate idea of the size and fit of an item they are interested in.From multichannel to omnichannel communications
Multichannel customer service means that businesses can communicate with their clients across various channels, including via a phone call, email, or using direct messaging on social media. As communication technology evolves, however, these capabilities are considered not as a novelty, but as a necessity for satisfactory customer service.
Managing multiple communication channels can be tricky since customers expect to receive the same quality of service, whether they choose to contact you via Facebook Messenger, live web chat or email. This is where an omnichannel communication strategy can be more beneficial. It enables businesses to streamline the customer experience across both digital and physical channels, which will create a unified view of your brand in the customer’s eyes.
By implementing solutions such as video calling and live web chat, customers can move seamlessly from one contact channel to another without having to disrupt their online journey. Being able to escalate an interaction from chat to voice and video can greatly improve the customer experience. In the case of Bravissimo, it has reduced the contact centre abandonment rates by up to 70%.Empowering customer service agents
Adopting solutions for real-time communication will help you avoid this. The customer data gathered through live web chat or web calling can be combined with the opportunities for personalization of video calling. This means that agents get a greater insight into the customer journey and are better equipped to deliver bespoke customer experiences.
In order to make the most out of a video calling solution, agents within the contact centre need to receive the necessary training that would enable them to handle customer requests efficiently. This could include:
Body language training
Visual cues training
Sign language training, if you work with deaf/hard of hearing customers
Agent training is one of the main costs associated with implementing a video calling solution. However, it is a worthy investment that can improve the overall efficiency of the agents, especially when it comes to managing interactions across multiple channels.Improving customer engagement
At this point, most businesses have already realized the importance of offering multichannel customer service that allows customers to engage with a brand across both offline and digital platforms. While this has made the shopping experience much more streamlined and convenient, it has also increased the complexity of the interactions between customers and brands.
If a customer’s buying journey starts on social media, goes through to your online website and finishes in the brick-and-mortar store, how can brands ensure they provide effective support at every stage of the shopping experience?
57% of customers feel more confident in making a purchase after watching a product demo.
50% of customers are more inclined to engage with a retailer who makes video content about their products.
Video calling can be the solution that glues the fragmented customer journey together. It offers the opportunity for the whole customer experience to be brought online, with real-time product demos giving the customer a 360-degree view of a product, creating a shopping experience resembling an authentic in-store one.
What these statistics reveal is that customers have already embraced the benefits of video and are expecting businesses to have done so as well. Therefore, it is time for brands to take the next step and offer not just pre-recorded material, but real-time video interactions. This will not only help you unify the multichannel customer experience but will also encourage customer loyalty, as 80% of shoppers are more likely to return to a business when they have had a personalized, seamless experience.Are there any cons to video calling?
Clearly, there are numerous ways in which video calling can improve the quality of your multichannel customer service. However, it is worth mentioning some of the difficulties you might encounter during the early adoption stages. In addition to agent training, video calling may require existing software systems to be upgraded or new camera equipment to be purchased.To sum up
Multichannel customer service is all about providing customers with the freedom to decide on how they would like to communicate with a brand. However, it also requires businesses to join up their communication channels in order to gain a comprehensive, single customer view. Video calling, in combination with other real-time communication solutions such as live web chat and web calling, makes it easier to provide personalized customer support all within the browser, making for a seamless and unified customer experience.
With the personalization of face-to-face communication and the data insights from online interactions, video calling combines the best of both worlds, offering an additional platform for brands to understand and support their customers.
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SEJ is thrilled to announce that Amanda Zantal-Wiener is our Editor-In-Chief!
This is a newly created role focused heavily on leadership and strategy. Amanda will be overseeing the entire editorial team and guiding us into our exciting future.
Amanda joined me to talk about her new role, content strategy, leadership, and how a solid content strategy, married with a strong editorial team, can empower and inspire your team.
Before coming to SEJ, Amanda served as Senior Deputy Editor and Content Manager for HubSpot’s social media team.
SEJ is in this critical moment of growth and scale where it’s an extremely important time but an extremely exciting time to be entering this environment because it is a time of great change with maybe a few growing pains. So it’s really being able to see the impact you’re going to have on this growth and evolution for SEJ, specifically as it evolves from a blog to a full-fledged media presence, a full-fledged publication. –Amanda Zantal-Wiener, 20:01
I love a good corporate culture that doesn’t need a handbook to tell people how to have a good corporate culture. –Loren Baker, 22:57
There’s a lot of opportunity in broadening the view that a publication has of news and creating editorial content that is not necessarily breaking but is still timely and relevant and therefore newsworthy, and that gives you a little bit more time to really sit with information and think about what it really means and add different perspectives to it. –Amanda Zantal-Wiener, 49:11
[48:17] – Where will she steer SEJ editorial?
That’s what was what drew me to SEJ’s environment. In particular, it seemed like an environment where there were a lot of strong-minded smart people. Everybody I interviewed listened. So being able to come from that strong stance and that strong point of view with respect was something that stood out to me during the interview process, and that’s not an environment, and that’s not a workplace dynamic that you find in too many places. –Amanda Zantal-Wiener, 21:06
Everything is so multi-pronged now. You have to have a multi-channel approach to content strategy, or else you’re going to fall behind the start line. That is probably the biggest difference: you have to keep brand awareness in mind, brand recognition, brand recall, thought leadership, and all of those things. –Amanda Zantal-Wiener, 29:24
As long as you have that audience, you could always introduce new components and new things.–Loren Baker, 34:02
Connect with Amanda Zantal-Wiener:
Amanda brings a wide array of experience to the table. From HubSpot, she has worked as an editor and writer for companies such as Fast Company and EcoSalon. In addition, her byline can be found in various media outlets, including Thrillist.
SEJ is fortunate to have Amanda on board as Editor-In-Chief. Her expertise in content strategy and editorial work with solid teams of writers and editors makes her ideal for the challenges we face as an organization navigating constantly changing media landscapes, where relevance is key!
Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:
Brief Introduction of
Slack is an tool for team cooperation that’s particularly well-suited to teams or groups which operate in various locations. In its heart, it is an instant messaging app or system(program) based on stations that could be coordinated by project, customer, staff, or another manner your company might discover useful. Slack Technologies Inc., located in San Francisco, says over 12 million individuals and 65 of the Fortune 100 companies use its own software, which comes at no cost and priced models.
Related: – Test Case Management and Its Tools: Brief Overview
How to Use Slack for Your Business
There are a number of ways you may utilize Slack into your business or company. The simplest is because an instant messenger, for both one-on-one communicating and group conversation. This enables teams to go over a job in real time, share documents, and at the paid versions, invite outside guests to take part in particular chats.
Among the very useful attributes of Slack is its own search feature. Slack maintains a record of all communications, therefore any shared articles –files or messages –could be recovered at any moment.
Beyond messaging, Slack may be used for telephone and face-to-face phoning in addition to screen sharing. Plus it integrates with over 1,500 external apps or programs: everything out of Gmail and DropBox to Simple Poll, GoToMeeting, ZenDesk and JIRA.
Search this listing to determine whether the apps you use will work with Slack.What Kind of Business Is Slack Best For?
Slack is particularly helpful when you can not walk over to somebody to ask a query, whether it’s because you work at home or at an office on a different continent. Apart from co-workers, it is possible to bring customers, builders, or visitors to particular conversations. This could help keep important players that aren’t a part of your heart team current on a job.
It could also be good for fast-growing businesses because new workers get access to some preceding conversations as soon as they’re added to a station. Firms which have many time-sensitive elements and a broad assortment of constituencies (vendors, customers, regulators) can also benefit, provided how fast and adaptable it gets the communication.
Related: – Want to Know About best Video Editing Software for Freelancers? Read HereIs Slack Free?
Paid apps eliminate these and other limitations and extend more safety and document storage. Slack markets to medium and small teams or businesses, charging $6.67 to $15 per active user every month, based upon the plan amount and charging frequency. Another product named Slack Enterprise Grid is for big businesses.Pros of Slack
Slack works in real time and may be used on almost any mobile connected apparatus.
This log of interactions could be invaluable. From the paid versions it is possible to search each file and dialogue in Slack.
Integration with other tools and services:
The list of software you can use with Slack is remarkable. And they’re adding new services all of the time.
Public and personal stations: This gatekeeping characteristic of Slack is quite helpful. You are able to restrict group or channels chats to only the people involved in a job or open it up to the whole firm.
Should you flip on push notifications (and most individuals do), Slack will alert you if there’s a new message on your own group.Cons of Slack
Messages can get disorganized fast:
whenever you have many folks working on a job in a conversation format, the info that you want –with the research function–may get buried immediately.
Addictive in nature:
With drive notifications and emojis, Slack has a lot of their addictive quality of social networking. This may mean that your staff spends too much time assessing Slack and less time doing their job.
Can be shallow:
It is difficult to have meaningful discussions over instant messages and much more challenging over bunch instant messages.
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