Archive for October, 2016

A Guide to Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Close to Home: A Guide to Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses

A significant portion of Google searches relate to a specific location. People search for things like “pizza New York City” or “spa Daytona Beach” millions of times per day. That’s because location is just as important for your website as it is for real estate. Tagging your content with relevant local information can draw in a sea of new visitors and keep your page relevant longer.

The Unique Situation of Being Local

Building an online presence for a local company can be a bit challenging. The strategies are different for content creation. Since being local ties your company to a specific market, you’ll often see a smaller selection of topics and options.

A website’s bounce rate is a measure of how many people viewed only one page without clicking another link. Some companies will naturally have higher bounce rates, like news stations. Others struggle to keep them as low as possible. The more your website demonstrates local personalization combined with beautiful design, the more likely you’ll get your ratings where they need to be.

The Steps to Crafting Unique, Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Tailoring your subject matter doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, if you do some research ahead of time, you might find the entire process easier than you anticipated.

1. Identify the local audience. If you stay local, then you’re already narrowing the scope of your content and making it easier to find your audience. However, you should fine-tune it for consistency and relatability. Think about crafting buyer personas. These simple profiles offer imaginary people for whom to write. The result feels like very personalized content for anyone who meets the target audience requirements.

TOOLS: Try Facebook Audience Insights or Neilson Prizm to see specific information about your local demographics.

2. Examine the competition and your existing content. Another great way to find useful content types is to look at successful businesses. You can peruse their articles to see if any particular topics are popular. Likewise, you’ll get a good idea about what should be avoided to keep your audience happy.

Take the time to compare the content you already have. Look for things such as shares, comments and likes, which are easy indicators of the post’s exposure. If you seem to be doing better, great! If not, give your content another look. You also can take advantage of analytics to see which of your topics are performing the best.

TOOLS: For analytics, Buzzsumo and Google Analytics transform page views and interactions into usable information and statistics.

3. Redefine broad tactics to make them local. Just because you’re targeting a smaller audience doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of broad content strategies. In fact, adding a local twist to these proven methods is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create engaging local subject matter.

One simple way to accomplish this is by crafting unique headlines. Some formats are simply more successful than others and have proven themselves over and over. Use numbers or a “how-to” approach followed by a geographical keyword. For example, “7 Fun Things to Do During a Daytona Beach Vacation” or “5 Dates You Should Avoid Las Vegas.”

TOOLS: This style of heading is wildly popular among big-name entertainment sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. Looking to them for inspiration can be incredibly helpful.

4. Look to the past for inspiration. If you’re really running low on ideas, check out past infographics from the town in question. In many cases, you can find data that’s already been fully researched. All you need to do is make sure it’s up-to-date and expand into the story to craft something interesting.

TOOLS: A Google image search, of course, yields high-volume infographic results.

Once you figure out what works in your local area, it will be easier than ever to add your personal touch and creative spin to the information. Do your research when choosing topics and titles — and you’re bound to see interest from your local patrons.

Local Shop Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “A Guide to Local Content Marketing for Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

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How the Election is Impacting Halloween Spending (Watch)

Monday, October 31st, 2016

People are spending more money on Halloween this year than they ever have before. And you might have Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to thank for that.

Before this year, 2012 held the record for highest amount spent on Halloween. And there was even an uptick in 2008 even though the country was in the middle of a recession. So it stands to reason that people tend to spend a bit more on Halloween during election years.

That could be because of all those Trump and Clinton Masks you’ve likely seen around Halloween stores. But it could also be because people simply need a release from the stress caused by a long election season.

Whatever the reason, trends like this are important for companies to note. If you have a store that sells any Halloween supplies, you should be aware of people’s spending habits so that you can create messaging that’s most likely to get them to buy.

What You Can Learn From This Halloween Business Trend?

Halloween and the election might not seem like they have a lot in common on the surface. But tons of industries experience changes like this based on factors that aren’t directly related. So it’s important that businesses pay attention to trends in various areas to stay ahead in their market.

Image: Newsy

This article, “How the Election is Impacting Halloween Spending (Watch)” was first published on Small Business Trends

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3i buys landfill gas division from Infinis

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Guy Hands-owned energy group sells 121 sites

GE to combine oil and gas unit with Baker Hughes 

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Enlarged company poised to be world’s second-largest listed oilfield services group

October dealmaking hits $500bn with GE acquisition

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Three takeovers join surge of blockbuster M&A despite US political uncertainty

Airstory Gets Your Team Collaborating on Content — From Anywhere

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Airstory Writing Software Gets Your Team Collaborating on Content -- From Anywhere

There are many small businesses that specialize in creating content for websites, and when Airstory becomes available by the end of the month, it could make it much easier to do so.

Airstory is a collaborative cloud-based content creation platform for planning, writing, editing and kicking ideas around with your team. It works no matter where they are or what device you are using.

The Airstory software brings all of the research, data points, images, graphs, notes and any other material into an outline or a doc with drag-and-drop functionality. This information can be accessed by anyone with a simple invitation to bring the entire team to collaborate on the current draft.

The software saves research as cards so they can be easily accessed by the team. Once the cards are saved in the Airstory library, they can be searched and amended as needed by adding new information.

As the team continues to research, Airstory lets everyone comment like they are chatting. The in-line commenting doesn’t require any additional functions. Start typing your comments, answer previous concerns and even add an emoji.

While the collaborative process is great, keeping it under control is important. User permission in Airstory lets you designate who can comment, and who has access when you are not working on a document.

When you are ready to write, outline your content by adding headings, subheads, bullets and more, and drag the notes to adjust your story. The importance of quality content can’t be understated, especially with the increasing capability of Google’s algorithm for detecting bad or clickbait content. As these algorithms get smarter, quality will be emphasized and it will place sites that have it on top of search queries.

So this is important for any business that stresses content creation — which is most companies these days! Airstory is scheduled for launch today and you can get an invite by visiting the site and signing up.

Image: Airstory.co

This article, “Airstory Gets Your Team Collaborating on Content — From Anywhere” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Bulgaria’s Ruling Party Candidate Unlikely to Win Presidential Election Runoff – Poll

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Bulgarian main ruling party’s candidate Tsetska Tsacheva is set to lose to any of the two predicted frontrunners, a new survey has suggested.

Tsetska Tsacheva, the Parliament Speaker nominated by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, would come second to socialist-backed candidate Rumen Radev and nationalist-backed candidate Krasimir Karakachanov, whoever of them makes it to the second round, a Market Links poll suggests.

According to the survey commissioned by private broadcaster bTV conducted last week, Radev. endorsed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party BSP, would get 30.7% if he reaches the runoff, compared to 25% who would back Tsacheva (the result does not amount to 100% as the option “I Do Not Support Anyone” has been introduced to voting rules).

Krasimir Karakachanov, the candidate of a nationalist alliance, would garner 28.50% of the vote, compared to Tsacheva’s projected support of 24%.

In the event of Radev and Karakachanov making it to a runoff, the former would win a tight race by mustering 27.2%, and Karakachanov 26.1%.

Prime Minister Borisov has said he will resign if GERB’s candidate loses the elections.

Market Links is an agency formerly owned by Rumyana Bachvarova, now Interior Miniser. It was the pollster that first predicted GERB’s major election victory in 2009.

Surprisingly, the poll also gives the fourth place to Varba-based pharmaceutics businessman Veselin Mareshki in the first round. Mareshki, 4.30%, is expected to trail behind Tsacheva (below 19.4%), Radev (18.1%) and Karakachanov (8.5%).

Market Links also projects a record high turnout – 71.8%.

Presidential elections are due on November 06.

 

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Aviation executives doubt a third runway at Heathrow will be built anytime soon

Monday, October 31st, 2016

LAST week, the British government gave London Heathrow airport the go-ahead to expand. The decision to allow it to build a third runway had been a long time coming. It is 70 years since the area around London last saw a new one built, and Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, is operating at 99% capacity. But already two aviation executives have expressed their cynicism about whether a runway will be built anytime soon. Or to cost.

Willie Walsh (pictured), the boss of IAG, the parent company of British Airways (BA), by far Heathrow’s biggest tenant, kicked off proceedings. “Do I have confidence that the current team at Heathrow can do it?” he said in an interview on Friday. “No, I don’t.” 

Mr Walsh is not exactly a disinterested observer. The proposed ?17.6bn ($21.4bn) expansion of Heathrow is to be financed privately; IAG fears that this will mean higher charges for BA. Even before the vote Mr Walsh, perhaps disingenuously, had come out against the building of a new runway for this reason. Last year, after the Airports Commission had…Continue reading

Is Mark Carney indispensable?

Monday, October 31st, 2016

OVER the weekend, rumours flew that Mark Carney, the dashing Canadian at the helm of the Bank of England, might leave his job in 2018. (He initially promised to serve for five years, but a full term is eight, and many Britons hoped he would stay on.) An early exit for Mr Carney, who has been on the job since 2013, would be understandable. While Canada is the world’s great liberal icon, Britain is a mess. Not only must Mr Carney steer the British economy through the rough, post-referendum economic seas, but he has also faced criticism from Tory leaders, who are angry with Mr Carney for trying to warn Britons that Brexit would in fact be economically damaging.

This morning, the Financial Times reports that the rumours are wrong, and Mr Carney stands ready to serve a full term. One could practically hear the sighs of relief around the City. Yet is it right that so much should seem to ride on the presence or absence of one man?

Back in 2012,…Continue reading

GE and Baker Hughes to merge oil and gas operations

Monday, October 31st, 2016

New entity poised to be world’s second-largest listed oilfield services group

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