DIY Digital Marketing for Small Business – Lessons learned from a small business owner on getting good content out when you're short on time.
Here are best practices I've found to supplement your digital marketing quick and easy. Web professionals can do a lot however your expertise can only be communicated by you. Here are some great ways to get great content when you're busy and short on time and let your SEO/SEM people do what they're good at.
Get a YouTube Channel
YouTube channels are easy and free to setup. If you want a "named" channel like http://www.YouTube.com/HELIACanada , you need to work at it. Named channels become available when you have over 100 subscribers
Use Camtasia for fast easy and professional looking video post production
Camtasia is a paid product but the best one we've found for getting great videos done quick and easy. The key to success is quick. Avoid perfect. As you do more, you'll become better at doing video. Focus on volume and being brief. Video should always be below 5 minutes. Google tracks how many of your viewers make it to the end of your video before moving on and that's important for ranking. Learn more at https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html or check our http://www.BuyPhonesOnline.ca store for a discount coupon.
Use Hootsuite to Pre-schedule your Content Months in Advance
Social media is a lot of work. Hootsuite allows you to do weeks or months of posting in a single sit-down session. Get-er done and let Hootsuite control your consistent posting to LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook and other social media.
Use the Google News Aggregator to Find Interesting and Important Industry News and Topics
Our online strategy is branding. There isn't a lot of people that do phone systems and we want our audience to identify us as their phone system provider when their need arises. Google News Aggregator allows us to easily keep up on industry and manufacturer news
Use Hootsuite to repost Google News with your comments and Auto-schedule for staggered future dates
Hootsuite has a great post plugin for Google Chrome. As I identify articles that have good content and are interesting, I click the Hootsuite button, add my comments and have Hootsuite auto-schedule the post for a future time when I have no content posting and when readership is high.
Focus on Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, LinkedIn Recommendations, Yelp Reviews and Other Industry Focused Site Reviews
Google Searches are focused on local content these days. Any search from a smartphone or tablet is highly affected by local ratings and rankings. Focus on having real people leave real reviews on all the various social media review areas
Create a Dedicated Reviews Page on Your Website and Repost Your Reviews
I learned this from a local realtor. She said that her reviews page on her site was by far the most visited page. Since we've added our Review page, I've found the same. The traffic to review page dwarfs all other pages and is similar to the traffic of the home page.
Give Back and Review Your Vendors, Customers, Prospects and Partners on their Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp Pages.
This is about good will. Take the time to leave reviews for your people in the "real world" They will see your review and remember you and appreciate you. No one else does it. As Jim Morton said "Caring about what others care about is what caring about is all about"
Open a Shopify Store to Allow your Online Efforts to be Merchandised
All of this is a lot of work. We want to see a return on our efforts. To that end, we've put up a Shopify site at http://www.BuyPhonesOnline.ca . It has products that we sell and recommend and gives us something to link to without sending our web traffic to a competitor to buy
Use Google Merchant to Post your Shopify Products on Google
Google merchant is google's tool for posting product content. Make sure you maximize your Shopify efforts by automatically reposting on Shopify.
Smart switches are usually two times the cost of a normal switch. If your network switches are physically in a different room, a different building or a different city, its essential that you use smart switches. Here's why:
1) Web Interface and Ip: You can ping the switch remotely to make sure it is on and responding. In addition you can use a web browser to log onto the switch and see which ports have cables plugged into them, what data volumes are and much more
2) Auto Loop Detection: It will automatically turn off ports that have cables plugged in wrong and are causing network loops that can take down your network.
3) VLAN: Allows you to secure your network by segmenting traffic by port and device so that some devices like phones have no access to (for instance) internet or computer servers.
4) PoE: Powered ethernet is not standard but provides power to devices like phones, ip cameras and wifi access points. With a smart switch, power can be cycled to remotely reboot equipment.
5) SNMP: Smart switches report operational data back to your central network server so you can see how long the switch has been running, how much data is passing through and other useful data.
6) QoS: Voice and video data can be given priority over things like file downloads so that they don't have quality issues.
7) Spanning Tree: Allows redundant links to your network backbone so that if one link fails, the second on takes over. If you try this without Spanning Tree, you will generate network loops that will take down your network.
8) Port Mirroring: Allows you to duplicate traffic on another port so it can be captured an analysed. Its a great support tool that's super useful and impossible without port mirroring.
To purchase a network smart switch, visit www.buyphonesonline.ca/smart-switches
There is a wide range of Phone Systems in Calgary. Many companies still have Nortel phone systems that were installed 30 years ago and still work well. Some of these phone systems lack voicemail or even caller ID as these features were not common when the systems were installed.
The most common type of phone system for businesses in Calgary are Hosted phone systems. These have a lower upfront cost because some of the required equipment is in the Cloud and included in monthly costs instead of the upfront capital costs. Hosted phone systems range in price from $30 / extension / month to $55 / extension / month. This means that a 10 phone hosted phone system can run $550 / month. This would include the monthly phone line calling costs as well as the equipment.
Alternatives to Hosted Phone Systems
The alternative is to use a premise phone system. These are systems like Nortel where a large phone system is mounted on the wall at your business. This large box has a large cost as well but the monthly costs are typically much lower as there is no per extension price and only the monthly phone line calling costs. Premise based phone system give you a lot more control and ability to customize for your special business needs.
Helia Recommends JumboTel.ca for Hosted Phone Systems
There are literally thousands of hosted phone system providers and brands in Canada. JumboTel.ca represents the best in class phone system at a good price. We have seen and used a lot of phones systems in the last 10 years and JumboTel.ca is our favorite. If you have pre-existing VoIP phones from Polycom, Yealink, Snom, Cisco or Aastra, we can reprovision your phones and save you money.
Helia Recommends 3CX Phone System for Premise Phone Systems
3CX Phone system is the industry leading and benchmark for phone systems. Pricing is based on the number of concurrent calls you want the system to handle from 4 to over 1000. It has tight integration with accounting, enterprise, crm systems as well as Gmail and Microsoft Office365. 3CX is particularly good for mobile user and organizations that have a lot of low use phones because unlike hosted systems, you pay for total capacity and not per extensions.