The Hive: A Business Building Blog

By Marcelle Bryant 14 Nov, 2017
 A strong digital footprint is a great way to attract attention to your business. Although social media presence is good, it is important to have a website when establishing credibility as a business. Here are a few web design fundamentals to consider when creating or updating your website.

1. Responsive
People are using a variety of digital devices to do online research and shopping. Save time and money by developing a responsive website that automatically adapts to your customer's device. Responsive websites provide an optimal viewing experience for PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phones.

2. Unlimited Pages
Your business products or structure can expand at any time. Make sure you purchase a website package that offers an unlimited amount of pages. Starting off with a website that offers a limited amount of pages may seem cost-efficient at first, but purchasing additional pages a la carte can be costly and transferring your website to a new hosting company can be time-consuming.

3. SEO
What good is a website that no one can find? Search engine optimization (SEO) uses metadata from websites to match online users with keyword inquiries on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Customize the titles of your website, headings, subheadings, pages, images, blogs and embedded documents with keywords in mind. This will greatly improve your organic rankings on search engines and help your prospects find you.

4. Blogging
Customers may not always need your services at the time you offer a sale or promotion. Keep them engaged in your brand and build credibility by sharing helpful information through blogging. Search engines rank websites for relevancy by analyzing the frequency, quality and freshness of content. Blogging is a great way to offer consistent content that is relevant and timely. Most blogs are 500-1000 words, and the frequency of posting is determined by the writer or company. As with SEO, keyword strategy is necessary for your blog to attract prospects who are searching for your products or services.

5. SSL Certification
If you are selling anything online, you need to have a secure website. Protect your buyers from identity theft, and protect your business from lawsuits with proper encryption for e-commerce transactions. Make sure the website you purchase offers SSL certification, which provides secure encryption during online purchases. Failure to have this certification leaves your website vulnerable to hackers, and leaves you liable for identity theft lawsuits from customers.

Click here for more information on responsive websites.   

Marci B. Marketing & Management offers responsive website templates, domains, hosting and web design services. Contact us at 248-838-9458 or to discuss your web design and marketing needs.
By Marcelle Bryant 31 Jul, 2017
Do you remember the slogan "WWJD?" It was a slogan that was started to promote Christianity. "What Would Jesus Do?" inspired people to think about how Jesus would react in everyday situations and use that insight when making decisions and interacting with others. It became a very popular slogan. You could find it on bracelets, necklaces, t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and more.

Creating marketing messaging should make a business owner wonder what their customers would do, and it is essential to have the answers before heavily investing in ads.Consider the different types of customers you have or want, and how their needs for your product may differ.Creating buyer personas and tailoring messages to each customer segment will help you increase conversions, reduce churn and increase brand loyalty.

When developing your marketing message,  think about who your customers really are and speak directly to them.With the abundance of ads bombarding customers daily, it's no surprise that generalized messages easily get overlooked. You must get your customers to understand how your product relates to them, fulfills a desire or solves a problem.

What motivates them? What keeps them up at night? What is their biggest problem? What is their favorite part of doing business? What does their best customer look like? What customer do they wish would stop calling them? 

Here are a few tips for creating buyer personas:

Start with research
  • Contact List
  • Form Responses
  • Social Media Activity
  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • Invoices
  • Articles
  • Census
  • Blogs
  • Competitor Ads
  • Industry News
Segment customers
Find commonalities
  • Interests and Hobbies
  • Fears
  • Passions
Statistical information
  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Geographic
Develop character
  • Name
  • Age (range)
  • Gender
  • Finances
  • Image
Personalize message
  • Colors
  • Font
  • Imagery
  • Word Usage

For more information on creating buyer personas, contact Marci B. Marketing& Management at 248-838-9458 or

Further reading:
By Marcelle Bryant 17 Jul, 2017
Despite many options for digital marketing, email remains a fundamental part of any campaign. Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to get your content directly to traffic you own, whether your message is promotional or conversational. You can easily share information such as corporate updates, sales, product launches, free downloads and more. Although easy to deliver, conversions such as opens and clicks can be more challenging. Many people have multiple email addresses, and can be exposed to hundreds of emails daily. You need to capture your prospects' attention quickly and effectively.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your emails and increase your conversion rates.

  • Header
    • Company logo
    • Tagline
    • View as webpage
    • Social media
    • Menu
  • Subject
    • Personalize
    • Create a sense of urgency
    • Attract attention with formatting
  • Preview
    • Summarize
    • WIIFM
    • Be concise
  • From Name
    • Name 
    • Department
    • Corporate
  • From Email
    • Individual
    • Department
    • Corporate
  • Introduction

    • Graphics
    • Salutation
    • Personalize
    • Purpose
  • Body
    • Graphics
    • Format
    • Length
    • WIIFM
  • CTA
    • Info
    • Color
    • Positioning
  • Footer
    • Contact
    • Unsubscribe
    • Disclaimer
    • Web Address
    • Social Media
For further information on how to create an email campaign, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or

Further reading:
By Marcelle Bryant 10 Jul, 2017
Many business owners are familiar with the term ROI. Return on investment is usually what is top-of-mind when entrepreneurs are considering a marketing investment for their business. They want to know how much money do they get back for what they spend. Although money is important, there are other factors that contribute to the success of a marketing campaign. A few examples are brand awareness, company reputation and customer relations.

Key Performance Indicators are aligned with high-level business goals, ensuring that marketing efforts contribute to overall business success. In order to have proper marketing KPI, you should also have a business plan, as it is the main  reference point for indications of marketing KPI. Here are some common KPIs for marketing:

Digital Marketing
  • E-Commerce
    • Company Website
    • Google Shopping
    • Amazon
  • Social Media
    • Likes
    • Shares
    • Mentions
  • Paid Ads
    • Clicks
    • Impressions
    • Remarketing

Traditional Marketing
  • Radio
    • Reach
    • Frequency
    • Calls
  • TV
    • Attendees
    • New Customers
    • Mentions
  • Print
    • QR Codes
    • Calls
    • Promo Codes
For more information -on develop-ing key performance indicators for your marketing strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management, LLC at 248-838-9458 or

Further reading:

By Marcelle Bryant 12 Jun, 2017
Every business owner has to invest to acquire new customers. Maximize your opportunity to interact with excited customers who already have their credit cards in hand. Recommend other products to enhance your customer's buying journey and increase your return on investment for customer acquisition costs by upselling customers with impulse buying. 

For example, if McDonald's spends $1.91 in advertising to get you into the drive through and they sell you a burger for $2.09, they ONLY make $0.18. But if you buy a fries and a coke for $1.90 more... they make (and more importantly keep) $2.08 profit from one visit.

Yes, nearly 12 times the profit of the initial sale! It's much easier to get a customer to buy more on the spot than it is to convince the customer to come back and buy again. Even if they do come back and buy again later, there's no time like the present for you to make another sale.

Have you ever clicked an online ad for a free product such as an eBook or webinar, only to be sold a product after you receive your free offer? Have you ever gone to Target for a mop and ended up with a full shopping cart? Have you ever went to the store to grab one of something, only to pick up another one because there was a BOGO sale and you knew you would use the second one eventually? YOU have been upsold!

Here are a few other examples of how companies upsell by packaging products:
  • Cable, Internet and VOIP Service
  • eBook, Webinar and Membership
  • Burger, Fries and Pop
  • Earrings, Bracelet and Necklace
  • Purse, Wallet and Keychain
  • Mattress, Boxspring and Headboard
  • Shampoo, Condition and Style

Here are a few suggestions for upsells:
  • Get a free product, pay for shipping
  • Buy something, get something free
  • Buy something, get something else at a discounted rate
  • Buy something, get a discount for a future purchase
  • The more you buy, the more you save

Marketing strategies that deliver upsells:
  • Email campaigns
  • SMS campaigns
  • Loyalty Marketing
  • Sales funnels
  • Social media ads

For more information on how to create an upsell product strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or

By Marcelle Bryant 05 Jun, 2017
Many companies spend money on advertising but fail to benefit from a profitable return on their investment. They lose prospective customers when they fail to provide a funnel for nurturing these leads. The two biggest pitfalls for an advertising campaign are tracking results and converting leads. Landing pages give customer more information specific to their promotion of interest and capture customer information.

Purposes for landing pages:
  • Make a purchase
  • Subscribe to a list (email, blog, etc.)
  • Access a media download
  • Register for a class
  • Get a free product
  • Receive a demonstration

Types of content for landing pages:
  • E-book
  • White Paper
  • Webinars 
  • Videos
  • Exclusive Products
  • Account Membership

Elements of high-converting landing pages:
  • Headline
  • Video
  • Pictures
  • Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • Testimonials
  • Sense of urgency
  • Clean layout

Common errors for landing page designs:
  • Too much text
  • Not enough graphics
  • Not specific to related advertisement
  • Does not solve a problem
  • Does not provide a specific action for visitor

For more information on creating landing pages that convert customers, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or 

Further reading:

By Marcelle Bryant 29 May, 2017
Today's customers are bombarded with marketing messages all day, every day. They have learned to easily tune out traditional advertising such as radio and television by changing the station or choosing commercial-free stations.  In a digital age where everyone wants information at their fingertips but no one actually wants to be "sold", how does the business owner connect to an audience to give them information on demand without being "salesy"? 

Differentiate your brand, become an industry influencer, build your customer base and attract loyalists with eBooks. You can give the book away as a lead generation tactic, offer it as a bonus for another purchase, or turn the book into a product. Whatever your strategy, developing and marketing an eBook can help your marketing strategy and impact your bottom line. 

1. Differentiate your brand.
Although professionals in the same industry will generally have very similar products or services, many businesses differentiate their brand with messaging, experience and offerings.Becoming a published author improves your credibility and sets you apart from the competition.Taking the time to educate your consumers  helps you build strong relationships with customers who are currently in the research phase of the buying process. 

2. Become an industry influencer. 
Thought leadership keeps you top-of-mind with your customer base. Even if they don't need your services or products at the moment they see your content, sharing information that educates consumers maintains your priority as a resource for them and people they know. They are more likely to share your marketing message with others if you have proven to be a credible resource.  Publishing an eBook offers customers insight on your thought process and industry knowledge.

3. Build your customer base.
eBooks are a great way to build your customer base through lead generation. Before you release your eBook, consider what you want the end result to be. Are you selling a product or service? Are you promoting a blog? What problems will your book help consumers solve? Once you decide these things, you can determine how the eBook fits into your overall marketing strategy. The goal is to frame the marketing message as a solution to their pain points. When they inquire, they become a qualified lead.

4. Attract loyalists.
Developing brand ambassadors, enthusiasts and loyalists is no easy task in today's world of marketing. Customers like to work with business owners who are professional and deliver quality results. If you offer actionable to help customers reach desired results, they automatically become a walking billboard for you. They will be eager to tell stories about how your book helped them accomplish a goal. 

Now that you know a few ways that an eBook can help you build a better business, here are a few tips on marketing your eBook:

  • Promotional Video
  • Submit to eBook stores
  • LinkedIn, Meetup and Facebook Groups
  • Professional Associations
  • Testimonials
  • Podcast
  • Create multiple formats

For more information on developing an eBook, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or


By Marcelle Bryant 22 May, 2017
Marketing and advertising are terms that get easily confused or misunderstood.Advertising is an element of marketing, but it does not encompass how broad marketing can be.A common mistake is developing a marketing plan that only consists of advertising. A true marketing strategy impacts many departments including product development, research, sales, customer service, operations and more. 

Traditionally, the marketing fundamentals that create a marketing mix are price, product, place and promotion. Over the years, as business and marketing have both evolved due to technology, marketing fundamentals have expanded to include three more elements. People, Process and Physical Evidence were added to benefit service industries, but these elements should be considered in any marketing strategy for thorough planning.

  • Premium
  • Penetration
  • Economy
  • Psychological
  • Define Business Goals
  • Consider Market Opportunities
  • Analyze Audience Pain Points
  • Monetize Solutions 
  • Retail
  • Online
  • Trade Shows
  • Wholesale
  • Digital
  • Traditional
  • Events
  • Sponsorships
  • Roles
  • Culture
  • Relationship Building
  • Social Responsibility
  • Training
  • Workflow
  • Customer Service
  • Scaling
Physical Evidence
  • Samples
  • Testimonials
  • Facilities
  • Employee Dress Code

For more information on developing a marketing strategy, please contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or

Further reading:

By Marcelle Bryant 15 May, 2017
Traditionally, creating an ad for television costs customers thousands of dollars for production and distribution. Cable providers and streaming sites are offering customers the option to remove or fast-forward commercials. Mobile devices, tablets, and the growing popularity of new media has given business owners the unique opportunity to produce distribute video for little to no cost. Technology, editing software and video-based websites have made it easier than ever for businesses to create and share videos.

According to :

2016 saw a surge in the popularity of video as a content marketing format. From  360-degree videos  to  Facebook 
Live , marketers are responding to audiences' shorter attention spans by making content more interactive and visual --
and  it's paying off.    Video is growing to dominate your audience's online activity: 78% of people watch videos online
every week, and 55% watch videos online every   day.   If you don't already have a video marketing strategy in place for
your website and  social media, you're missing a tremendous opportunity to reach and engage with your audience.

Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages all day long, and as a result have become increasingly impatient when it comes to advertising. Videos are a quick way to share lots of information. They let you communicate through words, images and motion all at once. You can even include typography and imagery to insert things like websites and logos. According to Dan Griego with Video Editing Sage , there are five main uses for video. 

  • Webinars 
  • Company Culture Videos
  • Event Videos
  • Video PowerPoint Presentations
Sales and Marketing
  • Online Marketing Videos
  • Promotional Videos
  • Testimonial Videos
  • Giveaways Videos
  • Product Videos
  • Training Videos 
  • Video Tips Series
  • Animated Explainer Videos
  • Educational Videos
  • Music Videos
  • Travel Videos
  • Documentary Videos
  • Legacy Videos
  • Digital (Online) Journalism videos
  • Interview Videos
  • Video PSAs (Public Service Announcements)

Here are a few different styles of video to consider:
  • Animation: Uses illustrations and special effects. Often used for corporate branding, entertainment or information.
  • Presentation: Uses presentation software such as PowerPoint for creation. Often used for education, sales
    and news.
  • Photo Collage: Uses photographs with transitions and narrations. Often used for entertainment and news.
  • Motion Picture: Uses video footage to create video, may include narration and photographs. Most used style of video.  
For more information on how to integrate video into your marketing strategy, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or

Further reading: marketing /2017-year-of- video - marketing

By Marcelle Bryant 24 Apr, 2017
The emergence of social media and smartphones has businesses relying on digital marketing more than ever before.
Traditional media, once an advertising necessity, has become nearly obsolete for marketing strategies. Before you write off good old-fashioned advertising, consider how traditional media can help you build a strong marketing mix.

The best way to leverage traditional media is to create a call-to-action within your ad that directs your audience to a digital space. Converting traditional media prospects to digital software gives you greater analytical power. Here are some of the most popular forms of traditional media and suggestions on how to integrate them into a digital campaign. 

1. Magazines and Newspapers
Magazines and newspapers offer opportunities to inform and promote. Articles are informative and ads promote your brand. Consider pitching an opportunity to receive an editorial write-up as part of your advertising package. Background stories and articles  that position your product or services as a solution for readers' concerns are popular strategies. Include websites, social media and online promo codes in your ads to integrate digital into your campaign. Share links to the online version of the story on your website and social media. 

2. Television
Television ads are versatile because you can have the commercial on main broadcast channels and possibly get a televised interview from the news station. Many cable companies also have the ability to offer local advertising on their network channels as well. Inquire about sponsoring a promotion with a news station, network or particular show that is in alignment with your marketing goals. Consider purchasing web banners on the TV Station's website. You can always repurpose the commercial and use it throughout social media to promote your business or sale. Be sure to share your website in the commercial, and make it a link to a landing page for greater conversion rates. 

3. Radio
Radio is still popular, as many people listen to it while in the car. Radio stations still offer promotions to concerts and other events in the city and around the country. They are well connected with many other business owners and have easy access to venues and DJs across the city. Many radio stations also have websites that offer live broadcasting and web banners. Consider packages that include radio ads, event sponsorship, appearances, ticket giveaways and advertising on their website. 

4. Outdoor Banners
Outdoor banners are focused heavily on graphics. You have mere seconds to sharing your message with moving motorists. This is a great time to express the power of branding. Make your logo prominent and include social media marketing efforts such as hashtags and handles. Consider offering a special promotion to those who mention the banner on social media. 

For more information on traditional media, contact Marci B. Marketing & Management at 248-838-9458 or

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