Should My Company Take a Political Stand?

Should My Company Take a Political Stand?

We live in complex times politically and the country is strongly divided on more issues every day. Companies may feel inclined to weigh in on their beliefs about the current political situation but aren’t sure how it will affect their business. While expressing positive company values can be important, it is sometimes best to tread lightly when it comes to taking a political stance.

Consumers are more interested now than ever in hearing a company’s political views but in certain cases it could lead to alienating or angering some audiences. Customers may respond positively to a political stance in some instances but there are also dangers that businesses need to be aware of. People believe that businesses should take action so taking a political stance could generate a lot of interest in your company.

Bigger corporations tend stay on the fence politically but smaller businesses can actually generate more awareness of their brand by being political. One thing to consider however is that taking one side of a debate is likely to cut down your potential audience by a certain amount. Not everyone is going to agree with your political stance and they may avoid buying from you if they are offended by your beliefs or actions.

Remember that one in five consumers have boycotted a brand because of a scandal or negative press. You also need to think about what stakeholders or investors might think of your political stance and how they will react. If people are not already aware of your political beliefs it could have a huge impact on your business’s success.

Taking a political stand can be a risky move and may work for some businesses more than others. In the end you need to weigh the potential costs and benefits to see if it is the right decision.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Yes Huge Brands are Using Tumblr and You Should Too

Yes Huge Brands are Using Tumblr and You Should Too

Most businesses marketing online focus on the traditional types of social media that everyone is expected to spend a lot of time on such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Now big brands are branching out to different platforms that can be equally effective such Tumblr. Even major businesses and corporations are incorporating Tumblr into their marketing and they are getting surprisingly great results.

For those not familiar with Tumblr, it is a social blogging and sharing platform that is growing rapidly with some of the wealthiest user groups. Although fewer people use Tumblr than platforms like Facebook they do tend to spend more time consuming and sharing content on it. Tumblr users also fall into the very desirable demographic of millennials between the ages of 16-34.

Major brands like IBM, Glamour, Keds, Vans and even Coca-Cola have their own Tumblr sites where they share and interact with consumers. They can push new products, post content linking back to their site and reach people through interesting visual posts. One thing to keep in mind about Tumblr is that it is important to find out if your target demographic hangs out there because it is more useful for specific groups.

Tumblr is beneficial to brands because it is an extremely visual platform and allows them to tailor their content to their audience. Bigger brands tend to use Tumblr to spread information and awareness but not oversell to their target audience. Tumblr offers the use of tagging and labeling to make content searchable and more easy to find online.

Although Tumblr may not be as popular a social media platform as Facebook or Instagram, it can be a useful addition to any advertising campaign. If your target audience hangs out on Tumblr then it can be a big boost to your business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

When to Outsource Your In House Marketing

When to Outsource Your In House Marketing

As a business owner there are different options for how to approach your marketing strategies based on what will be more effective for your company. At some point you may have to decide between creating an in house marketing team or hiring an external marketing provider. Digital marketing can be crucial so making the right choice can strongly influence the success of your business online.

There are many different things to consider when you are deciding whether or not to outsource your marketing campaigns. Analyzing your business’s current needs and plans can help you get a better perspective on when you should choose to outsource. Looking at the pros and cons of outsourcing can also be a good way to make a decision either way.

There are many advantages to having an in house marketing team but if you are a smaller company and don’t have the resources to run your own digital marketing strategy then outsourcing might be the better option. An established marketing provider has more experience working with a business like yours and will understand how to approach your digital campaigns.

A new startup business that has no experience with marketing will need to outsource so that they can get started and not spend too much time or money on figuring out a strategy that will work. A marketing provider can get more immediate results and get your digital marketing plan up and running quickly. The main thing to consider if you are planning to outsource is to find a marketing company that fits within your budget and will not charge more than your business can afford.

Outsourcing can be a great option for smaller companies that need help with their marketing or any business that wants someone with more experience and expertise to handle their ad campaigns.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Should I Diversify My Clientele or Stay Niche?

Should I Diversify My Clientele or Stay Niche?

There are a lot of pros and cons to remaining a niche company or deciding to branch out and reach a broader audience. Some businesses find that their niche works perfectly for them and helps them stay true to their brand. They do one thing well and can focus on that rather than trying something new that could potentially fail or alienate their audience.

However, some companies might be more interested in converting new clients and feel too limited by having only a niche audience. A niche business can have steady and reliable income but a business that wants to expand will find that being too focused can hold them back. One of the dangers of being niche can also be that people lose interest in your products over time and by not diversifying you are leaving yourself more vulnerable to the shifting market.

Diversifying can take time but it can open up new possibilities for businesses that want grow and stay relevant. However, if you become too unfocused and stray too far from your core product you might begin to lose your existing audience. The best solution is to remain focused but innovative enough that you aren’t limited by your niche.

Every business should try to improve on what they do best instead of staying static and continuing to create the same product. You should make plans to diversify in order to meet new technology, marketing shifts and other changes so that you aren’t left behind by being too limited. Businesses don’t necessarily need to be a jack of all trades to diversify but simply need to continue keeping their products fresh and interesting.

There are benefits to both staying niche and diversifying but finding a balance between the two can often be the best answer to maintain an interested audience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Busting the Myth of New Business Failures

Many people from all over the world are afraid of starting up their business ventures because of the myth that most startups do not last beyond a year. This has sadly made people give up on their dream starting a new business for fear of the unexpected and likely failure.

However, this myth is completely misleading, and the opposite is actually the truth! The majority, almost 80%, of all startups thrive for one year and beyond according to the most recent statistics from the SBA Small Business Administration.

Recent research from the small business advocate office of the SBA proves that over 75% of startups succeed in their first year of operation.


New Business Failure Percentage Rates – SBA Statistics - An Infographic from Best 4

Embedded from Best 4

Small businesses and startups are the backbones of every country’s economic progress. They are a major source of employment since that often employ locally. This simultaneously helps the people’s living standards while driving up the country’s economy.

During the recession for example, when many big businesses faltered, most small businesses withstood the recession and kept going strong. In the process, they helped their many employees weather the economic storms successfully.

Facts about Small Business in America

    • There are over 29 million small businesses in the USA alone. Out of these, about 23 million had no employees while another 5 million had employees. The number of large business is much less than the small businesses.
    • Over 99% of all firms in the USA are small businesses with the same percentage of paid employees.
    • Small businesses account for 62% of new job creations in the first quarter of every year.
    • About 4000,000 small businesses start every year, but only about 50% survive the first five years.

Why Small Businesses and Startups Fail

Though not all new businesses survive after the first five years, those that do, stabilize after being in business for a few years. A third of all startups survive beyond 10 years.

It is important to note that majority of those businesses that close their doors do not do so because they failed. Some opt to sell off their businesses while other people choose to retire and pursue other channels. So let’s explore the reasons why new businesses fail so you can prosper instead.

Failure to focus on the expectations

One of the reasons for business failures is due to lack of focus on long-term results. When any company fails to define its expectations, they are bound to fail.

Somewhere along the line, priorities change, which creates confusion and this, can lead to negative consequences.

If you start a business and define what you want to achieve in terms of revenue, cash flow, and customer retention, then there is no reason to fail. Be very clear to everyone in the company what you expect as the result. In this way, everyone will work towards achieving that goal.

Failure to invest time in employees

While most people think that marketing strategies are the ones that bring in the largest returns on investment in most businesses, it is not always the case. The people that you employ in your startup are the most crucial part of your growth. They are the body of your business, and in order to get the results you need, you have to train and treat them well.

Focus on their needs and they will focus on making your business thrive by attending to your customers better and since they will care more about your business and your company.

Sharpen their skills by offering training and reward them with benefits and promotions for work well done. A happy employee is a great investment. A discontented employee may contribute to your business failure.

Failure to listen to feedback

Some employers are so overly confident that they dismiss every information given to them about their businesses by employers, customers, and experts. Failure to listen to what people say about your business is a sure way of failing.

If you are the owner of a business and take it upon yourself to run all the affairs, it will wear you down and leave you frustrated. Eventually, you may think that you are running the business all alone without any input from anyone. The truth, on the other hand, is you do not let anyone in – to your personal and professional detriment.

Occasionally, ask your employees, partners and even clients what they think you should change. They will probably ask you to delegate some duties and work as a team instead of taking everything head on alone. If you listen and follow the feedback, the positive results will surprise you. Appreciating those that you work with and listening to what they have to say will make your business prosper beyond the one-year myth of failure.

Failure to choose the right location

If you want to beat the myth of your business failure beyond the first year, then be very careful about the location you choose. Choose a location that best suits your business or service that you are offering.

If for example, you are running a café, do not choose an area with low traffic. You need a place with heavy traffic where you are sure that you will have people coming in for meals at all times. If you run a courier service, do not choose a place where it is hard for clients to reach you with their deliveries. Choosing the most convenient places will ensure a consistent flow of traffic, and this should keep you in business for longer.

Failure to advertise

While many businesses flourish because of hard work, commitment, experience and sometimes luck, it is also good to give your business a push by advertising and marketing your products. Many startups may lack traffic because not many people know what they are offering. You can change this by advertising widely either online or on social media or by using banners and other means of advertisement. This way you know that you will attract paying customers and sell products that people are willing to pay for. Make your products stand out during your marketing campaigns and show reason why you are better than the next company is.

Failure to learn management skills

Good management is the backbone of success in a business. If you do not have good managerial or entrepreneurial skills, learn in order to save your business.

It is scary to start a new business. However, if you strive to work hard on your investment and ignore the myths, then there is no reason why you should not go beyond one year successfully.

Get rid of any bad habits and follow these failure-proof guidelines. You have to remember that without small businesses, the economy would not be what it is today.

Test the waters first before you jump into opening your business. Carry out enough research and know everything you need to know about the kind of products and services you want to sell.

You alone can prove the myth wrong. Good luck entrepreneurs.

About the Author:

Marsha Kelly sold her first business for more than a million dollars. She has shared hard-won experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur on her Best4Businesses blog, where she also regularly posts business tips, ideas, and suggestions as well as product reviews for business readers. As a serial entrepreneur who has done “time” in corporate America, Marsha has learned what products and services really work well in business today. You can learn from her experiences to build your business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Mark Zuckerberg Matchmaker Takes On The Dating Industry

Mark Zuckerberg, The Matchmaker

This week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new dating feature that would be added to Facebook’s mobile app called Facebook Dating that some have deemed “FaceDate.” Although Facebook is the largest social network in the world, in terms of fostering relationships the only feature available since its inception is the infamous Relationship Status box that allows users to share if they are single, in a relationship or “its complicated”.

In the keynote, Zuckerberg stated that 1 in 3 marriages start online, meaning this venture has been overlooked for a decade. Zuckerberg said since their focus is to help people find meaningful relationships, a life partner would be the most meaningful of all.

Adding the dating mode feature makes Facebook a huge competitor in the dating app world. This feature could then be a strategic move to attract a younger demo and regain those that made up Facebook majority but has now left for other social media platforms. Facebook Dating

Of course these features are optional and users will have to opt in to see other users dating profiles.. Facebook events can be unlocked by both users allow them to connect to people attending local events or connect with people in similar groups. “FaceDate” would provide the most relevant matches based on mutual friends and other data that other platforms simply cant provide.

Tons of people find their significant other on Facebook anyway, this feature may just make it easier. Facebook said there will be more information about the new Dating features in the next few months including a release date and testing phase.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Cryptocurrency in Advertising

Cryptocurrency in Advertising

Digital currencies such as Bitcoin have been making headlines recently as the price soared over thirteen fold last year. However, sites such as Facebook and Google have decided to ban advertising for cryptocurrency amid scrutiny of the financial products that have become a rapidly growing market. Concerns about cryptocurrency have motivated these sites to protect their users from ads persuading them to purchase products like Bitcoin.

Google employees responsible for the decision have stated that cryptocurrencies are “unregulated” and speculative in nature which could prove to be a threat to the user experience. Facebook made a similar decision as part of an effort to rebuild trust with its users on the platform. Google chose to ban all ads about cryptocurrency-related content including initial coin offerings, wallets and trading advice on the ad platforms.

As a result of these bans, even companies with legitimate cryptocurrency offerings won’t be allowed to run ads using any of Google or Facebook’s ad products. The websites believe that there has been enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm as a result of cryptocurrencies to warrant the ban on advertising. Cryptocurrency scams are the main concern that could negatively affect users and put them in financial danger.

Understanding Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency products like Bitcoin are essentially used as an electronic cash system that doesn’t rely on banks or third parties to verify transactions and create new units. Transactions are instead confirmed using cryptography on a publicly distributed ledger called the blockchain which enables peer to peer payments. Cryptocurrency transfers can happen more quickly than with traditional banking systems which may take days to transfer money while crypto transfers happen in minutes.

In the same way that credit cards require a signatures, cryptocurrencies also require a digital signature. The transactions are secured through a system called public key encryption which allows each user to have a private key and a public key on their account. The private key is used as a digital signature for the user to prove who they are and authorize a transaction.

Bitcoin users were able to profit significantly from using the cryptocurrency which is making these financial products highly sought after. Unfortunately, scammers have become an issue with cryptocurrency and many are losing money as a result of investing in fake currencies. Scammers are making millions off of unsuspecting investors who believe they are paying for a currency similar to Bitcoin.

Countless high profile scams are what led Facebook and Google to ban advertising for all cryptocurrencies to prevent users from investing their money in a fake financial product. Google has been known to crack down on advertising that doesn’t follow its rules and the company said that it took down more than 3.2 billion ads in 2017 that violated its policies. Since cryptocurrency has become less trustworthy, banning all ads was their solution to protect users as much as possible. Legitimate and Scam Cryptocurrencies

Legitimate and Scam Cryptocurrencies

The reason Google chose to ban all of these types of ads from their site is because they find it nearly impossible to identify legitimate projects versus scam artists. People have been inundated with fraudulent advertisements claiming that users can make money by investing in new forms of cryptocurrency. There has been a major backlash against cryptocurrency products and especially ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings.

An ICO is a way for start-ups to crowd fund investment and ask people to invest in a cryptocurrency in exchange for a token that’s issued by the start up. The digital coin can then be used in exchange for future services offered by the company. There is also the possibility of the value of the coin climbing much higher than the initial investment as was the case with Bitcoin.

Although there are legitimate possibilities for people to make money and benefit from investing in an ICO, there are plenty of scammers online because ICOs are unregulated and investors don’t have the same protections as with other assets like stocks. People can invest in something that seems legitimate until they begin to see warning signs such as a lack of correspondence from its founders and failed attempts to recoup lost funds. These scams take people’s investments, don’t develop anything and eventually cut ties with investors.

Because there is no way for Google or Facebook to tell which cryptocurrency ICOs are real and which ones are going to steal from users, they have banned all ads across the board. This may protect people from being swayed by an ad asking for their investment in a false cryptocurrency. Some believe that Google may eventually modify their ban to include legitimate crypto ads once ICOs become more regulated.

For the time being however, users will not see any further advertisements on Facebook or Google for cryptocurrency starting in June of this year.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Top 10 Things to Expect at a Co-Working Space

Top 10 Things to Expect at a Co-Working Space

Traditional work spaces can have a certain formal atmosphere that people are beginning to steer clear of in favor of coworking spaces. Being in a coworking space can create more energy, enthusiasm and productivity as people collaborate with one another. Instead of being isolated in a cubicle, at home or a coffee shop, coworking spaces bring people together to share their work experience in a small community.

Coworking spaces can be ideal for freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and anyone who is looking for a less traditional type of work environment. There are many different advantages when opting for a coworking space. Here are some of the common things to expect when you choose a coworking space.

1. Affordability – One of the biggest draws of coworking spaces is that it allows small businesses and freelancers to rent out only what they need instead of an entire private office space. Memberships for a coworking space can be much more affordable than paying rent in an office. The fees for membership may be monthly or weekly but they will include the use of the work space and all its facilities including a very reliable wifi connection.

2. A Sense of Community – The people who are interested in coworking spaces are often freelancers who would otherwise be working from home or a coffee shop in isolation. A coworking space gives them a shared area to work where they can feel a part of a community rather than spending all of their work time alone.

3. Options for Shared or Private Desks – Even though the concept behind a coworking space is to connect with other people, there are different options to suit everyone’s work style. You can opt for your own private desk or choose a shared one if you’d like to be able to communicate and share ideas while you work.

4. Prime Location – Most coworking spaces are located in the heart of a city near coffee shops and restaurants so that you can easily set up meetings or get drinks after work. They are closer to social spots so that you don’t feel shut off from the world as  you might in a more traditional office building.

5. A Welcoming Atmosphere – A more traditional office can feel cold, formal and sterile in a way that can make work hours seem dull. Coworking spaces have a more welcoming atmosphere that encourages people to connect, hang out and feel comfortable in their work space. The goal of coworking spaces is to have a more positive vibe that will keep them entertained as they get things done.5. A Welcoming Atmosphere

6. Kitchen Space and Coffee – Like many offices, most coworking spaces have an eating area or kitchen for people taking a lunch or coffee break. They might have a fridge, microwave, or a coffee machine where people can eat and hang out when they need to step away from their work. The kitchen area can also be a great place to connect and meet new people without worrying about interrupting someone when they are working.

7. Flexible Hours – One of the stressful things about working in a office can be making sure to get there on time. Coworking spaces allow you to create your own schedule or allow your team to work at the time that suits them best. Workers can come and go when they want, even just working for a few hours then returning home or possibly coming back later in the day.

8. Networking Possibilities – An interesting and unique aspect of coworking spaces is the chance to work with people from a wide range of different companies and fields. This can open up opportunities for networking, collaboration or just connecting with more people outside of your own business. Instead of meeting only people within your own company as you would in a traditional office, you can expand your social network to a more diverse group of people.

9. Meeting Rooms and Facilities – Another benefit of using a coworking space is the opportunity to have different facilities at your disposal including meeting rooms, whiteboards, projectors and anything you might need to conduct business. Instead of your company having to pay for all of these things in their own office they can use the coworking space facilities at a fraction of the cost.

10. Cleaning Services – In a typical office your company would have to clean themselves or foot the bill or cleaning services such as hiring a janitor. In a coworking space, the areas are kept clean for you and you don’t need to worry about the cost as it is included as part of your membership fee.

As more people work from home or in small teams, the advantages of coworking spaces become an attractive alternative to a traditional private office. Coworking spaces offer community, connection and an enthusiastic, productive work environment at a very affordable cost. If you are looking for a

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Is Spotify a Social Network?

Is Spotify a Social Network?

Most people use Spotify simply to stream music but with all of its options for connecting with other people, it very closely resembles a social network. Although Spotify isn’t technically a social network, it could potentially develop into one if the company adds more of the same features that it already includes. The music service in the future could add options such as commenting or sharing to make it a musical version of Facebook or Instagram.

Spotify is set up in a way that is very similar to social networks because users have a profile, can add friends, view a newsfeed of their friend’s activity. Users on spotify can even follow artists in a way similar to the “liking” option on Facebook to follow celebrity profiles. Spotify’s interactions are limited however to following friends and artists without the ability to respond to their activity.

People can personalize their spotify profile almost as they would with a social networking site. They can create playlists, get recommendations based on what they listen to, and look at album reviews. Spotify also has a huge number of people that use the service with more than 140 million of them and 50 million paying for the premium version for their mobile phones.

With many of the building blocks of a social network, Spotify could easily make the shift to be another type of platform where people can communicate while also listening to music. It is unclear whether Spotify plans to move in the direction of becoming a social network but it might benefit from more users and a better sharing experience if it allowed users to comment and interact with each other. Not everyone will be interested in a more social aspect to Spotify but it could be an interesting change to our listening experience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.