How to Use Content Marketing and Social Media to Grow an Audience

When it comes to brand awareness, nothing beats a well-thought-out, well-executed content marketing strategy. However, you don’t have to wait for people to come to you. What you need is a system that puts you right in front of your intended audience in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Content is king, no doubt. But with more than 500 million blogs and a new blog post published every 0.5 seconds, it’s almost impossible to build an audience on Google if you’re not among the few established companies and authority sites dealing on a certain topic. In fact, many businesses that rely heavily on website traffic took a beating after Google started implementing some major updates.

We’ve seen this coming a few years back, and we’ve perfected a system that helps small business owners grow their audience more rapidly without slugging it out with the ‘big guys.’ We’ve learned through experience, after working with over 700 clients, to combine different methods of customer engagement that allows them to attract the right people and keep them coming back.

Create a following on social media

Content marketers would often tell you to just create awesome content and let Google take care of the rest. However, things have changed and it’s no longer just putting out great content, but becoming pro-active in getting the right people to see your content.

1. Facebook & Twitter

No, we’re not selling to people on Facebook or Twitter. We’re here to make connections. Sure, you can buy some ads to give your post a temporary boost, but the main purpose is building that relationship and trust with people who might be a customer or a business partner.

Here’s a great thing about social media. You don’t have to be an ‘authority’ (or sound like one) to get an audience. You just have to use Facebook & Twitter the way they’re supposed to work but with a clear purpose in mind – to get more people into your business.

Show people what you do with your business, share some thoughts, some interesting articles or videos. Interact with users. Better yet, if you have your own blog or website, you can share your featured posts or repurpose old content for social media (e.g. quick tips, testimonials, etc.).

Ideally, you want to have a system already in place before going in on social media. People often make the mistake of going in and not being able to handle it right. So they end up either spending too much time doing everything by hand or sending bulk messages that are too generic to create meaningful connections.

Think of social media as your springboard. It helps you start a conversation but you’ll need to follow up on them and move to a more ‘stable’ platform like your email list as you go by.

We’ve developed our own sales and marketing automation which enables you to collect data and keep track of your conversations on social media. It’s a complete system that comes with a landing page builder, sales funnels, autoresponders and many others.

2. LinkedIn

We’ve devoted an entire blog article on this topic about how to use LinkedIn at networking events to increase sales. It’s the same idea with Facebook & Twitter, but we’re looking to find business partners, preferably those which are complementary to yours. Hence, if you’re a restaurant or catering business, you’ll probably want to partner up with event planners in your area.

We recommend having your own blog or website before looking out for potential business partners on LinkedIn. It creates a bit of impression. Like being able to write your own book, people tend to trust you more with your knowledge and experience when they see your blog or website.

Quality content still reigns supreme, but you need the right tools to get them to the right people – precisely what our system does for many small business owners like you.

3. YouTube

Videos will take center stage as technology improves and the majority of online marketers migrate to a much less competitive space. Unlike Google, YouTube is an untapped goldmine for a lot of content marketers. You don’t need a professional studio or expensive video editing software to get a thousand viewers on your channel.

Think of all the YouTube videos you’ve watched with more than ten thousand viewers and subscribers, using nothing more than an inexpensive camera, a whiteboard, or just them talking to you through their smartphones. Even if you’re a little bit “camera-shy,” you can still build a massive following using whiteboard animation software like VideoScribe and Doodly or even a slideshow made from Pixabay images with your voiceover. 

Now here’s the best part. Your audience will get notified each time you have a new post by simply clicking on that bell notification icon. And, unlike a static post or webpage, your YouTube videos will continue to get more viewers, comments, and more people will subscribe to your channel long after you’ve published your videos.

Just like your Facebook and other social media platforms you’ll be able to use your YouTube content to get them to your site and keep them coming back for more.

Collect data for your sales and marketing automation

All your content marketing efforts and social media posts should all come down to this – collecting data for your sales and marketing automation. This is where most small businesses hit a dead end. They don’t know what to do with next, or they don’t have a system to capture all the data and use them to turn followers and subscribers into buying customers.

Small Business Dream offers a solution to take your fans and followers into that journey, whether it’s through sales funnels, landing pages, newsletters, drip mail, email series, and push notifications. We’ve covered every possible way to keep them interested after doing all the work of creating great content for your business. 


Content marketing doesn’t require a lot of resources aside from your time and creativity. Like any other skill set, you’ll get better with practice and gaining more experience. However, not all business owners have the time and commitment to produce high-quality content. We offer services which includes online and offline solutions to drive your message home.

If you need help, you can reach us and take advantage of our FREE Sales and Profitability consultation where we identify key aspects in your business to rapidly boost your sales. Come visit us at to learn more about our 5-step system to rapidly grow your sales and profits with less stress.

Creating a Detailed Buyer Persona to Guide Your Marketing Efforts

Businesses are always upgrading their strategies to increase ROI. The buyer persona epitomizes their constant efforts to stay relevant with their customers by creating an idealized customer to guide their marketing efforts.

The shift from generalized, stereotypical advertising to individualized customer engagement is one the most important milestones that changed the way companies and businesses market themselves to world.


Buyer Persona vs. Stereotype

Buyer persona is coined from the word ‘persona’, often associated with psychology and literature. When applied to business, it means an ideal customer with the most desirable traits suitable for marketing.

This ‘model customer’ serves as the basis for the company’s design, production, and marketing efforts from which they can generate income. Different industries can have several buyer personas, each having unique, individual characteristics that mirror their real-life equivalents.

A common misconception about the buyer persona is the old practice of stereotyping customers popular among traditional businesses. They would try to fit every customer into a category based on assumptions and generalizations.

The fundamental difference between a buyer persona and a stereotype is the understanding of the circumstances that revolve around the customer – his work, lifestyle, education, hobbies, expertise, expectations, buying habits, etc.

A stereotype barely scratches the surface and provides an incomplete picture of your target market, while a buyer persona goes deeper by creating a life-like representation of your ideal customers based on facts and research.


The Buyer Persona’s Role in Business

Marketing efforts gravitate on the customer’s ever-changing needs embodied by the buyer persona. Without a proper understanding of the customers, all efforts from production, marketing, and sales are irrelevant.

A well-researched buyer persona protects their investments by guiding them on what products or services – with their many variants and slight nuances – to provide their customers and how they can successfully market them across different channels.


Creating a Buyer Persona

The first step in creating an all-inclusive buyer persona is to collect every available information from customers through research, surveys and interviews .

Sources include demographic information of a particular area, CRM data, emails, social media, and Google Analytics. These data will serve as the building blocks of the ideal customer’s ‘DNA’.

Coming up with an accurate representation of the ideal costumer takes time. In some instances, it is necessary to create two or more personas if data points to more than just one type of customer.


What to Include

Business firms compile different information from various sources and creates a unified picture of their imaginary customer. The following information will help you throughout the process.

Demographic information
•   Age bracket
•   Gender
•   Country/Nationality
•   Language

Personal information
•    Educational attainment
•    Profession/Occupation
•    Civil Status
•    Income Level

Customer information
•   Buying History
•   Buying Motivation
•   Buying Preference
•   Average Spending

Specific Skills and Interests

Acquiring firsthand information can take time because it involves actual conversation with people and encouraging them to participate in surveys.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is a treasure trove when it comes to personal information, skills, and interests about your customers. Some companies collect information about their fans and followers as part of their marketing strategy.

If your company doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, consider social media marketing as a way of gathering relevant information about your target market.

You can also learn about their specific interests through your landing pages and opt-in subscriptions to your weekly or monthly newsletters. These data can be acquired more easily using ‘call to action’ (CTA) links or buttons within the page or email.

When it comes to customer records of previous and current customers, nothing comes close to CRM customer data because it allows businesses to stay up-to-date with its constant supply of data from day to day transactions.


Look for the Right CRM Service to Guide You

Small Business Dream offers a suite of tools which include customer acquisition, sales funnel, and sales and marketing automation for small business owners like you.

Learn more on how Small Business Dream can help you with your marketing efforts by visiting our website at

Know What Your Customer Wants and When They Want It

When a customer comes in to buy certain goods or use a particular service, smart companies keep track of the customer’s buying habits to guide them with decision-making and predicting customer orders and purchases.

From the standpoint of a buying customer, he may notice something different from time to time, like why a certain brand is strangely low in numbers and why other brands are taking up the space that was left out.

A lot of businesses  use predictive analysis to know what customers would likely buy in the future based on the current trends, i.e. what most customers are actually buying and how frequent.

However, it’s not as simple as overstocking your shelves with merchandise just because they are frequently sold. It requires careful analysis and taking every possibility into consideration.


The Role of Customer Relationship Management in Business

Customer Relationship Management tools (CRM) came in response to the rapidly-growing business industries. Back then, we only had spreadsheets and repositories to store and analyze data.

Nowadays, we have integrated, collaborative software tailored specifically for businesses. These applications are capable of handling incredible amounts of data and performing complex calculations to provide business owners with real-time analysis of their sales and marketing strategy.

Companies like KFC and McDonalds have been employing CRM tools for quite some time . Even the government uses CRM in some ways because it provides a more realistic and practical way to address the needs of its citizens.


Using CRM to Predict the Future

Making predictions is not as simple as it sounds. We need to factor in specific details like who usually bought them,  specific time of the year, how much, how often, and the list goes on.

So how do smart companies make their projections based on customer data?


Analyzing customer data

Each time a customer checks out with his loyalty card,  customer data goes right into the data centers or servers for processing. Without the proper tools to analyze and interpret these data, they’re nothing more than just a useless pile of customer information. CRM transforms these data into a usable format business owners could easily understand.

Loyalty and point cards are so popular with businesses nowadays. Your wallet is probably stuffed with them. If you have a loyalty card for your grocery store then the chain store is tracking every purchase you make and putting it into their CRM.


Narrowing down potential customers and repeat customers

Some of your prospects can become your regular buyers and loyal customers over time. Such information about your customer can serve as your basis when making your projections about sales.

If a brand of soap gets sold more frequently to a certain  group of customers, your CRM can provide some answers and help you understand why this trend will continue on or if it’s just a short-term success.  


Maintaining contact with the customers

 CRM keeps track of your customers’ buying habits, interests, preferences, lifestyle, and other relevant information about them.  Some even have features that remind users to follow-up with customers in a timely manner such as Small Business Dream’s Action List.

One of the best ways to maintain good relationship with your customers is to show how much you value them . Thanking them through Facebook, Twitter, email or SMS for making your company a part of their experience can go a long way.


Understanding past and current trends

Hindsight is said to have a 20/20 vision. CRM goes further by allowing you to ‘see’ the future. Telecom industries provide a classic example of how changing trends can make or break a company.

During the heyday of telecom companies like Nokia, mobile phones are regarded mainly as communication devices. Nokia  had too much focus on their product line, all the while ignoring the competition and what the customers want for their mobile phones at that time.

By the time they realized it, they were on the verge of losing the market. They were too late. The once mighty telecom giant crumbled under its own weight and disappeared from the scene. The moral of the story? Don’t ignore the trends. Keep your eyes open and find out what is it that you’re missing out on.

Customer relationship management allows businesses to cut through the noise and “see the forest for the trees.”  Learn how CRM applications like Small Business Dream can make a difference for your small business.

To find out more about Small Business Dream visit our website at

5 Ways To Better Connect With Your Customers

It is easier and more convenient than ever to connect with your customers in order to grow your loyal customer database. But with so many tools and resources, it can also get complicated and overwhelming to make those personal connections with your customers.

Social media is a way to connect with your customers if done correctly—creating interesting contents that your customers want to share—but spamming your connections with your product updates, urging them to buy your products, is the quickest way to lose them.

To be able to help you make those better and loyal connections, here are five simple and effective ways to better connect with your customers, while growing your brand and business at the same time.

1) Know Your Customers

The first thing that you need to do to establish a better connection with your customers is to know them on a personal level. This allows you to identify the following information:

  • demographics (age, location, gender, hobbies and interests)
  • personal wants and needs
  •  occupation
  • income

With these details available, you can strategize your marketing approach and ways to promote your products and services. This can also help you decide whether you need to modify the products you provide as well as the services you offer to your customers.

Google Analytics is one of the best tools to collect data from your customer. Information from Google can help you start a targeted customer database. You can discover what kind of customers you have and what they need from you. These details can also help you with identifying their online habits which can assist you with knowing the proper time to begin marketing your products and promoting them.

Facebook also has some great analytics tools to get to know your customers. If you look at the insights, you can find out all types of information about your audience – down to their interests and hobbies – and you can better connect with them.

Other social media platforms like Twitter and Pinterest have analytics tools, but none of them have caught up to Facebook in terms of usefulness or ability to capture as much customer data as possible.

Aside from these tools, you can also do market research by doing a survey and listening to their feedback in your comment section, and from review sites and online forums. Learn who your customers are by doing an analysis of your collected customer data and segment them accordingly to be able to personalize the connection.

2) Engage on Social Media

With the growth of social media, it is one of the better ways to have a connection with your customers online. Social media have become the essential online tool for customers to search for products and services they need. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other available resources are avenues for people to engage and for brands to grow their business.

Facebook can be used to build brand awareness and personally connect with customers. You can create a Facebook Page where you can post videos and images explaining your products and inform them the benefits they will get if they avail them from you. You can also check customer complaints and deal with them personally.

Try running competitions on social media where your customers can get a chance to win free services. These can be fun and help you win a ton of extra true fans as well.

Twitter, on the other hand, is a way for customers to post their feedback. Hear what they think personally about your products and engage with them by answering their queries directly. You can also keep your followers up-to-date by sharing news immediately. Twitter can also help you track what your competitors are up to.

If your customers are on Twitter and they post about your company then you better respond – whether it’s good or bad comment!

A great place to market your brand with a simple visual element is Instagram. With currently more than 300 million daily users, Instagram is quickly climbing up the social media hierarchy of best sites to connect with customers. With a simple yet rich media content, it can engage more users with a strategic use of search keywords through using hashtags and also with a good skill on photography. There are several tips on how to have eye catching images to boost your online presence and your social media posts.

3) Start Live Business Events

You shouldn’t just focus all your efforts online. Face-to-face engagements are still very important and can help connect your business to your customers. Register to business expos where you display your products and market them to existing and potential customers. Get to see their response and feedback while they sample your products or test them through demonstrations and exhibits.

If you have a physical store, invite your loyal customers to your launching parties. You can also get to know your leads and engage with them to build partnership. These customers, while they have the chance to visit your store, will share their experience on social media or will spread their thoughts by word of mouth — the cheapest and most effective way of marketing.

Of course, for a live business event, you need to plan first. Choose a venue with good atmosphere and filled with interesting activities. Don’t forget to let your customers get involved. Learn from them first hand, see their reactions personally, and talk to your customers to leave a good impression about your products and your brand.

4) Keep Them Updated

Send them emails, newsletters, or push notifications on their mobile devices for announcements on new product launching, promotions or a new published post on your blog. Keeping your customers in the loop is the easiest way to reach them whether on social media or on traditional media like newspapers and magazines.

Update your social media channels through a tool like Small Business Dreams and send out a newsletter. With the Small Business Dreams app, you can send automated and semi-automated messages to let your customers and leads know what’s going on in your industry or other news. The app prompts you when it’s time to reach out to a customer so you never have to remember and risk forgetting.

You can also utilize social media advertisement services like Facebook Ads to promote the updates on your brand and your products. Never miss to encourage your customers to also share your updates to family members and friends who can possibly be potential customers.

Keeping your customers updated lets them know more about business and how you can bring them values into their lives.

5) Provide Good Customer Service

There is no better way to keep your customers coming back to buy your products and avail your services than to have a good customer service experience. Customer service is a necessity to an emerging customer-based industry. This means attending customer on a timely manner on your social media channels, forum sites and emails whether they have questions, inquiries, or concerns.

Giving your customers a superior customer service is one of the ways to engage and to build a better connection with them. This is also ideal when trying to convince potential customers to get your products and tell other people about how they affected their lives. According to a survey, customers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase due to bad customer service. Potential customers also check Net Promoters Scores (NPS) to see if a brand and the products and services they provide will make a difference to what they need.

Building the trust with your customers, no matter how strong your social media channels, how huge your customer database or how engaged you are with them on events will be affected by the experience they are getting from you through your customer service. You need to plan out the section of your business to be able to attract new customers and let existing customers stay with you for the better of your brand and your business.

Connect with customers better and reach out to new prospects by visiting our website at

How to Use Hashtags for Your Small Business Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve probably noticed that the number of businesses who utilize social media as a marketing medium has grown in massive numbers.

Now…for the purpose of our business, we’ve found that there are a couple of mediums that give us greater latitude, and much bigger “bang for our marketing buck” with regard to creativity than do others. And you might find the same goes for your own business social media purposes. In trying out the various platforms, we generally suggest that you find out which works best, and focus on those.

Twitter for instance, utilizes text to 140 characters, so if your message is text focused, and you can get that message (or a tantalizing part of that message) across in less than that, it’s a kick ass way to go, but creativity still rules. Simply said, the fact that you’re only ‘allowed’ 140 characters on Twitter can create the need to include links to whatever website or blog the rest of your information is located on.

What exactly IS a ‘hashtag’?

Hashtags have become so common these days that people have started using them outside of their intended purpose. People use them in text messages, chats, songs, and advertisements.

A “hashtag” is more simply described as a word preceded by the number sign (#).You’ll see them across a variety of different social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and occasionally on Facebook. When Pinterest first came out in 2010 there was a lot of confusion about hashtags and how they were being used on that platform.

Hashtags (#) are used for the purpose of locating people/industries/topics that you and/or your company might be interested in following/communicating with, etc. Whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it is immediately indexed by the social network and searchable by other users. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hash tagged keyword in real-time.

Those hashtags in the Instagram platform serve the same purpose, even though it’s primarily an image driven vehicle (no pun intended there). Using hashtags within those messages also brings WAY more eyeballs than those posted without them (it’s astonishing just how much traffic a simple hashtag can bring).

So now you ask, “how do I know which hashtags I should be using for my business?” There are a couple of really simple answers to this question;

1. When it comes to hashtags, common sense generally prevails. Using a business related word and simply prefixing it with a “#” is generally one of the best ways to start testing out some favorites.

2. When it doubt, Google it. Search for popular hashtags related to your business on Google! Google is a super helpful resource, and you can find any number of hashtag lists for use on your preferred social media platform, for just about any business you dare to search. Do some testing and tweaking. Figure out which hashtags work best on which platform for your business, and get to it!

Despite the problems I have outlined in this book, I believe that the future of small business is bright. Regardless of what your customer’s needs are, there’s one universal way to explode your sales, and keep that customer coming back, and/or referring your business; Keeping in touch. By ‘keeping in touch’ I’m not saying that you should badger your customer incessantly with mindless chatter. By “keeping in touch”, you’re simply, periodically putting yourself at the forefront of your customer’s mind with timely, helpful, metered communication.

Now you ask, “what exactly IS timely, helpful, metered communication”? Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to tell you. Go grab a java, take a seat in a big comfy chair, and read on.

Let’s say you’re in the real estate business. Obviously your customers aren’t buying real estate the way they’d buy say…socks (or maybe they are). Just because a client makes one real estate purchase doesn’t mean that the ‘sale’ is done when your commission cheque clears, but your client very likely has friends. And what do you think happens when those friends are buying property? They ask a friend for a referral. And if you don’t position yourself in such a way that there really ISN’T anyone else that your client can think of when asked for that referral, your sales, and therefore your commissions will have no other avenue but to jump exponentially.

Sounds great, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to make more money, while helping a client remember to do helpful things with regard to their real estate purchase? If you could in addition, have those helpful reminders to go out on a set schedule, so much the better, right?

Implementing a simple ‘system’ for reaching out to those customers automatically makes the task of keeping in touch one of the more simple tasks that you undertake in your business, instead of one that you dread for how difficult it can be.

If your business is a restaurant, keeping in touch is even more simple, by sending out ‘reminders’ of regular specials and special events happening in your establishment. It’s easy to keep your income pipeline full, when you’re at the forefront of the minds of your customers, regulars or not.

Making the task of staying in touch even simpler, why not implement a mobile CRM to your marketing strategy? That way your business doesn’t need to rely on you having time to sit down at a computer to do your ‘staying in touch’ tasks.

Cool, right?