The Best Online Courses for Small Business Owners 

When you decide to start your business, it can be a combination of both an exciting decision and one filled with trepidation. A lot of the time, those feelings of trepidation can be because you simply don’t feel prepared for that level of responsibility. Those feelings are totally normal. You’re taking a big step, and this will be a challenging experience. A lot of the best businesspeople in the world will tell you to fail in order to succeed and just throw yourself into it. Although, if you would rather feel more comfortable in yourself, there are a lot of online courses you could take to ready yourself more for the business world. 

Online Marketing Courses 

The internet is the greatest tool that you can use to promote your business. Every kind of organisation now has an online presence and there is an increasing number of consumers who take to the internet as a means to buy new products. As such, learning how to market yourself online is crucial for any business. Not only can the conventional form of marketing help you, but you can also find innovative ways to draw in customers as well. 

For instance, take Click Intelligence, a CBD SEO agency. It’s an expert in developing content that is both unique and SEO friendly so that organisations are able to stand out in what to many would seem like a saturated market. Yes, there is no doubt that learning online marketing is crucial for businesses. 

Become a Small Business Owner With a LinkedIn Online Course

This course is incredibly helpful and comes with over 11 hours’ worth of content. It comes with information about the basics of starting a business, the complications that can come with starting a business and what you should be prepared for when you step into the world of entrepreneurialism. The basics include the likes of the legal side, operational side and the financial side of the business

What makes doing a course with LinkedIn so helpful is that they usually focus on what you need to do if you start a business by yourself or with friends and family, which is common for a lot of small businesses. As such, you get to learn exactly how you can build a business model and develop a business plan accordingly. That way your business will not only be viable but also legally legitimate. 

Start a Profitable Business Online (a Course by Lewis Howes)

You’ll struggle to find a more credible business source than entrepreneur and podcast host Lewis Howes. On this course you will be given the chance to learn everything about creating a profitable online business. It comes packed with step-by-step information about the entire process of getting your idea and then creating, launching and building upon your successful online business. You will be given the low-down on how you can continue to develop your product, which includes developing practical strategies that will assist in its overall growth. 

5 Steps for Planning a Successful Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Planning a marketing campaign is no easy feat. A lot of effort and collaboration goes into ensuring that it can be implemented and will yield excellent returns. But what if your company is promoting a seasonal product?

A seasonal product certainly adds a layer of complexity to any marketing endeavor. However, it also presents a unique opportunity for the marketing team to flex their creative muscles and develop something special.

But before jumping directly to the steps, let’s first talk about seasonality.

Defining Seasonality

Seasonality can be defined as the periodic fluctuations that regularly occur in a predictable pattern based on a particular season, quarter, or month. Another way of putting it is any predictable change or pattern in a time series that recurs or repeats over a year.

In Western countries like the United States, seasonality takes its cue from the actual weather seasons―spring, summer, fall, and winter. For example, you’ll have lots of people gardening in the spring, visiting the beach in summer, going leaf-peeping in fall, and building snowmen in the winter. Online businesses need to consider this well ahead of time. 

Seasonality can also occur during certain holidays that present ripe commercial opportunities. For example, most businesses experience an uptick in sales right around the Christmas holidays (more examples below).

Seasonal opportunities are tremendous, and often, they’re the most commercially critical times of the year. So it’s only fitting to conclude that it has a significant influence on the strategies that e-commerce organizations put in place. 

Purchasing habits tend to shift based on consumer activities. As such, a lot of companies can benefit from tapping into their consumers’ holiday psyches, warm fuzzies, and spirits.

Seasonality from a Marketing Standpoint

When we talk about marketing, seasonality goes way beyond throwing a few light-hearted and festive posts on your brand’s social media accounts.

Why is this so?

Each season is different. There are specific noteworthy holidays celebrated during those times. The events and activities that take place are also different. People don’t typically carve turkeys or wear ugly sweaters in July.

Retailers can increase their customer base by 30 to 50 percent during the holidays by investing in effective seasonal strategies every year. 

Some examples of seasonal opportunities that can increase revenue dramatically and create a connection with your target audience are as follows: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve/Day, and Valentine’s Day.

Adjusting Your Message, Budget, and Approach

Seasonal marketing is all about having phenomenal timing, unique content, and perfect campaign execution that earns engagement and, ultimately, sales.

Because purchasing habits can and do shift, businesses need to take this into account well ahead of time. It’s essential to start preparing for peak season as early as possible, so you’re not left wondering what your next move should be.

In its Holiday 2016 eCommerce Report, the content monetization platform Skimlinks pointed to a notable trend in consumer behavior.

“Consumers start and finish their shopping earlier than ever before, and that means publishers, advertisers and agencies alike need to be readier earlier than ever before to capitalize on the holiday season’s opportunities from an editorial and advertising standpoint.”

How to Plan a Seasonal Campaign

Several factors come into play when planning a seasonal campaign. You’ve got timing, demographics, the content/message, physical and online events. And at these events, you may have to come up with custom packaging so the product fits the season.

Hitting on all these factors dramatically increases the likelihood of having a successful marketing campaign and sold-out products.

Having a systematic and step-by-step approach prevents your team from being overwhelmed. It makes it easier for everyone to be organized and on the same page throughout the planning process.

So, without further ado, here are the steps.

  1. Choose the right seasonal opportunity

Every season has something different to offer; the key here is to be selective. Do your research and collect data on when your customers are most likely to engage and then choose events that somehow relate to your business. 

Jen McKinnon says, “The online stores who perform the best on public holidays are the ones that are most well prepared for the local calendar, tailoring their shopping events to their audience and making the most of the vacation vibe that a public holiday provides.”

Here are a few popular holidays, events, and themes you can start with:



  • Easter
  • April Fools’ Day
  • Earth Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Memorial Day

Events and Themes

  • Spring weather
  • Spring sports
  • Green initiatives
  • Bright color schemes



  • Flag Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day

Events and Themes

  • Summer weather
  • Barbecuing
  • Vacations



  • Halloween
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday

Events and Themes

  • Back to school
  • Fall activities (e.g., pumpkin picking, haunted houses)



  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve/Day

Events and Themes

  • Super Bowl
  • Snow
  • Staying warm

Creative marketers can make every season work. Whether you create season-related content (e.g., social media posts, blogs, and infographics), host a themed contest, or promote a sale for relevant products and services, this list should be in mind.

  1. Use the right message and approach

As with any marketing campaign, your seasonal campaign messaging is essential. To help you get started, you should be thinking of the following:

  • Mapping the customer journey and the story you want to tell. A customer journey map shows the story of the customer’s experience, from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.
  • The emotions you want to evoke in your audience. The goal of appealing to emotion is to connect with your audience and make them receptive to your message. If you can do that, your audience is more likely to understand where you’re coming from, accept your views, and take action.
  • A call-to-action. The ultimate goal here is to make your audience take action or the desired next steps you want to encourage.  
  1. Work out your budget

The key to a successful seasonal marketing campaign is fine-tuning your budget, so there are no surprises.

First things first, you’ll want to start by creating a list of your baseline costs. These are the minimum expenses required to keep the doors of your business open from month to month, which include the following:

  • Monthly lease or rent payments 
  • Utilities (e.g., electricity, internet service, and cellular service)
  • Taxes
  • Insurance

Next, look at your existing budget and make allowances for what you’ll need to get your business ready for the season.

Things you may need to consider include:

  • Bonuses or gifts for employees or customers
  • Gifts for vendors or clients
  • Ongoing marketing or advertising expenses
  • Added payroll costs for seasonal employees
  • Postage and shipping if you’re mailing out orders to customers
  1. Model successful campaigns

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Have a look at some of the last few years’ most successful content campaigns for a particular occasion using tools like Ahrefs and BuzzSumo.

When evaluating existing, successful campaigns, spend some time thinking about how each piece approached content format, distribution, messaging, and emotion.

Furthermore, one of the best parts of seasonal marketing is the ability to recycle your best-performing ideas the following year, as long as you make your content as evergreen as possible.

A great example is Hershey’s Christmas Bells commercial. The brand has run the TV spot every year since 1989, making it the longest-running Hershey’s commercial of all time.

  1. Treat every customer individually

For seasonal marketing to be effective, your customers should be tailored to individuals, regardless of channel, and the best way to do this is through customer profiling.

A larger segment may have several thousand customers in it, but brands still need to treat each member within that segment as an individual.

Review and Repurpose

It’s essential to document your campaign results carefully. Treat them as points of reference for future campaigns.

Try to not only repurpose the successful elements but also identify the weak sides of your promotions so you can eliminate them next time.

Pay Attention to the Results

It’s worth noting that there’s no such thing as a perfect seasonal marketing campaign. You can be widely successful, but there will always be little things that can be improved upon or changed entirely. 

Seasonal campaigns can be tremendously fun, but you need to take the data seriously. If you’ve gone through the trouble of meticulously planning every aspect of your marketing campaign, have the same attitude when accessing the results. Examine all available data and meet with your team to see how you could have done things differently and do even better next time around.

You can find opportunities for improvement to keep in mind for your next seasonal campaign by tracking your follower engagement on social media, the campaign’s ROI, and other KPIs,

No-Frills Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Advertising

Every e-commerce business has leveraged advertising to fuel their sales, with Google and Facebook Ads being the most popular. But many are missing out on what might already be staring them in the face: Amazon advertising. 

Amazon has gained a massive following in the e-commerce industry ever since its launch back in 1994. In fact, 66.4 million households in America have an Amazon Prime subscription. That’s more than the number of people who go to church on Sundays! 

This fact alone shows how massive the opportunity is for e-commerce owners to advertise on Amazon, and it’s one that they shouldn’t miss. But first, how do these businesses get started? 

Amazon Advertising: How Does It Work?

Amazon Ads work the same as Google Ads. They are displayed in different areas of the e-commerce platform when a user types in a related search query on the Amazon search box. You can differentiate them from the regular search results as they are labeled subtly with text like “sponsored” or “ad.”

Amazon advertising has a similar process to Google Ads. Advertisers bid on specific keywords to increase the visibility of their products. These are pay-per-click ads, which means the advertiser will only pay for the ads that a user clicks.

While Amazon advertising is an excellent opportunity for e-commerce businesses, they can boost their advertising strategy with Google Ads.

Online consumers are now smarter than ever. Around 53 percent of shoppers do a Google search before purchasing products online. And if a business isn’t advertising on the world’s most popular search engine, they’re going to lose the advertising game to competitors.

Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time and expertise to place their ads can outsource the work to Google Ad specialists. These services take the work off their plate and put their advertising budget to good use.

How to Advertise on Amazon 

  1. Make out your goal 

Before anything else, businesses should determine their advertising goals. Amazon allows advertisers to set their success metrics based on their goals, such as increasing their sales or promoting their brand.

For example, they can monitor the Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) to drive more sales. On the other hand, impressions are a great determining factor for boosting brand awareness.

Knowing the goal beforehand also helps advertisers determine which ad type will work best to reach their goal.  

  1. Pick the right products 

Now, it’s time to choose products to advertise. For retailers that have a vast inventory, selecting the right ones can be tricky.

But the most fail-safe trick is to advertise the most popular products. These will more likely gain conversions. Before placing the ads, merchants should stock up on these bestsellers to avoid buyer issues.

Of course, they need to ensure products are priced competitively. Otherwise, they’ll be losing to competitors who are selling the same items for a lower price.

  1. Optimize your product pages

Ads can get you clicks, but they won’t guarantee conversions. This means advertisers also need to improve their product pages to drive checkouts.

Shoppers will look at these pages for accurate and persuasive details about the product. These include a clear, compelling product title and description, high-quality product photo, and other specific information on the product. 

For example, clothing brands are more likely to convert shoppers by placing the right measurements of their products. People need to know if they’re getting something that’ll fit them just right.

Entrepreneurs that don’t want to deal with product procurement may consider dropshipping on Amazon. This allows them to open up shop, set up sponsored ads, and earn a portion of the sales from a main seller.

  1. Determine the right ad type for you

There are different ad types on Amazon, and each of them doesn’t work the same or provide the same results as others.

  • Sponsored ads – use automatic keyword targeting that leaves it up to Amazon’s algorithm to use the most relevant keywords to the product

  • Headline search ads – also known as sponsored brand campaigns that feature up to three of the brand’s products in the ads

  • Product display ads – PPC ads that appear on product pages, on top of offer listing pages, and below search results

  • Video ads – displayed on devices, websites, and other Amazon-owned assets across the web

  • Stores – an Amazon store lets you display all your products on one convenient page for free

5. Choose between sponsored brand and sponsored product 

The difference between a sponsored brand and a sponsored product listing on Amazon lies in the products displayed, and ultimately, the ad’s goal.

A sponsored brand will display three or four of a brand’s products in one row, which helps boost awareness of its product range.

Meanwhile, a sponsored product post only promotes an individual product. This means advertisers that use this type of ad are focused on generating more sales for that specific product. This also benefits those whose goal is to target a niche audience.

6. Use advanced targeting features 

By using category-specific targeting, you can display ads only to interested shoppers that’ll likely give clicks.

For instance, users clicking on a Nike sportswear might also be interested in exploring other sportswear brands. Because of this, they’re more likely to click on sponsored products related to that item.  

Amazon allows advertisers to target products by category, providing them greater control on where and when their ads appear on the platform’s search results.

7. Do keyword research 

Before bidding on specific keywords, ensure that they’re the correct terms your target audience is looking for. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your ad spend paying for clicks that don’t get enough conversions.

To target your ads at a smaller yet more high-intent audience, try to be more specific by bidding on phrases or exact match keywords. For instance, instead of targeting a broad keyword like “scented candles,”  you may want to target “soy wax scented candles” if you’re offering a more eco-friendly option.  

Test the Waters

E-commerce marketing is a rapidly growing field with increasing numbers of job openings.  Advertising is all about trial and error, whether you’re a beginner or not. With the tight competition, it’s hard to achieve a goal overnight. But following these tips will help narrow that room for error and boost our chances of success. 

5 Reasons How Customer Retention Can Help Promote Your Brand

Marketing strategies make it possible for a brand to be globally-known, despite being new to the market. The logic behind marketing strategies is for people to know and remember your brand, so every time they think of buying something, your brand name will come first in mind.

Customer retention can be acquired through several marketing tactics and how you take care of your customers before, during, and after a transaction. One of the reasons brands use several marketing strategies and offer after-sales care is to increase customer retention. It’s difficult to penetrate the competitive industry of eCommerce when you are not known by many, let alone when you don’t have repetitive customers. With the variety of products and services offered through eCommerce today, it’s hard for customers to be loyal to one brand only. Most people would try various brands before they stick to one that they can fully trust.

So how does customer retention make your business grow? Here are five reasons how customer retention can help promote your brand:

Customer Retention Build Profitable Relationships

Finding ways to retain customers must be one of a brand’s primary goals, as the business can benefit a lot from repetitive customers. Making sure that customers are satisfied and happy can lead to loyalty which can then lead to a profitable relationship.

Taking good care of your customers allows your brand to build strong relationships with them over time, increasing your profitability. Some brands are more invested in gaining new customers than retaining old ones, which do not always end well. Repeat customers are much easier to sell to than the next potential customer because they already know how your brand’s service is and how good your products are. Coming back to avail of your service after some time translates to having excellent customer service. Customer retention is vital to your brand’s longevity.

Retaining Customers Cost Less Than Acquiring New Customers

Retaining customers doesn’t mean you should stop acquiring new customers once you have repeat customers, no. It simply means that it costs way less to keep existing customers than to gain new ones because you don’t have to put much effort or spend double on any marketing strategy for repeat customers.

On average, it costs about five times more time, money, and effort to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers. It should be a goal of a business to earn more and spend less, and a high rate of customer retention fits right to that description.

Repeat Purchases

Did you know that, on average, almost 70% of a company’s sales come from existing customers? Loyal customers tend to buy more frequently in large quantities. They already know and trust that your brand can provide everything they look for in a product or service, leading to repeat purchases time after time.

Loyal customers get the feeling of being valued. The more they feel comfortable with your brand, the more they want to make additional purchases because they know that your business will most likely listen to their suggestions and requests.

Loyal Customers Make Time To Provide Helpful Feedbacks

Loyal customers are more aware of what areas your business needs to improve because of their frequent purchases. Since they know you care for them, they will also give the same amount of care for your business. Loyal customers can be honest at times, but honest feedback is helpful to the company. It gives you leverage to know what your customers need, compares solutions, and improves on the next transaction.

Customer Retention Acts As Free Promotion

Loyal customers love to share stuff they’ve bought on their social media accounts, and this forms word-of-mouth advertising. It works as free promotion for the brand because various people from different parts of the world have a huge chance to see the product on the customer’s post, which can spark curiosity, especially if the post gains massive attention.

Some customers are proud to show off the brand they have, that they would even go tagging the brand’s official page on popular social media sites, which sparks the interests of their followers and friends.

Word-of-mouth advertising ignites a call-to-action to the audience. One example could be skincare products. Social media users often get questions like, “how did you achieve a glass skin” “what lipstick do you use” “what sunblock did you get for going to the beach,” and many more related questions. Because there are people who want to achieve what you got from the brand, they will want to try the brand as soon as possible, which contributes a lot to the brand’s sales.

Thriving businesses need to know how customer retention can make an impact on their sales. Taking care of existing customers should also be on the top priority lists of companies, as maintaining a trustworthy and reliable reputation can help your business grow more rapidly and gain more customers.