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As a business, you put time and thought into your website because you know potential buying decisions are influenced by its layout and call-to-action. You may even spend thousands of dollars in advertising because you know you can use that to influence a target market. While these are fine marketing initiatives, there’s a small (and free!) forum that holds great influence over how people perceive your business: online reviews. How much time and thought have you put into those lately?

An online review is essentially a word-of-mouth recommendation for or against your business. It’s a digital record of what people are saying about you, your products, or your services. And the worst thing you can do is ignore them. Why? Because they wield a surprisingly strong influence on potential customers.

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Did you know that millennials have $200 billion in buying power? We were shocked too. With about 80 million millennials in the United States alone, it has become vital to ensure you are effectively marketing your brand to this audience. Don't get us wrong - you shouldn't give Generation X'ers or Baby Boomers the boot, but enhancing your strategy to focus on a few important avenues is a must!

1. Core Values
Millennials like to align themselves with companies that share the same values and are making a difference. It is important to find the right cause to support to ensure you are capturing and maintaining the interests of your millennial consumers. Promoting your core values throughout your marketing strategy is important, whether that be on your website, through social media or in brand videos.

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As we head into the last few months of the year, the countdown is on to develop your marketing strategy for the new year. No pressure or anything, but this is important stuff! Here are some do's and don'ts to help you build and execute a winning marketing strategy — next year and beyond.

Do review your website. It is a good practice to review your website every year, so now is a great time to go through it page by page. If there are housekeeping items that need to be done or major updates you're thinking of implementing, make a wish list for your website management company.

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