Category Archives: eCommerce

Effective Networking: A Key Success Factor for Small Business Owners

Effective Networking: A Key Success Factor for Small Business Owners.


Blogging for Food – FREE eXtension Webinar

eXtension Online Marketing Webinar Series
February 13, 2014
2:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. CT/12:00 p.m. MT/11:00 p.m. PT
Blogging For Food
Presented by Jennifer Lewis, The Soup to Nuts Resource for Artisan Food Entrepreneurs
The eXtension Entrepreneurship webinar winter series focus is
marketing online and enhancing their online marketing strategy.
February 13 – Blogging For Food
Presented by Jennifer Lewis, The Soup to Nuts Resource for Artisan Food Entrepreneurs
2:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. CT/12:00 p.m. MT/11:00 p.m. PT
Starting your own business is not an easy task especially if you are involved with the food industry – after much research it was evident there were few resources where ‘foodies’ could ask questions and get helpful information. Jennifer Lewis will share her experience with creating a blog to provide resourceful knowledge to the artisan food community.   Learn how a blog could be useful for your business to engage with customers.

Follow Entrepreneurs and Their Communities at:

March 13
– Incorporating Video into the Marketing Strategy
Presented by Jeremy Doan, Rolling Plains Adventures
Video today is as important today as content marketing.  Learn how Jeremy Doan, Rolling Plains Adventures uses video to explain what their business is about, how they can share customer experiences, and what it takes to create short video segments to benefit your business.

All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at  1:00pm (CT); 12:00pm(MT); at  Webinars are recorded for your convenience and are archived at


Take Your Marketing to the Next Level with eTailing curriculum

Online retail capacity, or e-tailing, remains a rapidly growing trend.

“It is important for all small businesses to put an online marketing strategy into full speed,” says Connie Hancock, UNL Extension Educator. “More and more, customers are looking for 24/7 access or ‘always-on’ capacity to shop, buy, and receive customer support and service.”

With this changing landscape for retailers, North Dakota State University (NDSU) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Services teamed up to provide rural and small-business owners with an educational program, “eTailing: Taking Charge of Your Online Presence,” at

This new self-help program is designed to help business owners understand e-tailing and make plans to incorporate on online marketing strategy into their total marketing strategy to reach existing customers as well as expand their reach for new customers.

“It is important for business owners to understand two things: First, e-tailing is not an option,” says Glenn Muske, NDSU rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist.

“Second, e-tailing includes more than selling,” indicated Jay Jenkins, UNL Extension Educator. “It means offering customer support and service, providing store information, developing another channel for meaningful customer communication, and ensuring safety and security in this effort. Yet small business owners can, to a degree, pick and choose which of these parts they wish to offer.”

The eTailing curriculum focuses on:

  • Laying the groundwork for an e-tailing effort, including planning what the website will look like
  • Understanding how e-tailing will be your online front door and how it needs to be appealing and informative
  • Developing effective content
  • Helping an owner understand that a website represents only one potential part of the business’s online presence

“The goal of the program is to help the business owners effectively adopt online e-commerce as part of their business model,” says Dennis Kahl, UNL Extension educator. “If successful in doing so, the business owner will not only better serve his or her existing customers but open up the possibility of entirely new markets.”

Learning from others who use e-tailing successfully makes this program unique and especially helpful to the business owner. Several business owners were interviewed, and clips of their tips and comments are included.

“E-tailing is about responding to customer shopping habits,” UNL Extension educator Connie Hancock says. “The use of some form of online shopping grows each year, and there is nothing in sight that says this trend will decrease. “

“The growth is found in all demographic categories, making it important that business owners small and large, rural and urban, join in,” she adds.

A solid e-tailing effort will allow businesses always to be “on.” This program focuses on helping the owner develop that solid effort.

The program was made possible through the support of NDSU and UNL Extension, and funding from the Southern Rural Development Center’s National eCommerce Initiative.

For more ideas and assistance on e-tailing or e-commerce for your small business, contact your local Extension Service office or go to UNL Extension’s website at or NDSU’s Small Business Support website at

For more information contact

  • Dennis Kahl –
  • Jay Jenkins –
  • Connie Hancock –


Online Presence webinar series begins!

The beginning of a three part series helping small business owners with their Online Presence.  Glenn Muske, NDSU and Connie Hancock, UNL Extension presented Crafting the Message on Thursday, January 9, 2014.

Here is a copy of the presentation for your convenience – Crafting the Message FINAL plus a link to the archived recording – Crafting the Message recording
Crafting the Message Resources

Mark your calendars for upcoming webinars

2nd Thursday, 2:00pm ET; 1:00pm CT; 12 pm MT; 11:00 am PT

February 13 –Blogging for Food – Jennifer Lewis – The Soup to Nuts Resource for Artisan Food Entrepreneurs

March 13 – Incorporating Video into the Marketing Strategy – Jeremy Doan, Rolling Plains Adventures

Five C’s of Using Mobile Technology – Galaxy IV Super Seminar

Today I had 6 minutes to talk about how I use mobile technology – and as I prepared for this I identified some C’s – which I thought I would share with you. I believe these will work for almost anyone who is considering or using Social Media to delivery information or create a conversation with your audience!

Connections – develop rich and deep social connections. This is social media is all about building relationships.
Tip respond to subscribers/posts/likes/comments and respond in a timely manner!

Content – rather it is for social media posts or the website the point is we are creating information that is useful for our clientele.

I believe your website is the heart of everything you do and it is the only thing that you own and have total control over drive everything to
Tip – learn how to write for the web and think about what your call to action is and what landing page you are sending them to thru your social media post.

Curate informaton – by using hashtags in your tweets you can curate information in a online newspaper –
#hashtags we use to curate information

Curriculum – Delivering information online can be fun and learning online can be fun and we need to remember how people engage in the conversation online
Tip – we have two online curriculum created to help small businesses take charge of their online presence.

Collaborate Use different tools to communicate and collaborate online – I have been on skype for hours at a time when working on a particular topic.- all day.

What am I forgetting – please let me know! And stay tuned for more information on the 5C’s

Online Marketing workshops offered in 4 Nebraska Communities

Making the Most of Social Media Marketing Workshop conducted in Ord, Burwell, Ravenna and Chadron

A social media marketing workshop, Make the Most of Social Media Marketing, for small businesses and entrepreneurs will be offered in 4 locations the end of August and early September by the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center and the University of Nebraska-Extension.

“As a business owner, you may wonder why some online businesses seem to have all the luck – well maybe it isn’t luck after all,” commented Monica Braun, REAP WBC Director with the Center for Rural Affairs. “Businesses that spend time thinking about their customers, carefully choose the appropriate online marketing tools, and then effectively engage their customers are the ones who succeed.  As you begin to make the most of social media marketing – you will want to explore the options.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educators, Jay, Jenkins, Jenny Nixon and Connie Hancock will share their online marketing expertise with workshop participants. Entrepreneurs, local business owners and anyone else interested are encouraged to attend.
“Your Online presence is bigger than what you create – through this workshop we will explore creating a social media strategy that allows you to build on your reputation and choose the online marketing tools that fit your needs,” said Hancock.

What: Make the Most of Social Media Marketing Workshop

When and Where:
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Ord, Nebraska
Ord Learning Center
1514 K Street
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Workshop
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.–Q & A –  Round Table for Social Media
Experts will answer workshop participants’ questions on using Facebook, Pinterest, etc., review participants website SEO, or check out Landing Pages.
To register – Call Kristina at 308-728-7875

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Burwell Nebraska
Garfield County Library
217 G Street
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Workshop
To register – Call David or Stacie at 308-346-5210

Friday, August 30, 2013
Ravenna, Nebraska
Ravenna Economic Development and Chamber Office
318 Grand Avenue
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Workshop
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.–Q & A –  Round Table for Social Media
Experts will answer workshop participants’ questions on using Facebook, Pinterest, etc., review participants website SEO, or check out Landing Pages.
To register – Contact Trevor – or 308-452-3133

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Chadron, Nebraska
Chadron State College
Former CSC Adm. Building
Room 131 Computer Lab
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.–Workshop
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.–Q & A –  Round Table for Social Media
Experts will answer workshop participants’ questions on using Facebook, Pinterest, etc., review participants website SEO, or check out Landing Pages.
To register – Contact Jenny Nixon: or 308-668-2428

“Whatever your online marketing questions, the experts will answer it,” concluded Braun.
For more information contact Jay Jenkins, or 402-376-1850, Jenny Nixon: or 308-668-2428. For more information contact Connie Hancock, UNL Extension at 308-254-4455 or

For more information about REAP and its services, visit:

A New Term – LPO

Small business owners who have created a website and have several webpages that make up there online presence – need to understand some fundamentals about each and every webpage!  Besides creating content that is rich with keywords and engages the customer for search engine optimization – then along comes the concept of creating Landing Pages!

Well – the good news – bad news!

Good News – every page of your website is potentially a Landing Page – as people search for your product or service – we do not know which keywords or keyword phrases they may be using – so consequently they may ‘land’ on any page of your webpage

Bad News – every page of your website needs to be optimized to be a Landing Page!

I recently read an article providing 10 Best Practices for Creating Landing Pages by Marketing Experiments which I thought needed to be shared as they are good words to live by when trying to attract and get the attention of your customers.

  1. Don’t use too many calls-to-action
  2. If your pages are longer, shorten them for less scrolling or scanning work if it creates more mental effort for the prospect
  3. The more complex the sale, the more information the prospect needs
  4. Emails are a part of the optimization process and it’s the quickest, most effective way to discover your value proposition
  5. Color is the most overlooked and misused element of landing page design
  6. Give credibility from a third party
  7. Congruency between headlines, landing pages and the ads, emails, or SERPs that led them there
  8. Single-purpose, akin-focused message
  9. Use bullets and be succinct
  10. A/B split test different elements to create the most optimized version of your landing page

So if you thought mastering SEO was a challenge – you need to make sure your webpages are LPO as well!

For more information on Creating Effective Landing Pages – go to our Resources page and click on Landing Pages or go to