Solomoto Platform Handles Webdesign, CRM, Ecommerce, More

Solomoto Platform Handles Webdesign, CRM, Ecommerce, Morevia Small Business Trends http://ift.tt/fSwfQf http://ift.tt/29HOhjP

Solomoto is a marketing technology provider that helps small companies grow by centralizing their digital business needs into an all-in-one platform that encompasses web design, ecommerce, CRM, social media marketing and ad campaigning.

The company is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and launched in 2015. It first ventured into international markets — Brazil and Eastern Europe, specifically — and is now attempting to break into the U.S.

Solomoto’s goal is to recruit a few hundred U.S. small businesses to serve as “ambassadors” to help promote its services. In exchange, these companies get to use the platform free of charge for three months.

The term Solomoto is an amalgam of the words social, local, mobile and tools. The company chose the moniker because it reflects three characteristics that define today’s consumers. These consumers:

Rely on the influence of social network friends and followers when making purchase decisions;

Shop locally, as well as online;

Depend on their mobile devices to find business information, such as hours of operation and location.

From that sprang the term “SoLoMo” to describe these modern, digitally-savvy consumers. Solomoto just provides the tools to reach them.

Solomoto works with companies across many industries — healthcare, food and beverage, real estate and retail — more than 50 different verticals that range in size from single-person operations to companies with several dozen employees. To date, more than 100,000 businesses use the service worldwide.

Solomoto: Digital Marketing in Half an Hour Per Day

In a telephone conversation with Small Business Trends, Guy Israeli, one of Solomoto’s founders, said, “We understand that smaller companies have a limited amount of time to manage their digital marketing activities. We combined all the tools into one dashboard to allow a small business to compete with large organizations in half an hour per day.”

Solomoto refers to itself as a Saas-based platform, not cloud-based.

“Cloud services are normally associated with infrastructure, storage and hosting, and are often used by large enterprises,” Israeli said, explaining the difference. “We use the cloud for infrastructure but offer our software as a service to customers, which makes it SaaS-based.”

Regarding the platform, Israeli said customers could use one part or all. However, “it’s the combination of tools that make it effective,” he said.

Solomoto Platform Features

Some of Solomoto’s most salient features include:

Location-based advertising. Solomoto knows your location and can build an ad campaign for you almost automatically, Israeli said. You provide the images and videos and in six clicks and about 20 seconds you can have a campaign live on Google, Facebook and Instagram without ever writing a word. Users can launch ad campaigns to all three outlets at the same time and track performance in one place.

Create once, publish everywhere. Users can publish a website or online store both to the web and inside Facebook, via a tab.

Ready-made content. Solomoto suggests ready-made content based on the business category. Content comes in the form of images, social media posts and articles from third-party sites.

Ambassador program. When Solomoto enters a new market, it gathers a small group of businesses (up to a few hundred) and then works closely with them to ensure their success. They become case studies in a sense, proving the value of the platform for that particular market.

Marketing help. The company provides marketing services for businesses that don’t have time to take care of the tasks.

Templated websites. Solomoto offers more than 100 website design templates that require no knowledge of HTML. Businesses can also add an online store and receive payments directly through the platform.

Social media post scheduler. The post scheduler lets users publish to social networks automatically using a “set it and forget it” approach.

Hosting and domains. Solomoto hosts its customers’ websites free of charge. Businesses can register a domain name free as well.

Analytics. The platform provides analytics on the customer’s website, online store and advertising all in one place.

How to Use Solomoto

Follow these steps to begin using Solomoto:

Set up a free account, which you can do by entering your name, email address and creating a password.

Click the tile in the dashboard that says “Create Business.”

Complete a business profile, which consists of the company name, category, country, address and phone number.

Solomoto’s dashboard uses a tiled structure, which it refers to as “widgets,” that resembles a Windows 10 desktop. Each widget manages a particular activity, such as building a website, planning ad campaigns or posting to social media. Users can customize the interface with a drag and drop function that lets them replace, remove or relocate the widgets to their liking.

Here’s a brief description of each widget:

Business – This widget contains the information used when setting up the account and creating the business listing.

Connect social networks pages – The title of this widget is somewhat misleading because it appears that Facebook is the only social network with which the user can connect.

Create website – Solomoto includes more than 100 templates in the web design widget, designed to fit many business categories. Sites can be published both to the Internet and to Facebook, as a tab.

Statistics – This reporting widget includes the number of visits, membership and demographics, both for the website and Facebook.

Add store – Users can set up an ecommerce store to demonstrate goods without payment functions, facilitate purchases via a third-party site or set up ordering on the website and within Facebook.

Advertise on social networks – Businesses can create ad campaigns for Facebook and Instagram, and pay through the dashboard.

Balance – This widget lets users add funds to their account to pay for activities such as advertising or subscription fees. The site accepts all major credit cards and PayPal.

Advertise on Google – This widget enables the setup of Google AdWords campaigns.

Manage posts in social networks – Users can create a social network posting calendar, to publish to Facebook. Solomoto provides ready-made content or users can create their own.

Solomoto Pricing

Solomoto is free to use until the moment the user needs to publish to the web. At that point, he or she can choose one of two different payment plans: per day or month.

The per day plan, which costs 50 cents a day, is intended to be “pay as you go” where users top off their wallets to pay for things such as buying media or publishing their website. According to Israeli, it’s like buying minutes on a phone.

The monthly plan — which costs $15 per month — is more convenient and intended for users who are looking for greater pricing stability and access to all the features.

Image: Solomoto

This article, "Solomoto Platform Handles Webdesign, CRM, Ecommerce, More" was first published on Small Business Trends

Small Business IT via Small Business Trends http://ift.tt/fSwfQf July 17, 2016 at 11:30PM