If your small business isn’t using social media, it’s time to start. Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing or direct mail. Because social media can be (or seem) overwhelming, “choose one social media platform that your customers, prospects, and industry leaders engage with the most be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ and start building a presence there. Once you’ve set up an account, start connecting sharing your original content, joining discussions and engaging with the community. Keep your social efforts frequent, but above all, relevant and helpful to your audience.
One of the best marketing strategies for a small business is blogging by providing your prospects and clients with informative, non-sales content that you can house on your blog, promote socially and offer to other networks to supplement their strategy, you and your team can quickly establish yourselves as experts in a desired field. By blogging at least twice a week, you significantly increase your website’s ability to be found on search engines. The more you blog, the more traffic your site will get from Google, Yahoo and Bing because you are adding fresh content to your site [assuming your blog resides on your company website. And “if each of your blog posts includes a call to action, you might even generate some leads from your blog.”
You can’t improve upon what you can’t measure. Analytics provide a tremendous amount of incredibly useful data, such as where your website visitors come from, how long they stay, and what they do on your site. Google analytics is free and pretty darn good, and we recommend it. We also recommend you make sure you can track every lead that’s generated by your website. There are a few great local business directories that are completely free. Additionally, we do not typically recommend paying for directory placement. A good suggestion is by starting with the free listings and then seeing how it goes. Visit your competitors’ websites. Do searches for keywords related to your business. Find out what others in your vertical are doing and saying. This is a great way to get ideas and take stock of your own company’s online marketing efforts.
Creating and maintaining a business presence online is more practical than ever before. In fact, online companies are popping up out of the woodworks. With the immense amount of information on the Internet and users largely having the control to view exactly what they want, getting your product in front of potential customers can be challenging to say the least. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what works (and what fails terribly) when it comes to marketing online. Your marketing strategy will never be successful if you do not have a clearly defined audience. Before you spend a dime on marketing, figure out your target market first. There’s no need to pay top dollar to hire a fancy market research firm. If you know your product, you should be able to figure out your market yourself. Once you have a thorough profile of your customer, determining how and where to reach them is much easier. This step may take awhile, and that’s OK. If you start marketing before you have a clear customer profile though, you will likely be wasting your dollars in places that will never reach your customer. Just because Pinterest is growing rapidly, doesn’t mean your audience is the one making it grow.