What comes to mind when you think about marketing your small business? If you aren’t thinking about major marketing, perhaps you should be. When the Internet came onto the scene, it was a game changer in every way. Mass marketing strategies are no longer the sole property of the corporations with the biggest advertising budgets. Instead, the best and largest marketing efforts are the property of the businesses that find a way to stay ahead of the curve. So, how do you accomplish this? Simply put, by undertaking a marketing strategy that is creative and aggressive. Also check out these 5 reasons why graphic designers and marketers should read the news.
Give Your Online Presence a Jumpstart
Create and Maintain a Professional Website
When it comes to building and maintaining a professional website, the importance cannot be emphasized enough. Not only do you need a great website, but you need to make sure that it is constantly supplied and updated with new, relevant, and current content. When your website is dynamic, or updated frequently, visitors will keep coming back. More importantly, a website that is always improving and changing will be more likely to be shared with others. If your website creates value for your customers in the form of sales, discounts, or promotions, the benefit to your business will be undeniable.
One thing you should definitely do is offer a place for your visitors to “opt-in” for email newsletters and the like. It gives you a strong database for email campaigns. You should also take advantage of SEO, or search engine optimization, strategies that will help you bring in more traffic. Using analytics tools will help you test your website and track how visitors get there as well as what they do once they land. From here, you can tweak your site to make it more successful. Remember, even the most elegant sites with the best sales and products are useless unless there is traffic coming in.
Don’t Neglect the Power of Social Media
Establish Yourself as an Expert and Start Blogging
In the 21st century, blogging is one of the primary methods of communicating with a global audience. This makes it ideal for interacting with current and potential customers. If you are looking for a simple way to create a dialogue that is both meaningful and effective and that will show your customers the value of learning more about your products and services, you simply can’t ignore the power of blogging. Moreover, blogging increases visibility while allowing you to share your expertise with others. This boosts both the popularity and legitimacy of your business and can help you build a strong customer base. Create a blog and establish yourself as an expert in your field and you will find that you are building trust with the very consumers you are trying to target.
The Power of Facebook
With a user database of more than 900 million and more than 100 million logins daily, Facebook is a great way to provide your small business with a large boost. Marketing through Facebook isn’t the same as traditional advertising, however, and you will find that in order to be effective, you need to be able to generate a buzz. Creating a Facebook page that attracts your target consumers is rather easy, and you will find that it costs you nothing unless you hire someone to do it for you.
Once you have created a Facebook page, you need to make sure that you add all of your business information. If you have photos, videos, or special offers for your customers, make sure that you add them. Crop your logo and other photos to properly fit your Timeline and profile pictures so that they are presented properly. You will find that the edit photos icon within Facebook will let you accomplish this fairly easily.
With your page set up and ready to go, it is time to start building a following or fan base. You will find that Facebook offers a number of Social Plugins widgets that can be installed on your website or blog quickly and easily. This can be a great way to build fans organically, while purchasing a Facebook ad can help you build more quickly. There is also the option to simply buy Facebook fans in order to provide your page with an instant population of readers.
One thing to keep in mind is that the best Facebook pages are the ones that keep it real. Offering a call to action that leads customers to buy your products or services is important, but the point of social media is to be social. Interact with your followers and visitors the way you would interact with a friend. Upload photos from your vacations and hold genuine conversations with your readers. People on social media are looking for human interaction, and your business should offer it. Social media changes rapidly, and it is important that you don’t let this progress put you behind the learning curve.
Twitter is another very effective social networking tool that, if used properly, can offer some real marketing value. With Twitter, your strategy should be about more than just becoming popular. It helps to think of Twitter as an extension of your existing blog. Work to create a quality page filled with brand-consistent posts and make sure that you link your Twitter page to your other social media pages.
With Twitter, you should try to make it a habit to provide at least two helpful resource links every morning. If you have a new press release or an informative blog post, share it as one of your posts. Try to get your employees involved in the conversation and work to provide valuable, informative, and above all engaging content. Make sure that you are also posting your Twitter handle every time you post your web address online.
LinkedIn is more than just a resume site, it is actually the largest business network in the world. Creating a LinkedIn account for your business is a great way to ensure that your company comes up on the first page of Google when someone types your business name. LinkedIn has a very powerful ranking authority and can also offer your business a great deal of credibility. Make certain that you create a LinkedIn profile for your business and that you link it to your blog as well as your website.
Optimizing for a Mobile World
Every business owner knows that it is critical to stay on top of the latest innovations in technology. It is a critical marketing step. By learning how to make the most use of these innovations, you can also put your company ahead of the curve. With a huge portion of the general public owning smartphones and using them to connect the web, mobile optimization is now a vital step for your business. Mobile devices and tablets are quickly surpassing computers as the most common means of web access, and creating a mobile marketing strategy is vital to making sure that your small business gets attention. Thanks to the ability of most smartphones to connect consumers with local businesses, adding Google Places, Yelp, and Yahoo Local to your marketing strategy can be very beneficial.
Include Information Marketing
One of the most successful small business marketing strategies is the testimonial video. Videos are incredibly easy and affordable to make and promote, and they are a fantastic way to build instant credibility. Providing honest recommendations is a fantastic way to help market yourself to consumers without bombarding them with sales pitches. Real user feedback is a great way to show others why your business is the best choice, and creating a YouTube video or even an audio testimonial can greatly improve your marketing success.
Another great form of information marketing is E-book creation. By writing an E-book that provides valuable information to your readers, you can improve your visibility and your reputation as an expert. E-readers like the Kindle are exceptionally popular these days, and many smartphones offer e-reader capabilities as well. Creating downloadable tutorials, workbooks, or books is a fantastic small business marketing strategy, especially if you choose a topic that complements your business or market niche.
The bottom line is that marketing your small business is more of an art form than a science. There are numerous ways that you can reach your target market. The key is to be innovative and creative and to step outside of your comfort zone to try something new every once in a while. Who knows, you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised by the results!
It can be difficult for small business owners to stay ahead of the curve. Make sure that you are taking advantage of available marketing strategies, especially those that are aggressive and creative, if you want to take your business to the next level.
- To give your online presence a jumpstart, make sure that you are employing SEO and keeping a professional, dynamic website in order to boost traffic
- Use social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as well as blogs to engage and interact with potential customers
- Consider optimizing your website for mobile and tablet devices to reach consumers who are surfing on the go
- Utilize audio and video tools and other information marketing to help rapidly build both credibility and interest while informing your potential customers
Author Bio:- With dual degrees in Business Marketing as well as Civil Engineering from Melbourne, Australia’s Monash University, Edmond Hong is a Facebook marketing expert. Hong has been featured in both the New York Times and the Age Australia Business Section. He currently runs a Fans Buy website where businesses could improve their social credibility online instantly. In his leisure time, Edmong enjoys writing marketing books and coaching entrepreneurs. He currently resides on St. Kilda Melbourne in a beautiful seaside suburb.