It’s never been uncommon for small business owners to make some sort of marketing efforts on their own. Creating, printing and distributing flyers and coupons has been a go-to for years now but as fewer and fewer people take advantage of these promotional items, ROI and new customers are decreasing rapidly.
Over the last few years many owners of SMB’s have recognized the need to shift their marketing efforts toward the internet and have made attempts at reaching customers that way with varying degrees of success. They’ve realized that the internet allows them an amazing opportunity to reach an extremely large audience for a relatively low price and have begun their very own campaigns without the help of Denver marketing firms and are bringing in customers their way! If you own or work for a SMB, here’s our list of internet marketing efforts we believe can be performed in house in order to start making the phones ring!
Now in days everybody and their mom is on Facebook, so why wouldn’t a small business not want to try and tap that market? Creating a business page on Facebook, an account on Google+ and a profile on Twitter takes little time and opens up an enormous world for your company. But being present on social media is not the same as having a presence in the eyes of Denver social media marketing experts. You need to dress up your profiles with appropriate and relevant imagery, build an audience and distribute the right information on a consistent schedule.
Be sure to take advantage of all the different profile images that you can use on you social media accounts and put them to work by advertising current specials or deals, or promoting current events that your company is involved with. Do the same with your posts and make sure to link back to your business’ website.
Keep people coming back for more daily with interesting content that keeps your organization front of mind for consumers following you. Many business owners will tell you; this is easier said than done and requires a lot of time and energy to keep up with the fast paced world of social media.
-Create profiles on the ‘Big 3’ (Facebook, Twitter and Google+)
-Use business-specific imagery for profile pictures and backgrounds (Facebook and Google+ cover photos, Twitter backgrounds and general profile pictures. Use custom imagery if you can.
-Build your following by posting links to your profiles on your website, adding follow buttons in any emails sent to current customers or through physical hand outs at your business.
-Find your voice on social media and start posting content consistently. Try getting a post out about every day or 2 days at first so that you can establish some sort of schedule. No one likes following a company that posts once a month, it just doesn’t make any sense for them.
-Remember why you’re on social media. You want to get customers, so be sure that you’re promoting your business and its products or services. Funny posts and pictures are fine every once in a while, but make sure that your following is getting the chance to learn more about who you are and what you do/offer.
Blogging is a great way to reach out and inform new and current customers about your company and industry while also establishing credibility. The great thing about blogging is that it is relevant for almost any type of business and can easily be fit into a SMB owner’s schedule every week. By taking the time once a week to sit down and write at least 600 words on a subject that touches your business, you can start educating your audience about your company, the industry and why your business is better than your competition. Take the time to optimize your articles by including industry-specific keywords that will help your blog and website show up higher in search engine results. Finally, be sure to get eyes on your posts as well by distributing your articles on social media and through emails.
-Set up a blog if you don’t already have one.
-Come up with a list of topics to write about that are relevant to your target audience and connect with your business.
-Set aside an hour or two a week to write and optimize a post.
-Distribute your posts through all available channels.
While search engine optimization is a complex process, there are various steps a small business owner can take when it comes to search engine optimization that will help them become more relevant on Google without breaking the bank on a SEO firm. Create a list of industry-specific keywords that potential customers will use when searching for your services and begin using them throughout your website and social media profiles.
Search engine crawlers look for these words and help pages that utilize and are associated with these keywords become more relevant in searches. So if you’re a plumber in Dallas, be sure to include words such as Plumbing in Dallas, Dallas Plumbers, and other relevant keywords on your pages in order to stay relevant in the eyes of Google, just be sure not to overuse them.
Along the same lines, be sure that your social media profiles include keywords in the About section, particularly for Google+ since the search engine giants put a higher priority on their own social media site. Keyword research and implementation is just the tip of the iceberg for SEO but it’s an easy and manageable process that can produce noticeable results for small business owners if done correctly.
-Create a list of industry-specific keywords (Google Adwords’ Keyword tool is very helpful here)
-Use relevant keywords on pages on your website so that they start to rank better in search results for those keywords.
-Track your results and make changes when needed.
Email marketing is a great way to remind your customers about your company and services, up-sell and inform members about new promotions. Establishing an effective email campaign that doesn’t overwhelm your contacts list is a delicate process that requires a well thought out plan. Come up with content that is relevant to your readers (blog posts, industry updates, service reminders, promotions, etc.) and establish a time frame in which you want to send these items out. Newsletters and updates can be weekly or monthly, while promotions and service reminders can be seasonal. Be sure that you aren’t sending out too many emails though, you don’t want to be viewed as a spammer.
-Build up a contact list by collecting email information from customers in the check out process.
-Establish a weekly/biweekly/monthly email newsletter that keeps your customers up to date with valuable information and pushes them to return again through promotional items or coupons.
Internet marketing provides so many different and inexpensive ways of reaching potential customers. Small businesses are starting to take advantage of things such as social media, blogging, SEO and email marketing to not only bring in more customers but also save themselves money. While it may be difficult for a small business owner to successfully implement all of these different internet marketing tactics at the same time, a combination of a few of those listed above will still show positive results if done correctly. So set aside an hour or two a week to blog or spend an afternoon creating social media accounts and start bringing people to you online!