Tag Archives: Small

Choosing Small Business Web Marketing Strategies

My small business Web marketing strategies is to keep it simple.

Simple to me is:

  • focused,
  • scalable,
  • systematic and teachable,
  • can be leveraged, and
  • is easily measurable.

Of course, it must be effective as well.

When diving into Web marketing for your small business, it’s a good idea to explore your options, but then you need to pick and choose. Unless you have millions of dollars and a huge team, you can’t possibly execute all the Web marketing strategies effectively.

Elements of a Great Small Business Web Marketing Strategy

Simple business marketing strategies to me are those that are focused, scalable, systemic, and can be leveraged.

1. Be Focused with your Business Web Marketing Strategies

Getting focused in critical. “Pick and stick” to a few core Web marketing activities. Excel at those activities and do them consistently.

Consistency is a natural consequence of being focused. Don’t try and do it all in 2 weeks. Instead, once you’ve chosen your core Web marketing strategies, develop an action plan and follow through.

For example. If you decide on focusing on article and video marketing, then develop a publishing timeline. Resolve to publish a certain number of articles and videos each month. Take action consistently. Also set a realistic timeline. In the beginning you may revise your timeline.

Think in terms years, not weeks. If you publish 2 articles and 2 videos each month, in 2 years you’ll have nearly 100 published articles and videos. Even if each article and video drives 1 visitor to your website each week, that’s 200 visitors per week.

Moreover, you’ll establish a huge bank of articles and videos which in itself will build credibility. A few articles and a few videos won’t have the same impact as hundreds of articles and videos.

I publish articles primarily in EzineArticles and videos in YouTube because those publishing platforms receive the most views and delivers the most traffic.

2. Choose Marketing Strategies that are Scalable

Scalable, in the sense I’m referring to it, is being able to start small with no or a limited budget, and build on your success. As you increase revenues, you can “scale it up” by investing growing profits into your chosen marketing activities.

The reality for many small businesses, especially when starting out, is there are not a lot of resources for marketing. Being able to start with little or no investment is important.

3. Systematic and Teachable

I’m a DIY, hands-on marketer for my business. When you know your core marketing activities well, then you’re in a much better position to hire it out because you know how it should be performed. You also know how to measure results.

Simple means you turn your Web marketing strategy into a system. You have a plan and you execute consistently. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Instead, you wash, rinse, and repeat… once you establish and effective system.

Continue doing your core activities over and over. Keep in mind that it may take a little while to develop an effective Web marketing system. Once you do, then you can then easily hire it out or have train someone in your organization to do it.

Example: returning to the article and video marketing example, you’ll not only have a publishing timeline, but you’ll develop article writing techniques and video templates you can use over and over. In time, you’ll write articles and create videos faster.

4. Leveraging Your Marketing Activities

Leveraging your marketing activities is building upon past work. Leveraging Web marketing activities enables you to exponentially build up your Web presence.

You can best leverage when you choose marketing activities that complement one another.

The best way to explain this is by example. Returning to the article and video marketing example, you can leverage those two complementary activities. Your article content can be your video content.

Leveraging also results naturally as you build up a Web presence. As you publish more quality articles, you have more content readily available for your readers. Same thing with videos. Once they read your articles and watch your videos, your other work is there for people (i.e. prospective customers) to read and watch.

More content also builds credibility… as long as it’s quality content.

5. Easily Measurable

Choose small business Web marketing strategies that present ways for you to measure results. If you don’t know what’s working, then you won’t know what to do. You want to focus on effective activities only.

The first part of being measurable is determining the results you seek.

  • Is it the number of visitors to your website?
  • How about the number of article or video views?
  • Is it the number of new customers?

Likely it’s all of these. Ultimately it’s the number of new customers and revenues. However, measuring a variety of figures/data is important.

Do some research to find out what are good numbers and what are bad numbers. You need to set the goal posts.

However, don’t prematurely stop a marketing strategy or activity because you aren’t getting huge results right away. Web marketing takes time. You’ll have to tweak and test your activities and system.

Which leads to the second part of being measurable – testing and tweaking. Analyze what’s working and then tweak weak areas. This is an ongoing process.

For example, some types of articles receive more views and click-thrus than others. In your market, you’ll have to try different article approaches to see what works the best for your business.

Four Steps to an Effective Small Business Marketing Strategy

You know you have a great product or service. You have the best sales personal to help your customers make an educated buying decision. You have the best customer support set up to help your customers with any questions they have after the sale, but what are you doing to market your product or service. Nothing really happens in your business to make money before you set up and implement your small business marketing strategy.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number one

The first part of your marketing strategy should be to know your customer. Take time to think about why someone would want your product or service. You need to know what motivates your potential customers so that you can position your product or service correctly.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number Two

The second part to your small business marketing strategy is to stay consistent in your message and communication. You’re current customers and repeat customers are the most valuable customers that you have. They have already done business with you and you have had the chance to develop a relationship with them. Make sure to stay in contact with them and let them know you appreciate their business and also let them know when you have specials or new products they may like. Some tools you could use in your small business marketing strategy to stay in contact are email, text messaging, mailers, social networking messages and posts, updates on a blog or your website and so many more. Make sure you are gathering contact information from your customers and make them feel important because they are.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number Three

The third part of your business marketing strategy should be to use the media as much as possible and make some noise about your product or service. Get your business covered in as many news, radio, Internet publications as you can to establish yourself as an expert or an authority. News stations and local print media are constantly looking for good stories to be part of and talk about. Make sure that you present your business to them with the audience in mind on not necessarily to promote your business. The sneaky part of your small business marketing strategy is to let them get the word out by delivering a real cool story they can report on.

Small Business Marketing Tip Number Four

The fourth part of your marketing strategy is to make sure that your customers can find you. In the fast paced work we live in today people are using technology more and more to make their buying decisions. This includes the whole buying cycle from research to purchase for products and searching on mobile devises for local businesses. Statistically one-third of mobile searches are with local intent meaning people want to purchase now. This means that if your business does not show up their mobile device either through search or local listings, they are probably going to do business with your competition.

Your marketing strategy should be all about developing a relationship with your customer’s, this is starts with your message and should continue long after the sale. With all of the options technology offers getting news customers and staying in contact with them has become very cost-effective, so make sure to plan out your small business marketing strategy.

No Marketing ROI in Your Small Business? Here’s How to Fix It

If you are a small business owner, you know how hard it’s to manage all aspects of your business. Marketing is the backbone of any business as far as growth is concerned. Unlike large companies, small startups have to work with smaller budgets. As a result, the owners have to try their best to get the maximum return on their marketing investment. In this guide, we are going to give you a few secret tips that may help you get the highest ROI.

1) Make sure you have Realistic Goals

Having solid goals is the first thing you need to do. This is important if you want your marketing plan to be effective. You can have different goals and ways to achieve them. For example, you can find a way to spur on your customers or clients to sign up for your weekly or monthly newsletter.

In the same way, for better revenue growth, make sure you have an eye-catching call-to-action in your newsletters. This will increase the click-through rate.

2) Choose a Suitable Channel

Not every marketing channel can work for you. So, you need to choose a channel based on real data. This channel can be a platform that can help you exchange information with your customers, such as social media.

Of course, you may have to spend the time to get familiar with these channels. As soon as you have learned to use them, you are good to go.

3) Run Optimized Marketing Campaigns

This is one of the best cross-platform technique. With this approach in place, you can make your message more effective whether you are using ads on newspapers, TV or the Internet.

It’s good to have an integrated marketing campaign as it may have a positive impact on the visibility and efficacy of your message. In fact, experts say that 70% customers lean toward the integrated marketing method. So, an optimized campaign can give better results.

4) Write Content

Marketing can be done in more ways than one, and content marketing is on top of the list. Writing content for your blog or website can help you get a number of benefits down the road. The fact of the matter is that content is king as far as getting your site listed on the first page of Google is concerned. Once your site is listed on top of the search results page, your ROI will go up.

5) Use task Automation Platforms

With the help of digital marketing, you can reap many benefits. Digital marketing has a lot of tools and platforms that allow you to do the automation of your marketing tasks. Some of the platforms are MailChimp, Facebook, and WordPress. The automation of tasks can save you a lot of time and investment dollars. At the same time, it will boost your marketing ROI.

Conclusion

If implemented the right way, these secret techniques can help you increase your marketing ROI significantly. So, make sure you give them a go if you are a serious small business owner. Hope this helps.

What Can Celebrated Graphic Designer Jeff Fisher Teach us About Small Business Marketing?

One of the key mistakes small businesses make when creating an online presence is trying to do it all themselves, says Jeff Fisher, a graphic designer with 30 years experience, and author of two books on graphic design. Fisher also is a member of the advisory boards for How Magazine, UCDA Designer Magazine and the How Design Conference.

“I always tell business owners do not try this at home,” he says. “Hire a professional who knows what they are doing. It does not need to cost a fortune, but there will be tremendous benefit in bringing in someone who really understands how to create what a business needs to get off on the right foot.”

His suggestions for finding a professional include:

  • Check out designer portfolios online.
  • Contact local design schools, universities or community colleges for recommendations of outstanding students who may be able to help for monetary compensation and possible school credit.
  • Some college business programs have outreach programs to assist small businesses in marketing and promotion efforts.
  • Research the resources available through the Small Business Administration. If your business has a service or product of value to a design professional, consider bartering or a partial trade of equal value.

Remember, that the initial online impression made with a potential customer can make all the difference; the cost of the online presence is an investment in the future of your business, says Fisher.

The Portland, Oregon graphic designer, writer and speaker hails from a family with deep roots in PR and marketing; his father, mother and sister have all had careers in some aspect of the business. In fact it was his sister, who owns an ad agency, who helped Fisher zone in on the aspect of graphic design he enjoyed most at a time when he was experiencing burnout.

“For about the first 17 years of my career I took on any and all design projects that came my way,” he explains. “I thought that was what graphic designers were expected to do. In a conversation with my sister I mentioned I was starting to get burned out by my work. Her comment was, Why aren’t you focusing on what you enjoy most? I kind of looked at her with a blank stare and she said, Logo designs.”

That was when he adopted the business name Jeff Fisher LogoMotives and began marketing himself primarily as a designer of corporate identities.

Although his customers typically find him these days, Fisher has a lot of ideas about what works and does not work with small business marketing. For example, he avoids paid traditional print advertising and Yellow Page advertising.

“I learned that print advertising was simply not effective in marketing my services,” Fisher says. While Yellow Page advertising, “tends to bring designers too many tire kickers looking for services based on price only.”

Strategies that have worked for Fisher include:

  • Press releases, distributed online and through traditional snail mail. The relationships developed with editors and writers over the years are incredibly valuable to a business.

  • Writing also has become a major marketing element for my business, Fisher admits, mentioning he has been asked to write numerous articles for design and business publications and websites.

  • Two books, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career released in 2004, and Identity Crisis: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands, in 2007 have earned him the status of industry expert.

  • Business blog, bLog-oMotives, started in 2005.

  • Speaking Engagements – Fisher speaks to high school groups, design schools, colleges and universities, design organizations and at conferences like the industry HOW Design Conference.

  • Pro bono work – While such efforts might now be considered marketing by many, it does get my name out into the business community, puts me in contact with many local movers and shakers, and provides an opportunity to promote the end results.

  • One direct mail-piece long ago generated a targeted, self-created list of 500 individuals so powerful that Fisher has not needed to do a mailing since.

Like many small business owners, Fisher prefers low-cost – or no-cost – marketing tools. He has even managed to turn some of them, like the writing of articles and books and speaking engagements into income-producing activities.

“With my writing, and speaking engagements, my business is also evolving into one of becoming a professional industry expert while taking on limited design projects,” Fisher said. “At a design conference a few years ago I explained to an audience that I wanted to work less, charge more.”

Multifaceted Marketing for Business Development and Small Business Marketing

One of the most critical elements of successful business development and marketing campaigns is the concept of using several vehicles to reach your potential customer. I call this Multi-Faceted Marketing. It’s based on two very simple assumptions:

1. Most people are resistant to a sales pitch, their first reaction is ‘No’.

2. Most people do not remember something until they have seen or heard it many (6-12) times. That includes your company or product name.

Your customers are overwhelmed with marketing slogans, pitches, and images. They are brain-dead when it comes to being sold. They are most likely resentful of anything that takes their time away from running their small business or mid-sized company, and would sooner ignore you than listen to you. We humans are built in a way that allows us to forget something seconds after seeing or hearing it. It may take 6 to 12 impressions in order for us to recognize something, and often more to remember it.

Question: Would you recognize the logo of the world’s most popular cola? My guess is you would if I could show it to you (it is a registered trademark). It’s probably the most recognized symbol in the world and has been around for over 100 years. But, it’s no accident that you see it everywhere you look. Their parent company knows that even though they are not a new business, and even with their preeminent position in their market, they need to advertise everywhere to support their place in your memory.

Your strategic planning and marketing plan won’t look like theirs, they spend millions on their business development and marketing, but it can contain the fundamental principles that make them successful. It can contain Multi-Faceted Marketing, which will insure your company or product name reaches your potential customer in multiple ways. By doing so, you will insure that they receive multiple impressions and will soon remember you and your products.

What does this look like? It takes some analysis like that done in an intensive Two-Day Critical Analysis and Strategic Planning Consultation, and some understanding of your company, products, and market to show the business development and marketing activities that best fit your company, but a good diversification might resemble:

1. A good website with fully implemented Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

2. Regular press releases, articles, and other public relations.

3. A proactive email campaign

4. A proactive phone campaign

5. Online targeted advertising

6. Hard copy advertising

7. Show attendance

This is a sample list and not all the activities listed apply to all companies, but you get the idea. A Multi-Faceted, diverse group of activities maximizes the opportunity for you to reach your potential customer multiple times, overcoming the first ‘No’ reaction. It provides the customer multiple impressions allowing them to build a memory of your company and product. And, it allows the time to build a relationship with them, before you ever meet them.

Developing new business isn’t easy, but by following a few basic principles, you can maximize your return on investment on every one of your business development and marketing activities. Beginning with Multi-Faceted Marketing is a good start.

Good luck and good marketing.

Using Facebook for Small Business Marketing

Facebook is an excellent tool to add to your small business marketing plan.

A big mistake that many entrepreneurs make when it comes to social media sites like Facebook is the belief that these sites are only useful for large companies that have big brands. In reality Facebook can be a great small business marketing tool for business of all shapes and size.

Right now, Facebook is the most popular social media networking site on the web. According to Facebook’s official fact sheet, there are currently over half a billion active Facebook users, 50% of whom log on to Facebook in any given day. The average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events, and he or she creates 90 pieces of content each month. There are more than 30 billion pieces of content, such as web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc. shared on Facebook each month.

So as you can see, if you’re interested in adding social media to your small business marketing plan, Facebook is quite possibly the best place to get started.

Facebook is a great place to increase trust and authority on the internet. By adding a Facebook business page, it is also a great way to promote your business and connect with customers and prospects on a more personal and accessible level. Not to mention, your business page will give you more opportunities to show up in Facebook search results.

Though there is of course some work associated with creating and keeping up a good Facebook page, it is well worth it in marketing terms. Here are some tips for creating your small business Facebook page.

** Start a Facebook Page for Business

The first thing that you need to do is to create a business page. This is relatively simple and all it involves is visiting the Facebook advertising section, creating a page, and putting up some information about your business. If you want something a little more elaborate, such as a customized landing page for new members, you might need to hire a consultant to help you out. But if the plain Jane version is OK with you, you’ll be able to set up your own page in less than one day.

You can add small business marketing content to your Facebook business page, such as images, press releases, videos, blog posts, and any other relevant information. You will also need accurate contact and website information and a clear overview of what your business does and for whom.

** Start Interacting

Once your page is up and all your information is accurate, the next thing to do is start interacting with your friends. Encourage your Facebook friends to “like” your Facebook business page (this used to be referred to as “becoming a fan”) and to share your page with their friends. You’ll need to post updates every day, which can include promotions, blog posts, and any other relevant company news.

The most important aspect of using Facebook for marketing is the ability to engage with your customers. If they leave comments on your Facebook business page, always reply back. Visit your customers’ Facebook walls and leave comments there also. Create open, back and forth, communication with your customers and prospects, and allow their Facebook friends to interact and experience your customer service also.

** Promote Your Facebook Page

The last step to having a successful Facebook page is letting people know that it exists. You need to spend time promoting your Facebook page to personal contacts and business associates. Be sure to add a widget to your website homepage or blog. If you have a brick and mortar business you may want to hang up a sign asking customers to visit you on Facebook. Add a link to your Facebook page in your email newsletters, in your Yellow Pages ad, in your local newspaper advertisements, etc. You may even consider offering some sort of incentive, such as a special discount or coupon to customers who “like” you on Facebook.

Facebook is a tremendously valuable tool to add to your small business marketing arsenal. A Facebook business page allows you to create community interaction with your customers and prospects and create content that can be shared virally. If you’re looking for an inexpensive tactic to increase your name recognition, consider adding Facebook to your small business marketing plan.

Small Business Marketing For Coaches & Consultants

Part of my coach life training was a regular journey to Coventry. And in between trips I would speak with my Coach on the phone, and together with his expert Coaching, encouragement, occasional directness and gentlemanly wit, in that 3 years my take-home pay doubled, I’ve never been so excited and driven about my organization as I now am, and I’m looking forward to working less, doing less, yet seeing increasing revenue, clients, sales and bottom line profit flooding in for the foreseeable future.

So I know that this programme of training and mentoring works ? It’s been tremendously successful, each year has been my best year in business ever in terms of turnover and profit, even in the so-called recession.

There’s an important rule you should write down:

“Turnover for vanity, profit for sanity.” It’s not how much you create, its how much you get to keep.

You’re probably like me: We read books, we listen to CD’s, we take pleasure in seminars …mentally. Maybe we diagram an implementation plan, but it never materialises?

And then after any training course, there’s the honeymoon period where you work powerfully for a few days, put the manual on the shelf, the incentive wears off and very quickly you are back in the rut. Know what I mean?

Not this year. Fully Booked. That’s what we want. The only worthwhile result of this programme is to make it happen in a significant way.

FACT – 19% of businesses survive the first 5 years.

The question is, do you want to be one of them? Will you still be in business in five years time? Do you aspire to be ? Joyfully Jobless?

But here’s the truth. WRITE THIS DOWN – your business is simply a series of tasks that each have a dynamic and massive scope for growth and leverage, or what I call “Gearing”

Not 10% or 15% scope for growth, but hundreds of % scope.

You can implement tactics, strategies, methods and approaches to each stage of your venture, which will result in significant surges in client acquisition and retention.

For example, you can set up a website in a couple of hours (and you can learn how to do that quickly and easily, even if you’ve never touched a keyboard in your life!) then you can set up Google AdWords sending people to that site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, internationally, even while you sleep.

In half an hour you can see the eyeballs looking at your web page and discovering who you are and what you provide. More importantly, you must also then capture the contact details of those clients. Let me tell you why:

One time I was working with a Hairdressing Salon owned by a colleague of mine, and I watched a woman walk into the hairdressers and walking back out. A hot prospect. But all of the staff were too engrossed in their work to even notice her. What a wasted opportunity.

Here’s another example. Me, Cheryl and 3 year old Luke walked into the Osprey, our local restaurant. Here’s a family of three looking for a meal, but the building was cold and even though there were tables available, we decided it was too chilly for Luke. So we walked back out. Yet not one member of staff noticed us or asked us anything. What a missed opportunity.

When I wrote my first book, I set up Google AdWords. I had to turn them OFF because too many people were going to the site and ordering the book. I couldn’t get the publisher to print sufficient copies to cope with the orders I had coming in, and it totally took me by surprise. Then I was sitting up until 1am charging credit cards manually, stuffing envelopes, writing addresses, queuing at the post office. Then I learned ways to automate and systematise all of that so it all gets done with very little energy required from me.

Would you like to have that problem? Too many enquiries? Having to tell clients that you’ll add them to your waiting list and you’ll phone them if you get a space?

Now, if I want to, I can turn it on and off like a tap, I can control the flow. If I think this month is going to be a little quieter than last month, or maybe I want to buy a new toy (I turned 40 last year and I bought a couple of mountain bikes for Cheryl and I, and of course helmets, lubricant, puncture repair kits, lights, mudguards, all the bolt on accessories) so I can decide to switch the flow back on, and the customers appear, and the funds go up.

“It is the fool who in commerce takes his pay by the hour, because his hours are limited but his needs are not” – written in a red book I found in a jumble sale for 25p, reputedly written by a millionaire

Some mornings I wake up (my business usually starts at the crack of 10). I switch on my factory (my computer) and I’ve sold four books overnight, so I’m already £80 up and I haven’t finished my toast yet. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Imagine if this was you.

This is the kind of small business marketing I’m talking about.

Top 10 Marketing Books for Small Business Owners

Unlike big business owners, small business owners have the burden of taking care of every single aspect of their business – recruitment, marketing, finance, accounts, managing employees to managing vendors, and so forth. But here we focused only on books that can help you gain marketing knowledge and skills. Here are the top 10 books on marketing which we believe are helpful for new as well as established small business owners.

Book # 1: The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott

In the new marketing scenario, the methods such as ad copy, etc. do not bring results for your business. With the popularity of smartphones and other devices and proliferation of the Internet, new methods, rules, etc. of marketing have evolved. This book discusses the importance and benefits of using such techniques.

David M Scott provides fresh examples of success from various industries and businesses across the world. He highlights the new tools and techniques that marketers should use to communicate with their buyers directly – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. In short, this book is a guide that offers actionable strategies and insider tips that can be implemented immediately.

Book # 2: Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking – Andy Sernovitz

This book by Andy Sernovitz emphasizes the use of word of mouth marketing for businesses. The book elaborates purpose of blogs, social media, viral emails, etc. – when to use them and how to make them work.

Word of mouth is an effective tool to share information quickly and easily to promote businesses. It is an effective tool that can promote your business via your customers, friends and relations.

Book # 3: Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business – Jay Conrad Levinson

This book furnishes strategies for Internet marketing, tips on using technology like pod-casting and automated marketing, programs for targeting prospects, cultivating repeat, referral business, management lessons in the age of telecommuting and freelance employees, etc. – exclusively for small businesses.

Book # 4: Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide – John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a well-known expert in small business marketing. In the book, he discusses all the proven tools and tactics together in a step-by-step marketing system. This road map helps small business owners in knowing what they need to do to market their businesses.

Book # 5: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business – David Siteman Garland

This book provides strategies for building, marketing and promoting businesses. These techniques are smarter, faster, cheaper and therefore save your time and money. The book is equally helpful for start-ups as well as those who are already in the market for sometime.

Book # 6: Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition – Patrick Schwerdtfeger

This book provides effective practical strategies and tactics – a complete tool kit to use resources sensibly, to establish online credibility. If you apply these strategies, you can get good results for your business within a brief span of time.

Book # 7: Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide – James Stephenson

This book is an essential guide for every business owner. James Stephenson presents in this book 1500 great marketing ideas that are sure to boost your sales revenue, profits and customer loyalty and also to help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Book # 8: Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth – Stephanie Diamond

Marketing for small businesses was difficult in the past. But today, it is not the case. Web marketing enables small businesses to take advantage of marketing opportunities and win new customers.

The book ‘Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth’ focuses on different ways of marketing with a detailed strategy to put them into action. The main content of the book comprises checklists – niche, brand, story, search, content, social media tactics, traditional tactics and results. This book helps you implement web marketing strategies.

Book # 9: Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook – Dave Kerpen

This book is a key to unlock the door to new opportunities. It tells you about how to build brand awareness by engaging customers in social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and other social media networking sites.

Book # 10: 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More! – Andrew Macarthy

This book is a guide to small businesses. It provides 500 social media marketing tips covering all the web’s biggest players like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and others. These tips will help you build brand awareness in social media networks, attract and engage your customers and ultimately help you increase sales.

Improve Your Small Business Marketing to Increase Your Profits

Marketing Tips to Help Drive Profits and Stay Competitive

Although we call them “small” businesses, running a small business is no small task. Compared to larger corporations, small business have a much smaller margin for error when it comes to marketing initiatives – when a marketing campaign fails, larger corporations shake their heads, make adjustments, and move on but for small businesses, a big failure could mean the end of the company. Here are some great marketing tips to help your marketing efforts stay effective and your business stay competitive.

Better Use of Data

Data about your target audience is invaluable to small businesses. This kind of information allows business owners and marketers to identify the types of people who are most likely to do business with them and purchase their products and/or services. Knowing your target audience can also help you to better tailor and focus your marketing messages to those types of consumers. If it is in the budget, hiring a professional data team can really help a small business make the most out of this information.

Use Email More Effectively

Email can be a powerful tool when it comes to communicating with your current customers. Emails are a great opportunity to connect with customers and provide them information on upgrades, cross-selling opportunities, and additional sales or deals your business may be offering. Using email is a great, non-evasive way to stay connected to those consumers who already know your business and your brand. You can even take email marketing a step further by breaking down your contact list into groups by segments such as purchase history, age group, geographical area, and other important data points.

Use Shareable Content to Expand Your Reach

Consumers love to share, and social media has made it easier than ever for consumers to share things they like or dislike online. Known as “content marketing,” creating online content that is informative and meaningful to your target audience is a great way to reach more consumers and raise more recognition around your business and your brand. This information is most effective when posted on your company’s website but can also be shared on sites like YouTube and Facebook for easier access.

Consider Paid Search to Increase Visibility

Driving traffic to your website is always an important part of marketing your business. One way to do this is to use a paid search to ensure your business’ website will appear when consumers search the types of products or services you offer. For example, should a consumer search “pet groomers in Harrisburg, PA” and you own a pet grooming business in or around that area, your business’s website will appear at the very top of the search results. The closer your businesses website link appears to the top of the search results, the more likely it is that consumers will follow that link to your site.

Use Your Resources

Aside from in-house marketing, there are a number of resources available to help small businesses. For example, the United States Small Business Administration can offer business owners loans, counseling sessions, contracts, and other forms of assistance to help cultivate and grow their business. Consider other resources as well including Google Tools for website assistance and online marketing, Kabbage for small business loans, and Free Stock Images for high quality images for your marketing materials.

Small Business Marketing Secrets: Look Like Sizzle, Be The Steak

You’ve heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the “wow” effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they’re in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the “Wow Effect”? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:

1. It’s Already Done

Act like the goals you are working so diligently to achieve have already been reached. Walk with that confidence. Treat your leads like customers, your customers like guests in your home, and your staff like family. When you approach goals like a “done deal”, you open up creativity reserves to think outside the box, access resources you didn’t know you had and create opportunities for success previously unforeseen.

2. Get There From Here

It is not enough to act like you have arrived; you also get to devise a strategy map to get you there. Ask for your customers’ input through surveys, polls, feedback forms. Pay customers’ a visit, just to see how things are going. Send a birthday card, send flowers, and send an article clip that can prove useful to a client. Never miss an opportunity to create relationship. The best way to ensure you don’t miss opportunities is to create a plan.

3. Who Cares?

Ensure that your work is fun and fulfilling for you and those who might work for or with you. Keep your duties aligned with your skills and interests, and invest in your own personal development. Volunteer in the community. Build a house for Habitat for Humanity. Run a marathon or half-marathon. Sponsor a scholarship with your local high school and recommend alliance partners or contractors to be part of the selection committee. It increases your visibility and theirs, and you both get to be a good corporate citizen. All for a good cause. Invest in yourself and in your community. Show you care.

4. Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say

Address issues as they come up or as soon as appropriately possible. Sometimes we let things slide or leave things unsaid. This devalues what’s important to you and insults the intelligence of the other person. Be open in your communication.

5. Create Win-Win Solutions

The belief of “looking out for number one” is so embedded in our collective consciousness that we have forgotten we are ALL #1 because we are all one. When you create win-win solutions, you not only generate good will among peers and supervisors, but you develop a reputation for fairness and professionalism. Everyone collaborates with a collaborator.

6. Acknowledge the Feedback

When customers take the time to write a scathing letter or make an irate phone call about horrific customer service or product quality, they are providing you with a valuable opportunity: Free feedback that you didn’t ask for, didn’t pay for, didn’t market for or followed up on. It just fell on your lap. So thank your customer for being committed enough to your company to give you feedback on how you can improve your service. Give something away or at a steep discount. You have a choice: Swallow your pride, or dwindle your profits.

7. Go Back to Kindergarten

When you take lunch, take a walk to a park, eat leisurely, and come back to the privacy of your office for a quick 20 minute power nap. You’ll feel refreshed and replenished. Don’t have an office? Take a nap. Make it fun and, most importantly, nourishing.

8. Tie Up Loose Ends

Pay the parking ticket. Write that letter. Clean out your files. Make up with that client. Enroll in school. Back up your computer systems. Run the Clean Sweep Program on yourself, then the company (for more information, email us at [email protected]).

9. Give Yourself a Makeover

Lose the 15 pounds. Get that haircut. Buy fresh makeup. Reinvent your wardrobe. Give your car a paint job. Rearrange the furniture in your office or lobby. Give away old clothes. When you get in the habit of installing new practices and letting go of old ones that no longer serve you, you generate and circulate fresh energy.

10. Keep Your Commitments

When you say you are going to do something, do it, or else renegotiate another arrangement. Very few things are as difficult to earn back as your credibility and the trust of those who deal with you.

11. Play a Big Game

When setting your goals, ask yourself if you are stretching. Set your goals high enough to have to stretch for them. Make your growth systematic and strategic. If your goal is to call 20 leads this week, to close one sale, what would you have to do and believe about yourself to make it possible to call 50 and close three sales? If your goal is to go to dinner with your brother, just to reconnect, how about stepping it up and actually saying “I love you?” You know you are playing a big game when your first reaction is a big whine “I can’t do that!” Yes, you can. Surprise yourself.

12. Be a Contribution

How can you make your customers’ life more livable, your work more enjoyable, and your community more cohesive? Everyone wants to know, what’s in it for me? When you focus out, you immediately speak their language and enroll them in playing yours. No one plays with you if they think you are not on their team. So join them. And they will join you.

Copyright 2004, Monikah J. Ogando, Ogando Associates, Inc.