As a small business owner you're often stretched thin, consistently attempting to do more with less. Your time, money, and other resources are quickly consumed, but yet a vast majority of their traditional marketing efforts cannot be quantified and, consequently, their real impact on sales goes unknown. Luckily, with advancements in technology, this barrier is falling down.
Today, small business owners have an arsenal of online marketing tools at their disposal, all of which can be carefully monitored for their business impact. If you’re an entrepreneur wondering where to begin in the world of online marketing, here are six great starting points that I firmly believe are well worth the time.
1. Content, Content, Content: Few businesses today are one-of-a-kind, so with ample competition happening in the marketplace, customers need a real reason to purchase from any one organization. Web content, such as blogs, guest posts, and whitepapers, give small businesses the opportunity to really explain why they are the best in their industry, making the reason to buy that much more clear. What’s more, when composed strategically with keywords in mind, your content will simultaneously drive additional web traffic.
2. Give People Somewhere To Land: Not all of your site’s pages are created equal. The landing page, typically the homepage, needs to captivate your audience and all but seal the deal in their decision to buy. If your landing page doesn’t hook a vast majority of your site’s visitors, your entire website – and the costs of maintaining it - are pretty much null and void.
3. Call to Action: A customer’s contact information is a valuable commodity and, as such, they’re not going to give it out freely. However, by offering something useful in return, such as information, a discount, or a tool like an app, customers are much more willing to provide their personal information. This call to action should be a featured part of a small business’s landing page, so that prospective clients can easily find and utilize it.
4. Be Social (Media): Whether we like it or not, social media is a critical part of today’s communication and, as such, it cannot go overlooked by small business owners. However, simply signing up for accounts won’t cut muster. It’s vital that these sites be used to engage customers in meaningful dialogue. Push your content, encourage customer feedback, and feature photos of what’s going on in your business to keep people talking about who you are and what you do.
5. Love The Customers You Already Have: Typically, it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain one whose are already proven their loyalty. So when a small business gets ready to ramp up their online marketing in efforts in hopes of bringing in new clientele, they ought not forget about those who have supported them in the past. Use loyalty programs, regular email discounts, and VIP offers to keep already faithful customers coming back!
6. Don’t Give Up: Entrepreneurship is no easy endeavor, but nowhere is the need for patience and persistence more apparent than in online marketing. Your efforts will not pay of today and they won’t pay off tomorrow. In fact, they may not even pay off next month. But, in time, the cumulative effect of your hard work will have a dramatic and lasting impact on your sales – you just can’t break down before that point!
Although it may seem overwhelming at first, the truth is that each of these objectives can be achieved if confronted strategically and taken in stride. The internet has opened us vast opportunity for growth, it’s simply up to the small business owner to harness it.
About the Author: This piece was written by Gerad Hoyt, the operator of Fast Satellite Broadband where he focuses on search marketing. If your looking for any help with your online marketing, feel free to reach out via twitter @geradhoyt.