Businesses have more ways — and places — than ever to market themselves. But deciding on a marketing method, particularly when you are a small or even a mid-sized business with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult. While social media marketing is generally free, it can be time-consuming; and the same goes for blogging.
Here are some of the suggested ideas:
Blog: By providing your prospects and clients with informative, non-salesy 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.
Leverage social media: 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. Keep your social efforts frequent, but above all, relevant and helpful to your audience.
Create a Facebook business page: Facebook is one of the most important marketing tools for any business to use, especially a small business. Americans spend one out of every seven minutes on social media, providing a huge opportunity for small business owners to build a relationship with fans by sharing relevant content and interacting by commenting and liking fans’ comments.
Post to Pinterest and Instagram. If you are selling a highly visual product or service, say you are in the bridal or food business, you should be regularly posting images on Pinterest and/or Instagram. Posting is free and both platforms have large followings, particularly among women.
Leverage email marketing and email reminders: Email marketing is great for engaging customers. So be sure to integrate your email marketing campaigns – with your other marketing campaigns for maximum impact. For example, if you’re running a Facebook contest, increase the number of people participating by notifying your email subscriber list of engaged customers. If you’re running a time-limited deal or special offer, send a reminder via email.
Try PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising/Google AdWords: PPC ads can be a cost efficient way to dip your toe into the online marketing world and use your marketing dollars to specifically target the regions and terms that relate most to your business. SMBs need to be as targeted with their marketing efforts and dollars as possible, especially if their product/service is location specific — and PPC ads are one way to do so. An efficient Google AdWords campaign, where you are sure you know how the platform works, can be a huge quarry of leads for small businesses.
Conduct webinars. Webcast experts say some webinars see a 70 percent rebound effect comprising those who viewed the live broadcast as well as new individuals. Just make sure your webinar is content rich, with relevant content (that is content relevant to the target audience), well organized and hosted by someone with experience conducting or running a webinar.
Don’t forget about press releases: Press releases help small and midsized businesses amplify their content across hundreds of global and local channels, allowing them to achieve the same exposure as much larger brands. By including press releases as part of an integrated marketing strategy, small businesses are able to get their content directly in front of consumers and connect with journalists and bloggers — interactions that can result in lasting impressions.
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