Have you been thinking about your business and how you’re going to grow it? We want to share some marketing ideas for small business owners with you because sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to get started. Here are the things we suggest to consider.
Now that we have arrived in the 21st century it is crucial for businesses to have a website. The temptation will be to get started without one for some, but this will be a mistake. Your customers will be more likely to do business with you if you have one.
We recommend that you hire a professional web designer and not try to do it yourself. Make sure to ask the web design company you’re looking to partner with “how many sites have they built for small business owners and can they design sites that can be expandable. The answer better be “YES!” But, be sure to follow up and ask them to show you actual examples of their work.
Think About Your Content – Creatively
When all the technical specifications and software are decided upon, the fact remains that the foundation of your website is the content in it – period. Without compelling, interesting, informative or calls to action, a website can’t fully reach its potential as a 24/7 virtual storefront and salesperson.
It’s important to think about the style or tone of the writing/content to be on your small business website. What type of content are you going to use; video, 3D cutaway hi-res graphics, pictures, custom graphics, text etc.? Well-written content not only makes search engines happy – so that you make it to the first page of search results – but it also makes your customers happy, engaged and can increase their loyalty to your business or brand. Your business needs a good content marketing strategy.
Set Up The Website’s Analytics
Google Analytics, Adobe Omniture, SAP, SAS and another website analytical software capture a wealth of information that can quickly identify what is working or not working on your website.
The great thing about the digital age is that you can quickly and more accurately identify parts of the website that are surpassing expectations and any parts of the website that are unexpectedly underperforming.
Extra Tip – Make sure the Internet marketing firm you hire will install analytics and train you on how to use the software and run reports. It’s not rocket science, but having an overview and familiarity of the software before you need to use it, is important. Otherwise, you are leaving vital business intelligence just sitting on your site’s server.
SEO for Better Search Rankings
Another important Internet marketing tip for small businesses is to think about content, content, content and more content. It’s all about the content. When hiring an Internet marketing firm for your small business’ website ask about their experience with content creation and, ensuring that the content will incorporate strategies to boost your sites search engine ranking. If their first answer is “pay-per-click”, look elsewhere. A well-designed site that is made up of quality content and follows best practices in design will pay far greater dividends than any “pay-per-click” (PPC) campaign. That’s not to say PPC can’t be a part of your search engine strategy but it should not be the first thing you do.
Social Media Marketing
Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Four Square, Groupon, Flickr, Vine, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and new social media platforms going live nearly every day, but don’t worry. You don’t need to be on every platform, though.
You need to be where the majority of your customers live online. A common mistake that small businesses make in their internet marketing plan is trying to jump on every social media platform.
Just choose one platform or application to start with – the one your customers frequent the most. And don’t forget social media is a two-way street. Customers will expect you to respond to their inquiries. Make sure you have the resources and knowledge to get the most out of your social media platform and that it’s engaging and responsive.
Keep these internet marketing tips for small businesses in mind, and you will save yourself many headaches while getting the most out of your website and internet marketing without breaking your budget.
One of the best Internet marketing ideas for small business owners is to start an email newsletter/bulletin. It doesn’t need to weekly or monthly. Quarterly emails or newsletters can be very effective when you start.
It is very cost effective and provides small business owners a wealth of data on your customers’ behavior, likes and their vitality as a customer. It can drive traffic to your physical location and your virtual store. Moreover, it has a social media aspect since your customers can forward the email they receive from you to their friends. And we all know that “word of mouth” and the opinion of a friend is invaluable.
Worried about how to build your email list? Don’t be. At your bricks and mortar locations ask customers for their email (of course, throw on the disclaimer that by providing their email information they are agreeing to be contacted via email about your business and special offers).
Extra tip, sweeten the request by having a drawing. A gift card, store credit…something that you know your customers will like and will motivate them to join the mailing list. This is a simple and effective, but often overlooked tip. Once completed you are ready to launch your first e-newsletter.
Yes, even though we are Internet Marketers we still greatly believe in some traditional marketing like business signs. It’s actually quite amazing the great lengths some people will go to, yet not provide good signage. We recommend this Houston sign company if you are in the area.
These are great marketing ideas for small business owners, however. The reality is growing a business takes hard work and it’s a good idea to find partners to help you on this journey. We’d be honored to help you with this endeavor. Contact us by filling out the form to the right or by calling us at 713-840-6070