5 Tips for Marketing Your Business Online; to Get the Biggest ROI
by smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
- Created: July 15, 2010, 1:05 pm
Online marketing is taking up an increasing share of the budgets of small businesses. Ther;s no mystery behind it: online is where customers are gravitating. So if you want to attract customers, and serve existing customers with new products and services, you too need to be placing an increasing proportion of your marketing budget online.
But in a small business i-s important to spend wisely, because our resources and budgets are limited. You want to focus on techniques that consistently deliver a powerful return on investment (ROI), as the following 5 techniques do:
(1) Commit to regular email marketing -- Email is a top online strategy for small businesses- especially among businesses that are not satisfied with the status quo, but want to grow. For instance, in one survey 82% of small businesses that currently use or plan to use email marketing, expected revenue growth.* Yo'll want to build a house email list consisting of those who opt in (elect to receive communications from you). That list is like gold because it consists of people who have shown interest already in your products and services' and who WANT to hear from you again. For more information, check out the article here at Business.gov on: Getting Started with Email Marketing.
(2) Start a blog or renew your efforts with your existing blog' A blog offers so many benefits' here are just a few: It helps your business get found by search engines, because of the great content you provide. It helps you engage more effectively with existing customers and new prospects' blogs are conversational and help you develop a closer bond than with static websites. And a blog also gives you the opportunity to tell the world more about what you do, how you do it, and how your business is different. For detailed pointers, read: Thinking of Starting a Blog? Tips to Help You Start, Maintain & Grow a Small Business Blog!
(3) Leverage other' blogs' Not sure you can commit to writing regularly in a blog? Or perhaps you have a blog, but are looking for additional ways to promote your business? If you like to write, then guest posting on other blogs is a no-cost (other than your time) way to spread the word about your business. And at the very least, you can comment on other' blogs, and participate that way. For more about guest posting, read: How to Guest Post to Promote Your Blog.*
(4) Advertise cost effectively with pay per click advertising - Pay-per-click advertising (such as Google AdWords) is a technique that literally can pay for itself. You pay only for clicks back to your website, meaning that you only pay for people who see your ad and click through to your site. That way you know you are paying for qualified traffic, i.e., those who have seen your ads and have some interest in whatever you're advertising. However, programs like Google AdWords require some knowledge if you want to maximize your return; otherwise, you could end up wasting money. And remember, if you feel Google AdWords may require too much time and attention, you can always outsource the management of your PPC ad programs to a professional. To get started, read: Google AdWords Explained - Growing Your Small Business with this Cost Effective Marketing Tool.
(5) Jump on the social media bandwagon - Think of social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bizsugar.com and the like as being a way to amplify and spread your message. The Web is increasingly becoming a social place. Consumers and businesspeople increasingly share information, product recommendations, and content that they like. Wouldn't you like to encourage and make it easy for others to share your content or recommendations about your products/services? That's where playing in the social media sandbox can help. For more information, please check out: Getting Started with Social Media Marketing. You may also find this article of interest: Adding Social Media to the Business Marketing Mix - No Longer a Question of 'Why?' but 'How?'
For more information about online marketing, please also check out the videos that the SBA just produced in partnership with Google.
So, what are you waiting for? Jump on these 5 techniques and you'll be able to craft a cost-effective marketing strategy that is in sync with today's customers' behavior.
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.
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Anita Campbell is the Founder of Small Business Trends*, an online publication and community serving small businesses.
About the Author
My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 4 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.
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