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What are Ten Sure-Fire Small Business Marketing Strategies?

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Home Page > Marketing > Viral Marketing > What are Ten Sure-Fire Small Business Marketing Strategies?

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What are Ten Sure-Fire Small Business Marketing Strategies?

By: chirswoodward
Posted: Sep 24, 2010

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The marketplace is crowded, and there are more ways than ever to connect with customers and potential customers. To get an edge over the competition you need to select and implement proven small business marketing strategies.

 

There are literally hundreds of small business marketing strategies to promote your business and increase sales. So, how do you choose what strategies are right for your business? Let’s get started by exploring ten of the best small business marketing strategies (in no particular order):

1.      Web site optimization: Search engine optimization (SEO) should be an integral part of your small business marketing strategies. Research the keywords your potential customers are searching and use the keywords throughout your Web copy. A keyword-rich Web site makes it easier for potential customers to find you because you will rank higher in search engine results.

2.      Email marketing: Use opt-in email marketing campaigns to stay in touch with your existing customers or potential customers who have shown interest in your products/services by signing up for your newsletter. You can provide valuable information, position yourself as an expert, and promote special offers to sell your products/services. You’ll also continue to build relationships with these small business marketing strategies.

3.      Article marketing: Speaking of positioning yourself as an expert, writing informative articles on relevant topics to your target audience is an inexpensive way to do just that. Avoid a sales pitch. Instead, use keywords you researched and used in your Web copy and focus on a specific topic. Submit the articles online and/or to trade publications to gain more exposure for your business.

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4.      Blogging: It seems like nearly every business owner has a blog these days. And there’s a reason for it. Writing regular blog posts is a small business marketing strategy that gives you credibility, provides keyword-rich content for the search engines, and subtly sells your products/services.

5.      Seminars and teleseminars: Volunteer to teach seminars at your Chamber of Commerce on your area of expertise, or host a free teleseminar online. These small business marketing strategies increase your exposure and enable you to market your products/services to potential customers without seeming like a sales pitch.

6.      Videos: Create a short (no longer than three minutes) video that shows off your personality and informs potential customers about your products/services. Put the videos on your Web site and on video sites like YouTube. These dynamic small business marketing strategies can make your business “go viral” and spread across the Internet to a large audience.

7.      Surveys: Conducting short customer surveys is one of the easiest ways to learn what your customers want. You can create an entirely new product/service or improve an existing product/service simply by listening to your customers.

8.      Social media: All small business marketing strategies should include a social media component. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter give you the opportunity to spread the word about your business to your target audience and further position yourself as an expert in your industry.

9.      Free events: Free events are great small business marketing strategies because you get free publicity. Integrate something unique about your business into the theme of the event, and remember to use social media and your blog to publicize the event.

10.  Free resources: Offer a free report or guide on something of value to your target audience in exchange for signing-up for your email newsletter.

 

There are many more small business marketing strategies that you can employ to publicize your business and products/services. Always remember to integrate your small business marketing strategies, be consistent with your communications, and don’t stray from your key marketing messages.

 

Want to know more about developing successful small business marketing strategies? Learn how by visiting www.MyPRTools.com or calling 310.546.2926.

 

chirswoodward – About the Author:

Chris Woodward is the founder of My PR Tools. She has spent more than two decades creating successful marketing and public relations campaigns for companies across the Western United States. My PR Tools brings the benefits of Chris Woodward’s expertise to those who are not in the marketing and PR fields. Her step-by-step marketing and PR guides and personalized coaching packages are the culmination of her years of experience in the industry. Visit www.MyPRTools.com or call 310.546.2926.

Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/viral-marketing-articles/what-are-ten-sure-fire-small-business-marketing-strategies-3331034.html

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How Can Local Search Engine Optimization Benefit A Business?

Search Engine Optimization has helped derive best results for all kinds of entrepreneurs – be it big or small. Through Search Engine Optimization, the visibility of the website is improved and the webpages tend to gain higher positions in search engine rankings. However, if you own a business that targets the local domain, then it is of no use to optimize your website globally. Herein you can take the help of local search engine optimization.

Local SEO service, by applying similar techniques tend to inform the search engines (especially the robots and the spiders) to know about your locality. The techniques include keyword research for local search, title and Meta tags and others. This kind of optimization helps attain the best result in the local search. Local search engine optimization aids in displaying relevant results, thus helps the viewers to find the information which is located near to their abode. Local SEO hence gives an advantage to the smaller organizations to compete with the bigger counterparts, when compared to a local search.

There are many ways of local search engine optimization and getting listed with Search Engines, for example, Google maps and Yahoo! Local are some of the good ways to start with. For getting listed with Google maps, you have to fill an application. Fill up the details and after the verification step, your company will show up in the map. For Yahoo! Local, you need to register yourself with Yahoo Account and fill up forms. Once you have registered your business in Yahoo!Local listing, you can consult other business house’s profiles and accordingly decide your policies. Assign a specific relevant category for your business and encourage the viewers to review your website. Reviewing is one of the most crucial parts that will earn you proper exposure. Positive reviews will lead to acknowledgement and it will bear possibilities to turn a visitor into a buyer.

Local search engine optimization can be done by promoting your business in local search engines such as Insiderpages, Yelp, Local.com, Citysearch and more. You can also promote your business in Internet Yellow pages like BigBook, InfoSpace, YellowPages and more. Listing your business in these sites will let the business informations spread across the local strata and create considerable awareness. People often go through these sites as they enlist a huge database of local business houses and services they offer. Enlisting your business in these directories will help your website get better visibility and create awareness.

Local SEO service also includes promotion of websites in the local social networking sites. There are tons of Social Local Networking Sites wherein you can promote your webpage and derive better exposure. The likes of Citysquares.com, MojoPages, Tupalo, and Yellowikis act as a strengthening factor for local businesses. These directories tend to bring together the local businesses and the consumers and hence will aptly cater to the requirements of promoting your business.

There are free local classified websites wherein you can register for free and promote your business. Kijiji, Backpage, Oodle, USFreeAds, Recycler are some of the free classified sites where you may promote your business. These sites are often visited by viewers for gaining informations on several areas. Thus, posting classified ads is another important prospect in local SEO service.

One of the vital points to remember in Local SEO service is proper management of your business profile. You must see to it that the informations that you provide about your business are correct so as to assure that when someone searches they get the right informations. It is recommended that your address and contact numbers are displayed on every pages of your website. Furthermore, a link to Google Map, Wiki Map or a Yahoo Map will certainly do good to your marketing agenda.

A proper webpage that is locally optimized is of great help, especially when your business network caters to nearby locations. Local search engine optimization herein will benefit your business by offering it the right exposure, by improving its visibility of the webpage, hence creating the desired brand awareness.

Jacques Neel is a SEO professional. He provides valuable information about the essentialities of local search engine optimization and the features of Local SEO service.

2011 Business Growth Strategy #4: Check Your Business Model

We all know our business models inside and out, right? We know where we make money, where we lose money, where we invest and recently, where we tighten our belts.

But are we really executing on the best business model for growth?

Business models are a magnet for Gravity thinking.  I believe that’s because we’re all rained to believe that business models should be established and then maintained carefully – no matter what happens.

That’s old school and pure Gravity thinking.  If you’re business model isn’t shifting to match the dynamic winds of your markets, then your business model is weighing you down and dragging you backwards.

Our world changes every day.  And if you’re not changing with it – you’re losing.  Whether it’s an assumption about your best source of profits, your best sales channels, the optimum way to manufacture or the next great thing you should be creating – if you haven’t checked your business model and focus in the past few months – check it now.

We all get stuck in thinking that the way we we’ve always done it is the best way possible.  We’re also influenced by the things we’ve tried before that didn’t work – and we surely won’t try again.  The problem is – all of that thinking is based on the past – and our past no longer predicts our future.  Not in our new economy.  Everything changes too quickly to bet our future on our past.

So take a moment and ask yourself:

What’s driving my profit today? What will drive my profit tomorrow? How do I need to evolve my business to power new avenues of profit? Are their areas I need to rethink – focusing on profit and not just the topline?
How do I market and sell to my customers today? How am I reaching out to new prospects? Is it working? What changes do I need to make to market and sell in tomorrow’s world? (For example, think about the changes social media has driven in the way we interact with customers.  Are you taking advantage of that power?
What new opportunities am I funding that aren’t delivering on their promise? Is hope springing eternal when it should be focused elsewhere? What other opportunities am I not funding just because I tried something similar a few years back? What opportunities am I missing – based on my chat with my Keepers?
Why do I run my business as I do? Are my assumptions based on today’s world – or on the way I’ve always done it?

Often simple shifts can make huge impacts on our business success.

As you go through your day, whenever you catch yourself ready to make a decision based on the way you’re doing things today, stop.  Then ask yourself – “Is there a better way?”

That simple question, applied to the way you’ve always done it, will help you shift into the thinking that powers high velocity growth!

Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.

 

Check out Rebel’s new business book, Defy Gravity, where she shares proven strategies and tactics for growing your business even in a down economy.

Can your small business survive without search engine optimization marketing services?

Neglecting search engine optimization marketing services in today’s challenging markets can be a fatal mistake to a lot of small and medium size companies.

More than 90% of all internet surfers never search beyond the first 3 pages on any major search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing and others). So, if your website does not achieve a top search engine placement for your targeted keywords, you’re losing customers to your compactors every single day.

Search engine optimization services and search engine marketing services are of vital importance to every small and medium size company for the following reasons:

1. According to Computer Industry Almanac, by 2010 there will be 1.8 billion users on the internet most of them will rely on the internet to find any business they may need.
2. More than 55 % of all customers use web search before using the yellow pages.
3. More than 60 % of all traffic goes to the 10 top search engine placement results.
4. More than 80% of all online traffic comes from the search engines.
5. More than 90% of all internet surfers never search beyond the first 3 pages on any major search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing and others).

So, if your company does not achieve a top search engine placement for your targeted keywords, you’re losing customers to your competitors every single day.

The last few years have witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of commercial websites and consequently these websites are fiercely competing to attract the attention of the internet surfers.

Right now, many of your competitors are using different search engine optimization marketing strategies to steal your customers, so protect your interest and fight back. Every website wants to increase its visibility and popularity to attract more traffic and to achieve a place in the top rankings of all search engines.

Search engine optimization marketing companies can help you to improve your website ranking position. They design seo marketing strategies to get you a top search engine placement, while keeping in mind that the ultimate goal is always to increase your business’s sales and profits.

Today, internet marketing especially seo marketing is by far the fastest growing advertising method for all companies.

Search engine optimization marketing is definitely the most cost effective advertising method.

There are many advantages of search engine marketing over other forms of advertisement:

1. The cost of search engine optimization marketing is much less than any other type of marketing.

2. The results of successful search engine optimization marketing lasts longer than any other type of marketing. Once your search engine optimization marketing campaign has been finished the sales and profits will continue to come for a long time.

3. Affordable search engine optimization marketing services are now more available than any time before.

4. Guaranteed search engine optimization marketing services ensures good quality website promotion by most expert seo services.

5. Free search engine optimization marketing services in the form of free seo consultation, free seo analysis and free seo reports render the process even much more affordable and guaranteed.

For small and medium sized businesses, which are always on a tight budget, search engine optimization marketing is definitely the most cost effective method to choose.

To be able to compete in today’s markets, small and medium sized businesses need search engine optimization marketing much more than big businesses. Big businesses have huge marketing budgets and can afford to market in many other off line media. An efficient internet marketing strategy will ensures that the maximum amount of traffic will be directed to your website by the various search engines.

There should be no doubt that, neglecting search engine optimization marketing services in today’s challenging markets can be a fatal mistake to many small and medium sized businesses. Search engine optimization marketing must be the primary foundation to all your internet marketing strategies and internet marketing advertising campaigns.

Nashat Mostafa is the CEO and founder of Seo 7 Services. During his long carrier as a seo consultant, Nashat has worked with many small and medium sized companies to plan and execute different internet marketing campaigns.

Small Business Marketing

Small Business Marketing

Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

Being a small business owner… gosh, where do you start. You are everything, you have to do everything, and you have a budget of almost nothing to do it with!

Marketing for small business is not easy, but a few simple rules and guidelines will ensure your small pennies goes a long way. And ultimately, get your more sales and customers.

Here are some simple but important marketing guidelines for small business success.

Plan your marketing campaigns

Don’t rush into ‘adding an ad in the local paper’ or ‘printing out 10,000 flyers to promote a sales promotion’. Every marketing campaign, or every dollar you spend should be planned well and thought about clearly. Before you launch into spending say, ,000 on putting an ad in the local paper, ask yourself these questions:

Who are my customers and will this ad actually reach my customers or prospetive customers?
How much am I spending – am I better off spending this money on another marketing channel?
Have I worked out the return on investment (ROI) on this campaign?
Is this part of my business plan?

Market to YOUR customers, not just everyone.

The golden rule of marketing is this: all your marketing, branding, and communications should be relevant, directed, and appeal to your target market – that is, your customers and potential customers.

Who is your target market?

Well, if you don’t know the answer to that, then you shouldn’t be in business! Firstly, this should already be in your business plan. Secondly, everything you do should be focused on your customers – everything (website design, business cards, sales promotions etc). After all, its your customers who’ll paying your bills.

Once you know who your customers and prospective customers are, you’ll know what type of marketing you should do to capture these customers, and get more sales in the door.

Calculate the ROI on all marketing campaigns or projects

For each and every marketing campaign you run, it’s important to take the time to plan it, work out how much it wil cost you, and how much you’ll get back in return – this is your ROI (return on investment).

For example, you’ve got a sale promotion at the moment and you want all your local residents to know about it. A letterbox distribution of 10,000 flyers is the answer… or so you think. If it costs you, say ,000 to run this campaign (0 for graphic design, 0 to print, ,050 for distribution), will you get back ,000 in return to cover the cost? And then what is the profit? The minimum you should make from this example would be say, ,000 (,000 to cover costs, ,000 in incremental sales) a ROI of 150%.

Sleep on ideas

As a small business owner, we’re always thinking of new ideas… often too many for our own good. One of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking of an idea, and feeling the instant urge to execute this big idea that very day, thinking that if we don’t do it immediately we’ll either forget, or someone else will steal this big idea from us.

But it’s quite the contrary.

Every big idea should always be considered, thought out clearly and strategically, and most importantly – sleep on it. Add this to your “Ideas List”, and priortise these with all the other things you want to or need to do.

Consistency, consistency, consistency

Now that you’ve planned your marketing campaigns, what you have out there that represents your business is key. Consistency across all your sales and marketing materials.

Your business cards, online website, brochure design, sales flyer, etc – all as individual items is not powerful. But together, is EXTREMELY powerful.

Small Business Marketing Campaigns

Now that we’ve gone through the basics of marketing, let’s look at some marketing campaigns you can use for your small business. These are efficient, cost effective ways to market to your customers with a small budget.

Website: This is relevant no matter what industry you’re in – plumber, accountant, consultant, marketer, beauty salon. A website is now an online shopfront. Not only does a website give you more sales opportunities online, it’s also a ‘reassurance’ to your prospective customers that your business is what you say it is.

Google Adwords: a cost effective way to advertise online – it’s easy to use, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and best of all – you’re in full control of how much you want to spend daily. This of course, only works if you have a website!

Letterbox Distribution: a very popular traditional way of promoting a business, particular in the small business industry. This works particularly well if your business is local, you have a sales offer that is appealing (to your customers, not to you!), and you do this regularly (e.g. one letterbox drop a month in the same area, for 3 months). Frequency and relevancy is key here.

Professional Sales and Marketing Materials: it may seem obvious, but most often overlooked. Professionally designed business cards, sales catalogue, websites SELL. A potential customer that visits two company websites, one that looks tacky and the other looks professional – obviously they’ll choose the professional looking one.

Social Media Marketing: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin – these are all free to use and only takes you 10 minutes a day! These networks often links you with people you already know, so it’s potentially “warm”  leads. By keeping you business up-to-date on these sites and regularly communicating to your linked network, it gives you ‘free’ leads, opportunities, and branding.

 

 

Grace Chau

Small Business Owner, Marketer, Graphic Designer

Attractivo Design (www.attractivo.com.au)

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