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Give Your Local Business The Best Internet Marketing!

Develop Great Connections for Marketing Your Local Business Online!

Post Your Ideas Here! Establish Important Connections!

Internet Marketing CompanyThis website was created for business owners who are determined to grow their businesses through deliberate and planned implementation of Internet marketing strategies that work!  Online marketing is a must in today’s day and age if you want to see a steady increase in client numbers and client revenue. The big corporations have found this out a long time ago and have taken advantage of every marketing opportunity out there. This is one of the main reasons why they stay big and successful. Most small businesses remain small because their owners are reluctant to invest in long term marketing. Unfortunately, cutting the budget on advertising has shown multiple times not to be the best strategy for retaining and growing a business. We have seen this happen many times when the economy is down. A large number of small businesses cut their spending on ads. As a result, the few who increase their ad spending in tough economic times are the ones that actually survive and flourish. Hiring a marketing expert as part of your business team is an invaluable opportunity to learn about Internet marketing and its best tactics and forms of implementation as related to your individual business goals.

For example, you can hire a professional online marketer to handle your social media management and save a great deal of time that will allow you to focus solely on your clients. Social following via social updates is just one example of a greatly affordable marketing strategy on the Internet. It’s a great start for a new business and a great addition to an already established business that does not have a solid social media presence.Consumers today are demanding that your business has social presence. Within the last three years alone, social media use has nearly quintupled! It’s the number one activity on the Internet!

Email Marketing

Marketing via email has been around for quite some time now, and you will find many different approaches to it. Basically it means that you are on someone’s email list and they periodically send you business offers. These offers vary according to the type of business the sender has. For example, if you are on a local restaurant’s email list, they will send you email notifications about particular deals they have on certain days of the week for certain types of meals or drinks. Or if you are on a retail store’s email list, the store will notify you of merchandise on sale.

It is important to discuss email marketing approaches here because we all know what it means to get spammed by unwanted emails at all times. There are certain product developers who like to put your email on their list once you buy an item from them. The check box for getting notifications on new products is automatically filled on the order form. Clients should be able to refuse further emailing by being given the option to uncheck that box. You must always ask for permission to continue sending people emails once they have completed a transaction with you.

Then there is a relationship based email marketing approach, in which the promoter sends you emails sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, and sometimes (unfortunately for them) two or three times daily. The problem with the latter choice is that, according to recent marketing statistics put in  playful way, people are excited on the day they purchase your product or service, by day 3 their excitement has significantly mellowed down, and by the end of week one you are a spammer.

The smart businesses prioritize heavily on building the client relationship first. They will email you free tips that have actual value to your business or to your particular situation. They will point you to free or highly affordable resources that you can use to further improve your situation. Then, after sending you a whole bunch of highly valuable information for free, they will offer you a related product or service that will also be very affordable to you, the so called irresistible offer.

Once you buy that product or subscribe to that low cost monthly service, the smart business will email you several more highly valuable information pieces at no cost, in order to keep building the trust and relationship with you. After a while, they will offer another product or slightly more expensive service. If anyone sends you two or more emails that are nothing more than sales emails, this is poor marketing. Any sophisticated business person knows this. We want you to know it, too, so you are mindful when you start looking for prospects and building relationships with clients.

The most intricate and highly profitable email marketing strategies are based on research and testing that provides for the development of email marketing templates that follow a certain structure for each product or service. Timing is a big component of marketing and selling a product, building the suspense prior to the release of e new product is a commonly used technique. It is known as early bird special.

Digital scarcity is another tactic that has in fact been quite abused lately. However, if you learn to do it in a way that helps your clients and your business, you will be quite happy with the results. Scarcity is used quite a bit in email marketing, but again, you need to change your patterns even if a template works great, because as you develop long-term relationships with people on your email list, they will learn your patterns and your campaigns will gradually lose their effectiveness.

Every once in  awhile, you must ask questions of your subscribers. Who needs what at this point? Collect the date and use it as a foundation for your new product or service.

Examples Of Online And Offline Marketing Tools

Needless to say, there are multiple marketing tools that you can implement on the Internet to make your services known to your targeted audience and successfully grow your business. Using tools in certain ways creates a tactic, and adding several tactics together would result in a strategy.

Examples of marketing tools include but are not limited to business cards, brochures, flyers, direct mail, newspaper ads, magazines, journals, TV and radio ads, Yellow Pages, online advertising sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List, business website or websites, social media business pages, email, text messages on mobile devices, video and video platforms such as YouTube, search engine advertising platforms such as Google Adwords, street signs, or other people’s websites that sell advertising space. As you have probably noticed already, not all of these tools are online or Internet marketing tools, however we mention them here because you can include your website’s URL or Facebook business page in your direct mail piece as well as in your radio or newspaper ad.

Marketing Tools for Your Local Business

Business Cards

Business cards have been around for quite some time now. If you go to any marketing event, people will ask you for a business card and will give you their cards in order to expand their network of business connections.

In the past, business cards used to show the name of the person, their work or business title, work or home address, and telephone number. Then in some cases a fax number was added as well. With the emergence of the Internet, email addresses became a routine part of business cards in addition to the other components. Then website URLs were added and today, you may or may not see a physical address, but you are quite likely to see a website, email address, phone number, and one or more URLs to social media business pages such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus! This is a perfect example of capturing several marketing tools into one delivery medium, in this case the business card.

Can a business card that combines so much information be viewed as a marketing strategy? Well, not really. It is a part of a strategy if it is only one out of many components you implement in your daily advertising. The business card is simply a tool that displays all of your contact information, but tells very little about what you actually do. If you offer a service that is unfamiliar to many people, no matter how much it can benefit them, you will need a marketing tool that explains your service in greater detail. A business card, however, is a great marketing start when you can’t carry your computer around.  The website and social information on your card will prompt people to type your website URL and find out more about your business through your online marketing.

Flyers and Brochures

These tools provide for a more detailed outlining of the nature of your products, services, or both. There is enough space to include pictures, testimonials, and short paragraphs to help people better understand how exactly you can help them improve their lives or their businesses. Flyers and brochures can also be used in direct mail, in addition to the letter you would enclose with a specific business offer. With brochures, you can get really creative and make your business look more attractive by using good quality pictures, paper and font, creating a positive impression about your overall business approach, starting with your marketing.

Try to resist the common temptation to get carried away with the pictures. Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, make sure that your written content includes a special sentence that will grab your readers’ attention and make them want to learn more about your services.

Business Website

A business website is a marketing tool that can easily deliver information about your business starting from A and ending at Z. There is a limitless amount of space that you can use on a website, depending on the complexity of your services or products.

A website also offers countless options for expression in terms of design. Design intricacy is only limited by budget considerations. It is important to remember, however, that people with busy schedules will be unlikely to have the time to browse through endless navigation loops on any website. Therefore, you may want to consider making your website easy to navigate, with less hidden pages, and clear links from page to page with easy to follow yet high quality content.

What is high quality content, you may ask? If we go by the definition of the more iconic representatives of the marketing world, it is any content that will make people stay on your website and want to come back soon. While we completely understand that a statement like this one can be interpreted very broadly, the disclaimer here is that high quality content is information written in such a way that it will make it easy for your new visitors to learn about your business in the most clear and efficient way possible. To accommodate people’s different levels of familiarity with your niche, consider linking the name of each of your services to a separate page that explains the service linked to it in greater detail. That way, those who already know your business and are actively seeking your help will know what exactly you offer, and those who have a vaguer understanding will be given the opportunity to kern more about each service and its benefits.

Video

Video has quickly become one of the most powerful marketing tools. It can include written text, pictures, sound in the form of music, noise or voice, moving images, or all of the above at the same time. A video that uses several communication components is a strategy in itself. On a website containing text, images and videos, a visitor is most likely to click on the video first. This has been found to be true during many marketing studies in the last 10 years. A video can influence people on several emotional levels, which is why it has been employed so heavily by the marketing teams of major corporations for decades now.

Business Pages on Social Media 

Many businesses use social media for advertising purposes. Social platforms such as Blogger, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer paid advertising or a free option through a special business page. Google Plus also has the free business page option, and Google has made billions per year with its paid advertising platform, Google Adwords (not a social platform).

Social business pages are best used to communicate with clients or customers on a more personable level, encouraging people to recommend a particular business to their loved ones based on the good relationship they have established with a business owner. Social media is the most popular online activity and if you haven’t created a business page on any social platform yet, we strongly recommend that you do so as a growing number of the US population likes to make buying decisions based on other people’s recommendations. Social media are excellent places for finding such recommendations.

Implementing These Tools into Strategies 

You have figured out by now that the marketing tools discussed so far (as well as those that we just mentioned but didn’t discuss in detail) will bring maximum benefit to your business if combined in different ways. For example it is very effective to have a website with social icons that offer your visitors to look at your social business pages where they can ask questions and communicate with your existing customers or a designated staff member who is able to answer specific questions about your products and services. If you have a business-related video uploaded onto YouTube, you’ll do yourself a great favor in terms of two-directional traffic if you have your website address included in the video, and a link to the video on your website. You can also embed the video on your site, which is more effective if you want your website visitors to watch the video because they see a catchy thumbnail as opposed to just a link.

In addition, you can incorporate offline marketing such as business cards and direct mail that contains links to your online property. Using multiple tools to create a strategy is vital when you want to inform more people about your business. Each web platform has its followers and by being on more than one platform, you will be reaching out to more potential clients. There are professionals that specialize in providing great marketing mix for local businesses and not all of them will cost you an arm and a leg!

In the next post, we will go into more depth on specific marketing strategy examples, so stay tuned!

 

Strategic Marketing

Basically, there are a couple of ways you can go about your marketing, especially if you are just starting out with your local business.

The fundamental thing you should do, no matter which marketing approach you choose, is to dedicate a monthly marketing budget and hire a great professional marketing consultant, before you even open shop. Obvious as this sounds, it is hard to believe how many owners of small businesses never really think of it as part of their business planning. The consultant will advise you on different marketing techniques and the expected results of each of them or all of them combined.

Depending on your business, a consultant will introduce marketing practices that work the best right now for your competitors. You know that one of the best things you can do is see who is really successful in your niche, where they advertise, and where they have plenty of following, right?

Another way to start your marketing is by choosing just one strategy that has had proven results for others involved in your type of business, focus on that strategy until you get a handful of good leads, and then adopt another strategy in addition to the first one. Keep adding marketing techniques to your portfolio as you master each one, or as you discover that some work better than others. This approach is recommended for people who get easily overwhelmed with too many options and tend to do none of them because they don’t know where to start.

The most important consideration is, however, how fast do you want to grow your business? Business growth is faster if you have more clients, more sales, or both (you may close many sales with a single client). If you have a proper business system in place that is ready to handle multiple clients from the get-go, then you will need a generous marketing budget to make this known to as many people as possible. You will achieve business growth faster that way. It is important to strive to get as many clients as you can realistically handle, so you don’t under-deliver and damage your business reputation.

If you are starting with a very limited budget, on the other hand, which is what many owners of small local businesses do initially, we suggest that you still interview several marketing professionals who have plenty of clients already and don’t desperately need your money. These people can point you in a specific direction such as starting with a single strategy that works better than many others in terms of getting high quality leads. This will result in a gradual expansion of your business. Once you start gaining revenue, you can control the growth speed of your business so far as you reinvest this revenue into more marketing instead of in supporting your lifestyle, as many inexperienced business owners tend to do and end up closing shop within the dreaded five-year timeframe.

Additionally, it is a great idea to communicate with other owners of the same type of business. If you feel uncomfortable asking your local competition about all their marketing secrets directly, then consider calling professionals in neighboring states and request an hour worth of phone meeting. Afterwards, as a gesture of genuine gratitude for their time, ask them what their favorite place to shop is and send them a gift card. So many shops offer gift cards or certificates online (an example of a great marketing strategy)! This solution may be cheaper than any consultation with a marketing expert. At least you know that your business counterpart in another state is not personally interested in your money, nor are they feeling threatened by you competing with them. If the out of state business owner or marketing person requests a fee for their time, it is worth spending the money to learn.

In conclusion, please don’t underestimate the value of great marketing professionals. Some of these experts know your industry and the most efficient ways to market it, therefore you should seek their advice sooner or later, again, depending on your business goals. If you expect your clients to come to you for your professional services, you can then see the value of someone who can resolve your business challenges professionally, too.

Easy To Follow Best Marketing Practices

In the predominantly online realities of today’s day and age, you don’t have a choice but to spread your marketing plan onto various Internet properties or platforms if you are looking to increase the exposure of your business. Numerous marketing studies have been done over the last two decades, but more specifically in the last five years, and they clearly indicate that Internet use is now significantly more popular than offline ways of advertising such as TV, newspapers, radio, etc. Marketing on the Internet is the most effective way of reaching your potential clients quickly, as well as influencing their buying decisions.

Because the Internet is constantly evolving, plenty of new modes of communication as well as new tools show up every single day. It will take some trial and error from your part until you find what works best for the realization of your business goals. Not all new tools are recommendable for marketing, usually you’ll find out that 5-10 tools are sufficient to do the job.

Your business website can be a great resource of information when it comes to tracking some aspects of your physical marketing. If you are in the habit of sending postcards or fliers to your current and prospective clients, leaving a link to a page on your site that has not yet been linked elsewhere will allow you to track the hits you receive on that page. That way, you’ll get an idea about the level of people’s engagement in your physical marketing efforts.

To increase your productivity and ascertain that you are getting to the right people, you’ll need to analyze and create a viable target market on the internet. Once you’ve determined your target market, you can easily focus on those people who will be most likely to purchase your product or services. This will make your business more efficient. Strive to meet the needs of your target market and a dramatic growth will follow naturally based on your reputation, positive reviews and  referrals.

To get people interested in different products, you can have an advertisement for another product on the ‘thank you’ page that they see after buying something. Or you can include a free trial offer for a new product when they buy something. Make sure the product that you are offering is related to what they are buying.

Facebook offers ample opportunity for business marketing. Some tactics are free, others are not. The trick it to find the best way to effectively combine free and paid methods that will fit your marketing budget nicely. You can customize your advertising so that it represents your business and services in a unique and attractive light. Massive reach can be achieved via Facebook once you know your target audience.

Conduct a research survey. Use a survey site and ask consumers what they would actually be interested in getting from you. Who is better suited than your buyers to tell you what’s really needed? The clients’ needs should always be your top priority, yet many businesses ignore this rule and as they grow, they gradually get more and more detached from their clients’ actual needs.

In following a few important pointers about how to formulate an internet marketing plan, you are well on your way to reaching a large amount of target customers. Don’t be intimidated by the Internet! We agree that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there, most of which is unproven and thus unreliable. However, if you look closer, you will find plenty of valuable data and services, and you will be able to position yourself and your business as one of those great quality resources for helping others. This is where the opportunity to stand out really lays.