Top Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Get your small business more business with these internet marketing strategies.

Internet marketing is becoming an increasingly important element of a company’s overall marketing strategy. And while internet marketing is vital to all businesses, understanding top internet marketing strategies is even more important for small businesses. This is because small businesses are intrinsically build with less exposure and do not have the power or resources that larger businesses have built- in to their marketing strategies. However, with the proper tools, small business marketing can use internet marketing even more advantageously than its larger competitor.internet marketing tips for small businesses

SEO marketing

Search engine marketing (SEO) is crucial for any small business to get it noticed by potential clients using search engines. With the proper use of search engine optimization, search engine users are able to find your goods and services quickly and more easily, and will gravitate to your site before competitors as it is more highly ranked. Keywords that relate to your product should reveal you as the prevailing service for consumers. Internet marketing firms offer search engine optimization and use these search engine tools to make your site a viable choice for users, then working to transform viewers into customers.

Local Search marketing

Local search marketing encompasses the strategy of search engine optimization to get businesses noticed, but integrates features specific to location so that an organization is remarked not only based on its services and related subjects, but also as prominent based on location in the local community. Because small businesses typically operate on the local level and thrive in a niche community, local search marketing is especially important for small businesses. By optimizing a company’s address, phone number, and presence in the community, search engines will make you more relevant. Google, for example, incorporates searches with a map function, so that it can locate your business. A firm will rate higher if it is closer to the location of the search engine user, or the location that the user designates. Beyond the technicalities of search engine optimization, having the right content for local searches is useful means for internet marketing in general as it provides prospective consumers with contact information and other useful information regarding the business.

Social Media Marketing

Internet marketing is increasingly becoming synonymous with social media marketing. Social media marketing is an important aspect to marketing a business online for the fact that it reaches so many people, as nearly everyone uses some form of social media. The valuable element of social media marketing is that it can strengthen your client base and attract new clients as well. Utilizing social media to market a company can be a great way to promote events, provide business and contact information, generate discussion, and form a following. However, it is not as simple as it may seem to integrate social media with marketing strategies. Businesses must be active on social media and provide followers with frequent updates- whether it be a change in contact information, a sale, breaking news, or just a subject- related post to keep in the mind of clients. Any business can have an account on social media, but what distinguishes those groups successful in social media marketing is those that use social media the right way in order to get more business.

Email Marketing

In essence, email marketing is used to create lists of not only clients but prospective customers. Both groups should be given updates on the business and products. Current clients may receive emails based on the status of their order or service, while potential clients may receive emails as a form of internet marketing with incentives to buy. As email lists are built up, they become increasingly valuable. This is a very useful strategy, especially for small businesses, say experts, in the long run.

Content Marketing

Content is simply the information about your business and your product that you make available to potential clients. Content marketing has always been important, even pre- internet marketing. Plus, it is a component of all other types of marketing. Content should be relevant in all forms of internet marketing and specifically adapted to internet domain, but is most important on your business’ website. Custom websites allow for web design, optimal use of photography, and the choice of the right content. Content should always include contact information, product details, and some way of instilling credibility and confidence in the company based on reviews, awards, and history.

 

Using the above internet marketing tips, formulate a plan for your small business and integrate them with your other marketing strategies. Internet marketing is useful for small businesses to gain recognition and get their name out to a broader spectrum of people. With more recognition comes more clients and a way to expand your small business. Much of what is involved in the above strategies you can work on yourself for your small business. However, small businesses who lack the manpower of time to put into internet marketing efforts may want to outsource this work to an internet marketing and search engine optimization firm. At the very least, it is very helpful to seek strategy advice for such firms to get you started.

picture of an integrated marketing strategy
Gone forever are the days when an organization could rely on independent advertising campaign. Today’s business professionals instead must implement a unified and consistent brand image that resonates with their targeted consumer niche and leaves a long lasting impression. What’s the best way to effectively deliver a streamlined, uniform promotional brand image?  Create an effective integrated marketing communication strategy.

Why Your Business Should Be Using An Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy

At its core, an integrated marketing communication strategy unifies formerly independent promotional activities for a cohesive and consistent final advertising solution. Rather than creating various advertising campaigns and initiatives with different objectives, business owners using an integrated marketing communication strategy will use the same messages and missives on various platforms to achieve universal goals for the organization. Both traditional and online resources can blend together to deliver a unified brand image to a company’s targeted demographic.

We’ve often worked with our clients to create an effective integrated marketing communication strategy that successfully combines traditional and online promotional tactics. The benefits of a cohesive marketing approach are extensive, some of which include:

  • Reinforced brand exposure
  • Enhanced business reputation/legitimacy
  • Increased consumer loyalty

For today’s entrepreneurs, failing to incorporate an integrated marketing communication strategy within their organization can ultimately mean leaving opportunity on the table for the competition to scoff up.

Helping Clients Create An Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy

When working with our clients to successfully manage an integrated marketing communication strategy, we take a holistic approach to ensure optimal results are achieved. We begin the process by working closely with our customers to fully understand the scope of their existing traditional campaigns. This initial step involves discussing the details of your business’ current brand identity. Marketing slogans, product graphics, logos and your brand color schemes are all analyzed to create a uniform, consistent brand identity to be used in marketing campaigns.

From there, we work with our clients to create a detailed outline of their business’ specific consumer niche. Important buying trends, interests and characteristics are all critical components to what makes your targeted demographic unique. By understanding your consumer pool, we are best able to create a marketing plan that caters to their distinctive needs and wants.

With a firm grasp of what your business is about and the demographic it markets to, it’s important to implement a customized integrated marketing communication strategy that will deliver a consistent message in every campaign your company undertakes. We not only help business’s implement  integrated marketing communications strategies, we also gauge the progress of campaigns. By conducting periodic check-ins on how your marketing solution is working, it is easier to go back and make changes and modifications as needed to ensure optimal results and ROI.

Want to hear more about integrated marketing solutions? Contact Us: http://www.designandpromote.com/contact or attend one of our free internet marketing seminars.

Budgets are tough these days. And website copywriting might seem like a good place to save money. We get it. And yet one of the most common mistakes we see comes from business marketers who try to cut corners by writing their website copy themselves. And almost every single time, this turns out to be the wrong decision.

 Here are five reasons why leaving your website copywriting to professionals like Design & Promote might get you far better results than you can achieve on your own.

1.   Your website needs to speak your customer’s language, not your language.website content writing help

Acronyms. Buzz words. Industry jargon. You might use these in your everyday business talk, but do your customers? Remember, your website exists for your customers. So to be effective, everything on your website needs to come from your customers’ point of view. Unfortunately, your natural tendency is to speak from your own point of view. A professional copywriter knows how to capture the right perspective and ensure your customers understand and engage with the content on your website.

2.   Your website needs to follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

The rules in SEO change constantly. And yet, if your site isn’t properly optimized for the search engines, your customers won’t be able to find you. Unless you’re taking the time daily to read professional SEO blogs and journals, you are probably not up to speed with the latest SEO best practices. An SEO copywriter will know how to choose and use the right keywords in the right places, for the right results.

3.   Your website needs to be scan-able and user-friendly.

Many of us learned to write in high school – with those awful, big, dense research papers that we wrote purely to impress our English teachers. But website copywriting is very different. The best websites present information to readers in bite-sized, scan-able, user-friendly chunks that can convey an idea in three to five seconds. For most of us, this is tough to do. For a professional, it’s second nature.

4.   Your website needs to tell visitors what to do next.

Few things are more fatal to a website than dead-end pages. Every single page on your website needs a call to action – something that tells the visitor what to do next. Without a call to action, you risk visitors leaving your site and moving on to your competitors. Website copywriters can help you determine your goals for each page, so that each page is designed to move the visitor through your funnel.

5.   Your website needs a certain amount of care and feeding to grow.

Bottom line, you’re busy. Writing the copy for your website is going to take time – time that you don’t have. Here at Design & Promote waiting for content from the client is the number one reason a website project is delayed.  A professional copywriter knows how to get up to speed quickly about what makes your business special, and a professional will be able to pull together the copy for you to review far more quickly than you could write it yourself. This often makes the difference between your website launching on time or not.

We certainly could go on, but we think you get the point. Ultimately, hiring a professional copywriter will make your website look fantastic, engage your customers, and deliver the return on investment you need.

Contact us today to find out how totally worth it outsourcing your website copywriting can be.

 

not-serious-about-business

What Do Your Prospects Think About Your Business?

In business, image is everything. Right or wrong, your clients will make snap judgments about you and about your business. This means that unless you can afford to lose clients, you can’t afford to project an unprofessional image.

Below, we’ve listed 10 areas that are (unfortunately) all too easy for small business owners to ignore. Are you making any of these common internet marketing mistakes? If so, you could inadvertently be telling clients you’re not really serious about your business. Make sure you’ve got your bases covered, and check yourself against this list.

1.  Not having a website

If you don’t have a website, does your business really exist? It’s hard to even fathom why we’re still arguing about this, but the truth is that many business still have no online presence. We promise you, every one of your clients is looking for your website. It’s a must. End of story.

2.  Not having your own domain name

Your “free” website does not give you your own domain name (i.e., www.yourcompany.com). You’ll have to pay for it. But with so many good, inexpensive hosting options, it’s really a minor expense. And the thing is, if your website does not have your own domain name, your clients will wonder why.

 3.  Not having an email address with your domain

Are you still emailing clients from your free Yahoo account? If so, you’re also sending the message that your business is more of a hobby than a bona fide company. Leave the free email account for your personal life – not for your business.

Obtaining a proper email address, such as name@yourcompany.com, is easy and inexpensive. Do it today.

4.  Not having an email signature at the bottom of your emails

Your email signature is a standard closing that appears at the bottom of every email you send. It shows clients and peers who you are and what your business is. At the very least, your email signature should include your name, company name, and contact information. Bonus points for including your company tagline, logo, a link to your website, links to your social media profiles, or other details.

5.  Not having a logo

Legitimate companies have logos. These days, online options make logo design an easy option,  you should not have an excuse for not having some graphical representation of your company. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be unique.

6.  Not having a business Facebook page

Did you know that 93% of all US adult internet users are on Facebook? And that one out of every eight minutes online is spent on Facebook? A Facebook page for your business is no longer a fad or even a luxury. It’s a necessity.

7.  Not having a company page on LinkedIn

With over 100 million members, LinkedIn is the top business social networking site. Your LinkedIn company page gets listed in Google’s and LinkedIn’s search engines, allows clients to follow your company’s updates, and gives you a place to promote services and products. If you don’t have a company page on LinkedIn, you’re missing a lot of advantages.

8.  Not having a Google Places account

97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Not surprisingly, most of them use Google to conduct their search. Also not surprisingly, because Google owns Google Places, listings on Google Places get top billing on search engine results pages. Even if your business is national, a Google Places account will still list important details like business hours, years in business, payment methods and more.

9.  Not having a business blog

The proof is in the numbers: Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than companies that don’t blog. B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads, while B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads. Sure, blogging requires time and resources. But these numbers show that you can’t afford not to blog.

10. Not maintaining a system to manage business contacts

If you are your company’s only employee, an old-fashioned rolodex might work for you. But start to grow your business just a little bit, and clients will quickly start to fall through the cracks. To take advantage of every marketing and relationship-building opportunity, you need a system to manage your business contacts. Options include free, online tools like Google Calendar and Contacts, a basic Microsoft Outlook setup, or a more sophisticated CRM tool like ACT or Salesforce.

At the end of the day, maintaining a professional image is going to require a certain investment of time and resources. But it’s simply the cost of doing business these days. Avoid these 10 internet marketing mistakes, and you’ll be setting the foundation for bigger and better things to come.

By the way, Design & Promote can solve any or all of these 10 internet marketing goofs for you, just give us a call.

The rainy weather didn’t keep too many people away for the latest presentation in our Inbound Marketing Series,” The Power of a Press Release.”  Guest speaker Karen Dix of Big Ideas Writing, a Naperville freelance copywriting firm joined CEO of Design & Promote, Bruce Jones, to discuss the two types of press releases and how they can help a firm increase corporate awareness in the media.

At the event, two particular kinds of press releases were presented: SEO and traditional.

Press Release Seminar

Click To Download Our Presentation

SEO Releases  Design & Promote specializes in producing and distributing SEO press releases that strategically help their clients increase search engine rankings.  He explained how using effective keywords within the news releases can help companies be found more easily in the media. “After we help clients determine their most effective SEO keywords, we write them into the news releases about their companies, and then distribute the release to hundreds of online news sites,” said Bruce. “This gets their news widespread online coverage and helps gain backlinks to their site.  As a result, their rankings rise in the search engines and the company’s website begins to see more action.”

Bruce also talked about the advantages of distributing SEO releases electronically. “The information is immediately shareable for readers, and you can post it immediately on your social media too.”  He also talked about the importance of distributing an image that is correctly tagged for SEO purposes, and if available, a video, along with the release.

Traditional Releases   Karen Dix explained that traditional media includes the local print and broadcast news outlets and trade media. “The way to get attention for your press release within the traditional media is to target the content and build relationships,” said Karen Dix. “Local print, broadcast and trade media are always looking for content.  The key is to give them what they want.”   Dix also said that while traditional press releases must be written in basically the same format as SEO ones, keywords are less important but the news angle is more critical than ever. “The news angle must be tailored to their particular section and readers for them to use it,” she said.  Also, relationship building is critical. “Reach out to the media,” she said. “Many times they will send your release to the right person or tell you what they want to see instead.”

Although pursuing coverage in the traditional media is more time consuming, Dix said it has the advantage of providing a third-party endorsement for your news and yet another medium for your company’s message.  Also, most outlets publish their news online so these versions can be easily shared on social media as well.

Feel free to download a copy of the presentation or check out the press release we used to promote this event ourselves here.

With this showing up on over 120,000 sites we think it did pretty good.

seo-press-release-company-results2The next presentation in the Inbound Marketing series will be SEO 101 to be held on Thursday May 23rd 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Naperville Chamber Of Commerce Conference Room.

To reserve your seat for this free seminar, click here.

If the internet is an ocean, then advertisements are the shells. They are everywhere, virtually every website is trying to target a consumer in some way, so it can feel near impossible for companies to keep their advertisement afloat without getting lost in the waves of the countless other ads being bombarded at their audiences. No details should go overlooked; font size and fancy graphics will get you only so far, advertisers need to consider exactly when their audience is paying attention, or looking for that particular industry.

An infographic by LinchSpinSEO helps advertisers determine the days of the week certain industries are more likely to reach their target consumers via Facebook posts. The data collected over 1,800 of the world’s top brands user activity and mapped the days with the highest and lowest user engagement.

To learn more about what social media and online marketing can do for your company Contact us.

best-days-post-facebook-industry-infographic

Online Marketing

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