Struggling to cover the cost of your small business marketing plan? We’re all rich when it comes to a few brilliant ideas and Internet marketing.
So you’re a small business owner. Perhaps you’re a startup with nothing in the budget for a glitzy televised ad with a celebrity spokesperson. Thankfully for those in small business marketing, there’s another option.
Internet marketing is budget friendly and produces results, but that’s not to say it’s easy. You’ll need both time and a good idea of what you’re doing. Here are some pointers.
Get Your Shine On
Everyone loves a superstar – they are the stars that shine oh so bright. How can you become an online superstar? We’re so glad you asked.
Regardless of the nature of your merchandise or services, those in need will likely begin their quest with a search engine query. And let’s be blunt: Google, for all intents and purposes, is the only game in town. That means you’ll have to play by their rules. The best way to make this titan happy is to provide valuable, relevant content. (Check out WTF is Content Marketing for some amazing tips.)
If your specialty is cupcakes, for example, write a thoughtful and entertaining blog on the subject, complete with appropriate keywords. And once the sentry that is the search engine lets you past the online gate, potential customers who share your passion for pastries will feel similarly rewarded with your musings on sugary confections.
Ideally, your content will position you as an authority in your field and be worthwhile enough a read to keep people coming back. Be sure to update your posts frequently.
Give the People What They Want
If you’ve played your cards right, at this point you should have amassed a gaggle of loyal followers. Don’t stop there – you’ve piqued the interest of folks who are virtually lining up at your door. Now make it worth their time by offering them coupons or exclusive member discounts that encourage them to close the sale.
They surely wouldn’t mind getting such a thing in return for providing their email addresses; you can then use these to send out further offers and ads to bring in repeat business.
Stay in the Mix
So you’re sharing valuable content and have built a sizable community of fans. Good job, but you’re not done yet. You’d be remiss not to take advantage of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and various others.
In keeping with our baked goods analogy, absolute cupcake junkies will very likely congregate on a Facebook group devoted to the topic. You’ll need to be seen here. And of course, the best part of the social media experience for marketers is its viral nature.
If one person with a sweet tooth “likes” your establishment, you can be sure others on the network will follow suit. Post links to your blog entries here as well, in hopes of getting shared and offer the same sort of exclusive discounts to your fans as those on your email list.
I see it all of the time – as soon as a starving artist gets that big check, he goes out and buys a steak dinner and stops “being hungry.” You’ve got to keep that same passion and continue to grind and work hard. Take advantage of the opportunity to market your small business on the Internet and stay hungry.
It’s called the “World Wide Web” for a reason – it’s a gigantic virtual planet of information unto itself. There are millions of ways to make use of it in your small business marketing endeavor. But unless you don’t mind being branded a spammer, Google pariah, or even worse, it’s best to stick to the points above.
What’s the Word: Satisfying the appetites of search engines provides you with the avenue to fulfill the needs of future customers, which in turns gets your foot in the door with their social networking peers. Keep it up, and people might wind up Googling you with the keywords “cupcake millionaire.”