I recently read an article that I believe will be helpful to my readers. Below I share excerpts from this article. I found this information helpful and hope it assists in jump-starting your path to success.
8 Expert Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses, author Jennifer Lonoff Schiff
…But deciding on a marketing method, particularly when you are a small or even a mid-sized business with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult. While social media marketing is generally free, it can be time-consuming; and the same goes for blogging. But traditional print advertising, as well as digital advertising, can be expensive.
So which marketing channels are best for SMBs? Dozens of small business owners and marketing professionals share the following list of top marketing strategies for SMBs.
1. Blog. “One of the best marketing strategies for a small business is blogging,” says Maren Hogan, chief marketing brain at Red Branch Media.
“By providing your prospects and clients with informative, non-salesy content that you can house on your blog, promote socially and offer to other networks to supplement their strategy, you and your team can quickly establish yourselves as experts in a desired field,” Hogan says.
It can also positively impact your SEO. Business owners and managers should also consider guest blogging.
2. Leverage social media. “If your small business isn’t using social media, it’s time to start,” says Mike Volpe, CMO, HubSpot, which specializes in inbound marketing. “Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing or direct mail.”
Because social media can be (or seem) overwhelming, “choose one social media platform that your customers, prospects, and industry leaders engage with the most — be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ — and start building a presence there,” Volpe says. “Once you’ve set up an account, start connecting sharing your original content, joining discussions and engaging with the community. Keep your social efforts frequent, but above all, relevant and helpful to your audience.”
3. Create a Facebook business page and use Facebook advertising. “Facebook is one of the most important marketing tools for any business to use, especially a small business,” says Tori Hoffman, the social media strategist at Potratz, an automotive advertising agency.
“Americans spend one out of every seven minutes on social media, providing a huge opportunity for small business owners to build a relationship with fans by sharing relevant content and interacting by commenting and liking fans’ comments,” Hoffman says. “The more a user interacts with a page, the more likely their friends are to see it, increasing awareness.”
Also consider Facebook advertising.
4. Post to Pinterest and Instagram. If you are selling a highly visual product or service, say you are in the bridal or food business, you should be regularly posting images on Pinterest and/or Instagram. Posting is free and both platforms have large followings, particularly among women.
“You can drive major traffic to your website via Pinterest, and no platform uses hashtags to build audiences like Instagram,” says Eric Elkins, CEO and chief strategist at WideFoc.us, a real time social media company.
5. Leverage email marketing and email reminders. “Email marketing is great for engaging customers, but you’re really limiting its potential if you keep it in a silo,” says Ron Cates, director, Digital Marketing Education, Constant Contact. So be sure to integrate your email marketing campaigns “with your other marketing campaigns for maximum impact,” and vice versa, he says. For example, “if you’re running a Facebook contest, increase the number of people participating by notifying your email subscriber list of engaged customers,” he says. “If you’re running a time-limited deal or special offer, send a reminder via email.
6. Try PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising/Google AdWords. “SMBs need to be as targeted with their marketing efforts and dollars as possible, especially if their product/service is location specific — and PPC ads are one way to do so,” says David Waterman, account director, Digital Marketing, The Search Agency, a search marketing and optimization firm.
7. Conduct webinars. “Use webinars to build your list and generate leads,” says Nicole Skuba, a partner at marketing firm Blue Tree Digital. “Webcast experts say some webinars see a 70 percent rebound effect comprising those who viewed the live broadcast as well as new individuals,” she says. “Webinars are also more interactive and keep the attention of leads or potential clients.”
Just make sure your webinar is content rich, with relevant content (that is content relevant to the target audience), well organized and hosted by someone with experience conducting or running a webinar.
8. Don’t forget about press releases. “Competition for visibility is intense,” says Abby Hammer, product manager, Vocus, which owns PR Web. “Press releases help small and midsized businesses amplify their content across hundreds of global and local channels, allowing them to achieve the same exposure as much larger brands,” she says.
“By including press releases as part of an integrated marketing strategy, small businesses are able to get their content directly in front of consumers and connect with journalists and bloggers — interactions that can result in lasting impressions,” Hammer says.
In addition, the cost of posting a press release via a wire service is relatively inexpensive, typically $200 to $300, with releases being picked up by the major search engines and thousands of websites. And small businesses have a number of wire services to choose from, including PR Newswire and PR Web”.
My suggestion is that you review the above tips and determine/select one as your beginning point. Do your due diligence research on the selected approach. Then add it to your marketing toolkit. Start small. Evaluate, modify and re-evaluate as often as needed. Wishing you a successful and profitable 2017.