Local Business Online Marketing Ideas
Everyone knows the Internet is the future and the future is here now. If you’re local business is not online then you’re setting your business up for certain failure. Sure you can use traditional methods to gain new prospects but those can be costly and time consuming. The Internet allows small local businesses to level the playing field.
Now you can compete with fortune 500 companies for those consumer dollars and it’s easier than you think. You may be thinking “sure I’ve heard that before” but how do I get started? Well, that’s what this article is about. I’m going to share with you some simple techniques any small business owner can implement to start getting new business from the internet.
Ok, so before you start freaking out just take a deep breath and relax, these techniques are simple and if you follow the steps as outlined you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your completion. Most traditional businesses don’t even know how to do what I’m about to share with you and if you do just half of these things I promise you will be way ahead of the competition.
So, are you ready to get started with your local business online? Lets Go!
If you have a local business the one thing you want to start doing is letting people know you exist. These days everyone goes online to look for the products or services they need, and if you position yourself right they’ll find you. One way to insure they do is by creating an account with Google Local- Google Local is the Internets equivalent of the Yellow Pages, but instead of a printed directory it’s online.
This is great because all people have to do is enter a search term for what they’re looking for and the directory spits out the results. What we want to do here is make sure your local business is the one that shows up when that someone searches for a specific product or service. This makes it quite easy for consumers to find you. Just make sure when you create your listing you use keywords you would use if you were looking for your type of business.
Now if you don’t have a website yet, I suggest you get one or consider creating a blog instead. A blog is an online publishing platform which is easy to use and customize. These CMS or contact management systems allow you to keep your customers up to date on current trends in your industry, upcoming local events or any sales you may be having. If you don’t have a blog you can get a free one on blogger.com.
After you setup your new online presence you can start publishing articles and updates for your current and new customers making sure to use relevant internet copy writing techniques. It’s very important you also start to build a list of email addresses from them so you can send out specials you may be having or to just keep them informed about your business.
It’s good practice to always keep your company on their minds so you can get repeat business from them. In order to help you manage these emails I suggest you setup an autoresponder account with Aweber.com. “What’s an auto responder you ask?” It’s an online email system where you will be able to store the emails you will collect from your online visitors. You can use this system to send out your offers on a weekly or monthly basis. The beauty of this is that once you have loaded the autoresponder with messages it will do this for you automatically.
Twitter is another great way to keep your customers up to date on all your current activities and to send new prospects to your website or blog. The way this works is really quite easy and it’s free to setup an account. Remember we want to always keep our business on our customer’s mind and Twitter is a great way to do this for your local business online.
I’m sure just from watching the local news you’ve heard of the impact Social Media has made in our society. These days if you’re not on FaceBook you’ve fallen behind on the times. Facebook memberships are literally the size of a country so take advantage of this in your business.
What’s nice about this technique is you can literally build a huge following of people interested in your particular product or service and then creating long term relationships and continued sales for years to come.
1. Create a FaceBook Page – If FaceBook were a country, it would be the 5th largest country on the planet! It’s where the crowds are. Will they find YOU? FaceBook Pages are profiles for things other than people, like companies, bands and non-profits. They combine the details of a personal profile with interactive features and a marketing scheme.
2. Make a YouTube video about your business – Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? It gets 20 million viewers a month! That’s a lot of eyeballs! Gets your business in front of them with an engaging video telling your story. No professional video equipment necessary – a handheld Flip camcorder will do the job.
3. Use Google Alerts to stay ahead of the curve – Google Alerts is a great way to find articles and news items relevant to your business. Keep up with what’s going on in your industry with daily emails right to your inbox. Your customers will appreciate the effort – and they’ll begin to see you as an important information source.
4. Create an RSS feed for your blog – RSS stands for “really simple syndication”. It allows you to update all of your customers automatically each time you post to your blog, and it allows your customers to receive your new blog posts without having to actually visit your blog. Instead, your updates are sent to their email inbox or RSS feed reader.
5. Create a Google Adwords campaign – With Google Adwords, you can advertise to people searching on Google quickly and easily. This advertising model is called “pay per click” advertising because you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. It’s also called performance based advertising as it replaces the old “pay and pray” method. Your ads will appear when someone enters one of your keywords into Google. You can control where your ads appear (geographic location) and how much you’ll pay for each click.
6. FaceBook Social Ads – FaceBook has its own pay per click advertising model called social ads. The interesting thing about these ads is that you can target a very specific demographic. For example, a local Tshirt shop might target their ads to 18-25 year old girls interested in the “Twilight” movie.
The most important thing to remember when starting out online is to take it one task at a time. It can all seem overwhelming at first, but tackle just one thing at a time and soon you’ll see concrete results – more customers!
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