While digital marketing definitely has its merits many small business owners are hesitant to use it simply because of the time that they believe it takes to make it work. Many small business owners don’t believe they have the expertise as well but the fact is it isn’t necessary to have a big staff of marketing and Internet experts in order to take advantage of the wide variety of digital marketing opportunities available. In today’s blog were going to look at several ways that any small business can start benefiting from online marketing tools almost immediately. Enjoy.
Search engine behemoth Google has many online tools for small business owners and the majority are absolutely free. One of the first things you’ll want to do is have your business listed on Google Maps so that people in your community looking for services and products that you offer can easily find you. Even if you don’t have a website you can take advantage of this by listing your business and also adding important information like phone numbers, hours and your specialties. If you do have a website you can easily link to it and increase potential visitors to your site.
Take an hour or two once a week to see what your competition is doing. Do they have a website and, if so, do you find it well designed and helpful? Are they using social media and, if yes, which sites are they connected to? Try to set your bias aside and take an honest look at what they’re offering, what’s working and also what you think might just be wasteful. Take notes or use an Excel spreadsheet to find out what online tools and trends they’re following and, once you’ve determined what’s working best, copy their habits.
Based on the information that you find from the tip above, choose 1 social media website to start using and go about the task of familiarizing yourself with how it works and the tools it offers. While sites like Facebook and Twitter are very popular, there are many other social media websites these days that cater to niche markets and might offer better results depending on what you’re selling. If you are a clothing designer for example Pinterest would probably be a great place to start or, if you own a local Italian restaurant, following some food bloggers on Twitter could be quite helpful. Whichever site that you choose, take the time to learn how it works and put together a marketing strategy that you can use to take advantage of the tools that they offer.
If you don’t have a website it’s definitely time to get on board. The fact is that today it’s easier than ever to start your own website for very little monetary investment. One of the easiest is WordPress and it’s also, depending on the options that you want, absolutely free. Just like your social media website you’ll need to learn about all of the tools that your business website has to offer and, if you want to “monetize” your website, consider paying for a more costly but feature rich option. The information that you gleaned from checking out your competitors websites should help you get your own website started.
If you already have a website and it brings in sufficient new visitors and customers, consider having a mobile optimized website created that will allow people using their smartphones and tablets to surf your site easier when they’re using their mobile devices. Today’s consumer is using mobile devices to surf the World Wide Web more than PCs and laptops and thus having a website that’s mobile optimized can be very valuable.
These few bits of advice and tips should easily get you started and help you to market and brand your business for an extremely reasonable cost. The name of the game today is customer engagement and with the tools that we’ve given you hear you can start engaging with customers quickly and start building your brand as well as building an affinity for it in your community.