Why Should Small Businesses Consider Internet Marketing to Promote Their Businesses?

More than medium and large businesses, whose products or services are already known to people, small businesses should take help of marketing – to bring in more new customers and ultimately to survive and sustain. But cash-strapped small businesses cannot afford to invest in traditional marketing channels like television, radio and print, which are very expensive.

If you are one of those small business owners, you need a tested, tried, result oriented, and affordable marketing channel that can provide quick and long-term results. Internet marketing can be considered as one such channel that can help you.

Wide variety of marketing tools
Be it a long-term or a short-term strategy or a limited budget or an extended budget strategy, Internet marketing has many tools that can match with your requirements. The wide variety of tools provided by the Internet marketing makes it an obvious choice for small businesses. Some of the Internet marketing tools you can use are:
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Pay Per Click (PPC)
• Local site submission
• Link building
• Display advertisements
• E-mail marketing
• Content marketing

Wider reach provides better awareness
Even if you are the best product/service provider in the industry, if you are not able to reach your target audience, you will lose many potential leads. Lack of proper marketing channels deprives you of your due recognition. Hence, the purpose of marketing to generate leads and sales starts with creating awareness about your business. Awareness is the key to increase the customer base. The wider is your reach, the greater is the possibility of getting recognized and increasing your customer base.

The Internet acts as a global platform for marketing your businesses, thus ensures that you do not miss any of your potential customers from your locality or any part of the world.

Flexible to be customized as per your budget and marketing needs
Small businesses, rarely concentrate on enhancing their marketing strategies due to the budget constraints. Moreover, marketing is a continuous process, which needs to be modified on a regular basis depending on the industry trends and ROI. Interestingly, all the Internet marketing tools are less expensive, yet they are highly effective. They are also flexible enough to be changed as per the budget set, industry trends, competitors’ strategies, and customer preferences and business’ objectives.

For instance, a small business can opt for
• PPC, when it wants to generate quick sales in a limited budget, or to compete with the competitors on a specific keyword
• SEO, for long term results within a medium budget
• Display advertising, when having a good amount of budget and want to attract more customers
• Local SEO, when targeting local customers and competing with local businesses
• Website development, to get a new functional design for the website so as to engage customers and to make it look better than that of competitors’ website

Internet marketing strategies can also be periodic (can be adopted when you have need or budget).

Best way to reach targeted and local market
While traditional marketing strategies are highly generalized, Internet marketing strategies are highly specific. You can design a marketing plan so as to target your audience based on their demographics, income levels, geographies, gender, tastes, etc. This way you can increase the sales of your products or services as they are more likely to catch the attention of right people who are in need of your product.

Good returns on investment
Internet marketing strategies are characterized by their ability to reach the potential customers, to serve the business’s objective of generating leads, sales, etc., and to create brand awareness – all which leads to good returns on investment. It also facilitates direct and instant feedback from the customers which allows you to make your business more customer-friendly. Thus, we can conclude that Internet marketing is highly profitable for a small business. IM strategies are measurable and can be modified so as to maximize the returns and minimize the losses.

Internet marketing strategies are comprehensive – while they narrow down your marketing plan to a specific targeted group, they broaden your business prospects by interconnecting various interactive marketing strategies, thus, maximizing the marketing impact on the business.

Internet Marketing for Small Business – 6 Powerful Tips To Gain A Formidable Online Presence

My name is Hans Storrie, I’m an Internet marketing consultant for small business, and I’d like to share with you 6 excellent tips and reasons why, if you haven’t done so already, you should be taking full advantage of the available tools and professional help get your business seen by more potential customers, hence gaining more sales and most-importantly, increase your bottom line profits while slashing your current advertising costs.

1: If you’re business provides a ‘business-to-business’ or ‘business-to-consumer’ local service, you must have a well-optimized Google Places listing that shows up on the first page of Google for you main keyword phrase. Why? If you don’t, your competitors will and it will take you much longer to outrank them.

2: A top Google Places listing is enhanced by a business website. Businesses that do not have a website and are currently showing on the first page of Google, you’re lucky but be warned! It’s only a matter of time before your listing will drop away to allow a competitor’s fully-optimized listing to follow in your footsteps. With more business websites being built using WordPress, there’s no reason for any small business not to start building their own piece of online real-estate, especially when WordPress is FREE, easy to use, and very much Google-friendly!

3: One of the biggest reasons that so many small businesses fail to get the traffic and online exposure they deserve, is the fact that they’re targeting the wrong keyword phrases. Search Google for their Free Keyword Tool then enter the main keyword phrase you think potential customers are using to find your business. You’ll get some astonishing facts along with instant data that shows you the competitiveness of any keyword phrase, the amount of times that your keyword phrase is searched for in any given month, plus a whole host of other relevant data. If you’re just starting to build your online campaign, this is definitely the place to start!

4: Once you have a list of targeted keyword phrases, you can then start optimizing your web pages accordingly with the proper meta tags, title and description tags, navigation structure, inner-page linking, a solid on-going back-linking campaign sprinkled with a splash of social media interaction, and you have the perfect recipe to give your business the best chance of success over any competitor.

5: Your own business website may be pretty to you, with nice images and lots of stuff about YOU, YOU, YOU! But if your website hasn’t a clear PURPOSE with a clear ‘Call-to-Action’, your visitors will simply leave without ever buy anything from you!

If you want people to call you, TELL THEM! If you want people to give you their name and email address… ASK THEM! Offer them a friendly bribe like a free report, a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly newsletter, Free Tips, a Free chapter of your latest book, a discount voucher or coupon or whatever the case may be.

Doing so will put you in a better position to follow up with your visitors on a regular basis, start building trust, business relationships and eventually making much-needed sales. You didn’t marry your spouse on the first date did you? The same principles apply to your business!

6: Follow-up regularly with quality content. You’re subscribers can soon forget the reason they initially requested your freebie unless you maintain an ongoing relationship with them. Sometimes it can be difficult to write a newsletter, articles or good content on a regular basis, but this doesn’t mean you have to stop following up.

There are several things you can do to continue sending your list stuff they’ll appreciate, and one of them is breaking down your product or service into small benefit-ridden tips and loading them into an autoresponder, how?

Let’s say your business is an accountancy practice and the main purpose of your website is to attract new clients, do you think you could easily put together 26 quick tips about ‘accountancy for small businesses’? Of course you could. Sending 1 good tip to your subscribers every week means you’re providing valuable and appreciative content for 6 full months.

The best thing too, once it’s set up, your business could be attracting valuable new clients on a regular basis, without you lifting another finger or paying elsewhere for expensive leads.

A good autoresponder service will cost you around 13.00GBP per month, and well worth every penny of this small ‘lead-generation’ investment.

Why Internet Marketing for Small Business Can Provide Longevity to Your Online Efforts

Having your own Internet marketing consultant on board when taking your business online may very well cost you initial monthly fees for 3, 6, or 12 months, or depending on the competitiveness of your market, but the return on investment can be much greater and can save you many months, if not years of learning.

Improving Business Leads – How to Be More Interesting and Engaging

While business networking and business leads are all about “business” there’s still something very personal and human about the process of networking. At the heart of it is human engagement. If you introduce a boring, drab and dull person into a networking event they’re not likely to garner the same business leads as someone with a lot more charisma and social finesse. Want to be more interesting? It takes more than just a few tricks – It’s very much a subjective issue as to what is “more interesting” but there are some things you can do to make yourself more engaging.

When you think about “being interesting” it’s about generating interest; giving people a reason to engage with you and stay connected once the networking is completed. Business leads and referrals then come later because people remember you based on your interests and how your personality resonated. It starts with knowledge

Improving Business Leads through Knowledge Acquisition

You can greatly increasing how interesting people perceive you to be by boosting your level of knowledge about interesting subjects. Mind you, this is not necessarily what’s interesting to you but what’s interesting to people overall. Again, this is subjective but a little research shows you some of the things that people are typically passionate about. Likewise, subjects that are specialized and not general knowledge are a good pick – underwater cave diving would stand out more than a specialists view of football.

Improving Business Leads with an Interesting Entrepreneurial Spirit

It’s consistent that most interesting people are those that have an interesting line of work. This makes other gravitate toward their specialty and want to learn more. The surgeon who specializes in a very unique heart procedure for saving children has a more interest career than the guy running a grocery store. Since we can’t all be groundbreaking pediatric cardiac surgeons you have to look elsewhere. Start something unique, do something crazy and build a brand that brings awareness and light on you. If that light can shine on those around you that’s even better because people will want a cut of your light.

Improving Business Leads – Be a Raconteur

A raconteur is someone that is highly skilled in the art of storytelling. From the time we’re crawling on the floor to the final resting place we all love a good story. Too many conversations are filled with small talk and verbal auto fellatio. If you want to increase your interest and engagement then learn to turn a conversation into a story. What elements interest people the most in a good story? Danger, Money, business, ego, psychology, social failure and of course… sex.

Improving Business Leads with Better Social Style

When you’re out there networking to build business leads, you have to remember that communication is all about style and presence. Interest is always about how you’re perceived, and style can help you fake it while you prepare to take it to the next level. Your communication style encompasses tone, speaking pace, ability to listen, mirroring conversation partners and overall presentation.

There’s no rocket science or magic formula behind being an interesting person. For many people it comes natural and for others they will need to work at it and build up their “skill”. Either way, if you present yourself properly you’ll improve your engagement and business lead acquisition at any business networking event.

Why Branding Is Important for Small Businesses

Often small businesses fall into two traps around branding – that they can’t manage it because they are small and that it is primarily about products anyway. While branding does feature the products or services that a business offers, this is only a small part of it. And branding is something that can benefit businesses of all sizes as well as being accessible to everyone. Here are a few reasons to seriously consider working on your company branding.

What is Branding?

Branding is about creating a unique identity for your business that means even when you sell the same products or services as someone else, you can stand out from the crowd and attract customer attention. Small business branding can often be seen as difficult to do as you can’t compete with the big company in terms of resources or manpower. And while this might be the case with resources, it doesn’t mean your branding can’t work for you just as well as theirs.

People relate better to companies that have strong branding and an identity. They vote for which branding works for them with their shop visits, clicks or purchases. By having strong, cohesive branding, your company can be the one that they notice, feel a connection with and therefore purchase from. It can also create brand loyalty and those crucial returning customers.

Recognition Leads to Trust

One thing studies have shown is that recognition of a brand builds trust and people are more likely to buy from a company if they feel they can trust them. Therefore, trust and reputation are key to business success and branding plays a big part in this.

By having that strong, identifiable brand, even the smallest company can begin to build trust with customers. This leads to customer loyalty – 48% of customers say they are more likely to become loyal to the brand during their first experience or purchase with them.

There are lots of ways to create that brand to build trust with everything from catchy slogans and memorable names to attractive and eye-catching colour schemes being used. But the most effective brands combine something of everything. They work on the principle that we retain only around one-tenth of the information that we see when we read something.

But if you include visuals with that information, this rate of retention rises up to almost two thirds. Therefore, having that catchy slogan paired with great graphics, a clear colour palette, brand voice and other elements means you have a better chance of people remembering what you do. That’s why visuals are so popular on social media and almost three-quarters of marketers use them ahead of even video.

Brand Reputation

As you attract attention for your brand and build trust, then you start to create a reputation, be it online or in the physical world. Reputation is crucial for business – it covers everything from customer interactions, product standard, feedback and even how you reward your customers.

That strong, positive reputation can even convince people to buy. 91% of shoppers asked in one study said they were more likely to buy from a brand that they viewed as ‘authentic’ than one that they didn’t. So building that brand reputation can gain you customers in a big way.

Using marketing teams to manage your reputation may seem like something that a small company cannot manage but this isn’t the case. By having external experts who take on tasks such as checking customer feedback, managing social media and creating the right content, you can quickly build and enhance your business reputation.

Making Sales

A strong brand increases the number of leads that you will generate and this, in turn, means making more sales. However, you need to maintain your reputation and standards when generating these leads or the work done by the brand can vanish. Response times, voice and even the actual content you use to handle leads all needs to be consistent with the brand.

Following through on your promises also helps build that reputation. Have a clear customer process with times outlined so customers know what to expect and make sure you follow it – that way people are impressed with what you do and more likely to tell others.

Business Growth

That strong, cohesive brand is crucial for other areas of the business growth. Staff morale, for example, can be a problem. If staff are demotivated, don’t know what the company stands for or feel unimportant, then this can lead to bad customer service. This damages the brand.

So by having a clear brand that employees can get behind, you can offer a better service to your customers. Staff feel proud to talk about what the company does or the services that it offers. And they learn to talk with the brand’s voice, ensuring all of their communications with customers offers consistency. This makes the company seem more friendly and approachable and this is another reason that customers become loyal to the brand.

Branding also stands out to potential investors in the business. According to a study by Reuters, some 82% of investors said that the strength of a company’s brand and name recognition were important factors in a decision to get involved with a business.
What this shows is that from all aspects of the business, branding is crucial. You need to have a presence that is recognisable from your social media profiles and website through to your physical store if you have one. The brand rules how you talk to customers and ensures staff can believe in it.

There are lots of ways that branding can help with business growth and success. This means that having a strong brand and optimised strategy to use it is vital to the long-term success and profitability of your company.