It comes as no surprise that local businesses are struggling to adequately manage their online presence. With hundreds of directories, review sites, and social media channels, it can seem impossible to manage it all on your own. Most small businesses are also firm believers that their budget is simply to small to run an online marketing campaign that would yield any worthwhile results. But honestly, this is almost never the case. If you're creative enough, you'll soon realize that there are hundreds of marketing strategies and techniques that have little to no associated cost, and thats what we're going to discuss in the following article.
Marketing Tip #1 - Speaking At Events & Seminars
A lot of people shy away from this one, and yes it is uncomfortable for most, maybe even a little bit scary. However, it can be one of the cheapest most effective forms of publicity for you and your business that you'll ever come across. You can use websites like www.meetup.com to find small events in your area for your desired niche, and simply get in touch with the organizers. They're usually happy to have you come and speak if you are at least semi-reputable. These groups struggle to get relevant presenters and subject matter for each meet up and are usually quite open to having outsiders come in to present. If you do a good job, you'll likely be invited to many more. You can then use these small events as leverage to work your way up to larger conferences and more lucrative events.
Marketing Tip #2 - Host your own events!
This one shares the same benefits as tip #1, however it gives you a lot more control and reputability as the lead organizer. You can invite various media outlets including local online blog editors to attend, offer them free gifts such as apparel or dinner vouchers, and many will be happy to attend. This will build brand awareness and authority in your space, and it is also a Wonderfull networking opportunity.
Marketing Tip #3 - Publish Online Content
Publishing your own content online via social media and blogs, will serve to build your online presence, boost your SEO, and also build your online reputation. Especially if you cater your content to service your niche, it will be a great resource to collect prospects emails via free newsletters and e-content such as e-books or webinars. Focus on providing as much value as possible to your target market, and you will definitely be rewarded for your efforts.
Marketing Tip #4 - Claim and/or Correct Online Business Listings
Online business listings are incredibly important for your businesses. If you're unfamiliar with the term, business listings are simply a place your business is listed online, usually this is a directory such as yellow pages or the BBB. They typically include your business name, address, phone number, operating hours etc. The problem is that many of these listings will list your business without you knowing, and in Canada alone there are over 30 authority listing directories. So how do you keep on top of them all? It's common to have many unclaimed listings for your business, with incorrect information that is seriously messing up your SEO and the ability for customers to find you online. Did you know that even Facebook can create a listing page for you business without you even knowing about it? Likewise with Google. So start by claiming the big 4; Google, Facebook, Yelp, & Yahoo. Make that your business has accurate listings across all three of these directories. Once you do that, you'll want to move onto the directories such as 411, Yellow pages, Bing Local, etc. There are bout 30 listing sites you need to locate, claim or create a listing, and accurately maintain over time. If you need help with this, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we can provide you with a free tool allowing you to view all of your online listings in one place.
Marketing Tip #5 - Manage your online reviews
Online reviews are perhaps the most important part of your businesses online reputation. Who visits a restaurant anymore without first doing a quick search on google, or yelp to checkout the reviews? If a place is missing reviews, or has a few to many negative ones, usually customers opt to go somewhere else. But on the flip side, if your business has lots of great reviews, your going to display high in local search, and people who have never heard of your business will instantly trust and likely visit you based on your reviews alone. But managing all of these reviews can be a difficult task. You'll need to make sure you have accounts on all of the top review sites including google, facebook, yellowpages, yelp, in addition to industry specific review sites like cars.com and urbanspoon.com for example. It's also important to implement a strategy that generates new reviews. This can be done by ensuring all new customers are automatically sent an email request to leave some feedback, and can do so easily by visiting your website. Suits Social offers an industry leading solution for automating the management and solicitation of your businesses online reviews. Visit our support centre to learn more about how our system works, or visit our reputation management page to learn more about what we do. We're happy to discuss further. Just email our team at email@example.com
In summary, to improve the visibility of your business and generate new clients, attend industry events, host your own events, publish online content, optimize your online business listings, and manage your online reviews. Hopefully these tips will help you create a successful 2017 filled with new clients and new revenue sources. Don't forget that you can contact our team anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always happy to talk marketing strategy. Cheers!