Getting online customers to your website is one of the most important ingredients for growing your business, and when it comes to search engines, Google has the vast majority of the market share. If customers don’t know about you or can’t find a convenient way to reach you through the Web, selling your product or service becomes that much harder.
Google+ (Google Plus) is one of the fastest growing social networking sites available in today’s market. While it pales in comparison to the vastness of Facebook, Google+ is tightly tied to the Google search engine. Google+ has ‘+1’ votes, similar to Facebook’s Likes. Those votes let Google know that what you’re sharing is being read. Google+ profiles and pages can have a significant impact on search rankings.
Google+ separates itself from other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter by offering increased SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Posts are crawled and indexed almost immediately, resulting in a greater likelihood of your page appearing at the top of Google search results when a potential customer begins researching a product or service.
“You have to be where your customers are.”
That phrase used to mean making sure you had a store in high traffic areas such as malls, or placing your billboard strategically close to a major highway. It meant advertising during popular TV shows and in high profile magazines. In the 21st century, your website is your store, your TV advertisement, your billboard and your magazine ad all rolled into one. Being where your customers are now often means being online (but don’t discount offline strategies too). Increasingly, they’re wherever their Smartphone or tablet is.
StatCounter, a Dublin-based web analytics company, reported that in December of 2013, the amount of worldwide Internet traffic from mobile users topped 20 percent for the first time. As the capacities of mobile devices continue to expand, that number will likely increase.
As online usage habits change, many companies are lagging behind in making their sites mobile friendly, much to the annoyance of Smartphone and tablet users.
With the sheer variety of resources available online are many ways to get the word out about your product or service. Your official website, though a critical part of your online marketing strategy, is just one of many. Social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn, have become an increasing part of modern life. Smart entrepreneurs adapt.
According to Facebook internal estimates, the number of pages for small and medium sized businesses is close to 25 million. And there are over 750 million Facebook users daily.
With such a large environment, businesses have found that their sites and posts tend to get lost in the newsfeeds that users see. Since Facebook is a forum for people to share bits of their daily lives, the decorum tends to be a bit more informal. The professional appearance that companies use on official websites doesn’t always translate well into Facebook.
Many experts on social media recommend a more personal approach for a Facebook page. Rather than telling potential followers about what a great company you started, tell them the hardships you went through trying to found it, and why you did. Instead of posting about your company’s great relationship with the community, post a story about a community event you or one of your employees participated in. Celebrating company moments can help potential customers feel like they’re dealing with real people, not a company logo.
Your new product is about to launch. You’ve done the research. You know the market. You know your customers. You’re ready to begin the online marketing campaign to drive customers in. Where exactly do you start?
Greg Head, Chief Marketing Officer of Infusionsoft recommends you start first with a positioning statement. This document is a detailed description of your potential market as well as an engaging picture of how you want potential customers to perceive your new brand. It’s an internal tool, rather than a set of promotional materials. It’s a roadmap for your marketing efforts, helping you keep your focus once the chaos of a marketing campaign starts.
The basic template for a positioning statement looks like this:
For (target customers), (company) is the leading (category) that provides (unique benefit). Unlike (competitors), (company) does (unique differentiator).
It’s important to remember that the positioning statement isn’t a tagline, it’s a strategy. All marketing efforts must be aligned around that strategy.
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Organize all customers and prospects with CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
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Forget old-school, dried up advertising methods!
Andrew Davis, best-selling author and former television producer, believes he has a better way for you to spend your advertising or marketing budget.
His idea is quite simple: create great content and engage your audience. Then use that content to leverage sales. Content brands build relationships. Relationships build trust. Trust drives revenue. It’s an approach Sesame Street and Walt Disney have used for years to drive millions in product sales, and Andrew believes it can work for small businesses too.
He has a five-step approach that’s already producing some great results for small online businesses.
How does your quality of life impact your business?
What Drives You?
In an increasingly busy and chaotic world, stability has become a precious commodity. How do you find stability in a market that can change in the blink of an eye where the skills you learn are obsolete as soon as you’ve mastered them?
Pam Slim, award-winning author, business coach and creator of the blog Escape from Cubicle Nation believes she has some of the answers.
Your body of work extends far beyond your resume, she says. You are everything you do in life. For an individual, your body of work is everything you create, contribute, affect or impact. It is the story of your life and everyone you’ve interacted with along the way. For a company, it is everything they have contributed during their history, whether it is their products, services, idea or values.
In a competitive market, sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference between merely satisfying a customer’s needs and thrilling them so much that they’re bragging to their friends about your products. In other words, you want them to say: “Wow!”
According to Scott Martineau, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Infusionsoft and author of Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Small Business without Growing Crazy, there are four steps to wowing your customers.
Step 1 - Create a culture of Wow! Customer service starts at ground zero. You need to talk about it from day one. You need to emphasize and teach it to your employees at every opportunity, and when you’re evaluating new employees, you should look for people who love to serve. Wherever possible add incentives for employees to go above and beyond. In a crowded field of competing companies, people will remember the small, personal touches far more than they will another advertising campaign.