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.

Lessons From Iowa for Small Business Owners

Perceptions

We have just witnessed the battles for dominance of the Republican and Democratic mindset at the Iowa Caucus. The Iowa Caucus is not just another Caucus. It is considered to be of tremendous significance in helping to determine the ultimate outcome of candidates challenging for the Presidency of the United States. Hence, its’ importance and why the eyes of the political classes, the media circus and the faithful followers attach such significance to the result.

Influence

What has that got to do with Small Business? It has a fair deal of built-in lessons for anyone and everyone interested in the multi-million world of advertising and marketing. It presents opportunity to analyse what Branding, Marketing, Competition, Positioning is all about. It is presents incisive insights to the influence of the media and a glimpse, at least, at what forces and agendas are leading or behind the drive to influence, in the case of Iowa, the minds of the voting public.

Communication

The identical tools, tactics and strategies are at play in influencing how we chose our services and products in the market place. Additionally, now, we have the increasing use of technology, TV., Cinema, Smartphone, Cyberspace, all additional and speedier methods of conveying powerful messages, incessantly invading and distracting our mental space.

Our conversations are dominated by accounts of what we have just seen or heard on the Internet, through Social Media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and, of course, Radio and Television.

Conditioning

Messages, messages, messages – constant, incessant, injections of ideas and thoughts into our brain-cells – subtly insinuating how best we ought to respond in order to be ahead of our contemporaries in whatever way we feel a need to compete. Even the urge to compete is built into the process – offering a, “Call to Action”. These are scientifically and specifically structured so as to trigger a psychological and, or emotional response from the targeted public. We are being conditioned to respond in a given way and, frequently, within a time specific frame-work so as to add urgency to our response.

Return on Investment

The point about the Iowa Caucus is that, in spite of the millions of dollars invested by the leading candidates on both sides, the message did not land in the way it was meant to land. in the minds of the targeted audience and, consequently the multi-million-dollar investment in preparing and delivering the message did not yield the anticipated result.

Lessons for Small Business

The lesson for Small Business Owners is relatively easy to absorb. It is critically important to have a clear sense of what unique, distinguishable value you wish to offer to your potential followers. In the case of business, we normally refer to leads, prospects, customers or clients. What product or service is your business offering and what makes it different from the competition? General, sweeping, platitudes describing your service or offer will not necessarily penetrate sufficiently to generate the particular response you need. It requires careful thought and consideration in the preparation, presentation and delivery of your message in order to ensure that it is directed at the particular, rather than the general, target audience from which you wish to generate a response; it must contain something of unique and distinguishable value. Finally, your message must have something of importance to say. You must say it well and say it often.

If you are engaging someone or agency to assist you in constructing, presenting or delivering your message, you will be more assured of a good return on your investment if you ensure they understand what it is you wish to convey and possess the requisite knowledge, understanding, skill and capacity to prepare and present it so as to obtain optimum benefit.

Leading Small Business Opportunity Laptop Ideas

There is a host of leading small business opportunity ideas that are capable of taking full advantage of laptop technology, combining to give an entrepreneur a clear edge over even much larger competitors.

Many of the best ideas revolve around the fact that a good laptop further enhances the advantage brought about by the World Wide Web where geographical boundaries and great distances are virtually wiped out. This has opened up excellent opportunities for many a small business owner to compete against leading colossal enterprises with deep pockets and virtually unlimited resources and to end up beating them at their own game.

The widely coined term “small is beautiful” has taken on a whole new meaning where small business is concerned as many smart entrepreneurs have grabbed the vast opportunities and doors that have been swung wide open by leading edge state of the art laptop computer technology.

The really exciting thing is that these ideas apply to virtually every small business industry or area that one can care to think of. This allows any smart, ambitious small business entrepreneur to take on a leading role in their respective industry or trade with the help of little else other than a good laptop computer.

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.