When marketing your small business, it is important to be innovative to set yourself apart from the crowd, but it is also important to rely on time-tested techniques that have a proven track record of success. Your goal should be to have the foundation in place to do the heavy lifting in your marketing plan and then supplement it with the creative and innovative ideas that will give your plan a push over the top.
These are the basics that should be the foundation of every successful online marketing plan.
- A killer website. Now this may surprise you, but the best websites do not always have the fanciest web design. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars on designing a website. Functionality and usability are the keys to success here. The best websites are focused and have great navigation. They have a clear message or call to action.
- A solid site promotion plan. One big misconception is that promoting a website online takes a great deal of money. This is not the case if you understand how to get the search engines to promote your site for you. Investing in an SEO expert will save you thousands of dollars in advertising expenses. When your site is optmised and you have a plan in place to get inbound links to your domain name it is not necessary to do a big paid advertising campaign.
- Content marketing. Since the internet is made up of 100% content, it makes sense that the more content you can provide, the more marketing opportunities you have. The largest portion of your marketing strategy should include publishing articles and syndicating your blog content. Yes, a blog is a very key component in successfully promoting your business. Every blog post or article published is another means of drawing in new business.
- Social networking. This is a relatively new marketing medium but just because it is new do not discount it as a fad. Your customers are heavily engaged in social networks and therefore it is critical that your business do so as well. After all, isn’t marketing all about being where your customer can see you?
- Capturing leads. Having an email list of existing and potential customers is like having a bank at your fingertips. Whenever you want to add funds to your cash flow, you just send out an email to your list. If you do not have a system in place to encourage your website visitors to add their email to your list, you are missing a great opportunity for increased revenue. Many people will visit your website but, for whatever reason, may not be ready to purchase right then and there. They may intend to come back later, but few actually do. By capturing the lead, you are able to close that sale in the future.
Those 5 elements make up the basics of creating a web presence for your business. They are the time-tested techniques that are used by every successful business online. If you want to expand your reach online or create a local brand for your business, you simply must implement these methods. Once those are firmly established, you can then concentrate on the creative side to make your business stand out.