How To Make The Most Of Your Small Business Online Marketing Activities

Internet stands out for its speed and effectiveness. As online marketers we have to synchronize with this speed and deliver effective marketing content in the least amount of time and gain maximum mileage. Of course, we should run on a long-term-plan track, but sometimes quickness is needed to achieve business growth spurts. Let’s take a look at how this can be done effectively.

Having a detailed plan

Having a detailed online marketing plan with clear objectives and goals is a great way to start. This keeps things tight and also avoids deviations which marketers may easily fall for in the course of execution, consuming more time. Working within a detailed framework helps to keep it directed towards the goals and also helps in decision making when encountered with multiple marketing options or deviations. So make a written marketing document and then start the action, this is surely a great way to save time and get more results.

“40% of small businesses surveyed by Marchex cite not having enough time as their largest marketing challenge.”

Engage savvy resources

Online marketing is a professional’s job and attempting to do it on your own is a mere waste of time with low effectiveness. So the key is to keep it simple by engaging online savvy marketers or by outsourcing the job to experienced professionals. Their experience will not only help you in getting things done faster, but also give you the ability to try and test the latest techniques of online marketing with ease.

Focus on exclusive areas and goals

This is as simple as it sounds. First define your immediate and long term objectives and then focus on those exclusive goals or targets, this makes the whole process easy and less time consuming. For example if your objective is to generate leads, then all your efforts, tools and channels used should lead to that objective and shouldn’t deviate from it. What small businesses need to do is: concentrate on lead generation, manage their online presence and invest in relationship marketing to start with.

“According to small businesses surveyed by Marchex, the top three things they care about are getting leads (27%), keeping existing customers (29%), and communicating with existing customers (23%).”

Choose and use effective channels

Internet is a colossal mix of tools, channels, information and lots of other stuff. And being smart in choosing the right information and channel which can carry your marketing message to the intended prospects is the key. For example, use YouTube for visual ads and SEO, use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word, place your online ads only on websites which has most of your prospects clicking, anticipate whether a blog can do better than a site and so on.

“Search engine marketing, social media marketing and email marketing topped the list of most effective channels for marketing in a survey conducted in US.”

-Source MerchantCircle, Merchant Confidence Index Q1 2011

Continuous application

The response time and feedback mechanism on internet is really quick and faster than any other media. So this mandates the need for continuous application of your marketing process to make it more lively and responsive. This has two benefits; you can get faster results in less time and also create an impression of a very lively brand.

Frequent reports and assessment

This goes with the earlier point, you need to always keep an eye on the responses on your activities, its effectiveness and conversions. This calls for frequent report generation and assessment of your results and plans. Go for the change if needed at random pace, however keeping it to the point of bringing more effectiveness. This constant vigil can make a huge difference in the whole scheme of things.

Use the latest tools and technology to make work faster

The pace at which the online scenario changes is amazing and rapid, every day new ideas and options creep up and as an online marketer it’s your job to keep your eyes open to all that is coming up, which can prove more effective for you. There are many marketing automation services, social media tools, buzz monitoring tools, web analytics tools, RSS feed readers, and so on. Pick the right set of tools, and devote a fixed amount of time daily on these tools to keep track of all that is happening.

All these can surely get you the results in the least amount of time, however it all boils down to your marketing approach and application of these effective techniques.

Internet Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Internet marketing small business techniques are about much more than creating a website and taking it online. You cannot just carefully create a website and expect it to be a success overnight. Creating a successful website requires careful planning and strategic decisions. Without this, your website is almost guaranteed to fail. But this doesn’t mean that you have to give up. With the right planning it is possible to create a website that gathers a great deal of web traffic and leads to successful sales of your products.
Before you worry about marketing strategies, you need to strategically create your website. Begin by thinking of the products you are going to sell or offer on your site. Decide what audience is suited to these products and services, and what you can do to attract these potential customers. You also want to target these customers’ needs in the design of your site.

Don’t just build a website that is based on gimmicks and scams. People may visit your site, but they will quickly leave without making a purchase if they do not trust its legitimacy. Creating a legitimate website that potential customers can trust is the only way to make sure your web traffic leads to purchases on your site. Consumers want to feel like they are buying from a well-established company, and not just some random site on the internet. You want to make your online business seem as legitimate as one with an actual store that you can go to visit.

There are many ways to do this. Provide actual contact information so customers have a way to contact you with questions or concerns. Be upfront about all details of the business, including the payment options, return policies, and shipping costs. Make sure to offer payment methods that are well secured and from trusted companies.

Also consider what it is that you are trying to sell or offer. You have to offer a product that is unique and different from the competitors. If the product isn’t something different, then you should make sure that you at least offer a very competitive price. After you are sure that you have a product that is rock solid and a web site that customers will be willing to shop at, you can begin to implement the internet marketing small business strategies that will lead your business to financial success.

One of the internet marketing small business strategies that has been proven to increase web traffic is search engine optimization. Search engine optimization focuses on incorporating commonly used search terms for your business industry and products into your website. This helps draw customers looking for your product to your site by improving your web site’s ranking with various search engines.

Search engines have a vast influence on the way people navigate through the pages of the internet. It is much easier to type a common phrase into a search engine such as Bing or Google than remember an entire website URL. As a business, you want to research the phrases that people would use to get to a product or site like yours. Incorporating those keywords is a sure fire way to make your site appear higher in search engine results, which will help you draw in more web traffic.

Internet marketing small business strategies, such as SEO optimization, help you to increase the web traffic to your site, but this increased traffic will not lead to sales unless you also have a legitimate website that builds trust with potential customers. Using both of these methods is the best way to guarantee that your site becomes a success.

Top Reasons Why You Need Small Business Coaching Today

If you have been employed for more than two decades and you want to give employment a break, then setting up a small business can be a good alternative. Sounds good, right? Now if you are decided to give this a try check out the reasons why you need why you need small business coaching as soon as possible.

Provides Business Perspective

This is important especially if you have stayed for years working for the boss. You need someone to provide you with all the basic things that you need about running a business. This includes the books that you need to read for inspiration, as well as online materials that you need to check out to have a feel on how is it to start and manage a business. This is something that you need to prepare yourself for responsibilities that you need to do in the next few days.

Outlines Expectations In Managing A Business

Similar to getting the job description when you were working, your small business coach will be there to outline all expectations that you need to take note of as you start your business. This may include some personal responsibilities that you need to attend to, like looking after your schedule on a daily basis. Managing your time and activities may be part of something that you need to adjust as soon as you dedicate yourself in starting this business.

Aside from that, you may also be asked to learn other skills to help you operate the business by yourself in the first few weeks. An example of this is how to talk to suppliers and negotiate deals if you are going to purchase raw materials for your products. Another is learning internet and basic knowledge in using social media to promote your business online.

Leads You To Organize Your Daily Tasks

Part of small business coaching is to help you see the importance of organizing your stuff. This means that you need to prioritize the tasks that you need to accomplish everyday, and this is where he will step in to go over your checklist of activities. This prevents you from working on something that will not help you achieve your business goals and leads you to go back and focus on tasks that help deliver results.

Overseas Your Progress In Managing The Business

As you start setting up your small business, you may find yourself stuck in doing almost everything, that is if you do not have your own staff yet. This situation may lead you to miss something that needs to get done or track important tasks. Your small business coach will be there to take the role of a mentor as he will evaluate your initial progress as an entrepreneur and provide opportunities for you to do things more efficiently.

In the end, taking advantage of small business coaching is great to help you see how you should treat your newest venture after working as an employee. So if you are really motivated to start doing this soon, then it is best to look for someone who can do these things for you as soon as possible.

Small Business Web Marketing – The No 1 Reason Your Site Is Not Making Any Money For Your Business

Is small business web marketing something you have thought about, but just never really got around to taking time to understand… you realise that you’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not marketing your website correctly… but you just don’t know how?

Well if you said yes, then don’t worry too much. Because you’re part of the thousands of other business owners who are also missing out on the millions of prospects, which are actively searching for the products or services you may provide.

Having cut my teeth in direct response marketing early on in the offline world, I know the importance of good advertising and marketing. But more importantly than anything is having a list of your leads, prospects and customers.

In the offline world, small business owners think I talk Chinese when I ask them how many people they have on their database. The first thing, and most profitable thing I do when helping a small business, is setting up a database to market to at very low cost.

In the online world, having a system to actively build a database is a must and a sin if not implemented.

Because there is automatic tools in place to measure the amount of visitors to your site, you can easily quantify the waste of visitors to your site without collecting any of their details or turning them into sales.

Sadly this happens in the offline world over and over… and even in the online world thousands of business owners have no system in place, which makes this happen for them.

But this article is supposed to be about small business web marketing. So why am I talking about building a database and not marketing strategies?

Well… fact is, without a marketing system such as this in place all your web marketing becomes worthless and you will not make any money marketing your website.

So you can implement all the web marketing strategies in the world… strategies such as: pay per click advertising, Facebook advertising, social media marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, video marketing, article marketing and all the rest…

But if you don’t have a way to capture all the traffic your site receives, your businesses website will probably never make a single measurable cent for your business.

So to overcome the No.1 reason which will make all your web site marketing fail you have to turn the priority of your website from trying to sell off the page to actively collecting leads.

Once you implement this, your whole business model will change. You will have a database you can market to at low cost (via email) and you will actually be able to measure the return on investment your website gives you.

The truth is, a pretty brochure site will probably make all your friends and family happy as it is nice to look at…. But having a direct response website which is designed to drive leads and prospects to you so you can turn them in to sales and increased profits will most likely make you and your bank account happy!

So the decision is up to you now… you can either take away the knowledge you now have about small business web marketing or you can ignore it, continue to spend money on your site and never see a return on investment.