The Yellow Pages have now gone the way of the rotary dial telephone. Today’s customers and clients head straight to the internet to find the products and services they want and need. If your business does not have an internet presence, you will be missing out. Even single-location businesses on a shoestring budget can create an engaging website, participate in social media and cultivate a list of email addresses for targeted marketing campaigns.
As technology has advanced, it has become more user-friendly, so even if your tech skills are stalled in the last century, new, intuitive programs will quickly bring you up speed. Consider the internet your storefront to the world, and leverage its wide reach to get the edge on your competition.
Build A Standout Website
If creating your own website is a challenge you’d rather not face, you can hire a professional to get you up and running. Do-it-yourselfers can save money building a website using free or low-cost services such as Weebly or Wix. You will use your website to provide information about your business and position yourself as an expert in your industry by offering useful information.
You Want Your Website To Do The Following:
- Provide basic information about your company such as mission statement, history, management bios and contact information
- Offer solutions to potential clients/customers needs
- Be a resource for visitors by adding interesting, timely content
- Have an attractive, easy-to-navigate design that will make a lasting impression
- Encourage visitors to subscribe by providing an email address
If time constraints make it difficult to create your own content or writing is not your forte, hire a freelance writer or a content writing service to keep your page filled with fresh material.
Social media marketing is inexpensive and is a great way to build relationships with your customers. These tips will help you get started and make the most of the time you spend being social.
- Define your target audience — Age, gender, geographic location, income range
- Know your message — What do you want your audience to know about your business?
- Coordinate your social sites — Once you create your social channels, you will want them working together. Consider your website a home base, and then post and tweet from there using a social media management application.
- Create a schedule for interacting — Plan your posts and schedule specific times each week to perform actions such as sharing, liking and commenting. Join groups that share interests with your target audience and participate in the conversation.
Be Discriminating In Your Use Of Email Marketing
Your lively website will attract subscribers interested in what you offer. Don’t drive them away by spamming their inboxes with a deluge of emails. Find what works best for the subscribers on your list concerning how often to send an email. You want them to look forward to your messages. Keep these tips in mind when planning your email strategy:
- Offer a unique benefit such as a special sale for subscribers only.
- Provide valuable information that your subscribers will find useful and interesting.
- Include a call to action to drive subscribers to your website or business.
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for CBS Small Business Pulse