The world is not what it used to be thirty, twenty, or even two years ago. Globalization has led to the increase in the number of companies competing with each on the planetary scale. Some of those are multinationals with lavish budgets and tremendous opportunities for advertising and marketing. They can afford to sign contracts with the most famous and successful people from the world of sports, arts, or show business. Their ads and commercials are everywhere starting from national TV channels and ending with big boards along country roads. But what about smaller companies with ambitions to dominate the market some day? How can they promote their goods and services to a wider audience with their limited funds? The answer is: go online.
There are numerous web resources that can be used for business promotion. Many of them are completely free or take a comparatively small commission for letting business owners place links to their blogs or websites. Here is a review of some of the top websites that will definitely ensure your small business grows big in 2018 with their pros and cons.
One of the giants of Internet marketing with billions of users in every corner of the Earth, this website can be described as “DIY marketing” resource. Anyone can create their own channel here and use if for promoting their business by attracting new subscribers. If the videos you publish on YouTube are of high quality or made by professionals, the chance to draw more users to your channel is higher and so are your business prospects. Apart from having your own YouTube channel, you may ask other users to drop a word about your company in their video blogs and either pay them for that or thank them by telling your own viewers about their channels.
There are a few negative aspects of placing your ads on YouTube, though. One of them is that anyone can leave comments to the videos you publish. Unfortunately, not all of those can be favorable. As a result, your business reputation may suffer, and your potential customers may opt for one of your competitors. Another issue with this website is that no one can guarantee that your entertaining, high-quality video will appeal to consumers and they will rush to buy your products. Even if you use the paid services offered here, you may end up with just a few dozen views, which is nothing at all.
On the whole, however, YouTube is well worth trying: By investing almost nothing you still have a chance to put your business in focus on the global scale.
This website is good for promoting contractors and small companies dealing with plumbing, interior or landscape design, and others. With standard features that many sites serving the same purpose have, Porch offers its users something unique as well. Homeowners and contractors can discuss various matters via a special social function. Users can also view the history of the work performed in a particular location. After signing up, homeowners can describe what type of work they need to be done on their property, specify a time frame (from a few days to a whole year), inform contractors of the compensation for their services, and attach photos or videos to their post. Once a local contractor gets a message about a project, they email or phone the homeowner and talk over the details with them. Using the site is absolutely free for anyone who needs services.
However, contractors pay for the kind of services they are going to provide, and that is not always a low price, yet, on the contrary. That’s the reason why along with many positive aspects, Porch.com is not universally praised. Some contractors have been disappointed by the fact that they paid for the leads quite a round sum of money and still did not get the job. If you decide to use this website for your business promotion, make sure that the game is worth the candle and you will get a good return on investment.
If you are a small business owner, you will definitely find this resource useful. Once you become a registered user, your business listing will be updated in the Manta directory no later than 24 hours after signing up. Besides, you will see your company advertised on the home page of Manta.com. All of that contributes to a better Internet visibility of your business. Everyone in search of products or services that your company offers will instantly find a link to your website through Manta’s search engine mechanism. Among the services that small business owners can count on at Manta is assistance in the organization GoogleAdWords campaigns and a dedicated professional marketer who provides consultations on the most effective ways of business promotion online. Additionally, the website guarantees that your business will be listed in over 70 online directories.
One complaint about Manta has been that once you have used their paid services and want to cancel your subscription plan, you will have a hard time doing that.
This is another valuable resource for local contractors. The main difference between HireRush.com and similar websites, though, is the emphasis on the long-term collaboration with service providers and the maximum attention paid to “a small guy” who works on their own with little or no support in contrast to big companies with money to splash. Besides, there are a lot of small and mid-size companies registered which successfully increase their revenue with numerous inbound features such as business phone number, personal page or website, refund system, and 24/7 support. For customers it’s convenient as the range of work types that users can find at the website is wide. It is not limited to home improvement or fashion&beauty services, but also includes legal advice, tax preparation, veterinary services, and many others. As Porch, HireRush also has its convenient chat for customers and providers so that have their own space for private communication.
Though HireRush covers the whole territory of the United States, it cannot boast having lots of leads, which is probably its major drawback. However, residents of all states and cities can use the services offered here, and there has been considerable expansion progress over the past couple of months.
5. Google My Business
Have you ever noticed a well-organized listing of companies offered to you every time you search for a certain business on Google? Using this feature, you can find out about the opening hours of any company included in this list, its precise location on Google Maps, as well as its phone, email, or any other contact methods. You can promote your business this way, too. All you need to do is specify all the information Google My Business needs. Later, you can change this data if, for example, you have changed your office location.
Note, however, that this service is not available in all countries. After creating your own account, find out if residents of your country can use Google My Business.
Even if your budget doesn’t allow your company to launch an all-conquering marketing campaign, you can still efficiently promote your business online using the websites described above. Then, you can gradually build your customer base and look ahead to new horizons.
Fail Safe Digital Marketing To Generate Leads
Are you achieving your digital marketing goals? If you are, well done but a word of warning – keep going. Success can be our enemy, insofar as it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’ve done enough.
With achievement, comes a boost in confidence which is welcomed however it can also let complacency in.
How often have you celebrated a job well-done only to experience a drop in results just a few weeks on?
As marketers, we have all been there, so rather than seeking out someone else to blame, we need to look at what we’re doing and change it.
Dropping the ball on the marketing activity, i.e. doing less of it or eliminately some strategies altogether, is a disaster waiting to happen. Before long, the business leads, in the pipeline, dry up and you’re left wondering why and how did it all go wrong so quickly?
Here are a couple fail safe marketing strategies that are the ‘must-dos’ to keep the business leads flowing.
‘Content is king’ for SEO, generating leads, and fostering advocacy for your business and brand.
Unique relevant articles that show your expertise and inspire readers to share with their followers in social media, should be your top marketing strategy. Read this article to get more insight: Content marketing must-dos in 2019.
There are many third party niche blogs that publish unique content from contributors. In the content is a backlink to a relevant page on a similar topic on the contributor’s site. It’s easy to see how this works for you – the contributor. Your site gets more traffic via the backlink. Commit to this ‘must-do’ strategy. Outreach agencies understand this strategy really well and as Wendy Piersall says:
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.
Content marketing steps
- Write unique content for your blog every week or more regularly.
- Share your content with your profiles on social media
- Write or engage a copywriter to write high quality articles for third party publishing blogs
- Make sure the 3rd party blog shares the article with their social followers
Take steps 1 – 4 and repeat year in, year out. There is never a time for letting up on content generation and sharing.
How many email newsletters have you sent to your email list so far this year? Many marketers and small business owners start out strong with the best intentions.
However the monthly newsletter turns into quarterly or maybe just one or two a year. This is okay if your business is doing another type of email marketing. Notifying your email subscribers of company updates, or new product or service releases is email marketing too.
There is no one size fits all so your business really has full scope to design an email marketing plan that works for all parties.
Back to the newsletter. If you’re struggling to know what to put in your newsletters, and that’s why you started out strong and then they dried up here is a tip.
The foundation of your newsletters can be your blog content. It is the perfect fit. So here is what you do to design your newsletters. In your email newsletter template:
- Add in the personalised salutation e.g. Hello (first name)
- Introduction – complete this section last, i.e. after you have all your content selected and in the template.
- Select blog posts that are on your blog.
- For each blog post; in your email template, add an image (one that is good for social sharing), title and a couple of unique sentences and a link to read more so your email subscribers can click to read the article in full on your website.
- Add in other information that your email subscribers will enjoy. It can be snippets of what you have found online. Be sure to also add in the links so your readers can visit those sites too.
- Now you’re ready to complete the introduction. Make it a quick summary of what’s in the newsletter.
It’s really that easy and with these two marketing initiatives you have the foundation from which to add more specific marketing like: Social Media advertising, and also offline marketing initiatives too.
Eric Dalius On the Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
With a society highly saturated in marketing content and audiences with decreasing attention spans, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out from the crowd, especially when these businesses do not have the resources to compete with Fortune 500 empires.
For smaller businesses who do not have endless marketing resources, every dollar counts and needs to provide maximum ROI. Marketing professional and entrepreneur Eric Dalius shares his insight on the best marketing strategies small businesses can use to maximize their investment.
The Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing, in which your business brings customers directly to you instead of reaching out via ads and cold outreach.
It consists of creating high-quality content that serves the following purposes:
- Gain the trust of your prospects
- Display your knowledge in your industry
- Improve your search engine optimization by making your website a useful, educational online destination
What is considered high-quality content? Dalius suggests following these guidelines for any content your business outputs:
- Unique and from your business’ unique point of view
- In-depth, educational, and actionable
- Solves a pain point for your prospects
- Optimized for the web (well-formatted
What types of content gets the most attention?
- Blog posts
- Video tutorials
- Live videos on social media
- Case studies
- White papers
Have a Powerful Social Media Presence
Social media platforms are still growing every month. Facebook alone has approximately one billion active users – Instagram has over 100 million monthly users. It is the perfect tool to reach a larger audience and use both organic and paid content to gain more customers.
However, do not make the mistake of spreading yourself too thin. With limited resources, Eric Dalius states that small businesses are better off concentrating on just a few social media platforms.
The key is in choosing the right platform for your target audience and the type of product or service your business provides.
For instance, many Pinterest users go to this platform when making a purchasing decision – this network tends to be popular for households with over 100k of yearly revenue. On the other hand, Instagram is the go-to platform for millennials and younger individuals.
Social Media Tips
- Optimize your profile to get your branding on point
- Post on a regular, consistent schedule so people expect your posts
- Encourage engagement from your audience by having a call to action with every post
Use Effective Paid Content Strategies
Online advertising through Google, Facebook, and Instagram can be very effective to grow brand awareness and generate more leads, but this strategy can be a hit and miss.
Instead of setting up a promotional campaign and forgetting about it, Eric Dalius instead advises you to target your ads to a very specific group of people. This way, every single dollar you are paying towards this ad is getting used adequately to promote brand awareness to an audience that has potential interest in your business.
Additionally, you’ll want to retarget your ads. What does this mean? If a prospect visits your website, do not show them the same ads as someone who knows nothing about your business. Furthermore, if a customer clicks away before making a purchase on your online website, use this data to retarget the appropriate ad to them.
Wrapping it Up
By having a strong online presence that essentially provides value to your audience, you will gain the respect and loyalty of your prospects. In time, Eric Dalius states that these loyal prospects will provide you the best return on investment for your small business.
How to use interactive marketing to win business
Digital marketing is always evolving and as a marketer your role for your clients is to use a mix of proven and innovative strategies. Clients insist on a more targeted approach. Long gone are the days of a splatter gun approach where throwing whatever you have at the wall, will work when just some of it sticks.
Users demand more than just the generic email or banner. Marketing campaigns, like email marketing, and remarketing now need to be highly targeted to the enduser. Your clients need customer data to achieve a more personalised interaction so Interactive Content Marketing has key role to play.
Interactive Content Marketing Explained
ICM or Interactive Content Marketing improves engagement and keeps users involved for longer. When they remain active and enjoy the interaction through fun, knowledge sharing or education studies show more repeat business and new customers are created through the fostering of stronger long term relationships.
Brand loyalty, and advocacy are also positive outcomes from an interactive content marketing strategy.
Types of Interactive Content
There are many types of ICM including video with quizzes. Video is a huge step up from articles but they work exceptionally well within content.
Educational or explainer videos are engaging and keep the user online for longer. Now add a quiz during or at the end of the video and you have an interactive marketing campaign.
Contests, games are also types of ICM that are ‘sticky’, enticing the user to have fun, participate and also provide their customer data that can be used in the usual digital marketing strategies like email marketing and Remarketing.
There’s no doubting the innovativeness of ICM and how needs to be utilised by the marketer to get a better outcome for clients.
Customer data is gold and it can be used in a myriad of marketing campaigns now and later on. There’s no telling what strategies will be available in the future using smartphone apps and automated marketing software. What we do know is customer data will be a prerequisite and ICM is a workable way to acquire it from online visitors.
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