Online Marketing

Everybody’s talking about Pinterest and its rocketing fan base, but how do you use this to grow your business?

 Pinterest is a hot Social Networking platform offering those who master it an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and capitalize on the staggering growth of Pinterest. Here are some more advanced approaches to Pinterest marketing.

 First, if you have yet to get started with Pinterest, watch the Phil Stone Training Video entitled “Pinterest Marketing”. Then come back to this article.

 

This article contains lots of great advice about either implementing or improving content marketing for your local business. Definitely worth a read!

Google tells us that 97 percent of Americans use search to find local businesses, and we know 21 percent of big brands are dedicating up to one-quarter of their internet marketing budgets to local targeting this year. Whether you have a B2C storefront or you’re a B2B company trying to reach key audiences in different communities, it’s time to get serious about your online local marketing strategy – take it from this San Francisco searcher!

Read the full article via brafton.com

Google continues to change stuff – and as a business owner, it’s important that you either keep abreast of the changes yourself or have someone doing it for you. Sticking your head in the sand never works!

Google continues to jumble up the search and social media landscape by today introducing Google+ Local. The ‘new’ offering is designed to replace Google Places but it does and doesn’t do that on several levels. Sound a bit confusing? Well, rather than us adding our two cents to an already crowded conversation let’s take a look around and see what others are saying about this change in the local Internet ecosystem.

First, from Google. Let’s call this the evangelical update….

via marketingpilgrim.com

 

A very helpful article – check it out in full!

Content marketing is exceptionally good for SEO, because you are creating content to which others are likely to link. You are also likely to add content frequently to your website (also good for SEO) when you have a content marketing strategy.

You can contrast this to traditional copywriting materials such as sales slicks, infomercials, and those unwanted pieces of “mail” that show up in your mailbox.

Now that we know what content marketing is, let’s walk through the process of unleashing the power of content marketing step by step:

via Unleash the Power of Content Marketing in 5 Easy Steps | Search ….

If you think QR Codes are still an overseas fad, take note…. this is only the beginning here in Australia.

To run a sustainable business online you need to create a marketing funnel where you siphon traffic from sources like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube into your funnel, and create your own traffic source.

Guaranteed to get you think! Check out this interesting article.

Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience. Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search.

Some major changes in progress here. Google has taken massive steps into the social media world with this change.

Do Small Businesses Need Websites?

In one word, yes! The internet is the most effective marketing tools in existance nowadays, have the capability of reaching far more people than any leaflet drop or advertisement in the local paper ever will.
Should you produce your own website?

It all depends on your skills, if you have the ability to produce a site that looks good, then go ahead, it will save you money and will work wonders as a marketing tool. However if your skills are limited or non-existant then we’d say no. Why? No, not because we want your money (although we don’t mind if you want to give it to us…), because if your site doesn’t have a professional look to it, then it is going to reflect badly on your company’s image.

Do you need to spend lots of money?

It really depends on the size of your website, if you’re looking simply get a presence on the internet, then you can easily get something for around £250 if you take the time to look, if you’re really getting into the idea of being online and effectively having your shop exist in cyberspace you’re going to be looking at more money, however even then, there are many self-build options such as Ekmpowershop.

What content do you need?

This all depends on what you want from being online, if you want to sell online, have your products online is going to be very useful! If you’re just looking to get your company online, then there are TWO elements that we believe are imperative:

Information about your company
How to contact you

Without these two no-one is going to know who or what you are, with the former being your chance to sell yourself. Remember when people look at websites, if its well designed they won’t know if they’re dealing with a multi-national company or a one person organisation, this is your chance to play alongside the big boys!!

What to do now?

So you’re convinced a website is the way to go? Excellent, this can only be of benefit to you! Now you’ve got to find a designer (there’s one right here!!!), things to keep in mind when looking is what kind of style are you looking for, find some websites that you like then find some designers and see if they can produce something along that line! If they can, you’re on the way to bringing into being what can be one of your best employees!

Web Advertising for the Small Business

If you run a small business, advertising costs must be figured in as part of your overall expenses. If you have received quotes for phone directory ads, business association block ads, and mostly any other print media, these costs are quite high. So, what if your budget is small, perhaps negligible? Will you be left outside of the advertising arena or are there other avenues to help you get the word out? The answer in one word is: yes. Let’s explore ways you can “get the word out” through online means…yes, via the internet!

The rise of the internet has spawned an entire industry with it. You may remember in the late 1990s stories of dot.com companies who made a fortune and then went bust. The “irrational exuberance” of that era has, thankfully, passed by and in its place is a much more rational, but very lively market.

Today’s biggest players online are search engine providers led by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Between them, these three search engines dominate the market. Mostly everyone today searches the internet for products sold by small businesses to large corporations and these are the people you want to target. Indeed, while Christmas season sales typically increase around 4% year over year for “brick and mortar” retailers, the internet has been seeing year over year increases of 30% and higher! No small business operator should exclude the internet when crafting a marketing plan.

By selecting the advertising plan that works for you, you can have your ads appear on web sites in your local area or across the world and be charged a small amount per click. In other words, you don’t pay for advertising unless someone clicks on your ad and goes through to your site. To keep clicks from getting out of control you determine the price per click and the amount per day, week, or month you are willing to pay. No busting of your small business budget!

Banner or text ads on select sites can also be helpful for your small business. If there is a web site you like and you suspect that a lot of your customers would frequent that site, contact the webmaster to learn what his advertising charges would be. Perhaps in exchange for submitting a few helpful articles, the webmaster would waive your advertising fee altogether. Or, at the very least, accept any other help you could provide [moderating a forum, answering questions, etc.].

Another way of getting the word out is through your own web site. No, you don’t need a web professional to establish your site, but it does help to have someone who can guide you through the set up process. At the very least a few pages is what you will need, so set up costs shouldn’t be terribly expensive. In addition, figure on paying monthly hosting and domain name fees but these expenses should be no more than $100-$125 per year. Pay a little extra for a web professional who can help you optimize your site [make it search engine friendly] and you’ll get your money back much quicker. Finally, check with your accountant for small business tax deductions.

Select the marketing plan that works best for your small business. A mixture of all four points is a great plan of attack for many small business owners…just like you!

Undoubtedly, the internet can make the difference between a successful small business and one ignored by customers. Due to the global nature of the Internet surpassing physical frontiers between nations, and even making it unnecessary to use printed business cards when they can easily be hosted online.

Web presence can make small businesses more competitive from any angle, allowing you to understand new trends, as well as discover opportunities and problems without wasting time. A small business with Internet presence improves your opportunity to connect with a number of suppliers and customers that otherwise might not be possible in your local area.

Furthermore, traditional printed business cards including an Internet address, not only opens a new range of possibilities to succeed, but also is a way to increase your communications, showing an appealing professional appearance, no matter how big or small your business or company is actually. Magnetic business cards often create a long-lasting marketing image.

In fact, you will be surprised to see prospective clients seeking what they want through search engines. Others might check for URLs in business cards instead of browsing the printed yellow pages, because a web presence translates is synonym to having a shop or booth in every corner of the world, where every individual or small business can have the same presence as the big enterprises.

Of course, budget, skills, knowledge and other Internet resources determine the performance of every small business online. However, it will always be beneficial to develop your business web presence if you want to get customers from every location around the world or, as a practical alternative, you can create online business cards for you, your partners and employees.

On the Internet, you will find a number of websites offering both services, development of your web presence and creating your online business cards, ranging from low-mid prices to those unaffordable for people who are just starting a new business venture. However, you do not need a big budget to start.

There are a number of free Web hosting services that will gladly give you web space to develop your presence. If you have no idea how to create a website, they usually have facilities called online tools or web site builders, allowing you to create a nice looking page with just a small amount of information regarding your small business, products and services.

If you do not feel comfortable with those tools, there are other options for you. If you want to create only a business card that looks like real printed business cards, you can always get free or cheap web templates, coming in a variety of designs and only requiring your information to be uploaded, which will create your web presence instantly.