We hear so much hype and misinformation about marketing, specifically online marketing. Here’s the good news: for the small business owner, it’s all about staying with the fundamentals. Your job is not to take advantage of cutting edge marketing technologies available; it’s to invest your resources in to the most tried and true.
Here are some online marketing tips every small business should consider.
1. Relationships first, business second. The same traditional values of face-to-face networking still exist, only we now have the tools to network on and offline. Social media is an excellent avenue to build relationships. The key to an effective social media effort is to listen first, engage second and talk last. Stick to the big three social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They will provide you exposure to the majority of your customers. Just make sure you communicate frequently and consistently.
2. Email marketing is perhaps the most cost-effective way to reach your target audience. Inexpensive, easy to use tools and software including MailChimp, Constant Contact and Vertical Response are readily available. Set up a regular communication schedule so users know when to expect a message from you. Then, pay close attention to how active your clients and fans are and tailor your content to their interests. To begin an email marketing program, you’ll need a database. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Begin by starting an Excel spreadsheet with customers’ names, email addresses and interests. Most email software allows you to simply upload the data from your spreadsheet and presto, you have an email database. Make sure to also add the ability for your website visitors to register to receive your emails. This is very simple and the email software you purchase will provide the instructions you need
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