Ready to learn more digital marketing secrets? To help small business owners become more aware about the opportunities available online, I’ve developed this list, along with the first list published last month entitled: Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed.
By empowering business owners to take charge of their marketing efforts, my hope is to help them understand the latest tools available.
No small business is immune to online reviews, good or bad. Your small business is no exception. Yelp is the ‘go-to’ for online reviews. Claim your Yelp page by visiting https://biz.yelp.com . They typically offer $300 worth of free ads. Try it just for the free version to see what it may do for you. Free never hurts. And Don’t forget to respond to ALL online Yelp reviews, whether positive or negative.
Just as Google My Business offers a free business listing, Bing Places for Business does the same within it’s search engine. Register your business by going to Bing Places, fill out your company’s profile and get verification from Bing. Add photos, reviews and utilize their platform to help advance your company’s SEO beyond Google.
Through your Google My Business page, your small business may easily set up an Adwords Express campaign to further your reach. The key benefit of using Google Adwords Express is that it is virtually maintenance free. Set up a campaign, choose an audience, define your budget and then Go! See results quickly.
Google Adwords is more complex. Typically small businesses in highly competitive industries need a larger monthly spend on Adwords to see substantial results. Google Adwords usually involves hiring an agency or Google partner to help set up the ad, oversee it and tweak it as necessary. The complexities are taught online with video lessons, however, if you are spending the ad dollars, it’s worth hiring an expert or Google Partner.
Get your business page Verified on Facebook to maximize it’s reach. It can be said for Facebook…
The Ultimate List for Small Business Owners.
As a small business owner with a website, the ultimate question you should be asking is “What else should I do to get my business found by potential customers?”
What do I need in order to get my small business found on the web?
There are a plethora of tools available, both free and paid, supporting your marketing efforts online. However, small businesses may not have the time and manpower to take advantage of these supports.
Read the following list of Google tools and supports and find a way to set these up ASAP:
Google My Business
Sign up for a business listing, add your logo, add a cover photo, fill in key business details, upload photos and get verified.
Take a look at how a Google My Business listing for my business, High Key Impact, LLC shows on a Google search. (below)
(It’s the box with my profile photo and map on the right side)
Do a run-through using directions from Google Maps to find your business location. Map your address from a variety of locations. The ultimate ‘map-app’ helping customers find your small business location is key! Let’s make sure it works properly.
You have a small business website presence, but how do you know it is working correctly? Google Analytics is another free tool available from Google. Sign up for Analytics (search “google analytics” while signed in), ask your website developer to add the code and within days you will see your website’s visitor data. While there are several key data items in Analytics, ask yourself what numbers are most important to your service or product.
Read this Beginner’s Guide to find how to read and interpret Google Analytics data.
Google Search Console
Keywords are the ultimate search tool used on websites. Many small business owners believe their keywords are all set, however, changes in business focus drive changes in keywords….
Many marketing gurus look at analytics and algorithms to see what works on a never-ending basis. And there are some obvious current trends.
Where content is King, live video is Master-of-the-Universe!
And the ‘Oomph-iest’ live video tool available is free and easy to use!
You’ve probably tried it a couple times and thought “I hate myself on camera” or “What should I say?”.
The idea with Facebook Live is to give your followers information which is interesting & relevant, timely and grabs their attention.
Are you attending an industry-related gathering? Broadcast a few minutes from Facebook Live. Is there an expert guest visiting your business? Broadcast it!
Also, script your ‘Live’ feed in advance so you know what to say. A Facebook Live feed without direction tends to get few viewers, however, if you are introducing a new product or highlighting another product or service, describe in detail all along the Live feed what is happening. Silence will not keep followers watching.
Another key is to stay ‘Live’ more than a minute or two (our normal Facebook video cut-off point) in order for Facebook to notify your followers. Once they see you are live, the hope is that they interact with your broadcast. After the Live portion is over, the Facebook followers who missed it may view it as a newsfeed post. We’ve heard by using Facebook Live consistently, your reach organically tends to get more attention. Try it at different times of the day and various days of the week to see what works best!
By using Facebook Live, your small business marketing may just jump to the next level!
Cheryl Friedenberg, Marketing Consultant, High Key Impact LLC
Small business owners know how overwhelming their operations can be.
Perhaps the sales funnel is dry and administrative needs are taking over your day-to-day functions. Or clients are in need of a lot of TLC lately and your marketing gets pushed to the wayside. Is it that your accountant is awaiting your P&L’s to get taxes together?
My advice: Don’t let your marketing blitz fall apart!
Here are 5 EASY ways to fill your sales funnel this month:
–Send a Quick Email to your clients asking for referrals, testimonials and online reviews.
–Hop Onto LinkedIn and Connect to more friends and professionals as well as local business groups. Post about what you do for a living every so often to remind others what your business is all about. Approximately, 10% of your posts may be ‘sales’ related….the remainder should be industry focused.
–Knock on a Few Doors at a local corporate park and hand out fliers (menus, product brochures or your business card). Follow up with a friendly phone call and potentially offer a freebie if there is any interest. If one administrator in the building is a fan of your product or service, the word-of-mouth referrals may start funneling in.
–Call 5-10 Existing Clients with whom you are most comfortable speaking with and ask for referrals. What can you offer them in return? (It doesn’t necessarily need to be a financial reward..perhaps just a referral for their needs.)
–Keep Up With Your Social Media Accounts with simple posts. You can post a ‘Quote of the Day’, a ‘Slideshow’ of recent photos or all about an Employee of the month. Don’t stop the posts to maintain your social media momentum!
For more quick-hit marketing ideas, contact Cheryl Friedenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.highkeyimpact.com
Sign into your Google My Business account and go to Google Optimize, where you may now sign up for a Beta test. From Google’s page: “Whether it’s a custom-tailored message at checkout or a completely revamped homepage, Optimize shows you which site experiences engage and delight your customers, and gives you the solutions you need to deliver them.”
Google also is providing a Data Studio to take analytics and transform the data into reports, graphs and spreadsheets. Click here for the Google Data Studio.
Vimeo, Wistia and You Tube all offer free online versions to create and market video promotions, testimonials and your business story. If you haven’t heard the…
I’ve narrowed this process down to several small steps so that your business can see growth and results within only a few months. Why not make 2017 the year your business reaches new heights?
Start by doing this…
Hire a Professional. Freelancer or Part-Time Employee. Or perhaps a current employee can build their resume by learning social media marketing from an expert and taking on this project within your organization.
Optimize your Website. Make sure it is mobile-friendly and has all of the back-end SEO set up correctly. Your hire from above will help you with this.
Define your Audience. Based upon your audience demographics, you can easily decide (along with your marketing expert) which social media platforms would be the best fit. For example, a senior citizen audience —and utilizing Snapchat as a tool to reach them— would not be a good fit—Facebook is the ideal choice here.
Start Small. If you delve into too many social media accounts and do not maintain them properly, your brand may take a hit. Take your time with it. Build a Facebook page, create content, develop your Likes and build a solid Facebook presence… Once it’s a well-oiled machine, branch out from there.
Send out Email Newsletters. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, sending a company email to your customers on a consistent basis is crucial to keeping your name in front of them. If you miss out on a buying opportunity versus a competitor, most likely your email campaign is not engaging or content-rich. Make your newsletters worthwhile; say something important and provocative to grab their attention.
Become a Blogger. You know your products/services inside and out and, most likely, are an expert in your field. Why not write about it? If you are not a terrific writer, you have many options for a ghost writer… including your administrator, marketing team or a team member with a writing passion. Add the blog to your website, and voila!, you have automatic content for social…
From October through January, every small business owner should be anticipating what’s to come. Obviously holiday sales are on the horizon for retailers, however, a variety of cyberworld-created events and opportunities will help all types of businesses spread their holiday cheer.
Social media messages about Halloween may include safety messages, happy halloween images, and photos of you and your employees dressed up in costume. This blog from Webs.com showcases some unique messaging from companies.
-Update your email marketing list in order to send out digital holiday messages to customers & clients, reps and vendors/suppliers. Schedule your messages accordingly.
-This is also the time to dive into your holiday ordering and shipping processes. Anticipate volume increasing and hire more staff accordingly. Investigate your sales numbers from previous seasons to give you a sense of expectations.
-Do you also need to deliver holiday baskets or gifts to loyal customers? Add this into your frenzied upcoming schedule. It’s always a powerful touch when the business owner is part of making deliveries.
-It’s the start of Movember. Make a statement in support of men’s health and grow a mustache or beard. Challenge your colleagues to do the same and donate to men’s health causes. Snap photos of you (your staff’s) progression to share on social media channels.
-Think about offering a gift card for your product or services.
November 24th-Thanksgiving (aka Gray Thursday)
The obvious turkey and ‘give thanks’ posts are very common. Shake it up a bit and add unique flair. Since Thanksgiving is the most travelled holiday of the year, offer travel tips on your pages. The folks at Neonbrand.com list additional tips for your Thanksgiving promotions and social media posts. Also remind your followers that it is Gray Thursday–a phrase coined because Black Friday Sales are starting earlier and earlier.
November 25th-Black Friday
Get Ready, Set and Go! This is the big day. Even if you are not a retailer, your marketing opportunities are still rampant on Black Friday. Head over to a big…
Email marketing takes up a lot of time and effort. Many small businesses either try to do it themselves or hire vendors to help them. Either way, it’s important for emails to be as effective as possible.
Here are 6 tips for small business email marketing newsletters:
- Use an email marketing platform such as AWeber, MailChimp or Constant Contact. These online tools allow you build email lists, create unique newsletters or emails and give you reports and feedback helping you improve your next send.
- Continue to build your list. Have an email sign-up landing page on your website, post a text to sign-up icon on social media sites and utilize many of the sign-up tools your email marketing platform provides.
- Your Subject line should rock! ABC company newsletter for March, 2016 does not cut it anymore. As one who is probably inundated with emails, you should realize that standing out in a subject line is critical to get your email opened. If you are serious about getting your mail opened, write a subject line such as the following: ‘especially for you’, ‘welcome to’, ‘don’t buy…until you read this’, ‘how to….’, ‘what if…’, ‘5 experts share their ……’, ‘avoid these’, ‘am I the only one who…’, ’10 hacks to…’. There are more— but you probably get the idea.
- Keep it short and sweet. Did you ever receive an email where you scrolled down 5 or 6 (or more?!) pages to see all of the content. Try to keep your content visible within 2 pages. Three or four main articles along with small snippets of information is typically an ideal.
- Use visuals. Images speak louder than words. This is truly the case for any online communication today. Use high resolution photos or create your own visual through a platform such as Canva.com.
- Timing counts! Your email program may offer suggested times/days to send your email. Listen to their ideas. Especially if you are unsure about your audience, let the email marketing manager do the work for you. Tuesdays, early morning at…
Are you gearing up for busy season? There are several ways your business should prepare for a Fall marketing blitz!
1. Video Marketing
By using Facebook Live on your Facebook Business Page or Shooting a short message to your customers on your IPad, there are exponential results seen from Video Marketing versus typical channels. I recently experimented with several clients and Facebook Live–the results were astounding!
2. Paid Ads
Facebook Boosts or a Google Adwords Campaign generate a multitude of viewers to your local or nationally based business. Each paid platform has specific advantages, however, if your presence on Facebook needs a push, I would recommend a $5-10/day ad budget, especially when promoting a local business. You may customize your audience specific to geography, age, gender and more!
Google search your business name. Try it now. See what comes up? How often do you do this?
Now Google your business name and the word ‘reviews’. How does it look now? Hopefully all 5-stars? If not, let’s talk about your next steps to make your online review presence top notch.
When a customer is thinking about doing business with you, one of the first things a savvy prospective customer will do is search your online reviews.
I do it all of the time when trying to decide between various retailers, services or anyone with whom I’d like to purchase from. Do you?
What can your small business can do to help amp up those online reviews? Several suggestions below will do the trick:
1. Ask for reviews via phone calls to happy customers.
Your salespeople are in touch with your customers on a daily or weekly basis. Their goal should be to call satisfied clients periodically inviting a review.
Request their reviews on a specific site such as Facebook, Yelp, Google + or other popular review platform best for your business. Most likely, the customer will need to have an account on these platforms. Provide the URL to your review page. Make it as simple as possible for them to accomplish this.
2. Answer all reviews whether good or bad.
Post an apology for a bad review stating that you appreciate the feedback and will use their comments to help better your business. Offer a discount the next time the reviewer purchases from you. Additionally, give positive reviews the same attention. ‘Like’ the post and thank the customer for taking the time out to review your business. Be sure to have an administrator monitoring online reviews every day.
Do you have any testimonials on your website or social media pages? By creating a testimonial page, especially on your website, you can periodically share it to your social media followers.
The most effective way to elicit testimonial responses is to ask customers for a 2-3 sentence summary of their experience with your location or services. Video testimonials, as you can imagine, are even more powerful….