Without completing each of these steps successfully..the chances of marketing your small business online dramatically decrease. There will always be exceptions but these seven steps should be considered your building blocks to your online marketing success.
1. Your own Website.
And by this I don’t mean a corporate/brochure style site which bores visitors and has them clicking away in seconds. No. You need to entertain as well as educate your visitors.
To do this best I think it is essential to have a WordPress Website attached to your main business website…or even on a separate domain. Don’t just name it blog! Give it a keyword rich, benefit laden title…tell them how your will make their lives better. Use the common terms others use to search for your business in Google [and the other search engines].
There is lots of advice online on how to set up a WordPress site. If you are unsure you can hire someone from a site such as Elance or RentaGuru.
The beauty of WordPress is that it is so easy to use. Non-techie small business owners can add fresh content, offers, audio, and videos to their site without having to pay a webmaster every time. Small business profits is as much about saving money as it is about increased revenue.
Oh, and of course, Google and Social Media love WordPress as well. More free visitors is always nice.
2. Add a means of capturing the names and addresses of your visitors.
Unfortunately, buying cycles are getting longer and longer. This means that people are rarely going to buy from you the first time they come across you.
So, to get around this you will need:
an optin/squeeze page an autoresponder [e.g. Aweber] a series of emails in your autoresponder a free gift valuable enough that visitors will be prepared to give your their info
This may sound daunting if you’ve never done it. However it is easy to hire someone to do it for you…or even better, learn to do it yourself. These are very low cost marketing tactics with excellent results when done right.
3. Generate some visitors to your site.
You can either pay for traffic or generate it using your own time. Either way there is no such thing as free traffic…you pay with time, money or both.
Personally, I think a mixture of paid and self-generated is best. It will depend for you on your present skills and whether you are time-rich or money-rich.
Pay-per-click [PPC] is the fastest way to generate traffic. You can have visitors to your site within the hour. Sadly PPC can be very expensive and there is a learning curve. But don’t get me wrong…well done it can be a gold mine..just tread carefully and test and track your results.
Add new fresh content to your site every week. Make it fun. Make people smile as they learn new stuff and they will reward you by staying longer on your site and coming back for more.
Use photos and videos. Get them involved with competitions and surveys. My favourite tip is this…see what your competition is doing and do the opposite. No one ever got wealthy following the herd!
Other tactics to consider:
Social marketing ezine ads swapping links get all your past and present customers to sign up put your website address on receipts, signs, and all your other marketing banner ads post articles to article directories.
The more you do of each the more success you’ll have.
4. Build relationships with your prospects who have signed up.
The way to do this is to talk about their problems and offer solutions. That will get their attention!
Make sure your personalize your emails. Tell them about yourself, your family and your business. Get them to see you as a friend/trusted advisor: give them tips and tricks industry news free info
5. Make them offers
When your have their trust and they know, like and trust you…they will no longer regard your offers with suspicion.
Keep in contact regularly…you need to decide what you feel is right…but a minimum of once a week.
Make them repeated offers: vary them different bonuses discounts bundle products and services together make sure every offer has a deadline new products and services ask them what they want and need.
6. Keep doing more of the same.
The fact is you will probably lose 20% of your list a month. Make sure you keep doing each of the first five steps…this will give you a list of hungry, loyal buyers. Subscribers who look forward to hearing form you. Who want to hear your latest tips, news, and offers.
7. Never lose sight of where your focus should be:
“How can I offer more value to my customers?”
The moment you forget them and start concentrating on only yourself…they’ll know. It will come across in all your communications and marketing. Put them first, and they will stay loyal, and you will reap the rewards.