Small Business Internet Marketing – How to Successfully Promote Your Offers Online

Promoting a small business online can be a bit intimidating unless there is a detailed plan of action in place. A small business internet marketing plan gives you a blueprint to follow, so that you aren’t randomly trying a bunch of methods that won’t work for your particular business.

There may have been many times when you’ve scratched your head and wondered to yourself: How can I promote my business online without spending a fortune?

This is a good question to be asking yourself, because there have been countless small business owners who have been led to believe that they’ve got to spend thousands of dollars in order to have a successful online presence.

This just isn’t true.

It’s not the amount of money you spend to market your business online – it’s how effectively you can make your time and money work for you in bringing in new customers. You need to learn something about online marketing yourself, because turning all of your marketing efforts over to an SEO firm can cost you a pretty penny, without producing the return on investment you’re hoping to see.

Now, I don’t have anything against using SEO firms – many of them do a good job for their clients. But, because these are tough times, and you’re on a tight marketing budget, you need to be aware that there are things you can have done for cheap, or even do yourself, that does a great job of bringing eager people to your website who will check out your offers.

The main thing that every business wants online is lots of targeted traffic. The traditional way to attract buyers for many has been to use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. This is still a very quick and effective way to get new customers, however, it can also be quite costly.

Whether or not you have a PPC marketing strategy in place, you should still be aware of some other low-cost marketing methods that are proven winners for attracting interested customers.

Article Marketing

Just like you’re reading this article right now, you could have your own articles distributed all across the web, that promote your particular products and services. While it is slower to bring in traffic this way than with PPC, article marketing has been used for many years, by countless business professionals, to bring in a steady stream of highly interested website visitors.

The key to making this work for your business is to outsource the writing of articles to a high-quality article writing service. Please don’t go for the cheapest one you can find. Cheap services produce substandard articles which, in turn, need to be rewritten by someone who can make them readable (costing you more money to fix them).

Go ahead and invest in an article writing service that produces articles written in proper English, with good grammar and lots of style. All you have to do is tell the writer what content you wish your articles to have, and instruct them to use targeted keywords. You may also want a service to do the distribution for you as well.

Free Report

Offer your website visitors a free report about something that’s related to your type of business. Giving out free tips on how to do something works really well. For instance, you can offer a report on how to save money, or how to make someone’s life easier by doing XYZ.

Again, if you don’t want to write the report yourself, you can outsource this task to someone else. To increase sign ups for your report, have an eBook cover designed to make it look more professional. This is a quick way to build up a mailing list of prospective customers.

Newsletter

A great free way to keep in constant contact with prospects and customers is to have an online newsletter. This is an easy to implement, but often overlooked, small business marketing tool. In order to make steady income from your online efforts, you need to build a trusting relationship with people who are interested in your business. You need to show them that you are also interested in having them as a customer.

Your newsletter can be filled with interesting news items, announcements, special deals and discounts just for subscribers, as well as, fun facts. I will tell you that one of the best small business newsletters I’ve ever read was one for a Mexican fast food restaurant in California – and they are very popular with their customers.

Each issue included updates on menu specials and coupons, as well as, interesting tidbits about the owners, employees, special events and even customers. It’s written in a breezy casual style that’s perfect for what they offer. This newsletter is really a blast to read.

So, focus on creating a newsletter that mirrors the tone and atmosphere of your business – and don’t be boring!

The Power of Affiliate Marketing For Both Businesses and Affiliates!

Many people now are Involved with Internet Marketing, and affiliate marketing is a big part of this for both the businesses using affiliate programs, and the individuals working as affiliates. This article highlights the benefits of affiliate marketing for both of these parties. To begin with I will look at the benefits for the companies and then for the individuals working as affiliates.

To Begin with what is Affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a joint effort between a merchant and an affiliate’s website. It has become popular for Internet sites trying to create some extra income for their site, perhaps changing a hobby to a profitable business. Affiliate marketing has proved to be a cost-efficient, measurable method of delivering long-term results for people.

The benefits to the business are many. Firstly, it gives them a much bigger market to sell their product to. More affiliate sites mean that you will naturally create more sales, if the sites they have chosen to use are relevant in their niche market. The merchant needs to do their part as well by researching interested affiliate websites to make sure they are a good match for their particular website.

The second benefit for the businesses is that they are able to make more sales but for not much more upfront cost. This is a major plus for a business, because cash flow can be increased without anymore up front cost to the business.

For a business, the key to a beneficial affiliate program is making sure you educate, and reward your affiliates, with good commissions that make it worthwhile to them.

Moving on there are many benefits for Individuals acting as affiliates to. To begin with it means that affiliates are able to earn money off products that are not even their own. This is a great benefit as it provides extra income for them, and most of the time affiliate schemes provide at least 70% commission and so it is extremely valuable.

Secondly, it allows affiliates to build an even stronger relationship with their list of subscribers. If you become an affiliate of a relevant program that gives value to your list, they will see that you aiming to help there with the best products out there on the market. So the beauty of this is that, by building a stronger relationship with them, they will trust you more, and inevitably you will make more sales online.

And thirdly again it is extra money but for very little extra work. This is because once you have picked the right program to be involved in then you can just send it out to your list by using automated systems, and make sales with a product that has been created by someone else. Again this brings cash flow into your business for very little extra work, and so it is very productive indeed.

So it is clear to see that there is many benefits of affiliate marketing for both the businesses who start the affiliate programs, and for the individuals actually acting as affiliates. This is why affiliate programs have become so popular because they provide great value to both parties, and allow them to grow their businesses in different ways.

To your Success

Peter Iwaniszewski

Local Business Listing Marketing Vs Data Services

As local business marketing has become a hot topic in the Internet marketing industry, business owners are finding themselves confused about the various types of services that can help them tap into this local marketing tool. Of course additional confusions arise from the variations of service fees too. Let’s take a look at defining these services, the fees and local listings as a marketing tool. This will also shed some light on why there are monthly management fees by the marketing services.

Local Listing Data Services
We have discussed this service in a previous article about companies that provide “get listed” services. What this service provides is to push your business information as data into local listing websites. The entire process is automated through programs known as API’s. There are limitations as to what information can be submitted. They certainly do not allow you to protect your brand by claiming your listing through this process. The claiming process is most important as it allows you to manage your local business listing not only with marketing information, but also consumer reviews. Our argument with this service is that most businesses are already listed and why do you need to get “get listed”? Fees for this service are less than $100 per year

Local Listing Marketing Services
This type of service is the service that will allow you to use your local business listing as a local marketing tool to reach the local consumers through web searches and mobile searches most effectively. Because this service is a combination of automation and manual labor the fees are higher and range with one time setups to ongoing monthly management fees. Here are some of the services that are included with local business listing marketing services.

One question you should ask yourself. Do you have the time resources to manage this marketing tool at multiple local listing websites? This will certainly help answer if you need help with this process.

1. It is important to claim your listing at multiple local listing websites. If the marketing service is only with Google, then you are missing out at a variety of other sources ling Bing, Ask, City Search, Local.com, Yelp, Yahoo, Merchant Circle and many others. Consumers and mobile application developers will decide which website they will use for local business listing reviews and data. Google is not the powerhouse in this case.

2. Claim your listing to protect your brand from being hijacked. Claiming is a crucial and important first step with local business listings. If you do not claim the listing at multiple local listing websites you are open to hijackings and having your information re-directed to another business or criminals pursuing the local consumers. This is the part that tends to cause much of the frustrations you read about from business owners on the web.

3. Update your listing with your business marketing information to include not only text copy for web searches and mobile searches, but categories, photos, coupons, videos, images, etc. Because this information changes throughout the year (particularly your coupons, offers, discounts and events) the monthly management service will help insure everything is up to date at multiple locations.

4. Clean-up mis-matched data. Because local listing websites get their data from multiple sources, businesses are finding that there are multiple listings for a single address of their business. Deleting or merging these listings is an important process to insure the duplicates are not hijacked or consumers posting reviews in a listing that is not monitored.

5. Monitor your consumer reviews. Your customers have already been posting their reviews about you at multiple local listing websites. Monitoring and subsequently managing these reviews at multiple local listing websites for local public relations is an important process and one that will be new to most local businesses. This is also included with most local listing marketing services within their monthly management fee.

6. Citations are in important step in this process to have your listing ranked higher on web searches amongst the listings next to the map. This is not always included in the lower priced marketing services and an addition to be considered as this industry and marketing tool evolves and matures in the upcoming years.

Future technologies will make local business listings more effective as a local business marketing tool. QR Codes, mobile applications, mobile coupons and other technologies will have to be managed for the local business to insure they are being used to be most effective.

Hopefully the above information has helped you at least categorize the different local business listing services between data services and marketing services. The benefits of the marketing services far outweigh the data services and are the most effective at reaching the local consumer.