February 7, 2011

Crash Course in Small Business Marketing (Part 2)


In part one we looked at some basic essentialities of business marketing and finding out exactly what’s involved in marketing your business. We briefly looked at marketing and advertising, budget and planning and so in this post we’re going to take an even closer look at a list of affective marketing strategies that you can apply to your own business marketing plans.


Online Business Marketing

SEO

Let’s say you’re a local plumber with a nice flashy website with all the information that anyone could possibly need to want to use your services. Depending where you are in the world, someone looking for a local plumber does a search on Google or any other search engine for ‘plumber in such and such area’ and guess what? You’re no where to be found in the first or second page of the results. Why is this? It’s because your website’s SEO isn’t optimised. For the not so tech-savvy users SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of optimising web pages so that they rank well in the search engines. If you have no idea how to do this then check out our post on 6 Top Search Engine Optimisation Tips which will show you exactly what you need to do to get the most out of your website’s SEO requirements.

Website Analysing

If your website is relatively new or has been around for a good while, one of the best ways to analyse how affective your online marketing efforts have been is to sign-up with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free online website analysis tool that allows you to monitor traffic, visitor trends, and page-views, bounce rates as well as study the effectiveness of your advertising efforts with geographical location data.

Submit your website to Business Directories (Search Engine Marketing)

One of the best ways to improve your website’s search engine ranking is to submit your website to as many online business directories as possible. Not only will you receive better rankings but you can also improve the saturation of your business listing in the search engine results, meaning that your listing may well appear at the top of search engine results even if your website doesn’t. Since you’ll have a link back to your website from your listing details anyway, this is essential to greatly improve you online presence.

Online Advertising

Most people fail to recognise the importance of online advertising for their business because of several reasons; a) they’re stuck in their primitive ways and b) they don’t think they need to or otherwise don’t know how to even. You should consider using Google Adwords or Facebook Ads even, where you can create a PPC (Pay Per Click) ad to target a specific geographical area!

Offline Business Marketing

Ok we’ve looked at some top tips for improving the presence of your business online lets see what you can do offline.

Offline Advertising

As you know offline advertising such as press advertising can sometimes be quite expensive. My advice here would be to choose to advertise in smaller press media that is targeted to your local community such as local newspapers, magazines and newsletters. You should set a budget of around £10 to £15 a week for your advertising needs.

Affective Advertising

You should also try and schedule your ads so that you’re targeting your audience at the most essential periods of the year, for example; Consumers are not going to be looking for too many plumbers throughout the summer season as they will be throughout the winter, and so if you were a plumber you should be looking to schedule your advertising campaign to launch just before or during the busy winter months.

Leaflet Dropping

Many people will disagree that this is an affective form of marketing your business, but it so happens to be the most productive. Sitting on your arse down the beach in your plumbing van doesn’t bring you business let’s just get that out of the way first, right Seb? This is something you can do yourself in fact. Design an eye-catching leaflet using your computer; take the master down to your local printing office and print off a few hundred or more if you’re feeling motivated enough. Spend one day out of your busy working life to distribute them to your community. Even if it doesn’t take affect immediately people will use or recommend you to someone else that is looking for your services.

Business Stationary

Business stationary is cheap and great to get hold of these days. Stick to the essentials such business cards, compliment slips and letterheads.

So there you have it, you’ve come to the end of your crash course in small business marketing, so now all you have to do is to get motivated to make a real go of it. Of course if there are any questions or suggestions even please leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Crash Course in Small Business Marketing (Part 1)

6 Top Search Engine Optimisation Tips

Image credit: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Fabrizio Van Marciano

Fabrizio Van Marciano is a fulltime international selling artist and blogger working from home. His insight into online business marketing and website design has lead him on the path to becoming one of the UK's biggest selling modern contemporary artists with over 3,000 original canvas paintings sold worldwide. You can follow Fabrizio on Twitter & Facebook.

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