The internet has been described as “the great equalizer” when it comes to small business. It has lowered the barriers to enjoy, but there’s no denying that huge, established brands still have an advantage whether it’s bigger budgets, the ability to hire more experienced firms, or simply a larger audience to begin with. Despite those advantages, there are still countless opportunities for small businesses to market themselves online effectively. In fact, the small business has certain advantages such as being nimble and able to respond to opportunities quickly. Here are some marketing tips for small businesses in 2014 and onwards.
Publish Great Content on Your Site
It doesn’t matter if your business is a dental office or a company that builds spaceships, you can create an audience for your content and in turn, an audience for your business. Small business owners have the luxury of knowing their clients, and their potential customers, on a first-hand basis which will help them to determine what types of content to create. For example, an infographic to address the most common questions while sharing interesting facts about an industry might work well. The Winter Pool Safety infographic is a perfect example of providing valuable content to your audience. If a small business owner thinks of a good idea for a blog post or a new video, they can get started on it right away. With huge companies, an idea has to go through managers and department heads and get approved and rubber-stamped a dozen times before anything even happens sometimes.
Publish Great Content Everywhere Else, Too
There’s an entire internet out there, why would you stay turtled-up on your own site when there are countless opportunities to gain exposure all over the place? This includes creating a presence on popular social media sites, leaving comments and interacting with the thought-leaders of your industry, joining forums to help people by answering questions, there are endless opportunities to leave a positive impression for future customers to stumble across online.
Become a Positive Force
Be on the lookout for opportunities for sponsorships and donations within your niche and in your city. Certain charities will link to contributors from their websites so people who care about that cause will see that your business also cares about that cause, creating a well-earned sense of goodwill.
Every business is different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all blueprint that is going to apply to everybody. Nobody knows your business and your customers better than you should, so always be thinking of creative ways to reach your audience and to bring new value into the equation. There’s no limit to the content that you can create to share across social media, on your own site, on video blogs and infographic galleries, and sometimes content that you create will even get published to the sites of your competitors giving you incredible exposure.
Is There An App For That?
It’s true that there’s an app for just about everything, but maybe there’s room for one more. If you have any ideas of ways that an app would be useful for your customers or people that you would like to turn into customers, it’s worth exploring those ideas further. Unless you have a big brand, chances are people won’t download an app just because it has your company’s name on it – but they will download it if it solves a problem or entertains them or brings value into their lives in some way.
The sky is the limit so always be on the lookout for new avenues to connect with people online. Once somebody has found your business online, what can you do to stay in contact with them and to keep them coming back for more? It’s the million dollar questions. Building a following on social media, and building an email list are two of the answers, and having great content is another.
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