Being a small company does not mean you have to think small online. The internet is the great levelling playing field – with big conglomerates listed side by side with the sole proprietor. “The internet is definitely the best promotional tool in the small to medium size business arsenal. While most small businesses can’t compete on national TV or print campaigns, they can compete for their local and niche markets online – often more successfully than the big companies. “We like working with small to medium size business owners because they are able to react faster to market opportunities” says Brenda Pacher, online marketing director for WebMAD – Web Marketing and Design – of Oakville.
Every small business needs to do online marketing – whether the owner takes an hour or less a day, a marketing employee adds on the online tasks, or they have an internet marketing company do the promotion for them. The internet should be your best source of leads and help build your brand and image. An effective website will generate sales, build your reputation as a leader in your field, create goodwill and promote your name.” It does take time for websites, blogs and other online properties to build viewership and page rank. “Businesses that don’t think the internet works either give up too soon or are not promoting effectively. It does take time for the search engines to index posts, for you to build a following and links, and for the site to gain importance in the eyes (or algorithms) of the search engines. Consistent posting of original, quality material will be awarded – but there are some ways that are more effective than others.”
“Every business should have a facebook page. Be sure it is a business page and not a profile page – those are not indexed by the search engine. Create a circle of sites on the internet with your website in the middle. Link your facebook, linkedin, twitter, blog, videos and any other sites to your main domain.” Don’t just use the online media to make hard sales – generate good will and trust. Give expert advice on problems and how to solve them (related to your industry). For instance, if you sell tires – give advice on how to recognize when it is time to replace tires, or tips for fuel efficiency by keeping tires properly inflated. If you are in government, you can tweet or comment on new regulations, recent debates, etc. Also monitor what is being said about your company online. If there is a problem, address it and show you are willing to listen or correct it. You can also keep tabs on what your competition is doing in terms of pricing, promotions, etc. Use Google Alert or similar tools to monitor your company name or product names, so you can keep your pulse on the market and what your customers are saying.
There are many ways to dole out the friendly advice and useful information about your products/industry: You can put it on your facebook, blog, tweets, or offer to send regular/potential customers a newsletter with an opt-in box on your website. Building up a mailing list for your newsletter can be very lucrative when you launch new products or services, or to retain clients based on service and trust. Take advantage of free online directories and press release services (although you may have to pay for some of the most popular online services). The great thing about the internet is – once you create something and put it out there – it stays out there month after month. You can continue to generate leads and interest long after the material was created.
If you are looking for a company that knows the ins and outs of website marketing and design to promote your business, call the experts at WebMAD – Web marketing and design in Oakville – at (905) 582-4357 or learn more at www.WebMAD.ca.