Sunday, November 18, 2007

Internet Marketing tips for small businesses

My topic for today is to talk about Internet marketing and how it has changed in the last 1-2 years.

Basically, the marketing landscape has drastically changed in the past few years. If you think about the old days of product branding, (ie. Coca-Cola & Pepsi), things have REALLY changed. The fact is, every legitimate business out there has a website. Simply putting up a website with a phone number and address is simply pointless in this day and age. Companies really need to think about how they are going to drive a lot traffic to there site. The ideal way to do this, is to build valuable content on your site, that's related to your business. The general concept is called "Link Baiting", which involves creating attractive content on your site, such as a blog, for example. However, you can do this in many numerous ways.

First, here are a few techniques the build the content.

1. Advertising Copy content: adding professional sales copy to you website is the most common
2. Press releases: this is really a form of creating "news worthy" content that will add a buzz to your company's services. Publishers are always looking for news to publish, so why not take advantage of that often "free" publicity.
3. Blogs: these are a great way to create a large amount of content by frequently discussing topics that are relevant to your business and of interest to the author. However, you want to focus on quality versus quantity.
4. Product reviews - people often use Google to do research on products\services, so why not do it for them and make you customers refer to you as a "expert" in the field. Even if you know very little on a topic, if you know more than the reader, they will refer to you as knowledgeable in that field.
5. Expert opinion and\or customer testimonials - yet another way to build content that will reinforce your product. I great way to close the deal on a potential customer.

Now, that you have created all this valuable content, you need to make it widely available as quickly and as simply as possible.
1. RSS(really simple syndication): RSS readers are becoming very popular for Internet users, so make sure your content is provided as a RSS feed, so users can subscribe to it. You defintely also want to checkout feedburner.com to help you mange these feeds for you.
2. Pay-per-click Ads: Although not free, you can use services like, Google Adwords, Yahoo Ads, and now Facebook ads to drive traffic to you site. Definitely worth giving it a try since you can easily control how much you want to spend on you ad campaign .
3. News aggregators: sites like Digg.com, and del.icio.us are a free service that will syndicate your content and therefore increase the amount of impressions.

If you're not doing any of these techniques, than that would explain the flat traffic you are experiencing. At the end of the day, no matter what business you are running, you want customers to come to you, because that is the least costly and most often results in the best customers.

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