Reaching people online is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. When people search for products or services to buy, they use the big search engines like Google and Bing, as well email and other social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to ask their friends and family for advice on purchases. It's essential for entrepreneurs do a great job at marketing their business using the tools of the web.
But many small businesses are being left behind. Nearly half of small-business owners surveyed recently say don't use social media at all for marketing or any other business purpose. What's more, only 15 percent of small-business owners consider mobile marketing "very valuable" to their operation, another recent report shows.
Here we have the top three tips for navigating the new world of business marketing.
1. Don’t hype your product or service.
Instead, identify the people who have problems that your product or service can solve, then segment those prospects into buyer personas. Understand those people's problems so that you can create information online that helps to market your business to them by means of how it can solve those problems.
For example, if you own a hotel and only talk on your website about how nice looking it is or how great the location is, that only gets you a small part of the way, he says. The key is to create individualized content for each of your buyer personas, starting from the problems and the buyers. That will help get your business indexed higher in online search results.
2. Share useful content on social media.
Once you create great content that addresses buyer problems, share that information on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But don’t stop there, You should also listen and respond to what people are saying on important topics and about your business.
If you own a hotel, for instance, and a couple says on Twitter that they are considering a wedding at your hotel, offer a tour of your property. You can also join conversations about your industry, even when it's not specifically about your business.
3. If traditional advertising channels are generating sales for you, don't pull back.
If you are still spending on offline campaigns, it is recommended on tying them to online efforts. One way is to include a URL or a scannable quick response code in a print ad that links to a page on your website. If you own a restaurant, you can send people to your menu page, for example.