Are you a small or local business? Are you struggling to find an effective way to market your business on the Internet? If this is you, then welcome! I’m about to share with you 5 killer marketing strategies that will help any small or local business dramatically increase their traffic & exposure on the web.
But it’s not just about increasing traffic and exposure for your website. These 5 strategies will help your business gain exposure to your most profitable audience, and help you increase actual conversions – prospects that turn into paying customers.
Ready to get started? Great… continue reading below.
#1) Facebook Pay Per Click ads
Facebook! Every heard of it…? If not, then you are in the minority (and that’s an understatement), because as of this writing, there are over 800 million Facebook users worldwide. And by the year 2015, there is expected to be 1 billion users on Facebook.
“But wait…”, you say. “I’m just a small business that services local customers – what does 800 million users mean to me?”
A lot – and here’s why!
It’s all about “concentration of users”. If the number of users on Facebook is starting to approach 1 billion, then more than likely a large percentage of your customer base on Facebook right now – even your customers who right in your backyard.
This means Facebook can be curated (cut down) into a local marketing machine for your business – a marketing platform that will allow your local business to reach your exact customer, right where they are.
Facebook pay per click ads are a great way for you to leverage your advertising to target your most profitable customers. With Facebook pay per click, you can isolate your ads to run within a tight geographical radius around your business – literally a mile or two around your business location. You can even target your ads to show to only to married men, or married women, certain age groups, certain family dynamics, etc… basically whoever your target audience, Facebook ads have the solution.
#2) Google Content Network
Most people you talk to about Adwords will not speak very much, or even very highly of the Google Content Network. But in my opinion, and my experience, the content network is the most effective platform for you to advertise your business and your brand to your target demographic.
For example, I have a client that fixes broken windshields. His business is simple – someone needs their windshield replaced they call him, he drives over to their location and replaces the windshield.
Pretty easy right?
Well, his target area is north metro Atlanta, and he only wants people to call him who are east of GA 400, west of I-85, north of I-285, and south of Gainesville – pretty specific huh?
Here’s a map of his target geographical audience:
As you can see, the target area is very specific, but also very doable in Google Adwords.
Now comes the fun part with Google’s Content Network – and that is ad creation and design.
You can do two things here:
1) Use text link ads: basically build out the Google Adwords standard text links and run those throughout the content network (more on strategy in a bit)
2) Build image ads (for example, 300×250, 160×600, 728×90, 468×60)
For the content network, I much prefer (and recommend) image ads. When you run image ads, this means your ad is only going to show up on sites that 1) allow Adsense ads and 2) sites that have opted in to multi-media ad display.
When you run image ads on the content network, I equate this to having a billboard for your business on the web, but with one major exception – you are able to control what type of targeted audience you want your ads displaying to.
So for the windshield replacement client, it would only make sense to display these types of ads to people who are researching ways to fix their broken windshield, or watching a YouTube video on how to replace their broken windshield.
Bottom line – Google’s Content network is a viable platform for dramatically increasing your exposure, and building your brand, and ultimately driving high quality traffic to your website.
*** QUICK TIP *** You’ll want to build a 468×60 banner image ad because this opens up the door to your banner ad getting impressions on mobile devices. Most mobile devices, by default, grab 468×60 banner ads for their ad impressions.
3) Google Places
I write a lot about Google Places, primarily because it’s one of the single most effective tool available on the web for small and local business online advertising. There is no other advertising platform in existence that drives traffic, exposure, and conversions faster and more efficiently to a small or local business than Google Places.
Best of all, Google Places is 100% free for any business – all you need is a local business address to get your listing.
Google Places is also becoming one of the primary platforms that customers connect with businesses via mobile devices. Nowadays, people are simply pulling out their mobile phones, typing or speaking a search query, and instantly seeing results based on their current location.
Google Places is also a powerful platform for your customers to interact with you and your business. With a customer review section built into each Google Places listing, your customers are able to come to your Places page and leave reviews, rate your business, and share your business with their contacts. And all of this interaction helps to make your Places page even more authoritative compared to your competitors – which means a higher ranking in the Google Places search results.
4) Content Marketing (i.e. blogging)
Content Is King – It’s been true since 1998 when the Google guys (Larry Page & Sergey Brin) invented Google’s algorithm.
The whole point of the Google algorithm was (and still is) to simply organize the world’s information, and rank it according to authority and relevance.
- Our Search: Google Technology by Google
- How Google Finds Your Needle in the Web’s Haystack by the American Mathematical Society
- Web PageRank prediction with Markov models Michalis Vazirgiannis, Dimitris Drosos, Pierre Senellart, Akrivi Vlachou – Research paper
- How does Google rank webpages? 20Q: About Networked Life, A class on networks
- Scientist discovers PageRank-type algorithm from the 1940s—February 17, 2010
But before any content or data can be crawled, indexed, and ranked, it has to first be produced – right? Think about… if there’s wasn’t any content available to be crawled and indexed, then Google wouldn’t have anything to index and rank.
So you see, content is – at it’s core – the very food upon which the internet (and the consumers on the internet) consume.
Think about that for minute. The very thing that everyone consumes on the web and connects with, reads, shares, comments on, gets mad at, yells at, or purchases off, is all content.
And one of the most amazing aspects of the web is that when it comes to content, you have 100% freedom and control over how much you produce!
So the very thing that the internet feeds and thrives off, is the same thing that you can produce in unlimited quantities and for absolutely no money whatsoever – or very little comparably.
Calibrating your content
I love using the term calibrating your content. It reminds of my days in the 1st Ranger Battalion when we’d go out to the range with our M240G machine guns and one of the first things we did was calibrate the weapon.
What do I mean by calibrating your content?
The definition I like the best is to adjust precisely for a particular function and to measure precisely.
Bring this definition into the perspective of content would mean to precisely adjust your content so as to connect with a pre-defined (or pre-targeted) audience of potential customers.
This is the core of content marketing! And with the proper calibration, the content you produce can become the vehicle upon which unlimited leads and customers flow into your business.
5) Social Media
Any list that talks about marketing your small or local business online must include a discussion about social media. And what I mean by social media is leveraging sites like Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn as tools that you build the brand of your business.
These tools are just that – tools. And they are, in my opinion, to be used in conjunction with the other methods described above, especially content marketing.
Social media is the perfect place to syndicate content produced on your blog. Not only does this help you get your content seen by more people, but it’s also a way to keep your business or brand front and center on people’s news streams.
The repetitious exposure of your brand is what helps people recognize your business and products, and it’s also the perfect way to get other people talking about your business.
Social media is all about sharing and expression. And it’s critically important for your business to become a part of the overall conversation that’s happening with your prospects and your local community.
One way I use social media from my blog Tablet Crunch is after I finish publishing an article, I then take that article and share it across my Facebook profile, Facebook page, Twitter, Google+ business page, LinkedIn, and now even Pinterest.
All of the above are platforms that are social, very easy to send content through, and dramatically helps build of my blog; the same is true for your business, products, and services.
Ok – your turn!
What are some ways that you find especially useful at marketing a small or local business?