There is this misconception floating around that marketing a business online is hard- hard to figure out, hard to do, and hard to maintain. If the business involves off-line services or is a brick and mortar entity, then these misconceptions may be magnified by the power of ten. It's a fact that many small businesses seem to be avoiding Internet marketing, and even of the ones who are online, many just aren't seeing the kind of payback they were looking for.
The truth is that successfully marketing a business online is not just about working hard, it's about working smart. Often, it's the seemingly inconsequential steps that can make the biggest impact. For example, here are five things that just about any business owner can do over the next few days. If you take the time to go through the list, you may be amazed by how much new traffic it will generate:
1. Conduct a website audit. If you have a website for your business, then take a look at this article: Are You Making These Ten Fatal Mistakes with Your Small Business We... If your site is guilty of any of these offenses, then start making plans now to rectify it!
2. Optimize your online profiles. Take a look at all the online profiles that exist for your business. These will include, social media profiles, local search listings, and membership sites. Is all the information accurate and up-to-date? Do your profile descriptions contain relevant key words or phrases? If you have a physical location, then make sure the address is correct, and where appropriate include a map, with directions.
3. Build up your online networking. Sit down and think of five individuals or businesses that you could partner with to help promote your content or your business. These targets can be influential bloggers in your niche or businesses with successful online marketing campaigns. If you are targeting bloggers, then start their reading posts, leaving thoughtful comments, and sharing their content via social media. If they accept guest posts, then make a pitch. You could also offer to host a guest post of theirs. If you are targeting a business, then maybe look into some cross promotional or affiliate set up.
4. Social media mastery. Pick two social networks where you know your customers spend time and increase your engagement. Is there a group on Linked In that fits your business? What about a Facebook group? Join it and start a conversation!
5. Join an online community. Is there an online community that would benefit from your expertise? Think: forums, tutorial sites, wikis, Q&A sites. Look for questions that you can answer or relevant problems that you know how to solve, and give it your best.