Online Marketing Tips for Small Business

Online marketing agencies providing Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Services specifically to small businesses are not easy to find. Instead of hiring a specialist, many small business owners decide to go it alone and do it themselves.

There are so many effective ways to promote a small business online, that it is impossible to fit all of them in one article. In order to conduct an online marketing campaign effectively, I believe every company must start by having a professionally designed website and social media pages that promote your brand online.

Even small companies can afford to build and maintain a company website as well as social networking pages for their business on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Here are some tips on how to improve the online marketing presence of a small business:

- When having a small business website built or re-built, always request a Content Management System (such as WordPress or Joomla) so that the company website can be easily updated by a non-technical individual. Many CMS websites are as easy to use as Microsoft Word

- Add new content to the website at least once a week. New content can be added to an onsite blog or news page. Or simply add additional submenu pages to the website itself. Weekly or bi-weekly updates are so critical to search engine visibility and success that every company must be doing it.

- Open up a Google Gmail account for the business. Then list the business address and telephone number (for free) on Google Maps and Google Places.

- Encourage the visitor to a call to action. Review website pages carefully and add hot links to contact us pages and quote pages of the website, wherever it is appropriate.

- Consider adding a link to a company YouTube video to the home page to keep visitors on the website.

- Open up a PayPal account to sell products directly from the website. Once the account is established and attached to a company bank account, it is easy to integrate a PayPal button on any page of the website so visitors can purchase goods or services directly, without worrying about security.

- Collect email address from all of your clients, prospects and invite visitors to join the website for free. As more emails and names are collected, an email list of prospects and customers is created.

- Launch an email campaign when a satisfactory number of members have joined. Send out weekly emails to the list promoting specials, products or giveaways. Or simply provide the recipient interesting information related to the business or industry. In promotional email campaigns always link to a contact email that is checked regularly.

Online marketing for small business is so cost effective and efficient that no company, no matter how large or small, can afford to ignore it anymore. While print advertising, direct mail, television and radio can generate a 1 – 3% return on investment (ROI) in leads and sales online marketing and advertising can generate as much as 5-7% roi.

Online small business marketing is vitally important to the lifeblood of a business. Hire a staff person to regularly complete online marketing for the company. For smaller companies that want to save money on salaries, consider hiring a contractor who specializes in online marketing services for small businesses as an alternative. Should you decide to go it alone, be prepared to dedicate a portion of the workweek to online marketing.

How to Write the Perfect Direct Mail Letter

When it comes to designing a direct mail campaign, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can send out an advertisement on a postcard, brochure or simply write a letter. If you’re looking to really connect with potential customers, consider drafting the perfect direct mail letter.

Personalization, in any form, is ideal when crafting your letter. Customers want to know you value them and they want to feel special. If you hand-write the recipients name on the front of a mailed envelope, the recipient is almost sure to open it. They are actually curious enough to want to know who sent the letter to them because it doesn’t appear to be junk mail.

There’s something about getting what you know is bulk mail and what is personalized, and direct mail letters are the most effective way to personalize your advertising. Postcards get glances before they get tossed in the wastebasket and catalogs usually just get set aside for a time to be thumbed through, which may never happen. Yet, direct mail letters that seem personal from the start get the most attention.

1. Get out your pen and start writing: Maybe you don’t want to hand-address every letter you send out to your target markets, but you can add personal touches. Believe it or not, your John Hancock and other hand-written gestures are the most important things that attract attention. Even if you don’t hand-write the recipient’s address on the front of the envelope, consider signing your name. That way the consumer knows you thought of him or her personally and thought he or she would enjoy hearing about your product, service or special deal you are offering.

Of course if you have extremely large number of letters to go out, there is technology out there that can recreate real looking hand-written signatures in mass production. You may want to price that out with your printer if they have that option available.

2. The body of your letter should be appealing: The body of your letter will obviously need to be typed in order to mass produce and insure ease of reading. Take the time to choose a letterhead style that is appealing to the eyes. Use white for the color of the paper and plain text for content, either Arial or Times New Roman at 12 point. Be sure to include your logo, slogan and contact information.

It would also enhance your response if you add a “PS” at the bottom of your letter. Here is where you could add a special offer or thank them for their business, which is a great business retention technique. It lets the customer know you value them.

Always think ways to personalize your direct mail letter enough to let the customer know you are giving them personal attention and appreciation. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Direct Selling – The Best Franchise

Many people think the best way to find their fortune is to purchase a franchise, however if you don’t have access to large sums of money, this is not always feasible. The best franchise for most people is a direct selling franchise. The reason this is the best franchise is because it cost practically nothing to get started, yet the potential returns are very high.

Don’t let the words ‘direct selling’ scare you. Now that the Internet is in almost every home, there is no longer any need for door to door selling. A direct selling franchise could be many types of opportunities that are available today. For example, network marketing, or even Avon, is a type of franchise.

You may be wondering why those types of businesses would be called a franchise. In basic terms a franchise is when a company gives you license to sell their products or services. So if you sign up as a distributor, or representative of a company, and you sell their products and recruit new distributors, then you are working a franchisee.

There are great advantages to this type of business and they are easy and inexpensive to get started in. It is the dream of many individuals to have their own business, yet the average person can’t spend $100,000 for start up capital. That is the main reason direct selling is the best franchise model for most people.

Another reason this is the best franchise is because there is potential to make an insane amount of money, right from the comfort of your home. That is not to say you won’t be working hard, but you won’t seem to mind because you are in control, not someone else.

Once you decide that a home business is for you, start looking for a franchise that offers a product that you feel will be beneficial to the general public. The more people your product is valuable to, the easier your chances are to sell it. Plus, if the company and product are good, it will be easier to recruit people into your business.

Building a business online takes a certain amount of time because there is always a learning curve, but if your franchise has great training videos, and mentors who will help you, then your business will grow a lot faster. When selecting the right business for you be sure and ask these types of questions. You will know the right business when you find it, because you have done your homework.

Having successfully started a number of small businesses, and advised business owners as a business consultant, Chad Nilsson is very familiar with the difficulties that small business owners face. He now helps individuals, small businesses and network marketers with their online marketing efforts.

How To Pinpoint Hot Target Markets

Pinpointing the right target market requires research. One way to conduct this research is by using the internet. You can go online and search on forums to see what the major complaint in your market is. After you have pinpointed the want and need of your target market, you can create or license a problem that can act as a solution to their problems.

It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. If you don’t narrow down on the group of people who will more than likely buy from you, how to do you expect to make any money in your niche? If you have a product right now in your hands, know that it was created for a reason. There are obviously some people in your niche who is in need of solution from you. So figure out what this need is, then supply your goods. This is supply and demand 101.

I once heard of a story from this excellent marketer before. He said imagine there was a competition going on and you could have any advantage that you wanted. You could hire a celebrity, hire a mascot, run thousand dollar ads, and etc. He said that with all of those advantages, he would still beat you because the advantage that he would have is a starving crowd.

You see people who are beyond hungry and are starving will choose almost any solution to satisfy their hunger. The marketer above said that he could run a automotive vehicle servicing the food and would still beat you. And there’s proof that he’s right. It’s called the Roach Coach.

Now I know it may be tough to imagine that you could still beat someone with all of the advantages listed above. But it’s absolutely true. You see the starving crowd is the only reason why you would have success. Otherwise you would be struggling like most business owners who are trying to make a living in today’s economic climate.

So how do you go about finding a starving crowd in your niche? Well one thing that you can do is rent a mailing list. A mailing list is a particular group of customers who have affinity in the marketplace for one reason or another. These are people who aren’t afraid to spend money on things that could potentially change their life. But with that said, when you rent a mailing list, you will have to know a bit about direct mail.

Since direct mail is getting more expensive nowadays, you have to be clever in your approach. Instead of mailing out letters, use postcards to get your message out to the public. Generate a lead and follow up on this person until they order. Not everyone will buy, but you have to keep a consistent marketing approach when selling to these people. So be patient, and let the letters work their magic.

Finding hot target markets are essential to any business. Try and make it a point to do your market research before spending any money on advertising or marketing.