In today’s guest post, Juliette Schmerler lists seven commonly missed opportunities for exposure, both online and offline. Does this list inspire you to try a new marketing platform?
There are undoubtedly a number of marketing methods that your business is NOT using at the moment to improve your visibility with potential customers. Unfortunately, too many businesses feel that if they have a website, they have done enough to make themselves visible. The truth is, today’s businesses need to make use of many methods in order to make it easy for their customers to connect with them.
Here are just a few methods which are commonly overlooked, but can bring a lot more exposure to your company:
Email newsletters allow you to regularly communicate with your customers. Newsletters can be a great relationship builder as you can inform your customers of everything from product and service changes to industry news or some great tips to benefit them. If you continue to provide them with quality information, you will build trust and remain actively in their thoughts when they are considering a purchase. Writing and sending a regularly published email newsletter is one of the best ways to establish and maintain this contact. Just be sure to give valuable information and avoid being overly “salesy”.
By creating a profile on LinkedIn, you (as the owner) and/or your business will most certainly increase your visibility. LinkedIn is a popular social networking site, organized in ‘connections’. A LinkedIn profile allows you to showcase your expertise as the company owner, as well as create a company profile outlining your products and/or services. You can begin to connect with other professionals and expand your network substantially. Invite your customers and prospects to connect with you through LinkedIn and be sure to participate in the ongoing conversations taking place in various groups.
Branding your business by creating a uniform feel across your website, business cards, and sales material is a great start and where most businesses end when it comes to branding. However, putting a decal or sign on your vehicle is another great way to increase visibility and get noticed. This is one of the quintessential guerilla marketing methods, and is incredibly under-used. As an owner of a business, you need to be marketing constantly and always looking for new ways to capture new prospects. What is more captivating than a well-designed decal or sign on your vehicle, clearly identifying your brand? You are driving all over to meetings and errands anyway. You may as well get some marketing use out of it.
Facebook Business Page
With the surge in popularity of social network sites such as Facebook, there is no longer any excuse for not having a business page. Facebook users are one of the largest and most active social groups on the web today. Most users will access their accounts numerous times throughout the day to view their news feed. Creating a Facebook Business Page gives you one more place to inform both current and potential customers about your products and services. With the very viral SHARE option on Facebook, users can easily help spread your information to their friends quickly, giving any great content the ability to go viral in a very short period of time. Invite people to connect with you, be active, and respond to questions and posts from Fans. You may want to set aside a few minutes each day to add new posts and information and respond throughout the day to customer questions. Doing so will greatly add to your overall reputation and increase visibility tremendously.
The sales of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile internet connected devices are growing tremendously. In a few years, it is estimated that there may even be more internet users on mobile devices than on laptops or PCs. As a business owner, you can take advantage of these trends by creating a mobile website or making sure that your current website is mobile friendly. Many sites may look great on a desktop or laptop, but look incredibly bad when accessed from a the smaller screen of a mobile device. In fact, some cannot even be accessed at all. Most consumers are now on the go and their smartphone is their only link to the internet. What happens when a customer is out and about and wants to find a good Italian restaurant or a great shoe store nearby? She is going to pull out her mobile phone and do a search. If you do not have a properly formatted site, you will lose that consumer and the sale will go to your competitor.
A large portion of current internet traffic is video. After 5 pm, video represents more than 50% of all internet traffic and this trend is not slowing down. People are consuming more and more video content because it is instant and easy. Creating even a simple video for your business can help bring visibility in this market. If you are already creating content for a newsletter or blog, you are half way there. You can easily convert your current content to video, add some background music and distribute the same message to a new, and very active, audience. Not feeling savvy enough to create this type of media yourself? Outsource the project to a marketing firm who is proficient in creating such content and get results without the need for the tech ability.
Take advantage of Google’s free “Places” services. By listing your business here, you will be able to be found when your prospective customers search for local results. In fact, Google is becoming more and more ‘local’ oriented, and actually prefers to give folks targeted results. Best of all this listing is totally free! You can sign up quickly with just a few steps and dramatically increase your local visibility.
These are just a few of the ways your businesses can increase its visibility. Higher visibility means more prospects turn into customers, repeat customers and even fans.
Juliette Schmerler is the founder and Creative Director of Sparktank Creative, a boutique design agency that helps businesses reach their ideal clients with powerful branding, print and online tools. Learn more at: www.sparktankcreative.com
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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