Many small businesses are overwhelmed by the thought of internet marketing. It just all seems too labor-intensive — especially when time is even more scarce than money. We’ll take a look at three basic concepts to help you sort through the confusion and make the most of online marketing for small business.
Small Business – Big Choices
Can you hear the thoughts rushing around in your head like a classroom of preschoolers at recess? You need a web page. Not just a web page, though. A landing page. There is the need for probably more than one, perhaps a dozen or more landing pages. Don’t forget it all has to be mobile-compatible. Then you need an email list. Oh, and you’ll need to segment that list and then write emails for each segment. Those emails need to go out monthly, weekly, even daily. Have you also thought of the timing between those emails? What about the autoresponders for the landing pages – you need the autoresponders. Do you feel the anxiety rising already? You are not alone.
I often hear small business owners say, “Don’t even talk to me about social media.” Yes, the Facebook posting every day. Responding to comments. Tweeting out offers. Handling requests from LinkedIn. Posting samples on Pinterest. Promoting “How To’s” on YouTube. And then there’s the blog. Writing something that makes sense and seems coherent is never easy, but doing it every week? Researching that perfect graphic. That’s just my own blog? I’m supposed to guest blog on other people’s sites too? You may wonder, “Where does the madness end?”
That’s why so many small businesses give up on the whole idea. It’s an all or nothing thing for them. If they can’t do it all, they won’t do any of it. It’s a matter of limited resources, not even necessarily money. It’s about limited time and energy for the small business owner who has everything she or he can do to keep the business open and running from day-to-day. After handling staffing problems, upset customers, rising costs and construction out front, who has time to post on Facebook or write a blog?
It’s too bad because the Internet is such a powerful medium and it is becoming (some would say it has already become) the central fact of business in our world today. The decline in impact of mass-media print is common knowledge. However, for those with the right approach it is possible to reap enormous benefits in the form of sales and profits through marketing your business on the Internet – no matter what type of business it is.
Here are three basic principles that will make internet marketing achievable, but you must come to a place of letting go and delegating the responsibilities.
- Get help – Admit to yourself that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Find an online marketing specialist to help you. This can be a company, such as A Virtual Success or an individual. Either way find someone that has a track record of results. Results mean increased sales for their client. Don’t get razzle-dazzled by flashy graphics and cool gadgets. It’s about sticking to fundamentals that get results.
- Learn the language and acronyms – Sorry. There is no way around it. This is a new language. SEO. PPC. Analytics. Landing Pages. Traffic. Likes. Conversions. The only way to understand these terms is study them. Talk with fellow business owners. Learn what they are doing and ask them to explain. Once you do understand what they are talking about, none of this will seem quite so intimidating.
- Synergize – Every part of the internet marketing puzzle makes the other pieces work better. Each builds on the other. The key is a good strategy. Start with a website designed to convert visitors into leads or sales. Once you have that in place, then start adding email and social media campaigns, and other ways and means of pointing potential customers to your conversion page. Get started and then synergize by adding on the channels that will get you the best results.
There is no reason for any small business owner to hold off. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in. Stay focused on growing your sales. Start simple and then build from there. You can do this online marketing stuff and it will help to get your business recognized. You just need to put it out there a little at a time