- Website - is your home page easy to read? Can someone tell who you are, what you do and what your target market is in 3-5 seconds? Do you have white space on your pages? If you have a lot of copy, try to shorten it and use bullet points.
- Socia media profiles - is your description updated on each account? Is each profile fully completed? Did you use your top keywords in them?
- Customer list - are you up to date with your database? Are you communication regularly with your customers? Have you asked for testimonials lately?
- Local media - have you created a media list? Are you communicating news about your business, employees and events? Be helpful, become a source for your industry with local, regional media.
- Blog - a blog is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Have employees write insights from each department. Come up with a FAQ list and write a post on each question.
Spring is a good time to do some cleaning in your marketing and PR for your small business. Here are a few tips to make sure your small business marketing engine is running smoothly.
Many small businesses do not have a marketing plan and are operating in a reactive way with their marketing activities.
Proper planning is key so be sure to put pen to paper and identify your goals. It doesn't have to be complicated, but once you have your plan in place, you can take a better look at your business and how to make it stand out from the rest.
Some items to have on your plan outline:
These are just a few topics to have in your outline. Pricing, partners and product details may also need to be addressed.
Once you have your plan on paper, it will be easier to focus on your marketing strategy and stay the course.
Image by smarnad from freedigitalphotos.net
Facebook's recent changes signify The End of Free Facebook Marketing, especially for small businesses. It is estimated that businesses will only be able to organically reach about 3-4% of its fan base. What does that mean for your small business?
First, take a look at your website. Does it need an update? Is it easy to read and navigate? Is your messaging clear? Are your contact information links and social media links present on the home page?
If you have built a Facebook page, keep engaging with your customers. You may find that you will have to start spending a few dollars a day to boost your post visibility. WIth Facebook's detailed demographics, it is still cheaper than many other alternative.
Just remember, your website should be your central hub of your business online. Everything should point to it including your social media channels.
I recently wrote about retail promotion tips for the 2013 holiday season. If you are a small business, there are ways you can stand out from the competition this season.
Start promoting now. The holiday season is shorter this year and the retail outlook is lower than last year. Email newsletters that share what's new and spotlight promotions
Offer stand out promotions. Get creative. Make your repeat customers VIPs and give them the star treatment. Start a referral program. Find ways to stand out and draw in new customers.
Customer service is tops. Above all, make sure your customers experience a positive, helpful environment. Going above and beyond expectations will ensure they return.
Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It's hard running a small business. How do you carve out time to market your business when you are busy running it?
Here are some great public relations tips from Media Leaders to generate publicity. Some of my favorite tips include:
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
One of my favorite marketing blogs is Hubspot. They have a resourceful blog on lots of topics including small business marketing.
For small business owners, it can be hard to market their business when they are busy with sales, operations and other facets of their business.
Hubspot's Small Business Marketing Hub offers tips and tricks to give small businesses a head start on marketing programs that they have been thinking about.
Spark some ideas!
Have you checked your company website lately? Is it up to date with news and information? Here are some tips for a quick website audit.
Small Business Saturday is an initiative by American Express and local businesses to build awareness of the power of buying local and supporting our community.
How is your business involved in your community? Find out how to get involved in this initiative and promote your business.
Does size matter when it comes to followers? According to a recent SMB social media study from Vocus and Duct Tape Marketing, it does not.
Two in three SMBs favor quality over quantity. 40% prefer very active, engaged followers and only one in four small to mid-size businesses think the number of followers is more important than level of engagement.
The main challenge that SMBs face is the perception that social media is free. Like any other marketing initiative, social media takes time and resources.
The study shows that SMBs are active in social media, they see its value, and they measure progress through connected business outcomes.
From the study:
Make sure to use the same profile picture across your social media profiles. That way people recognize you between LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other networks.
Consistency is key and helps build your profile as an expert in your field.