Guest post submitted by John Stallworth
As with any business, exposure and visibility are essential to establish a client base. If you’re a small or start-up business owner, and have limited resources on your hands, there are several strategies you can use to promote your small business online. Here are our top 5 ways you can put your name out there without breaking the bank.
Business Listing Sites
The typical Internet user will always do location-based searches for the services and products they need and want. Make sure your company always turns up in the results by using business listing sites such as Google Local, HotFrog, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, and the Windows Live Local Listing Center. These sites all offer free ad services, but there are also hundreds of sites offering paid services with rates that may be within your budget.
Send Out Press Releases
PRLog and 24/7 Press Release are just two of the dozens of sites out there where you can submit news and press releases about your company. What’s great about sites like these is they have a significant following online; from private netizens and bloggers, to fellow business owners and online marketer. So the next time you’re adding a new product to your line, or conducting a seminar, send out a press release to increase your company’s visibility.
Use a Buddy Marketing System
Having trouble reaching a certain network and demographic for your business? Consider doing buddy marketing, where you and a fellow business owner can work together to expand your reach and benefit from each other’s networks. Choose a business that is preferably in the same niche and industry, and offers complementary products/services to your company.
For example, if you own a company that offers home interior design services, you can look into teaming up with businesses that specialize in landscaping services, home repairs, etc. It’s the same industry, but the businesses are non-competing.
Start a Blog and Offer Freebies
Writing useful and informative articles related to your business and posting them on article submission sites is very useful. But it would be better to start your own SEO blog — less restrictions on content, and you can post articles with links to your company’s website. To encourage visitors, have monthly giveaways for registered members and/or those who signed up for your newsletter. Just make sure your blog is constantly updated with interesting and useful content to gain and keep your followers.
Learn to Get Retweets and Likes
Social media – two words you hear and read too much of, yet it’s reach and effectivity is still undeniable. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Pinterest have become major venues where people get recommendations on just about every product and service out there. Use the time you spend online wisely by embracing social media and tapping into its marketing reach and potential. You can even go multimedia and post “Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials” videos on popular sites like YouTube to reach an even wider audience.
One important thing first-time business owners forget when it comes to marketing is to start at a micro level. These useful tips can be done without eating into your daily schedule – go online after you send the kids to school or bed, and use this time strategically to promote your business online.
John Stallworth’s long history of freelance writing has won him several awards. When he’s not busy writing articles in the business realm, he’s often reviewing resources for small business owners or training for his upcoming triathlon.