We’re all busy running our businesses. We have plenty to do. When it comes to marketing, we need to focus on the essential marketing activities that can increase visibility and generate leads.
There are plenty of small business marketing strategies available. And many don’t take a lot of money to implement. But if for the next 6 months, you spent your time implementing and perfecting the following three activities for your business, you will gain visibility that will help drive more inbound leads.
#1 Build a first-class Web presence to develop your expert reputation
Today’s small business needs to have a solid web presence to help build your expert reputation. A first-class presence includes a solid website and consistent brand across all social media and directories. Make sure the all the following are in place.
- A responsive WordPress website
- Compelling profiles on the right social media channels for your business
- Local business listings on Google My Business, Yahoo and Bing
- A Facebook Business Page
- Consistent listings in directories that make sense for your industry
- A blog with well-optimized, educational content
Without a quality web presence, you run the risk of people quickly eliminating you from their list of potential suppliers. Fair or not, people do judge a book by its cover.
When your business success depends on building your expert reputation and proving that you are the best person for them to work with, you can’t take a chance. Having an inconsistent Website, social media profiles and brand identity can be detrimental to your business. Make creating a unified image for your business a priority.
#2 Incorporate search engine marketing activities
Now that you have your first-class presence established, you need to be sure people who are searching for what you offer are directed your way. Understanding how your target market searches for your products or services, what keywords they use and how to make your website rank higher in the search engines can be the difference between finding your ideal client or having your ideal client find you!
- Research your best keywords
- Optimize your website
- Write content that utilizes your keywords and helps with optimization
- Create a linking strategy
- Use paid advertising to boost your visibility for important keywords
For most businesses, keyword research and organic search engine optimization of your site and content will be the most effective part of this marketing activity. However, some local consumer businesses do very well with a budgeted and managed advertising campaign to get more people who are ready to buy to your website.
#3 Identify your top referral sources and meet as many as you can, both off-line and on-line
Meeting, nurturing and building solid relationships with people who are your best referral sources is a marketing activity that is always top of the list for small business owners. The best clients usually come as a referral. When they are a qualified referral, the work you need to do to turn them into a client is minimal.
If you succeed in creating that quality Website with content that demonstrates your expertise, referral sources can introduce you to their connections through your Web presence first. If the connection likes what they see, your referral source can then make the introduction.
Activities that have the most impact are the following:
- Networking online using LinkedIn and Facebook to establish meaningful connections and develop beneficial relationships.
- Join groups on social networks that are locally focused and network both online and off-line
- Attend one live networking meeting a month
- Join a referral organization
Developing a solid network of local connections generates more opportunities for your business. You develop new, beneficial relationships with people in your geographic location. Depending on your business, you may also benefit from connecting more broadly, but start with your local networks and get out and get noticed.
Spending time implementing these essential marketing activities will create better visibility, establish your expert reputation and introduce you to people who can benefit from what you have to offer.
What would be your three activities of choice for your business?