Most small business owners know they need to be involved in online marketing but many are at a loss on simple free steps they can take to get started or grow their internet presence. It’s unfair too because many small businesses are stuck buying expensive print ads in newspapers and the yellow pages.
So, in this short article, we’re going to learn 3 free ways to market your small business on the internet. With no further ado, let’s do it!
Free Marketing Method 1: Create a Facebook Fan Page
Facebook Fan Pages are not just a novelty anymore. If you look, most “big brands” aren’t even advertising their own websites these days, they’re advertising their Facebook page. You’ve probably seen ads for companies like Ford and at the end it says “visit us on Facebook” or something along those lines.
Why is Facebook so important for small business marketing? To answer that question, let me tell you a story. Imagine you go to a party and when you arrive first. While you’re waiting for everyone else to show up you look around the room. Sure, there are beautiful pictures everywhere and you can read all about your host and even learn a little about why the party is happening.
After hours and hours of waiting alone, you finally figure it out. No one else is coming to this party. So, why am I talking about parties? Because that “party” is your website (if you have one). Websites are good to quickly give information, but there’s no space for interaction. And even if there is, it’s not in real time.
Facebook practically allows you to communicate in real time with your customers, and it allows them to interact with each other. Your best customers will help spread the word about your business and help the “newbies” who have questions. To go back to our party example, it’s like being at a party with all the cool kids – and they all want to talk to you!
So, if you don’t have a Facebook fanpage yet… now is the time.
Free Marketing Method 2: Blogging For Your Business
Besides a Facebook fan page, you need to be blogging. A Blog is simply a type of website that allows you to post articles or posts in order. They aren’t too hard to setup and you can get free blogs from sites like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Although, I think it’s best to install your own custom blog software.
Blogs are really important because they allow you to create fresh content which in turn get your site ranked for better terms. This is especially important for local businesses because it’s a lot easier to rank for keywords when you have a local phrase. For example, if I wanted to rank for Tarpon Springs Internet Marketer it wouldn’t be that hard because:
1) There’s not a lot of competition
2) I have a blog and can write a blog post all about that topic
Google loves stuff like this because the page that my blog creates is completely optimized for the phrase Tarpon Springs Internet Marketer. And blogs also help solve the “party scene with no guests” scenario because you can actually include Facebook comments in your blog. This is a bit complex, but most web designers can do this for you if you ask.
Free Marketing Method 3: Find Free Small Business Leads Using Twitter
This is a great little tactic for small businesses, especially if you don’t mind reaching out and looking for customers. So many local business owners just wait for someone to walk in the door… so by getting out and looking you’ll be 10 times better off than other business owners.
Here’s how this strategy works. Many people are on twitter. It’s a micro-blogging site that allows people to post short updates about what they’re doing. You can sign up for Twitter by going to Twitter.com. It’s always best to use your name so you appear to be more real. And don’t worry, it’s free to sign up.
Anyway, when you register you can now communicate with other people on Twitter. So, who are you going to talk to on there? Easy. You’re going to go here:
Search for words or phrases people might say who need your product or service. The good thing about Twitter is that people love to complain on there over mundane things. For example, someone might write, “dang it! My brakes are going out. This sucks!”
So, imagine if you’re an auto-mechanic you could contact that person and offer them a free check-up or whatever. And the best part is, before you do your search, you can actually type in a zip code area to search in. That way, if you’re in Dunedin, Florida you are going to be seeing updates from people in a different state.
Small Business Internet Marketing: Start Now
You’ve just been given 3 great ways to get stated marketing your small business online. But the real key is to get started now. Don’t wait another second. Your competitors are either already online taking your customers or getting ready to be. One of the real keys to the internet is that the early bird gets the worm.
So, take what you’ve just read and put it to work now.