There are some really great small businesses across the state of Florida, but they cannot rely on their product alone to bring in customers. How many times have you seen that great mom and pop restaurant in the next town over go out of business? What they were selling was great, the service was out of this world, but they could not bring in enough new customers due to lack of internet marketing.
Many small business owners are GREAT at what they do, but sometimes modern advertising is not their strong suit. If a small business wants to stay around for a while, they have to pay attention to modern advertising and not JUST new business plans.
If you own a small business, consider these internet marketing tips.
If you have not done so already, the first thing you need to do is define who you are and pinpoint exactly how you want to be perceived by your customers. Choose an image and keep that theme consistent throughout every physical representation of your company. Your logo, brochures, business cards, and product packaging should all use the same colors, fonts, and pictures, and so should your website and social media pages.
There are so many businesses and products out there competing with you that it is important to brand yourself with images and words that represent your company. It will stick in the customers’ minds better and help draw more people in to your business.
If you do not have an internet presence, you might as well be invisible. Most people do not use phone books and newspaper ads to learn about the best stores and services; they type it into a search engine and look online. Therefore, your website is an online representation for your business.
Let’s say you own a clothing boutique. If the floor was littered with garbage and if the were clothes falling off the racks, customers would think you had a terrible business. The same thing goes for websites. If your website looks bad and is difficult to use, customers will assume you do not have a credible business.
Also! If you have a product that can be ordered, make sure that customers can order it online. There is a surprisingly large handful of small businesses out there that still rely on catalogues and telemarketing as their main way for customers to order their product. Nowadays, many people will not go through the extra effort to pick up a phone and call when they want to order things. They would feel much more comfortable ordering it online through an online form or even a simple email.
If you do not know how to build a good website yourself, there are several companies and freelancers who can do it for you. It definitely is worth the investment.
Many small business owners do not have a good grasp on social media or how to use it to promote their business. Not only is social media an essential step in internet marketing that can draw in thousands of new customers overnight, but you can do it very inexpensively… even entirely for free!
Social media sites are websites that allow both individuals and businesses to create profiles to represent themselves and communicate and share information. They are like a digital bazaars. You can use them to communicate with customers and inform them about your product and special deals going on, or use them to make it easier for customers to find you and realize how fantastic your business is!
Some essential social media platforms are…
This is a professional website that all businesses and working people should have a profile on. You can use the site as a representation, connect with other businesses, allow your employees to connect with each other and better represent themselves, and even use it to hire new employees.
This website started out as site for college students, but has grown into the largest networking site currently on the web that individuals, musical groups, companies, and pretty much everyone uses. It is good to have a page on Facebook, so that customers can connect with you and you can let them know if there is any news about your business. If you are going to be featured in a magazine article, announce it! If you are holding a contest, let your fans know!
Twitter allows you to send out information in quick little blurbs. A “tweet” is a short message that you can send out to the Twitter community. It is different from a “blog,” which is a longer article. You can announce that you are having a sale on Friday and also connect with other customers and businesses. You use it to build up a network of people you are associated with, which will grow into a community.
This is a site that allows potential customers to look up businesses and find out what others think of it. So, let’s go back to that clothing store. If you have a Yelp page, customers can comment on whether they liked the experience or not. New customers can then go on the page and look at reviews to determine if they want to go check it out. With a Yelp account, you will gain more credibility, be more easily accessible to find, and be an active part in the online community.
There are others, but those four are the very basics, and if you are not into the internet in general, you do not have to overwhelm yourself!
Affording Internet Marketing
Internet marketing does not have to be very expensive, so it is worth spending the money it does take to have very good quality websites, logos, and images. However, if money is tight and you do not have the extra cash to spare even though it is necessary, how do you come up with it?
Many small business owners take out auto equity loans in Florida to spot them for such things. When the money starts pouring in, they have no trouble paying back the loan and moving forward with a booming business. Although some do take out loans from banks, others prefer to get an auto equity loan because the application process is much quicker and with less hassle.