As a small business owner money is often tight, especially in today’s economy; and proper organic SEO campaigns & ongoing organic marketing campaigns are usually outside of the budget for most. However there is quite alot you can do yourself to help improve the online presence of your business and start creating interactions from your customers.
- Create Online Listings For Your Business: This means creating/claiming social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIN), and also establishing the listings that help people actually find your business (Yelp, Google Business, Bing, Apple Maps). This may take some time as you go through all of these different websites and manually create each listing – however the end result will be well worth it since your business will now be visible across all the popular channels. If you feel overwhelmed already – don’t be! I made a video that will help you understand where you should start first with all of these different listings and profiles. Watch it here.
- Focus On Customer Service & Customer Reviews: If you run your business by keeping the focus on your customers and ensuring great customer service whenever you can – people will be more than happy to leave a review about their experience at your business. Luckily you’ve created all the different listings for your business in step 1 – so your happy customers can easily find your online listing so they can leave a review. However there is nothing wrong with asking people to leave your business a review/rating if they had a great experience. Take note that promoting a good review by offering some sort of incentive goes against the terms of service of most review platforms, such as Yelp. As such it is very important to make sure you are properly marketing reviews. For example, you can make a Find Us On Yelp flyer, or a Review Us On Google flyer, and position those strategically within the business.
- Share Creative Media & Behind The Scenes Videos: If you want your followers & audience to truly start to interact with your business online than you need to give them what they want. Interesting videos and creative photos. Your online profiles for your business should never be strictly promotional. Nobody wants to read an advertisement all day long. However people would love to see some behind the scenes video of food being prepared, or something interesting happening in your office. This is the type of content that people share, and tag their friends in. Content that gets your business found by much more people than a simple promotional post. I did a full video on some basic post concepts for social media. Give it a watch. Then get out there and get creative, then watch the interactions start coming in! Don’t forget to interact back if you want those interactions to continue.
- Collect Email Addresses & Send Newsletters: Email marketing is truly where all of your promotional messages should be going. Want to tell your customers about a new special sale you are running? Or maybe a new product that just came in? Or a brand new delicious pastry you baked? This is where email marketing comes in – however in order for email marketing to work you first have to collect email addresses. Luckily this doesn’t really have to be that complicated. Plenty of businesses simply place a sign-up notebook near their register and simply ask people if they wish to join the list to leave their email address. It’s an extremely simple method – and it works.
Once a week you can take all the newly added email addresses and add them to your Mailchimp account – which remains free up till 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Technically you can stop here, however to really deserve a pat on the back I would recommend you add a signup widget to your website, and let people know about your newsletter on your social media channels. The more emails you have – the better!
And there you have it! 4 things you can do, right now, that would tremendously improve the online presence of your small business without breaking the bank!