Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Business

If you are a small business owner or marketer tasked with increasing sales, challenged by decreased budgets and looking for a “bailout” of your own, follow these five digital marketing strategies and you will be on your way:

1. SEO Now
Search Engine Optimization is one of the best online marketing investments that you can make. Avoid agencies if you are strapped for cash and look for a credible, independent expert who can help you optimize your site code with a one-time payment. Also develop and post HTML press releases and topical articles on your website to become indexed in the major search engines. Your audience will grow, but not your bill.

2. Ditch Old Standby’s and Go Paid Search
Before spending a single dollar on radio, billboards, table tents, posters and the like, exhaust your best paid search terms on Google and Yahoo. Search can grab the attention of your customers and prospects while they are motivated, looking around and in a shopping mode.

3. No Focus Groups, Use Search Terms
Forget expensive focus groups for now. Create and test different search ad units with different sets of copy to see what resonates with your target audience.

4. Use Blog Outreach
Raise awareness about your new store opening or unique services by engaging with the online influentials who will write about your business and help spread the word. For example, should be on your radar if you are a garden center. Online editors are surprisingly hungry for content given their own staffing cutbacks. To garner positive attention, offer unique and valuable content including photos, discounts, exclusive interviews or tips.

5. Examine Old Contracts
Check your insertion orders and the specifics of your contracts. What most publishers do not tell you is that you can change or renegotiate deals if they are not performing. Be professional and give them notice you are low on funds and need to make significant changes to meet goals. Publishers want a long-term relationship with you, and that will only happen if you are getting results.

Now take a deep breath and realize that the Internet can help you achieve your business goals. This medium is affordable, efficient and geared perfectly for small business. The government might need $700B to do its job, but you really just need a few thousand dollars and some great digital marketing strategies. Good luck on Digital Main Street.

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