For a great number of small business owners, using technology as a way of promoting their business starts and ends in creating what they hope is considered to be a great looking website.
There is so much more in terms of resources and technology that you can use to enhance your online presence and digital promotion should not be just about having a website but should also include vital communication tools to drive people to your site such as social media and search engine optimization to enable customers to find you more easily.
The absolute no-brainer of some aspects of digital promotion is just how cost effective promotional campaigns and initiatives have become. You can quickly and easily test customer reactions to products and services and change your campaign based in the feedback you receive. This kind of market research used to come at a much higher price.
So what are the main things you can do to improve the visibility of your company and generate sales growth through pro-active on-line promoting?
An excellent start would be to create or update your Linkedin profile. This popular business resource is a quick and easy way to establish an online presence and if you have a limited start-up budget, Linkedin offers a much cheaper shop window than creating a website. When creating your profile on the site you should really take the time to fill out as much information as possible and include a photo and try to get links with other members so that you create an environment of credibility and trust from an early stage. Linkedin also provides an option to create a page for your business and doing this will also improve your ranking with Google and other search engines making you easier to find.
Take advantage of local online directories and using these resources will also again improve your visibility on the web. You can very quickly create profiles for your business on a Google Places page and Yahoo Local Listing and Bing Business Portal. All these options in effect create a mini-website for your business and again improve Search engine Optimization results.
Use the one particular social media platform that personally prefer, so if you prefer Twitter to Facebook then work on building up your contacts and promotional resources using that one main medium rather than trying to stretch yourself across various different sites. This approach generally works better as you are likely to then have the time to be able to provide quality content and contact in that one platform, and you can of course link to other resources through promotion.
PR isn’t just for big business with large budgets, and online PR can take various forms but if approached in the right way it can quickly and effectively get the word out on any new products or services that you are offering. There is a wide range of services to suit all budgets and some free services such as PRLog.org and pitchengine.com are well worth looking at.
Pay Per Click Advertising can be a cost effective way of generating leads for your business. This type of advertising became popular through search engines like Google but attention is now also turning to mediums such as Facebook. You can also target specific customers who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer through Linkedin profiling , but whichever avenue you consider , remember to set a strict search criteria and budget restriction when setting up a campaign as costs can potentially and quickly get out of hand .
Share free information without expecting back in the short term. The internet is generally viewed as a free resource and if you have something that you have put together such as a free advice sheet, check list or any relevant information that potential customers would be interested in, then providing this as a free download for example, will more likely provide rewards in the longer term when they return to your site looking to actually spend some money.
Making the most of the technology and resources available on the internet will almost certainly prove to be a benefit to your business if approached in the right way.
Guest post written by Jane Spencer on behalf of Mahi FX