Marketing Advice for Small Businesses

March 29, 2012 By Meghan Connolly Haupt

Cutting Your Marketing Budget in a Down EconomyMany small businesses are cutting back on marketing as a result of the economy. Are you one of them?

Marketing becomes even more critical in a down economy. Rather than doing less, you should really be thinking about more effective marketing. Here are our top 3 suggestions on how to stretch your dollars and get more online business:

1. Take advantage of free tools:

  • Make sure your Google Places and Yahoo Local pages are as robust as possible with contact information, photos, videos, subject tags and customer reviews. The name of your profiles should match the name of your business. Consistency of brand is important for customer recognition, but also search engine optimization.
  • Post content that positions you as an expert in your field and that helps to drive traffic to your website: YouTube.com for videos, Flickr.com for photos, Slideshare.net for slide show presentations, and Free-Press-Release.com for press releases.
  • Create and keep updated a Facebook and Twitter account. They help you communicate with prospects and customers, but also help search engines view you as a credible business.

2. Get and publish customer reviews:

  • Third party hosted customer reviews will help prospects find you, but more importantly, will help convert prospects to paying customers.
  • Reviews in multiple locations (3rd party hosted, Google, Yahoo) will strengthen your online presence and help you build a good reputation.
  • Reviews can serve as fresh content automatically syndicated to your social media profiles so that you don’t have to create content to keep them updated.

3. Use your customers to help get business:

  • Remind your existing customers when they are due for a visit. Staying in front of them with email reminders will keep your business top of mind.
  • Incentivize your existing customers to help spread the word. Offer them a small thank you gift for referring their friends and family to you. Even better, give new customers a special discount that your existing customers can pass along.

 


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