Offline Local Small Businesses Can Use Internet Marketing To Expand Their Market Reach, Build A Strong Brand And Industry Authority With Simple And Free Web Promotion Strategies!
For example, if you have a local painting business you don't want to use online advertising that targets national or global people, you want to use marketing channels that will target your zip code but also will expand your reach to towns close to yours that can also be interest in your services and still just a few miles away from you.
Here are a few local Internet marketing tips you can use to start leveraging the power of the web to help you expand your market reach, to build your authority and credibility:
1.- Blog Marketing.
Your small business doesn't need a high quality web site, you can start a blog using free services like Blogger, Wordpress.com, and Multiply where you can post daily articles about your business, your industry, and your customers. Few blog marketing tips that can increase your traffic almost in minutes are: Ping your blog after every new post or post update using Autopinger, Pingoat, or Pingomatic; Use tags or labels related to the content of your article on each post.
3.- Business Directories.
Online there are a lot of business directories where you can post your business and web site information for free, you can start with Kudzo, Local, Yellow Pages, SuperPages, Google Local Directory and others. Usually you can get a one way back links to your website or blog which helps increase your search engine ranking and results position.
2.- Craiglist Classified Ads.
Post online classified ads on Craiglist for each of your services and offers. Also, you can use Craiglist ads to post articles, your product reviews, and press releases. The only thing is that craiglist don't provide link back or any type of hyper links, so is recommended to use a custom URL to test and track web traffic conversions. Use a different tracking URL per classified. If you don't have a web site you can still promote your offline business location and contact information, just add a promotion code that prospects need to get a special discount or offer.
2.- Post Ads In Other Top Classified Sites.
Posting ads in top ranking classified ads sites will help you increase your online marketing exposure, web traffic, and helps your search engine optimization efforts with all those one way back links that Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL love. Here are 4 sites to get you started:
2.- Article Marketing.
The Internet has open the door to every business entrepreneur to write and publish articles about their expertise and skills which can help you take your online local business to the next level, before writing article for important publications were just a thing for large corporate firms and well known authors. Some of the benefits of article marketing are: Provide you with instant credibility, position yourself and your company as experts on your field, excellent for branding on the web, you become an authority on your market, gain better search engine ranking (good for SEO), and increase your blog or web site traffic. So, write at least 3 articles per week and submit them to as many article directories as you can.
4.- Press Releases.
Write news worthy articles that mix your company with something important people will want to know about, then submit them to paid and free PR or press releases sites. The best one is PRWeb which is now a paid service, but they can have your press release feature in top news site like Google News, Yahoo News, MSN News, CNN, FOX, and others. But, the free service do an excellent job promoting your business and giving your one way back links to increase your search ranking and traffic. Plus, your credibility will be taken to the next level. Some good free services are: MyFreePR, PRFree, and PR Inside. Here is a complete list of 20+ free press release distribution sites.
5.- Social Bookmarking.
Use free social bookmarking sites to bookmark any site or online article that you like and all your articles, blog posts, and sites. This type of sites can generate fast traffic to your content, which will turn into regular readers and hot prospects. One thing you should know is that this type of web 2.0 marketing don't convert well fast, but it does a good job in the long run. Start now with sites like: Digg, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, etc...
6.- Social Networks.
Spread your brand around the Internet with some web 2.0 powerful tools like: Myspace, Facebook, Bebo, etc... Just remember not to try to hard sell or advertise your products or company in a pushy way, this sites are online social communities, so just socialize, make friends, and share good information. And link to your blog and web site from your profile and on the side bar.
7.- Video Marketing.
Same as the article marketing tips I gave you before, just make a few videos per week or month and upload them to as many online video sharing sites as you can. Read "14 SEO Tips For Video Marketing Biginners" post for more information about video marketing strategies that are proven to work for you.
8.- Online Content Syndication.
Other than pinging all your new online content that are RSS or XML feeds able. Also after having a good amount of posts submit your site to free blog and RSS directories. Another way to syndicate your content is by writing article for other blogs, newsletters, and publications.
9.- Forum Marketing.
Go to Google, Yahoo, or MSN and search for your niche market plus the word "forums", to find online discusion groups in your area of expertise, then read the term of use and policies to see if they accept signature files at the bottom of each forum post. You need to use this signature file as your ad copy so make it attention grabbing and increase readers curiosity so they have to visit your site for them to access the information or free report or ebook.
Now is just up to you to take action, don't just read the information, you need to put it to work to see any results.
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In Conclusion: As you can see Internet marketing can really bring some valuable benefits to your local small business and for the most part you can apply these strategies for free or less than regular offline advertising.
To your success,
Luis Galarza, Internet Marketing Consultant Massachusetts.
A proud member of
- The International Association of Home Business Entrepreneurs