Simple But Effective Small Business Marketing Advice

The best small business marketing advice I learned and fortunately applied was:Focus, focus, focus… do a few marketing activities very well rather than many poorly!”Pick and Stick” with a few core marketing activities.My mantra is to keep it simple as possible. Focus on activities that get results. Then do those activities over and over. Once you can scale up, train other people in your organization to do it or outsource it.The key is developing an effective system you can repeat over and over.Once you get very good at doing a few effective marketing activities, by focusing you can excel at those few activities. With a developed system, you become more efficient executing those activities as well.Too Many Marketing Options AvailableYou don’t have to search long online to learn there are literally hundreds, probably thousands of ways to market you business. The trouble is, where do you begin?Not too long ago, with no practical marketing experience, I had to market my business because I was in dire need for customers.At first I got excited about all the different marketing options available – print, radio, and of course online.After more research, I made the decision to restrict 90 percent of my advertising budget and efforts to online marketing. I made this decision when my business didn’t have a website.I also had to make tough decisions about doing only some online marketing activities.Fast-Forward To Now:After 2 failed websites and several thousand dollars later, I’ve built a very large web presence that’s working – my business is growing.Not only do I restrict to Web marketing, but I do very few activities in Web marketing. For example, I don’t bother with Facebook, Twitter, and PPC ads. I’m not saying social media and paid advertising doesn’t work; instead, I focused on a few activities in order to learn and do them well.Avoiding social media was a strategic decision and not an easy one. Two years ago everyone was talking about Twitter and Facebook as the next huge marketing channel. I’m not saying it doesn’t work. What I’m saying is I only have so much time and money to devote to marketing.Which Marketing Activities do I Focus On?I focus on 3 marketing activities – all of which are online:
Building huge websites that attract free traffic from the search engines (with blogs built-in);
Article publishing
List building
Recently, my business partner and I added a 4th, which will roll out in a few months – it’s video marketing.When you look at my 3 primary marketing activities, they’re related. The content for my websites (notice plural – I’ve built numerous websites for my business) forms the content for publishing articles on EzineArticles.I build my list by driving people from my articles and attracting people to my site. Everything works together – the videos will plug-in nicely into this marketing funnel.As I’m putting together phase 1 of my video campaign, I’m using the content on my business websites as the video content. I’m leveraging off existing work.At the end of the day, my singular online marketing focus is mass-publishing quality content.The reason mass publishing works so well, is I get to inform my prospective customers about all kinds of matters. I receive a lot of feedback about the content on my sites.The beauty of the whole this small business marketing advice is I target all that content to specific towns and cities where my prospective customers live. It’s the content PLUS local search SEO that attracts a high volume of targeted AND responsive visitors.

Small Business Marketing – The Number 1 Question to Guide Your Communications

When you’re scheming on your small business marketing and communication strategy, never leave out the most important marketing question there is -“So what?” Your customer just wants to know what’s in it for them. They don’t want to do any investigating, homework, or even have to think about it at all. They just want it straight up. If you’re not communicating the advantage of doing business with you, then what’s going to stop them from going to “the other guy”?Marketing 101: FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits)Any marketing student could easily have FAB tattooed on their forehead, as it has been drilled into them so often. It is crucial to your small business marketing success, so let’s make sure you understand the concept. The first step in communication of your service or product is to create an FAB list.
F is for Features: The “what.” What is it? What do you do? Your product or service’s characteristics.
A is for Advantages: The “how.” How can it be used or how it can help. The advantages of your product or service.
B is for Benefits: The “why.” Why should I buy? What’s in it for me? The results customers will get from using your product or service. The answer to the question “So what?”Let’s look at some examples of FAB to help clarify…ABC Motor Oil
Feature: High quality ingredients.
Advantage: You car will run better.
So what?Benefit: Peace of mind, wherever you drive.Bob’s Bread
Feature: We only use organic ingredients in our bread.
Advantage: It’s a healthier bread with no chemical additives.
So what?Benefit: You will no longer be polluting your body or the planet with your morning toast.In certain cases, using the FAB model might seem too obvious or pushing things too far. Using your best judgment is key. Ask for a second opinion if it seems too “cheesy salesman” or just feels weird. A good trick is to pretend that you are selling your best friend on your business. This will keep it feeling genuine, as if you’re speaking from your heart.Don’t forget that stating the obvious is often very effective. Remember: your client doesn’t want to have to connect any dots, so do it for them. Who is your target audience? What will connect with them and get them feeling warm and fuzzy inside?Where to use FABFAB applies for any of your small business’ marketing communications. Your promotional materials like brochures, press releases, advertisements etc… Your website is, without question, the most important spot. This is your online home for whatever your goals might be: clients in your store, buying products, signing up.A Step Ahead of the CompetitionAfter completing your Marketing 101 lesson with your new found FAB knowledge, you’ll be surprised how many businesses overlook it completely. They might list a couple features, throw in some advantages and call their marketing communications complete. Just by answering “so what?” you’ll be miles ahead of the competition in many cases. The benefits of doing business with you must be crystal clear in your customer’s mind. Communicate your benefits however and wherever you can. They are what really matter in the end. Ask yourself the Number 1 Marketing Question and see what it can do for your small business.

Small Business Marketing Ideas – Making Effective Use of Local Search Directories

When you are brainstorming small business marketing ideas for your locally-based business, you have many choices. Yellow pages, TV, radio, print, community support – all can be part of your marketing campaign. But don’t overlook the Local Search Engines and Directories!If you own a local business, you know that advertising in the local printed yellow page directory is almost required. You also know the drawbacks of yellow page advertising – the cost, the commitment, and the inability to change your ad for at least a year once the book is printed. Other print advertising is the same – it can be costly, inflexible and the results are unknown. Small business marketing ideas that include TV and radio buys can quickly eat up a marketing budget.All of the above may be part of your marketing mix. You will probably want to include some internet marketing as well. When comparing small business marketing ideas, one realizes that the benefits of internet marketing are low cost and flexibility. But there is a drawback – getting traffic to your website. This is where the cost for internet marketing begins to add up. Many business owners hire search engine optimization (SEO) experts to ensure their web presence attracts enough traffic to make it effective.Did you know that one of the most successful strategies for SEO for a locally-based business is placement in the Local Search Directories? And that trying to get your website to compete with these directories is futile? If you go to any search engine and type in “your niche your town” most likely you won’t find a list of websites first (depending on your niche), you will find listings from Local Search Directories like Local.Com, Yelp.Com, and LocalSearch.Com. These are Local Search Directories.Entering your business information into these local search directories is required for a successful local business internet marketing campaign. And it is EASY! You don’t need to hire expensive SEO experts to handle this for you…you just need to know where to go. Most of these directories allow you to enter information concerning your business beyond the name, address and phone number. You can reference your website, enter business hours; some even let you upload pictures!Maximizing the use of Local Search Directories is one of the most effective small business marketing ideas you can pursue. Don’t overlook this goldmine of SEO.