Internet marketing for small businesses is becoming more important to the growth of the company all the time. As an internet marketer that helps small businesses get new customers, I thought it might be helpful to go back to the basics. To talk about the four main parts of online marketing, why each is important, and how you can use each part to grow your business quickly.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to be reminded to ask a simple question – why do we do what we do? At Two Cans Media, our mission is to help mom and pop shops get more customers online. It’s simple, it’s easy to remember, and it is exactly what we do. But, I’ll admit that sometimes a bright, shiny new online marketing toy comes out and tempts us. They call to us like the sirens of ancient mythology, their beautiful song all but pulling us into their trap. But we’ve gotten wise. We’ve learned a lesson (the hard way, I hate to admit) and I’ll share it with you now. You don’t need the shiny new object. You don’t need the latest gimmick or scheme. You need to do these four basic things and you need to do them well.
What are these four basic things? I will introduce them here, and spend the next four weeks explaining each in detail. So, if you want to get the most out of this series, you are going to have to come back each week and read about each area. If you do that, I will promise you two things… you will know internet marketing much better than you do now and you will better be able to put a strategic plan together to market your business online.
The 4 Most Important Parts of Internet Marketing
This is what people see when they search for your business online. Most of the time when someone searches for your business, the Google results will show your website, followed by review sites like Yelp and Google+ which will show a visitor very quickly what your customers think of your business and your customer service. If you do not have reviews on sites like Yelp, Google+, and Angie’s List, then you don’t have a reputation online – and not having a reputation online is nearly as bad as having a bad reputation. Your business’ online reputation is the foundation that all other online marketing efforts are based upon so please do not dismiss this one as unimportant!
Reach deals with getting your message to more potential customers. If you want to grow your business (and who doesn’t, right?) then you know how important it is to reach more potential customers. Obviously, if they do not know about your business, they will not be buying from you. In order to turn a prospect into a customer, the first step is to reach them with your marketing message and help them to get to know about more your business.
Getting new customers is hard. Businesses that “get-it” realize that if you keep customers longer and increase their lifetime value, then you don’t need as many new customers. This involves upselling customers to more expensive products or services, cross-selling to related products or services and reselling to them again at a later date when they may need your product or service again. Sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised how many companies have no system in place for maximizing the lifetime value of a customer.
The final part is the referral. Every business owner loves referrals. Why? Because the person making the referral does all or most of the selling for you. Some of the time with referrals, all that you have to do is show up and they are ready to give you a check (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I have had a few situations like that and they were awesome!). Again, all business owners realize the power of referrals, but very few have a system in place to encourage and track them.
Now remember, I did say that these were the basics of internet marketing for small business. I realize you are probably thinking, “Well, duh! Everyone knows about those things. I need something new!” My answer is in two parts. First, you don’t need anything new. You just need to be intentional with these four basic areas and your business will grow. A lot. Second, come back each week for the next four weeks and I promise that I will give you some new information about each of these areas and how you can use them to grow your business. It all starts next week with part 2 focusing on reputation.
So, which of these do you do well, and which do you need to work on? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.