There’s no doubting the critical importance of marketing when getting a small business started. Unless word-of-mouth is enough to generate publicity for your young brand, not enough people are going to know who you are at the beginning until you reach out to them in an effective way.
Thus, the marketing industry was born – specifically the Internet marketing industry. Countless companies and individuals exist to help small businesses succeed in the art of capturing attention amidst ostensibly unending competition.
While spending money on such effective services as ReputationManagers.com and SEO consultants is sure to result in improved marketing for your brand, don’t make the mistake of thinking you must seek outside help. The dirty little secret about Internet marketing is that most of it can be taken care of by small businesses themselves, especially in the beginning.
Here are six key components of Internet marketing than startups should have no problem tackling on their own:
Establishing a strong social media presence: Chances are you have a Facebook profile, and maybe you Tweet as well. It doesn’t get more complicated when using these social media services for your small business. Paying someone else to manage your free social media profiles is unnecessary considering the amount of information online that focuses on ways small businesses can use such services.
Safeguarding an online reputation: Protecting your image on the Internet sounds like quite the undertaking, but it oftentimes requires nothing more than staying updated on your social media profiles and securing relevant domains. If negative information related to your brand makes it to the top of search results, there isn’t anything a third-party firm can do that you can’t do yourself. Such services are merely a matter of convenience.
Going mobile: By the middle of this decade, it’s projected that mobile web traffic will quadruple from where it was in 2010. Your small business website and pertinent online profiles must be mobile-friendly, but it isn’t as hard as it sounds. Simply use a mobile browser emulator to see what your site looks like to specific mobile users. Only seek assistance if you notice any problems with navigation, or if mobile searches do not count you among the results.
Improving SEO: If you’ve taken the proper steps to protect your online reputation, establish a social media presence, and become visible to mobile users, then you’ve already done quite enough to improve your search engine optimization. But simply always be mindful of the keywords used most in searches and make an effort to integrate them into your website to add more oomph to your search rankings.
Spreading real world awareness: Don’t neglect the power of promotional items, QR codes, and other modern marketing elements that exist in reality. Distributing flash drives with your company logo on them throughout a college campus or other area with a high number of potential consumers is something you can do yourself, once you pay for the products to be made of course.
Networking with other businesses: In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to go at consumers alone on a small scale, and thus many small businesses have opted to join forces via various networks over the years. Whether it’s through promotions or advertisement, rubbing elbows with more established entities with customers you may be able to serve is a great way to take huge marketing strides when starting a small business.
Small business start-ups cannot afford to ignore the importance of marketing in the Internet age, but that doesn’t mean they have to throw precious funds away paying someone else to tackle such critical tasks. There’s plenty in the realm of marketing that small businesses can do themselves, especially when it comes to their web presence. Give it a go on your own before committing to the costlier albeit just-as-effective strategies of someone else.