Monday, January 28, 2013

Online Presence--Four Tactics to Focus on for 2013

If you have a business, whether you craft fancy hair bows for baby girls, rent trailers to construction companies or provide outsourced business services--- an online presence is mandatory in today's business environment! 

Building an effective presence in cyberspace can make the difference between success and failure of your business; nurturing your online presence is something that needs to be done daily. Understandably, many business owners wear many hats and adding these tasks means putting in (even) longer hours. 


There are some things that small businesses can focus on for maximum return on the effort, like these simple ideas: 
  1. Keywords are "Key"--- How do customers find you? What words do they use to search for you online? Those are your "keywords" that get your website found-- if they do not accurately depict your product or service, adjustments need to be made. 
  2. Content is absolutely "King" in 2013---With your vital keywords in mind, you should plan how to cover those topics, and how you will produce content that gets shared. Providing value to people-- teaching them something, showing how or where to find things or providing keen insights, makes posts shareable. Writing list posts make them easy to read and share. Use of pictures and video make them even even more so. Blog posts  on your own websites and blogs keep your site current and the search engine spiders crawling consistently. This keeps your site on top when searches are done. Guest blog posts on related websites with a link back to your own  sites will help you to gain exposure and traffic to your site. Other content you may not have thought about--social media posts, website and blog comm-- also help with exposure. Offering free ebooks and reports is a great way to show people what you know and give you access to their email account. for ongoing marketing. 
  3. Get Social---Using social networks is a great way to enhance your presence online. Share your content along with great content others publish. Social media is a great platform that goes both ways-- and you need to be sure to see it that way. Many people make the mistake of seeing it like traditional broadcast marketing, and then are disappointed with the end results. Engagement and two-way interaction is the power of social media. People like being able to "talk" to businesses, and it helps to build trust. Social media pays off! More than 36% of business owners and managers report obtaining at least one new client through their social media efforts, and those numbers are higher for blog owners and LinkedIn users. See this article I wrote for Social Media Today for more details. 
  4. Be Everywhere---Make sure you claim all your social profiles, you should have a blog, a website, and comment on relevant sites while linking back to your own website and social media pages. Be sure to build a nice Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and Google+ page; take advantage of all the free internet space you can find. 

Of course you have a lot to do every day; but focusing on these tactics will help you get results. If you do not have enough hours in the day already, I understand-- and I can help! Just shoot me an email at denise.gabbard@gmail.com if you would prefer outsourcing your marketing. Together, we will figure out a plan that works for your business and your budget-- and that will get results.