Posts Tagged ‘internet marketing’
If you are starting a business online, you should be using as many resources as possible. Entrepreneur.com is a great resource for aspiring small business owners and new entrepreneurs. Allen Moon, the founder of On Deck Marketing (an internet marketing agency that specializes in product marketing strategies, e-commerce and online marketing), wrote a great post specifying each step you can take to set up and run a business online.
I decided to use a few of the steps to help you prepare before you set up your online business. These three steps from Moon’s original post are the most fundamental things you can do before you’re ready to set up your online business.
Step 1: Find a need and fill it
Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second. To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results.
Step 2: Write copy that sells
There’s a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:
- Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
- Describe the problem your product solves.
- Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
- Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
- Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
- Make an offer.
- Make a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask for the sale.
Step 3: Design and build your website
Once you’ve got your market and product, and you’ve nailed down your selling process, now you’re ready for your small-business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention–otherwise they’re gone, never to be seen again. Some important tips to keep in mind:
- Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
- Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
- Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
- Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
- Make it easy to buy–no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
- Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.
Marketing for small businesses can be difficult. It is important to remember that you are a small business, with a small budget and you need to make wise decisions. Larger businesses have a little more wiggle room when it comes budgets and resources. You as a small business owner need to know how to allocate your resources as efficiently as possible.
Business know-how gives us some advice on how to market wisely as a small business. Follow these tips from a post on Business know-how and learn how marketing can help you greatly if done well:
1. Offer a Cheaper Version
Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.
2. Offer a Premium Version
Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.
3. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods
Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.
4. Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses
Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost.
5. Take Advantage of Your Customers
Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some special deals just for your existing customers and announce new products and services to them before you announce them to the general market.
If you have started up a new small business, and need to build your company name, it is important to understand the fundamentals of marketing. Marketing requires an integrated method of multiple activities that is much more than just advertising your product.
The U.S. Small Business Administration gives a great detailed explanation of the basics of marketing and why it works.
According to the SBA, marketing has two main principles:
- All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.
- Profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume.
The SBA also says that there are very specific ways to use these principles such as using market research to determine the needs of their customers, analyzing competitive advantages, selecting specific markets to target, and figuring out how to satisfy customer needs.
It is important to conduct market research by using simple questionnaires to give you an idea of current customer preferences, dissatisfaction, or possible new product ideas. You can also use market research to find trends in the market that can encourage or shut down certain sales ideas.
Most small businesses don’t have unlimited resources to devote to marketing; however, the SBA wants you to know that you can still see excellent returns while sticking to your budget if you focus on target marketing. By concentrating your efforts on one or a few key market segments, you’ll reap the most from small investments. There are two methods used to segment a market:
- Geographical segmentation: Specializing in serving the needs of customers in a particular geographical area.
- Customer segmentation: Identifying those people most likely to buy the product or service and targeting those groups.
Figuring out Customer Needs
It is important to know how to satisfy your customers. You need to develop a highly specialized product or service, or have some sort of high-quality service. You need to stand out among your competitors.
Do you have a business website? Are you frustrated that you have a fantastic business website with every bell and whistle you can think of and yet no one seems to notice it? Many small business owners feel the same way. Thankfully, there’s something you can do to change that.
If you want your small business website to appear higher up on Google so that people will see it and have access to it when searching for your product, you need to have a selection of very deliberate keywords throughout your website. This will give you higher search engine rankings and ultimately – higher traffic.
Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing keywords to include in your website content.
1. Keep it relevant
Every keyword you choose should have relevance to the product or service you provide. The more relevant keywords you have, the higher search engines will rank your site.
2. Conduct research
When choosing keywords, you need to make sure that you are choosing keywords that people are actually searching for. Use Google AdWords to find out if the keywords you are using are actually in demand. This will ensure that you are selling to a market that needs your product.
3. Beware of your competition
When you are researching the possible keywords you should use, you will be able to see how competitive they are. Try specifying and refining your keywords, use phrases instead of just one word, to set yourself apart from your competition.
4. Keyword stuffing
Try to avoid stuffing your content with repetitive keywords. Also, it is important that you have enough keywords on your page to make it count. There is a particular balance that you need to pay attention to. If you have too many keywords, you will be labeled as a spammer. If you don’t have enough, your page will not be considered relevant when people are searching for those keywords.
5. Quality content
Even if you select the best keywords, and insert them perfectly into your content, your efforts will continue to suffer unless you have quality content. Quality content means content that is relevant to your business, targeted towards your target market, and well written.