In an age where people connect more and more via the internet and social media, many small businesses are trying to utilize new strategies to get their products and ideas out there. Doing so can generate more sales and draw in new customers. But this can only happen if those tools are being used correctly and to the businesses utmost advantage. To a small business, adapting to internet marketing can be quite overwhelming. With sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, eBay, and LinkedIn to name a few, it’s hard to know what tools will work best for your needs.
In order to attract the right customers, it is important for small businesses to educate themselves regarding the basic ways they can integrate social media, SEO, and content marketing. So we’ve compiled 7 ways small businesses can integrate SEO, Social media, and content marketing and make it work for them.
Before we get started, let’s have a look at what a business needs to consider when marketing themselves. The main question is how to attract and keep customers hooked to them. The first step is content marketing. It is what pulls together social media and SEO. A high percentage of people are influenced by what comes up in a search engine. And search engines like high value content.
Keywords is another important thing to consider, so, do your homework. You want to be able to empathize with the type of audience you wish to reach. Use topics and phrases that you see people using in social media and online searches. If you are using phrases and keywords that people hardly use, you won’t get the results you are working so hard for. Google offers a lot of free tools that can help you out with this too.
- Blogging – Having a good blog can combine the benefits of SEO and social media. By using a business blog, you can write about topics that will interest your audience. Write a piece that will answer a customer’s most frequently asked questions, for example. Offer editorial guides on products and how they are used. Many blogs can be linked to other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. This means that when you post on your blog, it will send out an automatic message to these social media sites, letting more people know.
- Social Networking and Media – Customers expect to see a business interacting on social media sites more and more these days. They want a place where they can engage the business, and it creates a better social connection by making your business appear more accessible and “real”. Building a strong customer/business relationship is the key and can truly go a long way for you. You need to choose the platform that will work best for you. To get a better idea of which social media sites will work best for you, try utilizing some of the social media monitoring tools and social search tools available online. You can also use content from your blog or newsletter, tweak it up a bit, and cross-promote it on media and social networking websites.
- Email and Newsletter Marketing – Another exceptionally good way to connect with prospective customers is through the creation of newsletters. You can offer tips, facts, relevant topics, and highlight new products in a newsletter. This is also a genuinely fantastic way to keep existing customers in the loop and aids in reinforcing the customer/business connection. It can also help generate referrals. You can also publish newsletters on social media sites with the option to sign up to the newsletter. This often leads to prospective customers visiting your website.
- Videos – YouTube has become a hugely popular means for advertising a business. It helps the customers get to know you and your business a bit better and promotes a better connection. People like to “see” who they are dealing with, and YouTube plays as a powerful influencer for bringing in sales and new customers. You can create an advertisement, an introduction, or product demonstrations in YouTube. It also offers a means of presenting customer testimonials. The great part about this is that videos which are hosted on YouTube and similar sites can be easily embedded in your blog posts, websites and shared on social media sites.
- Resource Center – Useful content can be an excellent resource for customers, so becoming a resource center means customers will place a higher value on your business. You can take topics related to your business and create podcasts, videos, and articles. It’s a helpful way to attract links from other sites and allow the customer to share the information, bringing more traffic your way.
- Contributed Articles and Media Coverage – Another way to boost customer awareness is through mentions in trade publications and local business media. It also lends more credibility to your business, which in turn, can create new business. This one takes a bit of time because you will need to compile a list of local business bloggers, editors, and writers and then make inquiries regarding your business contributing articles to their sites. Some business blogs will have a monthly or weekly guest blog post, for example. That guest could be you! It’s a good way to get more exposure to a new audience.
- Mobile Content – With the use of tablets and smart phones there are more and more people using mobile searches than ever. It can be a great marketing opportunity for a small business if used well. There are some tools that can check where traffic is coming from to your site. If you see that quite a bit is from mobile searching, then make sure that you check whether your website can be easily viewed on mobile devices. Make sure that your business is correctly listed in places like Yahoo Local, Google’s “Places for Business”, and any other local area listings that are accessible via the internet.
One thing to bear in mind is that this takes time to build up. So don’t get frustrated if you don’t see immediate results. If you feel overwhelmed regarding the daily maintenance and upkeep of social media and marketing, let staff take care of those simple tasks or hire a blogger to keep your blog and social media sites updated. One of the worst things you can do is to create a Facebook Page, Blog, etc. and then let it stagnate. You don’t have to use all of these tools either. Choose one or two that will work for you to get started. If you find you can integrate another step, then go for it. But trying to juggle too much at a time can lead to spreading yourself thin and having those tools become stagnant. Focus on what your customers needs are and over time your business can become the “go to” place for many others.