Many studies have shown a huge increase in effectiveness of Web sites and Email simply by using video to deliver your message. The fact is, most people like to watch and listen to video a lot more than read a bunch of words on the screen. Now that there are many video production companies out there that will produce videos for you for as little as $50 a pop, there is no excuse for not getting with the program and incorporating video into your marketing.
Most Internet marketers will tell you that step number one is to get a Web site.
Putting up a Web site is a daunting task for most people, even if they hire someone else to do it for them. I’ll cover this in a future post, but if you are just getting started in Internet marketing, getting a Web site is step 2. Let’s start with something that takes little thought and can be done in just a few minutes.
Step 1 is to get a Twitter account. There are only 4 fields on the sign up form, so it takes about 30 seconds. Welcome to Social Media. Log in and search on keywords related to your business. Follow a few tweets. Notice how others’ tweets appear on your Home page. Post a couple of tweets, preferably something related to your business. Go to your Settings page and complete your profile. Do a search for some of your recent customers or prospects, and follow any that you find. Try to make a couple of business-related tweets each day. Keep your brand in mind when tweeting — remember that you are trying to establish your brand in the minds of your followers.
You now have an Internet presence.
Step 2 is to get a Facebook account. Fill out your Profile. Create a Page for your Business, fill out your the business profile, bookmark the page. Link your page to your Twitter account. Search for some customers and “Friend” any you find.
You now have exposure on the two largest social media sites on the Internet that you can use to help establish your brand, all in less than 30 minutes.
Next… bite the bullet on that Website.
Before you take your first step into Internet marketing, you need to think about what your Brand is. Just like in the offline world, Internet marketing is about building your Brand. What is the essence of your product or service? What makes it unique and better than the competition? Think about how to articulate this in a short phrase (e.g. Lowe’s – Let’s Build Something Together). If you can’t come up with something that you like right now, don’t worry about it. The important thing is to start thinking about it. All of your marketing efforts should support your Brand, whatever that is.
Next, think about exactly what it is you want to accomplish with your Internet marketing program and what the timeframe is. How will this impact your overall business? Now, set your goals. At least some of these should be measurable – e.g. increase sales 20% by the end of the year. Set both short and longer term goals. As you are implementing your marketing strategy, you will need to remind yourself what the end result of all this work is going to be.
Welcome to my blog.
I am an entrepreneur currently doing freelance Internet technology and marketing consulting. I plan on using this space to publish some of my observations of how small, local businesses should be utilizing the Internet to improve their businesses.
Most small business owners know that they should have a Web site and be doing some type of Internet marketing, but most of them don’t have the first clue about how to get started. It feels like a time consuming, expensive task to find a Web developer, design the web site, get it hosted, keep it updated, etc. Who can fit all that into an already overworked schedule?
If you are one of the lucky few companies that are so busy right now that it’s all you can do to keep up with new business, then putting off getting started on Internet marketing might make sense, although I would argue that getting started now while times are relatively good will put you in a much better position to keep your business from slowing down.
On the other hand, if you are like most small businesses today, you are struggling to get enough business through the door to make ends meet. You cannot afford to wait any longer to get started. There are a plethora of free and inexpensive things you can do today that will get you going. The important point is… Get Going Now! Nothing happens overnight, but the sooner you get started, the sooner your actions will pay dividends in the form of increased business.