This post is brought to you by VerticalResponse.
When you’ve got a small business, juggling all of your competing priorities can feel exhausting. But what if you could market your business in an hour or less? You could attract new customers and help retain the ones you have. Well, this isn’t one of those too good to be true tales… it’s reality, and in today’s post we’ll walk you through how to market your business online in less time than in takes to get a decent massage or cook a nice dinner.
Start with Your Website (20 minutes)
As you add new products and services to your business, you most likely update your company’s website. These additions are fresh content, which is great for lots of reasons. First and foremost, when a visitor comes to your website, they see new things that may cause them to make a purchase (ka-ching!), or you may pique their interest in something they haven’t purchased from you in the past. Fresh content is also a signal to search engines like Google that your site should be crawled, which can help your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and help your overall search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When your site is optimized for both people and search engines, your site will be found more often in search results, leading more qualified visitors to your site, which should lead to more conversions (sign ups, purchases, donations or whatever your “success metric” is).
Email Marketing for the Win (20 min)
Now that you’ve got some fresh, optimized content, you’ve got to go out and tell the world about it. Well, maybe in this case, start with your email marketing list subscribers. Using an Email Service Provider (ESP) like VerticalResponse, you can quickly and easily send out an email to your list in under 30 minutes. Most ESPs have predesigned email templates you can use that are simple to customize with your company logo and content. Most also allow you to share your email content with your social networks with just a click or two, expanding the reach of your message to a broader audience. Your ESP will also provide you data about how your email performed, such as how many people opened your message or clicked on the links so you can make changes accordingly.
With the holidays right around the corner, there are heaps of opportunities to market your business and get new customers. VerticalResponse created an Everything Holiday site to help you. It’s got predesigned holiday themed email templates, festive call-to-action buttons you can use in your email marketing or on your website or blog, a fun email subject line generator that creates 18 subject lines for you in just a few seconds, plus lots more. It’s perfect for the time-crunched small business owner looking to market their business during the busy holiday season. Make a note that, during the week of Thanksgiving, there are five occasions to market around including Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. That’s a ton of marketing opportunity for your business!
Social Media is the Gas to your Content Fire (15-20 min)
With your website updated with fresh products, services and content, and your email marketing sent out, you’re ready to tackle the social media front. Half the battle with social media is making the time to do it, and the other half is having something to share with your fans and followers. If you create your content up front, you’re golden. And just because there’s a new social media network every day, it doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. Spend your time nurturing the networks that make the most sense for your business. For instance, Facebook is a natural for most businesses since there are over 800 million active users, but Pinterest is growing rapidly and is a natural fit for businesses that would benefit from the image-centric social site that also allows you to add prices to pinned images and drive traffic directly back to your site. So, consider your social options and focus your energy and time on the ones that fit your business and customers best.
Do you still think you don’t have time to marketing your company online? Think again, because in less than an hour you could be driving new visitors, prospects and customers to your business!
This post was contributed by Kim Stiglitz. Stigllitz is the director of Content Marketing at VerticalResponse. VerticalResponse Inc. provides a full suite of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses including email marketing, social media, online event marketing, postcard marketing and online surveys. You can connect with Stiglitz on Twitter @Stiggy1.