When it comes to local Internet marketing you really need to connect the dots if you are going to be visible and gain exposure in your local community.
Over the years I’ve seen so many businesses guess with their marketing like they are throwing darts at a dart board. I don’t want to seem like I’m beating a dead horse but guessing with your marketing in this day and age of the Internet is like traveling across a country without a map.
Local Internet Marketing for a small business has expanded and grown so much in the last five years that the possibilities for visibility and connection are extremely high, if you take the time to do the work and put the puzzle together.
When it comes to local Internet marketing you as a small business owner have more online tools available to you today than ever before. Tools like local directories, maps, links to phone numbers, google places, email marketing, social media and the good ole’ search engine organic listings.
If you happen to live close or in my neck of the woods, Eastern Washington or Northern Idaho, then you already know that small business is a big part of the many local communities that comprise this region. But one thing to consider is that local web-based marketing in a town like Spokane, Washington might be a bit different than say Sandpoint, Idaho.
This leads me to how you can connect the dots and develop a local Internet marketing strategy for your small business.
Basically what you need to do is come up with a plan that works specifically for your small business, not some cookie cutter formula that is mass produced like fast food.
Your strategy for local Internet marketing should be designed and customized to fit your business needs. Why – because all that matters is your business and ROI.
Remember, it’s all about keeping it simple, clear and concise, not complicated and confusing.
The Three Main Components (or pillars if you prefer) to local Internet marketing include local search optimization, email marketing and social media, but not all three are a fit for every small business. So what you need to carefully consider is which one of the three will be the most important and bring you the most ROI as soon as possible.
Then once you have determined this you can move onto the next most important component and then finally tackle the third one. This way you don’t get overwhelmed and inundated with too much information and not enough results.
With certain strategies all three work well together. In other cases you might only use one or two.
Let’s look at the options you have available to you and your business:
1. Local Search Marketing includes organic and pay per click, directories, maps, places, phone links, videos and anything to do with the search engine. Remember visibility is key, so make sure to cover all the bases.
2. Email Marketing includes capturing leads and cultivating relationships with subscribers and existing clients. This is done through links and forms on your website pages, on your blog, in advertisements, articles and social media sites.
3. Social Media Marketing is currently one of the easiest and best ways to become visible to your local market but you’ll need to research and determine which channel is best for your business. Because not all social media sites are the same, you might find some that can help you achieve better rankings and faster ROI than others.
Ok – so that ends today’s commentary on local internet marketing. Stay tuned for part two in this series where I’ll dig further into email and combo marketing and how you can take advantage of the two together.