Small Business Advertising

When someone uses the word 'advertising' immediately you think 'expense'. Managed correctly, however, it doesn't have to be expensive. Here are some strategies for small business owners looking for ways to advertise/market without going over-budget.

Likely the most important advertising tip for small businesses is: be "web-centric"!
This means that your website is the mainstay of your marketing plan, and the purpose of almost every other form of marketing is to drive people to your website. If you do an ad in the paper, the focus point is your web address; if you do a billboard or radio spot, the whole purpose is to get individuals to go to your website.

The reason this is the most cost effective strategy is because changing the content on your website is very fast and inexpensive, while changing printed materials is time consuming and costly. By making the purpose of all your other marketing and advertising simply just to get people to your website, those other printed materials never go obsolete, since your web address is yours as long as you want.

Make the focus of your website the extraction of contact information.
Many small businesses think that the point of their website is the get people to buy right now. Rather, the purpose of a website is to collect as many email addresses and phone numbers with permission, in order to follow-up on prospective sales. By collecting this contact information you have produced a potential client list that you can send production information to and not have to worry about whether or not they visit your site again.

How do you get people to offer you up their contact info? As contact information is valuable, offer something of value in exchange for their information. For instance, if you own a rental company, or a retail outlet, offer a coupon for 15% off their next store purchase. Do what it takes to get the contact info of your web visitors. Doing so greatly increases the likelihood that they will become customers some day.

Make certain to follow up with intension.
One area small businesses infamously fail in is the area of following up on potential customer leads/contacts. That is simply leaving money on the table- money that is rightfully yours! On top of that, seeing as your competitors are likely failing in the same area, being careful when dealing with follow-ups will place you ahead of your competition and attract clientele.

Create an immediate mailing that will be directed to visitors who fill out an online form with contact info. Develop a well-thought-out autoresponder series to keep in touch with them for several weeks or months, dependent on the nature of your business. If you are fortunate to have gotten their phone number, be sure to call with a special offer. The bottom line is to make them happy for giving you their contact info. If someone asks a question, especially online, make it a priority to get the answer to them as soon as possible. Again, your care of their concerns will set you apart from your rivals and gain you clients.

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