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Spending time with local small business owners over the past couple years there is one theme that is constant no matter what type of business. How do I get the most bang for my buck?
Most of the businesses want to find away to start working online and promoting awareness of their brand online but typically do not have the time or the ability to change their marketing spending on the fly as it is planned out in advance.
This means that when working with them it is very important to help find cost effective ways for them to promote themselves, sometimes in ways that may not be obvious in the beginning but once recognized are easy to implement and take advantage of. Many of these companies have been working with legacy marketing companies for years who do a great job with creatives, brochures, and overall design but may not have worked in making sure they do the same level of branding online.
It is important as a small business starts making the move to taking advantage of the growth in local search to make sure they brand themselves and not someone else each step of the way. What do I mean by this? Consider this example of a way for any business that has a website to easily keep their business name in front of people they are communicating with daily.
Everyday I get emails from various types of businesses: customers, partners, competitors, etc. They may be the most professional, perfectly written emails with great logos, maybe even a really nicely designed brochure attached that was done by a marketing firm paid thousands of dollars, but then you see this:
It may not be obvious but there is a major issue here, especially if the company is paying people to help promote their company or working on branding campaigns. Business XYZ , in this case, is promoting Hotmail, not themselves. There is a very simple solution to this.
Use your website name as your email address as well, in other words use email@example.com instead of the hotmail address. Although not every business has a website the cost of a domain name and email at most places these days is a very small percentage of the cost of advertising in most mediums these days. Why not take advantage of a free or low cost way to promote your business name?
These days setting up email and buying a domain name is almost as easy as setting up a free email account at most services. And if you are concerned about the technical nature there are more and more companies available to help local businesses with simple technology needs at reasonable costs compared to what companies may of charged in the past.
If you do have a website and the company that put it together for you did not offer the option to setup your own email make sure you talk to them, there is no reason you should not be offered email as part of your website package.
No longer can you look at your website as a technical, nice to have, item. It is an essential part of your marketing. Over 51 percent of searches are locally focused now (read this article at Frager Factor). This means people are not looking in the places they have in the past like the Yellow pages. Make sure when you start your marketing online it is not just your website though, use every email as a chance to keep your website name in front of your partners and customers as well.
If you need help with understanding how to extend the marketing of your business online visit us at Localtek.com