Getting Online Exposure – Part Two
In part one of “Getting Online Exposure,” we discussed easing into the online marketing process. Social media can be time consuming, so it is best to pick one method of marketing and start building on that.
The first step is to make sure you have a good website with the right information on display. The second step is to get a reliable individual to start blogging. The third step is to use Twitter to tweet out the content that is posted on your blog.
What’s next? One important side note is to make sure your business is on the map. By this, I mean the importance of being listed in your local marketplace with Google. More and more, Google is striving to localize the information people receive when they are searching. If your company has a Gmail account (Google mail account) then you can register your business with Google Local. It’s free and puts you on the map with Google within four weeks. Try it out here: http://www.google.com/local/. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the process.
One item we have not touched upon is Facebook. Facebook for some is a dying method of marketing, while for others it is a hotbed for communicating important informationsuch as sales announcements to your clients and potential clients.
The first question you may want to ask yourself is “Are your fans (the customers you love) actively using Facebook?” Last week, I was talking to a client who lives in a small town. They have found Facebook to be an extremely effective way to get the word out about the special events they host at their hotel.
If you have a good database of fans through Facebook, then this can be an effective tool to tell them about a sale or new line of clothing. One of my retail clients has experienced the opposite, however. Despite many attempts at getting customers to register on Facebook and participate in a photo contest, the interest was very low. Most of the fans were actually family and staff.
The best way to find out the most effective method of reaching your fans is simply by asking. You can have the staff ask an interested client how they heard about you either when they call or at the point of purchase. If this scenario feels like too much of a time crunch, then a follow-up call, email or quick online survey will help you to determine how to best stay connected to your fans.
E-newsletters are a cost-effective method of staying connected. How often Lift Strategies’clients send out information to their customers depends how much time they have to generate new content. We make sure the retailer is able to commit to a regular schedule. Some of our clients send out a message every quarter, up to twice a month, or simply every time they have a new promotion to announce.
There are many easy-to-use e-newsletter services available. Some of the most common are www.constantcontact.ca, www.icontact.com, and www.myemma.com.
The beautiful thing about sending out an e-newsletter is the ability to track its results. Additionally, it is common to include links to specific pages of your website in the e-newsletter. This way you can draw existing customers and prospects back to your website. As a result you can see what they are interested in and how long they stay.
Getting online doesn’t have to put a large dent in your marketing budget. It is more of a time commitment than anything else. If you don’t have time to do it, you can incorporate some of the tasks into one of your employee’s job descriptions.
In a nutshell:
1. Take advantage of Google Local’s free map option
2. Find out if your customers are active Facebook users before using Facebook as a promotional tool
3. Find out the best way to reach your ideal fans online
4. Commit to sending out regular e-newsletters even if it’s only every three months
5. Incorporate links from your website into your e-newsletter content
6. Find a champion amongst your staff who wants to help market your store online
Jen DeTracey runs Lift Strategies Inc., a strategic marketing firm. Visit the website at www.liftstrategies.com and sign up for our one-minute marketing tip. Jen can be reached at 604.255.2098.