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Digital Marketing and Social Media

Does your business use digital marketing? You do if you email customers by mass eblast or e-newsletter. Do you use social media as part of your business strategy? In today’s business climate it’s critically important to communicate through a variety of channels. No longer is it enough to just have a website, email promotional coupons, or send out a monthly newsletter. In today’s digital world, companies have a growing list of (nearly free) tools that can help take their business to the next level.

Where are your customers?

Is Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook most popular with your customers/clients? Start by identifying the two social media channels where your customers are most active—just ask them—and then use those. Don’t spend valuable time posting to places your clients will never see. By understanding what’s important to them, you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach more of your target audience. And all of these are free tools!

Ask permission

Before adding any names/emails to your email distribution list, please be sure to first get permission to add the email address—it’s against the law if you do not. This can be done by asking people to opt-in their email at every event you host, or, if a new customer comes in, ask them if they’d like to add their email to your promotions list. This then gives you your permission to send them emails.

If someone clicks “unsubscribe” from your email list then you must remove them. There are many email marketing services out there like Constant Contact, Mailchimp and Emma that will automatically unsubscribe someone from your list when the subscriber requests it. These are great tools, and inexpensive!

Bottom line, if you let them know the benefits of subscribing, such as insider deals and free expert insight, they’re more likely to sign up and look forward to hearing from you.

Content Checks and Balances

A good rule of thumb for social media content is that that 80 percent of your posts should focus on industry tips or ideas, sharing from other pages, and joining the conversation (engaging with your fans). Use the remaining 20 percent to promote your business directly (offers, promotions, coupons, services, etc.).

So Now What?

Are people actually reading your emails? What links were most clicked in your recent eblast? Did you reply to a fans question or comment on your Facebook page? Did you jump into a Twitter conversation? The more you know what your customers/clients are talking about and clicking on, the more you will understand your audience and can tailor the messaging. This is VERY valuable information that if you track it and learn from it, the stronger your marketing results will be.

Bottom Line

Creating a sustainable digital marketing strategy is pretty simple—but you get what you put into it. It does take a lot of work and time to make it effective, and you have to be consistent. Avoid starting a weekly blog or newsletter if in reality you can’t maintain it.

Don’t start a Facebook page, build a good fan base, and then only post occasionally

once every few weeks. When simple marketing is done right—wow—you will be

amazed at what you get from something so simple.

With these tips in mind—get out there and make things happen!

-Carrie Rice, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Chamber of Commerce

of Huntsville/Madison County

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Local Business Listing

Claiming, adding, and validating your on-line business listing page in local classifieds will increase your business, draw new customers, and scale back your promoting prices while increasing your local business’ web visibility. By claiming your page, you can tell the search engines directly about your business by using your relevant, business-critical keywords and improve trust in your geo-location for better Local Search rankings. These business listing pages are often added to location-specific search results, giving your business listing more space on the search results page. Claiming, updating, and maintaining these business listing pages is easy and, in most cases, free.

Key Benefits

Submitting your local business to a local business directory has become very important since more and more internet users are now searching for products and services online and not making use of their telephone directories anymore. A good directory listing must contain the physical address of the business, contact numbers and the website URL if permitted in order to increase exposure of the business. This will enable directory users to find useful information from your listing to facilitate a contact with your business, without requiring additional information.

Local business directories allow users to easily locate businesses in their area; hence they have become very popular over the years. A useful local directory can provide the searchers with a list of individuals and businesses that offer a product or service they will be looking for within their area. This will minimize the amount of time users spend looking for businesses on the internet.

The biggest advantages of advertising your business in a local business directory are gaining plenty one-way links that will send highly relevant visitors to your website. These will improve the search engine rankings of your site in the result pages of search engines because search engines consider inbound links when ranking websites.

Since printed business directories lack frequent updates, individuals and businesses now prefer making use of internet directories to obtain information. The benefit is that if a business changes an address or telephone numbers for one reason or the other, they are able to update their listing in just a few clicks.

Having your business details listed in a local online business directory is a fast and cost-effective way to expose your business to thousands of internet users. This is because advertising in printed media has become expensive for an average individual or small business that is just starting up. This therefore means that a business will enjoy the benefits of getting free traffic and future customers from their business listing within the directory, for free.

In the event that existing or new customer loses your business contact details, they can make use of a local online business directory to quickly search for your business and be able to get all the information they need. This is more convenient that having to browse thousands of pages in a paper directory.

The benefits of advertising your business in a local business directory are therefore not limited to gaining exposure for your company but are expanded to obtaining quality back links to your site, a reasonable improvement in the search engine rankings and an easier way for your customers to locate your business. Therefore, never take for granted the benefits associated with submitting your business to a local business directory.

Online Directories

Lot of small businesses these days are using on-line directories to their profit. If you run a small business then odds are you spend a great deal of your time thinking about your marketing plan. Online directories will be an excellent addition to your current small business promoting strategy. Online directories can help your small business expand its website traffic, increase the likelihood that your website will be found by interested viewers and increase your bottom line. If you haven’t taken a look at online directories and considered how your small business could use them to increase its market presence- then now is the time to start!

What Are Online Directories?

There are many different types of online directories available on the Internet. Each of those on-line directories serves a particular purpose and may be utilized by your small business in specific ways. Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’s website from their home, office or even while traveling.

How Do Online Directories Work?

The idea of online directories is actually a pretty simple one. Online directories are very similar to the Yellow Pages in the real world, only these listings are only online. (Actually Yellow Pages.com is an online directory) A directory is just a listing place for a number of businesses. Any type of business you can think of could be listed in an online directory.

How Do Online Directories Benefit Small Businesses?

Exposure is important for all business marketing strategies. After all, the more people who are exposed to your business the more people are likely to utilize your business’s services. If online viewers aren’t able to see your business or even know that it exists, then they probably aren’t going to purchase your products or services. Listing your business in online directories helps your website to gain exposure. Thousands of people use on-line directories everyday to search out things they’re interested in. Online directories will expose your business to more online viewers.

Cheap Advertising

As a small business owner you already understand the importance of advertising. You know that it helps customers to find your business and recognize your name and brand. You probably have little room in your budget for more advertising right this moment. That is one of the major benefits of listing your business in an online directory. Online directories are inexpensive to join and they offer a lot of exposure for the price. Some on-line directories can permit you to list your business without charge, whereas others can charge a lowest fee. Either way, you are getting a lot of exposure for less money than you would spend on a TV or radio advertisement.

Professional Appearance

You want everything about your business to appear skilled within the eyes of your customers. A professional appearance enhances your status and makes customers more likely to patronize your business. Online directories assist you to appear like a professional business. When an online consumer sees your business listing in an online directory they will consider your business to be an authority on the subject and a professional place to do business. Unlike a search that is performed on a major search engine like Google, where there is little difference between the legitimate websites relating to a topic and the less than useful websites, online directories are mostly legitimate websites. Online consumers are more likely to trust what they see on online directories.