Contrary to what some online marketers might say, newspaper advertising still works for local businesses. Today however, most people use search engines and social media to some degree to find homes and land. No longer do investors or families drive from home to home just to peek inside a house to determine if it will meet their needs and desires. Prospects are getting savvier everyday and start their searches online. Many businesses understand this and their related need of continually updating their marketing to meet these search requirements.
There are many different marketing strategies that businesses use, and many different tools. There are however, some basic tools that every business and Realtor should know about. Whether you’re just starting out or already running a successful business these tools are foundational to your online success today.
- The top marketing tool is, and might always be, search engines. Google. Bing. Yahoo! Most people (73% of all Americans) searching for a service or a product will first turn to the search engines, so it’s important to market your business in a way that appeals to your prospects as well as the search engines. There are some ‘best practices’ to this strategy that can and should be customized to you and your business.
- Social media ranks number two on our list. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or even Pinterest, people communicate and share via social media. If they see somebody – or something – they ‘LIKE’, they share with others. Social media offers great opportunities for marketing strategies, and new social media marketing tactics crop up almost overnight as businesses continue to search for ways to win their market.
- Another important tool is business directories. Not offline business directories – though those are important too – but the online ones. Instead of buying an ad in the Yellow Pages, buy an ad on yellowpages.com. There are many business directories (we have 50+ favorites) that basically work as a business search engine, and in fact, rank very high on actual search engines. Directories do well in organic search rankings for important search terms. So even if you can’t get your site ranked high for a specific search term, you can appear on the local directory site that ranks for that term. Perhaps even more important is that links to your site and mentions of your business (aka “Local Citations”) can help your site rank well. You should try to register your business in as many reputable directory type websites as possible. Using the many directories available online is the best possible way to obtain free one way links to your website. Many of these directories are search engine friendly and designed well with good page ranks, so do your best to get your business registered in as many of these sites as you can.
- To be successful in your online marketing efforts, you should have a blog even if you’re not trying to establish a good internet presence. Active blogging drives more traffic to your site…and more traffic to your site leads to more leads. And when people show up to your site and find well-reasoned and useful content, they are going to learn more about you. Furthermore, as more posts increase, your overall site traffic will increase also. In other words, accumulating posts on your site over time is like a snowball growing in size as it rolls down the hill. If you think about it, the more content you have the more likely you are going to have something that a reader wants. Why not try and give it to them?
- Today, small businesses, can’t afford to give anything less than a 100% effort. Leaving out one piece of the puzzle can mean the difference between success and failure. One such puzzle piece that is becoming increasingly important is video content for your website. Videos are among the most popular features of any website and have been proven, time and again, to significantly lower bounce rates. Adding video content to your site can drastically improve search engine rankings, if it is done in the right way. A well optimized video, with a relevant file name and a video site map with elements such as keywords, description, and a strong title, can help your site rank well with search engines. Videos are becoming increasingly important in search engine ranking algorithms and many search engines now provide separate searches for video content alone. Providing engaging and well optimized videos on your site will help your business to take advantage of this trend and reach more potential customers.
Currently, these tools are giants for small business marketing. Creating and executing a strong coordinated marketing plan utilizing these tools can generate results with an ROI many times that of the initial investment. You can learn how to implement these strategies yourself but we strongly suggest you consider the value of your time, money and patience. The ever changing formula required for success with any one of these tools increases exponentially with each additional tool and strategy. We spend lots of time and hundreds, even thousands of dollars each month staying sharp on what’s working, what isn’t and what’s coming.
Give Charles & Linda, The Digital Marketing Duo at Musselwhite Marketing a call if you have marketing questions or ideas at (951) 291-1774, or email at contact@MusselwhiteMarketing.com…we look forward to chatting with you!