When the Economy is Tight, Guerilla Marketing Triumphs
When the internet was in its infancy and local businesses were just coming to terms with the idea of getting a website, every marketing guru would stress the importance of including your website address on your business card. Simple, yes, and now it may seem like a no-brainer, since our websites are a visual of our business and how we want to world to see us, but there are other, just as easy steps that we may overlook. Take a moment to go down this list of very simple no-brainers and see if you have all bases covered.
On Facebook… and hopefully you already have a Facebook account and page. If not, that is the very first step.
- Get a Fan Page for your business. Whether you have one professionally designed for you or make your own, you are not supposed to promote your business from your personal Facebook page. There are many tutorials on Youtube and on Facebook that will walk you through the process.
- Use your profile to promote your business. Fill in all the fields. Schools, companies past and present, all are searchable, so if someone finds you because of the school you attended you already have a natural affinity. We all want to do business with people we know, and one thing leads to another.
- Think twice before you hit the share button. Use Facebook with the purpose of promoting your business. That doesn’t mean posting: “If you need to learn how to do this, go to my website…”, it just means: post with your audience in mind. Friends and business associates alike will be reading.
- Link your Fan Page for your business to your work history. If your Fan Page differs just a little bit from the way you entered your company name, it won’t link. When someone clicks on your company at the top of your profile, it goes to dead space-an empty page.
- Keep your profile current. Make sure you check “I currently work here” or your profile will say: Worked at ABC company.
- Strategically update your profile. When you update your profile, your friends will be notified. Don’t just update your company title, make it a substantial change which might prompt your friends to check it out. Updates that get people clicking: new profile photos, vacation photos and changes in relationship status.
- Make sure your website is hyperlinked in your profile, not just written in without being linked.
- If you write articles post them to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. HootSuite will automatically update the accounts you link to it.
- Post, post, post… Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to float around Facebook, never posting. They go and change around their profiles, but never seem to quite get the nerve up enough to share “What’s on their mind”. Remember that your posts, especially what you post on other people’s threads, give you exposure to their friends.
- Use an email address at your domain name. This should be a no brainer, but many people use a hotmail or yahoo address when they have their own domain. This will prompt people to go check out your website like ….@yourdomain.com.
- Use a signature in your emails. There is nothing wrong with including a link to your website with a small description of what you do.
- If you don’t yet publish articles, think about it. HubPages and EzineArticles are excellent means to gain rankings on the search engines. Link them to your website as well as to your social media accounts. Outside links push your website up in search engine rankings and these links are not going to lead traffic away from your site, they lead them right back to you!
- Use your email address list. Don’t abuse it, but use it. If you have something of value to share with your contacts, send it out. Keep in mind that different people like to receive information in different ways, so you might want to deliver it in a format that will make everyone happy. It only takes a few minutes to film a short video or to record an audio clip, and although reading is by far the fastest way to take in information, many prefer the alternatives.
- Make a short informational video focusing on a specific area of your business. It could be as simple as how to put together a seating chart if you’re in catering. Or maybe you could give pointers on how to write a press release. Post it on YouTube, and remember to link it to your social media accounts.
- Always hand out your business card. If you need to share your telephone number, with someone you meet at your son’s soccer game, pull out the business card. This may be a no-brainer, but many people feel that if they are talking to someone socially, they shouldn’t be handing out their card. It can be a great segway into your business.
- Have a memorable business card. I always spend money on my business cards, not only when it comes to the design, but also professional printing. I walk into people’s offices where I haven’t been in months to find my business card prominently featured on their desk.
- Use press releases often. Many local newspapers are looking for stories. I owned a restaurant for a while and my local paper published every press release I sent them verbatim, as an article. You can subscribe to online press release programs that will disseminate your press releases for you.
- Use keywords. Everything you write should be keyword-rich. Since you never know where you will be picked up, linked to or referenced, keyword-rich content will help give you that push you may need.
- Share your knowledge. Have you ever noticed that oftentimes people new to a field are eager to share what they have just learned? They are excited about what they found out and are interested in spreading the wealth. No matter how mundane it may be to you, there are people who can benefit from what you have to share.
- Go back to basics. Guerilla marketing techniques are as diverse as a business owner’s imagination. Come up with ways to get your business card out there! Ask local business owners if they will cross-promote.
- Put your facebook and twitter links on your website. Ask your customers to like your fanpage. If you have a storefront, make a sign with the logos and provide an incentive for them to friend you or like you.
- Re-design your website. It’s not enough to have a website anymore. Make sure that your design is up-to-date and shows that your business is spending money to maintain it. In times of economic downturns, marketing is what goes first for small businesses. You don’t want your customers or prospects to think you may be going out of business.
- Focus on a niche. Super-specialization and concentration is a way to promote a particular area of your business. It establishes your expertise and sets you apart from your competition.
- Let everyone know that you’ve updated your website. From your social media contacts, to your friends and family, advertising your new online identity will attract visitors and prospects.
- Create landing pages for different events and holidays on your website. Your website always looks fresh and it can create excitement. You can use the landing pages to send out an email blast with fresh content.