Getting yourself seen online – in a good way, of course – is job one for virtually every business. And while small business marketing keeps evolving as new technologies change the way customers find companies and agencies, you have new opportunities to promote yourself in ways that don’t come off as obvious advertising (a sure turn-off for today’s media-savvy consumer).
Beyond your optimized website and social media presence, consider these promotional ideas:
Create or sponsor a podcast. Talk about a great opportunity – an audio podcast series not only gets you heard, it helps position you as an authority in your field. If you are an independent insurance agent, for example, you can probably find a wealth of insurance-related topics that can attract an audience – consumer advice, industry insights, how-tos and so on; the trick is to deliver great information without sounding “sales-y.” A once-a-week podcast of 30 minutes or less is a good benchmark of frequency and length. Top podcast providers like Stitcher take care of the technical details while you concentrate on content.
Don’t have the time to do your own podcast? Sponsor someone else’s – many podcast hosts write and deliver their own commercials and often do a good job of speaking sincerely about their sponsors. The advantage to sponsoring as opposed to hosting is that you can choose to sponsor a podcast with a more general appeal and gain a wider potential audience. list of domains Your commercial can include your website URL or phone number.
Create a forum or blog. Inbound small business marketing is all about grabbing attention away from the other guys. One way to do that is by setting up a forum where you can cover all the big topics in your field. No holds are barred on the best forums – people speak candidly, and open debate is encouraged. And the “messier” it gets … the more it gets shared.
Make a viral video. It used to be that YouTube videos went viral as a twist of fate – it caught the eye of someone who share it with his friends, who shared it with their friends, and so on. Today, websites tell you how to make your video go viral. One expert explains how “high arousal,” defined as characteristics of awe, anger, joy and other active emotions, contributes to greater viewer interest.
What’s more, “the more positive and upbeat it is, the more likely it is to become viral,” says Search Engine Watch. “Although more positive and negative extremes in content have a greater chance to become viral, positive content trumps the negative.” You don’t have to be experienced in video to get started — YouTube provides guidelines for the small business video entrepreneur. The promotional aspect of your viral video comes at the beginning and the end, where you share your agency’s name and URL – whatever else you do, don’t make it look like a commercial.
Go offline to promote online. Inbound marketing through videos, forums and podcasts can get you noticed, and traditional “outbound” tactics can have their place in the campaign, too. For instance, direct mail with a QR code that opens to your YouTube video can be a cool cross-channel effort; you can also promote your social presence via radio spots.
Use the power of the Internet to discover small business marketing that goes above and beyond the everyday tactics.