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8 expert online marketing tips for small businesses

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | May 9, 2014
Small business digital marketing pros share their top picks regarding the best ways for businesses with big plans but small budgets to market their products or services.

5. Leverage email marketing and email reminders."Email marketing is great for engaging customers, but you're really limiting its potential if you keep it in a silo," says Ron Cates, director, Digital Marketing Education, Constant Contact. So be sure to integrate your email marketing campaigns "with your other marketing campaigns for maximum impact," and vice versa, he says. For example, "if you're running a Facebook contest, increase the number of people participating by notifying your email subscriber list of engaged customers," he says. "If you're running a time-limited deal or special offer, send a reminder via email.

"The impact of email is undeniable," Cates states. "We've seen from our customers that upwards of 25 percent of all sales of coupons and deals can be attributed to reminder emails."

6. Try PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising/Google AdWords. "SMBs need to be as targeted with their marketing efforts and dollars as possible, especially if their product/service is location specific -- and PPC ads are one way to do so," says David Waterman, account director, Digital Marketing, The Search Agency, a search marketing and optimization firm.

"PPC ads can be a cost efficient way to dip your toe into the online marketing world and use your marketing dollars to specifically target the regions and terms that relate most to your business," Waterman says. "Some media/marketing companies even offer automated bidding solutions that allow the SMB PPC novice to gain the same level of targeting and exposure without the heavy lifting."

"An efficient Google AdWords campaign, where you are sure you know how the platform works, can be a huge quarry of leads for small businesses," adds Kyle Peterson of Clement | Peterson, a tech PR and marketing firm. "Start with uber-targeted keywords, paying close attention to keyword match types, negative keywords and search query results to eliminate irrelevant visitors, like people looking for jobs," he says.

"Then, enable some form of conversion tracking so you know that new visitors are scoping out your business and not immediately bouncing," he says. "Scaling up the spend is the easy part. Making sure you aren't wasting money on irrelevant clicks is where the biggest AdWords challenge lies."

In addition, or instead of Google AdWords, Waterman recommends small and midsized business owners check out Bing PPC advertising.

7. Conduct webinars. "Use webinars to build your list and generate leads," says Nicole Skuba, a partner at marketing firm Blue Tree Digital. "Webcast experts say some webinars see a 70 percent rebound effect comprising those who viewed the live broadcast as well as new individuals," she says. "Webinars are also more interactive and keep the attention of leads or potential clients."

 

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