The 7 Internet Marketing Tools Every Small Business Needs
By Brian Basilico – Business 2 Community
I was at a meeting this week with a new client who had a sixth sense that something was not right in “Internetmarketingville.” The problem wasn’t that they were not being found on the internet, it was that they were not in control of their own destiny because they were NOT paying attention to what was happening in Internetmarketingville. They were fed monthly reports that the were #1 in everything (“Yeah Team”). They had a feeling that ALL new business came from Internetmarketingville. Most importantly, they had no real concept or connection to what Internetmarketingville was.
They were right on their six sense. They were #1 when you search for them. Then they thought they were buying Google ads (not). They thought they were seeing Google Analytics reports (not). They were NOT in control of their Internetmarketingville destiny.
Chances are you are reading this because you are in business. Businesses are designed to make money. Sometimes we get so lost in the details and processes that we “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” Business is simple; bring in more money than you spend and you have a profit, spend more than you take in and eventually you have a hobby (sometimes a very costly one). Having a successful business is hard. Sales and marketing is about getting people to be aware of who you are, what you sell, and spend their money with you. Simple right?
What kind of marketing works best? Print, face-to-face, directory, radio, TV, coupons, promotional items, telekinesis, and internet marketing – these are all MARKETING. Which is best? Only you and your hairdresser know for sure. But it has been said that, “What gets measured, gets managed” – Peter Drucker, and only you know what is making a difference for you or your business.
I have worked in a few companies and used, sold, and tried all of those marketing techniques (telekinesis was the least effective). Internet marketing is my game and I work hard to make sure it works for myself and my clients. Below is a list (in order) of what I believe each and every business (from solopreneur to Fortune 100) should have, use and measure.
- Website – Social media wants you to believe “Websites Are Dead.” Long live the website. There are a few problems with not having a website, even just a one pager. Google wants to direct people there and not your social media. Without a website, phone number and location, you are all but dead to Google. If 70-80% of all search traffic on the internet means nothing to you, then ignore having a website.
- Email – I am not talking about Outlook. I am talking about Constant Contact, IContact, Mailchimp, GetResponse, (and for most heavy hitters) Aweber or Infusionsoft. There are many others and I would love to hear about your favorites in the comments. What program is not as important as your list. I had a list of thousands that I wiped clean and started over. I did that because I collected names and few of them cared about what I was sending. Build a list of fans and fanatics, people who really want to hear from you and enjoy your messages. Don’t disappoint them with spam. They will let you know when you do with unsubscribes.
- Analytics – “What gets measured, gets managed” – Peter Drucker. That includes your email, social media, blog, and most importantly your website. Everything can be measured, but benchmarks and perspective are EVERYTHING. I manage over 100 Google Analytics accounts and I learned from there how a website or social media campaign is doing. If someone tells your your website is getting 26,000 visitors a month I would venture to guess they are full of crap. I do have one client that gets that much… they are a funeral home and people are reading obituaries. Measure results, but give yourself something to compare them to.
- Google+ – What I mean by this is Google and plus other Google stuff. Start by making sure you control and maintain the Google account for your business. You need a gmail account (don’t have one? Get One!), and then visit www.google/business.com. From there you can manage places, maps, analytics and more. I don’t have time to dig too deep into this but you can visit www.google4business.com for a webinar replay and more info. One final word of wisdom… Google does not call local businesses unless you are spending money on Adwords. Those are spammers trying to scare you into their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) programs. Hang up – Robo call or real person.
- Blog – I know every business does not have the time nor inclination to generate a weekly or daily blog. You have content on your websites, brochures, presentations, and more. Share it online somehow. I’ve learned that every business generates content and they don’t even realize it. The purpose of a blog is to drive people back to your website to learn more about your business. Even if you don’t have a blog, make sure the content you are posting online has a link back to your website or business. I have a daily quote that I post that has links (text on the graphic) to my website and that has increased traffic and likes to my social media.
- Social Media – I know most of you are saying, “Dewd, C’mon… I am reading this on social media!” But there are still a few of you who have your fingers in your ears saying “La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La!). Stop reading here… open another tab… and Google yourself AND your business or brand!’ Whether you like it or or not, or have NEVER signed up for a social media account, “YOU ARE HERE.” All I am asking is for you to be aware and get a strategy. In the words of those great philosophers RUSH (Canadian rock band), “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Don’t let the messages manage your business… Make it YOUR BUSINESS to manage the messages!
- A Coach or Mentor – My feeling has always been – “I don’t need a coach!” (but I didn’t know what I didn’t know)? There are many people out there who have been there, done that and can help you get where you want to go faster. Yes you can do everything yourself, but do you really want to replace your engine, furnace, or kidney? We hire experts for everything, but somehow we feel that nobody knows my business as well as I do (hint, you are wrong). I willingly and gratefully work hard to obtain or pay for that advice (hello Felicia, Al, others?) I also have a mentor, and I try to mentor others. Be open to learn and be willing to ask for (or pay) someone to show you how to go from stalled to stellar!
This is a lot of information, but it only scratches the surface of each and every subject. Think of it as a bunch of appetizers. Some will be full, while others will just nibble say where’s the main course. There are many resources including my past posts that fill in the gaps, but your comments and feedback will help me know which of the seven topics I mentioned are the biggest hot buttons for the majority of you… so comment away (and thanks for reading)!