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10 months ago

Local Business: Steps To Online Marketing

 

steps to success

“What’s the ROI of social media?”

This is a common question that looks deceptively useful but is actually not useful at all.

Before you get a return you must invest. Quite simply…  If you have built no online capacity there is no return on the money you have failed to invest in your business.

For a local business there is definite advantage to using the internet and there are different methods to using it. The first question for any local business owner to ask themselves is this.

What purpose will it serve?

There are levels of immersion in social media and online development that apply.

 Level 0

Your business doesn’t exist to anyone looking for you online.

There is no purpose and no effort has been made to make your business visible to the customers who now use the internet to research what they will buy.

Any directory listings online for your business were automatically generated and may or may not be correct and up to date.

 This is many local businesses right now

Level 1

Purpose: To make use of the free opportunities online to make sure that your business can be found if someone is looking for the product you provide in your service location.

You have:

  • All  free directories that mention your business are correct and have your information and a link to your website completed.

What this does:

Ensures that anyone who sees your business listing online is not met with the wrong information and that anyone seeing your website is able to make contact with you, know where you are located and the most basic information about what you sell.

Level 2

Purpose: to make sure that your business can be found if someone is looking for the product you provide in your service location also to share some product detail and information about what makes your business worth selecting over your opposition.

  •  All  free directories that mention your business are correct and have your information and a link to your website completed.

PLUS

  • You have a website with your basic information on location, contact details, product offer and service area.
  • Product information, images, regular updates and improved Search Engine Optimisation,  with fresh content and more attention to correct use of code that Google can read but that does not show on the page.

Level 3

  •  All  free directories that mention your business are correct and have your information and a link to your website completed.
  • AND have a website with your basic information on location, contact details, product offer and service area.
  • Product information, images, regular updates and improved Search Engine Optimisation, with fresh content and more attention to correct use of code that Google can read but that does not show on the page.

PLUS

  • Your website is updated regularly, with new articles and updated information of interest to clients
  • Social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked or other platforms that are appropriate for your business

These levels are essentially for people who have no interest in developing sales from online but have a minimal amount of respect for their business and customers by at least ensuring they can be found if someone has a problem or needs to contact the business.

Level 4

Purpose: To make use of the free opportunities online to make sure that your business can be found if someone is looking for the product you provide in your service location. To allow your business to be positioned on Google and other search engines to gain good placement and to secure your business position as being ready for dealing with customers who like to use technology when researching things to buy or businesses to use.

  •  All free directories that mention your business are correct and have your information and a link to your website completed.
  • AND have a website with your basic information on location, contact details, product offer and service area.
  • Product information, images, regular updates and improved Search Engine Optimisation, with fresh content and more attention to correct use of code that Google can read but that does not show on the page.
  • Your website is updated regularly, with new articles and updated information of interest to clients
  • Social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked or other platforms that are appropriate for your business

PLUS

  • Social media for business training in process
  • A social media marketing strategy
  • Regular updating to social platforms
  • A blog that is updated regularly
  • Active engagement online
  • A social media policy

Level Five

Purpose: To make use of the free opportunities online to make sure that your business can be found if someone is looking for the product you provide in your service location. To allow your business to be positioned on Google and other search engines to gain good placement and to secure your business position as being ready for dealing with customers who like to use technology when researching things to buy or businesses to use.

At Level 5 the internet is capable of being a profit centre for the business and can be driving traffic to your business for sales, both in store and online and operating as your PR and Customer Service centre for enquiries, sales and information services.

  • All free directories that mention your business are correct and have your information and a link to your website completed.
  • AND have a website with your basic information on location, contact details, product offer and service area.
  • Product information, images, regular updates and improved Search Engine Optimisation, with fresh content and more attention to correct use of code that Google can read but that does not show on the page.
  • Your website is updated regularly, with new articles and updated information of interest to clients
  • Social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked or other platforms that are appropriate for your business
  • Social media for business training in process
  • A social media marketing strategy
  • Regular updating to social platforms
  • A blog that is updated regularly
  • Active engagement online using your social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or other industry specific sites and forums.
  • A social media policy
  • In store social media integration
  • Social media for business training in process
  • A social media marketing strategy
  • Regular updating to social platforms
  • A blog that is updated regularly
  • Active engagement online
  • A social media policy

PLUS

  • Online shopping cart for customers to buy items directly from your business
  • Branding and images professionally styled
  • Scheduled activity for social media platforms
  •  A sales and marketing plan documented and being implemented
  • Regular product information updates
  • Customer database
  • Sales reporting
  • Integration with your business plan and aligned to your business objectives overall

As you  move through to Level Five, you will be building your online network and expanding the reach of people who will see your business offers.  This will also increase your position in search engines and help to drive sales to your business online and offline. This will enable you to track your performance and monitor your activity and begin to collect data that will give you the ability to measure your return on investment.

It takes time to build a social media marketing machine. Once you have this in place, then it will be a vital part of your business. Your online ‘salesperson’ that never takes a vacation and which always works hard for your business. Day and night.

Sadly, many local businesses are at Level 0 or Level 1.

Action

Your job as business owner is to understand where your business is now and decide what kind of  results you will allow your business to achieve for you.

Determine what return for your business you would like.

Set a budget to allow it to happen.

Lindy Asimus

Lindy Asimus Business Coach

 

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Lindy Asimus

I work with business owners to improve their business and make more money, and on personal skills development to assist communication, problem solving and achieving their goals. Social media and inbound marketing consulting is a core part of my work, since that is just basic business now. Online coaching by Skype means I can work with clients in any location easily and conveniently.

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