The Yellow Pages book has been a mainstay of small business marketing for many years, but today less and less people are using it. The 2010 book had 432 pages in it, 2011 had 408 down to 304 pages for the current version.
With a main arm of advertising no longer working, what kind of marketing is working for small businesses? The changing times require a different approach to getting new customers.
Web: Many customers still do not have a website. Websites are the equivalent of your old Yellow Pages site. People will go to Google and be looking for a specific product or service that they need and if you don’t have a website, or your website doesn’t have great Search Engine Optimisation, you simply won’t be found. The customer will buy from your competitor.
Email: Email can be the cheapest way to stay in touch with customers, to engage with new customers and to gain more sales, however we find that very few businesses have an effective strategy. Some businesses are still sending out mass emails through Outlook or Gmail. It is very important to use a proper email program like www.mailchimp.com or www.interspire.com. These programs will handle the unsubscribes for you, but also tell you who opened the email, and who clicked through to your website. Remember to stay compliant with the relevant legislation. A good place to start is http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_310294
Facebook: Social media is word of mouth on steroids. Customer comments have much further reach and last a lot longer than they used to, so like word of mouth of old, it can be a double-edged sword. The effectiveness for businesses also depends a lot on the degree that people are willing to engage with your business on a social level. Lawyers tend not to use Facebook, but Restaurants do, Business to Business industry tend to use Twitter more than Facebook, whereas Business to Consumer customers tend to use Facebook more. The beauty of Facebook is if someone likes your page, posts a comment or shares a story or photo, that is seen by their friends and if your story or photo is interesting or humorous, they may share it as well. This is the viral effect where more and more people share a single link. Well executed social media campaigns can have very large Returns on Investment, because they are often cheap to run.
Extreme Networks offers support for all these kinds of marketing and more. We have built websites that receive over 100,000 visits per month, so if your online marketing campaign needs a boost, give us a call. We build small business websites with packages starting from $495 setup and $39.95 per month, and have customers all over Australia and New Zealand.