Making your business known is a vital part of attracting new customers, no matter the industry in which your small business operates. In the past, there were two primary methods for accomplishing this, either through direct advertising or through word of mouth. With the availability of the Internet, however, there are new options available to you. By improving your online presence, you can reach millions of possible customers around the world, easily outstretching the reach of most traditional advertising mediums and extending word-of-mouth possibilities exponentially.
Create a website for your business.
Use your company name as a domain name for your site, making it easy to find through search engines and to connect with your customers. Include as much information about your company as possible on the site. Add a shopping element to your website as well, if your company is into sales, to allow customers to buy directly from you online 24 hours a day.
Create and post relevant articles on your site covering your company’s services or products.
These articles can be anything from installation instructions to industry information. The presence of the articles, though, attracts search engine traffic to your site, giving you more visitors, each representing a possible customer.
Advertise on other sites using sponsored advertising.
Direct your ads toward site types that are associated in some way with your business product or service to gain the eyes of those who are looking at related information elsewhere. Each click brings additional traffic to your site, but even if the ad isn’t clicked, it still exposes your company to a possible customer.
Communicate with your customers via an email newsletter or blog.
Place the blog prominently on your website, containing the information you wish to convey to site visitors that are too extensive for a short advertisement. If you have personable executives, have them join in. A personal connection with the customer creates lasting customer relationships that increase company and brand loyalty. Create a link on your website allowing visitors to sign up for email notices, newsletters and ads through their email. Collect the email signups and add them to a mailing list. Keep mailings rare, though, about two to four times a month, to avoid spamming and losing your customers’ interest.
Make your presence felt on social networking sites.
Make a company page on the site containing information and announcements. Create an official company Twitter account, and assign an employee to keep track of company mentions, make announcements and answer customer questions. Maintain the company image throughout all messaging, and avoid immediate responses to criticism of the company.
Create a unique online presence that’s an accent to, but separate from, your company’s offline presence. Create content that’s unique to your online activities, from advertisements to special deals, to increase interest in your online accounts.
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