7 Low Cost Marketing Technologies Every Small Business Should Be Using
Competition is getting stiffer in almost any business. There is no exception online.
Think about it.
Google allows only 10 web page in the search result page for one particular keyword. It’s true that the variations of searches are growing, but still there are limitations unless you differentiate and offer something the target market really wants.
An ever-increasing amount of web pages are vying for the same eye balls.
Those who still use old marketing methods will complain that it is harder to survive, let alone grow a business. Fortunately, you don’t have to be in their shoes.
Almost every marketing tools are based on technology nowadays. If you know how to use it, more power to you. Otherwise, rest assured that technology isn’t as challenging as you’ve thought.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to seven cutting edge marketing technologies that every small businesses could use to get more customers and clients.
- Organic search
Search marketing — organic and paid search altogether — is the second most important medium marketers will use in 2007. As high as 61.7% of respondents agree that search marketing is still a valuable marketing strategy.
SEO may require a lot of effort but once you’ve done it, virtually the traffic is free. According to a study in 2008 for online retailers, organic search traffic converts at 1.1% at $117 per visit.
Of course, the rate varies from one industry to another, the keyword, message to content match, etc. However, overall organic search is still very popular method to get qualified traffic for product- and service-based businesses.
In organic search, your web pages compete with other web sites in the organic listings. Whoever is the most relevant content-wise — according to algorithms only the search engines know — will get the first position. The second most relevant page gets the second place, and so on.
- Pay per click
Pay per click is still by far the most favorite traffic source for a lot of marketers. Any business should use it if feasible. There’s no faster way to access such a huge pool of prospective customers.
Marketers use it for almost every reason because they’re effective and fast. You can get traffic in as fast as 10 minutes!
Basically, search engines like Google and Yahoo allows you to bid for specific keywords. If someone searches for the keyword in the search engines, the audience will see the ads. You only pay when the audience clicks on the ads.
Albeit the delivery and spam filtering issue, email is still the favorite method to get customers. The best type of traffic is from in-house list.
Sending e-newsletter is the most frequently used techniques to build relationship and keep in touch with prospects through email marketing. Email newsletters or electronic newsletters are much like paper-based newsletters in that they inform and entertain.
Of course, as a marketer, you own the right to recommend products or services, or display ads complimentary to the content. As a marketer, you send out email newsletter through list management service or software.
E-courses are great to reach prospects and customers repeatedly via email. The easiest way to manage email courses is through autoresponder service.
When a web site visitor signed up to receive an email course, the service would automatically send them the first lesson to the visitor’s email. You can pre-program as many lessons into the service at once and have them sent to the subscribers at pre-defined intervals.
Marketers can use this in almost every industry to communicate with the customers. In the email, you can insert a small teaser that drives the readers back to the web site. The beauty of this strategy is that the prospects will appreciate the course you provide as see you as a helpful resource.
It’s a great way to build relationship and trust. What’s comes next if they trust in the recommendation you make for products and services.
- Free Digital Audio or CDs
Digital audio and CDs have higher perceived value than text and image content. That’s just the way they are. Try mixing your offer for email subscription with digital audio download.
If you plan to keep in touch with the subscribers through offline marketing methods, the easiest way to get physical addresses from in-house list and subscribers is to offer free CDs. The content could be anything from 45-minute interview with an expert to 10 Ways to Get More Clients for Your _______ Practice.
CD recordable drive and software can’t be more affordable nowadays. You can burn the CD yourself or hire others to produce them in bulk.
- Social Media
The era of social media has come. Basically, it is a broad term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of information.
Web site is no longer a one-way communication channel. Web site visitors now expect to communicate with the site owners and other web visitors, such as in a blog. Bloggers can post an article and the visitors can rebut or expound various ideas and thoughts to add value to the discussion.
Other forms of social media is social bookmarking and social network. Social bookmarking allows one web user to share their favorite web site addresses so others who have the same interests with them can visit the sites and access the web pages otherwise not available for them through search or other mechanisms. Examples of this type of site is del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.
Social network is a site where Internet users gather, establish their profile and network with others, share content, recommend products and services, and discuss. Two popular social networking sites are MySpace and Facebook.
- Teleseminar and webinar
Teleseminar and webinar are two great platforms to sell because they’re content-laden. You hold a teleseminar or webinar at the comfort of your own home or office by offering educational and informational content.
Registrants call a number to listen to your content and ask questions. The benefit are, besides you don’t have to spend time and money travelling, you are immediately seen as an expert in the topic.
The recorded teleseminar can be used as lead generation tool or sold separately as digital recording or home study course.
Conducting business on the Internet allows you to work from anywhere around the world with a computer and Internet connection.
Various technologies also let you leverage what you have to expose yourself and market your products or services. If you’re not using some of these tools, you’re missing out big time.
It takes time to learn them, but they are relatively simple to implement. The result can bring a big impact on your bottom line