I just read a yummy article about small business promotion. (And yes, I did just use the word “yummy” in relation to small business. I love this stuff!) This New York Times small biz gem features the story of a retailer of plus-size women’s clothing who’s earning after learning what works to convert traffic into sales for her shop.
If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are the take-aways for your small biz.
– Define your business, your customer, your brand: You’ll chase your tail on any and every marketing idea if you don’t know what your core business is, who your core customer is and where your brand fits in the marketplace. Start at the beginning by crystallizing that proverbial elevator pitch about your business. If that’s not in place, stay home.
– Key in on key words & phrases: If somebody was looking for what you do online, what words or phrases would they type in to search? You simply must know the answer to that question and use those phrases every chance you get. If you’ve defined your biz and identified your customer, you’ll be able to determine key terms rather naturally.
– Social Media matters: Twitter, Facebook and blogs will boost your findability online. Google big brands or people you know to see for yourself; Twitter feeds and Facebook pages show up early in most searches. Use of these social networks also gives you daily opportunity to put your key words into action to reach your target audience.
– Redefine “public relations”: Back when my business card said “Director of Public Relations,” I buttered most of my bread by getting clients editorial coverage in magazines. That’s what defined success in PR campaigns. Today, if you’re looking to get customers in the door and sell stuff, you’ve got to “relate to the public” in more direc,t engaging ways. And by “more direct, engaging ways” I mean “social media.” So what if you don’t get a feature story in the local paper? Better to connect directly with a targeted audience that has chosen to get your news directly…because that’s how you get the cash register to ring.
– SEOh!: Those aforementioned key words and phrases? Use them on every page of your website, in every blog post and in any tweet or Facebook update you can. This will enhance your Search Engine Optimization. Now please use those phrases artfully so that you don’t degrade your brand by having your copy read like a carnival barker’s script! As a copywriter, I’m getting more and more work from businesses who want to infuse their site copy with SEO terms without sounding redundant, repetitive and repetitious (yes, I intended that last phrase to be ironic!).
Thanks for reading!