Businesses of all types and scopes are just starting to become aware of what a small percentage of early adopters already know: the Internet and mobile phones have revolutionized marketing, making it easier, more effective and more affordable than ever before.
Today, if people want information, they don’t pull out the Yellow Pages. Instead, they go straight to the Internet. People have access to the Internet practically everywhere – at their home, office, in their car, and (in many cases) even on their mobile phones.
It used to be that just setting up an informational website was enough to promote your business online. However, millions of small businesses just like yours now have websites – what makes your website so special that Google’s going to find it and put it on their front page for people to easily find? How can you possibly hope to stand out from your competitors when potential customers search for your product or service?
That’s one of the things people don’t realize about social media sites, is that they provide other avenues to help people discover your business.
We all know that Google is the #1 search engine out there, but do you know what the #2 search engine is? You’re probably thinking it’s Yahoo or Bing, but believe it or not, the #2 search engine is YouTube.
Why? Because people go there to learn things and laugh, and a lot of the time they go there and type in, “How do I…”, or “How do you…”.
Let me give you an example:
A few weeks ago my wife noticed that the faucet on our kitchen sink was leaking. I fiddled with it for a bit and tried to see if tightening things would help, but it got to the point where the only other option was to replace it. I’m not the handiest guy around, but if I can do something myself, I’m all for trying it. So I went online and typed into Google, “How do I install a kitchen faucet”. Guess what popped right up at the top of the page? A 5 minute video uploaded to the Lowes YouTube channel that showed me step-by-step what to do. I went out, bought a new faucet (at Lowes), and managed to install it in about 30 minutes or so – just by following the video that I had playing right next to me on my phone. The best part is that the faucet works great and I saved about $100 by doing it myself.
YouTube is a great tool to market your business, but you know what’s better than having 1 video online? Having 2 videos! What’s better than 2? 10! Because every time you put a video out there, it gives people another place to find you. As an added bonus, you’re also allowed to put your website address inside the description of the video so that it gives a link for people to go back to your site, which in turn builds your Google rankings.
Another way to use social media to get found online is by writing articles. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be anything worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. In fact, if you don’t like to write or feel you’re not very good at it, you can outsource the writing of the articles to a freelancer online for as little as $20 a piece.
The key when writing articles is to make sure you give good information; give advice, answer people’s questions. Be sure not to write them in an overly promotional way. Remember, you’re trying to educate and help people, not sell to them! Just like YouTube, these articles also have a link in them taking the reader right back to your website. This also helps build your Google rankings.
One more thing you can do is to create mini-websites on services like HubPages and Squidoo. These sites allow you to, again, put information out there about your product or service, and were specifically designed to allow people to share what they’re passionate about. It could be anything from underwater basket weaving, personal fitness or the product or service you’re offering.
With mini-websites, articles and videos, you have a number of other places your business can be found online in addition to your website.
To wrap things up, having a website is really only the beginning. Why settle for having information about your business available in only one place online when it could be available in hundreds?
Time and time again, more good content means more space on Google, which means more chances for people to find you. The bottom line is this: if people can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.