The mistake that some business owners make when taking their business online is to forget all about local business marketing. Because the reach is generally worldwide, they think about the potential of reaching this huge audience rather than acquiring customers from local areas.
Most small businesses are very local in nature. If you’re a plumber or a contractor or an attorney, getting customers from across the country or around the world won’t help you out very much. And even if you can take customers from anywhere in the world, many entrepreneurs would rather deal locally because it’s so much easier.
But until more recently, limiting your online marketing to your local community has been very difficult. There was no way to tell the search engines that your focus is a specific geographic area. But that has all changed with the advent of Google Places (used to be called Google Local Business Center) and Maps, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Local. When used in conjunction with local directory sites like Yelp and Yell.com, you can do just that.
Note: Localizing your online marketing like this won’t stop your site from showing up in worldwide search results or keep people anywhere from stopping by and looking. What it will do, however, is make sure that when someone in your service area searches Google or the other search engines for your product or service, your business will be listed in the local search results…which show up before the natural search results.
4 Step Local Business Marketing Plan
Your local online marketing effort should revolve around four distinct areas:
- Identifying your ideal customer(s) and developing customer profiles for them. These profiles should include demographic information like sex, neighborhood, number of children, their job, how much they earn, etc. Profiles should also include what your customer wants when they purchase from you; i.e. are they trying to relieve stress, are they dealing with a fear, or are they trying to reach a particular goal? The more you know about who your ideal customer is and why they buy from you (emotional reasons, not factual reasons), the better you’ll be prepared for the following steps.
- Building a direct response website instead that’s focused on your customer’s needs and desires rather than you and your products or services. Every page you put up should have a very clear goal and fit into your overall content development plan.
- Gaining trust with your visitors and building raving fans by developing content and products or services that serves your ideal customer’s needs and desires.
- Getting found by your customers. Online, it’s called driving traffic and it’s the lifeline of any online marketing strategy. Local business marketing online has a few advantages over national or worldwide online marketing. For example, you can utilize the local search engines like Google Places, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Local. By placing content in strategic places all over the internet, you can rank at the top of both Google local listings and their regular (organic) listings.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your local business marketing efforts online, or you’ve been struggling with it. Design your online marketing and content development strategy to Get Found, Gain Trust, and Build a customer base!
Lead generation over the past few years has been in a period of transition. We seem to be moving away from the outbound (“push“) to inbound (“pull“) in the way we approach lead generation. It may be very tempting to think of outbound as traditional media, such as print ads, television ads, radio ads, direct mail, outdoor ads etc. Inbound is more the non-traditional media, which will be online marketing, that includes advertising, email, search, podcasts, webcasts, mobile advertising, and social media. Also alternative media, such as in-store marketing, buzz marketing and event marketing, but it’s more complicated than that.
Outbound Lead Generation
The outbound lead generation model is where a marketer will “push” out marketing messages to prospective clients. This is done via printed advertising, direct mail, television ads, radio spots, outbound telemarketing, outdoor billboards etc. Also, the use of some electronic media, being online advertising and unsolicited email, may be thought of as outbound.
Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound relies on the use of media to pull prospects to the marketer by using search engines or social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter etc. Content marketing is another way to “pull” the prospect in through the medium of blogs, podcasts, webcasts, articles, reports, eBooks and the like. There is an important viral element to the inbound model because prospects are able to share what they find with others via social media, email or other online message groups when they like something.
With more and more users of online platforms, it’s more evident that the inbound methods are becoming increasingly more effective than the outbound methods. The up to date statistics available suggest that people are more responsive to inbound lead generation and it’s a lot more cost-effective.
Take Notice Of The Facts On Lead Generation
Back in 2012, HubSpot issued a “State of Inbound Marketing” report. In this report they interviewed 972 business professionals. These included marketers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives at companies of different sizes. So the report was deemed more effective, they made sure a wide range of industries were represented. Of the people included, 72 percent worked in business-to-business. The findings showed that companies adopting mostly inbound marketing had a 61 percent lower cost per lead than those using outbound techniques. These results were consistent with surveys conducted in the previous 2 years.
Another interesting point of the report was that the companies using inbound lead generation methods found that prospects were more likely to become customers than those generated via outbound methods. Inbound had nearly five times more potential of becoming customers than outbound leads (9% vs. 2%).
Because mobile has increased substantially over the past couple of years, it makes sense that inbound marketing is becoming the “norm”.
Mix Up Your Lead Generation Methods
It may be a mistake to totally abandon outbound marketing though. It’s possible that a small business will benefit by adopting a combination of outbound and inbound, but, the most emphasis needs to be on the inbound method.For example, a B2B marketer may find that online banner ads offering free high-value information can be effective in generating traffic to a website or Facebook page, or that making outbound calls to invite a select group of prospects to a webinar results in higher overall attendance. Notice that these two examples are really an effective
Let’s look at the example of a B2B marketer using online banner ads. These ads may offer free high-value information and be effective in generating traffic to a website or Facebook page. Subsequently, making outbound calls inviting a select group of prospects to a webinar can result in higher attendance. This is an effective way to take advantage of both outbound and inbound techniques.
Find Your Best Lead Generation Marketing Method
Whatever you do, it’s important to find out the best methods for your product or service, which is based on your target audience, offer, and all the creative elements needed. A key part of this whole equation is to understand how your audience absorbs information.
A good system for you could be establishing a solid inbound lead generation program and support it by the selective use of outbound methods too. Make sure that, whatever you do, you test things in order to compare the quality of leads generated from each of the methods. Also, make sure you isolate them so you can accurately get the best results from your testing.
It’s possible that outbound will be more appropriate in certain situations, but with the shift in market conditions is any indication, it’s likely that inbound methods are more cost-effective and productive. I believe in the long term inbound will be the mainstay of your lead generation program.
How do motivational thoughts help you? They help to give you a boost to take action. Please don’t think this is all about positive thinking and motivational quotes, it isn’t. It’s a point to consider that your thinking and attitude can be shaped by them. Each of us is motivated by something unique to us, so you need to be able to think for yourself and live up to your own uniqueness.
“In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey
This quote is pretty good to keep you positive, but it may not excite you a lot. If that is the case you may have to apply a little imagination to your own way of thinking. This motivational thought must be made just for YOU.
Working With Your Own Motivational Thoughts
Experimenting with a good thought until you find a way to use it in your own method of motivation is what is called “making it your own”. You may for instance find yourself in a situation that really bothers you, but you don’t feel like dealing with it. As you go through this in your mind, you could get the idea of opportunity arising from that difficulty. When you do this, you find yourself feeling better and thinking about the future instead and can use this to explain to others how you got out of the slump you were in, turning the difficulty to an advantage.
You can create your very own motivational thoughts in this way. You could provide even more motivation by imagining being interviewed in the future about your handling of the situation and how you dealt with it. It will serve you well to think the thoughts that work for you.
Find Out More About Your Motivations
Experimenting more is the way to find out how your mind works. Personally, I get excited by explaining a thought to someone rather than just thinking and keeping it to myself. This my own particular self-motivation system. When I feel unmotivated, I will talk to a friend or my partner about an idea I have for a product or some content. After this simple exercise I have the motivation needed to get it done.
Get creative when you are going through your motivational experiments. The very thought of being poor may be the motivation you need to get going. If this works for you, then it’s a good motivational thought to have. If you find that visual thoughts work better for you than mental conversations, use those to your advantage instead. Try to see things in your mind’s eye that excite you. If somebody tries to limit you by telling you that you can’t do it, prove them wrong by doing whatever it takes. “You can’t do it” may be just the motivation you need to succeed.
Completing a boring task can be difficult, so think about rewarding yourself with something you really love to do after completing it. The thought of doing something good is the motivation to complete the task. A glass of cold beer or going to the cinema to see the latest movie could be some of you most powerful motivational thoughts.
In the past if somebody wished to get started with a home based business the method of building business was generally about selling something to others or needing huge events as a way to get people to sign up under you. Something that may be surprising to you would be that plenty of these older home businesses continue to be around nowadays nevertheless they set far more focus on marketing and advertising on the internet. Because the net is global and people have access to your internet sites from anywhere, you will have a significantly better potential for building business, bringing in more sales and people to your enterprise.
And because nowadays there are web-sites that will reveal every factor of your business you’re likely to see that you are going to not really be selling any more just sending people to a site. There is a better opportunity that any prospective distributor you discover can join your business, the more personalized connection you may have with the person. You’re going to discover that it is really a great deal simpler to make money like this as opposed to consistently be bugging your friends and relations. So for people who happen to be wanting to start a home business you’re going to see that mlm programs will be one of the most effective methods to go about this. Having a home business such as this you are not only building your business but the people under you happen to be helping you develop your organization as well. What this means is that not only will you be making money on your own but the people in your network will in addition be generating you an income too.
Building Business With Residual Income
You can only create so much cash on the work you are able to accomplish, however when you can earn money off of everybody in your group, you are able to understand why some people end up getting so prosperous with mlm companies. You should remember that Network Marketing or multi-level marketing is not a type of pyramid scheme, because pyramid schemes will not have a product which you can buy. A pyramid scheme is where people pay to sign up your home business but there’s no real product or service being offered. A reputable network marketing organization is selling something that many of us are purchasing and it can be household products or supplements, but everybody is being compensated from the money that is produced whenever a person purchases a product or service. You need to understand that there is a lot of money to make with building business in multilevel marketing and this is a trustworthy method a huge amount of people are involved in.
Building The Right Business For You.
Before you decide to build a network marketing business as the kind of home-based business you prefer, take some time to uncover the organization which is good for you. There are plenty of good businesses, however you have to select one where you believe in the product or service mainly because it’s going to be hard to market a product that you don’t actually have confidence in sufficiently to use the product yourself. If you actually use the product yourself you’ll have the ability to demonstrate exactly how it performs to potential clients looking to join you.
There are plenty of people today looking to make use of the Internet to be able to have the capability to quit their jobs, and you’re going to see that multilevel marketing could be the answer for you. Try taking some time to find the proper opportunity for you, but it is going to never materialize if you don’t take the first step in building a business that you’re passionate about.