Home – New Forums Marketing mastery How do you market to other small businesses online?

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  • #963982
    Lisa Murray – Biz Coach
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    Hi
    I read a really interesting post on LinkedIn today that basically said that targeting small businesses online is very challenging because most are not web savvy and don’t use it as a resource often.

    I’m interested in Australian experiences – if your target audience is small businesses, what have you done to market your business online that has worked (or not!)? I’d appreciate any insightful experiences on how else you’ve targeted this market cost-effectively as well.

    thanks
    Lisa

    #1001779
    [email protected]
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    For me, it’s all about the ezine! My newsletter does all the work. Plus I am also experimenting with Facebook. Anything that builds relationships seems to work – plus article marketing. These are all free, and have generated subscribers and clients.

    Hope this helps!

    Zoe

    #1001780
    MissieK
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    My marketing is almost exclusively online!

    My blog and ezine are fantastic tools. I also network on sites like this and other, general sites where my target market hangs out. As my market is Mums running a business, I visit most of the parenting sites!

    Article marketing is another thing that works for me.

    Melissa

    #1001781
    Jexley
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    Lisa Murray – Biz Coach, post: 845 wrote:
    Hi
    I read a really interesting post on LinkedIn today that basically said that targeting small businesses online is very challenging because most are not web savvy and don’t use it as a resource often.

    I’m interested in Australian experiences – if your target audience is small businesses, what have you done to market your business online that has worked (or not!)? I’d appreciate any insightful experiences on how else you’ve targeted this market cost-effectively as well.

    thanks
    Lisa
    I’ve found that regardless of their size, many small business operators still use Google. I mean Hey, EVERYbody uses Google, don’t they? SEO has been a boon for me in this aspect. Not necessarily for my own services, which involve SEO crazily enough, but for most of my clients.

    The first part’s always been identifying how people are going to find your site, and then making it a good site for them. The latter usually involves figuring out your main target demographic and the rest is just speaking their language. In my experience, getting these things accomplished has been a real winner.

    #1001782
    mike@engagemarketing
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    Jexley, post: 909 wrote:
    I’ve found that regardless of their size, many small business operators still use Google. I mean Hey, EVERYbody uses Google, don’t they? SEO has been a boon for me in this aspect. Not necessarily for my own services, which involve SEO crazily enough, but for most of my clients.

    The first part’s always been identifying how people are going to find your site, and then making it a good site for them. The latter usually involves figuring out your main target demographic and the rest is just speaking their language. In my experience, getting these things accomplished has been a real winner.

    I agree that being found in Google is the key to online marketing to small business owners.

    I find with my company, and i recommend this to my small business clients, that in most cases Google search terms by owners tend to be targetted towards local results.

    For example small business owners looking for a marketing consultant such as mine would search “Ringwood Marketing Company” or name another large suburb in the area in place of Ringwood.

    Also, be sure to use non-tech savvy language that fits the demographics language.

    #1001783
    Brown Mouse
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    Hi Lisa!!

    I’m going to coyly admit that as a former freelance writer, I decided 12 months ago to specialise in E-newsletters because I was just blown away by their potential for building relationships and attracting new clients. I just love ’em. Two things critical to starting a good one are to adopt a permission-only approach (ie. email only those people who have asked to receive your newsletter) and providing valuable content. You need to be absolutely dedicated to providing information that truly helps your client/customer in some small way.

    I’ve got lots of tips and info I’d be happy to send you Lisa so just let me know if you’d like to know anything else.

    Kristy
    Brown Mouse Communications

    #1001784
    LeelaCosgrove
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    I suppose it depends on what you are selling. I’ve seen people who sell ebooks and other electronic products make a LOT of money through article marketing, HB’s, affiliate programs, etc.

    However, my services are more ‘offline’ and interactive, rather than a one-shot sale.

    I’ve got all of the above mentioned … great google rankings, e-newsletters … etc, etc.

    None of this has done me any good in so far as real, cash in the bank work goes.

    Where I HAVE had great success is via websites like Flying Solo and other Forums.

    It takes time to get work through these forums – you’ll notice how many people do the seagull act … drop in, make a few posts that relate only to their business and how it can solve your problems, then fly off … and wonder why they don’t get any takers.

    I spend time answering any question I feel I have an answer to – and answering it in an honest way that a) doesn’t always win me friends and b) doesn’t always promote my business and my work.

    Over time, people get to know you and respect you – and then, all of a sudden, you start getting quote requests from people.

    I’ve gotten quite a lot of work in this way – which is wonderful, because it gives me an ROI on my forum time which means I have an outstanding excuse to be here … this is NOT procrastination but a marketing strategy! Huzzah!

    Let me DOUBLE STRESS the importance of not trying to sell yourself. In all other arenas, I would TOTALLY encourage selling oneself – but forums suffer from that kind of promotion. Instead, give advice and information freely and with no expectation of return and you’ll be amazed at how the universe provides.

    #1001785
    Jexley
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    Leela baby, that is EXACTLY the kind of attitude and approach to these kinds of areas that’s landed me some clients via random referrals.

    Case in point, the Brown Mouse above you spotted me from the comments section here, and we’re great ol’ pals now… aren’t we K? I SAID AREN’T WE.

    Hahhahaha…

    It’s true though. Nobody turns me off like a seagull.

    #1001786
    LukeMoulton
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    A great way to target small businesses online is to use Google Adwords Placement targeting. In this way you can have AdWords appearing on websites that your target demographic visit. One could, for example, choose to advertise here on Flying Solo through AdWords placement targeting.

    #1001787
    LeelaCosgrove
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    That’s interesting Luke.

    I’ve been to a lot of workshops / seminars of Google Adwords – and EVERY single one of them has told me to disable the website placement ads, because they get little to no conversion.

    Having tested this myself, it’s held up.

    I get an okay conversion rate through Google Adwords on the search site, but something ridiculous like 0.0000001% through website ads …

    Have you got some conflicting research to back this up? I’d LOVE to see it!

    #1001788
    Lucki
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    I actually couldn’t justify myself writing into forums believing it to be a waste of time. I should be focused on more ‘active’ marketing strategies but Leela you made a very valid point in that getting involved in forums is now an effective marketing strategy. I don’t feel so guilty now – thanks.

    Times have changed too and more people are spending time online so why not put your thoughts out there and get communicating – who knows where a email/article could lead.

    I also feel when you are intentionally trying to promote your own business on forums, it’s very apparent to others. The key is to share knowledge and ideas freely without expecting anything in return and you’ll be surprised what eventuates.

    #1001789
    Lucki
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    I’m pretty new to this so could you give me more information on article marketing and tips on generating a great one?

    #1001790
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Taking my own advice, I’m sure much of what I have to say on this will sound like self-promotion … so I’ll send you a private message with my thoughts on this … coming your way, soon!

    #1001791
    LukeMoulton
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    LeelaCosgrove, post: 1765 wrote:
    That’s interesting Luke.

    I’ve been to a lot of workshops / seminars of Google Adwords – and EVERY single one of them has told me to disable the website placement ads, because they get little to no conversion.

    Having tested this myself, it’s held up.

    I get an okay conversion rate through Google Adwords on the search site, but something ridiculous like 0.0000001% through website ads …

    Have you got some conflicting research to back this up? I’d LOVE to see it!

    You are correct in your assumption that the Content Network has low click through rates, but this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used. Although click through rates might be very low, I’ve found that conversion rates are quite high for the placement targeting because you develop highly targeted leads.

    Best practice is to setup a separate AdWords campaign for Content Network & Placement Targeting with up to 50 keywords in each AdGroup.

    #1001792
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Hey Luke,

    It’s not an assumption – it’s a conclusion I’ve come to from analysis of the facts and from talking to some of the best in the business on an international scale … my understanding was that best practice was to NOT run content ads, because the conversion is miniscule …

    Do you have some numbers to back up using them? Like I said – I’d love to see conflicting evidence … always happy to change my stance on something if there is evidence to the contrary …

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