The New Rules of Marketing a Small Business


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Attention small business owners! I explain what you need to know to market your small business in today's online world. You NEED to know this to reach and connect with new customers.

P.S. Do NOT share this with your competitors!

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The New Rules of Marketing a Small Business

  1. 1. Maria Verven• Entrepreneur and ownerof Verve P.R. and VapingVamps• 25 year career in P.R.,former V.P. of PiperJaffray, Fleishman-Hillard• Lecturer at the U of MN,Teacher of New Rules ofMarketing & SEO classes• Passionate about helpingsmall businesses getfound online
  2. 2. There’s been a massive shift fromtraditional marketing to Internet (orinbound) marketingWhat happened?
  3. 3. The Big Picture• Of the entire North America population (350million), 275 million are online (80%)• Of the world’s population (7 billion), 2.4 billionare online (35%)• There are 630 million websites (Jan 2013)• Nearly 7 million publish blogs on a bloggingsite; 11 million publish using social networks
  4. 4. Old School MarketingYellow PagesNewspaper AdvertisingDirect MailTelemarketingInternet (Inbound) MarketingSEO: Search-Optimized WebsitePPC: Targeted Banner AdsSocial MediaContent Marketing, “New” P.R.
  5. 5. Why the Shift?Because it shortens the salescycle in half or moreCustomersearches onthe web foryour products& services
  6. 6. It’s a whole new world.A new way of doing business.A new way of communicating.Don’t miss the BOAT!
  7. 7. What is Internet marketing andhow does it work
  8. 8. ChangeContentChannelsCredibility4 C’s ofInboundMarketing
  9. 9. CHANGE“Build it and they will come.” NOT!!Your audience won’t find your site if it’s “low quality:”• Page content (+title tag) doesn’t match keywordsearch• Stagnant site (no updates)• Low amount of original content• High bounce rate, low visit times, low returns• Low number of inbound links and mentions in socialmedia and other sites
  10. 10. CONTENTis King (& Queen)Think multimedia!• Articles, e-books, blogs, tweets• Podcasts, screencasts, videosChange is goodQuality + quantityKeyword richBuilds AUTHORITY
  11. 11. CHANNELSSo many to choose from. FOCUS!Where’s your target audience?Be consistent, use keywordsDon’t start without a follow-through plan
  12. 12. CREDIBILITYor BuildingTRUSTClean, easy-to-navigate websitePlenty of good, up-to-date, keyword-rich contentNo broken links, typos, old info., etc.Inbound links from trusted sitesBlogs are the BEST!!
  13. 13. Like a Brick HouseThe House = SEOon every pageThe Chimney =blog, socialmedia, etc.The Smoke =keyword-richupdates
  14. 14. SEO = Search Engine Optimization• “SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website ora web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.”
  15. 15. Where would you hang a Picasso?“When you build awebsite but don’toptimize it forsearch, it’s likehanging a Picasso inyour basement.”Maria Verven
  16. 16. Paid AdsTitle TagMetaDescriptionGoogle Places
  17. 17. Keywords – They’re KEY!Words associated with yourproduct or service, usuallystrung together into 2-4keyword phrasesGoal: To have your sitecome up on the front pageThe sweet spot: Use keywords with high number ofsearches, but low competition
  18. 18. Keyword Chart – One ExampleKeyword Daily Search Vol. Competition
  19. 19. Where to use keywords• Title and Meta Description• Website headings and content on every page• Title and alt tag on website images and videos• Anchor text (text with a link to your website)–Internal and external links
  20. 20. Build Links – Establish Authority!• Ways to build links– Online directories– Get reviewed– Guest post on influential blogs, online forums– Links from sites with related products/services– Social Media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.)– P.R. and Article Marketing• Create remarkable content on your websitethat others will want to share– Include sharing mechanisms
  21. 21. Social Media for Local MerchantsOptimize your site for local searchCreate consistent keyword-optimized profileGet recommendations from happy customersJoin & hold MeetUpsSend releases to local media, bloggers
  22. 22. More Sage SEO Advice• Build all website content from the outside looking in.Optimize every page for search.• Web content and link-building need to appearnatural and not spammy• Experiment and examine the web stat’s. Forgetabout the Google algorithm, focus on core strategies• SEO = part art, part science. And it takes time.Ranking can take months, so get on the right track
  23. 23. Your ChimneyWhat’s yourContent Strategy?• Blogging• Social Media• P.R.• Article Marketing
  24. 24. BloggingHuge for SEO, search (think: keywords)It should pass the “blink” testEducate | Entertain | Engage | EnrichAddress your audience’s key concernsYour blog is the HUB of all of yourcommunications
  25. 25. Blogging 101• Anyone and any company can blog• It’s a huge SEO play• You need a blog strategy• Four A’s of blogging:– Attract & entertain. Think multi-media– Alert your audience to news, deals, etc.– Ameliorate their lives (how-to’s, tips)– Attitude – really SAY something!
  26. 26. What is social media?
  27. 27. A Huge Shiftin YourAudienceMillennials & Gen Y now outnumber Baby BoomersThey have $350 billion in direct spending power96% join social networks
  28. 28. A Huge Shift in How to Build a Brand78% of consumers trust peerrecommendationsOnly 14% trust adsOnly 18% of traditional TVcampaigns generate a positiveROI34% post opinions about products on their blog36% think more positively about companies thathave blogs
  29. 29. Social MediaConnect with customers, prospectsB2C: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInB2B: LinkedIn, Twitter, MerchantCircleIt’s about conversations, dialogue (don’tpreach, spam or be too salesy)Give them a reason to connectGood content (and a good blog) is the keyto driving trafficIf you’re not listening, you’re missing what people aresaying about you online!!
  30. 30. Put your referral business on steroidsIncrease SEORespond to negative commentsJoin conversations happening about yourbrand in real time
  31. 31. Why Facebook• 1.2 billion users (11% of entire world population)• More than 70 billion pieces of content: links, blogs,photos, videos, etc. are shared on FB every month• 42 million business pages with 10 or more ‘likes’• Average FB user is attached to 80 pages, groups, etc.• Fastest growing segment on Facebook: 55 to 65 year-old women
  32. 32. Facebook Do’s and Don’tsDo:• Give them a reason to “like” you• Update your page frequently• Take a clue from which posts engage your fans• Respond to every comment on your page• Engage with other business pagesDon’t:• Ignore complaints• Make all your updates all about you• Sound like a robot• Offer special FB discounts that you can get elsewhere• Stop posting. Keep up a regular schedule
  33. 33. Why LinkedIn?Connect with customers & their groupsSee what questions they’re askingBecome an expertThe perfect place for B2B companies to be
  34. 34. LinkedIn How-To:Step 1: Set up your profile for search• Give them a reason to connect with you• Choose a professional looking headshot• Use all 2,000 characters (but make it easy to read)• Get recommendationsStep 2: Network like crazy!• Whom do you want to connect with? Be strategic.• Join groupsStep 3: Engage (listen first, then participate)• Answer questions, be genuinely helpful• Be strategic in your answers
  35. 35. • 2nd largest search engine in the world• 490 million users every month• Google loves YouTube. Highly indexed• 2 billion videos viewed every day(almost double the prime timeaudience of all 3 major U.S. networkscombined)Why
  36. 36. Why Twitter10 billion tweets. . . and countingConnect with customers and prospectsConverse with them in real timeListen and provide customer serviceDrive traffic to your blog and websiteTwitter is for both B2B and B2C businesses
  37. 37. B2B Companies: This means you, too!Content engages prospectsBecome a trusted resourceBlogs, ebooks, white papers, webinarsFAQ’s, competitive comparisons, case studiesWhat’s your call to action?
  38. 38. So how do weget this done?(Hint: it’s notmagic)Social media is here to stay.If you’re not doing it, your competitors are.
  39. 39. Skill set:• Understand marketing strategy, messaging• Excellent communicator, versatile writer• Familiar with social media, webosphere, etc.• Have time to dedicate to this every dayJust makesure theyknow whatthey’redoing
  40. 40. You have to put the ball insomeone’s court.Someone has to be responsible for:• Website updates and SEO• Content strategy and updates• Blog strategy and updates• Social media strategy and updatesThree options:1. Assign it to an existing staff member2. Hire someone on staff3. Hire a freelancer or agency
  41. 41. P.R. – It’s Good for SEO!• Good P.R. is worth tons of link-building efforts• Optimize the title, lead & 1st 250 words ofyour news releases• Use free pitch services• “Deep link” to inside pages• Article marketing, using keywords–, etc.
  42. 42. The New Rules forNews Releases• Keyword-rich news releases will befound by reporters & customers• Helps build credibility & visibility• Incorporate links to your website• Think multi-media• Online newsroom a must-have
  43. 43. CTA = Call to Action• Now that you got them to your site, what doyou want them to do?• Your CTA should be simple but compelling• Capture name and e-mail. They won’t want togive you much more than that.• Make it obvious from the front page what theyshould do next• Use this same CTA in your outreach efforts
  44. 44. ContactMaria VervenVerve