It is a new year, the holidays are over, kids are back in school and it is time to get moving again. 2009 can be the year that your small business really breaks through online. Over the holidays I ask a number of associates for their thoughts on what small business should do in 2009. These will be coming in the next post but today I thought I would provide my thoughts for small business for 2009.
The #1 thing small business needs to do in 2009? Is do SOMETHING! Too many small business are simply sitting on the sidelines and waiting and watching. Get off your butts and get online. There are so many avenues that a small business can pursue to promote themselves and increase their online visibility….
Local Search: To start off with, small business needs to optimize their current website(s) for their appropriate local / geo-targeted keywords. They need to get listed in the local search engines, directories and Internet Yellow Pages sites. Once they accomplish these two things then they need to branch off into other areas. The other areas to consider:
Social Marketing: This is one of the fastest growing areas- Twitter, Facebook, blogging – all ways to interact with visitors and customers. Social marketing is a great way to network with others and learn alot in whatever area you might be in. This can become very time consuming but if you plan and set aside some time this would be worth the effort.
Mobile Search: Advertising on mobile-centric networks, create mobile ready web pages, etc will be a very valuable aspect of online marketing to many different businesses.
Video Search: Video marketing I think should be a no brainer. Creating a video for your business and then promoting it online is growing very quickly and I am not just talking about YouTube. Video SEO is very real and effective. To me this would be step two for a small business. Using video can add another dimension to your website and promote yourself in more locations online.
HyperLocal: What is going on in your neighborhood or city? Is your business sponsoring an event in town? Where ever you are, you are part of some community, why not take advantage of it?
Right now these 4 areas are ones that most small business can take advantage of today. Each can be done without having to break the bank and each will help extend your online presence. We will definitely be covering these areas in 2009. But as I started this post-small business needs to do something.
Good post here. Since many of these technologies are low cost or free, the only investment involved is time. I think the biggest challenge for businesses is the time commitment and how to approach each media. For any form of social media to be effective, businesses must engage their audience consistently over time to see benefits. There is a ton of opportunity to reach customers/clients in the social space. I feel the key for smaller companies is to find their niche in the social community, focus on key members of those groups and not try to engage everyone.
Thanks for your comments Sean. Yes, time is the big thing for the smb owner (even for us web marketers LOL).I also agree with your comment about not trying to engage everyone-find you niche and work within there.