Updated: November 30, 2011
Early this week, I had the opportunity to meet the future entrepreneurs and marketers of our country during the launching of the Junior Achievement Marketing Society.
Through an invitation extended by Business World Philippines, I was able to share with the audience a short presentation on “How To Give Your Business an Online Presence”.
Today, I’d like to share with you some of the thoughts that I was able to impart that day.
Below is a copy of my slides, and the pointers which I gave for each of them.
How To Give Your Business An Online Presence
There are approximately 2 billion people in the world who are regular internet users, and those numbers are increasing everyday. If information about your business cannot be found online, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers.
Decades ago, businesses reached out to their customers through trade shows, print ads, television commercials and other forms of traditional marketing. They’re expensive and only big brands could afford them. The marketing channels of small businesses are limited.
Then the Internet happened…
The internet has allowed small businesses to become more competitive, they can now reach a much larger global market at minimal costs.
This has become possible because the internet has transformed the way people learn about and shop for products. Almost always, consumers now start their shopping experience by searching for information online.
For example, if you’re thinking of buying a new cellphone, you’d probably ask recommendations from your friends first, you use social media to ask them for good models and stores selling them at affordable prices. Not only that, you’d probably use the internet to compare brands and model specifications, to watch demo videos and read online product reviews to help you with your decision.
Outbound & Inbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is the common strategy of traditional media. Print ads and television commercials, for example, are marketing actions that reach out to customers.
Meanwhile, inbound marketing is what online media does. Business websites, blog reviews and Facebook pages are examples of marketing channels that customers usually seek out.
As of late, outbound marketing has become an “interruption” to consumers, making it less effective than inbound marketing which is a “permission-based” action. Outbound and inbound marketing is similar to push and pull marketing.
3 ways to get found online…
Internet marketing is a big subject, but the three most basic, and cost efficient strategies are:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Blog Marketing
- Social Media Engagement
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO starts with having an online real estate such as a website or a Facebook page which are indexed by search engines.
By using the right keywords, building links and getting social media exposure, you can increase your search engine visibility and make sure that the people looking for your products can find you in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
Best SEO advise: Google has over 200 signals for measuring search ranking, and it’s their trade secret, the best SEO strategy is to provide a good user experience to your readers.
A lot of people read blogs. They may not be fully aware what a blog is, but most of the time, people end up in blogs when searching for information online.
By recognizing the importance of bloggers, and immersing your business into the blogging culture, you can potentially convert bloggers into becoming your brand advocates.
Best Blog Marketing advise: Create a blog for your business, know the blogging culture and frequently interact with other bloggers in your product niche.
Social Media Engagement
It’s been said that netizens now spend more time in social networks than watching and downloading “pr0n”, which used to be the number one internet activity for years before the age of Facebook. Thus, social media engagement should always be a part of any online marketing plan for your business.
A Facebook page, a Google+ page, an official Twitter account, a YouTube channel for your business – these are just some of the many ways you can establish a social media presence.
But more importantly, you should learn how to engage your fans and followers through your social media channels. Create a positive and interactive community by participating in conversations, providing valuable content and helping your customers with their concerns.
Best Social Media Engagement advise: Don’t push your products too hard in social media, instead, focus on becoming a friend and build a community of engaged users.
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