Published on March 24, 2009
9 Important and Free Marketing Resources for 2009 (and 8 more you should look at) For businesses, products and websites – how to increase your chances of being found online.
Part 1 – Getting Found on the Internet • This assumes you already have a website and a domain name and are looking to expose your products and services through the internet. • Being listed is much easier than being found, but is the critical first step in establishing a web presence. • Listings in major search engines do not cost anything.
Search Engines take over from Yellow Pages In 2008, a survey revealed that internet search engines surpassed printed Yellow Pages when it comes to searching for local businesses. While most people still use a variety of different methods to The survey also found that a large find a local business, a recent number of local searches take some type study found what people seem of action. This may come in the form of a to prefer as their first choice for phone call, an visit or an email. This doing so: highlights that local searchers are in the final stages of their purchase decision 1. Search Engines (31%) and are almost ready to make a 2. Print Yellow Pages or White purchase. Pages (30%) 3. Internet Yellow Pages Sites Likelihood of some action by searchers: (19%) • Online Yellow Pages – 66% 4. Local Search Sites (11%) • Local Search Sites – 72% • General Search Site – 66%
• Over 80% of all search results come from Google and affiliated searches. – Google Website Registration Link: http://www.google.com/addurl/ • Google has local search pages for businesses that require separate registration. – Google Local Registration Link: http://www.google.com/local/add/
• Yellow Pages and YellowPages.ca Free Listings – Yellow Pages Directory (Printed and Online) Registration Instructions: https://advertisers.yellowpages.ca/ypgweb/naviga teTo?_idMenu=ps_free_listings • A Basic Listing displays your business name, address and phone number under a heading of your choice. Best of all, it's free with your business line or cellular number.
• Yahoo! is second to Google, with close to 12% of all internet searches. – Yahoo Canada Website Registration Link http://ca.search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html (Requires registration for a free Yahoo! account) • Yahoo! Canada has a local business search site that uses YellowPages.ca business listings. • Yahoo.ca is the default search for Rogers High- Speed users in Canada
• MSN is a distant 3rd in searches, but growing. Search is managed by MSN through Live.com – Microsoft Search Website Registration Link: http://search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx • MSN Canada is partnered with Bell Sympatico and is the default search for Internet Explorer. • MSN Live Maps has local business search listings. They are aggregated from website contact addresses and existing directories. Though Canadian businesses are currently not accepted, submissions are imminent. – Business information may be added here: http://webmaster.live.com/
• The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by volunteer editors. • DMOZ Directory feeds results to hundreds of searches, including Google results. • Submitting a Site to DMOZ is free. – Instructions for Open Directory Submission: http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
Part 2 – Selling Products Online • It doesn’t take an online store or any ecommerce knowledge to take advantage of some free ways to sell online. • Not all products and services are appropriate for these sales venues, but they are worth reviewing for your specific products.
craigslist • Local classifieds and forums for more than 550 cities in over 50 countries worldwide - community moderated, and largely free. • There are currently 47 Canadian community Craigslist sites. • There are 31 categories for selling products and services through Craigslist. • Over 4 million Canadian page views per month. • http://www.craigslist.org
• Kijiji is a group of free, local, community classifieds websites. • Over 25 Buy/Sell Categories. • Basic listings are always free. • Hundreds of products and services are sold through Kijiji classifieds in Canada every day. • http://www.kijiji.ca
Part 3 – Social Media • Social media (blogs, RSS, social search, social networks, and bookmarking) presents the marketer with a rich set of new tools to help in the effort to generate new business. • It used to be all you needed to be on the Web was a Web site. Today you need to think and act in terms of a total Web presence. • If you’re not participating in social media, you’re not really as “online” as you should be.
Why Use Web 2.0 Tools? • Social networking creates networks around people, companies and brands. • It allows for commenting, collaboration, instant feedback, recommendations and referrals, customer support. • Build trust through communicating and honesty with clients and prospects. • Increase your internet profile through the back links created through social network sites.
Introduction to Blogging • Blogging is the first step into the world of social media. It is the best way to take advantage of a set of powerful tools while also gaining some of the most immediate return on time invested. • A blog is software that allows anyone who can type to post content to a Web site or blog home page. The content is generally displayed much like a journal might be written, in chronological fashion. • Blogging is such a great tool because it allows you to more easily accomplish many of the marketing objectives today’s small businesses must address: Content – Context – Connections – Community
3-Steps to Starting a Blog 1. Monitor a group of relevant blogs. Use a blog search engine and RSS reader to locate and subscribe to a dozen or so relevant blogs. You should evaluate blogs in your industry, competitors, experts, and so on to learn how people blog, what they write about, and how they engage their readers. 2. Comment on a group of relevant blogs. Visit some of your chosen blogs, add relevant comments, and engage in the conversation going on inside these blogs. This, by the way, is an important part of online networking and may help get your blog noticed down the road. 3. Create your own blog and start posting content. Only after you’ve engaged in steps 1 and 2 for a couple weeks do I advise entering the blogging pool.
Free Blogging Sites • Google Blogger – http://www.blogger.com • Wordpress – http://www.wordpress.org • Windows Live Spaces – http://spaces.live.com • Livejournal – http://www.livejournal.com
• Facebook presents marketing opportunities for your brand • Over 100 million users of the platform • Businesses, Products and Brands can be added to Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Facebook as a Marketing Tool 1. Facebook is a soft sell through engagement. Point “fans” to your company blog or contest. 2. Offer something of value, expect nothing in return. Use Facebook as a brand awareness tool. 3. Ask for referrals: referrals from friends or fans are still the most trusted. 4. Provide interactivity with applications or polls to drive word of mouth. 5. Use status updates to disseminate information about self/business. quot;Sarah is in Vancouver for a business meeting. Call me if in townquot; or quot;Jim is congratulating Jane on her recent promotion.“ 6. Make it personal: focus on the human element of your business and products, and your employees. When consumers can relate personally to a business or product, they are more likely to promote it and feel a stronger connection. 7. Update your business page frequently. The more often you add content, the more customers will return.
More “Web 2.0” Social Resources • Twitter - a free service that allows anyone to say anything to anybody in 140 characters or less—it’s the “what are you doing right now” kind of micro-blogging that permeates online social communication. (http://twitter.com) • LinkedIn – Social networking for professionals. Share industry advice, get the most from your professional network. (http://linkedin.com)
More “Web 2.0” Social Resources • StumbleUpon - helps you “stumble” around the Web and find new content. A downloadable toolbar suggests Web sites and videos and learns your preferences as you give a thumbs up or down to what you see. (http://www.stumbleupon.com) • Flickr – shares videos and photos related to your business. (http://www.flickr.com)
More “Web 2.0” Social Resources • YouTube – Largest video site in the internet. Create a business channel to share video content to prospects, clients, employees. (http://www.youtube.com) • SlideShare - SlideShare is the best way to share and find presentations. Share publicly or privately. Add audio to make a webinar. (http://www.slideshare.com)
More “Web 2.0” Social Resources • Digg – User submitted content is voted on, popular content is featured. (http://www.digg.com) • FriendFeed – Allows sharing of bookmarks and content publicly and privately. Follow other feeds to see what others have found that may be of interest. (http://www.friendfeed.com)
Thank you! • Always remember to take time to understand your business needs and expectations for any marketing efforts. • Effective marketing can be done quickly and on a budget • You don’t need to be the expert on online marketing if you find a reliable advisor, your expertise should be focused on running your business.
OSG Marketing • Free initial consultation for local small businesses – We’ll review your online profile and needs together in about an hour – We’ll create a customized solution tailored to your budget and timetable
Greg Bolger Small Business Owner and Internet Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org http://osgmarketing.com 647-990-1589
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