Yellow Pages RIP - Where Does The Small Business Go Now? 0

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yellow-pagesThere can really be no argument that the Yellow Pages are on the way out. Some of the smaller market books have already been shut down and there have been a parade of businesses that have been reducing or not renewing their contracts over the last years. No one under the age of 40 uses the Yellow Pages to get information. Our advice has been as follows:

  • If the Yellow Pages do not work for your business, get out of it now. Quit wasting money on it.
  • If the Yellow Pages does work for your business phase out of it while replacing it with on line strategies.

You may ask, “Why phase it out if it continues to work for your business?” Answer…you do not want to remain dependent on the business generated from Yellow Pages because there is a day coming soon when they are not going to print the book. The organic marketing methods of the web do not happen overnight. It takes to time to get an audience, construct effective paid online advertising strategies and develop an effective social media program. Don’t get caught, develop your on line strategy now!

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People Trust People Not Technology - Hummingbird Improvement #SEO 0

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google-hummingbirdRemember the Dot Bomb Era? Loads of lousy business models were created that could raise investment capital because they had an E Commerce web site attached. Most of these businesses failed. Many turned out to be just bad business models, but most were not backed up with the basic critical components of good distribution and customer service. I used to marvel at the fact that a new catalog web site expected me to put my credit card number into a web page to order merchandise and there was no 800 number to call for customer service if I needed it. These models were doomed to failure. On the other hand look at the success of Amazon. No doubt, the components of distribution and customer service were there, but Jeff Bezo’s had another thing right from the very start and that was “on line reviews”. In fact on line reviews were part of the original business model.

Enter Google and Hummingbird. For the longest time, getting to the top of Google legitimately was done by leveraging brute force metrics like keywords in site content and URL, back links, and acquisition of a mature URL that was relevant. Advertising in traditional vertical advertising channels that drove direct traffic to the site was measured too and factored into the equation. Up to this point, most of the measurements were crude and were global in nature, not really profiling the sites based on the preferences of the individual and their sphere of influence and trust.

I used to ponder over a decade back how search engines were going to resolve the problem of “there can only be one”. One at the top that is. Now with Hummingbird, no individual is getting the same search results for the same query. Google is profiling the seeker to provide the best results for that individual. A big part of this equation as you market your business is having a quality target audience for which your message is relevant. That audience and the folks that are networked with it will be the most likely to see your site come up in search results. Good on line reviews from that audience take it a step further. Is this anything new? No! We have always trusted a referral from a friend, family member or relation more than anything else. In small towns the town square has always been there, but now on line it is has come back everywhere through places like Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Twitter.

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Steps To Building An Audience For Content Marketing 0

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One of the most important components to market successfully through social media is to have an audience. Publishing quality, relevant content on the internet is great, but to really get it noticed, your content needs to get to those who have an interest in it and have a relationship with you. Interested subscribers are targeted and recruited, while relationships are built.

Size of your audience can be important, but the quality of your audience is more important. Relevance of your content to your audience determines whether or not you are entertaining interested subscribers or being a nuisance. One of the things that I like about Googleplus is that you can set up more than one circle. Teenagers do not want their parents to see their Facebook posts to their friends, and some family and friends may not be interested in your business articles. In Googleplus, you can segment your subscribers based on relationship and interest.

Here are some ideas to increase your your social media audience:
  • Define who you are trying to reach (prospects, customers, industry peers, those who refer you business, etc.)
  • Make your social media platforms accessible with social media buttons and links on your web site and marketing materials.
  • Ask for likes and follows for your company pages.
  • Like and follow company pages that you are interested in or have relationships with.
  • Push out quality content…People will want to like, comment and pass it on.
  • Run promotions and contests.
  • Ask for joins and reviews on emailed follow ups and surveys with customers.
  • Do not abuse your audience with endless posts (old age advertising). They will check out.
  • Explore investing money into Google, Facebook, Linkedin and other advertising to attract subscribers.
  • Perform speaking engagements and host seminars.
Use these steps to build an audience:
  •  Build your marketing plan and define your audience.
  • Use creative ways to reach out to your target audience and get subscribers.
  • Research your audience to determine what is relevant content to them.
  • Create and provide relevant content “consistently” to your audience.
  • Monitor activity and adjust.
  • Stay creative.
***Note: Gaming Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc to get large lists of names with whom you have no relationship merely enables you to beat your sword on a rock. In today’s subscriber based system, pushing out content to those who aren’t interested is a wasted effort.

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