YouTube Strategies for Small Business Success

As a small business owner there are a lot of different ways to market your business. You know it, I know it. That said, when operating in today’s day and age of advanced technology it is important to choose the strategies that are going to get you the best return on your investment of time. To that end, YouTube marketing is something that you need to be doing to ensure you are connecting with your current and potential customers or clients.

Now, don’t be scared – YouTube marketing is easy. You just need to pick out the right strategies to use and put them in action to start seeing results right away. Take a few minutes to think about how you could implement the following strategies into your marketing mix as well has how impactful they could be for your bottom line.

Be the Face Of Your Business

If you are like most small business owners out there then you likely want to lead from the front, not the back. That said, one great thing about YouTube is that you can actually get on camera, create videos and add them to your website or your Facebook page. This is great because it will allow potential customers to get to know, and feel comfortable with, you.

Think about this; if a potential customer is looking for a service that you offer and they come to your website to see a video where the owner invites them to learn more the impact can be massive. Simply put, people will start to feel a connection with your services and feel that they have a relationship with a local company that really cares about their clients. Better yet, when you have a YouTube account you can create as many videos as you want and keep switching them in and out. For example, you could have a holiday video themed video up during Christmas wishing everyone a happy and safe season while educating them and inviting them to your location for a sale.

Share a Valuable Message

With YouTube you can post and share videos to common problems that your customers have. Not only will this help to build your brand, it will also help you attract and retain loyal customers. As an example, if you are a plumber you can share a YouTube video on your website that shows how to stop a leaky faucet or a running toilet. Not only will your visitors appreciate this content but they will keep you in mind when they actually need a plumber.

The best part of sharing valuable content is that you do not have to be the one that creates it! You can simply go to YouTube and search for a video that solves a problem and embed it on your website. Under each video on YouTube there is a share option where you can get the information needed to take a video and place it on your website. How easy is that!

Get More Visitors

If you decide that you want to create some valuable videos full of your own content you will be able to put them to use right away. Not only will other people find and use your videos which will push traffic to your website, but having a catalog of video content that you can use on your website and direct potential customers to can give you a big boost.

A can’t miss strategy to get more visitors to your website is to have 2 videos that solve the same problem. Video 1 tells you what the problem is and the steps needed to fix it while video 2 actually shows how to carry the steps out. The magic occurs because as the owner of the videos you can designate that video 2 is private and is only used on your website. The result is people watch video 1 because it is shared all over the internet, but at the end of the video they are directed to your website to see video 2. Pretty neat, right?

Pay Per View

Did you know that you can actively promote your videos by paying to have them show up in the YouTube search results? And with YouTube videos getting viewed more than 4-billion times per day there is really no reason why you should not be paying to get potential customers to your videos.

The great thing is that you can target who is exactly seeing your videos to ensure that you are getting the highest quality traffic possible. For example, if you are the owner of a hair salon you can target women who live within the zip code where you do business. Taking that approach will guarantee that the only people seeing the valuable content you are sharing are people who actually could come through your doors. Now, it does cost money of course as you are paying per video view, but if you understand the lifetime value of just one customer spending a few dollars on YouTube advertising is more than justifiable if it is getting new clients coming into your business.

Call to Action

One more sure fire YouTube strategy that needs mentioned is that you must always include a call to action in your videos. This is one small detail that often goes overlooked by business owners who are just starting out with their YouTube presence.

At the end of each video you must tell the viewer what you want them to do – maybe you want them to come into your shop, maybe call your phone number or maybe print out a coupon from your website. Whatever that action may be, it is your job to make sure that you clearly tell them what you want done. When you take this approach and give a clear call to action you will see that most people will do exactly what you ask them to do.

As a small business owner it is really important that you include YouTube in what you are doing regarding client acquisition. Video is hot right now and it is only going to get hotter in the future. By leveraging the power of YouTube you will easily be able to drive more visitors to your website and more dollars through your door.

How Your Business Can Market on Twitter

As a small business owner, you are probably thinking how can a social platform like Twitter impact my business?  What can I really say in 280 characters? If this sounds like something you would say – you could not be farther from the truth.

Social media has proven to be an effective marketing strategy for small businesses.  With the technology driven world we live in today, consumers expect all businesses (large and small) to be on social media and provide them with updates, specials and information at the press of a button.  Twitter is not just for teens, tycoons and celebrities – it is a marketing tool that can help grow your business – and many smart small business owners are using Twitter as one of their main online marketing tools in their tool belt.

The numbers are convincing. Twitter has been around since 2006 and has grown substantially.  Today, there are more than 284 million monthly active users, according to stats released by Twitter on their website.  With almost 500 million tweets sent per day, you can see why this is a powerful marketing tool for any small business owner.  As staggering as these stats may seem, you are probably asking yourself, how can Twitter help my business?  Here are just a few strategies you can implement to build your brand on Twitter:

  • Connect – With the number of active users on Twitter, it makes it one of the best places to look for and connect with potential customers. Small businesses that cater to a niche market find that they are able to connect with their existing customers and interact with new customers easily, allowing potential customers the opportunity to learn more about their business and their brand. And stay informed of sales, promotions & special events.
  • Brand Awareness – While the big brands do not need an introduction to get followers, small business owners need and want more people to know about their products and services. Twitter allows you to drip brand information on your followers.  Before you know it, you are recognizable, reliable and known for your brand to millions of followers.  Creating that trust with your followers is key in building lasting relationships with them, which will drive sales for your business.
  • Relationships – Positive relationships are the key to growing your business. Your Twitter followers will feel connected to you and your business as you make an effort to post updates and tweets that your customers will find interesting and helpful.  Value driven content is more powerful today than any other type of information presented.  There is a balance needed – keep your direct marketing or sales promotions to a minimum – too many ads can make you come across to your followers as pushy.
  • Informational Marketing – Introducing new products and services or making important announcements via Twitter has some great benefits. Not only is this a more cost effective way to release information on new products and services, but it also can potentially reach millions of people much faster than other marketing methods, such as print advertisement and even radio and television.
  • Immediate Feedback – many small businesses are using Twitter to monitor, survey and handle feedback from their customers. This is a very efficient tool in gathering your customers’ opinions and it allows you to respond quickly.  Responding to both positive and negative feedback, can set your small business apart from that big competitor down the street.  Managing your online reputation in a professional manner, creates a positive atmosphere with your followers.

So Twitter can be a very useful tool for small businesses in a multitude of ways.  Twitter can help you reach your consumers in ways that you never thought were possible.  Here’s a few examples of how a few twitter savvy businesses used Twitter to build their small business:

  • Coffee Groundz is a coffee shop in Houston, and was one of the first businesses to use Twitter for takeout orders. They fill their Twitter stream with promotions, upcoming events, pictures, and the announcement of their special flavor of the day.
  • Crème Brulee Cart was a small side business started by a carpenter. Within a very short period, this business owner learned that customers were finding the cart each day through Twitter.  As customers would stop by the cart, they would then tweet where the cart was and what they purchased.  This business owner quickly started using Twitter to post where the cart was located every day and what the daily flavors were.  Today, there are more than 20,000 followers on this Twitter account and the business owner was able to quit the carpentry business!
  • Roger Smith Hotel located in New York City needed an edge to compete against the big name hotels in Manhattan. Twitter provided this hotel an edge that no one could have seen.  After reaching out through Twitter to some online influencers and inviting them to stay during their next visit to NYC, the Roger Smith Hotel got exactly what it hoped for – happy guests that tweeted about their stay.  Word spread quickly and now they are consistently booked.  The hotel gives their Twitter followers special discounts and even has a special Twitter kiosk in their lobby to give them a special welcome.

Social media can be the driving tool for small businesses to develop awareness of its products and services.  As a small business, you are in the perfect position to use Twitter to your advantage and build your business to heights you never thought possible.  Maintain your values and remember the tips mentioned above.  Before you know it, your followers, and sales will increase.

Social media is not going away.  So don’t be one of those businesses that struggle and make the mistake of ignoring the potential of social media – especially Twitter. It’s one of the most economical ways you can increase your visibility and reach your audience.  Which is why it so popular among small businesses.  Make it a part of your marketing strategy for your small business – reach your audience quicker, and easier than ever before.

 

Local SEO Myths – What You Think Is True Is Already Outdated

As a small business owner, you have heard all the hype. You know you need to have a presence online in order to survive in today’s technology driven business world. Yet, online marketing is a mystery to many small business owners. And, even more intimidating is local marketing.

As confusing as it may be, many small business owners, just like you, are often lead to believe that they can conduct their local marketing SEO the same way as the national brands. What works for the national brands will not work for your local small business trying to beat out the local competition.

It is hard for any business owner to understand the difference between right and wrong in relation to local SEO marketing, as the majority of information available is unclear and inconsistent. Let’s look at some of the myths behind successful SEO for local business.

  • Link building is dead – This myth can be found everywhere today, and primarily stems from Google’s attempt to stop unnatural links. Matt Cutts made a recent comment that people trying to build SEO should stop guest posting. However, there is nothing wrong with posting valuable content in the form of guest posts. In fact, there are specific directories that every business should be in and is safe in Google’s eyes.
  • Business List claiming will boost your SEO – It has been thought by many local businesses, that if they claim their business listings online, it will boost their SEO. Yes, it is beneficial to claim your business, but it is not the sole reason for boosting SEO. There are many other factors that are involved in SEO marketing.
  • Social Media does not help with SEO – Social media or social search is the rave today. Businesses that have embraced social media are experiencing enhanced SEO marketing. Social media creates natural backlinks when users on sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, share your site and information with others. The key is to post consistently, post value driven content and stay active in conversations.
  • Keyword Loaded Domain Names – It’s best to keep your domain name focused on your company name or brand name. Adding keywords to your domain name does not typically provide any SEO support, not anymore anyway. It is the other SEO marketing activities that will promote you and help in achieving higher search rankings.
  • Mobile is the same as Desktop – Mobile searching is key for local SEO marketing. The majority of searches completed on a mobile device, are performed for local services and products. Making sure that your website is ideal for mobile devices can impact your rankings. If you have not considered a mobile platform for your business, you should.
  • Content is not relevant – It was once thought that link building was the only way to build successful SEO, however, with the changes in Google’s algorithms, writing compelling content is becoming the preferred method in SEO marketing. As discussed above, link building is still relevant, however, investing in value-driven content for webpages, blog posts and more, will bring more quality links and leads to you and your website.
  • Local Pages are not needed – At the very least you definitely need to have your city and state listed on your website to be included in local searches. Title tags, on-page citations and links should all clearly state where you are located. However, if you really want to boost your local SEO searches, create a separate local landing page for each niche of your business. These local landing pages will place you higher in local searches.
  • All I need is basic SEO to rank at the top of Google Local – You should know your local competition. If your industry is saturated with businesses such as yours, you may find it difficult to rank near the top of local searches, though not impossible. You will need to invest a great deal in multiple SEO approaches, consistently, to promote your business to new customers and increase your local search ranking.
  • Photos and/or Video are not important – Multimedia can be beneficial in increasing your local search ranking. Images and videos often show in Google searches as blended displays, therefore, these multimedia pieces can provide additional opportunities to get your business found. If you feel that there is no way to implement photos or videos into your business marketing, think again. Use your imagination – videos of processes, photos of company events or other local events related to your service or product, all make great marketing pieces.
  • Microsite and other domains I own will help my SEO – there is no real value in spreading your SEO thin. Search engines today are smart enough to know who a domain name is registered to and setting up multiple domains and sites does not build your primary domain, but dilutes it. Furthermore, many businesses have been penalized by Google for having microsites that have duplicate content. Concentrate on building your primary website!

There are many SEO marketing strategies, some that were once considered mainstream. It’s difficult for a business owner to keep up with constantly evolving SEO strategies and practices. However, knowing which are the myths and which are not can help you to make more effective decisions with your SEO marketing campaigns.

Whether you hire a professional to help you with your SEO marketing or you do it yourself, you should understand that SEO is about the overall experience for the user or searcher. Take that into consideration, and you’ll generate more leads and sales online.