Small Business Digital Marketing: Using the Internet to Grow Your Business

If you are a small business and you are not yet marketing yourself online then you are really missing out. On the other hand, maybe you’ve tried it but you just haven’t been able to generate the results you’d like? Either way, it’s time to change things and get serious about this opportunity…The sad truth is that most small businesses aren’t marketing themselves effectively using the internet. This is usually because they lack the expertise to implement their marketing campaigns in the right way, or they believe that it is expensive and thus not something they can afford.What can you achieve with small business digital marketing?The reality is that digital marketing is a constantly changing landscape. If you really want to succeed with it and generate great results for your business then you definitely need to know what you are doing. If it is done in the right way however then this type of marketing can enable you to grow your business and reach new customers in a way that has never been possible before.The digital world creates a wonderful opportunity for small businesses to grow their income, find new clients and better engage existing ones. From advertising through social media to reach new audiences, generating leads through carefully crafted website landing pages, or engaging existing customers through content-filled email newsletters, this tool can generate real tangible results for your company.Getting started with small business digital marketingThe first thing to get clear on is that you need a definite plan. Diving straight into the field without thinking about what you want to achieve, and how you are going to achieve it, is simply setting yourself up for failure. Failing to plan is probably the number one reason why most small businesses fail with this inception.It is very important to have a clear and detailed strategy. You should set out specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound marketing objectives and targets, and you should ensure that you think carefully about the digital marketing channels you are going to use to get your message out there.It is also important to remember that digital marketing isn’t an instant solution. Achieving effective results requires consistent action, on-going testing and regular reviewing of progress.Getting help with small business digital marketingAs we have already touched upon, digital marketing is a complex field that’s constantly changing. It is therefore crucial to have a good understanding of the subject and know exactly how to plan and implement digital campaigns for maximum results.Many small business lack in-house expertise and thus choose to seek the help of a digital marketing agency. This is often a smart decision because it brings much-needed expertise to the table. A digital marketing implemented by professionals is much more likely to generate great results than a campaign implemented by someone who is relying in trial and error. In addition, getting external help with small business digital marketing frees the company to concentrate on running their business, without worrying about their digital campaigns.
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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

The Three Ps That Are Vital to Your Online Business Success

Setting up an online business is relatively easy. In fact you can follow a simple checklist and accomplish the task in a matter of hours or a few days. Taking that online business to a level of respectable success is a little more difficult. There are few things that you must do and many things that you could do to create online business success.To simplify this article and keep it relatively short, I want to talk about the three Ps that are vital to your online business success.Put It UpThat is a logical first step. Put it up. The “it” in this step is your business concept. Until you put it you there for people to see and understand then all that you have is an idea that you continually bounce around in your head. It may be a very worthy and even viral concept, but as long as it stays in your head, it remains unproductive.If you were running a traditional business you would put it up in a storefront and hope that the people walking by would see it and stop in to do business with you. For an online business you will need to establish an online business website. This is your online storefront where you will have opportunity to present your business concept to the world and give the opportunity to do business in your online store.To ensure that your website is vibrant and attractive enough to draw-in online visitors, you must do two things while you are setting it up. You must keep your website rich with content. This will not only draw new visitors into your site, but it will keep them coming back to the site and referring others to check out your business.
The second thing that you must d is be personally transparent on the site. Be clear and specific about who you are and your goals for creating this site. Present yourself as a real person, with an address, phone number, and active email address. Be open and willing to communicate directly with your clients.PublishNow that your site is up, publish content wherever you can. This will not only improve the visibility of your online-business, but it will continually increase and improve your credibility in the mind of your clients.So how do you publish content for your clients to see? First you can write articles that relate to your specific specialty and submit them to article directories. Enhance your articles by sprinkling them with popular and relative keywords that people in your niche will search for. This will multiple your visibility on the web exponentially. Beyond article marketing, create a blog and fill it with similar keyword rich content. Publish your website URL on your blog and direct interested clients back to the website where you do business.PromoteFinally you must become a relentless self-promoter for your online business. Beyond article marketing and blogging, start exchanging links with similar sites. Create an affiliate marketing syndication and utilize RSS Feeds. Present yourself on Social Networking sites as a credible authority in your niche. Dominate the web with your message, your business proposition, and your expert credibility in the field. The number and strength of the marketing methods that you use to promote your online business will increase the number of targeted prospects that visit your website with the intention of doing business with you. Here’s to your online business success!Do you need some help taking your business to the next level? Check out my resource box below and lets connect. I would love to help!