I got a call last week from a small business owner. “I need sales and I need them now.” he said, “how can you help me, how fast can you do it and how much will it cost? Oh and by the way, I don’t have a lot of extra money to spend.” This business owner is now in crisis marketing mode.
Waiting until you have no leads coming into your business can automatically put you into the crisis marketing mode. The time to get help or try new marketing strategies is NOT when you are desperate because then you will either not have the budget or you will pay just about anything to generate sales and cash flow.
Consumer buying habits have changed and if you plan on staying in business, your marketing strategies have to change too. It’s time to stop using old strategies to find new business.
Use Internet Marketing to Generate Leads
According to some studies, 90% of people searching for your products and services on the Internet never search beyond page one. That means if your business isn't on page one or at the very least page two of Google, your business doesn't even exist. And if people can't find you, they can't buy from you!
Critical Steps to Avoid Crisis Marketing
You don't necessarily need more marketing money to increase sales. Instead, it's your ability to use the marketing money and resources you already have more effectively. Commit to spending a specific amount every month on Internet marketing.
Step 1 - Create a website - It's hard to believe, but yes, some small business owners still don't have their own website. If you are one of those small business owners you better get busy.
Step 2 - Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - On-site search engine optimization helps provide the search engines the information they need to match what your site has to offer to the person conducting an online search.
Step 3 - Drive Qualified Traffic to Your Website - There are many ways to drive traffic to your website, some cost you little in terms of actual cash, while others are more sophisticated and complicated and will need to be budgeted. Here are few online strategies to consider:
--Social media marketing
--Local search directories like Google Plus, Yahoo and Bing
Step 4 - Convert Website Visitors into Leads - The only way to verifiable of turning visitors into leads and leads into sales do this is to capture their contact information – at minimum first name and e-mail address. One of the best ways to do that is using an opt-in form. Offering a Free Report containing information that your visitor would find helpful in making an informed buying decision is a great way to do this.
Step 5 - Create a Follow Up Marketing System - Once you get website visitors to “opt-in” to your mailing list, follow up with your prospects and current clients using e-mail marketing newsletters.
Step 6 - Create a Referral and Review Marketing System - Make it a point to create a plan to generate referrals and ask for reviews that can be posted on your website or sites like Google Plus, Yelp and City Search.
The Bottom Line? - No matter what brand you sell, how high the price, what time of year or how bad the economy, people are still buying, you just need to be sure they buy from you.
David Carleton is a Local Business Marketing Success Consultant who specializes in showing small business owners how to spend less and get more from their marketing and advertising using low cost strategies in local business marketing, lead generation and conversion, Internet marketing and social media.