At the very least, every business, no matter how large or small, should have some type of Internet presence even if it’s only a simple five-page website.  But it’s especially important for businesses that operate locally.  Without at least a listing on the search engine indexes, you’re just not going to be found.  It is all about internet marketing for small business

These days, 80 percent of all people looking for a local service provider or local product turn to the Internet.  Nobody uses the Yellow Pages anymore and nobody reads newspapers.  So, classified advertising and all those other old-school methods are no longer effective simply because no one has the time anymore.

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If you want to grab someone’s attention when they’re driving along the Interstate you put up a giant billboard.  If you want to grab their attention when they’re surfing the Internet, you put up a Pinterest board.  Here we show you how to use the visual power of Pinterest for business and extend your reach and strengthen your brand.

Pinterest is the most recent social network to make a splash in the internet marketplace.  With more than 12 million registered users already, it’s the fastest growing gathering place on the Web, even faster and, in some ways, more popular than Facebook.

The reason for its speedy growth and popularity?  Images.  In a nutshell, the benefit of using Pinterest to promote your local business lies in the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” With Facebook you can post small, hard-to-see thumbnails or medium-sized images that get cropped in the conversion.  But Pinterest is designed to showcase your vibrant, full-size images. Read More→

Categories : Social Networking
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2294148782 c4866c1958 m SMS Mobile Marketing

SMS mobile marketing

More than 70 percent of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and more than 80 percent of those owners use text messaging on a daily basis.  Text messaging, or SMS (Short Message Service) is cheap, it’s readily available, and it’s here to stay.  Now, how can it be integrated into your local Internet Marketing campaigns?

Why SMS Is Here To Stay

Mobile marketing using SMS has been in action for quite a few years now.  You probably remember the old weather alerts you could get on your cellphone or the baseball and football scores, or the daily joke.  Now you may be receiving pitches from your favorite brands.  Text is the most widely available and most affordable mobile media available.  Other than voice calling, SMS is the second most-used mobile application.

Text is also the most widely acceptable media.  Subscribers who willingly opt-in to receive text messages rarely complain, provided the messages are relevant and not overly-hyped.  This is even more important in the local marketplace.  The fact that the recipient can more easily take you up on your local offer makes it even more attractive for him to willingly accept your messages.

From the advertiser’s perspective, one of the reasons that SMS marketing is so popular is because both parties don’t have to be online at the same time.  If the recipient has turned his phone off, you can still send your marketing message and it will be waiting in his inbox when he turns the phone back on again.  Additionally, the message stays on the phone until the recipient deletes it. Read More→

Categories : Mobile
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Of all the online social networks, Twitter is one that’s ideal for local internet marketing.  In just 140 characters or less you can let your followers know about sales, special promotions, industry news, or instantly answer their questions.  And when it comes to local searches, that’s what people want – instant updates and answers. 

Twitter users who follow local companies are most likely accessing the site through a mobile device.  They’re looking for announcements, special deals, coupons, and news updates.  Having a slow night in your restaurant?   Send out a Tweet.  Having a spur-of-the-moment Midnight Madness sale?  Send out a Tweet. 

Twitter is definitely a social network but it differs from Facebook in a number of ways.  

For one, it takes much less time to build a community on Twitter and you don’t have to spend as much time socializing with your followers.  On Facebook, if you don’t join in the chatter occasionally you’ll disappear from the stream.  On Twitter, your followers will always see your tweets, whether you take time to socialize or not.  Read More→

Categories : Social Networking
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3418733726 6fd2d9b46b m Mobile Internet Usage

mobile internet usage

As a local small business owner you may be wondering why you need to be concerned about the increase in mobile Internet usage.  Isn’t it enough that you finally have a website?  In all honesty, no, it’s not.  The mobile age is here to stay and its greatest effect is being felt by local business owners.

To understand why mobile Internet usage is so important to your business, you first need to understand what’s happening and how it works.

Today’s consumers are far too busy to spend time flipping through an old copy of the Yellow Pages whenever they need a plumber.  They turn to the Internet where they can get instant answers. 

However, most don’t even have the luxury of being able to sit down in front of a computer for a half hour to conduct an online search, which leads us to the importance of mobile marketing.

These days, when someone needs a plumber or an auto mechanic or legal advice or help with his taxes, chances are he’s going to be searching from a mobile device, while he’s moving from one location to another.  In other words, he needs a fast answer and he needs to be able to read it on that tiny screen of his mobile phone.

Now, you may be saying, “Well, I own a restaurant, or a movie theater, or an accounting business.  That hardly qualifies as an emergency service, so why would I need to worry about mobile marketing?” Read More→

Categories : Mobile
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5713261704 3739b6468e m How To Use Facebook For Business

how to use facebook for business

Facebook and Twitter are great when you’re sharing a link or textual information.  That’s the type of content your audience is looking for on those sites.  But, as the increasing popularity of Pinterest shows, people respond to images and how to use Facebook for business is increasingly important.  

The numbers are astounding:  More than 1 billion registered users access Facebook on a regular basis, most of them connected constantly through mobile phones, notebooks, and other portable devices.  More than 78 percent of all Internet Marketers use Facebook to promote their online businesses.  If you’re not using Facebook to promote your local business, you’re missing the boat.

There’s no question that Facebook is the largest, most active social network on the Internet.  More than 1.5 million links are shared every day and Facebook’s many apps and promotional tools make it the ideal marketing platform for any type of business.  This is why you must know how to use Facebook for business

But it’s the fact that 80 percent of all mobile phone users log on to Facebook almost daily that makes it the ideal platform for promoting your local business. 

When you think about it, when people use a mobile device to access the Internet that means they’re on the move and they’re looking for a quick answer.  Where’s the best Italian restaurant in town?  My car just stalled – can anyone recommend a quick auto mechanic?  Read More→

Categories : Social Networking
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8499775522 08d30aa565 m How To Host A Website

how to host a website

There are dozens of ways you can gain online visibility for your business, and some of them are even free.  That might sound attractive if you’re a local business owner, building your business from the ground, up.  But there’s a world of difference in these various methods to host a website.  “Free” might be attractive, but it’s not always the best choice. 

If you’re running a small, local business you may not need a full-blown website with a shopping cart, an opt-in form and a few dozen contact forms.  You may only need a page or two of content.  Just enough to establish a web presence so you show up in local searches, but not so much that you need to hire designers and content providers to get the site up and running.

Shared Networks

Consider joining a local network site.  Angie’s List is a good example, but you’ll see network sites for landscaping companies, plumbers, organic farming, and all sorts of industries.  These sites typically allow you a page of content that you can use however you see fit.  Sometimes there’s a small fee involved, but it’s minimal.  Many of these sites are free. Read More→

Categories : General Info
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5404034704 64259a3b20 m Mobile Financial Services

mobile financial services, U S Embassy Manila Philippines…

It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of the people on the planet now carry around a mobile phone or mobile device such as a notebook or iPad.  We’re always on-the-go yet the need to be connected is more important now than ever before.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of our financial services. 

Today, with the simple click of an app or SMS, we can check our bank balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and verify payments instantly.  No more traveling to the nearest bank and standing in long lines for hours on payday.  

But you don’t have to own a bank to benefit from these types of instant money transfers.  Mobile financial services can benefit local small business owners, as well. 

Imagine you’re a theater owner.  On your website you could have all the movies and show-times listed and you might even include a payment system so customers could buy tickets online in advance.  

In the past, this was a marvelous “invention.”  People could sit down at their computer and buy movie tickets days in advance.  But who has time to sit down at a computer these days?  Desktops are like dinosaurs and many people don’t even bother with a laptop anymore.  We’re all constantly moving around – with a mobile device in our hands.  

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Categories : Mobile
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5315662081 2188cc4d99 m How To Use QR Codes

QR codes

QR codes are popping up everywhere from subway stations to museums, from grocery stores to websites.  Looking around you might be asking yourself if you should jump on the bandwagon and get one or two of your own.  Unfortunately, there’s no simple yes or no answer.  Because it’s not about whether or not you have one.  It’s what you do with it that counts. 

QR codes are similar to bar codes.  Users scan the code with their mobile phone and they’re led to online information.  It may be a map, a restaurant menu, a music download, an online coupon, an ordering system, a reward, the user may be automatically entered in a contest, or anything the advertiser wants to lead to. 

According to a ComScore report, during the three-month period ending October 11, 2011, 20.1 million American mobile phone owners used their phone to scan a QR code.  It’s not a terribly huge number but it does make you sit up and wonder what it’s all about. 

The simple answer is this:  If you’re reaction is “I need a QR code for something so I can get into the game, too” then you’re looking at it the wrong way.  A QR code should be used as a solution to a problem.  If you don’t have a problem – you don’t need a QR code.  In other words, it’s a gimmick you can live without.  Read More→

Categories : Mobile
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2557010764 49366e131f m Social Networking For Business

social networking for business

For local businesses, nothing beats the power of social media marketing.  Why spend time and money targeting a global audience when the people most interested in your own products or services are right in your own backyard?  

The exposure your business gains from using social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter is powerful, indeed.  The ability to target your specific local market and interact directly with the consumers in your area is certainly a plus.  Even more important is the goodwill and trust that develops as consumers share recommendations with their friends.  

Internet marketing on social networks is also good for your advertising budget.  In most cases it’s free, and you can’t get more cost-effective than that.  Target your own local community or speak to a world-wide customer base for less than it costs to run an ad in your local paper with limited distribution. 

Social media marketing also allows you to easily connect with the fastest growing segment of today’s market – the mobile market.  Eight out of ten people now have a mobile phone and 80 percent of those mobile users are constantly connected to their social networks.

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Categories : Social Networking
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