Revamp Your Online Marketing in 2013 with These Savvy Strategies

Have you been trying to market your small business online and just feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels? You’re not alone. Even with all the hype over the Internet and social media, many small business owners still don’t get the whole Internet marketing thing.

Luckily, the end of the year is around the corner. It’s a perfect time to take a step back and put a critical eye towards your marketing efforts and to look for ways to ramp things up for the coming year. The following are several online marketing strategies that savvy business owners can employ to build up their brand and increase sales conversions.

Tap Into Non-Traditional Traffic Sources

Online marketing tipsThese days it seems like nearly every business on the planet, from Fortune 500 behemoths to mom and pop shops, has an account on the big social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Getting your message heard among all the noise currently in social media is becoming harder (and more expensive) with every passing year.

Savvy small business owners are going against the grain and spending their marketing resources in places that many others overlook, such as:

Industry-Specific Forums. Forums where your customers hang out can be a gold mine of quality traffic. Forum marketing may not be exciting or trendy, but if you can provide value to the community, you’ll be rewarded with boatloads of targeted traffic and brand awareness.

Q&A Sites. Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers, Amazon’s AskVille, and Ask.com, are some of the most untapped traffic sources online. Where else can you find an active community of people asking industry-specific questions about your business’s products or services?

SlideShare, DocStoc and other content directories. Why play the YouTube lottery, hoping that your videos go viral, when you can get your message in front of a large audience with much less competition using content directories, such as the presentation sharing site SlideShare.net? To give you an idea of the power of these types of “second tier” social media sites, I recommend reading this case study of how one creative webmaster got 2000+ visitors from a SlideShare presentation. These two traffic heavyweights can bring you a fair amount of traffic if you provide something of value to the community.

Tutorial and DIY Sites. Here is another, largely untapped source of promotion and traffic. Tutorial sites, such asTutorialized.com, and DIY project sites, such as Instructables, are heavily visited and give you a chance to showcase your expertise to potential customers.

Infographic Marketing. Got some interesting statistics that would fit nicely into an infographic? There are many sites, such as visual.ly, that specialize in showcasing the latest and greatest infographics and that can send you some quality, targeted traffic.

Ebook Marketing. Taking your best content and turning it into an ebook can be a great way to get a completely new source of free traffic. Free ebook sites, such as Free-ebooks.net and Bookboon.com, get thousands of visitors every hour. Make sure you have a link back to your site throughout the ebook so that interested readers can check out what you do.

Obviously, this is far from an extensive list. But as more and more marketers clamor for elbow room for “2013′s next big thing”, by providing consistent value to the sites less traveled (by marketers, anyway), you’ll quietly amass a stream of quality traffic.

Learning the Art of Effective Newsjacking

The days of writing up a press release about your business’s new hire , sending it out via PRWeb, and getting significant amouts of traffic are long gone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the millions of people that search online for the latest news updates.

You can try a technique known as newsjacking; it’s straightforward, cheap and effective if you do it right. Here’s how:

Sign Up to Google Alerts. This will keep you posted on news in your industry. You may also want to head over to the big news sites, like CNN.com and NYTimes.com to see what’s hot.

Get in on the Break. Like surfing, you’ll need to get in right as the news breaks. Once you see a story that you think would work, it’s time to get to work.

Write a Blog Post Related to the Topic. Let’s say that you run a coffee shop. When the U.S. Presidential election was a hot news item, you could have written a blog post about how different candidates handle coffee-related issues, such as tariffs, worker’s rights, or even sales taxes.

Write a Press Release About Your Post. Next, write up a quick press release with the keywords people are searching for related to the election and send it out using a high-profile distribution network.

Share Your Press Release On Social Media. Once it’s approved by the network, it’s time to get the word out about your press release. Share your press release on social media so others can share it. For a more in-depth overview on Newsjacking, check out this article from Hubspot.

Author Bio:

Spencer is a professional blogger and CEO of SurveySpencer. His site covers several different ways people can make money online with very little investment, such as freelance writing, tutoring, and selling on Ebay.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks, Spencer. And thanks to Adam for publishing this post. I think increasingly niche social networks aimed at specific communities (like BizSugar aimed specifically at small business owners and operators) are really a great alternative to the bigger social networks. But one thing to remember even with huge sites like Facebook and Twitter is that you are not really competing against everyone. Done right, you should be focusing on and growing a very specific community. This comes from engaging rather than broadcasting and building relationships rather than just making connections.

  2. says

    These are some fantastic tips. I especially like the Ebook marketing tip. This will be an effective way to grow your list and drive more traffic to your site in one fell swoop. This is also a passive traffic generation model, so you’ll only have to set this funnel up once and it could potentially send you hundreds of new visitors to your site for a long time.

    Thanks for sharing this post with our BizSugar community. I appreciate it!

    Ti

  3. Adam Gottlieb says

    Hi Ti,

    Yes, ebook marketing can be a powerful traffic generating, brand-building tool, and the best part is that you can often re-use a lot of the content you’ve already produced to put it together. I think many business owners get intimidated by the “book” part of ebook. They may not realize that the definition of an ebook is very flexible.

  4. Adam Gottlieb says

    A hundred percent… I look at it this way: with niche social networking sites, such as BizSugar, a space has already been created for you to promote your content and engage with like-minded people. With the bigger social networking sites, you often have to bring a shovel and dig out that space for yourself. There are benefits to the extra work, though. Because you are being forced to develop connections, those connections and the content you put in, often come out stronger.

  5. Spencer says

    Glad you enjoyed it Shawn. You’re right: if you’re smart and target a community you can do well on any social networking site…even giants like Facebook and Twitter.

  6. Spencer says

    Thanks Ti! You’re right: Ebooks and other digital content are one of the best ways to give passive value (and make money) all day long.

  7. says

    Great information.

    Forum marketing and visiting Q&A sites are incredible traffic generators. I’ve noticed that most people don’t use them because they don’t know and it takes time and organization which most small businesses don’t have. Adding them to the marketing mix will generate brand awareness amongst highly qualified prospects. Thanks for sharing

  8. Adam Gottlieb says

    Yes, forum marketing and Q&A sites take time, but it really boils down to relationship building. Just as it takes time and effort to build strong relationships with other people, so too it takes time to build relationships with your customers. This is just a means to an end. If you look at it that way then it changes everything.

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