Beyond Facebook: Top Ideas for Local Internet Marketing That Move Beyond Social Media
By now you know that the internet can be a powerful tool for your local marketing campaign. While social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can absolutely benefit your business, you'll need to look beyond social media to really make the most out of the internet when it comes to marketing your business. Here are some ideas for your local internet marketing campaign that move beyond social media:
Register with local websites
City websites are a gold mine for attracting the attention of tourists and locals alike. Register with your city's website and include a link to your place of business along with a short description of your business if the city website allows it. In addition, register with your local chamber of commerce and local business directories and provide a link to your website. The more local websites that you can link to your own, the more exposure you will get when people are searching for your services.
A lot of small business owners forget or don't realize that search engines are great for local exposure. Register and market your business with local search engines. Some examples include Google places, Yahoo local, and Bing local. By taking this step, you will add links to your website, and in addition you will get local traffic to your website once you register.
Buy a domain ... and use it!
It's relatively simple to buy your own domain and use it for your email and portfolio. Having your name as your email address will make it a breeze for new contacts to remember both the email and your name, and it will also give them an open invitation to check out your portfolio on your website. Having a domain is a great way to showcase your talents if you are already doing something like writing or photography because it gives you a more personalized outlet for showing off your work than sites like Facebook or even Instagram.
Even if you aren't a writer, you can still benefit from having a blog. Your blog doesn't need to be focused on you personally or even your business. It can incorporate aspects of general business, your specific industry, and anything else you're interested in. For instance, if you're really interested in sustainability and eating locally, you can talk about the benefits of farmers markets for your local community in your blogs, thereby building up a more general audience and connecting yourself as a business leader in the community to the community at large.
Your blog doesn't need to be incredibly high-tech or fancy, and actually too many distracting images, colors, and fonts can turn readers off altogether.
The content is what really matters.
To build readership, share your professional blog link on your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. Make connections with other local businesses as a way to keep your focus local and to gain local readership. You can do this by following the blogs of other local businesses and community leaders and by commenting on their blogs to encourage conversation between local businesses and business owners.
Along with hosting your own blog, ask local businesses if you can write a guest blog for them as a way to grow your audience. Choose businesses that are similar, but not competitive, with your own or that are specific to your particular hobby.
Return the favor by inviting local business owners to write guest blogs on your blog as a way to encourage partnership. Make sure you include a link to your blog at the end of your guest blog, and always follow up with any comments or questions that are left by readers of your blog.
Taking the above steps will help your business gain exposure by reaching a wider audience than social media sites can provide. Soon your name will be recognizable among anyone who frequents local websites and blogs, and your business will be associated with community involvement and enrichment along with your specialization.