As a small business, you probably don't have deep pockets for marketing and advertising efforts. A lot of the money you bring in goes to covering the pay for yourself and/or your staff, and taking care of expenses related to invoicing, supplies, and other business essentials. If you're marketing on a budget, here's five effective online marketing tools that might be a perfect fit for your small business in the service industry.
Focus on Reviews
There's a saying that the customer is always right, and though it is often abused in this day and age by customers who just want to have their every whim catered to, there's still some truth to it. Review sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon, for restaurant and service businesses, play a big role in how others perceive your business. Don't dismiss the reviews people leave as cranky customers. Engage these individuals and work to resolve their issues. Even if a perfect resolution isn't possible, the effort goes a long way in improving the brand image of your business.
Use Local Online Business Directories
If your name isn't out there, no one is going to find it. Sure, some people will stumble across your brand, but if you aren't listed in local directories you make it harder for a wider swath of the consumer base to locate your brand. Make sure you optimize your directory listing though with accurate descriptions of the business, hours of operation, and your physical address and contact info.
Optimize for Video
This is especially important for some service industries. YouTube is the world's second-largest search network, according to Mushroom Networks, and that means billions of eye balls are viewing content on there. Not only can video ads or tutorials help your business get spotted via YouTube, it can decrease the burden of consumer information by providing shoppers with helpful information before they need to contact you. Tutorial videos, for example on how to fix common plumbing leaks, put a face to your brand and help improve its image with consumers.
Don't Ignore SEO
Google might have spent the early 2010s messing with the very flow of the Internet itself, but SEO remains a vital part of your marketing strategy. Well-written content that takes advantage of proper SEO tactics can push your business site and blog to higher positions in search engine results pages (SERPs), and improve visibility for your brand.
Try Pay Per Call
Customers on the hunt for service-based assistance, such as plumbing, locksmiths, or electricians, don't always have time to wait for you to answer an online lead form. Using Pay Per Call captures the power of phone calls to drive valuable leads to your business, and provide an easy means of spreading the word about your business.