Online Marketers – You are Doing it Wrong!

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Typically I have seen business owners hand over their site to online marketers in the hope that it will bring their business lots of traffic through high ranking in Google and other search engines.

On theory this is fine. You have the world to target. The audience is huge. There are 7 billion souls in the world. Who will not want to get a slice of that audience!

But this approach is wrong fundamentally for two reasons. When you compete globally your business should be world class and there are very few businesses who can claim to be world class!

Secondly, the number of providers! Globally there are millions of providers for any imaginable service. When you take on these providers you are competing with the very best and the very worst!

It is easy to compete with the best by upgrading your service but to compete with the worst who offer mostly very low prices, you have to degrade down to their level and that is something not many people can do. Plus their number is numerous. Competing on price point alone is a race to the bottom and very few can survive this game.

So what is the solution then? How to you stand out from the crowd and make the sale in the global market?

Get local. Do not compete globally. Offer everything local. Get really good at it and then scale to cover more areas.

Locally the competition is not that fierce. You can make some effort to dominate the market locally then think global if it is required.

Concentrate your marketing efforts locally.

Get registered in local business directories and yellow pages. There will be some local directories worth getting into. What these directories do is, they produce that relevancy of your business for that region you are targeting.

Search engines, specially Google picks up these signals of relevancy quite frequently. Do not overdo it though. Getting into 3 to 4 biggest local directories is enough.

Post in local classifieds. Each region has at least one classified site that is popular. get into that. Keep your ad short and attractive with images and videos where possible. Repeat post if possible.

Distribute flyers and brochures locally. I used this method to get clients for my local small business. The tactic is to contact some local paper distributors and either persuade them or pay them to distribute your flyer or card along with the newspapers.

Get local reviews from customers / clients. Every review counts. Reviews from Facebook pages, Twitter pages, LinkedIn pages (where applicable) all count. Make sure that you have a website to link to. Google typically includes social signals in its ranking algorithm. It is not a myth but well documented truth.

Everything you do must have a local flavor. If your business belong in a zone with a large number of specific language users, then target the audience in that language. Put all of your marketing messages in that language.

Put up a stall in local trade fairs. There are local trade fairs organized time to time. It makes sense to buy a small stall in one and exhibit your services. Many people buy space just to find people to network.

Buy some local banner ads. But mind you, it can turn up costly if you are in a city. Still you can print some small sized banners and pay a few guys to paste the banners in public locations. Buy the space if possible but you can also take the risk of not buying as it will be a small price to pay.

Put up ads in local cable networks. Contact your local cable operator to put up advertisement in between or along with (scrolling) local programs. Advertisements in local TV / Cable networks are low cost. There will not be too many customers/clients through this method but it is work giving it a try to expose your business to more people.

Cold call local customers / clients. This one is hard to do specially if you are an introvert. In that case pay someone to make calls on your behalf for a couple of hours everyday. Get your local telephone directory, or you can purchase a local peoples phone database on the internet.

I am sure you will find one on the net. This method of finding addresses on the net falls into the grey zone of internet marketing but it is worth doing. As they say – everything is fair in love and marketing!

Do some Guerilla marketing for local customers. Guerilla marketing attracts people and gives massive exposure to brand if done correctly.

Find an interesting and amusing angle about your service and make something unique and attractive on that. Display it publicly. It can be a bit controversial but make sure it does not hurt any religious sentiment.

Offer discounts on specific occasions. Get involved in local trade communities.

Systematically keep on doing these things and your brand will get exposure. Very soon your brand will also get ranking in Google and other search engines too, bringing in more customer and clients.

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