Many local business owners I speak to assume that online marketing is a one-off task.
You build a website, or claim your Google+ Local page and that’s it, your job is done.
In reality, like everything online, a consistent effort is needed. While you may not have the time to devote hours every day to your online marketing, small steady steps toward your end goal definitely add up and count.
The most common complaint I have about consistent online marketing is, “I don’t have the time!” And yet, many small business owners I speak to waste their online time on actions that have no productive value.
Online Marketing Tips For Your Laptop Lunch
Here’s 10 quick online marketing tips that cost nothing but time. Each of these tips will help increase your online visibility and take less than an hour. You can start right now and make your lunch hour productive while eating your sandwich and drinking your coffee (or wine!)
- Find related forums or message boards and take part
This is not an “old school” tactic, but a mine of people talking about your local area/hobby/interest/products. Forums and message boards are still incredibly popular and you can find them about any topic. They make great lunchtime pop ins and can be more productive than chatting on Facebook because they’re so focused.
Remember your netiquette though, don’t just barge in and start shouting about your business! Say hello, take part in the conversation and visit regularly.
- Update your Google+ Local page
Yes, you should claim your Google+ Local page, but how often do you update it? Even if you have not merged your Google Places and Google+ Local page for the full social experience, and even if it takes weeks for changes to go through on the old Google Places system that is no excuse not to do it!
Go on, refresh your pictures now.
Find some recent photo’s, rename them as your-business-product-location.jpg and upload them now.
- Stop the pointless likes
Are you sitting there looking at cute animal photos on Facebook and mindlessly ticking “like” to some unknown person status update? Use that time to source related businesses pages and pop over to say hi as your page. This not only puts you in touch with new potential customers, but also can create new business contacts for partner promotions.
I find it far quicker to use Google to find Facebook pages than Facebook’s inadequate search. Use the following search query:
site:facebook.com “pages” Your Location or keywords
Yes, you can write a blog post over lunch. Here’s 31 ideas for your business blog.
- Email your list
Those blog ideas make perfectly good email ideas too.
- Get some local press
Have you written something newsworthy for your blog? Pop over to your local newspaper website and look for the “submit your news” button or link. Local papers will often follow up local interest stories.
- Do a dead link check
What does that have to do with marketing? Well, have you ever left a website because you can’t get to where you want to be because of dreaded, “404, sorry it’s not here” messages? While you are drinking your coffee, run a scan of your website for dead links and arrange to get them fixed.
- Bookmark and share…
Share your blog posts, videos, images, podcasts and anything else you produce online to your social sites. Bookmark these too using popular bookmark services such as Reddit, Digg, Stumble, Delicious and others. While bookmarking doesn’t have a great link value, they can drive their own traffic.
- Make the most of what you have…
That video you made? Don’t just post on YouTube, upload it to more video sharing sites. The PDF or slideshow presentation you’re sitting on? Add it to document sharing sites.
- Comment on blogs
Comments build links and drive their own traffic. To work well, it helps if the blog is related to your business. Most blogs ask for your website address, make good use of it.
You can start with this one! Just scroll down and let me know how many of these tips you will be putting into action.
These are just 10 simple, no cost online marketing tips you can do in less than an hour. If you are really organised you can create an online marketing plan that continuously increases your online presence based around a productive lunch!