3 Reasons Local Business Should Use LinkedIn Company Pages

linkedin company pageLinkedIn has for a long time had the reputation of being professional networking platform. However, until recently, it in many ways wasn’t as friendly for Local Business as it was for individual business professionals. With the recent launch of key appearance and layout changes, LinkedIn has integrated some of the best features found on other Social Media platforms for use on its Company Pages. These changes mean your local business should take some time updating its profile to leverage these new features. Doing so can allow your local business to reach local customers, build brand awareness, and assist in the location of new marketing leads.

1. Reach Local Business Customers

The key to being successful in Business is being found by those who need or can use your product or service. With its recent changes, LinkedIn has become the professional resource to use to learn about an organization, gain an understanding of what their products/services are, and understand their notable achievements. With Company Pages, your local business is able to share a basic sales pitch in potentially a very personal way. Remember, LinkedIn is great at allowing organizations to get recommendations and show who a user knows who is tied to, has utilized, or even recommends a company. Personal recommendations can be a key source of customers who have an established level of comfort with a product or service merely because someone they know had a positive experience with a product or service provider.

2. Create A Brand Awareness

The new Company Pages allow your organization to truly showcase its products or services in a segmented manner. In fact, local business materials shared by LinkedIn highlights that companies will be able to set up up to 30 different specialized target markets. Although many organizations will not likely need to try to focus on such a wide range of potential customers, it is valuable for an organization to be able to truly craft a message for a specific audience rather than trying to develop a general enough message to potential garner some attention from its social media audience. In fact, through this feature on LinkedIn, a business is able to highlight up to 5 products or services to each specialized audience message. Finally, LinkedIn also provides businesses the opportunity to integrate video into their presentation.

3. Generate New Marketing Leads

Your local business can also develop leads through its segmented content. It is important to utilize a strong call to action and visual images on your Company Page to engage potential customers. However, on LinkedIn, your local business may find the strongest leads come because of well written and strategic recommendations. Ultimately, aren’t your customers more likely to explore your local business offering and perhaps make a purchase because their friends or a trusted connection has? LinkedIn Company Pages bring “social” proof to the professional realm.

If you’re looking for more information about LinkedIn’s new Company Pages, a simple search of the internet can yield some valuable resources, such as this local business article.

3 Simple Tips To Boost Local Business Email Subscriptions

email subscriptions local businessProviding sales related content via email can be a significant piece of a Local Business’ marketing plan, and if it is done right, it can also be a very effective practice. However, in order for email to be a productive means of reaching customers, the email addresses must be valid and the owners of those addresses need to be engaged with the content that is sent. With some with thoughtful planning and implementation, local businesses can grow their email subscriptions and enhance current marketing efforts. Here’s how.

1. Be Clear With Content

It’s important for local businesses to be clear with potential email subscribers about type of content they are offering when subscribers sign up. Is the content your local business provides largely a digest of recent blog posts, do you provide email subscriber only offers, or a newsletter? Often email content which is new and fresh or at least different from what is posted on your blog will garner more attention than a repeat of what is already on the local business’ site. This type of content typically offers potential subscribers more reason to sign up for a businesses’ email. Finally, it’s often helpful to think about what it might take for you to sign up for an email from a business. With flooded email boxes, it often needs to be something special and worthy of a potential customer’s scarce time.

2. Give something away for free

Competition is fierce and today’s marketplace. Often one way to get loyal followers is to let your potential customers try out a product or service. Often it takes a significant reason for a potential customer to give you his/her email address. Something desirable for free is often that reason. Therefore, consider creating a tutorial to share knowledge, offer a business seminar, or provide a product. Of course, not only are you looking for an opportunity for your local business to gain email addresses for its marketing database, but also to market complimentary services along with your free offer. Make it as easy as possible for satisfied “customers” of your free service/product to purchase additional items. Also, ensure your local business is prepared for a significant response to your offer; there’s nothing like being unable to follow through on an offer to create a bad impression with potential customers.

3. Multiple Locations

Provide multiple locations for your local business website/blog readers to sign up for your email list. A visitor may only review a specific page or spend just a few minutes on your site. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you make your sign up form easy to find and quick to fill out. Consider creating different types of forms with varying amounts of information about why the individual should sign up for your email. Over time, you will likely learn what sign up forms and most effective for your customer base and hone the placement and content of these forms.

This article is written by Chris. He writes from real world experience building businesses and closing sales. His company Surefire Social specializes in local business marketing. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.

5 Steps To Create A Video Marketing Strategy For Local Business

Video Marketing StrategyBased on the recent 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report written by Michael Stelzner and sponsored by Social Media Examiner, video marketing holds the top spot for future plans of marketers. In fact, per the report, seventy-six percent of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012.

And it’s no wonder. More and more people are logging onto the Internet to download and stream videos for both personal and business purposes. To keep up with and stay ahead of the competition, it’s a great idea for local businesses to develop a video marketing strategy to promote and build their business.

Below are 5 steps to help you get started!

1. Set Goals: What do you hope to accomplish with video marketing? A boost in SEO, expert status, lead generation, or??? By setting goals, you can then determine the types of videos to capture to make your goals happen.

2. Develop a list of videos to capture: Based on your goals, what kind of videos should you develop? Some examples of videos a local business can capture include:

  • Customer Testimonials
  • Employee Testimonials
  • How to videos
  • Educational videos
  • Interviews
  • Employees on the job in the office
  • Employees on the job in the field

3. Make it easy to produce videos: Producing videos is easier than you think. Simply buy a flip camera, a small digital cam-corder, or even a cell phone with built-in video capability, and then give your employees easy access. Take your list of videos you plan on making and assign someone to each and set then loose. Once the videos are recorded, check out the post, 5 Video Editing Tools for Marketing Local Business, to identify the right editing software for quick and easy editing and uploading.

4. Post videos with keywords in mind: When you post your videos on line, but sure to include keywords relevant to your business in the URL and video title when possible to boost search engine rankings and to help your videos get found.

5. Post and share videos: Once your videos are created, you want to post them on YouTube, Facebook and all of your social media sites that allow for video posting. If video posting isn’t possible, then share the link to your video on YouTube. You should also post your videos on your local business website and blog(s), and announce the videos as part of your email marketing campaign.

Related Posts:

  • HOW TO: Build A Successful Email Marketing List
  • 10 Email Marketing Software For Sending Bulk Emails

Creating videos is an easy and great way to generate more leads and brand loyalty for your local business. In addition to the benefits listed previously, videos can also boost employee participation and be a fun way to engage customers. So if you don’t already have a video marketing strategy in place, use these tips and tools to put one in place as soon as possible, and preferably this week!

This article is written by Chris. He writes from real world experience building businesses and closing sales. His company Surefire Social specializes in local business marketing. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.

11 Great Resources Every Local Business Should Know About

Local BusinessAs a local business owner in California running california llc, it’s critical to have some go-to resources to help you manage, grow, boost and analyze your business, as well as keep up with the changing and new trends in marketing and advertising. Below are some helpful resources that cover everything from social media and lead generation to small business management advice and statistical resources.

    • 1. Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012 sponsored by Social Media Examiner. This annual social media report is a must. It provides research on how businesses are using social media for their business and the types of results they are achieving. This year’s report was just released and can be downloaded for free through April 19th!
    • 2. 2012 Facebook Advertising Report. This new report offers 25 unique charts and stats around Facebook advertising, including average cost per click, top ad targeting criteria, and a Facebook Ad lifespan.
    • 3. Local Ranking Factors – Googles Places Optimization Report. This Bizible report researches and provides results around “the most influential ranking factors in improving business’s rankings in Google Places.”
    • 4. 24 Small Business Email Marketing Applications. Email marketing can be a great way to nurture leads and provide ad campaigns for any business. This listing provides a variety of email marketing apps to meet a variety of needs.
    • 5. Google Local eBook. Online directories can greatly impact search engine ranking and online visibility for any business, and Google Places alone can make a huge impact.
    • 6. Best Contractor Leads. This site provides a lot of great content geared towards lead generation that ranges from how to use social media effectively, to tips on how to create powerful presentations, to tips on how to work with clients for optimal success.
    • 7. Are Your Marketing Initiatives Completely Outdated? This article provides to-the-point tips and info on what today’s consumers, particularly the younger generation, prefer when being marketed to by businesses.
    • 8. Quora. Quora is a great social media networking site to go to for research for a question you might have, and to understand what consumers are looking for and asking in the marketplace.

[Video Credit: Akhila Lanka / Quora]

  • 9. Facebook Help – Ads and Business Solutions. Facebook is the most used social media networking site and can be a valuable marketing tool for businesses when used effectively. Facebook’s help section provides a ton of helpful and useful information to educate a local business owner about Facebook and how to effectively use if for business purposes.
  • 10. HubSpot. HubSpot offers a ton of free stats and reports that a local business owner can reference for a variety of reasons, including identifying the best resources to generate B2B and B2C leads, understanding which marketing campaigns your competitors are having success with, receiving tips on how to effectively use different marketing resources, and much, much more. I highly recommend you sign-up to receive their emails so you instantly receive their free reports and research when it comes available, which is quite frequent.
  • 11. Small Business CEO. This site has a lot of experts who provide common sense business information and insights on how to manage a business, effectively market to generate leads, and so on.

Defining Hashtags for Local Business

Hash tagsFor most local business owners, the term ‘hashtag’ isn’t new to them by any means; yet if you asked many local business owners, they might not be able to tell you exactly what a hashtag is or how to use them. But the truth of the matter is—they can really help boost your business in a variety of ways.

Per Twitter’s help page, a hashtag is defined as:

The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

In a nutshell, hashtags can be used by small businesses to promote, get found, spread messages, research the competition, and more to boost their local business, research and educate themselves about current industry trends, and generate buzz to build brand identity and expert status throughout the Internet.

How can you maximize the use of hashtags?

  •  Read up on how to use hashtags on Twitter. Twitter has some great information about how to use hashtags in their online help center. There’s also some great info about hashtags and best practices on the Twitter Fan Wiki page
  • Use relevant keywords and find out what hashtags are being searched on so you can use them for your local business. The new hashtag tracking (launched 2020) tool is a great resource to find out what some of the current trends are and to identify if your hashtag is currently being searched on. Use keywords that are relevant for your local business in hashtags for an added boost in ‘findability’ for your business. This new resource seems to be a very accurate source of hashtag mention data.
  • Use hashtags for promotions and customer engagement. There are some great success stories for businesses around the use of hashtags in an article on a Fox Business News website. For example, a non-profit farmer group, the Vineyard Team, uses Twitter with great success to spread the word about events for their SIP the Good Life division, a division created to “spread the word about their sustainable programs beyond farmers”.
  • Make sure you have a public account.  When you have a public account, if you Tweet using a hashtag, then anyone who does a search for that hashtag could find your tweet. With a private account, only your followers can find you.

What should you avoid when using hashtags?

  • Don’t try to spam with hashtags or work the system You don’t want to distract readers from overdoing it with hashtags, nor do you want to turn them away by spamming. It’s recommended to use no more than 3 hashtags per Tweet.
  • Don’t use irrelevant hashtags.  Again, stick to relevant hashtags for your business. You don’t want to mislead your readers or confuse them with irrelevant hashtags.

Using hashtags can help you promote your business and get found online, which means increased leads and sales for your local business. Do your own research and create a game plan to optimize hashtags and Twitter for your small business today.

This article is written by Chris. He writes from real world experience building businesses and closing sales. His company Surefire Social specializes in local business marketing. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.