Your Guide to Marketing an Online Business

By Inc.

Online marketing has become the only real option for reaching the right target market for many businesses. Following is a simple guide to help you figure out where to spend your valuable time and resources to get the word out about your business and to start driving sales and revenue.
The promise of setting your own hours, being your own boss and working in your pajamas is almost too much to resist for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Add to this the low startup costs and overhead, and it’s no wonder that so many people choose to start an online business.

But according to some estimates, as many as 90% of Internet startups fail in the first 120 days. And I believe that this is largely because many new business owners don’t understand how to effectively market and promote their business online.

Traditional methods of advertising like newspaper ads and Yellow Pages listings can be costly, and only reach a very small, local audience. With most online businesses targeting customers on a national or even international scale, online marketing has become the only real option for reaching their target market.

Following is a simple guide to help you figure out where to spend your valuable time and resources to get the word out about your business and to start driving sales and revenues as soon as possible.

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How to Draw People to Your Facebook Page Again and Again

By Social Media Examiner.

Are you looking for creative ways to bring people to your Facebook page?

Does your business use Facebook to connect with people?

Used the right way, Facebook apps can help you boost engagement and visibility by repeatedly drawing fans to your page.

In this article you’ll learn how 6 types of Facebook apps keep your fans coming back to your Facebook page again and again.

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Mastering the business basics of online reputation management

By James A. Martin.

Consumers and business people “search for everything” today before they do anything, according to Paul Shapiro, SEO director of GroupM. “What will people find when they Google your businesses name? Will it be a bad Yelp review cautioning them to not buy from you? Or will it be something positive that will cause them to buy from you? This is your online reputation, and it’s important.”

Data from Weber Shandwick supports Shapiro’s theory: Eighty-one percent of consumers say search results highly influence their perceptions of companies and their products. Sixty-two percent of consumers say they’d change their minds about buying a product or service after reading between one and three negative reviews of it, according to Lightspeed Research.

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The Crucial Role Small Businesses Play in Their Communities

By Kelly Spors.

Major corporations have changed the dynamic of shopping in the United States over the past few decades, with many big-box stores driving out small, local retailers by undercutting their prices and building mammoth operations. But in cities and towns all across America, locally owned businesses are finally making a comeback—and it’s making a difference.

Local businesses are known to have a “multiplier effect” on their communities—the idea that every dollar spent at a local, independently owned business stays in the community and generates a far greater economic value by creating jobs and more localized spending. But it’s not just about the economy: Research shows that vibrant local business communities lead to more charitable giving in a community, more walkable neighborhoods with unique character and less pollution.

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How Mobile Technology Has Revolutionized Small Business

By Drew Hendricks.

Don’t look now, but mobile technology is leveling the playing field for American firms. Technologies and capabilities that were once reserved for the upper echelon of the Fortune 500 can now fit comfortably in the palm of almost anyone’s hand.

Mobile technology, whether you believe it or not, has — and will undoubtedly continue to — revolutionize the way business is done.

Here are a few of the main takeaways:

  • Collectively, smartphones and tablets save business owners around 2 billion hours each year.
  • Mobile technology saves American small-business owners more than $65 billion a year.
  • The number of small businesses that use smartphone technology to conduct business is now up to 94% (85% last year).
  • The majority of small businesses that use smartphone apps to increase productivity feel they are saving an average of $6,000 a year.
  • Two-thirds of small businesses using mobile apps report saving at least 150 hours each year.

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Clueless about social media? Here are 17 clues for getting started

By Barry Feldman.

Just four years ago, I felt like you do. Social media was another language. Foreign. Frightening.

Your insecurities are natural. Will I look lame? Am I too late to the party? Will anyone care what I have to say?

Let ‘em go. Relax. Social media is a conversation. You can join any time. Join now. You’ll be welcomed.

Social media is not a trend, it’s essential. Just as your customers rely on the phone and email, they rely on social media. It’s where you connect. To believe otherwise can limit and threaten the growth of your business or career.

I intend to help you blast through the hardest part: getting started. Right here. Right now.

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How to save 6 hours a week on social media planning

By Neil Patel.

You know the feeling. You’re sitting there, staring at your hands, at the keyboard, at the screen, at the ceiling. You’re supposed to post something on Twitter, but you have no idea what to post.

I’ve been there before. I think we’ve all been there. Everything that comes to mind seems lame. Slogans, links, articles, quotes, pictures—you have no clue.

So you sit there wasting your time.

We’re all too busy to afford this wasted time. Social media shouldn’t be a time waster. It should be a money maker.

I wrote this article so you can save at least six hours each week on social media.

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