Top Ten Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Without marketing your business could stagnate, or even worse, close.  Identifying and correcting some basic marketing mistakes will help you to promote and grow your business.

Here are my Top Ten Marketing Mistakes

  1. Your message is too general.  While some of you may think that EVERYONE could use your product or service, if you take a step back, you’ll probably notice some common thread to many of the clients you currently serve.  Maybe they’re in the same industry, or have a similar problem you’re able to solve.  Whatever it is, establishing a target market will help you focus your message on those most likely to respond favorably.
  2. Using only one medium.  If you’re only marketing on the Internet, you may be missing an entire segment of prospects.  Consider all your marketing options and mix it up to see if you get better results.
  3. Changing something that IS working.  Sometimes we get bored with our marketing and decide it’s just time for a change.  If you have something that is yielding good returns, don’t change it – instead add something new.
  4. Being  inconsistent.  Nothing says unreliable faster than sending out a ‘monthly’ newsletter in January and then not publishing the next issue until May.  Be prepared and plan to be consistent with your marketing.  Don’t set yourself up to fail.
  5. Spammy message.  Don’t come across like a snake oil salesman, make sure your message speaks to your prospect’s pain, but don’t overdo it.

6.  Your message isn’t clear.  Always test it out on current clients, peers, or family/friends to be sure it’s not confusing or misses the point you’re trying to make.

7.    Untimely message.  If you’re looking to build some business during the holiday season, make sure you’re giving prospects enough time to respond.  Don’t release your holiday special two weeks before the holiday, start building momentum at least two months in advance.

8.    No call to action.  If you’re not giving the prospect a reason to contact you, you’re missing the mark.  Create a sense of urgency with a deadline, or something extra if they respond by this date; anything that engages them and asks them to do something more.

9.    Not marketing to your current clients.  We sometimes forget that our current clients may not know about new services or products we have available, or perhaps they have someone to refer.  Don’t leave them out of your regular marketing efforts.

10.  Not managing/collecting results.  How can you know if something you’re using is yielding a return on investment?  You need to ask every single prospect how they found you; or build in something in your call to action that will tell you exactly how you connected.  Keep track on a simple spreadsheet and check in periodically to get the biggest ROI for your marketing dollars.

So how many of my ten mistakes resonated with you?  Two, four, none?  Take steps now to correct these mistakes and you’ll start seeing more, better qualified, leads, connecting to your business.

Have a few challenges I missed – share them by leaving a comment below!

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Three Popular Niche Marketing Misconceptions

Specializing in Niche Markets has never been as crucial as it is today. Long gone are the days when you can target general, broad markets and grow a profitable self-sustaining business.

To make money in today’s Internet Marketing environment, one must specialize in well defined niche areas, and research their target prospects.

Let’s examine a few misconceptions when it comes to niche marketing.

Misconception #1: You do not have to be an expert in the Niche field you choose!

I don’t believe that at all.  While you may outsource some of the expertise your clients will be able to secure through your organization, it’s extremely important to be well versed on your niche field in order to communicate intelligently with your prospects and clients.

Because the Internet can be so impersonal, people can easily appear as an expert and not know anything about that particular niche topic. While they may appear knowledgeable, it will be difficult to maintain that ruse on a long-term basis.  Don’t try to be someone you are not.  Don’t offer products or services that you are not sure of for you will surely tarnish your reputation and hurt your business.  It’s very hard to bounce back from misrepresenting what you have chosen to sell.  Be the expert, maintain the highest ethical standards and you’ll create a profitable growing business.

Misconception #2: Choose one niche market and stick with it.

Not true! Once you establish yourself in one niche and develop a profitable system, choose another one and develop it into another profitable offering.  Depending upon the situation, you may want to market them separately, even through separate websites.  This is a common practice in the online world.

Niche marketing is a numbers game. Once you find a profitable niche put it on auto-pilot through a solid marketing system and choose another niche market to get into.

Misconception #3: The best way to make money in the niche game is to promote niche products as an affiliate.

Wrong again! Sure, becoming an affiliate and promoting niche products can be very profitable, but if you are doing this, you’re not maximizing your income.

You need to promote your own landing or squeeze pages where you collect the e-mail address of visitors in order to build your list. Then send them something for free, like an eBook or white paper that will direct them to a niche product you are promoting. You should also send out several additional e-mails or autoresponders over a period of time with informative information pertaining to that particular niche market to build your visitor’s trust. Since your subscriber now trusts you, you can recommend products in that niche again and again, knowing your recommendation holds a lot of weight.

Those are three popular misconceptions when it comes to niche marketing. Follow the tips above, and you will be more likely to succeed in your chosen niche. Remember, it is important to find a profitable niche, set it up on a marketing system, before you move on to the next niche.

Not all niche markets will be a slam dunk, so don’t get discouraged.

Even if only one out of ten become really profitable, sit down and smile, you’ve found a good niche.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Blogging for Business

Web logs (blogs) came into play in the late 1990s, but today they offer options beyond those of aspiring writers or the simple online diaries of old.

The terrain of the blogosphere has changed radically. Governments and big business have homed in on blogs as a focus of social media marketing with blogging options such as microblogging via Twitter is all the rage. While some believe the blog has lost its charm, others find blogging presents opportunities to reach their target market with information and resources that will lead them to make a purchase. To be successful utilizing a blog platform, you need to understand the proper way to use blogging as a part of your overall Internet marketing plan.

Promoting the Blog

Beginner bloggers probably started on a free blog site such as Blogger, WordPress or Typepad, only to find that no-one was reading their lovingly crafted posts. They quickly discovered that to reach their audience required their time and effort into search engine optimization, link-building, directory listings and other methods of self-promotion of the blog.

This provided those with the time, energy and motivation a distinct edge. Unfortunately, the people who had the time were often those who had something to sell. They learned the necessary skills to move their blogs forward, while the average Joe languished in obscurity with low rankings, swamped by professional competition.

Is Blogging Worthwhile?

Yes, blogs can be worthwhile, even for amateur bloggers. They are designed for entertainment and staying in touch with friends and family, and if the writing is good enough, it may attract a following beyond that, through word of mouth. Quality still rises to the top amongst blog enthusiasts and differentiates you from less desirable Internet content.

Beginner bloggers sometimes make the mistake of defining their blog too broadly, forgetting to target their blog’s focus on their niche’s interests to keep readers engaged and hungry for more. Some even miss simple strategies like improving their profile for maximum exposure.

The blog is no longer a novelty, and the average reader isn’t interested in your life, unless you have something special to convey. There has to be a ‘hook’ to grab their attention.  Think of Nightjack, a British police officer who won awards for his blog about his experiences in law enforcement – until he faced disciplinary action.

A blog will also require a bit of SEO (search engine optimization), carefully chosen keywords and tags, as well as, listings with directories and indexes such as Technorati, StumbleUpon, or Digg, just to mention a few. Reading and responding to other people’s blogs is also a big part of the bogging community. However, to gain a wide readership you either have to have something reasonably spectacular to offer or a lot of time to spend on promotion.

Blogging Hazards

Blogging has been found to get people into trouble. Blogging about work regularly opens the door to disaster. The award-winning police blogger known as Nightjack was outed by the press and subjected to disciplinary proceedings. In another case, insults about a model led to the disclosure of the blogger’s identity and legal action. Exposing your personal life can be dangerous, even if you remain anonymous.

So Why Blog?

If you’re able to walk the walk and talk the talk, blogging can propel your career or become a satisfying pastime. Used as a business tool, in tandem with other social media marketing, a blog can help expand your reach and help to promote your product, service or views. A blog allows you to show the ‘human’ side of your business and keep your search engine rankings high with what they highly value, FRESH content.

A hundred million people regularly follow blogs.  The blogosphere may not be what it used to be, but when used in the business arena, as a part of a larger marketing effort, it can be a powerful tool for getting your message out to the masses.  It can be as versatile as a website without any added expense. 

As long as you consider both sides of the equation, having a blog is a great way to express yourself and build a following. So make a little history of your own, take your business to the next level by utilizing a blog.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Creating Our Value

Value is a funny thing.  We look for it everywhere we go – if it’s not a good value, or doesn’t provide us with benefits, we keep moving.  I wonder why it is we don’t feel WE have a value?

Several months ago I spoke to a prospect with a small home-based business. They use a $15/hour person (4-6 per year) to handle their database and eNewsletter.  They had high turnover because once they got to the 1099 threshold, they would find someone new.  Different concept!  The first thing that crossed my mind is that this person had to be spending an awful lot of time interviewing, hiring, and training.

They were unhappy because they were 3-months behind in getting their database updated, weren’t connecting with new prospects, and they were spending at least 3-hours a month going back over the eNewsletter proof to correct assorted problems on a piece that their admin was taking four hours to create.

They charged $200/hour for their services, so I simply said, “So, in essence, you’re spending $660 per month to create this eNewsletter.  Are you getting a significant return on it?”

Well that opened up an entirely new conversation. When we started trying to figure out how much time they spent in interviewing, hiring, and training, well, you can imagine!

After three months of working together, their eNewsletter now costs them about $45/month; the database is current, prospect letters are sent within 48-hours of when they met; and we have an extended marketing plan in place.  At the time of this writing, sales have increased 37% for this client and we’re talking about adding to the marketing plan.

Why is it difficult for us to remember that our time has value? Don’t sell yourself short.  Remember that your time has value and doing it all yourself is really costing you a lot more than your in-house staff and their expenses and liabilities.

What tasks could be outsourced to someone else, leaving you more time to devote to working ON your business instead of IN your business.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Five Facebook Business Page Success Strategies

In recent years, having an Internet presence for your business meant putting up a website. While still an important feature for promoting your business, a website is no longer enough. Social media, is an essential feature of a successful marketing plan to reach your clientele.

Facebook is considered one of the leaders of social media. Its growth has continued to increase and Facebook has become an essential and innovative idea for business marketing.

Facebook is a great way to keep up with friends and family, but you don’t necessarily want your clients to see the more personal side of your life. Businesses should take care to present a well defined and controlled image of their products and services. Facebook business pages are an excellent choice for business.

Facebook business pages have many of the same features as personal pages. You can still share articles, photos, videos, and applications, but all of the business page content is related to your business.  Here are five strategies for making your Business page a success:

Make your Business page a resource

Consider the information your customers need. Post articles and links to useful information on your wall and showcase yourself as an expert and your customers will return again and again.

Connect

Interact with customers by making use of Facebook’s tools. Respond to comments. Discuss the benefits of your product line and lead new customers to your website for more. Target your offers without being spammy, to increase customer loyalty.

Be human

Pictures and personal information put a face on a company. As long as you present an image that enhances your business, personalizing your Business page is a great way to get followers.

Be present

Keep your profile, articles, photos and video content up-to-date and current. It’s not enough to throw up a page and ignore it. Make sure to respond to customers who become fans. Create a group for your business and participate in groups related to your business.

Be Innovative

Facebook moves fast. Don’t be afraid to try the latest thing. Explore webinars, and other interactive media as options to improve business relationships.

Creating a Facebook business page is great first step toward integrating social media into your marketing plan. Don’t forget to provide links from your website and/or blog to your Business page. Connect to your Facebook business page through other social media to continue to grow your network. In no time your Business page will be the central hub of your successful online marketing campaign.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Common Branding Mistakes and Myths To Avoid

What Makes a Brand Identity?

Branding is an aspect of every business that consists of visual elements and are used to build a brand for the company’s marketing purposes. Therefore, most business owners would hire a professional logo designer to execute the concepts laid out by the company, which they believe will help communicate and differentiate the company’s business to the marketplace. This logo will then be used as a part of their marketing materials that will appear on business cards, envelopes, letterheads, or other professionally related materials, and their Online presence, like a website or social media profile.

Establishing that brand identity is one of the initial steps that must be taken by a company if it wishes to achieve market penetration and ultimate success. Hence, this process must involve careful brand planning and thought to avoid sending the wrong message about your business. You must also look into how a client might perceive the message being delivered by your brand, to avoid having it work against you.

Designing the Brand

There is no need to reiterate the importance of your brand identity to the success of your business. This is an area of your business planning and startup that must be left to the professionals, especially if you are new to the business industry or are looking to develop a new niche or brand. Although you might have a sense of creativity, graphic designing becomes an entirely different concept when it is associated with using it as a marketing tool.  Even beyond the creative aspects, having your materials in the correct formats and sizing can make a huge difference in the consistency of how your brand will be portrayed in different mediums.

Apart from being creative and visually appealing, the brand logo must have meaning and be able to convey essential information about your company. Here are some benefits you can get from hiring a professional to design your logo:

  • The creation of your brand logo will serve as priority. Hence, you are able to set a specific time-frame for the completion of the job to ensure that it is being focused on closely.
  • As a professional logo designer, it is their job to utilize their unique skills as a graphic designer and incorporate their expertise on the importance of the logo in relation to the marketing side of your business.

Customizing Brand Design

Contrary to popular belief, designing your own company logo to use on marketing materials is not expensive. With a sound concept and a skilled logo designer you will be able to produce a strong brand. It is certainly money well spent.

After all, this is a business investment since your brand can impact your sales. This is a relatively inexpensive investment with a potential for a lucrative profit.

Understanding the Importance of Branding

Many entrepreneurs may tend to neglect the creation of a brand identity. This could tarnish your reputation and make it much more difficult to compete or differentiate yourself from your competitors. A brand identity is as essential as some of the basic priorities in every business. And if ever a brand is created, many business owners may not look into the details of the brand and thus end up with a brand that misrepresents their company.

Below is a list of common branding mistakes that should be avoided:

• Failure to create an efficient brand plan.

• Not giving full commitment to the management and review of the brand.

• Inability to establish internal branding.

• Lack of a sound marketing plan.

• Trying way too hard to create distinction to the point of inaccessibility.

Branding your business is never easy but once you recognize the factors that could impede your business’ progress, then you’re on your way there.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

5 Things To Consider When Publishing An Electronic Newsletter

Providing an electronic newsletter for your opt-in list subscribers provides many benefits in terms of driving traffic to your site, as well as, boosting the sales and profits of your company. This is a marketing ploy that will not put a big dent in your marketing budget and will not require a lot of hours in development.

With an electronic newsletter, you can inform prospects about your company and its products and services. You can keep them posted and updated about what’s going-on with your company and many of your promotions and offerings. This will keep you and your company top-of-mind so that when the need arises, your prospects will think of you first.

An electronic newsletter also allows you to educate your subscribers on your knowledge about the problems and challenges your products or services can solve. It can show and establish your expertise about the topic at hand and the many benefits you can offer them. When you impress people, they will become potential clients or they can recommend you to their friends, colleagues and family. Many of them could very well be clients in the future.

If you do not have the necessary electronic newsletter software, you will need to do some research to consider which platform will work best for your needs and offer an easy way to process your newsletter regularly.  Be sure they also offer options for creating sign-up options to subscribe to your electronic newsletter and continue to drive traffic to your site using some well placed links within the newsletter template.

In the next few paragraphs, I will provide you with some things to reflect on when you decide to start your own electronic opt-in newsletter for your site. Here are five things to consider when publishing an electronic newsletter.

1) Make sure that the content of your newsletter pertains to and closely associates with your business or the theme of your site. Do not dwell too much on what could be regarded as your field of expertise. Let your website content do that for you.  Your newsletter should be focused on information and resources that establish you as the expert.  You may also consider using it to introduce clients and prospects to your staff to help them build relationships with your clientele, too.

Remember that visitors to your site are there because they are interested in what the site has to offer. If they sign up for an opt-in list or for a newsletter this means that they want to be updated for that certain theme or subject. Be sure that when you publish your newsletter you are providing for the need of the subscriber as well as their interests.

2) Ensure that you have well written, informational and content rich articles. Your articles will be the body of your newsletter and they should be able to excite your readers and provide information. Articles should be well written and checked for errors such as spelling and grammatical errors for it to look professional and believable. The trust of your clients and prospects is at stake here.

3) Fact-check your articles. Make sure that you provide true facts and figures so that your reputation as an expert and knowledgeable in that field is not questioned. If you lose the trust of your subscribers it may persuade them to unsubscribe to your newsletter. This could cause you to lose potential sales.

4) Provide fresh and new article content to keep your subscribers engaged. If you publish stale and old news in your newsletter, there is a chance that your subscribers have already read and know about it. This will cause them to lose interest in your newsletter and you take a chance they will unsubscribe.  Or they may simply not open or read any of your succeeding newsletters losing them as a potential or on-going client.

5) Never use copyrighted materials such as photos and articles. This is outright plagiarism, and you can get into a lot of trouble. You can lose your business and get sued over copyright infringement. If you do not have the time to write your own articles, there are many willing and able professional article writers that can do it for you for a reasonable fee. All your investment in writing and publishing articles will be well worth it when you see your list build up and your website traffic increasing. 

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Getting Referrals

Getting referrals takes time and work.  Just because you do a good job for your clients doesn’t mean they’re going to naturally send you referrals.  Attending networking events and making connections with people who could potentially provide you with referrals isn’t automatic, either. 

Just like everything else to do with your business, it’s hard work!  But it doesn’t have to be drudgery.  Once you start asking for and listening for the openings to make a request, it becomes a habit that will help you expand your business and increase profits.

A big part of it is your mindset.  Are you excited about your products and services?  Do you express excitement when talking about what you do?  Is there a smile on your face?  Do you think about the many potential clients searching for your products and services and how you are the best option to solve their problems?

Are you confident when you are speaking to a client or friend about passing along a referral (do you even ask?), and when your client or prospect is speaking are you focused on them and being a good listener?  Are you making eye contact?

Be sure and ask current clients periodically if they know of anyone, like them, who might be in need of your services.  You may also want to find out from any long-term client why they have not referred any business to you, should that be the case.

What I’ve found many times is that the client was hesitant to pass along referrals because they feared that it would take your time away from doing their services, so they hadn’t even considered connecting you with others.

Make them feel comfortable that you will be able to serve them at the same level you always have; and help them to understand how important it is that you grow your business in order to keep your business profitable and allow you to stay in business to help them for years to come.

You might also consider some sort of a referral program where they could receive a discount on their next purchase, or possibly a gift of some sort, in appreciation.  Whatever that might look like, it’s a great way to develop a good continuous stream of prospective clients who will already have an understanding of the value and benefit of working with you.

These are all great ways to prepare yourself to ask for referrals.  And don’t forget to provide them, too.  Find someone that fits a need for this person that is not in your expertise, or suggest their products/services to someone else, and be sure to let them know you referred them.  Nothing helps solidify your relationship better than reciprocating and creating a partnership and deeper relationship with your current clientele.

Create a basic script for asking for referrals and practice it until it is second nature and flows naturally.  You’ll be surprised at just how many great prospects are out there just waiting to find you if only you would ask.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Social Media for SEO: Three Ways to Control Your Front Page Results

Before you think of a positive social media strategy, think of a strategy that can counteract the force of negative feedback. These three tactics can help you control the first page of Google’s results for your company’s name. If you value long-term brand power and the positives of social media, it’s a move that’s certainly worth taking.

Build ‘rank only’ social media profiles.

The idea that all of your social media profiles need to be active is, simply put, wrong. While it’s wise to concentrate your promotional efforts on just one service, it’s equally smart to spread your company as wide as possible using the authority of other social media websites. With a collection of accounts indexed by Google, the chance of negative feedback creeping into your results is lowered.

Don’t always respond to criticism.

Social media is the perfect avenue for responding to criticism. It’s public, easily accessible, and read by millions of users across the world. When unfair comments are posted that are easily refuted, it’s a smart move to publicly respond and clear the air.

But it’s also a move that alerts the search engines to that page, and if the response turns into a major topic of discussion, it’s one that could move up the ranking pages. If you would like to keep certain pages on the ‘down low’, it might be best to ignore them completely.  Hard as that may seem, just one negative topic can get out of hand and draw more attention to the bad instead of the good.  If you do end up creating such a situation, be sure and create your positive posts with a steady stream of new information and feedback from your fans.  Your relationship with your contacts and followers can help offset any negative topics from the past.

Build links to social media profiles and discussion pages.

Most search engine optimization professionals recommend building links to and from your website. For direct response advertisers and online companies, that’s often a wise choice. But what about socially powered companies? Your market’s not the same as theirs, so why should your strategy be the same?

If you want to truly control your Google ranking pages, ensure that you spend a small amount of time building inbound and outbound links to your unused profile pages. While it’s unlikely they’ll generate leads or help your business succeed, they can create a useful ‘Google barrier’ that prevents inaccurate information and controversy from rising to the top of the ranks.

They will also increase your site visitors and bring your site farther up in the rankings for any specialized keywords you may have determined attract your target market.  While links coming into your site top the list of valuable assets, outbound links are equally helpful in improving SEO success.  Consider what resources or products your target market might find beneficial and setup a page to link them out from your site to these other resources.  Be sure to set them to ‘open in a new page’ so that when the prospect is done considering your resources they can easily transition back to your site and continue surfing.

Creating a consistent program for promoting yourself and your site through social media will go a long way in increasing your search engine rankings.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com

Finding New Customers through Online Investments and Social Media Marketing

Women Business Owners Challenged to Find New Customers

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) recently posted the results of their State of Women-Owned Businesses Survey.

Results indicated that women business owners found that gaining new clients was one of their biggest challenges and they were considering what marketing tactics would have the greatest impact.  Here’s what they found:

When asked what they see as their biggest challenge to running their business, nearly two in five (39 percent) of Women Business Owners said that it was gaining new customers. To gain customers, nearly three quarters (73 percent) of WBOs plan to invest more in marketing. Specifically, they will invest in social media marketing (36 percent) and search engine optimization (SEO) (36 percent). This is not surprising, as nearly half (44 percent) predict that social media and SEO are the future of small business marketing. Conversely, WBOs anticipated that traditional outreach approaches, including print and direct mail (1.6 percent), online advertising (4.4 percent) and email marketing (6.2 percent), will have less impact on small business marketing in the future.

When considering what marketing tactics currently have the greatest impact on a business’ bottom line, more than half (52 percent) of respondents indicated that website design and maintenance was very important, followed by social media marketing and SEO (38 percent) and email marketing (25 percent). And WBOs indicated that LinkedIn (27 percent) is the most valuable social media platform to them, followed by Facebook (26 percent), YouTube (18 percent) and Twitter (17 percent).

“Women business owners are laser focused on reaching new customers, and their strategy for doing so is focused on improving their businesses’ online presence,” said Web.com executive vice president and chief people officer, Roseann Duran. “This is great news for time-strapped consumers, as they can expect to have an improved and more socially engaged online experience with many of their favorite businesses.”

I disagree that email marketing will have less impact, I believe that using it as a tool to drive traffic back to your website and social presence is the best way to continue to drip on clients and prospects and increase SEO.

These are the challenges we help our clients manage.  If you’re struggling to organize and implement your online presence and social media marketing, or you know it’s not the best use of your time, please contact us for a complimentary consultation to see if we can help you gain new clients by focusing on your Internet marketing and social media.

Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com