Source : theprovince.com
By : Teresia Larocque, The Province
Category : Hotel Internet Marketing
Q: I have a service-based business and I am adding a couple of new marketing strategies to the mix this fall. For years now, I have been resisting creating an online marketing platform; but now is the time to bite the bullet. It feels overwhelming – where do I start?
A: Online marketing can be a very big part of how you get exposure – and once you get it going, it will continue to promote your business 24/7 and is a savvy move. It does not have to be a big piece of your marketing plan, but it does have to be a consistent piece.
Internet marketing is primarily a “pull” verses “push” type of marketing. Instead of pushing a brand onto the masses (such as advertising and cold calling), we’re sharing strategic information in order to entice our ideal prospects to step forward and initiate contact.
WHERE TO START?
If you have not already done so, develop a website. I suggest a blog-based platform, such as WordPress. It is inexpensive, easily changeable and customizable and you can be up and running in a day or less.
Establish social media accounts. Consider the big four, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Begin establishing a regular presence and periodically entice your community to visit your website to have access to the free offerings available (see below).
Create a high-value gift that visitors can download in exchange for their contact information. This will help you build a niche-based community and database of interested prospects. Your gift could be an article (“Top 10 Ways to…”); an audio (“Listen to My Interview with an Expert about…”); a resource list or anything else that your ideal client will recognize as compelling and valuable.
Set up a system to communicate with your community on a regular basis (monthly tips, newsletters, videos, blog entries, podcasts, whatever works best for you). Consistent communication cultivates the relationship, increases credibility and helps potential prospects self identify the need and value of working with you.
When building your platform, continue to ask yourself: “How can I automate these processes and enjoy the benefits of having my online platform work for me 24/7?”