Christian Piatt is a nationally published author, columnist and owner of MyWordTree.com.
We're all familiar with the challenges of marketing our business. The marketplace is increasingly crowded, dollars are tight, and we hardly have a minute to spare on researching which strategies work and which are a waste of money.
Though the Web can be a confusing place to establish yourself and your business, there are some simple tools at your disposal that cost little or no money to try out. And though print and video media are expensive to produce, internet marketing is faster, less expensive, and if you know who you're trying to reach, it can save you thousands in the long run.
Our entire business model at MyWordTree.com arose form the need people had to maintain dynamic content on their websites, and to stay in touch with their database of contacts on a regular basis. Everyone knows that blogging, interactive and dynamic websites and attractive email campaigns can generate business, but who has the time, and who can afford to hire a team of experts to manage the technical demands of such a project?
Our flagship service, called Branching Out, is based on the "drip" campaign model, offering clients and prospects useful or interesting information on a regular basis. In doing so, you keep your name in front of them, so when they need the product or service you offer, you're the first one they think of. We've created custom drip campaigns for clients that deliver new content every week for less than $100 a year - less than $2 a week. Once the subscription is set up, there's nothing more that a business owner has to do. Branching Out also can be used to supplement blog content or to enhance email blast campaigns.
If you have a list of contacts you want to cultivate, but lack the time, inspiration or money to create something new every week, Branching Out is just for you.
Targeted advertising online also is a great use of limited marketing funds, if you know where to put your message. Tools such as Google AdWords help you fine-tune your target with keyword searches, so your ad shows up only for those who need to see it. Then you only pay when people click through to your site. Best of all, you can learn, through statistical reports, which markets are responding to your message and which are not. Create one ad or a hundred; the cost is the same.
The power of your website can be underrated as well. While it's great to get traffic to your site, people won't come back if it's hard to read, unappealing to look at or difficult to search. Although you can generate a basic site from low-cost templates, sometimes called HTML generators, it's usually worth the investment to have a site developed for you by a professional. And once your site is up, always make sure your content stays up-to-date. Nothing drives away return website traffic more than outdated content.
Have questions about how you can maximize your online marketing plans? Email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org, and make sure to visit our site at www.MyWordTree.com and let me know what you think.
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