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INTRODUCTION: There are so many ways that you can market your company in order to increase business. In fact, there are so many different methods that one can use that a single article would not be long enough to write about this. Here are some suggestions on how to increase business through marketing: TIP 1 ~ START A WEBSITE OR BLOG TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE: It doesn't matter what type of business that you run, you will always have a distinct advantage if you take the time to set up a page that describes your company, and have contact details clearly listed: address, telephone number/s, fax number, email address/es etc. The sheer number of people that use the Internet these days will mean that you have a greater volume of visitors to your business through your website. If you cannot afford to pay a professional to start up an appropriate site then consider studying a course in website creation or even start up a free blog that details all that your business has to offer the consumer. I find that the easiest way to create an online presence is to go to a blogging platform such as Blogger or Wordpress and begin posting today. One advantage of having a blog is that you can easily post comments on other people's blogs and have links that lead back to your website. Of course, it helps if you visit other blogs that are in your 'niche' (topic) but I find that the occasional commenting on some of the biggest and most famous blogs in the world can pay dividends in terms of marketing exposure! Blogs such as #1 ranked 'The Huffington Post', 'Techcrunch', 'Endgadget', and my favorite, the quirky and delightful 'Boing Boing' are all worth visiting, to leave an insightful, witting, attention-grabbing comment on in order to further market your business. I happen to be the #1 commenter this week on Reed Floren's blog (a famous American Internet Businessman) and receive an increase of business to my websites from being so positioned! My other success with blogging has been the attainment of the status as world #1 ranked weblogger on a very famous site called 'Icon'. This is a subdomain of Madonna.com and I had a large readership and avid following on this site! As I had links from my Icon blog to my own websites and pay-per-view articles, I earned a modest income from this, so could technically list Madonna as a former employer. Great fun! In most cases it won't cost you anything to set up a blog and they are simple and easy to begin. Add pictures of what your business sells and make sure to include an autoresponder, an installed device that captures the names and email addresses of people that you can sell to in the future.
Offer a free bonus or valuable incentive, perhaps a discount voucher that can be used in your business, to entice people to sign up to your list! Your business can increase markedly if you establish an 'opt-in' list from an autoresponder as you can market many products to your collection of clients by regular emailings. TIP 2 ~ WRITE A SQUIDOO LENS TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS: Many people haven't heard about Squidoo and it is a tool that is probably underused. If you have set up a website that promotes your business (see above) then the next best step just might be to start a Squidoo lens in order to attract even more customers. Write regular articles on your lens and offer promotions and free gifts, with URL links back to your site/s: A URL link is a website address and looks something like this: http://www.YourSiteName.com. The Squidoo lens should help you to increase business as it directs potential customers straight to your site! TIP 3 ~ TRAFFIC EXCHANGES: Many people avoid the use of Traffic Exchanges as they seem to think that this method is an inferior way to market, yet the fact remains that T.E.'s can be an amazingly effective avenue to promote your business. There are so many to choose from that it is hard to know where to start. As an experienced member of several Traffic Exchanges, I shall rank them in order of the best ones that should be considered. Also, if you can afford it, consider upgrading your membership on a few of the exchanges in order to get bonuses and extra advantages for marketing your business. Consider getting a 'splash page' designed professionally, one that effectively advertises your business, with a link to your website embedded in the page. A 'splash page' is merely an abbreviated website that holds the attention of customers for a brief passage of time. If you display your entire website on a Traffic Exchange, you are likely to not have much success with increased business as attention spans of surfers on these sites are often quite low, so you need to grab them with short, sharp, catchy adcopy and with something attractive, like a free offer, to capture their attention with! (If you don't have time to 'surf' at traffic exchanges, meaning to look at other people's sites in a set time frame before moving on to the next one - advertising credits are awarded to your account so you can market your business/es, then why not buy some credits for your site that you can allocate, then leave. Your business's website will be shown in rotation with others, the more credits you purchase, the more times your site will be displayed!) My suggested traffic exchanges by rank: #1 Traffic Swarm: I, and many others, believe that this is the pick of the crop as far as T.E.'s go; it is easy to use, very effective in increasing business and regarded as the top choice by several expert sources. Upgrade to Pro membership and receive even more ways to effectively market your business!
#2 Easy Hits 4 U: This exchange if often touted as being rated #1 and with nearly 90,000 members you'll get a lot of wide, global exposure for whatever you are marketing! #3 Traffic Splash: Owned and operated by Paul Kinder and his team, this exchange is often voted #1 by critics and members alike. There are so many free bonuses on offer, giveaways, no cost marketing manuals and prizes galore! Simply surf 750 sites in a 24 hour period and you will receive 5000 banner credits to your account! If you have a banner (a small, colorful image that advertises a business and/or website), made up you can use these credits for even more marketing exposure for your business. Traffic Splash is a real winner! #4 Hit2Hit: Another very well run traffic exchange! The public relations for this site is spot on and I have rarely come across such an enthusiastic and polite team; having a presence here will surely increase business for you! #5 ts25 (Traffic Syndicate 25): This is a well-established pick, designed by Logiscape, a company that knows all the secrets in setting up effective marketing sites! Join a syndicate (automatic if you upgrade) and earn bonuses and extra credits to use in widening the exposure of your business! #6 Trafficera: This is one of the newer exchanges and is the fastest growing online marketing website! With opportunities to network with other business owners, it is a very effective tool for marketing with! Join a team and collect bonuses to earn advertising credits. I am on the #1 team on this site, LogiSurfers, and I receive hundreds of dollars in free advertising each month from all the competitions that we win. My member ranking has climbed rapidly, and I am now positioned at #18 on the list of 'Top Members' out of a fast-growing base of 30,000 plus subscribers! I can vouch that this site is a great one for assisting business owners in marketing their wares! #7 Traffic Pods: Another Logiscape creation and a highly entertaining exchange! Your business levels should increase if you have an account with this site and it's great fun to search for bonuses that you can use as extra advertising credits to market your business. The security levels on this site are simply awesome and there is little chance that anyone could hack in to Traffic Pods so your website and business are quite safe here; recommended! #8 Traffic Roundup: For all the aspiring cowboys and cowgirls out there, this established site has a membership of over 30,000 and it's well worth using to market your business to a growing global audience - git out on the range Pardners! #9 MythologySurf: This is probably the newest exchange in the list and I include it as it is very well set up, colorful in its graphics and with a very efficient administration. Hunting for cards of the classical Greek Gods and Goddesses is great entertainment! Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Artemis, Hercules, Athena and the dreaded Hades are all up for grabs, winning you advertising bonuses to increase the marketing exposure of your business! #10 Lords-of-Traffic: I love this site, specifically because it offers something known as 'hoversurfing'! 'What is that!?' you might ask; hover surfing means that you can dispense with the 'clicking' of a mouse and provides for a smooth and satisfying surfing experience! Adventures, knight tales and secret artifacts await you on Lords-of-Traffic! TIP 4 ~ SET UP SOME SOCIAL NETWORKING ACCOUNTS:
Sites such as MySpace, Facebook, hi5 and Orkut have really taken off on the Internet and can be a surprisingly effective portal from which you can further market your business to a growing, cashed-up, global customer base! I first started on MySpace a few years ago and have tweaked my profile to include direct links to my online business. Over time, I have 'collected' more than a 1000 friends on this site, these are people that I send 'bulletins' to for marketing purposes. Very effective! The newly designed Facebook has so many features for online businesspeople that it is no wonder that it features in the top 5 visited sites on the Internet! Designed by computer experts from Harvard University in order to network with other students, Facebook has grown to become a multi-billion dollar company! Make business associates and spread the word about your own business too! TIP 5 ~ USE SOCIAL BOOKMARKING SITES: Anyone who regularly uses the Internet would have heard about sites such as Digg, Technorati, Twitter and StumbleUpon. I would highly recommend to any business owner with an online presence to frequent these sites as often as possible! Add to this list Propeller, Mixx, and a few others, and you have a very effective stage in order to further market your business. Take for example, Digg.com: founded and run by computer 'whiz-kid' Kevin Rose, Digg allows the user to promote news stories and websites for a growing global audience to read and vote on! I have even promoted some of my own websites on Digg and have received a large number of visitors to them because of my 'digging' activities! If you are skilled enough to make the 'Home Page' on this site with any of your recommended articles/websites, then you can expect an enormous rush of free traffic to any site you care to nominate! A real bonanza! If you took my advice (mentioned in Tip 1) and started your own business related blog, then make sure to start an account at Technorati, an absolute Godsend for anyone active in the 'Blogosphere'! You can gain a lot of attention from using Technorati so make sure not to rule it out as another option to market your business with! I mentioned a site called Twitter too! For anyone who doesn't have time to blog, Twitter might be a perfect alternative for you. On this website you get to 'micro-blog', which means that you send small messages as often as you wish to a very large international audience! People choose to 'follow' you on Twitter and you can send your micro-messages, that can contain a direct link to your business's website, to thousands of people. Very effective marketing! A large list of famous names can be found on Twitter and I am even being followed by one Barack Obama, and yes, it is actually the real deal! TIP 6 ~ INCLUDE A LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE IN YOUR EMAIL AND FORUM SIGNATURES: This is one of my favorite business marketing strategies and one that can be highly effective too! In most email accounts you can access the settings in order to set up your own personalized signature that can be included at the base of all emails that you send!
One of my email signatures reads thus: 'For expert information on marketing and for the best online money-making products please click Here!'. When the reader does this they are taken straight to my website, a very effective marketing tool! I have four free email addresses at a company called 'mail.com' and I would highly recommend them as they offer personalized options so that you can create the exact email address of your choice. My email addresses with mail.com are: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. All very catchy and attention grabbing I find, a great way to market and communicate with panache! You can also have links to your business in your forum signatures; a forum is simply a website that lets people post comments on a variety of topics or even set up their own 'thread', this being a stand-alone topic that other people then discuss and add to. This is a great way to market and get large visitor numbers to your businesses website! The forums that I would highly recommend (they all have impressive Alexa rankings, meaning that they have huge numbers of visitors) are Digital Point Forum, Site Point Forum, Off-topic Forum, The Warrior Forum, and there are many others besides. The world's largest and most visited forum is known as Gaia and has an unbelievable number of subscribers, countless millions in fact! TIP 7 ~ ARTICLE MARKETING: Sometimes known as 'bum marketing', this is a very effective way in order to market your business. Start by writing a few expert pieces on products that your business sells (at least 250 words) then submit them to article sites such as Ezine Articles.com. At the bottom of each of your writings, in the 'bio box', include a link that leads to your website. The advantage of having your articles published on Ezine Articles is that there are thousands of eyes reading these articles, and with a bit of luck you should gain a large audience. If another website chooses to publish your article on their site or even in a newsletter, your knowledge and site link will then spread across the Internet and potentially reach an audience of 1000's if not 100's of thousands, or more! The best part about article marketing is that it is 100% free and can be a gold mine in marketing terms! I suggest Ezine Articles as they are widely regarded as the best article site in the world and therefore receive huge traffic numbers! Other article submission websites include: Article City, Article Dashboard, Go Articles, Associated Content, Article Base, and dozens of others; simply do a search and you will find plenty! TIP 8 ~ USE 'VIRAL' MARKETING VIDEOS: YouTube is an extremely famous site that many millions of people frequent on a daily basis. If you have well-made, attractive, short promotional videos that highlight your business, then you can upload them on to YouTube. You can gain thousands of extra customers for your business in this way. Also, your video may be picked up by other sites and displayed around the world; be sure to include a text advertisement that displays the address of your website somewhere in the video so that people can quickly and easily access your business.
TIP 9 ~ P.P.C. MARKETING: This one really should have been placed much higher in the list as it can be an extremely effective way to market your business! There are a few Pay Per Click sites on the Internet but I suggest that you start with the biggest and most influential of them, that being, Google Adwords. Set up an account, choose the geo-target of your ad/s (region/s of world to be displayed), and start writing some P.P.C. advertisements to market your business. Keep the adcopy sharp, interesting and relevant and make sure to have an attention grabbing headline too! Choose a list of keywords that will bring up your ad when somebody inputs a search term on Google. Make sure to keep your keywords and adcopy very relevant to the terms used on your own website as Google will reward you for this by displaying your ad higher up the list. Pay per click can be a very expensive proposition but not if you know exactly what you are doing with it. Keep your keyword bids (more about this explained on Google Adword's website) at a reasonable, affordable level and don't try too hard to achieve the #1 positioned ad as this one often gets click from curious visitors who have no intention of buying anything! One of the beauties about P.P.C. advertising is that you only have to pay when somebody actually click on your advertisement. With a bit of luck, this person will buy something from your site and perhaps even promote your web page by word of mouth to their friends and family! If you have a successful marketing campaign on Google Adwords, then seriously consider duplicating this on other P.P.C. sites, such as Yahoo! Search Marketing and the MSN version too; your business should boom! Finally, on Google Adwords you can adjust the settings so that your advertisement gets shown on the Adsense network too. What this means is that your business's ad will be displayed on other websites in the same niche (category) as your site. The exposure from this can be truly enormous, keeping in mind that Google is the biggest search engine on the planet! TIP 10 ~ OFFLINE BUSINESS MARKETING: To improve the visibility and patronage of my business I had 100's of professional business cards printed, containing my name and contact details as well as a list of benefits that my business offered. An online company called Vista Print helped me to select the perfect design and layout and I paid a very small fee to have them printed. I then distributed the cards 'virally' by mailing them to post boxes (ones that did not have a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on them!) and I even put a few under the windscreen wipers of parked cars at my local shopping mall! Vista Print offers promotions where you can get 250 Premium business cards printed for no charge, except for postage of course. As well as business cards, you can have pens, hats, t-shirts, jackets, notepaper, promotional flyers and just about anything you can think of designed to display your company's logos and address! Some more offbeat business marketing ideas include having clearly worded promotional posters printed, with tear off strips containing your business phone numbers and/or website URL's for people to take home with them. I tacked these posters up on supermarket community boards, and,
as I was travelling across Australia, I made sure to have a poster displayed in towns that I visited. Very effective! Of course you could have personalized business magnets made up that could be left in a variety of locations too - effective marketing! Be sure to list details of your business, website address and phone/fax numbers in the Yellow Pages, or even the White Pages too! You can actually submit your listings online, this can be a very effective way to market! Take out classified ads, that promote your business, in newspapers and magazines; this needn't be an expensive way to market and you can get some good deals if you search for appropriate publications. One final idea is that I draw the URL/website address of my business in the sand at the beach while I go walking. 'Crazy!' you might be thinking, but it did work in exposing my business to beach walkers and holiday makers. Of course, it helps if you have a shortish, easily remembered domain name for your website, these can be purchased for a small charge online at sites like GoDaddy.com. CONCLUSION: I haven't mentioned all the ways that you can promote and market your business. There are dozens of other ideas out there and I'm sure that you can come up with an even bigger list than the one I've mentioned here! Keep business marketing simple and effective, avoid 'hype' at all costs, be honest, down-to-earth, friendly and informative with your marketing efforts and watch your business explode!
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Braybrooke
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