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This document describes some impactful strategies for promoting your business online. It can be used as an outline for training, teaching, and learning.

Practical Posts are Useful and Discoverable

It’s a mistake to continually be creating content for your website with the primary goal of generating more and more content without any other purpose. It’s better to have less content, and instead create posts and pages that are carefully crafted, better researched, and more carefully written.

Let’s say you are in the automotive repair business. You might be tempted to post several stories per day on trending and popular topics for the industry such as the Michelin Uptis airless tires. As of October 2021, there have been articles all over the web about these new tires. It’s a popular topic, you might get some extra visitors to your site if you post an article about these tires. However, it’s a temporary topic. Next week there will be some other popular auto industry news that gets people’s attention. Will you be continually chasing the next trending story and writing in response to industry trends? Is that a good use of time and energy? Do those types of articles serve your existing customer base?

Here’s a different approach. Let your content writing be driven by specific customer needs. Let’s say a common question you get from your customers is about available hitches for installing rugged bicycle racks on the back of cars. Do some research on that topic. Then write the customers who had that question and send them a link to the article. This will bring visitors to your website, and you know they will be engaged visitors who are really interested in the content. They will be likely to share the link with friends and family, “Hey, this is an article about possible trailer hitches for the truck. What do you think?”

Think of all the questions that you get commonly in your business. Having somewhat personalized answers to those questions can provide your customers with well written content, specific to your area and your customers’ needs.

Consider the Cost and Impact of Your Efforts

People spend a lot of time on social media, creating posts on Facebook and Twitter or posting photos to Instagram and Pinterest. Does all that busyness help promote more business? What if you took the same amount of time and energy to reach out to your existing customers, or make calls to customers you haven’t seen in a while? Wouldn’t that have a greater impact than creating some posts online? Have a measure to compare your efforts to. Any online efforts should produce more impressive results than making calls. Otherwise, it’s not a good use of time.

Being Responsive Online

Something that helps set the tone for your business will be the quality of responses you offer for customer questions online. How prompt you are and how helpful you are can make a big difference.

Be Aware of Your Online Reputation

Have an employee regularly check Facebook, Google, and Yelp reviews. Sometimes taking care of a problem will result in a customer changing a bad review to a good one. At a minimum, your attentiveness can convey that your business is responsive even when things don’t go right. Be sure to thank those who leave positive reviews for your business.

Facebook Advertising

Among the available advertising options online, Facebook advertising offers some great tools to become aware of your local area and the people who might be interested in the services you have to offer. It’s probably worth spending $30 to $50 to run some exploratory ad campaigns and find out if advertising seems to produce good results. As mentioned above, one needs to compare the effectiveness of all possible marketing methods and do what works best.