Amazon gets it…
…As Does Salesforce
… As Does Etrade.
…And yes, Tesla gets it too.
Virtually all business that exist primarily or solely online already understand how critical implementing successful Internet marketing strategies is to generating consistent profits.
Yet for firms concentrating on professional services there appears to be a huge disconnect with ways to make internet marketing for small business work in a manner that’s impactful & cost-effective. (These elements are fundamental to Guerrilla strategies.) Let’s review the problem, the best methods to address it, and why local online marketing is a Guerrilla tactic that’s so needed to develop enduring success.
What is a Professional Service Firm and What Qualifies as a Small Business?
A professional service firm is typically comprised of individuals accredited, certified, or licensed to do that specific work. Types of firms include: Architects & Designers, Attorneys, Business Consultants, CPA’s & Bookkeepers, Financial Advisers, Fitness Experts & Gyms, Independent Insurance Agencies, and IT Consultants… And in this context, we’re referring to firms with less than 100 workers as a small business.
Key Questions to Ask if You Own a Professional Services Firm
If you’re an owner of one of these types of small businesses, you may believe that digitally marketing a local business isn’t essential, particularly if the business is located in a smaller town. To test the validity of your potential resistance ask yourself two key questions:
- Do residents in your town regularly leverage mobile devices for communication, entertainment, shopping, social media, etc.?
- Is broadband Internet widely available in your area?
If you can answer “Yes” to one or both of these questions, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to compete & win in your market.
So what are some creative guerrilla marketing tactics that work perfectly with local marketing?
In Small Communities, Managing a Business’ Reputation Marketing is Surprisingly Critical
In fact, here’s an interesting bit of information to contemplate: According to Marketing Land, 90% of survey respondents say that great reviews had a big impact on choosing service providers…
Just as individuals utilize Google & Bing more often than the Yellow Pages to find services, they are also more deeply researching the reputation for business by means of social media and sites that review those services… Foursquare, Yelp, & Angie’s List are only the beginning of a long list of general and industry-specific review sites.
This trend growing nationally and is happening with as much frequency in little communities as it is in large cities. However, in little cities, negative reviews spread fast via social media and can quickly generate negative sentiment for your brand. To put it another way, an accounting professional in a large city with a handful of unfavorable evaluations is better able to resolve those unfavorable reviews vs. an accountant in a small town of 5,000. If you are marketing for a small business you must consider web reputation management as a part of your effort.
Is Your Website Mobile Web Friendly? Here’s Some News & Tips From Google…
It’s equally important to acknowledge that mobile is rapidly changing how we consume information. Laptops & PC’s are losing market while mobile devices continue to sell like hotcakes. If you run a local company, it’s critical to be discovered in mobile-optimized search. (Yes, that’s a thing.) And if your site isn’t easy to use on mobile devices, Google has stated it will be dropping your site from all search results pages.
Great mobile sites offer a fantastic browsing experience for mobile browsers. And if you run a service business without one, Google is essentially saying you don’t exist. From Google’s perspective if you are serious about being in business, you’ll be serious about digital marketing and serious about mobile as a result. Here are some insights straight from Google on being mobile-friendly including how to test your website.
Local Online Marketing IS The Most Affordable Guerrilla Marketing
And this is where that notion of Guerilla Marketing enters into play. Bear in mind that the concept of Guerilla Marketing is that you can have a strategic and impactful marketing effect without breaking the bank. With the Internet, you have the power of infinite potential reach combined with relatively low costs per impression. That’s perfect for Guerilla Marketing!
But this is where most entrepreneurs get flummoxed. With search engines like Bing & Google, reputation sites such as Angie’s List & Yelp, social networking websites like LinkedIn & Facebook, small business owners can feel truly overwhelmed.
And if you’ve talked with professionals that specialize in digital marketing you’ll instantly recognize how much it can cost to have someone else perform Internet marketing for you. For example:
- Localized SEO alone can cost $1,500 a month for roughly 10 keywords.
- Ongoing Reputation Management is easily another $500 per month per location.
- Need help with PPC? Plan to spend 10% to 20% of the ad spend in management fees.
This is where fear of loss causes a breakdown. Business owners pay someone else to get the work done, trust that it is being handled correctly, and then come to grips with the reality that they’ve invested thousands each month with potentially little to show for it That’s a deeply concerning issue for any entrepreneur that’s watching the bottom line.
However (and this is important)… online marketing costs can be controlled, particularly if you take advantage of the best technology and understand the approaches that actually work for SEO, content development, marketing automation, and so on. Sure, it takes time to do this work but if you find out how to do it right, you’ve created a consistent way to outpace your competitors.
One Key Tip to Create Dynamic Internet Marketing Success…
Oh, and one essential tip as you ponder online marketing … don’t believe for a minute that you have to be perceived as some huge corporation. Let your online and offline communications create solid personal connections that will create loyalty, bring you more referrals, and help you build a brand value allowing you to potentially charge premium rates … yes, you might really be able to command higher pricing if this is handled correctly.
So, does internet marketing meet the traditional definition of what comprises Guerilla Marketing? Absolutely.
Is online marketing the #1 cost-effective Guerilla Marketing tactic? You bet!
Is it necessary to help a professional services company attract more leads and build sales? Yes.
Simply put, regardless of the size of town where you are located… having a great digital presence is required. Do you have to spend a small fortune to create Internet marketing success? Hardly! Simply make “action” your objective and avail yourself of all opportunities to find the best tools and training to maximize your investment and get the most out of your efforts!
And while you are contemplating how to incorporate internet marketing into your Guerrilla Marketing methods, go ahead and take advantage of our complimentary resource – a quick scan of your existing local presence to see how competitive your business is in your market. Click seo website analysis to get started.