Posts Tagged ‘Internet Marketing’

Three Things Small Businesses Really Need

Sep 27, 2010 at 7:00am ET by Matthew Berk

orginally posted on Search Engine Land

For nearly a decade, we have watched small businesses steadily shift their marketing spend from offline to online, but it is only now that we are coming to a key realization: unlocking the local opportunity is not just about capturing transitions in small business spending; rather, it is about understanding the unique pain points of the local business, and how we can address those through a newly-conceived, and well-defined product set.

One only has to consider the sophistication of how consumers are using the Internet in 2010 to discover and make decisions about local businesses to understand how challenging it has become for the small business owner to keep pace with this brave new world. Consumers find local businesses through rich mobile search and mapping applications; share their recommendations and experiences on blogs, Twitter and Facebook; upload and exchange pictures and videos of local businesses; and actively—and easily—leverage the network to find discounts, offers and coupons for locally-offered services and products.

From a handheld device, a teenager can find the nearest Japanese izakaya restaurant; confirm through reviews that it’ll sate their yen; make a reservation and earn points toward future meals; find a coupon for a free dessert; get directions to it by foot or public transportation; see its storefront and interior in pictures and video; and then Tweet about, rate and review it before even paying the check. That’s a serious information advantage.

Given the disparity of information advantage, the pain points we need to solve for local businesses—through a newly defined product set—are simple, but of extraordinarily high consequence:

  • Small businesses have scant control over their digital footprint
  • Consumers make key spending decisions based on that footprint
  • Marketing to consumers is less effective than having a dialogue with them

It is our view that we need to go back to the drawing board and take the small business product set, which in the past half decade has advanced from the obvious to the slightly less obvious (the bucket of clicks, performance click packages, performance leads, website creation, business profiles, etc.), to help local businesses maximize the basic realities of the digital and mobile age, in ways that far exceed acquisition marketing alone.

The digital marketing product set of the future will address three primary local business needs:

1. Lead Generation

Selling performance search marketing packages to small businesses has helped define a market in which the measurability of results is critical. In that definition, any product that does not supply leads, on a measurable, performance-oriented basis will not serve the local business as it should. The new local business product set must deliver leads in the forms most useful to local businesses, and while driving traffic to websites and profile pages is of solid value, only providing a broader set of performance-based leads (phone calls, form fills, emails, coupons, etc.) can truly help local businesses get the most out of their online marketing spend. Of all the lead types in this set, we believe phone calls are the real performance leader—and the lead source small businesses care about most.

2. Online Presence Management

Technology has helped consumers gain a significant information advantage, but it has not yet done the same for small businesses, for whom an online footprint, and the reputation it conveys, can make the difference between success and failure. Managing online presence has three distinct aspects:

Data: we have to help local businesses understand where and how they are represented online, to determine and correct the accuracy of their listings, and to maximize the ubiquity of those listings.

Content: local businesses need to understand how they are perceived in the minds of customers, the better to market and operate.

Competition: The above two views of the online footprint are best leveraged in a comparative fashion, to let small businesses understand how they stand with respect to their own competition.

3. Relationship Management

In a world where the value of dialogue is becoming key to high-strength relationship building with customers, and in which consumers are now more vocal than ever about their interactions with local businesses, it’s essential to help the 85% of businesses who today leverage email to connect with consumers. Cultivating relationships with customers is all about leveraging the heterogeneity of online communications today: Facebook updates, tweets, email itself, coupons, blog updates, and other forms of proactive and bi-directional communication with customers.

Finally, our experience—both direct and gained through our reseller partners—has revealed an essential attribute of the winning product set. Given the time constraints facing the average small business, tolerance for complexity is low, and the willingness to leverage multiple toolsets, each with their own credentials, interfaces and vocabularies is practically nil. This is why a product set that unifies the many tasks required to manage small business marketing, in an easy-to-use, simplified presentation, will ultimately capture the greatest share of small business adoption. What we need provide to local businesses are time-saving, simple toolsets that return to them a modicum of information advantage that translates to new and better business.

These days everyone is talking about Facebook. Facebook’s story has its own feature film on the way and over 500 million users. Along with Twitter, Facebook is the premier social media implemented by business all over the world. Everyone from small mom and pop restaurants to huge chains such as Target use Facebook for their marketing needs.  While Facebook and Twitter are great services to start using for real time internet marketing, these services should not be considered a final destination.

You might be thinking, “Why deal with other Social Media services if Twitter and Facebook are considered best?” or perhaps, “My business doesn’t have the time or the resources to keep up with multiple Social Media tools. Wouldn’t it be simply easier to utilize the services that reach the most people?”

Why not use only the premier social medias? Let’s think broader for a minute.

Before Enron went bust, its stock was considered the cream of the crop. Maybe cream of the crop isn’t the right terminology. It was on FIRE. Massive returns quarter after quarter. Enron stock could not be beat. So what did a handful of investors do? They put all their eggs in the Enron basket in the hopes of continued huge earnings. After all, Enron made money in the past.What’s the worst that could happen?

Then a bomb went off. Enron was fudging the numbers. The stock tumbled and some investors lost everything. While it’s a shame that these investors lost their life savings, one has to wonder why wealthy, well educated people didn’t think to have diversified portfolios. The only thing I can come up with: It just seemed too easy.

It’s true that only implementing Facebook and Twitter would be easier than having a “diverse portfolio” of Social Media tools but it’s not the right way to go. While Facebook and Twitter are currently “on fire”, that’s not to say there won’t be new major players. By only using currently dominate social medias, you are putting all your eggs in one basket.

This is where Central Penn SEO comes in. We understand that diversification is the only free lunch in Real time Internet Marketing. Technology is constantly evolving with in Social Media. Search engines change Keyword ranking Algorithms every few months. A Business needs to react at a drop of a hat. In a global economy that moves fast, we at Central Penn SEO know we have to move faster. We stay ahead of the trends and are committed to satisfying our local customers by providing services that offer the best rewards. While Social Media and Search Engine Ranking Dominance is not something that can be achieved overnight, we can provide your business with the tools necessary for the further success of your business. For more information, please contact us for a Free Consultation.

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Why care about Twitter, Blogs, Smart Phone APPs, and QR Codes?

These technologies, incorporated with a solid business model, will set your restaurant or bar apart from your local competitors. It will allow your business to move full speed while leaving the others in the dust. In the short run you will have the “cool factor”, gaining NEW foot traffic by being on the cutting edge of Technology and Interactive Real time Marketing. In the long run, you will see decreases in traditional marketing expenses and a fattening of your bottom line.

Using Twitter to fill your Pennsylvania Restaurant

Social media sites such as Twitter are more crucial than ever for Restaurants. Central Penn SEO provides a cost effective way to reach out to your customers using many kinds of Social Media Marketing. Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks currently out there and that is why a large chunk of this article is focused on it.


So what is Twitter exactly? Twitter is a micro blogging/social networking service that allows users to read and send short 140 character messages or “tweets”. Twitter popularity is increasingly growing in business and can be operated from a phone or home computer. How can this be beneficial to your Pennsylvania Restaurant  or Pub?
Twitter allows a business to target its customers in Real time. Maybe your business is a pizza shop in a Millersville, PA, for example. You could tweet a message about a midnight Stromboli special an hour before twelve on a Friday night. Then sit back and watch the crowds come rolling in.  Twitter is all about reaching who you want to reach and when. Central Penn SEO understands that you know your market better than anyone and we are committed to working with you to optimize your efforts.