4 Free Online Marketing Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Use
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I like to share interesting posts and information about internet marketing that read in my Google reader. Let me sort through the junk to bring you the real goods when comes to local internet marketing for small businesses. I thought this was super useful. if you like it be sure to share maybe subscribe to the authors blog: http://smallbizbee.com/index
As the Flying Lizards once sang, “the best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees – I want money. “ And really, who doesn’t? Small business owners all have paper chasing on the brain, but what many of them don’t realize is that some of the best online marketing tools are free – and they can help you get sales.
Here are four free online marketing tools that will help boost your bottom line:
1. HARO and Reporter Connection
Ever wish you could be quoted as an industry expert in a major media outlet? Now you can – but you’ll have to sign up for HARO and Reporter Connection emails first. These will put you in contact with reporters looking for quotes and information, and if you can type up a decent response email you’ll get placed (and linked to) in a variety of different outlets. If you’re not using HARO and RC, you and your business are missing out.
2. Social Media Management Software
First and foremost, you should have social media accounts set up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Once you have that all finished, you’re going to need something to manage your updates – and Hootsuite, Cotweet and TweetAdder are all free. It seems like most pros prefer Hootsuite, but if you only have one person managing the accounts you can’t go wrong with any of them. Use the keyword streams to find people tweeting about needing your products/services, and don’t be shy about reaching out (preferably with a coupon code). Hashtracking will tell you which hashtags to target for maximum visibility.
3. WordPress Plugins
You do have a blog, right? If not, that should top your to-do list. They’re crucial for SEO, and the fresh content also gives you a good excuse to link back to your site on your social media accounts. Plugins help optimize your blog, and there are a variety of free ones you can benefit from. WordPress SEO by Yoast is a good place to start, as it’s widely regarded as THE SEO plugin to use these days. SexyBookmarks is also a favorite, since it gives cute little buttons that make your content ridiculously easy to share. Just remember: the more plugins you have, the slower your pages will load.
4. MediaBistro Forums and Quora
Have questions? There’s no need to guess when you can ask an expert and know the answer for sure. The MediaBistro forums are crawling with PR pros, copywriters and all-around marketing mavens who are usually happy to share their expertise. Quora is like a useful version of Yahoo! Answers, sans the spam and poor advice.
As with all things, there’s a learning curve to online marketing. If you don’t get discouraged and keep at it, though, you’ll hone your skills and see serious results over time. It may take you three months of responding to HAROs and Reporter Connection emails before you get placement, but if that placement is in Entrepreneur Magazine or Good Morning America the effort is totally worth it.
About the Author: Kari DePhillips is the owner of The Content Factory, an online PR company that specializes in web content writing and social media marketing. Give her a shoutout on Twitter (@ContentFac) or become a fan of TCF on Facebook.
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