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Online Marketing

You probably know what Instagram is. It’s a social network that is largely photo driven and offers a way for people to show off snippets of their lives. However, it’s also an amazing place for businesses to show off their company and what they stand for. While you may hear about Facebook and Twitter more often when it comes to marketing, that doesn’t mean you should ignore this large community of people.

Like any social network, it’s best to have a strategy when going into it as a business. We’ll go over some of the ways that Instagram excels when it comes to marketing local SEO and bringing attention to your company.

Increase Brand Awareness

Instagram is an excellent place to showcase your company and their services and products. Photography is king on this social media site, with all sorts of styles finding an audience. The site offers tons of filters and effects that you can add to photos. You can also utilize hashtags and advertise in a way that is more personal than you might be able to on Facebook or Twitter.

Of course, you have to be willing to take photos but the good news is that there’s no need for a professional. Photos that seem real and natural tend to get a better response. You don’t want your advertisements to look like advertisements. This may mean getting creative with logo use or photo captures in your business. But if people find and like what you’re posting, they often move on to checking out your website.

Use Text Overlays, Captions, and Keywords

Overlays are a great way to add information to a photo while not detracting from the aesthetic. There are many simple and free editing tools that let you add text to your photos. This allows you to communicate prices, dates, or other important information that your customers will want to know. Amplify this effect by using smart captions. Leave your call-to-action here to drive traffic to your main website. The final part of this is hashtags. You can add about 10 hashtags to each photo so use them. Use things that are relatable and interesting in the same way as you would use SEO keywords. But remember, timely hashtags and fun references are also good options.

Understand Business Tools

Instagram has a few business tools that can be helpful if used properly. You can get metrics that show you how well certain posts do. The data includes insights, reach, engagement, shares, and more for every paid advertisement. Take this data and use it find out what people are reacting to in order to give them more of this in the future. Pay attention to what keywords and hashtags offer the most reach and interaction.

Be Aware of Post Frequency

As with any other site, don’t spam. You shouldn’t be posting all your photos one by one at the same time. People will get frustrated and want to stop paying attention. Instead, consider having a schedule for when you post photos. This way you ensure you don’t go a long time without posting but you also don’t upload 20 photos in an hour and turn off viewers. The good news is that it’s actually easier to feature your products in a creative way if you aren’t posting every moment, so it all works together.

Engage Your Audience and Promote Traffic

It’s easier to engage with contests and photos, which is part of what makes Instagram such a unique site. People are there to share their lives and show their creativity and you can be a part of that. Do what you can to stay involved with people by replying to comments and using hashtags as you would keywords. Interesting content is important no matter where you are, but Instagram really appreciates and applauds creativity in marketing.

Hold a Photo Contest

Photo contests are huge on Instagram and for good reason, the entire site revolves around photos. How you make this work for you is by holding a contest of your own that somehow ties in with your brand. You could require a product of yours be in the photo, for instance. This gets you free promotion from others when they snap those photos and put them up on their own pages.

You should also have a hashtag you use for the contest and talk it up for a while before it launches. Anytime the hashtag is used, that’s more of an audience hearing about you and the contest. As for a prize, you can consider a free product of some sort. Of course, that takes money but you’ll likely make up for that with the new followers you pull in throughout the contest.

Partner with a Non-Profit

People love to support companies that support others, especially when these companies are in their own communities. One of the simplest ways to have a part in this is by donating a part of your profits to an organization close to your industry and having a hashtag that speaks to that partnership. The other organization may speak about you, as well, giving you even more publicity as a company that cares about others.


These should arm you with some interesting ideas for how to make Instagram a part of your social media marketing arsenal. All it takes is some time, interesting photos, and a plan, just like any other marketing option. The difference is that Instagram is a creative powerhouse where more unique options will often be embraced.

So, if you don’t have an Instagram, now is the time to make one. If you do have one and aren’t using it to its full ability, make a few changes for the better. You may be surprised to see the community spirit there, which can lead to more views on your website and other social media profiles, as well as a higher rate of conversion and money in your pocket.

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It's important to be aware of your social media presence on various sites and proceed to use the sites in a way that helps your brand. Twitter is a massive social site with lots of positives that can be used to grow your business. However, you want to be sure that you do everything just right to get those positives coming your way. We give you some ideas below.

Fill Out Your Bio

This is important for any social media site, directory, or website. You need to have a profile that helps search engines determine ranking for your business. When it comes to Twitter, there are a number of ways to ensure that Google and Bing pick up the information that will help you climb the page. Having a bio that is complete and optimized helps more than you might imagine.

Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are listed and are formatted the same way as on your company website. You should also use your company logo and provide a link for users to get to your site. For the description, use optimized keywords to make a positive impact!

Utilize Twitter Lists

Using Twitter lists allows you to organize your Twitter feed so you can better interact with select people. You can use private lists that only you can see as a way to see what competitors or important clients are doing without actually following them. Public lists, on the other hand, can be seen by anyone and those added to the list are notified. One thing to remember is to add your own Twitter to the list for exposure purposes. Here are some good uses of private list ideas:

·      Clients

·      Competitors

·      Employees

·      Target Clients

·      Suppliers

And these are good uses of a public list:

·      Events

·      Networking

·      Influencers

·      News in the industry

·      Motivational Tweeters

Don’t Forget Hashtags

Hashtags are important. No, really, they are. Hashtags allow people to see your tweets who may not be following you or know anything about you. When you hashtag posts, you can also gain exposure. Sometimes a hashtag can even take off, and you’ll find something you use come into everyday use.

So, for instance, use a tag like #macandcheesemonday to describe something you offer. Put it on the bottom of your tweet. Anyone who looks up the hashtag or parts of it is going to see your post. So, people will see the posts and could decide to learn more about your company, following you or adding to your retweets.

Retweets Matter

Interacting and gaining a following is crucial for Twitter business accounts. Tweeting on a regular basis is a good idea, but retweeting can have significant effects, as well. This allows you to build relationships with other people and companies. It also helps with search engine ranking. But don’t retweet just anything; make sure to retweet things that your followers appreciate. However, when others retweet your tweets, search engines notice. The more you get retweeted, the better. So, offer the best content you can and work toward retweets with this platform.

Interact with Nearby Users

By using the Geolocation feature on Twitter, you can increase brand awareness and improve local marketing efforts. You can find out who is in the neighborhood that tweets, along with what businesses utilize Twitter. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of geolocation on Twitter, so we’ll go over that first.

1.    Go to MyGeoPosition.com or a similar site.

2.    Type in your business address in the search box.

3.    Click on ‘Calculate Geodata.'

4.    Copy the coordinates that result from this search.

5.    Log into your Twitter account

6.    Hit up the search box and put in ‘geocode:.'

7.    After that, paste in the latitude from before

8.    Add a comma and then enter a value in miles.

9.    Click on search.

After the search is complete, you just select the Accounts tab to see all the accounts nearby your business location. From there, all you need to do is look through the various accounts and connect with any that seem relevant to your business.

Connect with Influencers

Using influencers is an excellent way to get the word out about your brand or company. Many people on Twitter are well-known and managing to get them retweeting or responding to you can go a long way. By being known by an influencer, other followers will follow you and allow you to increase how far your messages go.

Perhaps there’s a company that would be a great option for you to have a relationship with. Use the geolocation method explained above to find the address of that company or location. From there you can find people who tweet from that location. You can then tweet toward these people in order to bring attention to your brand. Try to be unique and exciting for the best chance of being answered or followed back.

Use Filters to Refine Results

When using geolocation and other tactics, you usually have an end goal. This might be growing your network by location, or it might be topic targeting or something else. Whatever the goal is, make sure it’s actually fleshed out so you can focus on the most important things. By being specific, you have a better chance of engaging the right people.

In this case, you add a topic or industry filter to the geolocation query. Use the same format we used before, but add a # and then a phrase that relates to your goals. This will give you information on the account in the location you choose that is relevant to your phrase. This is very helpful for filtering out people and finding exactly who you want.


Some of these methods are more likely than others to work for certain sectors, so it’s always a good idea to consider that first. Decide which of these tricks to use to bring more followers and attention to your brand. Then try one or two of them and see how it affects your marketing strategy in the future.

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Whether you pay for search engine optimization (SEO) or do it on your own, it’s important to know how it’s paying off for your local company or brand. Of course, this is easier said than done as it’s nearly impossible to determine whether you are top-ranked on search engines.

What you can determine is how many people are coming to your site and what leads to conversion and money in your hand. There are a number of ways to check return on investment (ROI) on SEO for your brand. We’ll go over a few of them below, specifically those related to Google Analytics, which makes checking on stats extremely easy.

Determine Need for Mobile Site

You can check under your Visitors menu to see whether a mobile version of your site would be beneficial. There is a Mobile option on the page where you can see what devices are used on your site and the percentage of people browsing from mobile.

Be sure to check out your bounce rate and average time on site here as it shows how long people stay on the site. If you find the mobile users spend less time on the site, you can determine that you are losing traffic and potential sales by not having a mobile site option.

Understand Shopping Cart Abandonment

For those with an online shopping cart and multiple step checkout, you can set up a Goal Funnel to understand what is causing people to leave. You just click on Goals and then create a new goal based on URL Destination. Toward the end of the goal you will include the last URL of checkout, which may be a thank you page. Click on Use Funnel to enter all the other URLs that correspond to making a purchase.

This lets you view reports that show when people leave the site while in the middle of purchasing. If a ton of people leave on the shipping page or payment page, that page needs work to make it friendlier to shoppers. Find out what is causing the issue and then fix it to bump up the number of sales you get.

Badly Performing Pages

On the content menu, you’ll see your top pages with your top exit pages below that. This shows you where people are coming into your site and where they are choosing to exit. If there are specific pages where people leave on a regular basis and that seem confusing, there may be a problem that is leading them to do so. It’s a good idea to evaluate these pages and content to see whether people are getting what they want. You could also post a call to action like purchasing a product or joining a mailing list.

Top Performing Pages

So, now that the badly performing pages are out of the way, let’s check out the best performing ones. Click on the Content Menu and click on Pages under Site Content. This lets you see information about pages that keep visitors for a long period of time or that lead them to visit more pages on your website. These are pages that are doing well and analyzing them can lead to making improvements elsewhere.

Visualize Clicks

If you want to know what people are clicking on more than average, go to In-Page Analytics under Content. Here you can see the percentage of clicks on each link your site has. You can hover over and click on these links to find out more information which may help to understand what people are clicking on and why. If you have something you want people to visit, try placing it somewhere that gets more clicks than other pages.

Search Results

Of course, keywords bring visitors to your site from places like Google and Bing. But it can be interesting to see what visitors are searching for on your actual site, too. If your site has a search box, head to Analytics and Profile Settings. Select the option to track site searches. Fill that in appropriately so Analytics takes a look at searches made.

For results, visit the Site Search area. You can see what terms are being searched for under Usage. It will also show whether they left, browsed more, or exited. This can help you understand if people are finding what they want. Seeing searches can also help you see what people want from your site so you can tune your content to be helpful for them.

Online Campaign Traffic

You can also check out how your marketing campaigns are doing and what is bringing the most traffic. You do this by going to Advanced Segments and building a new customer segment. You will fill in sites you have profiles on if you want to see how search directories are helping. Once you’ve added these, you can go back in later and see how traffic and conversion are working on each website so you can determine where to spend more time to enhance ROI.

Determine Best Locations

If you aren’t sure who to target with ads, it can be a difficult decision to make. You may want to focus on certain countries or areas if those give better results, but first you have to know. Google Analytics makes that easy. Check out your Visitors menu to see Location data about your visitors. This gives information on average time on site, bounce rates, and more. You can also move into a country and see stats from certain regions. From there, you have a great list to target; who you know already are interested in your services.


If you are new to Google Analytics or want to delve into it more deeply, these suggestions will help you determine where to start or where to go from where you are. There are hundreds of other ways to utilize this tool, but doing even a few of the listed options here will help you find the people you want and turn that traffic into ROI and conversions to keep your business healthy.

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What is a retail company to do when the digital world is so immersive and full of activity?

Use the opportunity to reach people you might not otherwise, that’s what!

You can use the real-world relationships you have to transform them into online fans. You can also do the opposite, make online fans who will turn into real-world customers. It’s the best of both worlds and it isn’t as daunting as many may think it is at first look.

Implement eCommerce and Profit

If your retail store doesn’t do eCommerce, you’re missing out on tons of potential customers and sales. Selling online has never been easier and everyone from charities, community groups, and entrepreneurs are running their own web stores without having to stress over much web development.

How? I’m glad you asked.

·      Services like Shopify allow people to start their own stores, selling their products to people across the globe. These services take care of all the technological stuff so you can focus on posting products, communicating with buyers, and otherwise marketing your business and making money.

·      Sites like Etsy are another great option for creatives. There’s no need to know any web design or development to sign up. Having an ability with the camera can help, though. Post your products online and wait for the sales. Everyone else is out there doing it.

·      Jump all in with an eCommerce site. You can build it yourself if you’re feeling motivated, or you can hire someone to do it for you. Either way, it gives another way to run into people who would love to buy your products but perhaps aren’t in the local area to do so.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great way to get involved in the online world. It’s an excellent way to tell people about your company and answer questions. Social media also has huge numbers of people who can become fans, which leads to more conversion and popularity for your company.

·      Local businesses can gain followings on social media by being nothing but honest and relatable. There are millions of corporate social media accounts out there, but they’re hard to feel a connection with. Offering something new and providing a means of value will quickly have you picking up fans who will stick around.

·      You can give great customer experiences online as there are so many ways to interact. Make sure your fans and customers always feel appreciated, even if that’s by doing something simple like thanking a person for a good review. It makes them feel better about shopping with you.

Digital Recommendations

Everyone knows that word of mouth can lead to more customers and more interest in your brand. That’s true with online interaction, as well. With endorsements and excellent reviews, you can pull more people into your marketing web and snag sales down the line.

·      Choose a way to collect online reviews and make it easy for the other party to use. You could add a review form to your social media or business newsletters or try something else. The important thing is having a means for collecting these reviews, as they can serve you well later down the road.

·      Make sure to treat your customers well, whether in real-life or in digital interactions. Capture happy feedback for later use. Manufactured reviews often appear like just that, which nobody is going to take seriously.

·      Get people involved. Once you have customers who love your brand, find a way to get them making videos or taking photos that show your brand in a good light. You can then use these things in email campaigns later to bring even more fans and customers over to your brand.

Digital PR Matters

Find a way to get your real-world relationships online. Find a way to get the online ones in the real-world. Always consider how relationships can morph and merge between the two, because you may find mutually beneficial ways to take advantage of these relationships.

·      Join some social media groups on LinkedIn or Facebook to learn more about other new businesses and who else is around the area. By being active and approachable, you’re likely to meet people who are interested in what you’re doing and want to be a party of it.

·      When you meet someone online who is local, think about how you could work together. Maybe you could feature them in some work you’re doing or the two of you could work on PR together somewhere local. These relationships and just being nice to people can lead to some stellar benefits if you do what you want to drive them in that direction.

Local SEO Still Matters

You need to have a decent SEO if you want to be seen and heard, and that’s just as important for local retail as anyone else. This means that search engines need to know about you and who you are, which is something that requires a bit of work. However, there are a few great ways to start the process.

·      Keep your information consistent from site to site. Make sure things are spelled the same and detailed in the same way. This makes it more likely all your web marketing will tie together and push you up the page on Bing.

·      If you own a website, make sure you offer the physical address and phone number so people can find you locally and get in contact.

·      Use Google+ Business, and other listings, to put your businesses (literally) on the map where people can find you. Someone searching for something nearby may click on your business and end up a customer. That won’t happen if there are no listings to begin with.

·      Join business associations that offer listings and use those as a way to get your name out there.

There are many ways to use the online digital world as a forum for selling your retail products. Just be sure you are providing ways for people to find you. Of course, there’s more to local SEO than that, but just ensuring you’re out there where you should be and taking advantage of situations can help a whole lot.

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Facebook Ads provided a perfect solution for promoting yourself with local SEO. You can turn on and off ads whenever you want, add in a new campaign with ease, and the advertising itself can work well with a small budget. On top of that, your customers can promote you online and off, giving great word of mouth, which as we all know is extremely effective.

Here is how to get your company out there on Facebook using ads:

Choosing the Right Type of Ad

Facebook makes it simple to choose who you want to target your ad towards, including a number of audience options that are excellent for local marketers. We’ll get into that more below. Facebook also lets you choose the objective for each campaign you start. These include options such as “promote your page,” “increase conversions on your website,” “increase engagement in your app,” and “get people to claim your offer.”

As a local marketer, the options “raise attendance at your event,” and “reach people near your business” ad types are especially useful.

How to Target Your Audience

There are various ways to set up audience targeting and they depend on what type of ad you chose. If you choose to target those near your location, a map will pop up that allows you to dig down and choose additional options of age and gender. Anyone who is in your city or local area will see your ad, whether they are from there or visiting.

If you choose a different type of advertisement, you’ll be able to choose locations to target. You can choose an entire country, if you wish, or choose to use a specific address. Somewhere in between is often going to work better than either of those, however. Facebook also allows you to exclude locations if there’s an area you prefer not to target.

Refine Your Targeting

Beyond locational targeting, you can make other choices to drill down to the exact audience that you want. With all ads, save the one targeting your area, you can choose a whole host of other things to help you reach the people you want. Of course, age and gender are there, but so are demographics like income, education, interests, political beliefs, and hobbies. You can also browse to explore different things and learn more about them.

By default, Facebook will set things up to include people who match at least one of your targeting options, but you can also change this by hitting “narrow audience.” You can add criteria there of which the target user must match each option. So, you could target to only high school graduates who like painting or go even deeper and target graduate students of business who are interested in horses and use iPads. The sky is limit.

As with locations, you can also exclude people based on behavior, interests, and demographics if you have a certain type of person you would prefer not to advertise to.

Provide a Reason to Click

At this point you have an advertisement campaign, along with an audience who you want to advertise to. So, what you need now is to give customers a reason to click on your link. Of course, you can do that in various ways, depending on your business and needs.

One of the most common ways to do this is by offering a coupon. People love the idea of having a discount, which will make them more likely to click and check out your page. It can even lead to more sales if people feel that the coupon has a value that they are interested in.

Another option, one that is completely free, is adding in your location to the ad. People are more likely to notice the advertisement if it appeals to them and having their location listed is a good way to do so. For instance, instead of making your ad headline say, “stop in for lunch today!” try “Seattleites – stop in for lunch today.”

Pay Attention to Numbers

The first half of advertising on Facebook is creating and running the ad, the other half is tracking the statistics from your ad. Between ads manager and the coupon app, Facebook will automatically track metrics from the ad and the landing page. This includes everything from number of conversions to how many coupons have been claimed, along with how many views your advertisement has pulled in.

Take what you learn from that and use it in further campaigns. If something works well and something else doesn’t, you know what to use the next time to bring in the most views and clicks.

Follow Up with Customers

If you choose to go the route of coupons, be aware that not everyone who claims it will use it. Some will use it later but others will completely forget about them between everything else going on in their lives. A good way to deal with this situation is by following up with people, whether they use the coupon or not. An email campaign can be a great way to do this.

A drip email campaign is an option as you send out timed emails at optimal times. Of course, you can choose another route, if preferred. Whatever you choose, be sure to offer exciting content and further incentives that keep people interested in your brand and what you are doing.


A Facebook ad campaign can be beneficial for a business looking for a hold in the local area. By ensuring you look at each of these important aspects when building, using, and ending campaigns, you have a better chance of getting those all-important links and views, which lead to a higher ranking on the major search engines.

If you already use Facebook as a business page, it’s worth throwing a little money in and utilizing their ads, so long as you know what you want from it. Following the above suggestions is likely to help you out in the long run with getting more fans and customers.

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Everyone knows that marketing with social media is important. This holds true whether you have a global company or a local business that is marketing in nearby areas. In fact, it may be even more important for a smaller business owner to utilize various social media sites to get their information and names out there. Here’s why:

Engaged Contact List

Gaining fans on social media is not easy and the people who follow you want to be engaged. If you can manage to make your brand fun or interesting, more people are likely to pay attention to what you post, tweet, or snap. But here’s the best part – once you have fans on social media, you also have a customer base that will pay attention to your advertisements at no cost.

Having an excellent social media strategy and a social audience will lead to referral traffic, conversions, and more money in your pocket.

Search Engine Optimization

The major search engines have confirmed again and again that social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram influence a company’s SEO. Having active social profiles will push your name up on Google and give you more opportunity for traffic.

If social media isn’t part of your marketing plan, you’re leaving traffic and money on the table. So not only must you have profiles, but you must be active and give people what they want on these profiles.

Management of Reputation

If you own a social media page with your company name on it, nobody else can do so. If you don’t grab up that opportunity, chances are someone else well. This makes it harder to prove you are who you say you are. It also makes it difficult to prove someone posting in your name isn’t connected to the company. Even if you don’t make updates on some social sites, having the account is something you should not ignore.

Using Social Sites as Part of Your Social Media Strategy

First off, there are some social media sites that are more important than others. Even if you don’t want to jump into every site, ensure you have profiles or pages available on these very important pages:


Facebook is the most important account you can have, because nearly everyone has a personal account there. As a business, what you want is to start a Facebook Page. These represent companies, organizations, and public figures. In addition, Facebook allows you to advertise on their website. They even go so far as allowing you to ensure your advertisements get to those who matter – the people in your local area who can utilize your company.


On LinkedIn, you can create a company page, which gives tons of information about your business. You can list the site, type, industry, employees, and more. You can also add updates and post articles in order to gain exposure.

Google+ Business

A business page on Google+ is different from a personal profile, just as pages are different than profiles on Facebook. Google+ doesn’t yet have the ability to advertise, but they do offer page listings in Google search results, so you should have a page set up.

Google+ Local

The Google+ Local account is often ignored, but it should not be. It’s probably one of the most important places to have a presence. This is because they display reviews from Zagat, a competitor to Yelp and similar sites. Google is integrating these with Google+ Business pages, which will make the two even more important.


Twitter is another social media site that has the base of people that you want finding your page and site. You should absolutely make an account on Twitter. If you don’t have the time to keep it updated, at least ensure you fill out the bio with your location and website, which can lead people to you.


This social media site offers recommendations to users based on places nearby that are similar to what they and friends are already visiting. As such, this is a gold mine for getting your name out in the local area and converting visitors. People can find out who you are and what you do, along with things like hours, and even check out reviews.

Additional Possibilities


Snapchat has some great options for local SEO, including geofilters. These allow you to create a filter and make it available to a geographic area for a certain amount of time. When people use these filters, it’s simple advertisement and can spark conversation about your brand and what you bring to the table.


Quora is a community question forum that can be used to elevate a local brand. The site is a place where people ask questions. You can visit it and answer questions in your industry. You simply make a profile, start answering questions, and you can tack on a link to a blog or website where people can learn more about your company.

Where to go from Here

It can be difficult to find out what opportunities work best for local brands looking to build SEO in their area. It’s not impossible though. It’s a great idea to start small, with one or two sites, and keep up a presence. By trial and error, you’ll encounter things that work and things that don’t work.

That said, there are new social media sites that pop up all the time and many don’t last long. One way to have a constant presence is by being one of the first local companies in your industry to adopt a new service. This can give you a whole new group of people to market toward who you may not find elsewhere.

Social media is not just for the big guys, it’s for everyone. Local marketing teams can make a lot of headway using the sites that are popular. Be active and try to fill a need and you can find conversion paths from all sort of services.

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Looking for some interesting ways to market your business in the local area? Having a strong marketing strategy is a great way to be competitive and stand up to the big chains and franchises in the area. Being creative with that marketing can go a long way toward building your brand and reputation in the area.

So, what are some unique ways to market yourself that others aren’t? We have quite a few and some of them are sure to resonate with your company and style of marketing.

Use Images of Your Business in Advertisements

When you use your business location in your advertisements, you can tie together both your online and real-world environments. Someone who drives by your location on the way to work each day, who then sees an advertisement showing that location, may have their interest piqued and check out your page. That could lead to a new customer or fan.

List Directions on Your Website

Nearly everyone has a page on their site explaining where the location is and how to get there. If you want to see how this leads to conversion, the process is simple. All you do is set up your directions page as a destination URL goal in your Google Analytics account. Then, you can check out this data and see the result of various campaigns. For instance, you could spend $100 on advertisements one month and $200 another and see how much that leads to revenue growth.

Mobile Emailed Coupons

It can be hard to track offline conversion rates, something every business struggles with. A great way to handle this is through emailed coupons. These coupons go to the customer through email. When they get to your location, they show the coupon on their phone and go ahead with their purchase. This is a great way to track conversion and execution.

Correct Yelp Categories

Yelp is important, and ensuring your business is listed in the right category is crucial. Why? Because when advertising on Yelp your ads show up based on what categories are chosen. Sometimes someone who is searching for a specific service will type that in a search engine and Yelp often pops up near the top of the results. If you’re listed as providing the service they need, there’s a better chance that person will check out your website.

Remarketing for Reviews

Sometimes a customer loves what you’re doing but doesn’t think to leave you a review. As time goes on, it’s even less likely that they will consider it unless something reminds them. You can be that something that reminds them to stop in and post a review. If you already have a confirmation page when people fill out something that is linked to Google Analytics, you can add a tracking code to the confirmation page and set up a list that tags who visits the URL. Something simple that reminds your customers to leave a review can go a long way.

Local Activity Advertisements

Talking about your business is, of course, important but so is talking about things that your fans and customers enjoy. This is especially useful in the local market because you can make content about events and locations nearby. Let’s say you own a business that delivers prescription medications. Let’s further say that the local hospital sometimes runs events that encourage locals to be aware of their health.

You can then cover that event, which is important and people will appreciate, yet keep the content in your wheelhouse. People who may not follow you could see this article and choose to visit your social media page or website. You may end up with all new customers who never would have known about you before. You show you care about the community and want others to succeed.

Neighborhood Facebook Ads

Facebook ads can lead to local SEO bumps, as Google and other search engines do pay attention to these things. By having ads for the local area, your name is going to be out there. If people know you on Facebook as the pharmacy delivery experts, that will stay there. This may lead to situations where a friend or family member has a need which you can fill and your name immediately comes to mind.

Implement Call-Only Ads

If you make money driving sales through phone calls, a call-only ad can be a great option for your business. For those who don’t have a full ad team or custom landing pages, call-only ads allow you to advertise exactly what you want, and the customer to give you a call. Of course, this does mean having great ad copy that clearly explains who you are and what you do to ensure the calls you get are useful for the both of you.

Consider Third-Person Copy

Using third person copy can lead to higher click through rate because the language speaks to the customer and their specific needs. One way to utilize this in your own copy is by using reviews from your customers. Check out those Yelp or Facebook or Google My Business reviews and use some of them to show what people are saying or thinking. It’s a unique way to position yourself as different from the rest of the pack.


There are literally hundreds of unique ways to market your business to stand out. The handful featured here may not all be gold for you and your business, but we hope some of them make a difference. If nothing else, you have a place to start. Consider how to combine or tweak these tips to work best for your industry and location. Advertising is hard work but it can also be a fun and creative pursuit. We hope to help you make it both while also ensuring views and page clicks come to you. So give some of these tips a try and see how they work for you. If you come up with some even more unique ideas, let us know!

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Marketing is vital to the survival of any business, whether you have an online only company or a fantastic shop nestled in the Outer Banks. You need to understand that marketing in today’s world has some differences from advertising in the past. In fact, it is even different from what it was a few years ago. Local SEO has become more important than ever, and you need to integrate this with your current content and SEO work.



One of the other things you will need to remember when it comes to working with SEO is that in the past, SEO would focus on single keywords. That is no longer the case today. Utilizing keywords phrases and longtail searches is more important. When you are working on SEO, you need to think about what a person is going to enter into the search string to attempt to find companies such as yours. It is your job to make sure the phrases you are using, and your content, match those searches. In addition, remember to think local, as we will discuss. Put the location in those keyword phrases, and you will start to see better results for your brick and mortar business.

Think Local

One of the other things you will want to make sure you do when you are creating content is to make sure that you remember to add your locale. Add these to the content and your keywords naturally. This will help you to boost your local SEO, which will place you higher in the rankings when people are searching for your type of products or services in your area. You can do this in your content on your blog and site, as well as on your social media posts.

How Can You Add Localization to Content?

First, you need to make sure that you are considering your website overall. Each of your pages, including the blog, should have a footer that includes your company name, location, and phone number. In addition, in some of the posts that you create should also feature the location of your business. For example, if you have a company based in the Outer Banks, and you run a fishing charter, your posts about fishing, things to do in the area, or anything else, should generally contain mention of the outer banks, along with the type of business you run.

For example, “if you are looking for a fantastic fishing charter in the Outer Banks, AAA Fishing has just what you need. Check out some of the fish our guests caught the last time we went out.” You would then add the location and name of your business in a similar manner once or twice more through the content. You never want it to seem too forced. If you stuff too many keywords into the content, local or otherwise, you will find that Google could strip you of your ranking, believing you are trying to game the system.

It is quite simple to add work with local SEO, as you can see. You will find that it can be just as easy when you work with social media and local SEO.

How Can Social Media Help?

In addition to content marketing on your blog, you will want to make sure you are on social media and that you are active. Social media is still technically a form of content marketing, as you are providing content – your posts, images, etc. – to your audience. However, there are certain things that you can do to make this more effective, and to help gear it toward a local audience.

Your content for your website or blog can work along with your social media posts. By creating quality content on your site, and then linking to it through your blog, using local terms along with your keywords, it can help to boost your SEO rankings. However, you do need to make sure you are creating quality content that people will want to share. It should never be geared solely toward marketing and trying to sell someone on your products or services. Instead, it should be about enlightening or entertaining the audience. They are more likely to share, which will help to boost your SEO rankings, which helps get more eyes on your store online, and offline if you are using local SEO to good effect.

Can Social Links Boost Your Ranking?

Social links do have the potential to help boost your ranking in search engines. This is because search engines such as google tend to put a lot of weight behind the importance of social links. Therefore, when you have links that go from your social media site to your website, and when people on social media share those links, it can help with your ranking. The more of these quality links you have the better. By adding localization to your posts that have these links – simply mentioning your location – it can help with your local SEO efforts.

This is not going to be a boost that happens overnight. However, with time and a bit of effort, it can help with your rankings, and it should be a part of your SEO practices. This does not mean that you need to add localization to all your posts – it would start to look ridiculous to have your location in everything you post. Just do it naturally.

You can make local SEO work for you by incorporating it in social media outlets and the content you write for your site. In addition, always be on the lookout for other ways that you can boost your local SEO on the web, such as becoming part of local directories. You can find these from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and more. If you have a brick and mortar business, focusing on local SEO is becoming more and more important. Your competitors are doing it, and you must do it to if you hope to survive and thrive.

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You want your business to get more attention so you can get more customers. This helps you grow and become successful, and it is the goal of anyone who owns a business no matter how altruistic they might think they are. If you would like to increase your level of success, you need to market in ways that can get attention from people who have a high potential of becoming your customers. The following are some of the content marketing tips and ideas that you may want to try.

Remember Local Marketing

If you have a physical store location, you must make sure you use local marketing techniques in all the ideas that we talk about below. Local marketing is not complicated, and it is something you can add to your own marketing plan right now without too much work. At its core, it is about using the name of your city and/or neighborhood in the posts you write and all the other content you create. When the search engines see that content, and categorize it, they will utilize the location.

When someone then looks up your type of business, using keywords and the location, your site will show up much higher in the search engines. In addition to using this on your blog, you should also use localization techniques on social media with the posts that you write. You do not have to do this with all the posts that you put up on the web, but with every few posts – just like you do not want to be advertising with all your posts. Everything needs to seem natural.

Videos Are Helpful in Many Ways

Why would you want to take the time and put in the effort to put up videos? Depending on the type of business you own, they can be extremely useful, and you will find that they can translate quite well to local marketing. You can create many different types of videos for your business, and you can put them onto YouTube, where you can even monetize them to make some additional money. Once they are on YouTube, you can easily embed them into your own website, or put them onto your social media sites.

So, what types of videos could you make? Remember that all the videos are a method of content marketing. You are creating content with the idea of getting people to come to your store. You could do product demos, for example. You could also do reviews, or how to videos, or even behind the scenes videos. There are countless possibilities that might work well for your business. You know your ideal customer better than anyone else, so you will want to create content that he or she will want to consume, regardless of whether it is a blog post, a video, or something else entirely.

It is important to realize that you do not simply want to throw any poorly shot and unedited video up onto the Internet. You should have a decent camera and audio gear, as well as good ideas for the video. Also, a basic video editing program can help. You do not need the capabilities to shoot the next Oscar-winning film, but you do not want to have a video that looks like it was thrown together at the last minute with a cheap flip-phone camera.

Videos are a great idea because they tend to be more engaging than other types of content. People will stick around on a site that has video, so they can watch it longer than they will a site that only contains text.

Perhaps you do not have the time to make videos each week. That’s fine, but make sure you are putting photos into your posts to provide the viewer with some type of visual stimulus. It might seem silly, but it really can help.

Consider Infographics

In addition to videos, there are some other popular options when it comes to content marketing. You might want to consider creating infographics that are based around your business. The infographics could be serious and very fact-based, or they could be fun and whimsical. It will depend on the type of business you have. Infographics are popular because they are easy to read and easy to share. Check out several infographics before you try to create your own, just so you can get a better sense of how everything goes together.

Could an E-Book Help Your Business?

Depending on your business, an e-book, which you could sell or give away, might be a good addition to your website, as well. This is a popular type of content marketing, and they are easier to put together than you might think. If you are going to be giving away the e-book, you could just create a PDF of what you write. Formatting them and putting them up on Amazon and other sites takes a bit more work, but it is still relatively simple. Just make sure you are writing on a subject that interests your customers, and that you know your products or services could help them with. This way, you can help the customers, but you are still marketing to them.

Traditional Content Marketing on the Site

Of course, you also need to think about all the regular content marketing that you can do through your regular blog posts and social media posts. Good content, especially content that contains a strong call to action, can get people out of their homes and down to your store.

There are plenty of other interesting options when it comes to content marketing that might appeal to you and work well for your business, as well. Perhaps you feel that podcasting might work for you, for example. Whenever you are trying to determine whether an idea might work for you or not, think about your core audience and ideal customer to see if you feel they would be open to that type of marketing or not.

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Are you having trouble getting enough people into your brick and mortar store? If so, it could be due to a range of things. If you are sure that your products and services are on point, and that you are treating customers well, it might just be your marketing. Many business owners, especially those who have relatively small businesses, find that it is difficult to market properly, simply because they do not have the time or the budget for it.

One of the biggest problems, however, is due to the website not doing its job. Let’s look at some things you can do to help get your website in line with what’s needed in today’s competitive world.

Is the Website Modern and Aesthetically Pleasing?

In the past, when businesses were first getting online and using websites, they were not very attractive. They would have flashy, bright graphics, sounds that played as soon as someone arrived on the site, and annoying popups, not to mention a terrible color scheme. Websites are no longer novelties, and this won’t cut it. However, there still seem to be quite a few people out there who have sites that have those types of problems.

It is time that you examined your site with a critical eye, or had someone else do it for you. It is important to have an impressive landing page that is easy on the eyes and that contains all the pertinent information about your business, including the location, without being overwhelming to any of the senses. In fact, you should make sure you have your name, address, and phone number on the footer of all your pages on the site. Identify your city and neighborhood. This is going to help get you a better rank in the search engines when people use local terms to find businesses such as yours.

The colors of the website, and the font that you use, are more important than you might realize, as well. You want to make sure that everything is nice and easy on the eyes. This means stay away from green text on a red background and similar sins of graphic design. If you are not sure of how to create an aesthetically pleasing site, you might want to hire someone to help.

When it comes to being more modern, this also means you need to make sure that your site is usable in mobile browsers, such as those used by smartphones and tablets. Since so many people are using these devices today and using them to access the web when they are out, you want your site to work well no matter what device someone is using.

Never Forget the Importance of Content Marketing

You should also remember the phrase “content is king”. This is still true, even with the advent of social media. People need to have content to consume and share, and that is what you should have on your site’s blog. The content should also be localized, remember. Some of the posts will certainly want to mention your location. Consider the types of things your ideal customer might want to know about your business or your field and create content based around that. You will find that it is possible to create content about nearly anything.

Always make sure the content is as engaging as possible. Whether it is a well-written blog post that asks questions of the readers at the end, or it is a video, you want the viewer to be educated and perhaps entertained by the content they consumer. You also want to elicit a reaction from them – namely, you want them to come into the store. With quality, friendly content that has calls to action, this is possible.

Can You Make Sales Online?

One of the mistakes that some people make is believing that their website is simply a shingle that they hang out to get attention rather than a place where they can make actual sales. This is certainly true of those who have brick and mortar stores. However, the site can do quite a bit more for you, and depending on the type of business you have, you might even be able to sell through your site, even if you are primarily a local store.

Of course, this is not a viable solution for all businesses, at least not on the surface. You might not be able to sell a cup of coffee or breakfast on the web to someone who is several thousand miles away. However, you can sell gift cards and gift certificates online. These might not be big business for you, but it is another avenue for sales – and an easy one at that. You might find other things that you can sell online, as well as in your store, too.

Show Them What You Offer on Your Site for When They Visit the Store

The web is a great place for you to showcase the types of services and products you offer. Even if you are not selling online, you can use this space as an enticement to get them into the store so they can buy. Let them do the research they need on the web, and show them what your shop can offer. Provide photos and videos of your store and the products or services, as well. If you offer a service, such as manicures, you might want to allow people to reserve an appointment on the web, for example. There are plenty of ways you can use your site to get people more excited about what you offer.

Your website is every important when it comes to the success of your brick and mortar store. They have a symbiotic relationship. When you have a better quality website, there tends to be greater potential for sales at your brick and mortar store simply because more people will know about your site and feel that you are running a professional business.

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You are a business owner with big dreams and lofty goals, and you want your company to be a success. You also know that to achieve success, you need to market properly. As a relatively small business, you do not have the money or the time to waste on ineffectual marketing methods. Focusing on local marketing that can get people through your doors is essential, and we want to provide you with some methods of local marketing that can work well for your business.

You Need to Have a Strong Online Presence

In today’s world, when people need just about anything, they turn to the Internet for help. They use the web when they are looking up places to eat, places to shop, things to buy, reviews, and the like. Therefore, you need to have a strong presence on the web, which can help to increase the possibility of people finding your business. There are certain things you can do to help increase that likelihood further.

Work on your website’s content, and make sure the quality is up to pat with what your customers and potential customers expect. Having great content, and plenty of it, is very important when it comes to the search engines. In addition, you need to make sure you are localizing the content. This simply means you need to use your location in the content, and in other areas of your site. If you are in the Outer Banks, make sure to mention the location naturally in the content.

For example, let’s say your business in the Outer Banks rents bicycles and other items to residents and visitors who want to use them. In the blog posts you write, you would simply mention “bike rentals in the Outer Banks” or similar phrases. Take the normal keyword phrases you would use and consider adding those localizing terms to them – just don’t go overboard with them. You want everything to look and sound natural.

Having the location in the content will help with your rankings in the search engines, as many people also input the location in their searches. In addition, some of the browsers, as well as phones, know the location of the person searching, and help to point them in the direction of local businesses that have what they need.

You should also make sure you are on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. However, do not overlook the power of Instagram and Snapchat, as these are becoming quite popular. Having accounts set up, and working to grow your followers and presence in the community can help with your marketing.

Make Sure You Consider Mobile Users

How do you check for restaurant reviews or to look for a place to get gas when you are out and in a new location? Most people today have smartphones, and they are using those phones to get online to do just about everything, including looking at your website. As we mentioned, you need to have a great website. However, you also need to make sure the website looks good and is easy to use from various devices including various types of smartphone, as well as tablets, laptops, and desktops. Having a responsive site design, or even a separate site for mobile users, is important. If you haven’t taken the time yet, check out what your company’s website looks like on your smartphone. Is it difficult to navigate?  Is it frustrating? Your customers do not want to deal with this, and they shouldn’t.

Consider Using Promotions

Something else you might want to do when you are marketing your brick and mortar business is offer special promotions. You can advertise promotions or freebies quite in your store, as well as through your online channels, such as your website and social media. People always like to feel as though they are getting a great deal, and having some type of freebie or promotion is a good option. It can also build good will with customers. In addition, it can lead to word of mouth, especially with local customers.

Become a Part of Online Business Directories

Another great way to get your business seen and to get more people through your doors is to make sure you are a part of online business directories. A number of directories are out there today, including those from large companies, such as Google and Yahoo. It’s a good idea to be a part of those directories, for certain. However, you should also look at some of the smaller, niche business directories in your area. Make sure you are a part of those directories, as well. It can boost your company’s SEO, knowledge of your brand, and help your business to get found.

Good Customer Service

When it comes to customers in the local area, and those who will be visiting, having a good reputation is essential. If you hope to do good business, you need to provide your customers with the care and service they expect and deserve. Failure to do so means you will end up getting negative word of mouth online and offline. People will leave bad reviews about your company. They will tell their friends and neighbors to avoid you and to go to the competition instead.

You need to strive to provide the very best when it comes to products and services, and to handle any problems a customer might have as quickly as you can. You never want them to feel as though you are brushing them aside or that you do not care about them after you have their money in your hands. Treat the customers well, and they will treat you well with excellent reviews and great word of mouth.

If you have a brick and mortar business, whether you are offering services or products, you need to make sure you are marketing locally for the best results. Use these tips, and continue learning how to improve your marketing skills.

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For a local search marketing campaign to be successful, you need to make sure you have created quality local business listings in a range of directories. There are many different sites for local business owners to create free business listings, and it is a good idea to add your own information to those sites.

Some of the most popular include Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, and Yelp.

However, these are certainly not the only choices out there.  You could – and should – also find sites that are specifically for your area. For example, those who are in the Outer Banks may want to look for business directories that cater to businesses on the Outer Banks.

Why Are Business Directory Listings So Important?

The Internet is crowded, and you have a lot of competition. The goal of creating business listings is to help improve your visibility on the Internet, just as with all your other online activities. When your business is more visible, it gives you the opportunity to be seen by more people who are looking for businesses like yours, and that are in your area.

It is important that you claim your listings on business directories so you can take advantage of them. Verification of the listing can usually be done over the phone or through email. If you find that the directory does not have your business, you can start filling out the information needed.

Fill Out the Directory Properly

When you are filling out the business directory, you need to make sure that you include all the necessary information.

You will need to have your business name, as well as a local phone number that matches the city where you are located. You do not want to use a toll-free number, for example. In addition, you will want to have a dedicated street address, not a PO box or a virtual office.

Make sure you fill out all the areas of the business directory. You will find that they are the same, at least for the most part. Some may allow you to provide more information than others will.

For example, on some sites, you might also be able to add video and images, or perhaps a menu for those who offer food and beverages. Utilize all of the tools available through the various directories, as they can help you to boost your SEO and make your business easier to find for the right people.

One of the other things you must think about when you are listing your business is the categories you choose. Make sure you are in the proper category or categories for the type of business you have.

With many of the directories, you can add your website. It is a good idea to do this, and you should make sure the landing page has information that will wow the potential customers and makes them want to visit your shop.

You might want to have the page link to your blog, a page that offers a discount, or something else that will entice the visitors to want to go to your shop.

Be Careful of Duplicates

It is possible that you could have duplicate listings in a business directory. This will often happen if you have changed your business location, but you are still in the same general area. Those who have duplicate listings will find that it can cause issues with their customers because it can appear as if there are several locations for your company. Some customers could leave bad reviews because of this, or they could be confused when they arrive at a location where you used to have your business.

You want to make sure you have those duplicate listings removed on the business directories as soon as possible. It will alleviate a lot of confusion.

Try to Get Good Reviews

With some of the business directories, such as Yelp, customers have the option of leaving feedback for businesses. These reviews have the potential to really help set your business apart… so long as they are good reviews, of course. If you have a business that treats customers well and that provides them with good customer service and/or products, they may leave you a nice review on one of the business directory sites that accepts reviews. Also, you might want to ask your customers, particularly your best customers, if they would mind leaving a review.

When people are looking for a company, regardless of the type of company it might be, they tend to want to find one that they can trust and that can provide them with good overall service.

Naturally, they check reviews to determine your ability as a company. It might not be the “make or break” of whether they will visit or not, but it will play a factor with many. Having no reviews will not do you any favors, and having negative reviews will harm you. Work toward getting good reviews, and make sure you deal with any negative reviews professionally, and as quickly as you can.

Keep It Updated

If you make any changes, for example, to your phone number, make sure that it is updated across all the business directories you are a part of. If you don’t, it means your potential customers are not going to be able to get a hold of you when needed.

You should also make sure that you updated any changes to the business.

For example, if you own a café or restaurant, and you have a seasonal menu, make sure you change it to reflect what you have available currently. People who view your business listing need to have it be an accurate representation of your company as it stands right now.

As you can see, having a business directory listing is important. By using the name of your business, and the right categories and keywords, it boosts your SEO and puts your company in front of people who are potential buyers.

Do not overlook the importance of these directories.

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SEO and social media marketing have the potential to work hand in hand with one another, and when you use these methods wisely, it can mean great success for your company. They are inbound strategies for the most part, although it is possible to utilize adds to boost their visibility. However, ads are not always necessary. You can use these as organic methods of finding new potential customers without spending on additional advertising. Proper use of social media can help to increase your search rankings, and putting in the time and effort to improve your SEO all around can help to improve your reach on the web through your site, as well as your rankings and your social media reach.

Get Quality Followers and More of Them

Having a lot of followers might make you feel good on social media, but unless those followers are considered “high quality” it will not do you as much good. Google has the ability to check the quality of your followers, and they do. They want to make sure they are sending their visitors to the best possible sites, so buying up a large number of followers who are using proxy or fake accounts, or that have no actual interest in your business and what you do is just a waste of money.

Instead, you need to improve the quality of your followers. You do this by building your followers organically. This does take substantially longer, but you will find that it can be effective in the long run. By practicing some simple social media tenets of good behavior – posting quality links, posting regularly, engaging with the audience, etc. – you will find that growing your number of followers in an organic way is certainly possible.

Ideally, you will want to have followers that are engaging and interacting with your page often. This could be sharing links, commenting, and the like. In the beginning, it can be difficult to get people to do much of anything. However, being consistent, and being engaged with the people who are following you can help.

Links from Social Media can Help With Your Rankings

Having high quality links can help you with your rankings in the search engines, and Google tends to put quite a bit of emphasis on links from social media. The social sites have a high web authority. Therefore, having a link from the social posts online that go to your website, as well as links to your site from your social profiles, can do a lot to help boost your rankings. In addition to boosting the rankings, it also helps to bring more traffic to your website.

When people choose to share your links that you have posted on social media, or they share them on their own, it helps to get the word out about your content and continues to give you a nice boost.

Make Things Easy to Share

You should always strive to make the content you create as shareable as possible. After all, social media is about being social and sharing information. Whether you are creating a post for the social media sites, putting up images on Pinterest, or linking to a blog, always make it easy to share.

Make sure that everything you want to share is public. With many of the social sites, including Pinterest and YouTube, there are private settings. Many people set up their accounts and make certain elements private. Then, they start posting for their business and wondering why no one is seeing or sharing anything. Check the privacy settings to your posts to make sure everything is visible and searchable.

Remember Keywords in Your Posts

When you are writing your posts on social media, do not forget the keywords that you have been using in the content on your website. By using the same keywords and phrases, it can help you to boost your rankings via social media for those terms, and to identify those terms with your business. Think local when it comes to the terms, as well. When you add your location to the posts, this can help with search engine results. This is true for any of the main social media outlets you likely use for your business including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Remember Local Listings

While social media is quite important, as is the content that you are posting on your website and blog, you need to consider the power of local listings on business directories, as well. Through places such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you can claim your company, which will help to bring you to the top of the list on the search engine rankings. Make sure you consider all the local listing options, not just the largest sites. Check for some of the smaller directories in your area. If you have a company in the Outer Banks, for example, you should always add your business to those listings that cater specifically to that area.

Keep an Eye Out for New Options

Technology advances quickly, and it seems as if there is always some new website or tech out there that has the potential to make your marketing easier. Maybe it is a new social media site that gets popular, or a new tool or app for those social media sites.  You want to stay on top of things if possible. This way, you can stay a couple of steps ahead of the competition.