In my previous post, I discussed the importance of developing a good website, and of having good LinkedIn and Google+ profiles. Here are more ways that service businesses can market themselves online.
Blogging is useful for communicating your opinions and ideas to potential clients. Of course last year’s idea doesn’t always play well today, so you need to post new content and relevant ideas.
One good approach is to comment on other articles or issues. For example, a lawyer can comment on court decisions.
Another way to reduce the workload is to invite guest bloggers, or to find other blogging content and ask for permission to post it on your website. (Obviously, you don’t want to do this all the time, or you won’t be able to showcase your own expertise. That is, after all, the main point of the blog.)
In any event, post regularly. Although blogging purists would shudder at this suggestion, I think it is better to post every month than to post several times a week and then stop.
Include a way for people to comment. Also, comment on other articles and blogs. You can’t be promotional, but you can definitely showcase your expertise.
Finally, invite people to read your blog in the signature line of your email address.
More and more companies rely on video to get their messages across. Video is perfect for product demonstrations, how-to segments, and general overviews. Animation can illustrate obscure and technical concepts.
Short (two- to three-minute) pieces are the most popular. The key is to think visually; have something to say and something to show. (A talking head does not cut it.)
Put your video on YouTube and similar sites, and link to it from your website. Promote it through LinkedIn and other online sites.
Facebook is good for increasing visibility, giving useful tips, sharing information, starting conversations, and establishing yourself as a leader in the field.
Many companies find having a Facebook company page to be an important addition to their marketing efforts. In some cases, it can replace the company’s website. But, like everything else in the digital world, it needs to be kept fresh and new, with regular postings and updates.
To tweet or not to tweet, that definitely is the question. The jury is still out as to the value of the 140-character messages for business development. However, many professionals report that tweeting helps build community, is a good way to get and share information, and can help drive readership of your blog.
In my next post, I’ll discuss ways to get the attention of mainstream media.