October 25, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

5 ways to improve your company's visibility

Ron Stein | 4/14/2013

Do you feel as if your company is invisible? Your competitors seem to get all the buzz. You’re wondering why your company is such a well-kept secret. Even though you have an incredible offering, your target audience isn’t listening -- or buying.

The problem is not search engine optimization -- for the most part. Oh sure, your website can use a bunch of tweaking, but it’s only a part of the problem.

Maybe there’s a big fish or two in your pond that have marketing muscle and dominate. Or there are lots of competitors and the noise level is high with everyone fighting to be heard.

Yes, your business needs an anti-invisibility fix and the sooner the better! It will take a little work, yet it won’t be hard. You’ll have prospective customers taking notice faster than you think.

There are many things you can do to raise your company’s profile and keep your competition from monopolizing the spotlight. Here are five easy ways to make your business stand out and get the visibility you deserve.

Be a newsmaker. Take an issue that your target market is deeply concerned about and turn it into a public relations opportunity. Create a survey that researches a problem your business solves. Start with the messaging points of your company and then work backwards into developing the survey questions. Use wording for questions and possible answer choices that are a bit provocative and emotionally appealing. You’ll end up with research that no one else has and catch the attention of both your audience and the media -- creating interest in your company and its offering. Publish it on your website, in your blog, Tweet about it, and of course send it out as a news release.

Make sure your website is easily found. I'm amazed at how many beautiful looking websites there are -- yet most simply don’t show up in a search. Your mission is to provide the high-value information that people are searching for, in a way that search engines view as relevant and fresh. Use words or phrases in the body of your content that people will likely use in their search when looking for a solution that solves their problem. Front-load your best keyword phrases here, as well as in your Meta tags. Also, improving your title tags -- words that appear in the title bar of your browser window -- is as critical to improving visibility as your keyword tags, and need to be unique for each page. Include your website’s URL on all of your printed material and email. And get active on blogs that allow you to include your website's URL.

Video marketing content sells. Video dramatically improves search engine placement, engages viewers, and communicates your message and expertise. Make a series of videos and keep most of them short -- under 90 seconds to two minutes. The focus is on the prospect, their issues, and information they can use. Professionally produced videos are not that expensive, but with today’s high-quality cameras, you can make them yourself as long as the audio isn’t weak or muffled and the lighting is good. Create a YouTube channel, include your videos on your website, in your blog, Tweet about them, and send them out as part of news releases.

Ron Stein at free mentoring event

Youi're invited: Monthly "StartUp Xchange" - a meeting of Tampa Bay Innovation Center mentors

When: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Where: Wood Fired Pizza
344 1st Ave S, St Petersburg, FL (map)

Presented by Tampa Bay Innovation Center as part of the eHub, StartUp Xchange is an informal monthly gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators and Innovation Center Mentors. Each month, Innovation Center mentors are available to share their advice and experience to help further your idea or start-up. Come on by, have a seat, buy a drink and join the conversation. Go to this website for more information and to RSVP for event.

Update online profiles. When was the last time you checked your company or personal online profile? The summaries in directories, social media sites, and your website -- for you and your company -- probably don’t reflect the current message or new product or service offerings. Log in on a regular basis and update each profile with your current information. Plus, most social media sites will send a notice to your connection letting them know there’s something new for them to check out.

Take an integrated marketing approach. Realize that there is no single way to go. Using several channels provides a wider reach and a stronger impact than hanging your strategy on a single tactic. Develop a marketing strategy with a few approaches that makes the most sense for your target audience and your budget. Then make sure they work together to spread your message and call-to-action -- such as driving prospects to a special web landing page from your print advertising.

Increasing your company’s visibility goes beyond online and social media marketing. There are many ways to get your company’s name out there and to stand out.

Whatever you do, have a marketing strategy with a multi-channel approach and you’ll improve visibility. Start today. You'll have your target audience taking notice in no time at all.


Read earlier columns from Florida Trend's business coach, Ron Stein
Note: Articles older than 30 days require registration (it's quick and free).

Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.

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