Ways to Use the Internet to Grow Business

Here’s a look at ten (10) popular online marketing options we can help you use to grow or maybe even explode your business online:

1. Local listings and classifieds.

Create your business listing on listing sites such as Citysearch to ensure that consumers searching for nearby businesses find yours. Some listings allow you to promote offers, sales and new products. Customer review sites and local directories like Yelp allow users to express their opinions about businesses.

2. Search advertising.

Search advertising is a method of placing online ads on Web pages near search engine results. With AdWords (www.google.com/adwords), you can deliver your message at the moment someone is searching for the type of product or service you offer. Choose keywords that relate as closely as possible to your offerings so you receive the most likely prospects. For CPC ads, you pay only when someone clicks on your ad.

3. Contextual ads.

Contextual advertising takes display ads to the next level, by placing them on sites related to your offerings; for example, if you sell sporting goods, your ad may perform better on sports-related sites. Services are available that automatically distribute ads to sites based on the content of those sites.

4. Display ads

You’ve probably seen the dancing aliens; that’s a display, or banner, ad. Do-it-yourself display ad builders, including Google’s AdWords display ad builder can help design your ad(www.google.com/displaynetwork). You can also distribute your display ad via ad networks and ad management systems.

5. Geo-targeting

Geotargeting simply means advertising to prospects in specific locations – which could be very useful, for example, if you sell dresses only in Dallas. One way to get started is to create a listing on Google Places (http://places.google.com/business).

6. Group buying

Connect with new customers through programs that offer multiple buyers collective purchasing deals. There are many popular group buying sites available to use.

7. Mobile marketing

Many smartphones and mobile devices provide web browsing, GPS, cameras and video capabilities. This means you can develop creative promotions with text messages and location-based social networks.

8. Social networking sites

Cultivate new business through social networking sites where members share stories and recommend products and services.

9. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing lets you get other businesses to drive prospects to your website. Some affiliates may allow you to set up a store on their domains, such as comparison shopping sites.

10. Online videos

Reach new audiences by posting videos on video-sharing sites. The best videos tend to be short (less than three minutes) and have an offer, such as a free copy of a report or a product discount, to motivate viewers to take action. You too can be one of many small businesses with a YouTube channel to help spread company news and information.

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