Most small business owners understand the need to have an effective online marketing campaign in today’s Internet friendly marketplace. Even a one person operation benefits through using a website and creating an advertising program that will direct customers to their business. But just creating and maintaining a website alone is not sufficient to keep a competitive edge in the continually fluctuating economy. Unless a customer uses name recognition to search for and locate a business, dozens of other competitors may receive higher search priority.
The top 5 online advertising forms that small business owners use normally include a variety of methods that target all aspects of Internet use:

1. Using Email Marketing

This direct marketing approach works particularly well for a small business whose customer base is somewhat established. Weekly or bi-weekly news and promotions can be sent to a large group and may not be automatically rejected as “spam”. For example, a real estate agent may choose to send a newsletter in the form of a monthly email. Or new customers who shop at a local boutique can be added to the email list and sent special promotional materials.

2. Marketing through a Blog

Another effective marketing tool included in the top 5 online advertising forms that small business owners use involves keeping an active blog. Just like the old days when news passed around the barber shop, people love to check the latest trends and catch up on the news. By placing information in an optimized search engine format, both new customers and existing clients will find the website and look for news. This inexpensive method of marketing only requires the time to add new information and photos on a regular (weekly or daily) basis.

3. Display Search Engine Ads

Several popular search engine providers offer methods to place ads on a variety of websites. Normally the business owner only pays for the advertising when someone clicks on the box. This method may draw new customers to a business. For example, an out of town visitor looking for a restaurant may see the ad on a hotel or Chamber of Commerce site and be inclined to write down the address. A small business owner controls the advertising budget by choosing how many ads to place and monitoring their effectiveness.

4. Create Online Press Releases

Another of the top 5 online advertising forms that small business owners use involves creating an online press release. Many people use the Internet to receive news and information on a daily basis. By creating an interesting and appropriate story and releasing it through a free press release website, the reader develops company name recognition. For instance, a chiropractor who develops a new procedure or an architect who wins an award for best design can use this method to document their success and to gain recognition and new clients.

5. Distribute Promotional Materials

The Internet provides a means for small business owners to distribute marketing materials and promotional items. Everyone is looking for a bargain these days and a free token or coupon that brings a customer to the shop is well worth the expense. The materials are printed online or requested through a form. One of the most effective of the top 5 online advertising forms that small business owners use gives the Internet visitor a useful item with a company name attached.

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