Adding channels can make online marketing easier

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Conventional online marketing wisdom suggests that keeping a Web site or blog up to date with fresh content is hard, especially for small businesses. Often, while small organizations may believe that adding e-mail marketing and online surveys to their marketing mix sounds like a good idea, they hesitate because they believe doing so will mean an unmanageable amount of new work. However, the reality for effective online marketing is that by using these additional tools in concert with existing methods, any small business or organization can improve the overall effectiveness of its marketing campaign with minimal effort.

Here are a few easy tips that any small business or organization can use to expand its marketing mix with little effort and boost its marketing effectiveness and efficiency at the same time.

Use online surveys and polls to generate fresh content ideas. Asking loyal customers about the topics that mean the most to them will help keep a Web site and blog current and relevant. Thanking respondents with a coupon or other offering will also drive them back to the Web site and your business. 

 

Start an e-mail newsletter. Take every opportunity, whether in person or online, to collect newsletter sign-ups. If people agree to subscribe, then it's a safe assumption that they are already invested in your brand. Those customers or members are the most important group with whom to communicate on a regular basis – this is the loyal core group you must maintain consistent dialogue with through e-mails and surveys.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Make newsletter content work hard and in multiple places. Resist the urge to pack newsletters with too much content. The e-mail newsletter should be informative, but not overloaded. In short articles, provide links back to a Web site for more information. As newsletters and surveys feed more content to your Web site and blog, you can include a regular “links” section featuring access to your blog archives, photos, or even your social media accounts. A cycle is created when content ideas from past newsletters and surveys feed new ideas and help highlight consistent themes or subject matter. By repurposing content throughout the marketing mix, a small business can make its overall marketing effort more efficient and consistent.

Once the cycle starts, it grows stronger with the addition of new subscribers, richer survey data and fresher content. At every step in the cycle, more marketing momentum is created without significant investment of time, money or energy.

Adding complementary online tools into your marketing mix can deepen and reinforce the messages customers and prospects receive about your business. And this boost in professional-looking and relevant marketing can be done with less effort and more effectiveness than “conventional wisdom” might indicate. 

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