The way that the Internet works for small business changes constantly. It’s become more important to have paid social media advertising because getting customers from the “organic” kind of posting has so greatly declined.
It’s nearly impossible to keep up with changes in social platforms like Instagram or Facebook, who regularly add new features, policies, or restrictions.
Your Google ranking can drop into oblivion (that is, on page 2 of search results) without telling you when it happened or why. New tools, sites, and apps pop up daily.
Technology advancements bring more challenges … be mobile-optimized (even for Apple watches), take voice technology into account, use ever higher resolution, limit content to speed up time to load it, and on and on.
Using the Internet to promote your products and services will continue to be not only mandatory but also a struggle. That’s just going to be the price of being in business.
The very first priority for a small business is to help customers find you. Another term for this is marketing. If they can’t locate your store, they won’t come there. If they don’t know your contact info, they won’t call. If they don’t see your store hours, they’ll just move on.
Tools to Help Customers Find You in 2019
If you decide to sign up with a service that helps customers find you, there are plenty of choices. This article will share our high-level research on these providers.
Description and Features: Marketing, sales, and CRM tool – does have an integration with Yext to help organize the leads you get from it and push data to HubSpot. A broader, fuller tool that does in part what Yext does.
- CRM. Everything you need
to organize, track, and build better relationships with leads and customers.
- Marketing. Software to grow traffic, convert visitors, run inbound marketing campaigns
- Sales. Email tracking and automation, meeting scheduling
Description: Business reputation management company. Tagline: “Be found. Be chosen. Be the best business.”
Features: Their promise is to get more reviews from your customers, dominate search results, beat local competitors. Has 380 employees.
Pricing: Starts at $3K/year. Enterprise: $5K per location. To get a quote, must fill out a form with company’s information.
IBM Marketing Cloud
Description: Marketing automation software
- Lead management and mobile engagement solutions
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- Lead acquisition, scoring, and transfer
- 99% user satisfaction (source: financesonline.com)
Pricing: Contact vendor
Description: Helps companies generate leads with deeper dives into visitor data, filters, social profiles, and by automating lead data feeds.
- Leads by quality or latest visit
- Integrates seamlessly in your sales and marketing tool stock, i.e. salesforce, Hubspot
- Visit details by page to see what your prospects are interested in
- Customizable email alerts to get best leads right in your inbox
- Unlimited number of users for collaborative lead management
- Powerful filtering and custom feeds
Pricing: $149 for <5K visitors/mo.; $299 for <10K; $699 for <50K
Description: SEO & Social Monitoring tool. SEO software and data to help you increase traffic, rankings, and visibility in search results.
- Keyword research
- Rank tracking
- Site audits
- Rank tracking
- Content optimization
- Metrics, analytics & reporting
Pricing: $99 to $599/month
Description: Tagline: “Be Found. Get Chosen. Improve Experience.”
Reputation management software that allows businesses with multiple locations to manage their customer engagements. Solutions for reviews, business listings, directory management, surveys, social engagements, and customer issue resolution.
- Listing optimization
- Review management
- Improve CX with surveys
- Online reputation management
Pricing: Contact provider
Description: Location marketing solutions make it easy to give consumers a seamless, integrated and consistent experience on every device, search engine and platform they are using to find you.
- Listings mgmt., reputation mgmt., online brand protection
- 125+ platforms for listings
- Unique landing pages
- Voice search optimization
- Local SEO
Pricing: $47 per location per month
Description: Helps get more customers from Google.
Tagline: “Improve rankings, drive business, and fast-track your success in local search with WhiteSpark’s tools and managed citation services”
- Local search
- Building citations
- Earning reviews
- Tracking your rankings
Pricing: $4-5 per citation; $279-$679 per location
Description: Market-leading location software company that lets businesses:
- Update and sync their location data everywhere
- Manage the public facts about your brand across the most popular channels consumers search on
- Manage their brand information in the cloud and sync it to more than 100 maps, apps, and directories
Tagline: “Get found when consumers search for you.”
- 900 employees
- Advertising & Marketing sector
- Gets you listed on up to 159 sites
- Monitors online reviews
- Profile enhancement
Pricing: $199 to $999 per year
Description and Features: Making Technology Work is our mantra. Whether it is marketing the technology, or implementing technology for business productivity, our focus is on making technology work. We understand that this would need technology to be built, implemented, communicated and adopted well.
“Tailored digital transformation solutions with business applications and
- Products and
services for increased productivity, smoother work management and better
- Business analytics. Data reporting, discovery, visualization, and aggregation; scorecards & dashboards
- Cloud adoption. Cloud migration, applications, & disaster recovery.
- Project portfolio management. Project planning & resource management; reports; dashboards; budgets
- Productivity & business automation. Process automation, document management, collaboration, ideation & innovation
- Products and services for increased productivity, smoother work management and better decisions.
Description and Features: All-in-one business dashboard. Monitors a variety of areas:
media. New sign-ups, followers,
demographics; track how your brand or clients are doing across Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Vimeo
- Marketing. Monitor all your marketing channels like email, SEO, SEM, social media, and analytics from one place.
- Client. Automate client reporting by bringing together their advertising, SEO, social media, and analytics data.
- Web analytics. Track multiple websites, top referring domains, search engines, SEO keyword rankings.
- Finance. Track expenses, revenue, invoices.
- Sales. View sales goals, sales rep, opportunities, win/loss reports, new customers.
- Project management. Dashboard of projects, tasks, TO-DO’s, upcoming events.
- IT. Network monitoring, website uptime, server load, app performance, end user tracking
Description and Features: The World’s #1 Social Advertising Automation Platform for Local. Unlocking the value and efficiency of social advertising at scale for global brands and resellers.
Technology built to automate the setup, publication and optimization of Facebook and Instagram ads at scale.
Free Tools to Grow Your Business
- Google My Business. Get a free business profile to more easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.
- Google Trends. “Explore what the world is searching.” See the most popular searches (today, it’s Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, World Cup, and Dancing With the Stars). For business owners, you can google your business name, products, categories, or related keywords. The screenshot shows the trend for interest over time on your search term.
Finding a provider of the right services can be as difficult as a potential customer finding you. Knowing your customer, budget, and goals will lead you to make a perfect choice.