On June 11, 2010, Smallbiztechnology.com produced 12HoursOfTech as part of Internet Week. The full day event, followed by a reception, brought together speakers from Ez Texting, Kutenda, Infusionsoft, Orange Soda, Net@Work, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, IT2Max, Tap11, Affect Strategies, Pattie Stone, Odesk, Hill Data Management , Yelp, Rate Point and Antonio Neves.
12HoursOfTech was hosted by Microsoft NYC and sponsored by Net@Work
Emily Thompson, Kutenda, Internet Marketing Specialist
Kutenda was built to help small business owners generate new leads and convert them into sales using the power of Internet Marketing. It provides the lead generation tools, training and support needed to launch affordable and effective online marketing campaigns. Kutenda is a service that lets you do most of your online marketing and automate the processes behind it.
Kutenda has created a software package for small businesses. Mrs. Thompson says they understand very well the difficulties a business owner faces trying to benefit from his Internet activity, so they have many training programs integrated in the services they offer.
See the video and read video transcript below.
(Read the writeup we did about Kutenda here)
Mrs. Thompson says that the primary way people look for services today is trough internet searches. According to her we are talking about billions of searches generated by more than 200 million people. And when people search they are looking for you, they are looking for your products, she says. So using the right tools and technologies small businesses would really have the opportunity to dominate markets and gain a competitive edge.
Every company should have an Internet identity, so that it can be found online. If you are not there people won’t know how to get you except from word to mouth.
However Mrs. Thompson warns that a comprehensive approach is absolutely necessary with Internet marketing. You cannot afford a piece by piece approach unless you don’t want to be loosing out on a lot of business.
There are different elements to internet marketing. On top of the list we should put three different types of Internet Search results: ORGANIC, PAID and LOCAL. These are different sections of the results generated by an Internet search. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is helping you get in the Organic listings where most of the clicking takes place, but you should not forget about the other two. All three are, equally, opportunities for you to be found on that page.
The next thing you should be aiming for is having an effective website that really gives people what they are looking for. The content of the website should reflect your customer’s needs and the best way to understand what this valuable content is, would be to listen to your current customers, even asking them to take specific surveys related to the website. You should not hesitate to give people incentives to provide you with a feedback. Mrs. Thompson also advises us to check out services provided by sites like usertesting.com that have a data base of users who can be made to visit your website and get you a video of their experience.
There are many aspects that can be improved to make your website more accessible for the search engine crawlers and improve your ratings and SEO is the path to follow but valuable information is probably the most efficient way to increase traffic. You are playing to the search engines but you are also playing to your audience and it is a fine balance sometimes, Mrs. Thompson says. She adds you should also remember to build links to your website, for each link can be considered a vote for your website and the more you have the easier it will be to get a good placement on the results page.
Email marketing is a very important piece of the Internet Marketing structure, and you should use it to track new leads and take care of the ones you already have. It is a way to provide more of the relevant content, in a different way.
Social media is equally important, because while the website is not supposed to be very interactive – its primary function is to provide information, social media allows you to have a personality and a much more direct approach with your customers and build trust.
Another crucial aspect is reporting and this can be achieved with Website Analytics. This is a very important tool for you to see how your website is performing. Through them it is possible to know how many visitors you had, how much time did they stay and what they did on your website.
All those different pieces work together in increasing your online visibility because as Mrs. Thompson puts it you want people to see you, and know you are a good choice for them. In the past most of those tools like SEO or Internet Marketing as a whole were more expensive and were used by large businesses only but this has changed.
Today there are great opportunities for small local businesses to benefit from some sophisticated tools and there are many areas where no one has acquired a competitive edge yet so why not you, Mrs. Thompson asks us.
It’s all about the right audience at the right time with the right message! You can really play with that and experiment on your website. The software can help you, by showing different version of your website to different people and then show you the statistics for each version.
Your website is the foundation for your online business and you should keep it up to date and optimized with good content, Mrs. Thompson says.