Monday, May 12, 2014 12:21
There are hundreds of online services focused on helping small businesses get more customers or market to their existing ones. In this round up, I’ve put together over 26 of some of the more well known and/or mature ones that you might want to consider for your business. You’ll find some of these do one thing really well – like web site building. Others do a few things well – like web site building and email marketing.
Why did I do this?
Over the past few years I’ve happily used the services of a local NY digitally agency, Andigo Media for building my web sites, some design work and other things “digitally related”. For simpler website projects I’ve used Wix.
I’ve been watching the growing category of small business service providers provide an all in one digital marketing solution to the small business owner – email marketing, local marketing, social marketing and etc. For example, Yodle, recently came out with a broader suite of solutions – beyond its roots of just local online marketing solutions. Their new marketing essentials platform, includes three modules – presence, conversion optimization, and communication automation.
It got me thinking, there are so many online marketing solutions, offering a variety of offerings. For small business owners this is good but also challenging. It’s good because there are so many solutions and prices will be competitive it’s not so great as it’s hard to pick and know which one is best for you. So I did my best to put these services in one place.
Here’s a handy list of marketing services and what you can use them for.
Build Your Own Web Site Services
While it’s tempting to do a “feature comparison” of these services or choose them based on price, don’t do that.
You’ll do yourself a dis-service. Instead, test these services and see which service provides what you need and evaluate how easy they are to work with. You want to also see how good their help section is and how fast they respond if you contact them for help.
I’ve used Wix to build many of my web sites and like how easy they are to use. I know that Squarespace, Weebly and Jimdo also provide great tools, I just have not had the opportunity to use them as much.
Your Local Web Designer
Ptex Group and Andigo Media are just two of my favorite local digital and design agencies in the NY area. There’s so many more good companies in the NY area and of course in YOUR local town as well. Who do you like? Working with a local expert will cost more than building a web site yourself. But the benefits of working with a local expert are
- they are an expert
- you don’t have to spend time building a web site (or other marketing thing you need), they do it
- they can provide you with a custom solution that looks great!
All In One Online Marketing Services
These companies will build your web site, help with social media marketing, email marketing and more. For the most part they offer a pretty robust online marketing platform. Most of these services have built their offerings through acquisitions, and some have built their services. Many of these services will also be your “out sourced” marketing professional and do the web site creation and other things for you.
Small business owners, want to and need to focus 100% on the growth of their business. They are wise to outsource their digital marketing to an expert – while measuring the results.
Local Online Advertising Management
Local online marketing is CRITICAL to small business success. YOU MUST ensure your business is listed in local directories and that it is updated and listed correctly.
Email Marketing and More
Some email marketing solutions provide only email marketing solutions, but others, such as Vertical Response and Constant Contact, have evolved to provided much more. Vertical Response and Constant Contact, for example provide email marketing, but also marketing campaigns, offers and event marketing solutions.
Email marketing is NOT dead and is still a very powerful form of communication. You just have to make sure you are providing valuable content to your reader and focused on THEIR needs, not yours.
CRM – Content Market – Lead Nurturing and Customer Loyalty Building
For companies looking to better serve their customers, manage their sales and educate leads (or prospects) until they buy, a customer relationship management service is a must. CRM is comprised of a customer database and a variety of modules to enable you to better communicate with your current customers, better educate prospects who have not bought from you and convert them to a customer and more.
Infusionsoft, where I serve as Small Business Evangelist, provides a platform to enable you to do build simple or feature rich marketing campaigns. Customers who use our campaigns find that they can focus on building their business while our campaigns focus on automatically educating prospects (until they buy) and continuing to delight customers (all automatically) so they buy again and again and refer new business.
Here’s a round up of small business focused CRM providers.
There’s so many other CRM providers such as Marketo (but really for bigger businesses), NutShell CRM, NetSuite (focused on larger businesses) and more.
Big Small Business Service Providers
Yahoo, GoDaddy, Intuit are big companies – much bigger than most of the companies in my round up. However they each provide a full suite of small business marketing services for their customers. Definitely check them out.
Online Marketing Education
Looking to educate yourself more about online marketing. DEFINITELY check out the resources of the vendors listed above, also check out