Local Biz Blogs Official Blog
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Businesses Turn To LocalBizBlogs in Tough Economic Times
The economic downturn of the last two years has taken a toll on Main Street businesses. With so many people watching their wallets, getting new customers through the door can be a huge challenge. Now more than ever, small business owners are forced to maintain their competitive edge on an ever-shrinking budget.
Enter: LocalBizBlogs. Business blogs are a cost-effective way to connect with customers and cultivate those relationships. The real kicker? Web 2.0 technologies generate valuable business, yet COST LESS than traditional advertising. Small business owners can now independently market their services for a FRACTION of the old cost.
Kirstie Bennett, owner of Framer's Workshop in Berkeley, CA, updates her BizBlog with product news, framing tips, and photos of the store's frame inventory. "Blogging allows me to get new product and sale announcements online immediately without the delays that making changes to my web site would entail." Kirstie's BizBlog is also set to automatically update to her Facebook business page each time she posts something new. Like many small businesses these days, Kirstie has reduced costs by cutting back on print advertising and opting to do more marketing on the web. By simply blogging a few times a week, she has doubled traffic to her existing website because customers are consistently finding her BizBlog as a top search result on search engines.
Dedicating several hours a week to updating her BizBlog, Kirstie wants to gauge her efforts: How many people visited? Where did they come from? What keywords did they use? According to Kristie, "LocalBizBlogs makes it easy to track visitor statistics. I get weekly reports that show the keywords people are using to reach my BizBlog." Identifying high referral sites and keyword trends is vital to any business on the web. Not only can business owners use this information to optimize their BizBlog, but to optimize their overall marketing plan.
Joan Bacino, owner of John's Pizzeria in Merrillville, IN, has been publishing online coupons to her company blog and customers are responding in a huge way. "We average 250 coupons a week. That's a lot for a business like ours." Coupons have been a way for John's Pizzeria to stay price competitive in a region where budgets are tight and people are going out to eat less often. "Our BizBlog gets the word out. Keeps our doors open."
Other businesses are using the web as a way to stand out from competition. Randy Ralls, owner of Service Doctor in Hobart, IN, recently purchased a digital camera so he can post photos of his business to his BizBlog. Randy and his team use the camera to capture photos of showroom items, and "before and after" shots of their remodeling jobs. The camera also records high quality video, allowing them to make short commercials that are uploaded to YouTube and posted to the Service Doctor BizBlog.
"Our business model is made up of a wide variety of conventional and restoration remodeling services. Video commercials allow us to inform customers of Service Doctor's unique restoration process and various home remodeling solutions," says Randy. By educating customers about Service Doctor's range of services, Randy is reaching out to those customers who research products and services on the web before they buy. Randy says he has a higher chance of winning their business if he can address their questions/concerns upfront and make a positive impression.
Marketing a small local business on a tiny budget is easy when you leverage the power of business blogging. LocalBizBlogs provides a simple and affordable way to get more customers in the door. All it takes is a computer, a BizBlog and the commitment to reaching out to customers through the web. The power is in your hands.