The advent of the Internet has turned virtually every business’s market into a worldwide one; small businesses now have access to far more prospective customers than ever before and can instantly connect and communicate with them through interactive and social networking websites. No matter what you sell or how many employees you have, building a solid online presence doesn’t require much money, a huge time commitment, or a lot of technical expertise. Here are ten easy and effective ways your small business can start creating a competitive online presence: Social Networking Profiles – Websites like Facebook and Twitter have given businesses large and small a completely original way and forum to market themselves. Join social networking websites and build a comprehensive profile for your business. From there, you can join in conversations, communicate with existing and potential customers, and network and build relationships with other professionals. Start a Blog – Start a blog on your website about relevant to your services or on something you know a lot about or are interested in. Not only will this keep your site regularly updated with fresh, unique content (an integral aspect of any successful SEO campaign), it can also help position your company as an industry authority and serve as a resource for customers and professionals alike. Product Marketing Videos – Product marketing videos have become popular because they give businesses a more in-depth way to market and showcase products (as opposed to conventional commercials). Through such videos, consumers can see details such as size, texture, and color while the company has the opportunity to detail the benefits of using the product. In addition, they allow businesses to market their product in a way outside of corporate parameters. Product marketing videos don’t have to be fancy; some of the most effective videos that have gone viral were shot with a handheld camcorder and use humor and wit to appeal to consumers. Place product marketing videos on video sites such as YouTube and on your blog, if you have one. Make the Business Human – No consumer wants to interact with a robot. Give your business a face and a human countenance by engaging with other users, posting pictures and letting your personality shine through. Throw in some personal (and appropriate) “tweets” or Facebook statuses along with the professional stuff. Consumers want to feel like they are doing business with an actual person rather than a machine or scripted robot.

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