There are only two things that a business needs to have in place in order to be successful:
- A great product or service
- To get that product or service in front of the right people, who are hungry and ready to buy from you.
The first factor is the easy part, because if you do not have a great product or service, then you do not yet have a business, so we wont talk about that today.
The second element is the part that is absolutely vital and something that many businesses owners find very challenging…
- How do you know who is looking for what you offer?
- How do you know where they are?
- How do you get your business in front of them in the right way?
Traditionally when someone wanted to find a product or service, they would pick up a:
- Telephone book
And businesses would be using push marketing to attract attention. Placing adverts in the hope that people would look for them in those printed formats and then pick up the phone to find out more, place an order and make a purchase.
Now though, people are not drawn to print ads in the way they used to be and we are in an era of attraction marketing, with people using online platforms and Social media to find what they are looking for and connect with businesses.
People no longer want to be sold to, but to be attracted to you and your business. People want to know who you are, check you out to see if others find you great at what you do or offer and they are doing this in a very busy online space.
The key to success and building a sustainable business is to work out how to get seen in this busy world and how to be the person that your prospective customers find when they are hungry for what you do.
Competition is high, and it is no easy job to stand out in the crowd.
So what can you do?
- How can you make sure that you are found?
- How can you make sure that you are putting yourself, your products and services in front of the right people at the right time?
The question to ask is, where do people go when they are ready to buy and are actively looking for a product or service?
They “Google it!”
In April 2013 Google held over 85% of the Global Search Market
So if you want to be found then that is where you need to be – Showing up in the search results!
And the best way to do this, is by using Google Plus, Google’s new social layer – yes I did say social layer, because Google plus is not simply another social network as many people believe, but a social layer encompassing all of the Google tools, features and platforms:
Everything that you do on Google plus is indexed, to help your search engine optimization.
Every comment you make publicly, every post you create is indexed and you can also enhance your opportunity of showing up in other peoples search results.
Using Google Authorship, (a small piece of code on your website) you can also tell Google that you are the creator of your online content, your blogs, your articles and comments and will be given even more opportunity to get found online.
Google has such a strong presence in the online world, (They recently celebrated their 15th birthday) So they are not one of those platforms that has sprung up overnight, will hang around for a little while and then just as quickly disappear, leaving you feeling that you have wasted your time and effort.
Google plus, although it is still the “new kid on the block”, launched a mere 24 months ago, and has already reached 1 billion users and overtaken Twitter as a preferred online platform for businesses.
Given the benefits, the tools and features that you can utilize, all brought together for you to access with one login, It simply does not make sense for any business to not be using Google Plus and
- Enhancing your visibility in search
- Positioning yourself with authority through your online content
- Building strong networks and relationships with potential customers
- Showing up on page one of Google search results
Not only is being able to be found easily in search a massive benefit that utilizing Google plus brings you, but what many people do not know is that you can also save time and money in your business, by utilizing the complete productivity suite that Google offers you too.
Google plus is not an island like other social networks but a world, a place to explore and meet new people, build strong relationships and really showcase your business.
Google and Google plus enable you, from just the one login, to access all of your business tools:
- Google Plus
- Network, collaborate, connect and build strong relationships
- Meet new people, enjoy communicating with like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners
- Integrate as part of your lead generation strategies
- Google Drive
- Cloud storage for your important documents and files
- Google Calendar
- Seamlessly integrate your schedule’s and appointments
- Access your email on the go, as well as from home
- YouTube is owned by Google and is also the 2nd largest search engine in the world (with Google being the first!)
- Google Local
- If you have a physical business, this is the place to be found when people are searching for the best restaurant, hairdresser, garage, or service provider in their local area
- Google Hangouts
- Private video chats, enabling you to hold confidential online meetings and workshops, without ever leaving your home or office.
- Meet with potential clients, with no need to spend time or money travelling
- Google Hangouts On Air
- Live public video broadcasting that is opening the world and allowing businesses to showcase themselves and their products and services to an unlimited audience in partnership with YouTube. Enables you to create your content once, optimize it and make it available on an on-going basis for lead generation online.
That is one big powerful set of marketing tools available to you completely free of charge.
And another great benefit of utilizing Google Plus and the Google business tools is that not only can you access all of your tools online, but you can also work with
- Your documents
- Your calendar and
- Your Gmail
Offline too, which will offer you more flexibility. Allowing you to work without disruption, even when many others are struggling because their Internet has gone down or they are travelling and have no online connection.
Whichever way you look at it, the benefits of Google and Google Plus are big, and absolutely every business promotion, event or process is enhanced when you integrate all (or a selection) of Gplus opportunities into your marketing mix.
You can read more from Carol Dodsley – How Google can help you stand out in a very busy Marketplace inside Issue 3 of the Business Rocks Magazine.