10 Basic Free Online Services Small Business should use for targeting new customers

When it comes to advertising or marketing, the first thing that most small business owners will think of is newspaper and television network. These are the two areas which most business owners think is the most effective way in reaching out to customers. Unfortunately a lot of small business owners cannot afford to pay for the advertisement even if it is just a small column by the corner of the newspaper or a short period of commercial air time on TV. The best options which most small business owners will go for is giving out flyers, leaflet or circular across the streets. Although it might not as effective as having an advertisement on newspaper or TV network, it is still able to gather some customers.

As customers are starting to go online using smartphone and tablets, businesses are adjusting and exploring ways to get in touch with customers more effectively. Although small business owners are unable to spend millions of dollars on Google AdWords and Facebook targeting potential customers, there are several ways small business owners can do which allows online users to discover their business. Below are 10 simple basic online services small business owners can make use of. Best of all these online services are free. Small business owners just have to setup once and it will last for a long time.

1.    Google account and Gmail
There are a lot of features and tools that can helps small business owners run their business online effectively by just creating a Google account. But for start, getting an email under @gmail.com can be very helpful in allowing customers to reach out to the business.

2.    Google Places for Business
This feature enables small business owners to put their address location on Google map. Customers can find the business location easily by just referring to Google map. It definitely saves a lot of trouble having customers calling up asking for direction on how to get to the business location.

3.    Blogger
Instead of having a website, a blog works just fine as long as the pages are able to showcase the products or services provided by the small business owners.

4.    Google Mobile Site
Although Blogger has the option to make the blog mobile friendly, it is still better to get an alternative mobile site. A mobile site should be simple and straight to the point. No matter how friendly Blogger can squeeze the blog into a small mobile site, it will still look congested.

5.    Google+ Page
This is the center page that allows small business owners to gather blog, mobile site, Google Places for Business, contact, YouTube, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Skype id and any other important business related information into one place.

6.    Facebook Page
It work almost like Google+ Page but it reaches out mostly to Facebook users.

7.    YouTube
Small business owners can create their own video clips about their business and upload it.

8.    2D Barcode
A 2D barcode can be created with a link to blog, Google+ page, Facebook Page or Mobile site. The 2D barcode can be place at business card, flyers, leaflet or circular. Customers can scan the barcode using their smartphone and redirected to the designate page online.

9.    LinkedIn
Although this is a site for job searchers and talent scouting, it is a good place to promote businesses and gain more exposure.

10.    Skype
Some users or customers might be interested to send a message or call when businesses are using the same communication tool as they are. The purpose is to provide customers or users an alternative way to contact business owners for free.



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