As a co-op owner, getting the word out to the world about your co-op should be one of your top priorities. And the internet is the absolute first place to start.
Here are seven ways that you can use internet marketing to boost your co-op business.
1. Start a Blog
If you don’t already have one, you need a website. And if you have a website already, make sure you have a regularly updated, reader-engaging blog.
If you think that your co-op isn’t the “blogging type”, guess again! Today, customers expect more than just a quality product or service and a professional attitude.
They want to see a business they can relate to, one with an exciting, engaging personality, and your blog is the place to do that.
Using a content management system, such as WordPress or Drupal, will simplify the process and streamline your blog.
2. Tweet on Twitter
Twitter is the easiest way to go viral. Set up a twitter account and start following people who have businesses and interests similar to that of your co-op.
Make sure to follow back anyone who follows you, retweet other people’s tweets, and engage in “twitter friendly” behavior.
The more people who follow you and read your tweets, the more people who will be exposed to your brand… and pass the news (and coupons and deals) on to their friends.
3. Get Friendly on Facebook
Similar to Twitter, Facebook is a brilliant Social Network that offers a wealth of possibilities for co-op owners. Set up a page and start interacting with others.
You can use your page to run giveaways and other events, and reward people for passing the news on to their friends.
Pinterest is now the world’s fourth largest source of internet traffic, making it a resource you don’t want to overlook.
Set up boards related to your co-op’s product or service, and pin appealing images (and make sure those images come from your blog posts, bringing users back to your web site!), and repin other related images, spreading your net of influence.
5. Google Places for Business
Register your co-op with Google Places for Business. Whether they’re looking for a good place to eat or a bike repair shop, most people search Google for a local option first.
When you list with Google Places for Business, your listing will show up at the top of the whole page of listings, and that’s exactly where you want to be– right where your customers can find you!
6. Google Adwords
Google Adwords is another great way to give your co-op a high profile spot in the Google search results.
When you buy text based advertising with Google Adwords, your ads will appear either at the top or along the side of the Google search results page. You can also buy image or video ads, which will show up on relevant web pages on other sites.
Google Adwords is highly customizable, so that you can set up an advertising campaign that’s just right for your business, paying by the click, or by impressions.
7. Article Marketing
Don’t forget about article directories! Lots of people find the right business for them through articles.
When you submit relevant articles to article directories and include a link to your site at the bottom, potential customers can recognize your expertise and know just how to find you.
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net