The benefits of online marketing in the waste industry

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

For those of you who have been around the waste industry for more than 20 years, do you remember when life was simple? An annual visit or phone call from the phone book representative and then it was back to running your business. Your biggest advertising decisions once included what size ad should you run and how many “A’s” to place in front of your company name for better placement? As the technology has advanced over the years, it was supposed to make life easier and improve productivity, and in many ways it has, but for many of you—especially in the waste industry—advertising your company has now become a tangled mess of spider-webs (that is “www” webs). The explosion of the Internet in the last 10 years has left many of those in the waste industry questioning where advertising dollars should be spent. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer when it comes to marketing online and it often requires a “cocktail” of strategies to keep your company noticed. However, there are simple and cheap solutions out there—even for the “average company”.

Speaking with waste companies on a daily basis, I find that some businesses are not too eager to let go of their traditional forms of advertisement such as phone books, newspaper ads, magazines and even radio/ television. The problem with this form of advertising is that once something is printed it cannot be changed. The good news with online campaigns is that they can be continually updated and monitored. Modifying wording or changing a graphic is as easy as a few clicks. Don’t think that there is only one way to do this. There are a variety of online marketing strategies that will help attract new business.

E-mail is the simplest way to reach out to a large number of customers at one time. Many areas of the waste industry require routine maintenance or service calls and a great subject line such as, “50 percent off” or “Fall Special” may remind customers that it’s time to contact you for service. The better you get to know your clientele, the more tailored your subject lines can be.

Many companies find that blogging is a major marketing tool. I understand how busy your schedule can be and many of you cannot imagine taking time out of your day to “blog”. Most people think of blogs as places for people to express their thoughts and feelings and nothing more. Wrong! Recently, I was online and showed my husband statistics I read in an article that stated more than 350 million people visit blogs daily. It also stated that if blogs are appropriately placed, they can increase traffic to your business Web site. Web sites such as www.blogspot. com already have the sites configured for blogging, so you don’t have to know anything about Web design or spend a lot of time programming. Templates are already there for uploading content and they require very little effort and cost. Getting friends, family or satisfied customers to blog about your company are also great ways to promote your business.

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