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Seven Effective Marketing Methods for Our Ad-Cluttered, Digital Age

Small-business owners have more options today for how to market their products and services than ever before. That means it's more confusing than ever, too. But in a competitive climate, marketing effectively is critical.

So what types of marketing have the most impact in our ad-cluttered world? Here are seven methods to consider:

1. A well-crafted press release. Submitting to big press-release sites, such as PR Newswire or PRWeb, can not only get your business some media coverage, but also really boost your website's rankings in search engines.

2. Outsourced sales forces. Users of this approach report that the return on investment is higher than when housing and supporting staffers, probably because salespeople perform better when they're not being micromanaged.

3. Email marketing. Email remains the killer app. With a basic website, you can capture email addresses, send a newsletter, keep your name in front of prospects, and make that sale.  

4. Digital coupons. The virtual version of this old-school marketing ploy is gaining fast on physical coupons. New tools are evolving digital coupons into a powerful real-time lead conversion tool, so look for this method to only get better.

5. Picking up the phone. With all the digital marketing going on, you could stand out from the pack if you actually talk to prospects.

6. Integrating social media, mobile, and internet. As digital marketing proliferates, companies that pull all their marketing together into a cohesive whole get the advantage. 

7. Pay-per-click ads. Have they gone out of style? Not if you're in industries that perform well in this venue, including local service providers, sellers of obscure products, and software providers. And $7.2 billion in 2011 Adwords purchases by small businesses suggests that some businesses must be seeing it pay off.

What marketing methods are paying off for your business? Leave a comment and let us know your approach.

This article originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

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