Today’s small business owners have so many options for marketing their business, we decided to show 8 ways to market your business online. It would seem that the consumer world is awash with opportunity, but when you have a tight budget and limited resources it’s hard to know where to concentrate your efforts for the best return on Investment (ROI). Social media, in general, is free, but it can also be very time consuming, and with traditional print as well as digital advertising low in time expenditure, it can also be high in expense. Both come at a cost to a small business owner so the return on investment can be the deciding factor on which way to go.
In general, when you look at the outlay to ROI, online marketing is a great way to market your small business. It gives you a chance to try out soft selling techniques, get to know your target audience and develop a brand the way your demographic wants to consume it – and all at low cost. Online marketing is both effective and forgiving if marketing is not your forte and your resources are limited.
What the 8 ways to market your business online?
Here are different methods that can really help you increase your market share and bring you closer to your goals:
BLOGGING: If you don’t already have a blog on your website, then consider getting one – pronto! A blog can help your marketing in so many ways. Each time you put up a post you are presenting information in a non-salesy way, offering links for further research and opening up avenues for your target audience to consider and this will increase your credibility as a company. This, in turn, will strengthen your brand and turn you into experts in your chosen field.
Blogging is also a great opportunity to increase your SEO (search engine optimization) so that you can be more easily found on search engines. If you blog at least once a week this fresh content indicates you are still alive and kicking and search engines will drive traffic to your site. If you include some kind of call to action in your blog, that can increase the lead generation abilities of your site.
When you have mastered blogging on your own site you can consider guest blogging on someone else’s site. Guest blogging increases your visibility in the industry, which increases the credibility and the strength of your brand. Typically the guest blogger is allowed to link the blog to the company website, and that provides a valuable backlink.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Being on social media is a no brainer. In almost every market, your audience will be highly active on one platform or another, so it makes financial sense to tap into that resource. Research has proven that even if you use free social media accounts, social media provides more than double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing and email campaigns with none of the cost. That’s a huge win/win.
The best way to start leveraging social media is to set up on one account, one that has the highest users of your product or service, and work it until you own it. Post frequently, making sure it is interesting and relevant, and interact with your target audience. This will bring you a wealth of information about your chosen demographic, and give you the experience to make the most of any social media platform you then move on to.
FACEBOOK ADVERTISING: Did you know that one in every seven minutes of the average Americans life is spent on social media? And the undisputed King of social media is Facebook. Even if you chose another marketing platform to concentrate on as your primary social media, consider a Facebook presence and maintain it enough to do some Facebook advertising. It is relatively cheap, but can be adjusted to suit your audience, locale, and preferences and has a massive audience.
PINTEREST AND INSTAGRAM: If your target audience is women 18-64 and you have a highly visual service to sell, like wedding cakes or fashion, then set up a presence on Pinterest and Instagram. The likelihood is that you are taking photos of your products, so hitting up with the platform will not be too time-consuming. The returns, however, will make a huge difference. For every $1 a female consumer spends on Facebook, research has shown that the same woman will pay $3 in Pinterest or Instagram.
BULK EMAIL: When considering an online marketing campaign, don’t be too quick to give up on emails. If you have an effective database of email addresses then put them to good use and let your interested potential consumers know about what you have to offer – especially if it’s a coupon or other promotion. They are still very effective, and even more effective if you follow up with another email. Up to 25% of all orders are placed after a ‘Don’t miss out! This offer is ending soon’, type of email is sent out.
PPC (Pay Per Click) or GOOGLE ADWORDS: Pay per click and Google Adwords campaigns are a great way to increase the visibility of your company but are a little more sophisticated to run. You really need to know your audience and their preferences before you plow money into either of these campaigns, and you have to be familiar with interpreting marketing data from the platforms you already run. Remember, if you don’t understand the market, you can run up a big bill for clicks that are of no use, but keep it in the back of your mind for when you are ready for the next step in online marketing.
WEBINARS: If you have a computer equipped with a microphone and a camera, and you can whip up a smart slide show presentation, you can do a webinar. This is a brilliant way to interact with your audience and increase your credibility, especially if you already have slide show presentations prepared for other areas of your company. People will tune in to learn what you have to say, which is your chance to convert them into a loyal customer.
PRESS RELEASES: Press releases are a great way to increase your audience, and there are some great companies you can hire to promote your press releases without putting in a huge amount of effort or money. Press release wire services already have a vast network of agencies that they can get your information out to, more than you will have at your disposal and more quickly. You can gain as much exposure a leading brand via a wire service and get in front of their audiences too.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at online marketing for your small business, but keep at it! Do as much as you can. There are many customers out there that need what you have to sell, keep going online and you’ll find them. We hope these 8 ways to market your business online were helpful. Good luck!