If you run your own business – you probably want to get the word out there so that you can start to grow and increase sales. If that’s the case – then you should already know how important the internet can be for helping you do this. There are tons of hugely powerful marketing tools online that you’d be foolish to ignore.
However, you’d be surprised how many small business owners are stuck in the past and either refuse or are reluctant to actually make the most of online marketing channels. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best ways to market your business online.
Some of these ideas are cost-effective options that could give your venture a huge boost in marketing. In many cases, you can market your business online for free – and spread the word organically to more and more people. So let’s look at how.
Use social media
If you’re ignoring social media – you’re making a massive mistake. It’s a hugely powerful marketing tool that you’d be absolutely foolish to ignore. In many cases, social media can help you grow your business with minimal actual costs. That means you can get more potential customers without spending much of your marketing budget. So how can you do it?
Firstly, you need to offer value to your followers and be proactive in getting more of them. The more followers on your social media accounts, the better – as they can each help spread the word about your business to more people. Every time someone “likes” something you post, they’ll spread the word to their extended friend network. That’s how businesses grow exponentially simply by getting more traction on social media. All these people could be potential new customers.
A lot of online businesses are looking for the next viral sensation. That’s where some of their content really explodes and reaches millions of social media users almost overnight. While this is the dream – you don’t actually have to set your sights this high. Simply provide valuable content to your existing followers and they should reward you.
Try offering exclusive discounts or special offers only to people on social media. Show people behind the scenes or personal videos to get people talking (and sharing).
Apart from valuing your existing followers, you need to encourage more people to follow you in the first place – that’s how things can start snowballing in a good way. So display your social media platforms prominently, print them on receipts, and get your staff mentioning it to customers who visit your store. Aside from helping you get more followers, your existing customers will still be useful to you on social media. It used to be hard to open up this sort of communication channel with customers, but now you can keep them up to date and even learn from them – all of this improves customer loyalty and makes them more likely to return to your business.
Partner with the right authority sites
If you’re aware of other relevant authorities in your industry – try partnering with them. You might be able to send them some syndicated blog posts or even come up with something exclusive for them. These sorts of partnerships are useful for your business for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they provide great backlinks (we’re going to look at that in a minute in more detail). But secondly, they could also provide you directly, relevant traffic from another player in your industry.
Get the best quality backlinks
When Google and other search engines decide how to rank a site for a certain keyword, they look very carefully at the sort of backlinks you’re getting. It’s one of the main ways they calculate relevancy for any keyword term. What this used to means was that the more backlinks from other sites pointing to yours, the better – and the higher you’d rank in their search engine.
This isn’t really the case anymore, and while the volume of backlinks is still somewhat important – it’s not the only barometer. Actually, if most of your backlinks are spammy and worthless, they could even harm your ranking. Now Google really wants to see relevant, quality backlinks coming from high-quality sources. While you’ll still want to get plenty of these, make sure most of your linking strategy is built around attaining links from both relevant sites and those with a lot of authority. That’s why partnering with authority sites in your niche is such a good idea.
People used to be able to spam their way to the top – but that’s a thing of the past, now. So treat your ranking strategy with respect and target the right sort of backlink. There are loads of ways to learn more about exactly how to find the best quality backlinks in your industry.
Target the right keywords
Aside from having links from good quality sources, you also need to target the right sort of keywords. Some search terms simply provide visitors that are less likely to spend money – people who might be looking for a free ride. Things like adding “free” or “download” to a search term rarely provide the visitor that’s going to maximize your profits. Try ignoring those terms and using ones that do provide people who might be likely to spend money – terms like “discount” can work well here.
Provide value to your visitors
Good online marketing strategies are based on high-quality content that people want to see. You might have been able to spam your way to the top in the past, but you can’t anymore.
Keep your calls to action clear and above the fold
Once you’ve got people on your site, you actually want to make sure they’re likely to convert. Keep your distractions to a minimum on your landing pages and offer clear and concise calls-to-action so you don’t lose people from your main offer.
Track your progress and adapt
Use analytical tools like Google Analytics along with other CRM platforms to learn what people are doing on your site and adapt it to improve things even further.
Hopefully, these steps should be enough to get you started – now you can begin to make your online marketing efforts a success.