The way you choose to market your business can affect everything; from the way your brand is perceived, to the customers you reach, to how well you do financially. Unfortunately, marketing in the traditional sense can be very expensive. Businesses can spend thousands, even millions, on advertising and marketing campaigns. Most small to medium-sized businesses don’t have large advertising budgets to play with and are restricted on what channels to use.
The internet not only makes marketing a much cheaper option, but it even allows you to reach a global audience almost on a shoestring.
There are online, low-cost advertising and promotional tools at your disposal that can create the awareness your business needs. No matter who your target customers are, it is more than likely that they will be net-savvy. They will be comfortable buying and searching for products and services on the web.
As a business owner, it is vital that you have a good online presence so you can guarantee your customers’ accessibility. It also facilitates the search of information to those who would like to know more about what you offer.
Here are some basic tools and resources that you should be using to promote your business on the Internet and reach a brand-new audience:
Set Up Your Own Website
It may sound obvious, but it is surprising how many local bricks and mortar businesses still don’t have a website.
It is so easy to do and is not expensive. You could create your own website, or you can partner with a company like ours to set it for you. A website is the fraction of the price of traditional offline premises and yet it is open 24 hours a day and can be seen by anybody from anywhere in the world.
It is important for your website to have a nice clean layout and easy navigation. It should be filled with useful and interesting information to prompt customers to keep exploring instead of leaving in a hurry. Think about what you can offer them, so they stay and learn about you.
Make sure you add helpful articles and how-to information about your products and services. Help your visitors get to know you by telling them about you, your employees and company events and news. Offer freebies like downloadable reports or money-off coupons.
If you can show your customers that you care and value them, they will be impressed and reward your generosity by remaining loyal to you.
Over time your site will get ranked highly in the search engines and you will receive more business from the people who are searching for your products and services.
This really is one of those occasions where having advice from a professional web designer is really a good investment. It will pay for itself many times over, quickly.
Use YouTube to Promote Your Business
YouTube is not just for watching videos of piano-playing cats or people doing silly pranks. It is an extremely important marketing tool and almost every major business uses it to market their brand.
So how can your small business use YouTube to attract thousands of new visitors every day?
Here are some of the creative ways you can use:
- Create videos to educate your customers on your new inventory or promotions.
- Introduce members of your staff to create authenticity and loyalty.
- Use videos to answer Frequently Asked Questions or comments from your visitors.
- Give visitors a virtual tour around your premises.
- Include video testimonial of past customers to strengthen your reputation.
Contact us for more innovative ideas. It is one of the best ways to engage with your customers and ensure that many more people visit your site and buy from you.
Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising
While it is your aim to get organically ranked high in the search engines, pay-per-click is the perfect way to give your marketing a kick-start. It is relatively cheap and easy when you consider how many potential customers can be reached. Not only that, but you are in complete control of how much you spend.
You simply set a price that you would be willing to pay whenever someone clicks on your ad. You only pay if they click.
This ad format allows you to set a daily advertising budget. You have the freedom to cancel and restart your advertisement whenever you want, and it is highly targeted only to those people who are actively searching for your products or services.
Participate in Forums and Blogs
This is a very effective way to help promote your products or services. It allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field and as someone who genuinely wants to solve people’s problems by providing a solution.
First, locate which forums and blogs your target customers visit and then patiently observe how others respond on the forum. You need to make sure the forum/blog owner allows businesses to link their posts back to their website. This will become a very effective way of marketing and telling people about your product and services by providing genuinely helpful advice and suggestions. You can also share information on your own website blog.
Promotion Made Easy with Email Marketing
Email marketing is an efficient, fast and cost-effective way to promote your product, service, event or special promotions.
You can create lists of customers, or potential customers by encouraging them to give you their name and email address. This will allow you to keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
Some businesses worry about email marketing because they fear it will annoy their customers and make them view their emails as spam. If the emails were unsolicited, then it will most likely happen, which is why we highly recommend not to do this.
However, by encouraging your visitors to opt-in to your mailing list themselves, they are giving you their permission to contact them and are actually requesting news and updates from you.
It is well worth investing time making the email worth your reader’s time. Think about the email you would like to read if you were them. They don’t want to receive the hard sell in endless sales pitches.
Prepare a simple newsletter filled with useful information and include news about your new products and services. Give anecdotes and experiences of how the product or service can improve their lives or solve a particular problem.
Despite it being one of the most effective means of marketing, it can also have the power to turn people right off you and your company if handled wrong. If this is something that you are worried about, please contact us for advice first. Once you have learned how to master email marketing you will discover that it is one of the most profitable and rewarding marketing strategies that you will ever use.
If You Are Not Already On It…. Get on Facebook
With over a billion users, the chances are that your customers and potential customers are already on Facebook. Your business should be there too.
Use Facebook Ads, updates and Fan pages to keep fans posted on your business happenings.
The whole point of being on Facebook is to engage with your existing and potential customers. It is vital that you keep your updates relevant and interesting. Don’t just talk about you and your business. Facebook users do not go on Facebook to read sales pitches.
Instead, share anecdotes, news items and comments about things you have seen on fan pages. Ask for options, share images and hold competitions for customers to win small prizes. The idea is to make use of every opportunity to interact with your fans online.
Take Your Business to Twitter
Choose a snappy Twitter username related to your business and start Tweeting updates.
Twitter is a conversation and not just a place to push your products and services. The conversation often moves faster than Facebook posts.
Try to imagine Twitter to be like a steady flowing river. Whenever you post, your message makes a bit of impact then gently flows away and more posts take its place. Not all of your followers might see your post so that is why it is a good idea to post often and regularly.
Your Twitter posts should build trust and be interesting to your Twitter followers. As well as business information share some fun things too like photographs, inspirational quotes, and messages as well as re-tweeting some of the posts that your followers make.
A good tip to get more people to see your posts is to link your website to your Twitter feed so that more of your customers can see the Tweets that you have made.
It is not necessary to sit around all day Tweeting. There are lots of tools you can use that will allow you to schedule your Tweets at specific times while you are running your offline business.
Become Interesting on Pinterest
The internet is much less word-based and is more visual. That is one of the reasons why Pinterest has caught the public’s imagination and is such a popular social media platform.
Your company can make the most of this by feeding in gorgeous shots of your business and products.
Make the images interesting and attractive so that your visitors will want to share them.
As with any sort of advertising, focus on what makes your products unique and interesting. Make the item or service desirable and try to capture that in your photographs.
Use SurveyMonkey to Collect Valuable Information for Your Business
If you need a way to learn more about your customers, validate ideas with potential customers, or make sure you’re delivering what your existing customers want, then a survey is a great tool.
SurveyMonkey is perfect for keeping an eye on the pulse of your customers. In general, people love surveys and to be asked their opinion. Ask people what they want or what they think about your products or services and they will be quick to tell you. Remember to keep the survey short and interesting – and be prepared for honesty!
You can link to Surveymonkey using your website, Twitter, Facebook and Google My Business account.
These are some of the ways you can promote your business online. If you are interested in more effective online marketing strategies don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 888-928-4587. We will help your business reach a brand new audience and thrive online!
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