10 Smart Ways to Market Your Business Online.
Running a business goes beyond delivering amazing service or selling quality products. Although that’s something you should do, people are not going to patronise you if they don’t know you exist. You stand the risk of closing down your business if you don’t literally blow your own trumpet. In fact, certain people in your personal network might not even recommend you if they don’t see you market your business. So, it goes to say that to ensure the survival of your business, you have to invest in marketing.
However, many businesses shy away from active marketing because they feel it is too expensive. And they would be right; if we are talking about traditional marketing anyway. Thankfully, online marketing is different. In this digital age, one of the best and cheapest ways to market your business is online. In fact, whether you have a big marketing budget or not, if you are not taking advantage of the internet to market your business, you are wrong. It’s as simple as that. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a neighbourhood shop or not; if you want to scale your business, you should be online.
But how do you go about it? After all, we can all agree that if it is done wrongly, it will yield no result. So, if you are asking, “what are some of the smartest ways to market your business online?” I will be attempting to answer the question in this post. And without further ado, let’s get to it.
Have an Online Presence
I mean, this is obvious. If you want to apply the smart ways to market your business online, you can hardly do that without being on the internet. So yes, you need to have an online presence. Create a website and social media accounts. Your website will serve as your online office, so make sure it is user friendly and responsive.
When creating a website, the best strategy is to implement a look and a feel that would satisfy the picture of a potential customer approaching your front desk and customer service section to get detailed information about your business. You should ask yourself these pertinent questions when creating your website. How do you want your business to be presented? What impression do you want to have on your potential customers? The answers will inform the look and feel of your website. The same applies to your social media accounts as well. Your social media strategies should reflect your brand identity and values. If you need further help with this, you can always reach out to us to build a website or manage your social media account.
Own a Blog and Post Regularly
People want to know that you know what you are doing. And one of the most natural ways to show that you know what you are doing is through blogs. Through blogging, you can write educational and informative articles on your industry that will inform people that you know what you are talking about. And so, can deliver on what you say you can. It can make you an authority in your industry, which can translate to more awareness for your brand. Apart from that, blogging is a great way to draw traffic to your website, especially if your blogs are optimised for search engines. Remember, however, that you have to be consistent with putting out quality articles to reap the benefits of blogging.
Take Advantage of SEO
I mentioned optimising your blogs for search engines (SEO) earlier. To get more results, however, you should not only optimise your blogs but your whole website. SEO basically helps give your website more visibility amongst the millions of other websites on the internet. Your rank on search results depends largely on how effective your SEO strategies are. So, you need to make sure to implement SEO to give your site better chances of ranking.
There are different types of SEO and each of them is important to your ranking on search engines. Let’s take a further look at each of them.
- On-Page SEO: This is the aspect of SEO focused on your content. For this, you have to make sure to select a relevant keyword and make sure to apply the keyword in the body of your text, URL and metadata.
- Off-Page SEO: This concerns links from external sites to yours. When external websites link to yours, it increases your credibility to search engines and helps you rank higher.
- Technical SEO: As the name implies, this means all the SEO tactics applied to the technical aspects of your website.
You can read our article on effective SEO strategies to apply to your website for more on this.
Create a Business Account
I already mentioned creating a social media account earlier but I need to emphasise that a business account is different from a personal account. On Facebook, for instance, a business account will mean creating a ‘page’ as against creating a normal account. Having a business account not only increases your credibility, it also gives you access to analytics that you will not enjoy as a personal account. Also, separating the two allows you to make your personal page about you and your business page about your business without crossing the line. However, remember that your personal page should still reflect what you do and you should still mind what you do with it as it could affect your business. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily need to apply if yours is a personal brand.
Engage on Social Media
Engaging on social media is underestimated but it is one of the best ways to market your business online. People will most likely only engage with brands that engage with them. And this starts with your posts. Make sure your posts are engaging enough to compel your followers to contribute. And when they do, reply, share or retweet. When people feel seen or acknowledged, they will respond in kind. So, instead of just looking to sell all the time, spend time building relationships as well.
Contribute to Professional/Industry Forum
Join and participate in forums. However, don’t just visit forums and spam threads with links; try to add value. Be as natural as possible while trying to market your business. For instance, don’t just join a forum today and immediately start dropping links. Trust that very few people will be interested in clicking it and you risk being sent out. What you should do instead is engage, add value, answer and ask questions, talk to people. Then, you can drop your link while engaging. In fact, while adding a valuable comment, you could refer them to a link to your website that addresses the issue in-depth.
Monitor Your Competitors
Yes, you heard – read – that right! Best believe that one smart way to market your business online is to monitor your competitors; and closely too. You should follow certain key competitors and even industry giants or influencers. And you also need to monitor them to see what they are doing right and doing wrong. You can learn a lot and get a lot of marketing inspiration from your competitors.
Create an Account on Business Listing Sites
If you are running a local business, especially, you should take advantage of listing your business on local listing sites. This is so potential customers searching for businesses like yours around their geographical location can find you. Listing sites like Google My Business, Facebook, Glassdoor and Yelp can be very effective in directing traffic to your website. Learn more about setting up and getting the most of Google My Business.
Run PPC Ads
PPC (Pay Per Click) ads is another great way to market your business online. Although this requires payment, it is cheaper than most traditional marketing channels. And if done properly, you can quickly reach your goals because the ads are targeted to the people who are most likely to be interested in a business like yours. All you have to do is identify certain metrics of your target audience, such as location, interest, age and so on. That way, you can target potential leads that you can likely convert.
Run Email Marketing Campaigns
And last but definitely not least, engaging your customers by sending them regular email campaigns is one effective way to market your business online. If you don’t want your customers to forget about you, you need to send them periodic emails to either let them know about new deals, products or invite them for events and so on. Remember, however, not to spam them. If you do, they will likely unsubscribe. So, the best practice is not to spam but to send valuable emails consistently.
And that’s it; 10 smart ways to market your business online. If you enjoyed reading, kindly let us know in the comment section below.