Regardless of the size of your business, whether it is a large company or a small to midsize one, marketing your business online is an excellent way to attract consumers. Even if you have a restrictive budget, you can still engage in online marketing, as it is one of the lowest-cost ways to market your business. Whether your “team” consists of one person or many, learning how to market your business online doesn’t have to be overly-difficult. In this article, we will give you five ways to market your business online.
#1: Get on social media (start with Facebook and Twitter).
According to the CMO Council, 71% of Internet users are more likely to buy a product from a brand that they follow on social media sites. Currently, Twitter has the highest “conversion rate” (which is the number of “goal achievements” such as products bought or contact information filled out divided by the number of visitors to the site) for social media, with a rate of 2.17%. For reference, the average for the rest of the social media sites is 1.6%. Clearly, getting on social media is a good step to online marketing.
When you get on social media, start following people in your area (Twitter has a mechanism you can use to do so), other local businesses, and people who show an interest in the industry that you are part of. Use popular hashtags when applicable, and dedicate time to increasing your social media presence.
#2: Embrace content marketing—start a blog.
“Content marketing,” according to the Content Marketing Institute, is “non-interruption marketing.” Basically, you’re providing information to customers without the direct intention of selling something. It’s not a product pitch. Starting a blog is a way to do this. For example, if your business has something to do with green energy (like solar panel installation, selling hybrid cars, etc.), you could start a blog that keeps people updated on new innovations in the industry. You won’t be selling them anything; there’s no sales pitch. This is just content provision that customers will find intriguing and useful. The success of content marketing is indisputable. According to the CMO Council, content marketing “generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing.” It also costs 62% less.
#3: Master the art of SEO marketing.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” and it has a simple purpose: getting your site more hits on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search engines. Most people don’t go past the first page when they are looking something up. Search engines are wildly popular—Google has billions of searches a month. Basically (and this is a slightly reductionist definition) SEO content helps you structure your website in a way that will make it popular on search engines.
#4: Use multimedia.
Depending on the industry you’re in, you don’t have to stick to just words on a page or social sites without other media attached. Make sure that you’re including pictures and videos, and you can get on YouTube or Pinterest to do so. If your business involves installation, for example, you can make “before and after” videos of your process. You can also take content marketing to the YouTube sphere, making quick “how to” videos where applicable.
#5: Register with “Google Places” (or “Yahoo! Local”).
Register your business with Google Places, and it will show up on Google Maps. This will greatly increase your visibility to consumers who aren’t familiar with where you are located. Think of it almost as another search engine possibility. A similar site you can register on is Yahoo! Local.
Online marketing is vitally important for any business owner looking to attract consumers and broaden their customer base. Your company doesn’t have to be huge with a 20+ person social media team to get into the online marketing scene. All it takes is extra time and dedication.