Marketing your business isn’t as easy as it was in the good old days. Back when searching the net was in its infancy, getting discovered online wasn’t about algorithms, rankings, etc. But thanks to advances in technology and Google’s evolving algorithms, landing as one of the first-page search results is like winning the gold medal, in business anyway. You get almost an unlimited amount of traffic which means more sales. Of course, that’s no easy feat. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to get the exposure you need. If you’re operating on a shoestring budget, there are still some ways you can effectively market your business online.
1. Create a simple website with a free website builder.
Unlike the days of old (when the Internet was still young), creating a website for your business is now easy and, best of all, free. You can find several free website builders online. You can even use Google My Business which allows you to create a simple website in less than 10 minutes from your phone. The best thing about using Google My Business is the fact that your business automatically becomes listed on Google Search, Maps, and Google+. When customers give reviews on your business, it helps you get higher rankings in search results – all for free!
2. Optimize your company website for SEO
If you want your business to be visible in organic search engine results, you’re going to need to learn all about SEO. There are several great online guides on SEO that can help you learn how to optimize your website to perform well on search engines. If you have a bigger budget, you may want to consider hiring an SEO services company.
3. Create social media accounts for your business
Having a website with good SEO isn’t enough to grab the attention of potential customers. Your business will also need a strong social media presence. Aside from creating social media accounts, you should be active on industry Facebook and LinkedIn groups – giving support, insight, and advice to fellow members. Doing these will not only establish you as an expert in your field but also build your company’s reputation and, eventually, your sales. You can also create your own Facebook group, offer discounts on your social media accounts, and share infographics you’ve made to your target audience. The possibilities that you can do with social media are endless.
4. Start a blog
A blog is a great way to communicate directly with your customer. Not only can you share insights on how you run your business or announce new products/services, you can give tips, offer advice, and other valuable information to your customers that will establish your expertise in the field as well as create a better relationship with your customers. Even better, a blog helps your website’s SEO.
5. Get yourself more exposure
Aside from creating your own blog, it would also be ideal if you share your content in other industry blogs. This increases your presence online as well as helps build your reputation. You can also join industry forums and offer helpful advice to any questions posed by members. Even answering questions on Quora can help get your business good exposure. Just make sure you remain active and maintain rapport within the forum’s community without aggressively promoting your business. Don’t get spammy.
6. Take advantage of free email marketing services.
One of the proven methods to market your business online is email marketing. It can help improve sales conversions as well as brand awareness. Plus, email has a larger reach compared to any social media and you can directly send a message to your target audience. There are several free email marketing services that you can use such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Sendinblue. Many of these services even offer marketing tips and strategies. One piece of advice you should take to heart is this: don’t go overly promotional. This is seen most often as ‘spam’ and you’ll find a lot of people unsubscribing to your emails. Instead, make sure you offer something of genuine value. More importantly, don’t bombard them with email even if all the content is valuable. It’s still going to be viewed as spam.
7. Post videos on YouTube.
Video marketing has gone viral. According to the experts, video can lead to 800% more conversion than print or direct mail. In fact, according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Obviously, you’re going to need to get on the bandwagon. But not all videos are going to garner you the attention of customers. The successful videos online often have these characteristics:
- focuses on the story, not the sale; providing value to the customers
- 10 seconds or less; short and to the point
- entertaining, not boring
- optimized for search
Videos can be how-tos/tutorials, testimonials, interviews, and even shorts featuring your company culture.
8. Do press releases
If your business has something newsworthy to share, don’t limit your announcement to your blog and social media accounts. Shoot off a press release through PRWeb or a similar site. It can help stimulate the interest of journalists to cover your story and bring you more exposure.
9. List your business in online directories
You should make sure that your business is included in Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Google Local. Aside from getting much-needed exposure, your listing makes you accessible to customers as well as provide an avenue for feedback. Customers can see your contact information as well as the products/services you provide. And, with some directories, you are able to answer reviews and communicate with your customers.
10. PPC Marketing
While pay-per-click marketing isn’t free, a well-designed PPC campaign can net you more than what you’ll be spending. It can help you grow your customer base and generate leads at a much lower cost. Of course, to create an effective PPC campaign, you’re going to have to learn about a few things such as keyword research and Google Adwords. There are lots of free tutorials and guides that can help you get started. But, if you have the budget for it, you might want to hire a PPC management agency.