How To Properly Market Your Business Online
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If you are starting a business, or you already have one, online marketing is a must. Even if you don’t have a lot of money in the early stages of your business, there are plenty of free methods to get you started.
Without an online presence in today’s world, success isn’t going to come easy. The internet is the place to be found. It is a hub where you can promote your business, your products, and engage with people.
There are many ways to market your business online. Some are free, others are not. Depending on where you are with your business, will ultimately be the biggest factor in how you market it.
Here are some ways to help to take you and your business to the next level.
You Need To Be On Social Media
Social media is where your potential customers are. They might not be on all platforms, but they are certainly on some of them. The biggest social media platforms that you should consider using are:
Different social media platforms offer different things. It is up to you to figure out who your target audience is.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the largest social media platforms and are all great for engaging with potential customers. You can create free pages, promote your products, and create engaging content.
LinkedIn is more of a business hub. Here you can engage with other business professionals. Share work stories, advertise positions, and connect with people you would like to learn from.
There are both free and paid versions of LinkedIn. You can always try the free version first, and see if it offers what you’re looking for. If so, try the premium versions and unlock other features.
The best thing you can do, if you are not on social media, is to check out different platforms. See what other businesses are doing. How they promote their products, and how they incorporate ads into their post.
You don’t need to be on all social media platforms, but you should be on a few. If you want your business to reach a wider demographic, you need to be all over the web.
Start A Blog And Be Consistent
Blogging is a great and inexpensive way of growing your business and attracting clientele. There are different platforms you can use to start a blog.
In the beginning, you don’t need to do it every day, once a week is fine. The main thing is consistency. Once you figure out a posting schedule that works for you, stick with it. If you notice more engagement starting to come, then you can add to the number of blogs you write per week. As your blogs become more frequent and gain more attention, you can start adding a call-to-action at the end of the post. This will add people to your email list that you can reach out to at a future time.
Not every potential customer is ready to buy at that exact moment. So letting them contact you, and stay in touch is a great way to attract future sales.
Get Help With Creating And Optimizing A Great Website
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There are plenty of ways to get help in designing a website. If that’s not your niche, you can hire a marketing consultant, or hire freelancers to not only design a website but help you optimize it for visibility as well. With the right team, you can reach your target customers as they will allow you to attract a much wider audience. Here are a few ways that freelancers or consultants can help you with your website:
It isn’t just creating consistent and good content that will earn you a high rank on Google or other platforms. You need to work with SEO consultants who will work on keywords with you that fit search engine algorithms.
Websites like Upwork, Flocksy, and People Per Hour are great ways to find freelance content writers who can help you with blogs, emails, sales letters, press releases, and help with all of the pages on your website as well.
There are plenty of ways to drive people to your website, but what happens once they get there? Hiring a web designer to make your site visually appealing is essential. You only get one first impression, make it a good one
These are part of the process that you can do yourself if you think you have the necessary tools and time. But you most probably don’t.
Once you start creating rich and engaging content, you can reach out to different influencers. Send them some of your stuff, and see if you can create some solid backlinks.
Backlinking is a nice way to get into Google’s algorithm. The way Google sees it is that if someone with credibility is linking to your page, then that gives you credibility.
In Google’s infancy, it was quite easy to get a high ranking. But this also leads to the top results not being the best results. Maybe that’s not always true now either, but at least with a complicated search engine algorithm, it is not as easy to cheat your way to the top.
You need to create valuable content that engages its readers. If you are receiving some engagement in the form of comments, tweets, mentions, or any other various forms, make sure to reply. It is a great way to connect with your customers, but they are also a way to stay relevant in Google’s ranking. Another part of the algorithm recognizes engagement. If they see conversations on your page, they are likely to keep your high rank.
Join Groups And Forums And Be A Part Of The Discussion
Most people can agree that the biggest business turn-off is spam. You create a sales pitch that’s very robotic, and not personal. You fire it off into different groups, forums, emails, and can’t quite figure out why you are not receiving any engagement.
There isn’t a quick and easy way to gain a following. You need to take the time, and put in the effort. Spammy emails aren’t the answer. They look like you don’t care about the opinions of others. You need to have discussions, and build relationships.
Join LinkedIn, and Facebook groups. Whatever your niche is, there’s a strong possibility that there are other like-minded consumers and business people who would like to have a discussion.
Check out these groups, and don’t just post for the sake of posting. Read other people’s inquiries. Answer them with a thoughtful response. Offer solutions to other people’s problems. Show that you are a person. Personality sells.
You Can Offer A Free Product Or Service
In the process of trying to build something and make a profit, offering free services or products can seem like a step backward. But the reality is that it’s two steps forward.
Offering a free consultation or a free new product isn’t giving something away, it’s investing in your company’s future.
With a free 15 minute consultation, you are opening doors. Maybe after the consultation, you upsell a product that could help them with their dilemma. Or if you offer a free product, then you can sell a sister product that goes hand in hand with the freebie.
Even if they don’t purchase anything, you can still get their contact info. Then you can send emails about future deals, and let them know when a product that they are after becomes available.
If not for anything else, you’re making the right steps when you offer to help people without the immediate financial reward. These people will also tell others about their experience. Word of mouth is still one of the greatest marketing foundations.
Try Your Hand At Video Content
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Some people and businesses are hesitant to take a stab at video content. People don’t like hearing their voices, let alone watch themselves on video. But if you can shake that fear, it is another great way to reach a wider audience.
One of the best parts about creating video content is that it can be done on your phone. People that aren’t familiar with video content might think you need a high-quality video with the help of a Hollywood crew, and that just isn’t the case.
To optimize your video, you will need to perform keyword research similar to writing blog posts. Create a strong and concise title, and add the proper tags at the bottom. Make sure that your video is visible. Most importantly, be factual in your video. Have fun with it, tell the truth, and give solid tips. Include a call-to-action at the end. Get people to sign up for emails, and enhance your social media reach.
What Not To Do When Marketing Your Business Online?
We’ve gone through a few ways to help your business grow its online presence.
Getting help in creating a highly optimized website
Joining social media groups and forums and being a part of the discussion
Offering free products and consultations
Adding video content to your repertoire
While social media and different forms of content creation are great, there are also ways that you can hurt your business if you don’t properly use the tools at your disposal.
Not Letting Your Customers Have A Voice
When you are making posts on Facebook, or any other platform for that matter leave room for people to engage.
You can finish your post by asking what their opinion of the post is. You can also try surveys or different promotions that require sharing, tagging, and liking. As mentioned above, if people comment, do your best to answer them
Not Having Your Online Voice Match Your Companies
You need to remember when you are posting and commenting on your company page that it isn’t your comment, it’s your company’s.
Maybe you have a personality that has you joking around a lot, and being sarcastic. That’s fine, but if your business’s voice does not align with that, then don’t use it.
This is all about credibility. If your business model maintains a serious tone, then when you’re operating on the business page that needs to be you.
However, if your business model is to be jokey, and fun-loving, then feel free to use that voice. Just make sure you are aligning yourself with your company’s beliefs.
Being Too Cheap
As mentioned earlier in the article, when you are just getting started, your focus shouldn’t be spending a ton of money. When you’re getting your feet wet you should be more focused on understanding the platforms.
But you need to understand that most platforms, plug-ins, and ads cost money. You need to be able to spend some money to receive a better ROI. Unfortunately, that’s the online world these days.
If you want to incorporate paid ads, better plug-ins on your site and premium versions of the different platforms you are using you’re going to have to spend some money. There’s only so much traction your business can gain organically.
Do some research on the best ways to spend money to increase engagement, and try a few different things. Again, spending isn’t throwing money away, it’s investing. No successful company uses free versions of everything. Everyone spends.
Success is NOT going to happen overnight.
You need to understand that gaining trust, and loyal customers aren’t going to happen overnight. You need to work hard on more than just the technical side. While an aesthetically pleasing website is nice, it isn’t going to gain your trust, until you can back up what your company’s mission is.
Another important point to remember is that there are plenty of other people who are trying to get their business off the ground. It isn’t just you out there. So connect with these individuals on LinkedIn, and talk about the world of business.
Your personality, and willingness to engage, and connect with others is ultimately going to decide your company’s fate.
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