Plenty of starting online businesses hate that word, and online marketing can be even more challenging.
As there are websites and competing businesses in just about every niche imaginable, using marketing to stand out from your online peers can seem to be an incredible challenge. This is especially so if you don’t have that much money to put into your marketing budget.
But all is not lost; there are plenty of tips which any online business can use to market their business no matter their financial situation.
Here are 8 such tips to develop a successful online marketing strategy.
1. Don’t Forget your Audience
This is the simplest, yet most important tip of all, as market research is essential to marketing.
- Are there particular demographics you are trying to attract?
- What websites does that demographic frequent?
- What qualities will they be looking for when they look at your product?
- How can you show your product has those qualities?
These are just a few questions which any online business should know the answer to before they plan a marketing strategy.
Come up with a few, good open-ended questions and then conduct your own market research. Be social and ask customers for their thoughts and check what people are saying about your company on social media.
This will help you identify your weaknesses and know what your marketing strategy should look like.
Also, try to get more local customers if it’s possible.
In order to target local consumers, make sure that your company details are available and updated in Google Maps. It would be nice to have several customer reviews with high ratings there.
Also, think about publishing more local information on your blog (e.g. news, sales season performance reports, etc..) or just include geo-specific content everywhere, so that people in a certain geographic area could see it first.
That’s one of the top Internet marketing tips for beginners. Go local in order to make your online marketing for small businesses to deliver fruitful results.
2. Look into Content Marketing
Instead of buying ads on Google or designing some complicated website, you can set up a simple blog or Instagram detailing little facts about your business.
You can take a humanist approach, which shows your business as being a warm and friendly place, or discuss the ins and outs of the industry in a more technical fashion.
As noted above, you have to know what your targeted audience is like and then create content that will cater to them.
Content marketing is less expensive compared to traditional approaches, but it is more challenging. You will need to update your content regularly, think of interesting things to say all the time, and create well-crafted blogs or videos to attract people to your website.
One quick note though: Find the best time to post content onto your website.
What’s the reason to share posts if nobody sees them? It’s logical that you need to share your publications at the time when your audience will see them.
The best time for posting is individual for every brand. So, if you want to create a successful online marketing strategy, you will need to refer to your social media insights.
Luckily, the majority of social media platforms provide businesses with the information regarding their post views, user engagement, customers geographic, their age, as well as the time when people are the most active.
Also, use Google Analytics in order to see when your content is the most popular and share publications around these times for better results.
3. Get Active on Social Media
Even if you create the greatest blog post ever, it does not matter if no one actually reads it.
Places like WordPress are a good way to set up content marketing, but content marketing must be tied into a social media marketing campaign to get it out to potential readers.
That’s one of the coolest digital marketing ideas – to use social media in your online strategy.
Gone are the days when social media was used just for fun. Social media platforms have become the indispensable elements of the online marketing strategies of the majority of the modern-day brands.
By means of social media channels, you can connect, chat, and stream your daily activities right from your smartphones. Using social media channels, you can keep in touch with your customer 24/7, which provide you with the endless opportunities for your own business.
But an active social media strategy does not necessarily mean creating a business account on every social media website. Focus on one of the major social websites and slowly spread out to the others, once you have a reliable following on your first website.
Facebook is probably the default choice, but you can use LinkedIn & Medium if your business is more formal and professional, and Instagram or Pinterest if your business is more casual. And avoid Twitter.
To be more specific, there are a number of online marketing tips to benefit your business while connecting your digital strategy with your daily practices. These include:
- Using private groups for employees. This will encourage all members of your team to join in and discuss work events, schedules, and other things that are going on in your business. By doing so, you can build strong work relationships within your team, which will help your business grow much better than you think.
- Posting content on your social media profile and encouraging the employees to respond on your pages will help you grow the visibility of your business profiles.
- Creating an open Facebook group for customer questions will help you to build a better bond with your clients. This is the place where you can post about novelties that you sell, share product videos, and other kinds of information that people may be interested in.
4. Understand the importance of SEO
A sound social media strategy is very important, but Google remains one of the biggest tools which new customers can use to discover your business.
For that reason, it is important to have a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Remember that Google tracks and ranks websites by how many other pages are linking to them. This means that you’d want to link to other pages, so that those websites may link back to you.
You also need to update your content regularly. If you do, then others will link to the new articles and videos you produce, getting your website higher on search rankings.
Dieter Hsiao, CEO of Mezzologic, believes that companies must take a holistic approach to link building, which means collecting links from multiple channels.
“It’s maximizing a company’s web presence, ensuring that customers can easily find and obtain the information and resources they need – and making it simple and enjoyable to research and buy the company’s products”, says Hsiao.
While there are small tricks you can use to improve your SEO rating – like links and consistently using major keywords – understand that the best way to get high on a Google search is to come out with consistent, quality content.
Words cannot emphasize enough how important content and content marketing can be for any online strategy.
5. Cater to mobile customers
We know that people are using their mobile phones to go online and conduct business more than ever, but we still underestimate just how much.
An April 2016 report from comScore indicates that 65 percent of digital media time is now spent on mobile. Several other reports also echoed the same sentiment.
Consequently, any business must have a mobile strategy. This means that it is necessary to tailor your website so that it is easily navigable by mobile users.
It may be a good idea (if you have the resource, of course) to create a separate website for mobile users, especially if your small business is a retailer or restaurant.
Also look at getting less information in every web page – while people may be spending more time on mobile compared to desktops, they still spend less time per page compared to desktops.
At bare minimum, creating a website which is difficult to access and navigate with a mobile will slow traffic down to your website. Make sure that potential problem is fixed.
6. Fuel your Email Marketing Campaigns & Use PPC Advertising
Despite the growing proliferation of messaging platforms, email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So don’t let the dust settle on your contact lists.
If you haven’t already, start to build an email marketing list. This will take time and patience, but will pay off in the long run.
Once you have a list, start showing people why they should choose you. Test all sorts of email campaigns – such as holiday promotion, returning customer or first-time customer campaigns – and use email to promote your best pieces of content.
PPC is also a good option, especially for the newbies who cannot earn their visits organically. Choose specific keywords that are most closely associated with your product and have your ads displayed in the search engine’s sponsored links.
7. Use Benefits of Online Customer Reviews
As mentioned above, online reviews rank in search engines, thus helping your business to rank higher as well.
Online customers tend to choose products and services that were reviewed by other buyers, which grows the reliability of your brand automatically. Reviews can also encourage the web users to take a specific action, like placing an order or checking out details about your offerings.
For example, local businesses have a number of happy and satisfied customers. For some reason, they forget to remind happy clients to give their honest reviews about the offers they purchased. As a rule, those are the angriest customers that leave reviews about their experience in dealing with a brand.
In order to achieve a balance of positive and negative reviews about your business, push for the customers to leave their honest feedback. This will help your brand to rank higher in the popular search engines.
8. Optimize your Google My Business Page for Local SEO
This is the last, yet not the least effective, online marketing tip on this list.
By using Google Maps, you can grow your business visibility to a great degree. In the digital age, businesses are being found straight from the screens of smartphones. Simply type in the name of your brand in Google search, and you will be provided with a map that reveals how to find the best route to the designated location.
In order to make your business more findable, use Google My Business. With its help, you will get better rankings in the local search, as well as manage to connect your YouTube account, keep the audience updated on your working hours, and share images to brand your business.
Additionally, you can respond to the user reviews via Google My Business, communicate with your customers, handle bad reviews, etc..
Online marketing can be risky, yet it’s worth your time and investments in order to make your online business a success.
Whether you own a small online business or a large corporate project, you shouldn’t ignore using online digital marketing. Creating a perfect mix of offline and online marketing techniques will multiply the chances that your brand becomes more noticeable and profitable.