Online advertising is slowly taking over more traditional forms of business marketing. In the event you currently have little or no online presence, you will want to jump on the online train so you do not get left behind. Here are some easy steps you can take to boost your exposure and ultimately draw in more customers.
1. Figure Out Your Business Goals
Establishing a marketing plan can be difficult to do without knowing what it is you want to achieve. Your goals could be to increase sales, develop a larger customer database or enhance your social media following and all of those are great goals. However, the more specific you can be with each of them the better off your plan will be. In other words, your goal should not just be to “increase sales.” Instead, it should be to “increase sales by 20 percent by the end of the year.”
2. Build Your Brand
Effective marketing is reliant on knowing what sets your business apart from the competition. Every message you send out through your website, email announcements and social media channels needs to be on-brand. Highlight the aspects of your business that are unique. What is it that you do that is extra special or makes you – you? It could be that you offer the fastest delivery or the most unique styles or the best customer service. Whatever it is, use it in your campaign always – to really brand yourself.
Keep in mind too that your business type will also affect the types of social media pages you utilize. For example, if your business is dependent on visuals, then setting up Instagram and Pinterest accounts would be advantageous as they are both very visual platforms.
3. Utilize Social Media
At the very least you will want to have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. Use these accounts every day if possible and be sure to your followers and customers. If you do not have time to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you.
Most social media pages provide you with metrics, so you can keep track of what posts did well and which ones did not. This allows you to know what type of marketing to focus on going forward. If you have not already posted today, then go ahead and post right now. Give it a try. It’s fun!
4. Develop an Email Campaign for Your Business
Directly emailing people is a great way to stay in your customers’ minds. When people visit your storefront, encourage them to sign up for your mailing list, so they stay in the loop. Some helpful tips for effectively utilizing an email marketing campaign include:
- Emailing frequently enough so you stay in people’s minds – but not so often you annoy anyone (monthly is good)
- Include valuable content your customers will want to read
- Write an interesting subject line so they will open the email
- Include links in the email back to your website and to your social medial channels
- Invite your customers to FB like you, come in to the store or call for an appointent (according to what you do)
5. Implement SEO Practices
Search engine optimization is the practice of using valuable keywords in your company’s online content so that it appears higher up in search engine rankings. Any business with a website can use Google Analytics to determine what local keywords to include. Proper SEO also entails using keywords in URL links and adding meta descriptions and title tags on web pages.
6. Create Shareable Content About Your Business
It is not enough for a business to simply create web pages. You want to be certain the content you are publishing is something people will want to share while still being relevant to your business. As an example, a restaurant could make a blog post about a recipe people can make at home while also promoting new menu items. Your audience will be more likely to engage in the content and share it on their social media pages.
7. Use Special Techniques for Promotions
If your business is offering a temporary promotion, then you need to get the word out fast. Pay per click campaigns are useful in this endeavor because they can be fully customized to meet your needs. You can use geotargeting so that only potential customers in your city see the ads. With these campaigns, it is more beneficial to focus on enticing visuals rather than a lot of text. After the campaign is over, you can view the metrics to see how effective it was and if there is anything that should be changed in the future.
8. Establish Text Campaigns
This is similar to an email campaign in that you have customers give you their mobile phone numbers when they sing up for your newsletter or other name capture element to your website. This way, when you have a special promotion, you can text individuals so they get a notification immediately. You will want to time your messages properly, so people receive them at opportune times of the day. For instance, if you sell pizza via delivery, 3 to 4pm is a good time to send a text message as people are hungry and worrying about what to make for dinner.
Additionally, you want to remain engaging while always staying on brand.
9. Make Your Business Website Mobile Friendly
More people are researching businesses on smartphones than traditional computers. Therefore, it is prudent to ensure your website can be easily viewed, and items ordered, on mobile devices. If it is impossible for someone to look up information about your business on a phone, then he or she will go elsewhere. Your company needs to be accessible from every possible platform.
10. Promote Any News
Customers like feeling as if they are part of the family. If something big happens around your business, feel free to talk about it on social media. This can include hiring a new person or talking about any new inventory that came in.
You can get started on any of these tips today with an eye toward the future. Social media, apps and SEO are not going away so start building your online presence right now. You will be glad you did.
Browse the Business Opportunities blog often for more practical advice to help you build your business.