Owning a small business comes with many challenges. One major challenge is making sure your message is heard when there are so many other businesses competing for the attention of your audience. Here are eight online marketing ideas you can use to get your message out there and increase your brand awareness.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is essentially the set of practices related to producing valuable, relevant, and useful content that is designed to attract your target audience and drive customer conversions. It involves developing blog posts, white papers, videos, webinars, ebooks, etc. that are all provided as free content. The idea is you want to get your audience to engage with you in a way that is less intrusive than traditional marketing and selling approaches. Your goal should be to set yourself up as the expert in your field, so people seek out your content for solutions to their problems.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is a marketing discipline focused on increasing your visibility and ranking within organic search engine results. In essence, search engines use algorithms to identify web pages that are the most relevant to a web search.
These algorithms look at things like content production, keywords, web design, and mobile compatibility to rank search results. While SEO is a rather complex subject, the basic concepts are easy to understand and utilizing it can greatly impact your web presence. There are many free resources available if you wish to educate yourself further.
3. Social Media
Social media is perhaps one of the greatest tools available to marketers today. Whatever audience you are seeking, they can be found on social media. Facebook alone has over 2 billion active monthly users. Also, many of the social networking sites offer analytics and advertising to businesses so they can more accurately target and measure the effectiveness and reach of their posts. Leverage social media as much as possible if you are not already.
4. Online Contests
Using contests are a great way to get customers to engage with you online. You can often post contests on your website or social media pages and build up your followers and subscribers. There are some services you can use to host contests. Rafflecopter is relatively popular, and they make it super easy to set up your contests.
5. Email Marketing
By using the marketing tactics above, you can collect email addresses from your website visitors and social media followers. Once you’ve built up email lists, you can begin sending emails to your subscribers to get them further engaged with your content.
The goal of email marketing is to nurture leads and move them further down your sales funnel. Ultimately, you want to provide enough resources to turn prospects into customers. There are a variety of services available for email marketing campaigns. Some are more expensive than others, but even the more inexpensive ones can be very effective.
6. Utilize Local Searches
When you enter the search “food near me” in Google, the results are populated based on your location. Google uses your geographic location to make searches more relevant to where you are. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this feature in a few ways.
First, claim your business name and address on Google. Second, integrate local stories when possible with your content. Things happening in the local community will be searched for, and you can use these searches to point people back to your website.
7. Web Analytics
Using web analytics isn’t necessarily a marketing tactic, but it will help give you great insight into how your other online campaigns are performing. Google analytics is the most popular option, and it is free to use. However, there are many alternative analytic tools available.
8. Testimonial Case Study
Assuming you didn’t just start your business last week, you probably have a few customers who are raving fans. Find those customers and interview them. Make sure you figure out exactly why they love you and your product so much and how your business helped them solve a problem. Then create a case study to post on your website for other visitors. Customer testimonials are very powerful. Who better to advertise the effectiveness of your products and services than your satisfied customers?
Be Creative, Focus On Content
When creating your small business marketing strategy, remember to be creative and focus on content creation above all. Make your content appear as valuable and helpful to your customers instead of pushing your business. What are some other online marketing ideas that have worked for you?