When it comes to online marketing, it’s easy to spend thousands of dollars getting your product or business name out there. Alternately, it’s easy to get so busy that you forget about marketing altogether, which makes your company virtually invisible to customers who may be searching for it. Fortunately, there’s a middle ground.
While you don’t have to spend your entire budget on expensive marketing tactics, online marketing also doesn’t have to be something that’s difficult and time-consuming. In today’s web climate, there are plenty of ways for small businesses to market themselves without going broke or crazy. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Six Online Marketing Tips for Your Small Business
- Make the most of online review sites
Online reviews are some of the most powerful ways to get noticed online. Most consumers trust online reviews exactly as much as they would trust a personal recommendation from a friend, so it’s incredibly important to make as much of your online review presence as possible. The following are some of the web-based review sites available to small businesses:
- Google My Business: You can set up a Google My Business page in a matter of minutes. Once you’ve created your listing, your business will be added to Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+, so customers can find and review your company much easier. This is an especially important step for local businesses with a physical presence, as Google tends to give some increased importance to local business reviews. To get the most out of your Google My Business listing, be sure your listing is complete with contact information, and an up-to-date business description.
- Yelp: As the most prominent online review site out there, Yelp is a great place to build up your web presence and start drawing new customers. Creating a profile is free and it’s a simple step toward spreading the word about your business.
- Yahoo Local: If you’re looking for an effective, free way to get noticed online, look no further than Yahoo Local. Yahoo Local is a free business directory that links in to the Yahoo maps and events system for maximum reach.
- Join Social Media Groups
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes and, when used correctly, it can be a huge boon for any company that needs some free online advertising. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ all offer groups for a variety of industry niches. By joining a relevant group and getting involved by asking and answering industry-related questions and posting content, you can draw awareness to your brand and drive customers back to your site. There are many ways to find social media groups, from searching for keywords to looking into the groups your friends or connections have joined. To get started, join two or three that appeal to you and then branch out from there.
Today, upwards of 70% of customers learn about a company through its blog rather than through paid advertisements. What’s more, 60% of customers are willing to purchase a product based on a blog post they’ve read. In light of this, it’s clear that building and maintaining a business blog is a fantastic way to get the word out about your brand. By setting up a blog and using it to post relevant content, you can draw readers easily and naturally while also spreading the word about your brand.
- Build a Facebook business page
While we’ve already talked about using Facebook and other social media platforms to interact with groups, building a Facebook business page is one of the easiest ways to build some awareness about your company. According to CIO, Americans spend a minute out of every seven minutes on social media, so building yourself a business Facebook page may be one of the easiest ways to connect with a huge volume of followers all at once.
In order to get the most out of your Facebook business page, ensure that you’re adding plenty of high-quality visuals (of your space and the services you provide), that you’ve included all of your name, address and phone number (NAP) information, and that you interact often. A stale social media profile is worse than no profile at all, so keep busy.
- Make the most of your email list
If you don’t have an email opt-in box on your website or blog, you’re missing out. Email marketing can be a hugely effective way to reach your readers and provide them with valuable content and material, which in turn encourages them to interact with your brand and make purchases from your company. Installing an email opt-in box is simple and, once you’ve begun to build a list of subscribers, it’s easy to market yourself effectively using an automated email service, like MailChimp.
- Try your hand at PPC
PPC – or pay-per-click ads – are a great way for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to be as specific as possible with their marketing budgets. Because PPCs allow you to target your advertisements, they’re a great way to get the most advertising value for your money. Google AdWords is the most popular PPC platform out there and it’s where most SMBs start with PPCs. In order to ensure that your campaign is as effective as possible, test your keywords beforehand and ensure that you’re utilizing some form of tracking metric so that you can learn what’s working and what’s not.
Online marketing is important but it’s something that far too many SMBs overlook. Fortunately, these simple marketing tips can help you get out there and expand your online presence, no matter what industry you specialize in. If you’re still struggling to find a marketing plan that works for you, you may benefit from bringing in the experts. At Strider SEO, our team of experts can evaluate your company to help you build the perfect online marketing strategy. Contact us today to learn more!