How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of Online Marketing
The tools and techniques available for online marketing have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. It is now easier than ever for small businesses to get their products, and their brand, in front of as many people as possible for a fraction of what it used to cost.
Small business owners are particularly in need of efficient marketing methods. Certainly, they can ill afford to squander their money on anything less than a well-optimized strategy. More small business owners are now waking up to the potential offered by online marketing. And this is especially when you compare its merits and price against other methods.
However, while many small business owners understand, in principle at least, that they ought to be pursuing a digital marketing strategy, a significant number don’t know how to go about it.
It is a problem which can be circumvented by outsourcing your digital marketing – something which is indeed worth considering if you need to keep costs down. By outsourcing your marketing work to an outside agency, you defer some of the costs involved to that agency. For example, if your digital campaign includes video elements, an agency will bear the costs of equipment and editing.
You can also choose to outsource some aspects of your marketing and not others. Perhaps your business is actually in the perfect position to handle shooting your own video. Your particular outsourcing needs could be Content Marketing or SEO services, for instance.
Focus on Content Marketing
Talking of Content marketing… It is the quickest and most effective way of building up trust and authority in the eyes of your audience. If you want your digital marketing to propel your business forward, content marketing will offer you one of the best ROIs around.
Blog posts are probably still the most popular form of content marketing. But videos, vlogs, newsletters, and a variety of other mediums are also used. It’s best to take a multi-faceted approach and spread your content marketing across different mediums and platforms. That’s the best way to maximize the efficiency of this aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
Use Social Media (the Right Way)
Social media is the most significant marketing platform in the world. Until relatively recently, there were three major social media platforms upon which businesses focused their marketing efforts – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Many new sites popped up though, such as Instagram, Periscope, Pinterest, and yes, Google+. The latter has been dismissed by many, but has recently reinvented itself yet again, and is well worth a fresh look.
It’s easy for any business to establish a presence on social media. But it’s also too easy to squander the opportunities on offer. For one thing, social media profiles that are too corporate will fail in their objective. You want your social media profile to look like an actual person is managing it. Having that friendly, personal factor will encourage customer engagement and maximize the audience for any marketing via the platform.
Learn Your SEO Situation
When done without preliminary research, and constant control of results, SEO is a bottomless sinkhole. It will gobble up as much money as you happen to pour in it. And for a small business, it may well be an expense that will break the spine of your company.
That is why finding out where you currently stand is a must if you want to put every dollar to good use. First, you should have at least a basic understanding of SEO. Alternatively, hire or consult a specialist. Secondly, you should regularly run SEO analysis using tools like SEMRush or SEO Analyzer. Better yet, use several tools – many of them are free, so you are not losing anything.
The most important factor you should look for are the keywords you rank for. Place them in title, description and header tags. As you learn more about SEO, you will find out other things you should keep an eye on.
Do Regular Keyword Research
If you think that you can define your keywords and then use them for months or even years, you are entirely wrong. Keep in mind that search engine algorithms change regularly, Also, your competitors are consistently hard at work to improve their positions. So the situation can suddenly change, leaving you with an outdated and barely functional set of keywords. So make sure you run Google Keyword Planner at least once a week.
Get in Touch with Industry Influencers
People are 71 percent more likely to purchase a product if it receives an endorsement from an industry influencer they trust. And one of the best and easiest ways to attract the attention of an influencer is to give him or her a free sample of your product or service. Of course, if you need to be reasonably sure s/he will provide you with a positive review. So try to do some preliminary research about this person’s tastes and preferences.
Don’t Leave Online Reviews without Replies
Online reviews have become an important part of web business landscape, and you should use that to your advantage. Although we all know that at least some online consumer reviews are fakes, on average people are still more likely to trust them than direct marketing messages.
By looking for reviews of your products, both positive and negative, and replying to them, you show that you provide excellent service and care about the opinion of your customers. However, make sure always to be nice – even if you are overfilled with emotions after reading a nasty review. Answering it politely and acknowledging the reasons for the customer’s dissatisfaction will do you much more good than the short-lived pleasure of answering in kind.
Adopting a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is the most effective way for any small business to grow their reach and expand their user base. When executed properly, a digital marketing campaign can completely transform a business’ fortunes.
Over To You
Do you have any comments on what you’ve just read? Do you perhaps favor a strategy not mentioned above? Please share your thoughts with your fellow readers. Thanks!
You may also want to read: Why Small Businesses Must Never Compromise on SEO
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_mishoo‘ / 123RF Stock Photo