Whether you’re in the process of launching a new business or already have one, having a strong online presence for your brand is extremely important. In fact, consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else.
In this post, we look at the benefits of digital marketing and ways you can use online platforms to grow your business.
What is online marketing?
Online marketing, also known as digital marketing, is the promotion of businesses on the internet. This includes marketing via a website, email, social media, web-based advertising, text and multimedia communications.
Advantages of online marketing for your business
1. Online marketing allows you to demonstrate your expertise in a variety of ways
The challenge for you as a business is not acquiring the necessary expertise but demonstrating that expertise to the market. Basically in a sea of other experts in your field, you want when someone wants to engage an expert, they choose you.
Writing articles on your website, industry blogs or magazines boot’s your reputation and stimulates discussion.
Blogging, social media and webinars allow you to both educate and demonstrate your expertise to your audience on topics that are important to them.
2. Utilize online marketing to establish and build successful business relationships
Online marketing enables you to form new relationships in a focused manner that was not possible a few years ago. For example, email marketing allows you to send targeted messages to audiences that have already shown interest in your product or service.
You can utilize LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups to identify, engage and network with other industry leaders continuously.
3. You can target specific niches or customers
Online marketing allows you to target a specific audience that wants the product or services you offer.
For example, Facebook and Google ads allow you to target an audience based on interest, location, age, gender and many other factors. If you run a cloth store, you can target young or mature clients based on fashion. Engaging in groups or industry hashtags on social media can help you easily narrow down a niche.
4. No geographical or time zone restrictions
Your target audience’s reach is not limited by geography and time of day. You can advertise your product or service to audiences within your town or around the world at any time if you want to.
You can organize international online seminars from the comfort of your office or home. This can help you establish international partnerships, get customers and investors for your business.
5. Online marketing lowers your advertising costs
It is much cheaper for you to get leads through online marketing compared to T.V, radio and print media. If you have ever tried to put an advert in the newspaper, T.V or radio, you know it does not come cheap. With internet marketing, there are no billboards, license fees, travel, or printing expenditures to deliver content. On the other hand, hosting and online advert expenses are minimal.
How to promote your small business online
1. Get a website
If you already have a website, that is great. If you do not have a website or want your website refurbished, click here. Whether you operate a hardware or clothes store, or any sort of small business, a good website is critical to online marketing success.
Here are six main reasons why you need a website for your business:
- A website boosts your online presence: Customers searching the internet for solutions in your sector will easily find you.
- Improves your credibility: Let’s be honest, we leave in a time where every business credibility is put to the test. You have to prove your credibility inorder to get good business. A website gives your business a face and acts as proof of its existence online. It also conveys that you are serious about your business and willing to deal with a diverse group of clientele.
- Expands your business: A website can be viewed from any location on the planet. Reach out to a broader audience to attract business from outside your city.
- Make more sales: An eCommerce website provides you with a new sales channel. You don’t have to limit yourself to selling things in your physical store.
- Availability around the clock: Even if your physical store or office is closed at night, your online store continues to sell and produce cash by catering to customers at their leisure. A website advertises your business around the clock, 365 days a year.
- Save money: At the point of sale, newspaper ads, catalogs, and brochures can still be valuable, but what if the item information changes? It is significantly less expensive to have the relevant information on your website, where it can be updated more easily.
- You can conduct product/service research: Using visitor data collected from your website, you can etablish the type of product, content or service your prospective clients are most interested in. Website analytics is a handy tool for you when setting up a marketing campaign.
Why do you still need a website even if you have social media accounts?
Let us take some timeout. Open a new tab and type on your search bar any service or product that comes to mind. For example, search for ‘dry cleaners near me’. How many Facebook pages or profiles appear in the results? NONE. How many Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts appear in your search results? NONE.
The first and second page of Google search results is dominated by well optimized websites. If you want to appear on top of Google search results, you need to get a well optimized website.
Another reason: All of your content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms do not belong to you. Changes in social media algorithms may cause your business to drop off the map and out of the newsfeed. This is an intentional effort to force you into spending money advertising on the platforms you use. Having your own website puts you in 100% control. Your website will always be ready to represent your business or organization.
Here are examples of websites and concepts from different industries. You can click on an image to view the respective website
Get a stunning website
Boost your online branding and get more business with a professional blog, portfolio, or online shop.
2. Set up a Google Business Profile
When you search for a term on Google, for example, ‘graphic artists near me’, on the right side of the search results page, you will see business names appear with contact details and reviews. They appear there according to data submitted to Google via Google Business Profile manager.
Google Business Profile helps you manage how your business shows up across Google products, like Maps and Search. If you run a business that serves customers at a particular location, or you serve customers within a designated service area, your Business Profile can help people find you. Verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to be considered reputable.
Imagine yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. This customer is 200 meters from your storefront and looking for exactly what you do best in the neighborhood — maybe a friend recommended your business to them. If they search for your services on Google, what will they find?
Your presence through your Business Profile can help customers discover the products and services that you provide, contact you, and find your location. Set up your Google Business Profile
3. Up your social media game
Set up business pages on all social media platforms. Borrow page branding color from your website.
Here is where you will regularly post your videos, articles, products and images based on what you do. Ensure also to join Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups related to your field. Here you can join and contribute to topics you are familiar with.
Join and contribute to Twitter space discussions related to your field. It will build your reputation as an expert in your field. People will start inviting you as an expert to large audience discussions, helping you build a following you can convert to customers.
Post your article as an informative Twitter thread. Well written Twitter threads generate insightful discussions in the comments section. People will ask questions, others will even share ideas. From these discussions, people get to know about your business. Post Twitter threads regularly and it will boost your brand.
Post quality reliable content on a regular basis and link back to your website in order to boost your SEO.
NB: Not all content will resonate with your audience. That is normal. Try out posting different articles, products, videos and images to test what works best with your audience.
There is much you can do with social media to advertise your business without even using a cent out of your pocket. If you need help leveraging social media to your advantage, put your question in the comment section below.
4. Search Engine Optimization Marketing (SEO Marketing)
SEO is a short form for “Search Engine Optimization.” SEO refers to the process of improving your website so that it appears on top of search results when people search for keywords related to your business on Google, Bing and other search engines. The higher the ranking of your pages in search results, the more likely people will click on your site. This will help you attract new clients to your business.
Today, the most essential factors to consider while optimizing a web page are as follows:
- Quality of your content. Ever searched, read an article, and felt like shaking the hand of the author because of the helpful information they shared with you? Yes, that is what search engines consider high-quality content. If the content on your site helps others in one way or another, search engines will reward you with higher rankings. No need to try to game the system, just share well-researched and informative content.
- Level of user engagement. A high level of user engagement goes hand in hand with the quality of your content. For example, if a reader reads your article all the way to the end, that is considered high-level user engagement. It sends a good signal to search engines. If your article was boring or not informative, the reader will abandon it midway, sending not-so-good signals to search engines. High-level user engagement signals to search engines that your content is of good quality and as a result, you get rewarded with high rankings in search results.
- Mobile-friendliness. Back in 2020, Google announced mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing means Google mainly uses the mobile version of your web pages for indexing and ranking. If users cannot easily access your website via smartphone, Google will not give it a good ranking compared to when it is easily accessible via smartphone. Make an effort to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Page load time. Google officially announced that page load time is a ranking factor when it comes to indexing. What does this mean? Page load time goes hand in hand with user experience. It is more enjoyable to browse a website that loads FAST. A slow website provides a poor user experience. Google wants to serve users with websites that provide quality content FAST. Your website may have good content but if it doesn’t load on time, this can frustrate your users therefore negatively affecting your ranking. Ensure your website is well designed and coded to load FAST.
Consumers do billions of searches every day, sometimes for commercial purposes to obtain information about products and services. SEO is a critical component of digital marketing. Your website’s major source of internet traffic is normally from search, which is complemented by other marketing channels. Better placement in search results than your competitors can have a significant influence on your bottom line.
5. Try affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model where a business pays out a commission to people who send successful referrals. In most cases, you will find a brand approaches a social media personality that has a big number of followers or subscribers. The social media personality pitches this brand’s product or service to their followers or subscribers. Then they share an affiliate link to the brand’s respective product or service. Every time someone makes a purchase from the link, the social media personality gets a commission from the sale.
Here is how you can utilize affiliate marketing for your business.
- First, set up an affiliate program or network for your product or service. Put in place incentives or commission fees for every successful business referral you get.
- Second, approach popular and reputable social media personalities or brands with your offer. It is recommended to deal with someone familiar with what you offer. Because they will sell it at relative ease.
6. Be consistent with content marketing
Content marketing involves developing and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media to attract and retain an audience. This strategy creates expertise, raises brand awareness, and keeps your business at the forefront of people’s minds when they need to buy what you sell.
The general population may not understand how your products might help them. It is your responsibility to teach them the benefits of your products. This is where content marketing comes into the picture. You can educate consumers about the benefits of using your products or services through blog articles and videos.
7. Email marketing
Email marketing involves sending advertisements usually to a group of people, seeking business, or encouraging purchases or donations by email.
Prospects become customers, and one-time purchases become loyal, adoring fans, when marketing emails are sent effectively.
Online marketing offers a variety of effective and affordable methods for expanding your business’s reach.
The above tips may appear to be time demanding but they are essential for your business survival. Traditional marketing is becoming too expensive or obsolete while online marketing is becoming a requirement.
You don’t have to do it yourself if you don’t have the time. We create websites and provide effective online marketing consulting to businesses like yours. Get in touch with us today to create an online marketing strategy for your business.
Get a stunning website
Boost your online branding and get more business with a professional blog, portfolio, or online shop today.