In this day and age, as a business owner, you cannot ignore the power of the internet. The simple truth is that if you want more people to know about your products and services then you need an active online marketing strategy.
For those that are unfamiliar with running a business online, don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through the main steps towards building an effective online marketing strategy. This is a mostly painless process and you will come out the other side better equipped to market your business.
1. Make Sure You Have a Great Website
Before you can truly start marketing your business online, you will need a solid website. The steps you take towards attracting customers are geared towards getting people to visit your site. Get a website up and running that looks and functions in a way that reflects your business and makes a strong impression on your visitors; though, it can’t be all bells and whistles – you need informative content. Content is King! It is the main reason your customers have for coming back to your site. Your customers are also more likely to share helpful content with their friends, family, and co-workers or recommend your site and services.
The goal of an effective marketing strategy is to drive traffic to your website, however, if the content on your site is of little value – your audience will not come back for more, your traffic will not grow and your business could receive negative word-of-mouth. So you need to have an easy to navigate website full of helpful information that your customers will benefit from and share with others.
2. Build an Opt In Email List
Some business owners shy away from email marketing, even scoff at the idea of sending out mass emails, but that is the wrong mindset to have. An opt in email list is not spam! It is a list of people that have CHOSEN to subscribe to your mailing list because you offered them a gift with real value that pertains to their interests and your business.An opt in email list is not spam! Click To Tweet
I’ll give you a quick example – my business revolves around helping online start-ups increase their web traffic. So I set up a landing page with a video entitled “5 Ways to Double Your Traffic in One Month”. In order to view the helpful video, all they have to do is submit their email address.
That’s just one example of how to start building an opt in email list. You are creating the gift of value for your targeted audience; reaching out to potential customers with relevant information that they will benefit from. Your audience is getting something out of it and you are getting something out of it. It may take some time to build your targeted email list, but never make the mistake of buying an email list. Those promotions are often a scam and you could end up shooting yourself in the foot – creating a bad reputation for your business, getting added to spam filters, and losing the trust of potential customers.
3. Engage Customers through Social Media
It seems that just about everyone, from Grandma to school kids, is using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. In fact, a large portion of daily internet usage is devoted to these websites. Research shows that in 2014, 71% of adults used Facebook*, while 23% of adults have a Twitter account. Overall, 74% of all internet users are part of at least one social media network. As of March 2015, Facebook has over 1.4 billion users and Twitter had reached 288 million active users. Ignoring that market base could be detrimental to your success.As of March 2015, Facebook has over 1.4 billion users and Twitter had reached 288 million active users. Click To Tweet
*stats courtesy of https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/
[su_frame align=”right”][/su_frame]Once you get your website up, get your business’s Facebook page and Twitter account set up. They provide a great opportunity for reaching more people. Use social media to drive traffic to a mailing list landing page on your website. Tell engaging stories with relevant information that people can actually use. Link back to specific pages on your website. Starting a discussion or posting interactive forms are a couple of useful methods of getting feedback from your audience. Learn from their comments, listen to what they have to say about the information you provide. Answer any questions that come up and honestly engage your target audience.
Social media advertising is another option to consider. Facebook paid advertising can get your message to hundreds of thousands of people at very little cost – great bang for the buck! Even Twitter is getting involved in advertising and now offers affordable ways to promote your tweets to Twitter users.
Using Social media to drive appropriate traffic to your mailing list landing page, telling stories relevant to your business with links to specific pages, posting interactive forms that ask questions so you can get valuable feedback about the types of problems you should be solving for your audience.Facebook paid advertising can get your message to hundreds of thousands of people at very little cost - great bang for the buck! Click To Tweet
4. Use Quality Video to Inform Potential Customers
One of the most under-utilized forms of marketing online is video, yet it has been shown to be the most effective. You don’t need a large production budget to put together a quality video that provides your potential customers with helpful, relevant information about your services or products. Use high traffic environments, such as YouTube, to post informative videos. Link back to a specific page or article on your website or include opt-in subscription buttons.
5. Create Giveaways with Real Value
Everyone likes free stuff. Create giveaways that have a real value to your customers. Whether you offer discounts on services or free products, your first step is decide what your goal is. Do you want to gain more subscribers for your mailing list or maybe sell a specific product? Determine your goal, choose what you are giving away, and decide how long you want the giveaway to last. Come up with the details of the giveaway, including rules and restrictions, and then set up a landing page where details are provided. When you are ready to start running your promotion, tweet about and share the info on Facebook to get the word out. If your giveaway has real value, it will attract your target audience.If your giveaway has real value, it will attract your target audience. Click To Tweet
Put It All Together
Each of the individual strategies discussed so far can go a long way towards increasing your online presence and attracting customers, but they are much more effective when they work together. Above all else, the content you deliver on your website should be a primary concern. Your overall goal is to drive traffic to the informative content on your website – so remember that content is king. Use your site to create relevant blog articles and then share these stories on social media. Engage people on social media and get a discussion going, link back from your videos to specific landing pages on your site, and create giveaways to gather subscribers.
The whole process has a trickle-down effect, with the end result being more traffic for your site and a stronger connection with your customers. Before moving forward, understand that this can take some time – be patient, develop your strategies, and continue learning from your mistakes and successes. If you want to have a successful business, there is no easy, quick magic bullet. You are going to have to put in some hard work. Study, learn, and research – fail forward, pick up the pieces, and keep on moving towards your goals.