One of the common mistakes that many small business owners make is making marketing play second fiddle to running their businesses. They concentrate on ensuring their employee perform, and customers are happy and dedicate a limited time to developing a marketing strategy.
Marketing is the fuel that drives brand advertising to generate leads that ultimately result in higher sales. Since we are in a digital age, we will highlight the best online marketing strategies that any small business owner can use to advertise effectively and market the business.
1. Have an Email Marketing List
Starting an email-marketing list is not as hard as many people think. Just look at the many emails from different people and companies that flood your inbox.
How do they get your email or your contact information? The probable answer is from the sign-up services they incentivized you to register for when doing their online promotion. It is that simple.
2. Make Use of the Email Marketing List
Email marketing is an effective and fast way of driving or starting a marketing campaign for your business. The game here is simple because, with each email, you are sending a specific message directly to your target audience able to reach them via their computers or portable devices that have internet access.
The best bit is email marketing is a free marketing strategy that gives huge results just as long as you keep sending inciting and engaging emails.
3. Focus On User Experience
Online marketing is a cutthroat strategy that takes no side. It does not matter where you are an upcoming business or an established one, if your website is not responsive (or easy to navigate), just start counting your losses.
It is important to think about your user. If you are selling a product, then it should be easy to find and purchase it, or even place an inquiry about the product.
All this should be done with the fact that the customer always comes first; in this case, the online user. Make your website easy to navigate.
4. Always Look the Part
If your business’ image is up with the current times, then why should your website look like it is from the 90s! While the user experience is a top priority, design follows suit.
Therefore, your website should have a clean presentation with full-frame imagery that creates the impression of a new business. The key thing is to check on your UI.
5. Stay Social
While social media can be used as a platform to market products and services, shoving them in the faces of the target audience can be a huge turn off. Instead of using social media as a tool to generate more sales, which is not that bad, the main aim should be to use it as an avenue to communicate and engage with your customers.
Rather than throwing in the products or services, throw in relevant question and discussions from which you can use that feedback to know what to improve on your products or services.
6. Keep SEO in the Frontlines
While planning for a marketing strategy or campaign may need you to reflect and consider different things, the one thing that should never miss is the use of SEO.
Since Google is always making changes to its algorithm to make it better and relevant, you also need to stay abreast with the changes to ensure that your optimization campaign results in high organic rankings.
7. Content Is Always King
Part of your SEO efforts will need you to make sure you always have not just original but also high-quality content. Big search engines are always on the lookout to ensure that websites are posting educational and informative content.
Bear in mind that your business will be facing stiff competition in regards to this so make sure your content is always engaging, insightful, and relevant to what you are selling.
8. Appreciate Your Customers More
It is very disheartening to a customer, more so one who is loyal to a certain business, feels like he or she does not matter to the business.
You can do that by offering giveaways, sweepstakes, and promotions.
9. Paid Search Services
PPC or Paid search can be a bit complex for small businesses because they are, as it says, a bit complex. The business owners will have to know how to capitalize on CTRs and CPCs to gauge quality scores and conversion rates, which can be a bit confusing.
Therefore, hiring professional help for this is often the best option to help you rise quickly through the ranks to take the top page in search engine results.
10. Have an Editorial Calendar
While creating great high-quality content is vital, knowing when to publish it is the other issue. You will need to have an editorial calendar to help you schedule your content in a manner that will ensure your website remains a leading information hub for your small business.
11. Use the Remarketing Strategy
Remarketing is a strategy that is similar to PPC that will keep you on top of your game and above your competitors. Remarketing or re-targeting requires you to cookie the browsers of every visitor that comes to your site (using a snippet code derived from your paid search platform).
This will allow you to follow your visitors with targeted ads as they visit other websites. It may sound a bit intrusive, but you will think different once the traffic starts coming.
12. Audit Your Competition
Never underestimate your competitors, big and small. Keep an eye on the small ones and a keener watch on the big and successful competitors. The aim here is not to copy their strategies, but to learn where you need to make adjustments.
Look at their social media, website, paid search, emailing, and organic search. You can rely on a tool like SpyFu to help you audit your competition.
13. Use Visuals
You should consider making use of YouTube, which is currently the second largest search network. This goes to show you how influential and important videos are to the modern online user – businesses or persons. In fact, videos are a major feature that Google factors in its algorithm for SEO purposes.
Videos entertain and educate. You can use these visual tools to launch new products or services and make tutorial videos that you can link to your website and social media networks.
14. Have Your Business Listed In Local Directories
Bing, search engines like Google have come up with online directors that business owners can list their businesses. Make use of the Bing Local or the Google Plus Local to make it easy and fast to find your business and link the directories to your site.
Do not just list your business, but also optimize the listings using details such as working hours, business description, and your physical address.
15. Pay To Play On Social Media
Organic posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks use to venture everywhere on the internet, but that is no longer the case. Therefore, the posts nowadays need a bit of a push using some few extra dollars.
You do not have to pay for each post, but will need to throw in some money as you customize your target audience based on demographics and advertise an upcoming event.
Some social networks such as Twitter and Facebook offer amazing analytics and targeting options that you can use to effectively drive your marketing campaign.
16. Use Google Analytics
You need to rethink your strategy if you have no inkling of a thought that suggests the use of Google Analytics.
Visit www.google.com/analytics to get the tracking code you need for your website to help you know where your website users are coming from, the length of the visit to your site, the pages they viewed, the most visited pages, and the products or services they purchased.
The Google Analytics is a tool you need, to analyze all these data, and you need to do this once a week, at most.
17. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Viewing
One of the vital areas that Google has pushed for every SEO or website designer to focus on is mobile use. A website that is not optimized for mobile viewing are penalized, then again, the move is also a good way to increase your site traffic.
If you think less of this, then just research on “Mobilegeddon” to know what your business stands to lose.
18. Give Discounts
Everyone loves getting discounts, even if it is as little as two percent. The strategy is to give away a little to gain something substantive in return. Do not let your customer discover you are offering discounts, let it be publicly known and you will see how your loyal and new customers come flocking into your business.
The internet is the biggest announcement platform ever to exist, and you can do this on social networks and via emails.
19. Focus On Reviews
Keep a watchful eye on reviews because they have a big impact on digital marketing. People write reviews to air their opinion, good or bad, that you can use to develop your business. Therefore, come up with a strategy that will solicit reviews from your target audience.
The reviews can be posted on various platforms such a Yelp, Facebook, and Google+. Ensure that you strive to generate positive reviews that will later boost your marketing campaign.
20. Listen To Your Customers
It is not that easy to listen to all your customers, but you still need to make the effort. Each customer is a source of a different perspective on what you are doing in your business. The feedback might always not be positive, but take both the good and the bad as a learning tool to better your products or services.
Keep watch on the comments your customers post on your social networks and create a section on your site for them to email you their opinions or comments.
You can run a great business, but people are most likely not going to know or hear about it if you do not have a marketing strategy in place. The above are some of the digital marketing strategies that any small business can use to increase brand awareness to grow its customer base and generate sales.