In the good ol’ days marketing was all about TV ads (hello MadMen), billboards, newspaper ads.
Times sure have changed.
Nowadays, it’s a whole new language in a whole new online world.
SEO, Facebook, Instagram, hashtags, video, images…the list is endless.
Scratching your head at all the options? We’re here to guide and direct you with these digital marketing tips to teach you the best way to market your business online.
You’d be surprised at how affordable (some even free!), and easy most of these methods are. You don’t even need a marketing agency to get it done (sorry modern-day Don Draper, you’re out of the job).
In this article, you’ll find our top 10 online marketing tactics and digital marketing ideas to not only attract new customers but also to sell more to existing customers – because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.
Why it’s important to market your business ONLINE:
Small businesses have less staff – they’re not called ‘small’ for nothing!
Add to that the lower budgets and resources, it’s time that small businesses really tap into the digital revolution.
Digitally marketing your small business:
Did you know, according to Kantar Millward Brown, innovative brands experience a brand value abbreviation nine times more than those brands who are perceived to be ‘less innovative’!? And that’s just one reason why your business should be marketing online.
Near 70% of Chinese do their shopping online in 2017, compared to 22% in 2007. Do the math and that’s just over a 300% increase! If that monumental leap wasn’t enough to convince you that online is the place to be, then consider this;
The benefits of digitally marketing your small business:
- Gain more customers
- Increase the visibility of your business
- Connect better with your customers
- Increase brand value and legitimization
- Find out more about your customers and their needs
But what is online marketing?
If you didn’t already notice, Facebook is a BIG deal.
Less than 20 years ago, extraverts were marketing warriors, kings of connection, easily and genetically blessed to set themselves on the path to success.
One word: Networking.
Everyone in the industry needed to know who you were. Today, we’re fortunate that you can make those crucial connections from your sofa. This is the core of the digital era, more specifically online marketing for small business from anywhere with an internet connection.
It’s magical – truly.
If you’ve read our post detailing the benefits of digital lending, you’ll realize that the digitalization of businesses is on a global scale and has many benefits.
But what actually is online marketing – getting there…
Online marketing definition:
Online marketing is marketing your product or service in any shape or form across the internet, utilizing digital strategies. It could be through the use of any digital tool (which there are plenty of), strategy or method that gets your brand’s name out there.
In short: spreading the word that your company exists via the internet (and hopefully get them to buy your stuff).
Ready to get online marketing for small business ideas? Course you are!
Best Ways to Market Your New Business Online
Now for the juicy stuff, the reason you’re really here – our top 10 methods for digital marketing for small businesses and plenty of digital marketing tips to go with it.
1. Create an SEO-optimized website
Before you do any online marketing you first and foremost, absolutely MUST set up a website for your business (get the feeling it’s important?).
But not just any website will do.
Your website should be SEO-optimized – for those not quite up to speed with SEO, this means that it will rank higher on Google when consumers search for keywords relevant to your business. Thanks to the easy-to-use tools out there on the world wide web, like Wix’s SEO Wiz, you don’t even need to hire someone to optimize your website.
One thing you can easily do right now is to increase the speed of your website’s pages. The longer your page takes to load, the more frustrated your potential customers will get and you can wave goodbye before you even caught their name.
Let those numbers sink in for a minute.
Google offers some handy free tools like Test My Site for improving page speed. And with those stats laid out for all to see, we suggest you get to it!
2. Set up social media accounts
Marketing online is all about going where the consumers are and engaging WITH them, not just talking TO them.
Once you’ve set up your social media accounts, Lending Express’s LendingScore™ Dashboard has plenty of tips by the way on how to create an engaging Facebook page, available free of charge to any business that applies for funding – even if they don’t qualify or accept the funding offer! You can learn how to increase your funding odds and more! So once you’ve got those setup, you’ll need to create great, relevant content.
The more frequently you post, and the better and more relevant the content is, the more followers you’ll attract – simple.
Social media marketing is all about word-of-mouth and social sharing. One of the most important lessons you can learn is that you shouldn’t just be promoting yourself.
Take away the ego and realize that you need a good balance of content that is genuinely useful, engaging and entertaining to your target audience with some sort of promotion thrown in.
Everyone loves a good deal.
Top social media channels you should be actively using:
How many of these are you already on?
And for those already there, how many of do you know how to make the most of?
3. Set up a blog and post frequently
Blogging has many benefits.
You’ll be able to use your blog as a platform to boost your SEO ranking on Google, attract and engage social media followers, and prove yourself a trusted authority in your industry.
If you go onto a website and see their last post was 4 months ago, or their posts are dotted all over time and space then you probably won’t feel very secure with said company.
On another note, make sure you post high-quality content that actually adds value to your readers. No fluff. Unless you’re in the cotton industry, then there will be lots of fluff.
You won’t see immediate results from blogging, so you’ll need to be patient and persistent, your hard work will pay off and snowball to sales.
Blog tip: Always run your writing through Grammarly – it’s free and it works miracles to save you from silly typos.
4. Invest in Facebook ads
Not free but worthwhile – yes!
Facebook ads will enable you to target your ideal audience based on demographics, interest, location and more. You can then direct these consumers to specific, targeted landing pages for a customized experience.
Test different campaigns using images and video content to see what works and once you’ve found a campaign that brings in results, scale it up.
5. Create YouTube video tutorials
YouTube has over 1 BILLION users.
55% of people watch online videos every day according to HubSpot.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, one minute of video content is worth 1.8 million words (says Forrester Research) – say wha?
This is the power of YouTube video content.
If you don’t already have a YouTube account for your business and aren’t actively posting content, you’re already behind your competition and missing out on millions of views and potential customers.
6. Connect through email marketing
Email marketing is not easy but can be very effective in developing customer relationships. Take the time to connect with your email listers before selling.
A good way to collect email addresses is to offer a freebie (something worthwhile like a free 15-minute webinar, an ebook, or an entry-level product, discount etc.) in exchange for an email address.
If you’ve already read ‘15 Free Tools Every Small Business Should Use in 2019‘ then you’ll know there are loads of tools out there including those for email marketing. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, in short, MailChimp is a great free platform that even your grandma could handle.
7. Collect customer reviews
Online marketing is all about building trust and credibility. What better way to do that than by collecting reviews and recommendations from real customers?
Did you know, user-generated videos about a brand can get 10 times more views on YouTube than the content created by the brand itself. Same goes for click-through rates, increasing 4 times when user-generated (according to Tintup).
In other words, your customers opinion matters. Keep them happy, collect their reviews and post the s*** out of them.
This is where online review communities such as Yelp and Trustpilot come in. Set up profiles on each of these and encourage your existing customers to review you.
For example, did you believe us earlier when we mentioned that Lending Express can help to increase your chances of getting funding (and find you the best funding deals) with the use of it’s free dashboard? Chances are you didn’t. But add in this customer review
8. Collaborate with peers
‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ should be your motto. Find complementary business owners to collaborate with for online marketing.
You can guest post on each other’s blogs, share each other’s social posts and even cross-sell to each other’s customers.
9. Contribute to relevant articles and forums
Here’s what not to do when posting on industry-specific forums or articles – don’t be spammy!
The most unpopular posters or commenters are those that simply post spammy links. Do this and you’ll find yourself booted off every forum (and ignored on every article).
Rather, get involved, chat with other members, and give helpful advice and suggestions. You can eventually subtly market yourself by adding your link to your signature.
10. List your business
One of the best ways for local businesses to attract relevant customers is to list on local business listing sites such as Google Local or Yahoo Local.
Google Local will get you on Google Maps and you can include details such as your business’s address as well as your store hours and contact details.
Many of these business tools are free, and those that aren’t are cost-effective, perfect for the budget of a new and growing business.
Once you have your small business loan, you can decide if you want to invest more in marketing or use the funds elsewhere in your business, because you might find that these free or affordable tools are more than enough for your business needs.
How do you market your business online? Got any tips to share?