5 online marketing must-dos for your small business
Every business owner knows how important marketing is to achieve their goals. Getting your brand known and creating a desirable image is a huge part of achieving business aims — and online marketing is a huge part of that.
While most business owners are fully acquainted with how to market their brand in the real world, promoting products or services online can be a little different. With the growing use of the online marketplace, it is important that business owners understand how to effectively leverage online opportunities to best benefit their brand.
An effective digital marketing strategy covers everything from the creation and population of a company website, to your social media presence, to your online sales and feedback services. Following the five essential strategies detailed below can help to increase your online exposure, generate web traffic to your sales pages, and build your brand’s online reputation, helping you to reach and retain customers from within your target market.
Keep your website up to date
It goes without saying that any organization that wants to be competitive in today’s market needs a great website. Websites should be search engine optimized, easily navigable, and 100 percent on brand. However, one trap that companies (including those offering SIP trunking for business) often fall into is creating a website at the beginning of their venture and then not updating it for months on end, missing out on potential benefits.
Timely renewing of your website serves several purposes. Regularly adding optimized content keeps your website relevant and helps to improve search performance, increasing your chances of bringing potential new clients to your pages. Updates add value for existing customers, giving them something new to explore each time they land on your pages, and helping to reduce bounce rates. A fully up-to-date website gives new customers confidence that you are in active operation and ready to help fulfill their needs.
Business owners should treat their website like a shop window — keeping it fresh, relevant, and updated to inspire consumer confidence and generate online interest. There are various ways in which businesses can easily keep their website updated. For example, adding a blog to a website gives your business the opportunity to create unique content within your own niche that will help to boost your search engine performance for keywords related to your field.
Alternatively, you may wish to provide “How To” pages that complement your product range. These are great standalone pieces that, if optimized correctly, can perform well in web searches. They also may well bring in new customers who arrived at your page seeking a specific solution and end up purchasing a product.
Another great way of ensuring that your website always looks fresh to visitors is by adding a social media feed or widget to your homepage. This will display your latest social media posts to your website audience.
Marketing through social media
Your website is only the beginning of your online presence. In order to really connect with an online audience, you will need to be present in places where there is a chance of interaction with potential customers, which is where social media comes in.
Social media marketing is an essential part of any online promotion strategy. Everyone from the local plumber to cloud-hosted PBX providers is now using their profiles to generate new leads online. Using sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, businesses can instantly connect with potential clients, helping to build a rapport and boost confidence in their brand.
By sharing images, links and stories, companies can establish themselves as authorities within their own areas while also driving traffic (and potentially sales) through their website. As with websites, social media profiles need to be regularly updated in order to retain consumer credibility. It is even worth paying a professional to manage your profiles to help leverage this massive online audience.
Use performance analysis software
Once you have a strong web presence in place, it is important to keep tabs on how this is feeding into your business. There are a number of software tools on the market that can be used by small businesses to keep track of how effective their online marketing efforts are proving. These tools allow those in charge of marketing to build and adjust campaigns for maximum efficacy in a way that is not possible when using many traditional offline marketing methods.
Use performance analysis software to track results in real time, monitoring click-throughs and bounce rates to determine which pages and posts are producing results. This will allow you to target your marketing efforts in these areas.
Multi-channel monitoring through online tools, including cloud-hosted PBX, allows business owners to keep tabs on both economic and reputational results. Business owners can determine consumer motivations and pinpoint where consumer conversion occurs. Off-putting content that can cause customers to leave a website without making a purchase can also be identified and eliminated.
Webinars are a wonderful way to connect with potential clients and add value without even having to leave the office. A webinar, or web conference, is a seminar that is conducted entirely online, allowing delegates to join from across the world.
To host a webinar you will need a PC, perhaps with a T1 line, and a specialized software package for webinar hosting. Once this is in place, you will be able to issue invites and host an informative and interactive online conference. This conference is either specifically targeted at certain groups of clients, or open to potential future customers from all over the web, during which media and desktop views are shared to easily illustrate your content to members of your target market.
Use webinars to conduct meetings with existing and new clients to showcase your products and services, or even facilitate personal meetings with those consumers you really want to woo. The beauty of using webinar technology for online marketing is that it makes it easy to associate your branding with informative content. Your branding is placed firmly in the purview of potential purchasers, building an association between your company and trustworthiness.
Publish press releases
Keeping the public informed of developments within your organization and industry is a big part of online marketing; press releases can be helpful in conveying this message across the web. All sorts of operations, from SIP trunking for business to microbreweries, have made use of online press releases to help build their brand. Used correctly, this kind of online publication can really push the growth of a professional reputation both within the industry and on client-facing channels.
While in the past press releases were read only by the news desks of targeted publications, the nature of searches these days means that publishing releases online opens you up to a whole new audience. In addition to reaching influencers within your field with targeted press release pushes, you can also target consumer searches with your latest news using careful keywording.
The editors of influential niche and trade publications, broadcasts, blogs and podcasts will receive your releases through a distribution service — these can be either free or paid for, depending on the level of exposure you are seeking. Press release content now serves a B2C function as well, with consumers using search engine and VoIP searches on a daily basis to seek information that will inform their personal purchasing decisions.
Make the most of digital marketing
By implementing the above strategies and sticking to them, your business can significantly improve its chances of achieving effective online marketing. Starting with great SEO on your own website and leveraging other channels for increased exposure is the perfect way to increase your reach online, creating new leads and cementing more conversions. With companies such as Primus Business Internet offering great internet access with admirable upload speeds, following these tips is effortless.