What can businesses do to promote themselves online? Well there’s probably a hundred or more ways to promote a business online. But I’ve got it down to my top 10 online marketing strategies to businesses can use to convert leads to sales.
1. Online marketing plan: The first thing a business must do before they start mucking around with keywords and social media is to plan. Every business that either has or wants an online presence must start with a comprehensive online marketing strategy.
2. SEO: Search engine optimisation is a natural follow on from your online marketing plan. From your plan you should have worked out who your target audience is. This will then determine your keywords which you can analyse further to identify the most profitable keywords for your website.
3. Social media: If you have a small business website but you’re not using social media strategies then you only doing a half job for your marketing. Facebook and Twitter are a great way to promote and market your business. Thousands of businesses have worked out the marketing power of Facebook but only a handful are using Twitter. My advice is to learn the marketing power of Twitter and co-ordinate it with your Facebook strategy. it’s not hard.
4. Images: Google has a specific search function for images. These images come from somewhere ie websites. If you sell a tangible product then you it is definitely worth putting images on your website and using image descriptions to describe these with relevant keywords. You may end up being on the top row of images. Images can boost website traffic very well, if used sparingly.
5. Online articles: pretty much what I’m doing now. Small businesses can write a handful of online articles that link back to their website.
6. Trust marketing: This is an online marketing philosophy rather than a strategy. Trust marketing is all about building relationships not flogging a product.
7. Social bookmarking: These are share sites I suppose you could say. Submit your website or online articles to social bookmarking sites such as Digg & Reddit and build a following.
8. Online forums: Research online forums relevant to your industry and post quality submissions.
9. Pay-per-click advertising: PPC as it is known can be highly effective in your overall online marketing strategy. Google AdWords and Facebook have very well known PPC platforms that can do great things for small business.
10. Video for SEO: You don’t have to be George Clooney or Meryl Streep. Using video to promote your business can do wonders for your SEO. Submit videos to YouTube, don’t do the hard sell, rather discuss your services or industry, make it entertaining and include relevant tags.
These are just some online marketing tips for small business to boost their online presence. I’ll end where I started. There are hundreds of ways businesses can promote themselves on the net. Pick the ones that you feel you are most comfortable with in terms of your knowledge and your time.
In order for any business to grow in the current British economic climate it is imperative for your company to find the right online marketing strategy. Online marketing strategies often fall at the first hurdle because of bad choices and this results in losing out on valuable customers due to delays in launching an online marketing strategy.
The most effective online marketing strategies are those that focus on one particular technique. Rather than trying to do 4 or 5 things badly, choose one strategy and master it. Don’t conform with every other company and keep jumping from one strategy to the next, find out what works for you and explore that option before moving onto the next tactic.
In some instances, the difference between a successful marketing campaign and one that ends in failure can hinge on the time of day that you communicate your message to the public, or certain words or phrases used in advertising slogans. Sometimes simplicity can be the key to unlocking the impact of an online marketing strategy.
Another way to raise the credentials of your business through online marketing is to market yourself as an individual. You can market yourself as a specialist within your industry using simple pay-per-click advertising techniques. It’s also important not to hold onto knowledge and you should look to pass on what you have learnt to others.
Whilst passing on knowledge may be the hardest thing to do, it can actually work in your favour by opening doors for you to become a mentor, a consultant or even an innovator of new ideas that will benefit your industry. It raises the profile of your business because people will be drawn to your organisation for advice and to find out what it is that you have that makes your online marketing successful. Therefore, rather than competing with your competitors they come to learn from your company!
Online marketing success is also down to understanding the audience you’re looking to target. Don’t over-reach as making your campaign too broad means that you end up alienating many vital consumers. Instead stick to the strengths of the product or service that you have to offer and find out who it appeals to most and target that area. Remember, do one thing and master it, rather than doing 4 or 5 things on an average scale.
Another effective online marketing strategy is the use of articles. A number of companies use articles to direct traffic toward their website. Writing a number of short, concise articles that promote your business, service or product can be done through article submission sites and plenty of these can be found online. Article marketing is a tried and tested practice that has been around for many years and is still arguably the most effective tactic for driving traffic to a website.