Online Marketing Tips for Small Businessescategory Article , Online Business , Online Marketing , Small Medium Business , Tips , Website 03/01/2017 No Comment
Nowadays, ‘Going Online’ in the Internet allows small businesses to level themselves and compete on a global scale. In fact, by doing a good online strategy for your small online business may, you can effectively gain profit without having to invest into offline (bricks-and-mortar) store front. 1. First thing first – GET A WEBSITE! Sometimes, and even often found, many small businesses still underestimate the need of having website as essential aspect to their growth. There’s nothing worse than businesses that appear on Google search, but don’t have a website for their potential customers to find more information about it. If a customer is searching online, then provide the information for them online. Expand your chance to have customers interact with you by being present in online world as it’s main source of information seeking at this present. Also make sure that your website is attractive and well-designed. Think of the website as the entrance to your business. In our wired
world, most people are finding you online, before they find you in the real world (offline), convince them by first impression they take a look at – your website. Don’t forget about the value of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website. Building a site that is fully-optimized for search can dramatically impact the success of your online efforts. Again, in this present, everything your potential customers want to seek, they do it through search engine; plan for some efficient keywords for your online small business and make sure you optimize them regularly to maintain or crank up your rank in search results. Additional, if your product/service can be sold online, go for e-commerce platform for your website. It allows you to be accessed locally, nationally, and not closing the possibility of reaching international market too. Moreover, when your products can be bought directly from your website, you are also growing your sales, which undoubtedly is profit generator for your small business. 2. Don’t be afraid to invest online Yes, as small business, your resources are limited, but you’ll get results that are measurable and easier to optimize by putting your efforts (money and time) in online marketing. You can focus on several online promotional strategies that would not consume much of your budget here: a. Local search – more than 80% of all in-store visits start online. You know what that means? That people are turning to the Internet to guide not just online purchases, but local, in-store purchases too! So if you have a real store, start by promoting it online through search engine marketing. Don’t try to compete too fiercely for broad search terms or global scope; first it costs you a lot, secondly, you need to focus and “conquer” your local market first. Go for prominent search engines advertising, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Note: You might not yet need Banner Display Advertising. It is more to branding play and maintaining your awareness. Besides from the relatively usual expensive rate, there are other efficient ways to build your brand online with cheaper means. b. Social Media – most small businesses benefit significantly from WOM (word-of-mouth) recommendations, usually from peers-to-peers referrals.
- Crowd-sourced Recommendations and Reviews – what’s better than hearing from other customers about products, services and goods that you are interested in purchasing or trying? A good review increases the likelihood that you will see an uptick in business. Try to penetrate local forums with high traffic or specific segment to your target market, for example if you are a restaurant, then go for F&B outlets directory site of your city or country. Travel-related business has many channels to go to, from such as TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, hotel booking sites like Agoda, etc.
- Microblogs – Twitter. if you aren’t on Twitter, please GET on Twitter! You’d be amazed at how quickly your loyal fans will follow you, re-tweet you and just show their admiration. And, you can show them love by tweeting channel specific deals or inside information that only your followers would know. Or, if you provide a service, use it to establish your expertise by giving out tips and good advice.
- Social networking sites, e.g. Facebook. Build a fan page – it’s an easy way to interact with your most active brand loyalists and it works REALLY well for local business. You need a strategy, so again, find some expert if possible to help you on content planning, some occasional quizzes/contest or Facebook-centric promo. Remember that content and your communication message is everything when it comes to social media. If you have spare budget, Facebook Ad is also an effective mean to drive traffic to your fanpage or to promote ongoing activity you conduct for fans.
3. Engage a local influencer/expert/opinion-leader online Customers follow trend that is set and started by their idol group; we call these people as influencers. Recommendations coming from these influencers also have bigger chance of believability to appeal for customers. With nowadays social media allowing almost everyone to be present online and share their thoughts publicly, you might consider to tap into some of these influencers. Maybe some of them are already your customers, so be sure to maintain your relationship with them in some way so you get free or voluntary promotional words from them. Communities are also growing along with social media making it possible to form a group of same-interest people virtually; so map out who are these communities’ leaders and tap them as trialists if they are not yet your customers and let them roll the organic WOM by themselves to their communities. As small business owners, ourselves, we know all about budget limitations and lack of resources like time. But, putting a budget and time into some of these tools listed above will have an exponential impact on your business success. These are just some of the basic essential online marketing strategies you can do; depending on your business type, ask around to some senior players and you might also get other useful tips. Good Luck! Pixtem Easy. Instant. Website (source reference: subliminalpixels.com)