online marketing for small business

Online Marketing for Small Business:

5 forms of online marketing strategies every business should know and use

 

In this post I will give you a brief overview of different forms of online marketing for small business.

I have many posts which go deeper into the subject, which you can explore to gain a deeper understanding on the subject. 

 

Forms of Online Marketing for Small Business

Online marketing is promoting your business on the internet in order to build your brand, get new leads and attract new customers. 

 

Now the good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to promote your business online.

There are many free ways to attract new customers which makes online marketing so interesting (and important!).

 

Online marketing comes in many forms. This could be in the form of content marketing, SEO, Social media, email campaigns, advertising etc. 

 

You can also use online marketing for various reasons. Besides sales, you might want to grow brand recognition, create a loyal customer base, do market research, launch new products etc. 

 

All of the above starts with growing your online presence. 

 

I will discuss the different forms of online marketing below:

content marketing for small business

Content Marketing

 

Content marketing is what it’s all about. This is the bulk of online marketing in 2020.

 

Think about it this way.

 

Once upon a time not so very long ago, businesses would tell you (the consumer) what products they had to offer and why you should buy these.

 

This was one sided and added no value, entertainment or knowledge to the consumer.  On top of that many advertisements were not suited to the audience at all.

 

But marketing has changed.

 

And that’s where content marketing comes in.

 

Content marketing either teaches the reader something or it entertains. It adds value. And there is room for interaction and discussion.

 

Think about it. Are you happy to buy my camera when I tell you I sell the best camera in the world and you should buy it? This advert would be in your face and be annoying. Nobody likes to be told what to do or buy.

 

Or would you like to read the specs, look at examples of photos taken with the camera and listen to reviews of other buyers?

 

This would be subtle, gentle and informative which gives me the power to decide for myself whether your product is a good fit for me or not.

 

Now you might think that this would be counterproductive as of course I want to tell you to buy my product rather than just leaving it up to you and browsing without buying.

 

But part of content marketing is the power of suggestion.

People also like to do business with people they trust and like.

 

And this is precisely what you are trying to achieve with your content. The idea is not to do work for free or to give away all your valuable knowledge.

 

Content could be a look behind the scenes, new products, a bit of knowledge about your service or line of work etc.

 

You can be as creative as you like. Just keep the golden rules in mind that it needs to be informative, adds value and/or be entertaining.

 

To read more about content marketing (and there is LOTS to know) click here.

 

online marketing for small business seo

Search Engine Optimization

 

Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short is something you have probably come across online at some point.

But what is it?

 

Well it basically means ranking in the search results of Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo etc on the first page on the top spot.

 

Now this is a challenge and a half and does take some time.

 

There is fierce competition in most niches and many large companies take top spot by definition.

On top of that, paid advertising is posted above the first ranking website on page one.

 

However, this doesn’t mean you should dismiss the search engines as these can bring you lots of free traffic to your website, which could in turn become customers.

 

Search engines don’t disclose the full extent of their algorithms, but quite a lot of information is available to give you the best chance.

 

First of all you need to understand that SEO is not just about keywords.

You need to optimise your website, your images, your blog posts etc.

 

This is a fast subject and too complex to explain fully in this post.

Read this post to find out more about SEO for small businesses and startups.

online marketing social media

Online Marketing for Small Business:

Social Media

 

There are many social media platforms you can use for your business.

Many new starters open up accounts on as many platforms as possible and then realise it takes a significant amount of time to make any of them ‘work’.

 

There are some things to consider when starting on social media:

 

  •  First of all, where does your audience hang out?

  • Second of all, what do you want to achieve with your social media presence?

  • Thirdly, which social media platform suits your business best

  • And last but not least, can you create the content and commit to the timeframe it needs to flourish?

When we generally talk about social media, we often think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and sometimes even Pinterest.

However, social media should really refer to all forms of online communication.

With this in mind there are many more social media platforms you could consider for your business and many are far less competitive than the main platforms.

Find out about alternative traffic sources here. 

online marketing email marketing

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to reach your target audience.

 

Websites offer something valuable to the visitor in return for their name and email address.

This ‘lead magnet‘  is often some inside knowledge like a cheat sheet or course.

The visitor then receives the freebie in their email account while they are being added to the businesses mailing list.

The visitor will then start to receive regular emails from the business in which they  attempt to get the visitor back to their website or to buy a product or service.

The great thing about email marketing is that the same visitor can be tempted to interact with your business many times over.

 

You can insert email optin forms on your website, where you offer the freebie to your visitors, in exchange for their details, or add a pop-up box.

You can also offer the freebie on your social media platforms where the link goes to an optin page.

 

You should start building your email list from the beginning and if you haven’t set up an opt-in page yet, I highly recommend you do so.

 

Without an email list, your business could disappear overnight.

Yes literally overnight.

 Don’t be dependent on third parties who can block your account without notice!

Read more on the importance of building an email list here.

 

online marketing advertising

Online Marketing for Small Business:

Paid advertising:

One easy way to get more customers is by paying Google to promote your products or website.

Depending on the niche and competition this can be an affordable way to get new  business in.

 

You can also advertise your business on Social Media like Facebook advertising.

Here you can promote your page, group or product.

There are many tips and tricks to Facebook Advertising which I discuss in this post.

The main thing to take away at this moment is that Facebook Advertising obviously costs money and that there are varying results for different businesses.

 

If you want to grow your audience on your Facebook page for example you could do an advertising campaign to get followers.

 

Your business will look instantly more established, however with the current Facebook algorithm many of your followers might not see the non advertised content you post.

 

There are many more platforms you can advertise on, all with varying results.

 

As a small business or startup I would recommend keeping your advertising budget small and focus on free ways to grow your online presence.

 

In Conclusion 

 

These are short explanations of some online marketing options for small businesses.

There is a lot to all of these and far more than I could fit in this post.

Browse around my website to find more information and by all means sign up for the free course where I share lots of information to help your small business or startup flourish.

 

After all, small businesses are the backbone of the economy. Let’s keep it that way!