How to advertise your business online
It’s a question that owners of smaller business get asked all the time: how do you market yourselves? In particular, how to market your company online where the number of “must-do” options is frighteningly long. Competition in every business has never been more cut-throat, so standing out from the crowd and underlining your unique business proposition is vital.
Looking back, the “old days” seem quite tame by comparison. You grew your firm by promoting it with an advert in the local newspaper or Yellow Pages. Or you created a flyer or brochure that you distributed.
Today, digital marketing and the automation of tasks have made promoting your company much easier. However, many people are deterred due to the seemingly endless number of online options.
This article aims to show you the major online marketing channels that you really need to have, as well as others that are also great in putting your name in front of potential clients.
So, let’s get started with a quick overview:
Firstly, promotion via search engines, especially Google, is critical.
Secondly, the major social media channels (think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok, which is swiftly becoming a major player, especially among younger people).
Then there are the web-based directory listings which put your business exactly where people are looking for your specific services.
And, finally, don’t neglect the community where you live. The world is now a global village, but your locale can provide a host of business and sales opportunities: local press, sponsorships in your community and other events.
1. Above all, Google
Where do most people start their search when looking for a specific service? Google is the place so that’s why you need to ensure they can find you there. Research shows that Google has in excess of 90% of market share. It’s not by chance that the expression “to Google it” has become part of common parlance.
How can Google help you and your business to thrive?
· Get your Google Business Profile up and running
This is what Google calls your company’s listing on its site, and it’s what enables your firm and its details to appear in Google Maps and Knowledge Panel results. This free listing service should be a top priority for all firms.
Make sure you verify ownership of your firm’s listing via your free Google My Business account. Verification is critical because then you can optimise your listing so that it appears higher up in search results.
Think of Google as your 24/7 promotion tool. You can post straight to your Google listing and place your latest and most time-sensitive promotions in front of potential customers.
· Run Google Ads
Depending on your budget and time constraints, Google Ads can give you an immediate boost. They appear at the top of Google results pages, and provide firms with flexibility in their ad campaigns, as well advert building features, and highly detailed statistics relating to their online performance.
Getting a handle on Google Ads will take time, but it is an optimised campaign means that is definitely worth the investment.
2. Have you got a website?
Sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed at the number of businesses that do not have their own dedicated site. Your firm’s website is the first place that customers will go when looking for services of the kind you offer. Your unique brand story and services need to be there, as well as easy to find contact information.
That means creating your domain name, a highly professional look, and the facility to add features to help your firm’s growth.
It's true that they will also search on other platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, but we have all been conditioned to go to sites for information.
Since your site works around the clock to promote your company to prospective clients - it is clear that you need to invest resources in planning and updating it.
But your site does even more than that: if you run adverts, you need landing pages and they link directly to your website. You should be posting helpful information on your social media channels and those posts must link to your site. Furthermore, since all your marketing links to your site, you cant hen run online analytics to see what works best and where to concentrate your activities.
3. Optimise your website text for higher search engine ranking
How can you promote your business on Google? Search engine optimization (SEO) and the use of keywords aims to ensure that your site appears on the first page of Google searches.
When you are online you are on a level playing field because the biggest and smallest firms have an equal opportunity to shine and stand out. So make sure you include keywords in your website content that are highly relevant both from an industry and location point of view. Also, add content on a regular basis.
4. Tell your story via blogs
Think of a business blog as a way to provide clients and potential customers with valuable free content while promoting your brand. People are constantly searching for information about topics for which they require answers. Nothing persuades people to go with a brand than text that provides updated information that takes a weight off their minds and gives them easy to understand solutions.
What should a blog include? Instructional and guest posts from industry leaders, a list of resources and strategies for dealing with tricky issues, and many others. Show that you genuinely care and that you are an expert in your line of business which help build you up an industry authority.
And don’t forget to promote your blog posts anyway you can: via your social media platforms, email campaigns and newsletters. You can even turn them into an e-book which will aid you in collecting leads.
Share your knowledge and clients will repay you.
5. Promote your business using online directories
Since people regularly visit web-based directories for services they specifically require, these sites enjoy high-traffic and superior domain authority. Such listings don’t take long to create and can aid your online presence, thus marketing your business to potential clients in your area.
6. Use social media to leverage your business
In today’s world, social media is among the best ways to promote small business – and it’s free! Specifically, this means promoting using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok – depending on the age range of your customers.
Facebook is the largest social network by far and possibly the best way to maintain contact with existing customers and reaching out to new ones.
An Instagram account will put you in touch with a younger demographic. It provides a range of posting formats, including images that stay on your account, “Stories” of 24-hour duration, IGTV series, live sessions, Story Highlights, and others.
Use LinkedIn join group discussions, connect with possible customers, make new partnerships, and online networking in general. Future clients can easily check out your business and what you offer.
Video marketing is becoming ever more popular in promoting businesses. People love watching videos, so create a quick summary video of your business and upload it to YouTube as a sales tool that you can also place on your website homepage and include in emails to possible customers.
Although TikTok was only launched in 2016, it has already overtaken Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest for numbers of active users. That’s because it is easy to use in making attention-grabbing videos using special effects.
Other ways of promoting your company online
Collect online customer reviews and testimonials
Join online communities
Work on local media coverage
Attend local networking events and sponsor local events
Direct mail still works
Email marketing campaigns
As this short summary has shown, there are many ways to promote your business. 12Handz is an expert in marketing activities for small and medium size companies, so contact us for a no-obligation consultation on how to take your company forward.
for your business
(not anybody else’s)