Best Ways to Market Your Business in an Online World

April 2nd, 2018 by Neil Mullarkey

An increasing number of consumers are going online to try and find businesses who can provide a service that they need. They’ll use Google to find a local electrician or plumber, check out Facebook or Instagram when deciding on which restaurant to go to and take into account recommendations they read online.

It’s estimated that at least one in four Americans make at least one online purchase per week while the average smartphone users will pick up their phone 1,500 times a week. That is without taking into account all the time we spend on social media!

Our lives and the world are moving online at an increasing rate, and it means that, for your business to succeed in the current climate, you need to be able to take advantage of that.

Here are the best ways to market your business in an ever-growing online world.

Embrace social media

The big change in our lives over the past decade has been the growth of social media. Ten years ago, how many of us had heard of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, let alone had an account with them? Facebook now has 2.2 billion monthly users, Twitter 330 million and Instagram 800 million. That is a lot of potential clients to entice to your business with savvy marketing.

There are so many ways you can use social media to your advantage. Take Facebook for example. Setting up a page for your business means you can communicate directly with those people who ‘Like’ you. If those people who like you share your posts, then your business becomes visible to their friends on Facebook who may in turn like you, and this isn’t the only way to expand your reach either. You can advertise on the site for a pretty nominal fee compared to traditional media, or you can take out a Sponsored Post which inserts a post of your choice into the news feeds of the friends of people who already like you, all of which increase your visibility.

That’s just Facebook. On Twitter you can produce short, sharp comments to get your name out there on a range of issues going on in the world and use hashtags to get yourself found by potential clients who had never previously heard of you. Likewise, Instagram; take a photo of your work, upload it to the social networking site and watch it pick up likes from people around the world who, intrigued by what you do, will go through the rest of your feed and possibly head on over to your website.

With 30% of millennials saying that they engage with a brand at least once a month on social media, it is a form of new technology you can embrace cheaply and easily, but can be hugely beneficial to the prosperity of your business.

Build a professional network on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is slightly different from the other social media sites in that it is more of a professional network. It had nearly 467 million members and is a great way to advertise your skills and services as an individual.

One of the most helpful functions on LinkedIn is the groups. These are a great way for connecting with others within your industry or area which can help spread your message. You can promote content or services through these groups to other professionals who may have a need for your services while also picking up ideas from others in how you can improve your own business.

LinkedIn provides a great way of contacting those you might have a mutual connection with. You can message any other member in a group without being connected which can be a huge asset depending on the circumstances. Share updates often, stay in the spotlight and make yourself well known to those around you.

Use SEO to help customers find your business

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of rules and guidelines that can be followed by website owners to optimize their websites in order to improve their search rankings, making them more easily found by search engines.

SEO has become increasingly important as more and more people turn to search engines to find a business or company that can carry out the services they require, whether that’s an online shoe retailer or a local plumber. Take Google for example. Google processes 40,000 searches worldwide per second – that’s 3.5 billion searches per day or 1.2 trillion per year.

Research suggests that the majority of search engine users are likely to click one of the top five suggestions on their results page and very few ventures off the first page at all. It means that if you can get your website onto that front page for the search results of the services you offer in your area, you’ll have a much greater chance of picking up customers than if you are lagging behind on page four or five.

The basics of SEO are easy enough to implement to give your website a boost, and there are plenty of guides to get you started available online. The more seriously you take it, the more chance of rising through the search rankings you’ll have and for that reason, consulting a company that specializes in SEO such as 180fusion can he hugely beneficial.

Use listing services

It isn’t just SEO that can help give your business a boost on Google, but their listing services as well. Using Google My Business or one of the equivalent listing services offered by the likes of Yahoo! or Bing will allow your company to be found more easily, as it will then show up on map services for businesses nearby.

So, in the instance that a person’s car breaks down in a town they have never visited before and they desperately need to take it to a mechanic. If they Google a nearby mechanic, your business would be shown to them based on their location rather than just a generic search of the area. The listing includes your contact number, a rating and reviews of your business which will help drive a potential client or customer your way.

It’s free to get listed; all you have to do is register your business via a form and go through Google’s confirmation process that will verify you exist and do what you say you do. Google Maps passed the mark of 1 billion users in 2017, and as more and more people turn towards it as a navigation tool, it can drastically help drive more people towards your business.

Start a blog

A blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website as well as helping you engage with your customers. By writing fun and informative articles on the issues surrounding the industry you are in, you can get people visiting your site, and from your blog they may end up looking at your services, becoming new clients along the way! The best articles to write are topical ones as they will get people talking, as well as cementing you as an expert in your field.

Readers will be interested in what you have to say, and if you can position yourself as an expert, they will be impressed by your authority on the subject. They might even share the article if they agree or learn something from your position. If they do share it, this ,in turn, will increase traffic to your website and increase your visibility, which can only be good for business.

The other type of articles that people like is lists. If you run an interior design company, posting blogs such as “10 ways to improve your home on a budget” will not only get people onto your website but will also a publicize your products or services by subtly mentioning a couple that you can provide within the blog.

If you go down the blog route, just make sure to have a regular stream of posts that will keep people coming back. A dormant, abandoned blog is worth nothing. It’s key to post consistently, often on a set day or time, perhaps that’s twice a week, weekly or even monthly.

Use email marketing

Email marketing isn’t easy; how many of us see an email from a company we once bought a product from or ticked a box to receive details of offers from and instantly decide to delete it? In fact, very few people will even bother to open it. To succeed with email marketing, you need to give something away whether that is a discount code, a buy-one-get-one-free offer on the stock you need to be cleared or a special item only available to those on the mailing list.

If a consumer knows that every time an email drops into their inbox from your business, there is going to be something of value to them contained inside it, they’ll read it. Sending them mere details of products or updates is all very well and good, but the real way to turn those emails into sales is by ensuring that you are sending the client something worthwhile.

 


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