It can be a daunting prospect to market a new business online, especially when you’re not familiar with the current digital marketing space. The amount of opportunity may seem overwhelming, but the advantage of this is that there are multiple avenues you can explore, and many are low-cost or even free.
Here are 7 simple ways you can market your new business online that will yield amazing results immediately.
1) Google My Business
Google My Business is something all businesses should utilise. If you have a GMB listing you will be more discoverable to people who are searching for a business like yours, as you will be visible on Google Search and on Google Maps.
This is crucial if you’re a local business and you’re looking to attract local customers, due to Google’s geolocation feature. For example, if a user types in “pizza in Sydney” into Google, and you have a pizza company with a GMB listing, your business will appear high up in the SERPs (search engine results pages) and show the user how close in proximity to them your restaurant is.
An effective GMB listing should include useful information such as your business’ contact information, opening hours, address, a link to your website, and images. A successful GMB listing will attract people in your area and encourage customer loyalty.
2) Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to nurture your customers and boost conversion. First, you must capture email data of the people that express and interest in your business, and you can do this by integrating a sign-up form into your website so that people can subscribe to your news and updates. People will be more inclined to sign up if you offer them an incentive to do so, such as a discount on their first order or a free PDF download of an expert “how-to” guide.
Once you have captured the email address of your prospective customers you can add them to your email database and begin to build a relationship with them. The aim of this should be to move them through your sales funnel to the conversion stage.
You can use tools such as Mailchimp to implement your email marketing strategy, but don’t be too promotional or overload them with emails, and always give them a reason to stay subscribed to you.
3) Paid search
Paid search (also known as search engine marketing) is when websites pay for a high placement on the SERPs to increase the visibility of their website and, therefore, increase their click-through-rate. It is all down to bidding on particular keywords, and if a user’s search query is a match to the ad campaign, that ad is presented front and centre for the user to see.
Different search engines have their own sponsored listing service, but Google Adwords is the most well-known.
4) Social Media
Nowadays, businesses should never underestimate the importance of harnessing social media to help boost brand awareness and increase revenue. Whether or not your business has the budget or desire to utilise paid social ads, such as Facebook Ads, is unimportant compared to how critical it is for all businesses - of all sizes, niches and industries - to have a strong and unified online presence.
This includes creating social media accounts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, and ensuring that all channels have a marketing strategy, are engaging and drive consumer interest. For some businesses, it may not make sense to have a Pinterest account, but considering how many people use Facebook every day, all businesses should at least have a Facebook page.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is what ensures your business is visible online. Without an SEO-optimised website, Google and other search engines will not rank you high in the SERPs, and you will lose out on a tonne of business.
Basic level of SEO revolves around keywords. Consider which keywords best describes your business/product/service, and what keywords your target audience might type into a search engine to find your business, and then add these specific keywords into everything you do. This includes your page URLs, on-site content, page titles and metadata.
Say your business sells fitness equipment online - if after conducting keyword research you found that users would likely search “exercise bike online” to retrieve the search results they desired, ensure that those exact words are littered throughout your website and ad campaigns. Furthermore, search engines like it when you provide links of things you may have mentioned in your content. For example, if your provided statistics about how useful a product is and it's from another website, linking it helps boost your SEO.
6) SMS ads
You may consider sending SMS (text messages) to advertise your brand or services. It has been predicted that the average user spends more time on their smartphone than any other device, so you can be sure they will receive and look at whatever texts you send them.
SMS ads are great for quick promotions, such as “50% off all items between now and the end of tomorrow!”. To make it easy for them to claim the deal you’re offering, include a link to your website or a contact number.
7) Content creation
Content is arguably the future of marketing. Content comes in many forms, including news, how-to blog posts, editorial/opinion articles, white papers, ebooks, video, image, infographics, podcast, etc.
To nail content marketing you must create content that is considered “valuable” for both its readers and in terms of SEO. It must have the ability to engage, inform and entertain readers, but it must also comply with the highest standards of SEO - be sharable, be 2000+ words, be well-researched and expertly written, be keyword-optimised, include internal and external links and include media.
The benefits of good content stretch further than a good ranking on the SERPs. It can improve the overall reputation of your business, and position you as a leader in your industry.
Of course, with good content that drives a high volume of traffic, you have more leverage to market your business and boost conversion.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to market your business - you can experience great results by harnessing low-cost advertising opportunities, and leveraging the power of social media and content.
Start by following this checklist of marketing tactics, and your business will earn its place in the mind of your target audience.