When talking about business, everything comes down to money. After all, besides our vision and hope to change the world one way or another, businesses can’t work without money.
It comes to survival in this big ocean called the business world, you either keep yourself floating and above the water, or drown and get eaten by sharks.
That’s why it doesn’t matter how great your business is if you don’t know how to market it properly.
There are multiple ways of getting your message out there. The internet has become a great platform through which you can make yourself visible, mostly because it is low-cost, if not free, and you can target the audience very well.
There probably is no other platform that can make you visible for such a small price.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can market your business online and get the results you deserve.
1. Get yourself an awesome website!
Having a website is just like having a business card, it’s what you present to the world, how you show yourself in front of others.
Your website needs to be very professional and built in accordance with your ideal client profile. In order to build a great website you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- What do the visitors of your website see first?
- Can they clearly understand what are you offering?
- How many obstacles they may encounter before getting to purchase the product/service?
These questions will help you get a better picture of how your website should look like. Modern and efficient websites are well structured and have a minimalist and clear design. They are easy to use and accessible from any device.
Also, make sure your site is SEO friendly and don’t forget to include elements like: Call to action, Portfolio, Testimonials, Contact page, Terms & Conditions.
All these will make your website noticeable among the millions of other websites.
See below how a well-designed website should look like:
2. Do SEO!
By doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you are moving your site up in the ranks of search engines such as Google. Being ranked in the top will give you a much bigger chance of getting visitors to your website.
How does this work? People use certain words to look for things when surfing the internet. Those words are called keywords, and by implementing keywords that are very used by the potential clients your site will get more clicks, therefore more customers.
Optimizing a website for SEO means that you have to look for the most searched and high-ranked keywords and include them in your website content. You can have keywords in the Title, Description, Headings, Posts.
Make sure you have Meta Title, Meta Description instead of only a simple Title and Description, this will make your site easier to be found.
Also, if you want your site to be easier to crawl by the search engine spiders you should have the following introduced into your site:
- 404 Page
- Alt for pictures
You can use Google Analytics in order to search for keywords and monitor your web traffic.
If you do all the above you will be one step further than all the websites that don’t take SEO into consideration.
3. Start a Blog
Believe it or not, most people surf the internet for information more than for buying your service/product. Many business owners try to push their stuff on the prospects as hard as they can instead of giving them information first.
I think you pretty much figured out what a blog should offer. I case you didn’t, I will tell you:
Value, value and again…value!
You have to give in order to take.
Always have your client’s interests put first.
Give relevant information regularly so your readers will be so pleased they would have no choice but to keep following you. Do this long enough, and you’ll develop a community of trusted potential customers. Even if they’re not ready to buy right now, you will be the first option when the moment comes and they might also share your blog with others.
Besides creating a close community of potential customers, having a blog will make your website more likely to appear higher in the ranks of search engines. That translates into more clicks, therefore, more potential buyers and more money.
Maybe you’re wondering how often you should write. In order for a blog to function properly, like any other thing, you have to be consistent. Make yourself an agenda and follow it, even if it is once a month, once a week or daily, whatever works better for you, just keep writing…
4. Build an email list
Just like the blog, the email list is a great tool to create a trusted community and increase revenue.
But why is it so great?
You can reach right into your customer’s inbox and connect with them. You step right into their world.
You’ve got permission:
With email, your customer has given you permission to come into their life. It builds trust. You’re welcome in their inbox.
They’re already interested:
Customers have already shown interest in your company or product. They’re already halfway there!
In order to create an organic email list you can do the following:
Offer something free for those who sign up for your email list. An e-book, a template of something, community membership, resources, etc. Focus on your prospects problems and give them solutions.
Make sure the opt-in is visible on your website. It would be best to have the freeby integrated into the opt-in.
For example a pop-up window:
Write as you were emailing only one person
If you want to create a strong relationship with your subscribers, then stop talking to a list and start writing as you were speaking with only one person, by doing this you will give a more personal vibe to your emails.
Give value to your subscribers, don’t email only when you need something from them. You have to act like a friend, always put your interest on the second place.
5. Be visible on Social Media
First of all, you need to determine what channels your audience use the most and focus your energy there. As an entrepreneur, time is not really on your side, therefore you don’t want to spend it on channels that aren’t going to bring you benefits. Not to mention the energy and resources lost.
After you have a clear view of the channels, you need to have a marketing strategy because you want to be as efficient as possible, and without one, you will walk like a blind in the desert.
Here are some tips to take into consideration when you’re building your social media strategy:
• Always share and create valuable content! You may have heard the saying “Content is king.”, well…it really is. Before posting anything, ask yourself if what you’re about to make public is useful for somebody. Offer information and updates from your niche, give solutions to problems that are encountered by your audience.
• Make your posts interactive. Once in a while, you can make different types of contests. Make free giveaways, offer discounts, have something that gives your followers an incentive to action.
• Use videos and images. People are more prone to watch a video or read a post that has nice images than to read a big chunk of text. Facebook videos and especially live videos are more and more popular and in a short time, that’s what a big percent of Facebook will consist of. Give it a try and you will be surprised by the results.
• Act like a real human being. A big mistake many business owners make is forgetting that people interact with people, not with entities. Be emphatic and as authentic as you can be.
• Be engaged. Show people that you really care about them and what they are saying. Reply to their comments, shows appreciation, reward them for being there. By doing this you will create trust and build a loyalty based relationship.
6. Get paid Ads
Facebook advertising is great, I will give you a few reasons why you should consider investing in it:
- It’s extremely low-cost. The minimum spend on Facebook advertising in the US is just $1 a day. Even with this small budget, you can have reach thousands of people.
- There are multiple bidding structures for your campaign objectives:
- Cost per mille (CPM). This type of bid can help you get more exposure and brand awareness by paying for thousand impressions.
- Cost per click (CPC). If you’re more interested in getting users to actively click on your ad and get to your page or site, you can choose the maximum bid per click, with CPC bidding.
- Optimized cost per mille (oCPM). This type of CPM bidding is when Facebook shows your ad to the people which they believe are most likely to take action on your ad.
- Cost per action (CPA). This bid is the best choice if you’re looking for people to make a certain action when they are seeing your ad, for example like your page,share a post.
- You can use very specific targeting.
Besides age, gender, language and location you can target users by: Demographics, Interests, Behaviors. Every category has more subcategories so you can be extremely specific when it comes to your ideal customer. Less energy and money spent on large non-targeted audiences and a lot more chances to make conversions.
- Massive audience. Facebook has approximately 1.71 billion monthly active users and around 1.13 billion daily active users.
- Google AdWords: Google Ad-words is another tool that you can use to increase your visibility and revenue. It is effective mostly because:
1. AdWords is scalable.
Marketers often struggle with finding lead sources that can be easily scaled.
Google AdWords is highly scalable, which is why some businesses spend millions of dollars a year on AdWords advertising. If you create an AdWords campaign that is converting at a profitable rate, there is no reason to arbitrarily cap spend on that campaign. You can increase your PPC budget and your leads and profits will increase accordingly.
2. AdWords can be easily measured.
Adwords PPC is one of the most measurable marketing channels. With a combination of PPC metrics and Google Analytics, you can have a detailed view of your ad campaign to see what’s happening. This lets you correct any issues that might be messing your campaign.
7. Partner up with other experts/business owners.
There’s a multitude of ways for you to reach out to other companies who share your views on customer service, business, product development, etc. This could be as simple as offering to swap guest posts for each company’s blog or introducing a business owner to your own online communities. You should think of an alliances that could bring value to your own customers, as well as an opportunity for you to expand your visibility to new audiences.