What does it take to market your new business online? How can you get the proverbial word out when youâ€™re just getting started?
As a small business, you probably donâ€™t have the luxury of outsourcing your marketing needs to professionals. Fortunately, you donâ€™t have to. There are lots of marketing practices and affordable tools that you can use to get this challenge under foot and get your new business humming.
While you wonâ€™t reap the rewards of your work over night, the following marketing techniques are easy to implement and donâ€™t require you to burn through valuable resources to get the word out about your new business.
Here we goâ€¦
1. Make sure your website is properly optimised for search engines
Clearly the best way to market any business online is to get found organically at the top of Googleâ€™s search engine results pages (SERPs) when prospects search for your business or products.
So, to increase the chances of that happening, you need to ensure your site is properly optimised for search engines.
While this can become a very lengthy discussion, make sure you pay attention to things like: relevant keywords, site speed, mobile friendliness, proper use of meta titles and descriptions, content quality, and so on.
Our article on seven simple yet vital search engine optimisation (SEO) first steps for a new website is a great read to get you started. For more in-depth information, take our free Search Engine Optimisation course to learn all you need to know about SEO and the proper ways to optimise your site.
If all this sounds a bit too complicated, donâ€™t fret as fortunately there are tools that can do most of the hard work for you. Like the 123 Reg Search Engine Optimiser which was created specifically for small business owners like you who want to optimise their site without having to spend months learning all the technical stuff behind it. This tool will guide you and give you actionable SEO advice as youâ€™re optimising your site.
2. Get listed in directories
This is another crucial step if youâ€™re a local business and want prospects to find you in the local search results.
The thing about submitting your business information manually to tens of popular online directories like Yelp is that it takes lots of time. So instead, why not let our Local Listing tool do the time-consuming, repetitive, boring work for you?
All you need to do is to add your details once and the tool will take care of submitting your information to high quality, relevant directories. On top of that, you can use Local Listing to monitor any reviews you receive on these sites, so you can keep track of your reputation and deal with any issues that may arise.
3. Create a blog and post high-quality content regularly
Blogging is still a very effective way to get eyes on a new business. So make it a priority to build a blog where you can post and share high-quality content that informs, educated and entertains your audience.
Sure, as with SEO, this is also a long-term strategy as it wonâ€™t pay off overnight. However, itâ€™s a fantastic way to drive traffic to your blog and site, to become an authority in your industry, and to garner the attention of your target audience, the media and business owners alike.
Here are some useful articles and guides to get you started:
- Six things you have to do before you start blogging
- A beginnerâ€™s guide to blogging for business
- How you can grow your business through blogging
You can also take our free blogging course to learn more about how to use blogging to grab the attention of potential customers and to build credibility for your new business.
4. Get some early traffic with Medium
Itâ€™s not easy to get traffic when youâ€™re just getting started online. Fortunately, platforms like Medium are a good way to get some early traffic to your blog and site.
Hereâ€™s how it works: write an insightful piece of content on a relevant topic thatâ€™s of high interest to your target audience and publish it on your website. Then publish it on Medium as well.
Just make sure that when you do, you always use the rel=â€ťcanonicalâ€ť tag. This tag helps prevent duplicate content issues as it basically lets Google know that the original source of that content is on your blog.
You can learn more about Medium and how to use it to get more traffic to your site from our guide.
5. Invest in Google ads to get your business at the top of the search results
As a new business, your priority should be to get found easily in the search results. With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising you can pay to appear at the top of the search engine results.
With Google being the biggest player in the market, youâ€™ll want to invest your time and resources into this particular search engine.
So, start by setting up a Google AdWords account and then create ads that are optimised for strong keywords that are relevant to your business. When users run a search on Google using those keywords, your website will show up and youâ€™ll only pay when users click on your ads.
You can check out our guide on how to run a Google AdWords campaign that works for steps on setting up and running your first ad campaign. If you feel this may be too technical or complicated, or if youâ€™d rather have a team of professionals run your campaign for you to ensure every pound is well spent, then why not try our PPC management service instead?
6. Leverage social media
Itâ€™s free, easy to get started and gives you the opportunity to connect and interact with a massive network of potential customers. The difficult part is increasing your followers without wasting precious time. Just make sure to always focus on value over volume.
To start with, youâ€™ll need to decide where your audience spends time online â€“ whether thatâ€™s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. If youâ€™re not sure which social media platform your business should be on, our guide has some great information thatâ€™ll help you decide which oneâ€™s best for you.
After youâ€™ve set up your business page on your chosen social networks, make it a priority to engage and entertain your followers with useful, interesting and shareable content. You can start small, with a few posts a week to see how your audience reacts to your content, and what they like most. Once you have a better understanding of who your followers are and what type of content theyâ€™re interested in, you can ramp up your efforts.
Our free course on social media can give you more insights into the most popular social networks, how they work and how you can use them to get the best results.
7. Use social media ads to reach your target audience
Building a following on social media takes time. If you want to speed up the process and quickly reach the right demographics for your business you can use Facebook and Twitter advertising.
If you know who your ideal customer is â€“ what theyâ€™re interested in, where they live, their age group, etc â€“ you can experiment with different campaigns and ads to get your business in front of your prospects.
If running ad campaigns on Twitter and Facebook sounds complicated, youâ€™ll be glad to know that we have a free training course on social media advertising that explains it all. In it youâ€™ll find all the steps to follow to set up your very first ad campaigns on Twitter and Facebook.
8. Get more customers and boost engagement with email marketing
Email marketing is something that every business owners needs to be engaged in.
When youâ€™re getting started with building your mailing list, youâ€™ll need to entice people to sign up. This often means giving something away for free in exchange for their email address and other personal information. This can be a free report, an ebook, or a trial of one of your products. In this article youâ€™ll find more tips and advice on how to build your first email list.
Once you have your list of subscribers, start sending newsletters with information about your business, special promotions and other valuable content that they will find useful. For a great first impression and easy management of content and lists, why not use our Email Marketing service to create and send a catchy email in minutes?
Try not to sell at every corner. Instead, use your newsletters to connect and to offer insights and great information that your readers can use to solve problems.
9. Create useful video tutorials on YouTube
YouTube is an effective marketing tool for any business and, when used right, it can help you to reach a vast amount of people on this platform.
Itâ€™s all about creating useful video tutorials where you teach people how to solve different problems. And while youâ€™re at it, why not make your products and services part of the life-saving solution?
Check out these two resources to learn more about YouTube and ways to use it to promote your new business:
- A beginnerâ€™s guide to promoting your website with YouTube
- How to optimise a YouTube video to increase the chances of users finding your videos
10. Reach out to popular bloggers in your niche
Reaching out to popular bloggers in your industry can be an effective way to market your business online, especially if you have something of value to share with their readers (who should also be your prospects).
So why not reach out to them and look for ways to collaborate? For example, you could offer to guest post on their blog. This is a fantastic way to share your knowledge, while getting your name out there and building a reputation as an expert in your industry.
In our article on how to get your website seen by the people who matter youâ€™ll find a section on influencers and ways to attract them so they end up promoting your content to their network.
While these are easy tactics to implement, some may take longer to get you the traffic and sales youâ€™re hoping for. Using the right tools also helps as they can speed up the process and save you time that you can use to improve other aspects of your business.