3 Best Ways To Market Your Small Business Online
When budgets are tight, online marketing might be the first expense a small business looks to cut. Big mistake!
While traditional advertising methods can be costly and difficult to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective tools and services provided by digital marketing companies.
If you don’t yet have an online business presence, you need to create one – and quickly.
You can level the playing field by paying attention to these 3 ways to market your small business online:
Manage Your Online Reputation
The most difficult thing for a small business is to attract first customers. Once you get them, you then need to ensure that they are satisfied with your service and services.
Satisfied customers will tell their friends or or write about you on social networks which helps you attract even more new customers. Having a good reputation on Google My Business, Yelp and other review sites is important for any business. Users constantly check ratings and reviews of places that they want to visit using these sites.
More so than ever before, regular interactions on social networks are vital to business success. Customers and prospects are tweeting about your latest product, leaving a comment on your blog, posting a Facebook update about their customer experience and talking to others about YOUR business – both online and offline.
Social media monitoring is a great way to gather public online content (from blog posts to tweets, Facebook updates and LinkedIn posts) and then process them to determine whether something negative or positive is being said that affects your business reputation.
Employ Local SEO
Many of our clients who didn’t even have a website started to realize they were losing to their competition every day. With a robust online presence, smart small business owners can:
1. Discover new customers they never had before
2. Rank on Google when someone searches “ ____ near me “
3. Establish a credible, trusted reputation within their community
4. Engage potential and existing customers through social media channels
When a small business wants to create an online presence outside of their company website, one of the most beneficial things they can do is optimize their website for local searches.
When looking for a local service or business, many people use identifiers such as city name and zip codes in the search engines. An SEO specialist can understand and find out the potential keywords that can help customers find your website.
Local SEO will drive qualified traffic to your website with customers that are looking for your products or services. It will allow you to have a strong online presence (whether it be Google, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps or others) to enable potential customers to find you.
Improve Your Branding
Very few small businesses I talk to mention branding as something they need to focus on to grow their business. I encourage you to put branding on your priority list to ensure your marketing efforts are successful.
Let’s begin with a common understanding of what a brand is and what a brand is not. Your brand is not:
· Your logo
· Your identity
· What you sell or your service
Branding is a representation of the emotional relationships you have with your customers. It is what your customers perceive of you and the value they derive from your business. It is not what YOU say or think about the business.
Given the above, it makes common sense that how you and your staff interact with customers is creating your brand – whether those actions are intentional or not. So how do you make your brand positively impact customers?
If you want to improve your branding, focus on these five areas:
– Customers relationships – building trust and credibility
– Reputation for excellence in your products and service
– Compelling value proposition
– Exceptional customer experience and service
– Consistently monitor and maintain your brand presence online
As you can imagine, there are many, many ways to market your small business online. The three focus areas discussed in this article should be towards the top of your list!