There are billions of customers out there, and nearly as many ways to get them interested, However, today, with the evolution of Google’s core search algorithms, and in the wake of major adjustments that have gone by names like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, being found on the web has become likened to obtaining a doctoral degree in physics or mathematics.
As entrepreneurs, we all know that the best way to market any business online is to be found organically through a search at the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s free and offers near-limitless traffic to those who can master this highly convoluted field of online search.
How do you market your business online?
What does it take to market your business online? Without waiting years and years to move up the rankings on Google’s SERPs, how can an entrepreneur get the proverbial word out? There are definitely some ways to market your business that will offer a better return on the investment of your time than others. Some will take weeks to pan out; while others will take months and years.
No matter what method you choose for marketing your business on the web, as long as you ensure that you’re adding value along the way, and you’re implementing the proper set of marketing habits, you’ll eventually reap the rewards of your work over time. It won’t happen overnight. But then again, nothing worthwhile ever does. Below you’ll find some the best methods in both the short and long-term for driving that all-important traffic to your site and pages online.
1. Create a blog and post high-quality content regularly.
Clearly, the most important way you can market your business online is to build a blog where you can post and share high-quality content that adds an exceeding high amount of value on a regular basis. This is definitely a very long-term strategy, and it won’t pay off overnight, but every entrepreneur needs to understand the importance of embracing this online marketing method.
2. Connect with others on LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn groups are a great way for quickly connecting with others in your industry or niche to help spread your message. You can promote your content through LinkedIn groups as long as you don’t come across as spammy. It’s best to add value to a conversation or discussion before trying to drop your links.
3. Use Facebook ads and strategically-targeted landing pages.
Facebook ads, while not free, offer a great opportunity for reaching the right demographics for your business. As long as you know your customer well, you can use metrics like interests, geographic location, marital status, age and many others, to locate potential consumers to send to strategically targeted landing pages, also known as squeeze pages.
4. Leverage the power of Instagram influencers.
Today, with the ever-pervading power of social media, you can instantly reach droves of people from across the world at a moment’s notice. But we also know that algorithms and visibility are working against us, especially when we don’t have the reach of hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. To reach those people, we need amplifiers, power users and influencers to help spread our messages.
5. Create useful video tutorials on YouTube.
YouTube offers a great resource for marketing your business on the web. While you might find some friction at the outset for building your audience, if you focus on creating useful video tutorials, eventually, you’ll reach a vast amount of people. Again, you have to focus on adding value without much concern for generating profit.
6. Develop a relationship with your customers through email marketing.
Email marketing is something that every business owner should be engaged in, but it’s no easy feat. To succeed with email marketing, you need to give something away for free in exchange for the consumer’s email address. It needs to be something of value. If you are serious about collecting emails, take the time to create a free report or e-book that will help people in your industry or niche. Then, develop a relationship with that consumer through drip-fed campaigns using a system like Aweber, Get Response, Constant Contact or Mailchimp. However, don’t try to sell at every corner and turn. Connect first, then focus on selling.
7. Collaborate with popular bloggers in your niche.
Reaching out to popular bloggers in your niche might be an effective way to market your business online, especially if you have something of value to add to one of their posts. If you find a popular blogger who often writes about a particular subject that directly correlates to your line of work, why not reach out and look for ways to collaborate? A great way to make this happen is to offer your services as a guest blogger.
8. Regularly contribute on industry-specific forums.
Many people have the whole forum-strategy posting for SEO all wrong. They get out there and drop spammy links, and they wonder why they’re booted off the forums. You can’t do that. If you’re serious about marketing your business online, when you do find an industry-specific forum, join conversations and add value before you try to link-drop. No one likes a person who comes in as a new guest to a forum and begins spamming links.
9. Offer a free product or service to customers.
Studies have confirmed that people are more likely to accept something for free than they are to pay a nominal price for it. So, why not provide a free service or product to your customers? Maybe you offer a free 15-minute consultation or an entry-level product that you want to give away
10. Use business listing sites like Yahoo Local and Google Local.
If you’re running a local business and looking to attract nearby customers to a brick-and-mortar location or offering some professional service that’s geographically specific, you should list your business on local business listing sites such as Yahoo Local and Google Local.
11. Optimize your website for SEO.
Clearly, optimization of your site for relevant keywords is an important aspect of marketing your business online. However, the one thing to keep in mind is that if your business is new — less than two years old — and you’ve built very little authority or content, you’re going to have a hard time ranking at the top of Google’s SERPs for any keyword that’s marginally competitive.
12. Create a branded email signature.
One of the simplest ways that you can market your business online is by using a branded email signature. Place your links and any potential accolades your company might have received directly into your email signature. This helps to passively promote your business to people who you’re in contact with on a daily basis.
You should include social media links in your email signature too, along with any relevant links to important company marketing pieces — digital brochures or news pieces that feature your company. Drop a small tagline or one-sentence catchphrase about your business and its mission as well.