5 Ways to Use Online Marketing to Grow Your Small Business

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So you’ve decided to start your business venture or already have one but want to expand, but are wondering how to market it? Are you confused about how to best market your product or brand? Online marketing can be a powerful tool to increase the outreach of your business and enhance customer engagement. It can be used by beginners starting their business or seasoned entrepreneurs looking to expand their customer base. Before you begin to use any online strategy, be sure to study your customer demographics to tailor your advertising. It also helps to have a clear goal for your business - whether you want to increase traffic to your existing site, build a new customer base, and create a brand presence or any other specific aim.

So should you take the traditional marketing route via billboards or print advertisements or go online? Traditional marketing is a tried and tested marketing technique, but it suffers from significant drawbacks. Traditional marketing tactics cater to a non-specific customer base, do not engage customers significantly, and is expensive as well. Online marketing scores over traditional marketing by offering:

  • Interactive marketing

  • High audience engagement

  • Customization for the target population

  • Feedback and result oriented marketing

  • Lower overall costs

Here are 5 ways to use an online strategy to escalate your business:

1.    SEO or Search Engine Optimization

Online marketing can be done via SEO or Search Engine Optimization to gain visibility on Google for your business and attract customers. SEO implies ensuring that your website or blog attains a top rank in Google (most common search engine) searches. You can launch an SEO campaign yourself or hire an SEO analyst for the job. If you are a DIY person, a few websites can help you learn the ropes such as web-savvy-marketing.com, Google Search Console Help or Google SEO Starter Guide, and moz.com. SEO tools are also available online such as Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Analytics, or Google Keyword Planner among many others.

2.    Email Advertising

Email marketing helps you circumvent the search engine ranking process and appear directly into your customer’s inbox. Email marketing works by sending emails promoting your business, providing information about updates, offers, and discounts which interest the buyer and encourage him or her to visit your store or website. Email has an extensive outreach and can help build a business rapidly. The customer can subscribe to your emails privately without his or her choices being publicized on a social media forum. Hostingfacts.com lists a variety of email marketing services you can subscribe to depending on the size of your business, budget, number of products, and type of business (blog/vlog/e-commerce/marketer/others).

3.    Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media probably has a significant presence in your personal life, so why not use it to develop your business? First, you need to figure out what you want out of social media - creating a brand presence, driving site traffic, or understanding your customer base better. You can choose from a wide variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn and so on. The audience of each social media platform is different, so a look at social media demographics for each one will help you decide. For example, Instagram relies on images and the audience is under the average age of 30 years. Once you choose which social media site to use, create your business page and update it frequently. Keep your online presence active by interacting with customers as well. You can keep a check on how well your SMM is functioning by analyzing the social media metrics for your social media page. For example, Facebook metrics can be assessed by viewing the Posts, Overview, Likes, People, or the Reach tabs.

4.    Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC is a type of advertising where a business owner puts up an online advertisement and gets paid each time someone clicks on the advert. Search Engine Advertising on a platform such as Google is a popular method of PPC marketing. You can bid on and use keywords. The right keywords will ensure that your advertisement is displayed prominently on a search engine such as Google whenever a user searches for a term relevant to your ad. It is essential to use the right keywords to ensure that your PPC advertisement is selected by the Google PPC software called Google AdWords. You can also assess the status of your PPC advertising on Google by using the free Google Ads Performance Grader tool.

5.    Mobile Application 

You can market your business by developing a mobile application that users can download on their mobiles. Your logo on a mobile device serves as an advertisement in itself. You can send regular notifications directly to your customer’s mobile. Notifications can be personalized based on a user’s preferences. To ensure that maximum users download your mobile app, ensure that you use keywords in the app title that highlight your app in the sea of app downloads available. You can also advertise on social media platforms to garner downloads. You will also need to engage and retain app users. App engagement and retention may be enhanced by providing push notifications that appear on mobile on downloading the app, and messages that pop up within the app (in-app messages).

Online marketing is the way forward when it comes to setting up or growing your business. The right tools, well-planned strategy, and targeted advertising can help you achieve higher business goals that you ever anticipated.

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