In part one of this two-part blog series, we talked about super simple ways to get an internet presence without breaking the bank or having to hire more staff to man it.
In the second part of this series, we’ll discuss the more complex forms of internet marketing. Having a website is great, but doing something with it and bringing in new customers from across the globe is really the ultimate aim.
Marketing Your Business and Your Website
Although not every type of business is best served by incredibly complicated forms of internet marketing, all businesses can benefit from extra effort in this department.
Unless you’re still operating in a town with just one stoplight and happen to be the only restaurant for miles around, you could probably stand to capture more of the local market share. Everybody’s online these days, even your neighbors, and they want to know more about you before they step foot inside your doors.
Here are some marketing methods to make that easier:
Content Marketing. Writing is hard work, but it’s the very best way to show your adoring fans that you know a whole lot about whatever it is that you do.
It’s also the best way to prove to Google that your site is timely and relevant, which means you’ll end up with a much better ranking in searches than if you just built a simple three-page site and left it alone. Blogging gives you an outlet to regularly update your followers about industry news, teach them about easy solutions to common problems in your niche and to explain how to choose between different options when shopping.
Email marketing. Email has become as effective a conversion medium as direct mail, so now is as good of a time as any to start building your email list.
Ask in-store customers and site visitors for their email addresses in exchange for coupons or updates about new products — but asking is the important thing. Don’t buy a random email list and start throwing spam at it, you’ll end up with a lot of angry people on your hands. Try not to send out too many emails, but do send something to your subscribers at least once a month. Using a tool like MailChimp, you can build a newsletter that can share new insights about your industry, news your customers can use, coupon codes, interesting tidbits and more.
Social media marketing. So many businesses jump into social media marketing before they’re ready — it should be one of the last things you do. You really need your content marketing to be up and running and your email list established before you go out to social media trying to make new friends. Your content side will make it easier to constantly keep your social media loaded with fresh information and your email list will ensure you don’t have to start your friend list from zero.
There are many useful social media sites, but Facebook is one of the best for business because of the wide audience and detailed analytics available at a relatively low cost. Organic views won’t get you very far these days, you’ll ultimately have to put some money behind social efforts—but the cost for a social media campaign is a fraction of what you’d pay a typical newspaper for exposure. Just remember that social media is about being social. You’ll have to give in order to get. Don’t worry about selling, just focus on chatting, answering questions and being a resource and the rest will follow.
Internet marketing is very different from traditional print advertising, but you also have a lot more control over your own content and cost. In many ways, it’s a huge boon to small businesses like yours. When executed properly, your boost in order fulfillment will more than cover the added cost of producing the content necessary to drive your internet marketing machine.