A couple of decades ago, when people were just getting familiar with the internet, nobody would have ever thought that it would go on to rule the world in almost every aspect of their lives.
Even for the smallest of businesses to survive in the modern market, where the competition is now typically cut-throat, it has become necessary to market a business online and not merley stick to traditional marketing strategies. However, unlike traditional marketing, online marketing does not require a huge amount of investment. Hiring a professional to assist with marketing your business online can help ensure that your business gains visibility and exposure at the top of search engine rankings, but a major part of online marketing can be handled by the business owners themselves with the right technical knowledge. The following is a step-by-step guide to marketing business online.
1. Creating a Website and Submitting It to Search Engines
Almost every business, big or small, requires a website. There are certain platforms like WordPress, Webflow, and Squarespace that allow you to create a simple website for free or very little cost. After creating the website, it needs to be submitted to search engines to be noticed. Make use of all popular search engines starting with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Most online business listing submissions can be done manually.
2. Getting Listed on Google My Business and Other Directories
Listing a business on online directories is important to not only get noticed but also to create a good online reputation. Since Google dominates the search engine world, listing the business on Google My Business should be a priority – you’ll need a valid business address and phone number. This will help to ensure that the business shows up on Google Maps, and Google searches. Other directories like Yelp, Yellowpages can help business get noticed and increase rankings. Also, making use of local directory listing services such as those provided by DirectoryBug can save a lot of time and money while also making certain that you are taking the absolute best approach. While submitting information to get listed, also ensure that the the right information (especially NAP – name, address and phone number) are correctly mentioned, and try to optimize your business listing profiles as much as possible. This aids in improving your local SEO rankings.
3. Creating Social Media Accounts
The greatest advantage of creating social media accounts for a business is that it is absolutely free. Almost every individual has an account on Facebook, while a significant number of people also have Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Having an account on these popular social media platforms can help the business reach out and connect with their target customers. Use these platforms to make sales runs, create content that engages consumers, and present thought provoking ideas and topics. Active participation on Facebook or LinkedIn groups that relate to the business is important, for many businesses as well.
4. Starting a Blog
Blogging might seem like a huge task, but if planned strategically, it can be highly effective in drawing the attention to of a lot of customers. Make a list of things that could be uploaded to the blog such as tutorials, infographics, inspirational posts, etc. Use attractive images or illustrations, accompanied with good text content to make the blog posts visually appealing and engaging. Create a calendar for the same, so that it is convenient to plan and post the blog posts.
Encouraging guest blogging is another strategy. Invite writers or bloggers who work on content relating to the business to contribute to posts on the blog.
Create accounts on platforms like Quora and Medium as well. Answering questions and sharing knowledge on these platforms relating to the business’ industry or offerings in a detailed format can also fetch the attention of target customers.
5. Engaging Customers
It is not sufficient to simply just have presence on the above mentioned platforms. Information on these platforms needs to be constantly updated to let customers know that the business is running. Encourage customers to give reviews and feedback in order to create a good online brand and image for the business.
Email marketing is a very crucial strategy. Encourage your customers to sign up to your email list, collect their email IDs and constantly keep them updated about new products, sales or discounts, and important information pertaining to your industry.
Video tutorials are another great way to engage the consumers. Short and concise video content repeatedly garners more attention than conventional, long text content.
One of the most important things for businesses while marketing a business online is to make effective use Of SEO. Besides getting listed, constantly monitoring the ranks of the business on search engines, strategizing and constant improvement is necessary. For business to appear on top searches, effective SEO strategies need to be in place. Social media also has to be effectively used to reach target customers. With the right content, accurate information submitted to search engines and good virtual presence, a business can continue to stay on top and become hugely successful.