In this crazy, digital world that we live in, any business can really benefit from as much marketing as possible. Even if you’re a storefront or sell your services in-person, you should still consider strategies for reaching a larger audience online. The potential to connect with literally thousands or millions of others (beyond just those in your geographic area) who could be interested in your products or services is pretty incredible — and something that you, as an entrepreneur, should certainly take advantage of.
The heart of your online marketing efforts should always be based around a solid framework of strategies that allow you to connect with your ideal audience — and make smart investments that will get you real results. Online marketing in general consists of many moving parts, not just one initiative. Not only can it (as a whole) increase visibility and awareness of your brand, it can drive heavy traffic to your website and ultimately, land you more clients + sales (revenue!) The main goal is to of course make a company money, but to also generate strong relationships with the right customers — allowing longevity — so that a company can stay relevant and sought-after for a long time!
You don’t have to be everywhere and everything to everyone. Your focus should be spending time on the platforms where your potential customers/clients hang out. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another outlet, be sure to post content and engage in smart and strategic ways, so that you’re connecting with the right people. Don’t stress too much about follower count — it’s all about quality over quantity. Build and nurture a community on each platform. And remember, social media is not a means to an end. Facebook could truly pull the plug and disappear tomorrow — and if you “build your house on rented land” your customers/followers will go with it. Instead, try this — use your social media channels to ultimately drive traffic to your website. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
In addition to the content that you post on social media, the integration of a blog to your website is crucial, no matter how many people might try to tell you that “blogging is dead.” Whether you write, record an audio clip or shoot a video, it’s all about putting out content that will benefit your ideal client base. Give them the answers to their problems. Teach them something that they didn’t know before. Offer how-to breakdowns, tutorials, etc. Any kind of content will position you as an expert in your field and will also help to boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — which you’ll learn more about below. And in case you’re not quite sure, according to the Business Dictionary website, “content is both information and communication: the sum total of the freshness, readability, relevancy, and usefulness of the information presented, and the manner in which it is presented.” The best part? Any kind of content (from blog posts to videos to Instagram captions to podcasts and more) can be repurposed and treated as “evergreen” — so that it can stay relevant and stick around for a long time.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of driving targeted traffic to your website directly from search engines (like Google, Yahoo, etc.) Long story short, your website is your #1 most important marketing tool, so you want content (like blog posts, videos, etc. — hence why blogging will never not serve a purpose!) optimized so that it appears in search engine results. In addition to this, any social media platforms + advertising outlets should also be setup to drive traffic directly back to your website, so it really needs to be developed properly in attracting the right audience to your brand and therefore, generating more leads and sales. It’s also important to know that each page of your site must have enough copy (words!) to support SEO efforts. Focusing on keyword research and the overall user experience of your site play big roles in SEO and as time goes on, SEO is really a huge and individual marketing initiative and investment that a business should tackle all on its own. Having a “pretty” website means nothing without the right content to support it. And, a pretty website doesn’t matter if there is no one visiting it!
Online advertising is just one important part of your overall online marketing strategy. If you’re interested in spending the money, it’s crucial to first research and decide on the best online sources where your advertising dollars would be best invested — appearing on screens and pages that will be seen by your ideal audience. You can run digital ads (promoting a specific service, product, event, launch, course, workshop, freebie, etc.) on various websites, digital publications, media (radio, TV, etc.) outlets and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Pinterest — although Pinterest is considered to be a visual search engine and not a form of social media.) You really have the potential to reach countless groups of people.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be spammy or sales-y, like many seem to think. Every business can benefit from an email subscription list — it’s something that potential clients/customers have chosen to join and you own it — even if something happens to your social media channels or website one day. It’s basically a list of prospects! So, create a free offer for those prospects and followers who will give you permission to email them, in exchange. Through daily, weekly or monthly emails, you can grow + nurture a community who will come to know, trust and like you — and hopefully, ultimately buy from you (or tell someone else to!) Again, you have the potential to land in thousands and millions of inboxes — and extend your network by leaps and bounds! Similar to blogging, when you write emails, you’re creating content (that can also be repurposed later) and positioning yourself as an expert in your field!