Blogging, social media, email campaigns, search engine optimization….the list seemingly goes on and on. These are all important aspects of online marketing, and yes, you need marketing if you want to grow your business.
Gone are the days of making a serious splash with a local newspaper ad for your corner mom-and-pop store, but you know that already. So if you’re not doing that, and you’re not online, what are you doing to grow your business? Is it working? The bottom line in most cases are, if you’re not branded online, you don’t exist.
Using The Internet To Grow Your Business
The internet is at your fingertips, allowing you to reach your target audience with the click of a button or a swipe of the finger. This generation of consumers wants things on demand, so your marketing needs to be ready when they are: all the time.
Figuring out how to establish your brand can be difficult, but with social media constantly putting your name out there, you can begin to identify your target audience and tailor your content just for them. Giving your target market a steady stream of content allows consumers to get acquainted with your brand, easily understand the value in your product/service, and ultimately make the decision to buy into what you’re selling.
Here’s your arsenal of tools and tips to push your brand through the noise:
UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Facebook and Google Analytics have great tools to help you understand your audience. If you have not installed these tools on your website yes, make sure to install the Google Analytics scripts and the Facebook pixels. If you do not like the idea of big data (Google) having your website information, there are other great options like Woopra.
facebook audience insights
Who are they and where are they? Before you start online marketing, this is crucial to first understand. Ensure that you’re putting your money, time, and energy in the right places. Check out this article from Buildfire on How To Promote Your Local Business Online. They had multiple industry leaders give their best suggestions on growing your business, such as:
Local Optimization: Add all of the schema markup language for local search on your website and make sure you are listed on Google Local Business and Bing Places.google local business
Get reviews on the different review platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook and others that may be industry specific. Sometimes clients need help with reviews, meaning make it easy for them. Write a few samples, get direct links to the review platforms, and send them an email with all the information so all they need to do is click, copy, paste!
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Arguably, your core 3 platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Of course there are others, and dependent on your audience, there may be better ways to reach them. Regardless, get your start with these, and then the real fun begins.
SocialQuant has put together a very comprehensive guide to Twitter, The Growth Hackers Guide To Twitter Marketing. They share several growth techniques and a few tools to help grow your business through Twitter.
BuzzSumo is a tool that you can use to find great content and the people that have shared it. Use this tool to find people that may share your content.
grow your business with buzzsumo
What the trend is another tool to use to find out what is trending on Twitter. This could be useful to find a trend and then share content with that hashtag.
grow your business with what the trend
Visual content (images, videos, GIFs, infographics) give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to engagement. Sharing articles that provide value, asking questions, and sharing happy/positive news are also great ways to provide value to the consumer. Creative visuals and infographics are fun to share, and sharing can help grow your website traffic, grow your brand and grow your business. There are a few tools out there to make it fun and easy for you to create visuals yourself.
Easelly – Create and share visual ideas
Piktochart – Easy-to-Use Infographic Maker
Venngage – Free infographic Maker
infographic tools to grow your business
FOLLOWING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Your audience won’t always come to you; you have to seek them out too, especially in the beginning. Follow other local businesses, follow related industries, search hashtags related to your locale, and literally anything else that has to do with your product or service. Once you find where the conversations are, jump in and start networking!
We had experts give advice in our 10 Tips To Twitter Success blog post, and the main concept is don’t just push things out and expect people to follow you, go find them and start conversations. Conversations with the right people will grow your social network and your business.
Twitter follower growth
EXPANDING YOUR REACH
So far, you’ve done all your groundwork, laying the foundation for your online marketing takeover. What’s next? Here’s the stuff you might just want to have a professional help with: creating a website, search engine optimization, blogging.
WHAT TO EXPECT
So you have yourself a fancy-pants website and hired people to help with you pay-per-clicks and SEO, but what does that all even mean? It means you’re going to rank online, especially where it counts. It means people are searching for things related to your business and they’re finding you on your website, on social media, on your blog, and on review sites.
If there’s a takeaway from this, it’s to be consistent. Building relationships take time, especially when they’re online. Discover your brand niche and stick to it. You want your audience to scroll through their feed and stop on your content, because they immediately recognize it’s yours. And put your content out there on the reg so they don’t forget you. Slowly but surely, you’ll see the payoff and wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along.