Size doesn’t matter — at least, it doesn’t have to. Using effective tools, you can market your small business just as effectively as a large-scale corporation. Will you immediately find yourself on the playing field alongside Starbucks or Target? Probably not, but you’ll be on your way.
You can start marketing your small business website using these tried and true industry methods. Looking for immediate success? Well, you’ve probably come to the wrong place. These things take time, but they will help you become successful.
1. Identify your target audience — and join their online communities
Figuring out who you’re marketing to is key, otherwise you’re just wasting valuable time and resources. Use your competitors for comparison analysis and utilize any customer base you’ve established thus far.
Establishing a target audience is not enough, though. You need to interact with them in order to spread the word about your business. Insert your business information into a relative community, linking back to your website. This will help potential customers find you.
2. Social media opens doors
In a socially-reliant world, you’re only hurting yourself if you don’t utilize social media. With so much information flitting around Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, you might think you don’t stand a chance. But social media can be highly effective in helping you gain a target audience and building a customer base – if you do it right.
Don’t spread yourself too thin — expend your energy on one or two social accounts you’re going to really dedicate some time to. Be sure to provide as much information as you can about your business and link to your website whenever possible on social pages. Try to post engaging content on a regular basis. Using social pages’ promotional tools is also an effective tactic. No time for social media? You can always hire a company that will do it for you.
3. Content — quality trumps quantity
This is probably an obvious one, but you need to be blogging — with a purpose. Everyone who’s anyone has a blog these days and making your content stand out is essential. What does your website say? Can people learn or benefit from any of the content you’ve provided?
Quality definitely trumps quantity, and while you don’t need to post every day, it is recommended that you post at least a couple times a week. Once you have an engaged audience, they’re going to return to your site and look for more. Additionally, blogging helps you rank higher in search engines.
4. Link to your site where people want to find you
Guest blogging is a useful tool for this tactic. Having links to your website placed strategically across the internet will ultimately drive more traffic to your site and grow your audience.
Hiring a company to perform blogger outreach services is the easiest way to make sure your link gets placed effectively on high-quality websites. Trying to do it yourself may only create a bigger headache than ROI, so leave it to an expert and focus your energy on other marketing strategies.
5. Subscriber boxes serve their purpose
Generating leads is one of your primary marketing goals and a subscription box is one of the easiest places to make this happen. This tried and true strategy involves collecting users’ names and email addresses and in this way building your audience.
Once you’ve created a subscriber list, you can send out promotional emails with new products or services and other useful information. This should include all past and current customers. Use an email service such as Mailchimp, which gives you the capacity to track your performance and see which campaigns are performing well and which ones might need some adjustment.
6. Utilize online directories
Unlike what many believe, directories are not dead; low quality ones do die, but the good ones thrive. Some of the best are niche-specific, such as CrunchBase for business niches, TripAdvisor for travel niches, and so on.
There are tons of online directories where you can list your business. You’ll need to do your homework.
Start with listing your website on free directories before progressing to paid directory placements. Find a category that is most closely related to your business and add your information. Be sure to submit your website URL and all pertinent descriptive materials that help you stand out from the crowd, so that users are more likely to choose you over the competition.
7. SEO education pays for itself
Education pays for itself — especially when you’re talking about small business marketing. Invest in your success by educating yourself on key players in this field, such as SEO. Learn the basics of SEO through web tutorials so that you understand the development of a meta description, slug, and focus keyword.
You can implement plugins on your website platform at this point but they should only be used as aids. You should have a comprehensive understanding of SEO so that you don’t need to rely on them completely. This is a great place to start.
Now over to you…
Do you run any small business websites, either a company website, a online store, or even a blog? Please share your tips for promoting your website.