How to Promote Your Small Business Online
The Internet is one of the best things to ever happen to our world. There are simply very few things you can do without it especially if you own a small business.
The statistics are mind-blowing too. For example, over 3.6 billion people use the Internet for one thing or another.
That’s not all, according to some marketing estimates, digital spending is expected to hit about $129.23 billion by the year 2021.
With the Internet ruling the roost, it makes sense to promote your small business online.
You don’t even have to compete with the big brands. You simply have to find steps or processes that work best for you.
To that end, this article will point out unique strategies on how you can use the Internet to promote your business.
1) Get Real With SEO
This is one of the first steps you ought to take especially if you own a website.
Analyze your current SEO situation to help you understand what you’re doing right or wrong.
There are different analyzer tools to help with that and also tell you what your competition is doing.
With a great idea of how you rank against everyone else, you’ll know where to tighten up.
For example, a tool like Ubersuggest will teach you how to insert certain keywords that help your business to rank higher on Google.
Other benefits you stand to gain include:
- Keywords you’re ranking for
- Pages that drive up your traffic
- Domain overview
- Top SEO pages
- Top pages you’re ranking for
- Content ideas
2) Video Marketing
Video marketing remains a good mine for businesses that hope to make it to the top. As such, not getting involved means you don’t want to grow.
Well, let the statistics convince you. The numbers show that marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
Also, the social media video will generate at least 12 times more shares than a combination of text and images.
How to Begin?
As a small business, you can start by setting up a YouTube channel. It doesn’t have to be perfect like all the movies you see online.
It only has to have some great qualities including:
- Keep it brief and quality-based. That way, it is shareable when potential customers come across it.
- Share it via your social media accounts and include them in your emails. Remember, about 64% of consumers make purchases after watching branded social media videos.
3) Create and run a Blog Efficiently
What this means is that you have to set up a blogging platform and post as regularly as possible.
This is one of the most potent ways to share high-quality content that adds value to your brand.
Further, it’s a way to let consumers learn more about your products and services. Don’t expect it to pay off overnight though.
However, if you stick at it, you’ll reap the rewards in the long term.
Blogging becomes all the more important for your small business when you realize that each month, approximately 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages.
That’s a good enough reason to become a leader in the industry.
What you’re effectively doing is building clout overtime while using content to market your business online.
4) Use Pinterest to Generate Website Traffic
While Pinterest can be odd for many businesses, it can work well if used effectively.
That is because it has one of the highest conversion rates in terms of converting browsers into buyers.
Besides, it’s also good for generating significant website traffic when you know what your target audience loves.
Further, a pin is 100 times more spreadable than your average tweet even though the life of a pin is one week!
5) Publish to Google Plus
Google plus is still a nice platform even though it failed to hit the heights that many users projected.
However, it remains great for small businesses looking to do a bit of online marketing. You can use Google Plus to push your new content.
Not that it’s still a Google product, and will most likely help you climb higher in the rankings.
6) Encourage UGC
Using user-generated content is a masterstroke considering they’re made by unpaid fans of your business.
When people love your product and go out of their way to share their experiences using them with friends and families, your small business stands to benefit.
Normally, UGC is shared online via social media platforms.
There’s no harm in encouraging people to give their thoughts about what you sell.
How it helps:
- Businesses have a better understanding of their target audience
- It boosts engagement and time spent on your website or online platform
- You get to reach a wider audience
- It’s a one-off. As such, other brands can’t replicate them.
7) Build Your Network on LinkedIn
Do you run a B2B business or you’re looking to start one? Well, you will need a strong presence on LinkedIn.
It’s a great avenue to build your network. Besides, it has the same or similar rules as other online social platforms.
All you have to do is engage with the relevant people to hit the ground running.
8) Ask Your Customers for Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are great especially when they come from people who have used your products.
Let’s face it, as a small business, you’re still looking to gain some ground in terms of popularity.
As such, you need all the positive reviews and testimonials you can get.
Whatever platform you use, give users a subtle hint to drop their thoughts on your service delivery.
That way, potential customers can see them and be encouraged to buy from you.
9) Comment on Relevant Content
There are tons of blog posts online. Many of them have comments on them too.
When making comments on articles relevant to your business, ensure you provide valuable advice and add links to your blog for more information.
What you say or write has to be useful so that it doesn’t spam the site.
Commenting will also lead to more conversation, networking opportunities, and brand awareness. People will get to know your brand more.
10) Post Craigslist ads
Stays indicate that nearly 600 million people visit Craigslist every month. Wow! That’s quite a large audience if you think about it.
So why ignore this figure? As a small business, it makes sense to take this opportunity seeing that Craigslist is free.
What’s more, there are more than 50 million queries performed on the site every day.
If you can post the right Craigslist ad with good images to follow, you will drive up sales.
Besides, it can be renewed after 30 days for an additional 90 days. It’s a platform that lets you have a lot of creativity.
You want to try new marketing templates and techniques? Anonymize yourself.
When you also consider that sales on Craigslist don’t carry the same fees as eBay and Amazon, it becomes all the more worthwhile.
11) Build an Email List
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs make the mistake of overlooking email lists. Don’t make that mistake.
That is because an email list is worth having and serves as a top channel for lead generation.
For example, for every $1 spent on an email marketing campaign, businesses can achieve an average of $44 in ROI.
A good email list is more effective than Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms.
You can use it to promote your business because emails are more likely to be read than social media posts.
Further, if you can add automating tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you’ll gain more.
That is the case with a qualified email contact list.
12) Google Analytics
If you don’t have Google analytics, make sure that you get one and link it up to your site.
You’ll appreciate the handy data that will help you understand how to go about your business.
Even if it appears difficult to grasp at first, you’ll get it right over time. Also, you’ll get to see how people interact with your site and identify pain points.
Also, the popular pages will keep you going. The results will help you make informed changes and improvements.
13) Send Free Samples to Influencers
Free samples are a great way to increase sales. It’s something that won’t hurt your business.
As a growing business concern, you want to win the hearts of your potential customers.
For example, online, consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on referrals from social media influencers.
Once these influencers use a sample and love it, they’ll lead others to it.
Don’t know how to find influencers, search for hashtags, and posts that have the most engagements.
Contact them with offers to hand over free samples in exchange for the base they have.
14) Post Photos and Videos on Online Platforms
The beauty of high-domain authority sites is that you can post photos and videos and build a following. Sites like Instagram, Tumblr, and others come to mind.
Ensure you make use of relevant hashtags and descriptions. That way, what you’re posting about is properly categorized.
Also, you should follow leaders in your industry or business niche.
Biding Your Time
This online marketing strategy to promote your small business is for the long haul. What you’re doing is basically what you’re passionate about.
As such, you’re adding value and building up steam for more visibility online.
Just like you expect others to like and view your posts, do the same for them while also dropping hints about your business.
15) Start an eBay Store
No matter what you’re looking to sell, you need to be on eBay. Don’t be like those who think it’s just another auction site for used goods.
The eBay online platform has grown beyond that and looks more like a company’s website.
As such, there are more people and businesses on it than you’d imagine.
Why use eBay?
For one, the gross volume of merchandise sold on the site reached $21.5 billion for the second quarter of 2017 alone.
If that’s not enough, you will benefit from visibility since eBay boasts about 171 million active monthly users.
That’s a lot of fish in the sea if you see it that way.
The eBay platform further gives you access to a suite of tools from the eBay Partner Network. These tools are easy to use and effective too.
16) Utilize Facebook Live
Chances are you already have a Facebook account complete with a profile, page, and group.
So what’s stopping you from adding Facebook Live to promote your business online?
According to statistics from Facebook, 20% of its videos are live. That makes love-streaming on Facebook one of the best marketing trends right now.
Just like other brands, you can take advantage of this platform by hosting a live session to promote your small business.
With many Facebook Live videos being short, it’s important to keep yours to the point and with the best messages about your business.
17) Keep Your Business Current on Maps
This is a quick age. However, even the most traveled persons still work with maps sometimes.
That is because a mapping program helps them find places and businesses. So why can’t they find yours?
Perhaps that’s because it’s not listed or doesn’t have current listings.
If you can’t be contacted or found online, then that’s bad news for your small business.
Ensure you upload and constantly update your business information on mapping platforms.
For example, Google My Business, and other tools will help you do that.
Many link aggregators and some other platforms mine Google. Aos for information. In line with that, it’s important to keep your listing updated.
Further, it’s a no-brainer that this is more like being listed on Yellowstone Pages back in the 80s.
You have a chance to make this an advantage by ensuring your business is correctly listed on Google Maps and others like Apple Maps and Foursquare.
18) Create a Referral Program
There’s a lot of reasons to start a referral program. For example, since its launch, Dropbox has quickly become a market leader in cloud storage.
It has a platform that boasts over 500 million users, 200,000 of whom pay to use the service.
Other platforms like Skillshare and Sam’s Club are prime examples you can borrow learn from.
Attach credible gifts to your referral program so that customers have more incentive to let others know about and patronize your business.
19) Roll out an Affiliate Program
An affiliate program is a great way to get your small business more out there.
What it does is help you incentivize bloggers, YouTubers, and other content creators to post links to your site.
When they do post referral links, affiliates get a percentage of the sales as a commission.
Reports show that affiliate merchants lead to an increase in new customers.
Use a popular or effective program to get started. For example, you could use Amazon which is a top affiliate program.
You could use it to create in-feed links within content. Affiliate programs are also wide-reaching.
Sure, you’re giving away a little percentage of your profits but the volume of potential trades and more money in the long term is massive.
20) Use Social Media for Customer Service
Are you on several online social media platforms? Then, you’ve got a chance to market your business for free.
Be sure to answer customer or follower questions when they ask them through via the comments or direct messages.
What this does is make your business look responsive and credible to existing and potential customers.
Platforms you can use for your customer service responses include Instagram and Twitter for customer service.
Get a Little Help
Sometimes things can be a little bit overwhelming. So if you have a budget for it, consider hiring a social media manager with community management experience.
While they’re charged with posting content on a regular schedule, community managers are also capable of responding to questions or concerns of followers.
Having them is worth it but if you can handle things by yourself, all the better.
21) Paid Promotion
Social platforms also offer the ability to make use of paid advertising.
That way, you can directly reach out to consumers who might be interested in your products.
Further, it’s important to note that when you want to run some ads, it’s better to select metrics based on website clicks or conversions.
As such, you’d have more people visiting your website.
Some paid promotions can be done through Google AdWords or PPC (pay-per-click) to increase traffic.
Marketing or promoting your business online is important now more than ever.
You have to take your space in the digital clime to give your small business a shot at becoming a big brand.
Whether that’s free or with some little token, these tools and platforms are great ways to go about it.
Nothing stops you from combining several of them too.