Now that everyone’s trying to sell online, the next important question is: how to market my business online? That is if you are one of those who took the plunge and tried their hand at online selling.
The sooner you start with marketing, the better. Please don’t wait until your website is live before you start promoting it. The same goes for having the entire inventory on hand before you promote them. You want to make sure there’s a steady flow of customers once everything is set.
Going back to the question, here are simple ways to market your online business.
Marketing an online business today
A multifaceted approach, which involved one to two or even more marketing strategies, is favored these days. Such an approach may mean using offline and online marketing.
Or, it may also pertain to digital marketing that includes several channels (i.e., mobile application, e-commerce store, pay-per-click advertisements, email, website, blog, and social page).
With this said, you have choices of online marketing strategies.
How to market your business online
There are proven digital marketing strategies that bring traffic, leads, conversions, sales, and profits. At Optimind, we also use these strategies in marketing our services.
1) Social media
The importance of social media marketing in digital marketing cannot be emphasized enough, especially today that users are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. It means having easy access to thousands to millions of potential customers.
Not to mention, these channels are your marketing playground. You may experiment with posts and ad types that work. You may also share information based on targeted insights straight from your dashboard. It is also possible to ride on current trends through the use of hashtags.
One advantage of marketing on Facebook and the like is the possibility of building a community around your brand. As such, you would be able to connect with your target customers at the individual level, albeit digitally.
Another advantage that even small businesses would appreciate is the minimal cost of utilizing social media sites. Setting up a business page is also intuitive—the learning curve is not that steep.
2) Search engine optimization (SEO)
If you’ve been reading about how to market your business online, especially if a website is your starting point, you’ve probably read about SEO. SEO refers to the process of making your website and pages findable in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The idea behind optimization is easy to understand: your site must rank high in relevant search terms for a higher chance of getting a click. In SEO jargon, this is termed as click-through rate. The top 3 Google search results get about 75% of all clicks.
With SEO, you need to manipulate certain content to help the website rank higher on SERPs. This includes service pages, category pages, product descriptions, blog posts, etc.
Technical SEO may help. It means using correct URL structures, page speed, HTML tags, XML sitemaps, and robots.txt file, among other things. In this way, Google crawlers may easily find your website.
Furthermore, the content, which should be high-quality, must be relevant to the site target’s keywords to obtain traffic and visitors organically. The rule of thumb is targeting one keyword per page.
In addition to organic SEO, there is also paid SEO through Google Ads campaign management. This one is more technical because it requires a campaign setup, a competitor analysis, ad copy creation, and landing page design and creation. This leads us to the third item.
3) Google search ads and display ads
Over time, the term PPC advertising became synonymous with Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords. With this model, Google’s promise is to 1) drive website visits, 2) get more phone calls, and 3) increase store visits.
Online ads are text, image, or video advertisements encouraging users to click. These ads also include display ads like responsive ads, social ads, retargeting ads, and native ads. Search ads are text ads that appear on the results pages, while display ads are image ads that appear on websites. Video ads appear on YouTube and other video-sharing and video-enabled platforms such as Facebook.
Other types of ads are shopping ads displayed in product listings in Google, app ads, and local ads.
When the users click on the ad or the link on the ad, they are directed to a landing page to take the desired action. These are the conversions, which could be downloading, sharing, purchasing, etc.
Ads appear anywhere on the Internet, though the most common is on the results page. When the user enters a query, Google displays ads on top of or at the middle part of the organic results. The ads appear regardless of which device is used when searching using the relevant keywords.
Essentially, ads are put in front of the users searching for your products and services like yours. That’s why paid search is considered more targeted than organic search—the users are already one step ahead in the sales funnel. They are purchase-ready but still need a little push. Again, this will depend on the conversion that your business needs – may it be a completed checkout or a call to your contact number.
What’s appealing about the PPC model is you only need to pay for the results, which means maximizing your marketing budget. You can set an advertising budget and a budget cap so you won’t go over it. Ad campaigns are also adjustable, or you can pause them anytime you want to.
Put simply, well-time ads can turn your users into valuable customers or clients.
4) Email marketing
Email newsletters are also a great way to communicate with your existing customers while also marketing to new ones.
However, this would only work if your online store or the business page has an email address capture field so that you can gather enough emails for your email marketing campaign. Collecting buyers’ email addresses is easy; the challenge lies in obtaining those of the passing visitors.
As such, this marketing strategy takes time while also requiring an adequate amount of time to manage. You need to make sure that it runs smoothly, including the preparation of the email newsletter.
Speaking of which, careful planning of the newsletter is critical to make this work. You can always send branded content, especially those that can help the customers. These are the content type that addresses the pain points of your customers.
However, you need to tread on this aspect when sending promotional emails. This includes upcoming sales, new products, product releases, company news, and more. You need to:
- Keep it brief, simple, and concise
- Include just the right amount of text (about 400 words)
- Include one to two high-resolution images
- Keep the subject line short (50 characters or less)
Mix blatant advertising with interesting and fun to read information. You have to be consistent about sending email newsletters as well. Emailing customers once a month is more than enough. And never spam your customers. Ever!
With the above, you now have an idea of how to market your business online. As a startup, a pro tip is to build your audience first through social media and blogging before sending out the newsletter.
Experiment all you want until you find what marketing strategies work best for your business.