When you own a small business, especially during the start-up phase, your budget can be tight. But if you fail to market your business, especially online, your prospects for success will suffer. Even if you can’t hire an outside marketing firm right now, there are plenty of things you can do for little-to-no cost to boost your marketing efforts online. Here’s how to get started:
- Get the best possible website and online presence you can. Start accounts and build pages on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Submit your business information to online business directories for both your area and your industry. Make sure that your information is accurate and identical for every listing so that search engines, like Google, will recognized you and (hopefully) boost your rankings.
- Get your business on Yelp. Personally ask your customers to write reviews for you. Positive customer reviews are gold in today’s online business environment. If you have a few positive customer reviews, post them prominently on your website. If you receive any negative reviews online, the best thing to do is to respond quickly and professionally, offering to fix the problem or remedy the situation. When other customers see that you are willing to respond positively to a negative review, this builds trust.
- Ask your friends and family to use your business website as their homepage on their computers. The more people (at different IP addresses) who do this, the better your search rankings will be.
- Offer an online customer loyalty program or incentive. If you can, give one offer for new, first-time customers and another for repeat customers. Then, promote this offer liberally, especially on social media.
- Add a blog to your business website and post a new blog at least once per month. According to HubSpot’s “Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics,” 57% businesses which post a blog monthly reported earning a new customer through their blog. For more great information and tips on business blogging, see our previous blog here.
- Register on the MeetUp app. Find a MeetUp that would be appropriate for you and your employees to attend. Think about creating your own MeetUp. Sharing a beverage with folks in your industry or potential customers is a great way to get your business’s name out there!
- Try an email marketing campaign. Be careful here, you don’t want to spam your customers and drive them away! Determine a schedule for how often to send emails; give your customers updates on your products or services, and offer incentives. If you have a blog on your website, definitely include a link to it in your email. It’s important to know that the majority of email readers will engage most with the first link you offer, so be sure to put the most important information first and towards the top.
When you are ready to take the next steps in marketing your business, call Mike Morris at Morris Marketing at 919-424-8314 . Mike and his team of professionals work to stretch your marketing dollar to get you the highest return on your investment. Let Morris Marketing in Raleigh get your business soaring!