You might only remember one thing after reading this article. Let it be this: your business will be dead in the water without marketing. You might be able to get away with no real marketing campaign in an offline business. We’re not saying it’s advisable but it certainly could be possible. Particularly if you are opening a company in the middle of a busy high street.
It’s unlikely everyone is going to pass your shop by without taking a quick gander. But there’s no guarantee like that when you set up a business online. Opening a business online is like opening a shop on a high street that’s a billion miles long.
Of course, along with that massive high street comes more shoppers. But are they going to choose your business or one with great big, flashing lights? One that they might have already shopped at before.
The basic message to take away is that the online world is competitive. Skillful marketing is your only chance at survival. So, where do you start? We suggest you begin with your website. The heart of your online marketing campaign.
Online Marketing Pillars
There are numerous to ways to market a website online. The first is perhaps the most well known and that’s SEO. But it’s important to realise that SEO is an umbrella term. It covers a wide range of different forms of online promotion. For now, let’s start with the basic forms of SEO.
These are simply adding links and keywords to your site. By doing this, you will see the ranking of your site slowly increase, though perhaps not significantly. Still, it will be a good start to your marketing campaign. If you simply used backlinks and keywords, your SEO would probably reach the point where your website was on page ten of the SERPs. That’s being generous but it doesn’t matter because you want it on page one.
To do that you’ve got to look at the more complex forms of SEO. We’re going to examine those further down. Another way to increase your website ranking is to host it. You’d be amazed by how many business owners don’t host their site in an attempt to save money. What they don’t realize is that the amount they save isn’t worth the amount that they lose. Web hosting easily increases your ranking because it gives you a unique domain for your site. So instead of wordpress.com, it becomes .com.
But website marketing isn’t just about SEO. Your site has to look and feel professional to users who click on it. If it doesn’t, you can expect them to spend very little time exploring your site. It certainly won’t be enough time to reach the point of a sale.
You’ve got two options when thinking about how to make your site presentable. Either, you can set it up yourself, adding pictures and videos to make it interesting. Or, you can use a top website designer. Web designers can be hired on a freelance basis and know exactly what it takes to make your business site picture perfect. The choice is yours but you do need to remember just how competitive the online business world is.
Content marketing is partially related to website promotion and SEO. If you get information from your site shared your search ranking is going to increase. What better way to get information shared than to produce sharp, compelling content. In particular, we suggest you aim for your content to go viral. If content goes viral, it’s shared by millions of different sources across the web.
This might include media publications or simply user profiles. So, how do you write interesting content? Well, marketing experts suggest you use your content to tell a story. That story has got to be relevant and appealing to your target customer. Do this, and we guarantee that you’ll see that information shared in no time at all.
It’s important to utilise social media when you’re trying to get content shared from your site. So, let’s look at how the social networks slot into this marketing puzzle.
Social Media Marketing
If you want content shared, you’ve got to start the process. You should highlight it on your social media networks. For instance, if you add a new piece of content to your site, tweet about it with a link. You can then increase the chance of getting it shared. But you can also attract people from your social network to your site. It’s a two-way street and a win-win situation for the business owner.
To use social media to the best advantage, we suggest that you set up profiles on as many as you can. You should be using the main social networks that are already related to business marketing. But you also want to use things like Snapchat and Instagram.
These are becoming more popular with business owners who want to tell the consumer a story. A story that ultimately will help them buy the product that they are selling. As well as that, your social networks should be connected and accessible from your business site. Ideally, we suggest that you have your Twitter feed running as a widget on your site. That way, users can look from one to the other.
Other Forms Of Promotion
There are a few other forms of online promotion that you may want to be aware of. For instance, there’s PPC. Pay-per-click marketing is another form of SEO. It’s a different way to get your business to the top of the SERPs. Although rather than being in the organic results, your website appears in the sponsored section.
You have to pay for this privilege and, as the name suggests, you pay by clicks. The more consumers click on your site, the more the marketing costs. It’s important to realize this means you pay based on how many users click on your site, not how many purchases you get.
You can also look into retargeting promotion. In some cases, you’re going to find users click onto your site and click off without making a purchase. This can happen even if your site is designed professionally. If it does, you want to bring those users back. Retargeting tracks the users with an ad for your business reminding them of what they could buy. It gives you a second chance at a win.