10 Ways to Promote Your Business Online

FT Contributor  | 

The online marketplace has revolutionized marketing methods across the board. Small- and medium-sized businesses can market their wares to customers half a world away and anyone with a modest budget can make their voices heard.

However, just because the internet provides you with a communication channel to reach potential customers doesn’t mean those customers will automatically hear your message. You need to approach your online marketing strategically to get the most out of your precious resources.

Here are 10 powerful marketing tactics that can help you generate income as you promote your business online.

1. Local Listing Services

If you run a local business, it’s still very worth your while to use the internet to promote your brand. One of the simplest ways you can do this is by taking advantage of online listing services.

These typically consist of geographically based directories, websites, and other platforms that customers use to find products and services. Some common local business directories include:

  • Craigslist.
  • Apple Maps.
  • Bing.
  • Facebook.
  • The Better Business Bureau.

Each of these can help you establish a local presence online — which is a good thing, since 97% of people learn about a local company online before making contact.

2. Engage With Customers on Social Media

Social media has become a crucial marketing channel for practically every business in every industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a huge international conglomerate or a mom-and-pop shop on a local street corner, maintaining a presence on a social media platform or two can help you interact positively and effectively with your clientele.

If you want to use social media effectively, make sure to limit yourself to two or three social media platforms — conduct some research and look for the ones that your customers use the most. Then, use the platform to:

  • Share photos of products and services.
  • Invite and respond to customer feedback and comments.
  • Provide timely customer service support.
  • Post store hours and important news and updates.
  • Create brand awareness through things such as giveaways and product announcements.

A quality social media presence isn’t just nice, it’s a necessity for any modern business.

3. Try Multimedia Content

It’s easy to stay focused on text-driven online marketing. However, other marketing mediums, especially visual ones, should never be ignored. In fact, people are twice as likely to share video content compared to anything else.

Fortunately, “multimedia” is a fairly broad alternative to text that can span the gamut. You could promote splashy influencer videos on TikTok, formal how-to clips on your YouTube channel, pictures of products in action on your Facebook or Instagram accounts, or tutorials on your website.

4. Create a Blog and Post High-Quality Content

A company blog is a powerful marketing tool. It provides a bank of high-quality information right on your website that can:

  • Increase your website traffic.
  • Help spread brand awareness.
  • Establish your company as an industry authority and thought leader.
  • Provide helpful customer service tips.
  • Give you an online platform that is not dependent on another company, like Facebook or Twitter.

It’s easy to set up a company blog. However, the challenge comes with the content itself. It’s important that you generate quality content that genuinely captivates, helps, and generally benefits your readers.

If you’re going to create a company blog, make sure to establish clear protocols, such as your brand’s voice, tone, style, and perspective, in order to maintain consistency and quality as you produce content.

5. Optimize Your Site With SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of helping your content be seen by search engines and the people that use them. There are many ways to work on your website’s SEO, such as:

  • Using metadata and robots.txt files to help search engines better understand your content behind the scenes.
  • Using external and internal hyperlinks to create greater authority for your website.
  • Using keywords to indicate the purpose of each piece of content that you create.
  • Always focusing on quality and a human-before-search-engine attitude as you create content.

It’s important to understand that SEO is a long-term strategy. It rarely yields results quickly. In addition, it can cost large amounts of time and resources.

However, if you’re able to patiently dig into a simple-yet-effective SEO strategy, it can ultimately be one of the most effective online marketing tools of them all.

6. Post Press Releases

Long-form content is an excellent way to answer customer questions, populate your company blog, and boost your SEO. However, at times you may want to use another marketing method: the press release.

If you find that you need to make a simple public relations-focused announcement, such as a new product or a change in customer-facing operations, a press release can help you do that quickly and effectively. Simply condense your announcement into its simplest form — i.e. add just the facts. Then post that information via your online marketing channels and share it with members of the media, your social media followers, and so on.

7. Try Your Hand at Networking

Most of these tips are focused on customer-facing activities. However, sometimes the best way to promote your business is by taking a B2B approach. Networking online with your peers is an excellent way to help your business gain awareness and acceptance. You can do this by:

  • Partnering with other companies in online fundraisers or charitable causes.
  • Using social media to connect with other popular personalities and influencers.
  • Giving and getting favors, such as exchanging tips and knowledge with other professionals you know.

Taking the time to develop your online network is a vital lifeline to long-term viability and success.

8. Regularly Engage in Email Marketing

Social media, search engines, shared content — these are all excellent ways to reach new customers. Email marketing, though, is where you have an opportunity to cultivate an avid repeat customer following.

Customers must opt-in to an email list, meaning they are actively requesting to be contacted by you in the future. Therefore, it’s essential that you use your email list to regularly engage with your core audience. You can do so by:

  • Sending promotions and specials — especially if you segment your email list.
  • Sharing valuable resources with your readers.
  • Informing your email list about special information, such as a press release, before it’s shared with the greater public.
  • Announcing new products or services.

An email list is a powerful marketing option that is still gaining steam decades after its invention. In fact, email marketing boasted a staggering 4,400% ROI in 2016 — more than a 15% increase from just one year earlier. With such an effective tool at your fingertips, it’s only natural that it should be regularly used to interact with your audience.

9. Build Consumer Trust Through Review Sites

Review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business can dramatically impact your online presence. By both accepting and responding to reviews, you can help develop customer trust in your brand.

It demonstrates the human side of your company and allows consumers to see how you treat your customers. In addition, properly filling out and maintaining your Google My Business listing, in particular, can have a huge impact on your local search engine rankings.

10. Free Products or Services

Finally, you could use the internet to provide free products and services to your customers. This may take multiple forms, such as:

  • Offering a trial or demo of a product or service for a limited period of time.
  • Providing a small, cheap or even free downloadable product as a loss leader.
  • Giving away a product or service in order to generate brand awareness.

Giving away free products or services is an excellent way to gain attention and build a customer base, especially if your business is still small or even just getting started.


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