How you choose to market your online business can be essential to its success. When planning your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to research your competition first – particularly if you have a niche product or service to offer.
While there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all rule for promoting an online business, there are many effective methods that both new and established companies can use to raise their profile. Some can come at a huge cost and some can come at no cost at all apart from time and effort. A common mistake made by small business owners is to focus only on the free methods of marketing and don't spend anything which can prohibit the quick growth of a company massively. However the tips detailed below are reliable long term methods that can get your online business noticed and help it to grow.
Take advantage of social media
One of the smartest moves you can make as an online business is to make the most of social media opportunities. It’s not enough to simply setup a Facebook page for your business and await the results; you need to keep your social networking pages active to ensure you’re reaching the maximum amount of users. Update your information regularly and be sure to make at least three to four posts a week on Facebook, 6-10 per day on Twitter, 1-3 per day on Instagram. If there is a lengthy dip in your social media activity, your followers may take it to mean that you’re out of the loop and have nothing of value to offer them. Staying engaged with your users heightens your credibility and your online presence, so ensure you’re making all the best efforts to do so.
You can also give your online profile a boost by using paid advertising on social media. For start-ups struggling to build a strong following on social media, sites like Facebook and YouTube can help get the ball rolling by offering affordable advertising options, such as side banners and video ads.
Many companies can underestimate the importance of blogging when it comes to promoting an online business. While it can take time to build up a solid reputation with your blog, the results can be incredible. Make time each week to post quality content on your site. Answer the questions frequently asked by your target market, comment on a relevant news story in the media or simply share some funny or interesting facts about your product with readers. A company that’s constantly making the effort to engage with their target audience is more likely to drive traffic to and from their website. In turn, this kind of consideration for your readership and potential customers inspires trust.
Create a viral ad campaign
If you find yourself struggling to make a dent in your chosen industry, viral marketing can be an effective and fairly quick way to get noticed. A lot of first-time businesses can make the mistake of thinking that viral marketing is simply shared advertising – far from it. A viral ad is not traditional advertising. In fact, the less you mention your product or services, the better.
Viral advertising is all about spreading word of mouth in a humorous or intriguing way. All it takes is a simple yet memorable idea that gets people talking. You could target clients by releasing a funny video online or creating a simple flash game that visitors can play on your website. You could also invite your social media followers to play.