As a small business owner whose potential clients aren’t necessarily people passing by the shop, you cannot ignore internet marketing in today’s economy.
If you want to stay competitive in your market, you know (hopefully) that marketing and more precisely Internet marketing is the way to go.
Although you are aware of the importance of marketing, you still wonder what to do or even where to start especially if you’ve little knowledge about the subject.
You might think online marketing is such a vast topic that you can easily feel lost between market research, branding, social media marketing, etc and promoting your business overall.
I hear from you!
Here are 5 important tips to start with your Internet marketing if you’re a small business:
# 1 Tip: It starts with your website!
It might seem obvious to you that having a website is crucial for your business. But, believe it or not, I still meet business owners who don’t have any and who don’t even think that they need one.
You should ask yourself the following questions:
- How do my customers find me?
- Where do I sell my services or product?
- How can my clients trust me if I have no website where they can check things out?
Or, if entrepreneurs have an online site, sometimes it doesn’t look professional, not up-to-date or not even mobile-friendly.
Again, ask yourself: Does my website look professional?
If not, will my customers trust what I have to offer on my website?
Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes, would you buy on a website that looks poorly designed?
I guess, no.
So, why would you do it for your own business?
Nowadays they are so many platforms out there that help you build your own website. So, you have no excuse not to have a website. However, if you have limited time or you don’t think you’re so technical, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.
Your website is the first ‘point of contact’ between you and your clients. It helps create trust and credibility. Think about it, on your website you showcase your products or services, provide customer care, offer valuable information to your customers and much more.
#2 Tip: Think Local
Get the basics done. If you have a local business, think about adding your business on a free listing such as Google my Business and Yell. Google my Business particularly is a powerful marketing tool that has features that other directories don’t have. For instance, you can post content, create events and list your products and services with their price tags.
Another awesome local marketing idea would be to write in your local newspaper about your products or services. In your article, you demonstrate how your services/products can add value to the community.
These tips described above are just to name a few but much more can be done for local businesses.
#3 Tip: List Building and Email marketing
You should definitely think of building a mailing list as it the backbone of your business.
Emails are collected via a webform that you placed on your website. And, you can decide to embed a form from a marketing service platform such as Mailchimp or Mailerlite. Or, you can create a form on your website and then connect to a marketing service provider via API integration.
It’s very easy to set up, but, if you have limited time, don’t hesitate to ask some support from a professional.
It might take time to build up a consequent list of potential customers but it worth the effort.
Email marketing is a powerful strategy that helps to create a relationship with your existing and future customers. Avoid being a hard seller; you should rather think in terms of adding value to their life. Once the trust is there, customers are more likely to buy from you than from your competitors.
#4 Tip: Social Media
There was a time social media was just that; social media and nothing else. Today, we are talking about social media marketing, just as you’ve realized, things have changed a lot for the past few years.
If you don’t like social media platforms or can’t see how they can serve your business, you better think twice. You can’t help it if your customers are for instance on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. You are missing out a lot by not showing up there. Besides, nobody asks you to hang out with no purpose. These platforms are great to connect with your audience, build your brand, drive website traffic and increase sales.
By the way, you don’t have to be on all the social media platforms, you should only focus on those which are relevant to your business.
Another great tip for online marketing for small businesses is a testimonial.
Have you ever bought something online without checking for reviews? We’re all doing it.
And, I would assume you do the same.
Your customers will check what other people think about your services/products. So, make sure that positive testimonials are showing up on your website, or on other platforms where your customers can see them. Testimonials are always helpful as they represent a sign of trust.
Finally, even though you have little knowledge of Internet marketing these simple 5 tips will help you get started. As you can imagine, there are many more ideas to implement in digital marketing.
However, you can focus on a few marketing strategies as long as they show great results.
Feel free to contact me if you need some assistance with building your website and for your marketing.