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Marketing is about face-time – and in our increasingly fast-paced world, it’s getting harder and harder to be seen and remembered by customers and clients. Being available online is essential, especially in places where new people see you every day.
If you’re thinking about how to market your business online, here are 13 ways to get your name and brand out there. Just remember that although they might seem basic, these ideas can always be built upon.
1) Get Off Your Website (And On To Social Media)
If you are thinking about how to market an online business, having a website should be the top priority right? Wrong.
A large percentage of transactions these days comes from platforms other than websites. At Single Grain, we always talk about having an omnichannel approach, which simply means that you need to ensure that you are leveraging more than one platform. If you aren’t, you’re leaving money on the table.
Instead, you need to create relevant profiles on at least a few social media sites and start interacting with the users there. We offer a full guide to setting up a social media strategy.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, establish a presence on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to make sure that people can:
- Submit reviews
- Find information about your business
- Ask questions
- Read your blog posts or product reviews
- Omnichannel Marketing: Using the Content Sprout Method to Overcome Info Overload
- The Beginner’s Guide to Crafting a Highly Effective Social Media Strategy in 2019
- 4 Ways to Acquire Customer Reviews Using Social Media
2) Have Conversations with People
Interaction is the name of the game. You need to be able to address people’s needs or frustrations about your business or your field.
In fact, according to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled by networking. Sadly, however, one in four people don’t even try to network. Imagine how much potential for new clients and customers you are ignoring by talking with people.
This is where the above tip comes into play – social media platforms are excellent places to have conversations, from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to Quora, Yelp and Reddit.
Above all, have conversations, not sales pitches. Don’t try to sell – just talk to people. If they are curious enough, they can click through your profile and learn more about you.
3) Leverage Your Brand
Regardless of whether you have a personal or corporate brand, be sure to leverage it. How do you do that?
First of all, make sure that you have a story that is relatable to the audience that you are targeting. For example, here at Single Grain, we offer an Agency Accelerator program that targets people who are starting a marketing agency. These people are usually struggling to get started, so our story of how our CEO Eric took over Single Grain from a negative business to having clients like Lyft is both relatable and has the target market’s desired end result.
Another extremely important part of a brand is building up your trust and credibility. Talking about clients you worked with (if you are allowed to) and having testimonials on your site will help.
4) Talk About Yourself
People go to your website – especially your About page – to find out about your business. Don’t settle for a paragraph of ambiguous words about your goals or mission. Make it real by putting the personal touch on everything you do, and including plenty of mentions of how others describe you.
If you’re looking for good examples, HubSpot created a list of great About pages. Some characteristics of a good About page include data-driven stats, a personal tone and talking directly to the target market.
5) Be Consistent Everywhere Your Brand Goes
You need people to be able to recognize your brand no matter where they are online. Logos and colors help, and so do faces and catchphrases. But you also need to make sure that you are reaching out to your target audience wherever you are. So spread consistent messages and don’t try to rebrand yourself every few months.
6) Start Building a Brand with the Rule of 7
The best time to be establishing your brand is as soon as possible. Even if your future customers are not in a position to be buying from you now, if you aren’t visible right away, you won’t be remembered when they are ready to pay for your products or services. Remember the Rule of Seven: Your brand has to be seen seven times before anyone will remember who you are.
This is also very important from an SEO standpoint as Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that the Internet is a cesspool but that trusted brands can help: “Brands are the solution, not the problem…. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”
So how can you do this? The Content Sprout Method is a great place to start in 2019. This technique starts with a “seed”, which can be one video, one blog post, etc. Next, you have the “sprout”, which is quite simply taking the seed content and creating it in another form. So if you started with a video, now you also have audio for a podcast, which you can transcribe into a blog post. From there you then “pollinate” it by pushing it out to many platforms. That can be an email list or putting ad spend into it.
7) Pay for Promotion
If you’re wondering how to market online, you’ve probably considered paid advertising. PPC is not an SEO strategy per se, but it is an online awareness strategy.
Advertising, especially well-targeted advertising, still serves its purpose, and Internet ads are much easier to track than television or print ads. Experiment with different ad copy, the size and placement of banner ads, and different advertising channels. And be sure to send each ad to one specific landing page. If you aren’t keeping track of your results, you won’t be able to measure or improve them.
It’s no secret that paying for space is getting more and more expensive. Does that mean we shouldn’t use it anymore? No! We wrote a guide to Google AdWords (now Google Ads) or you can watch the video below to learn how you can still crush it in 2019.
8) Create Email Campaigns
An email campaign is a great way to keep reminding former customers who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. Prospective customers might also use your emails to judge whether they want to do business with you or not. Make sure that there is something your reader can find helpful in each email blast, like a new product, a holiday special, an informative blog post or even a product demo video.
Need some help getting started? We provided a couple of examples of great email structures. Remember that an effective email is an email that adds value to the customer. If your email isn’t providing value, it won’t help increase your conversions.
- Cold Email Templates that Get Responses
- 8 Ideas for Compelling Emails to Send During the Holidays
- Beyond the Newsletter: You’ve Got Their Email, Now What?
9) Give Stuff Away
Free things are music to most peoples’ ears – and that doesn’t always mean giving stuff away. It could also mean having a sale with deep discounts. If you are marketing physical products, it could mean providing an exceptional guarantee to back your products. When selling information products like e-books and courses, try letting people have the first chapter or lesson for free.
In fact, Neil Patel has been known to create content for $30,000 and then give it away for free. He also purchased Ubersuggest for $120,000 and then released it as a free tool. And guess what happened to his traffic? Yup, it skyrocketed. Just focus on creating value.
10) Know What Your Customers Want
Just because you have a great product or service, doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what they want. The best way to discover this is to do a little research and create buyer personas.
Simply put, a buyer persona is a detailed description of your target customer. A fully fleshed out buyer persona includes everything from demographic information to hobbies, and from income bracket to family size – all written as if the persona were a real person.
However, just because your product solves a prospect’s pain point doesn’t mean that he or she will immediately purchase. Originally you will have cold traffic, so you should focus on warming them up. Here is a guide we created on how to target warm, hot and cold traffic.
- Attract the Right Prospects With Buyer Personas (Includes Step-by-Step Templates!)
- How to Implement User Intent to Build an Audience for Your Content
- 4 Steps to Discover Your Ideal Buyer Persona for B2B Marketers
11) Talk About Others
There’s no better way to get someone’s attention online than to flatter them, especially if you send a noticeable amount of web traffic in their direction.
Establish yourself as a fan first by following them on social media, reading their articles (or watching their videos, etc.), and adding your thoughts to the comments section. You can then write blog posts that link to one of their articles (it must be a relevant link, of course, and your own post should be very well written), and share it with them with a note saying how they inspired you.
And don’t forget about flattering the little guy, too – it’s not just the big brands or personalities that are important. Though they will likely become loyal to your business in return, remember that you should be giving without hoping to get anything in return.
12) Work with Influencers
Social sites allow people to share and talk about what is relevant to them. Find the people who are active within your niche and start to spark conversations and build relationships. This is a great way to be seen as an influencer. In addition, create high-quality resources that people will want to link to and tell their friends about.
If some of these influencers are difficult to get in touch with, think about how you can help them. What keeps them up at night? How can you solve one of their problems? Make sure that when you do reach out to them, you are speaking on a personal level. If you want more info on how to carry out these steps, here are 5 hacks to start a conversation with an influence that you can use.
- How to Reinforce Your Customer Acquisition Strategy with Influencer Marketing
- How to Work with YouTube Influencers to Grow Your Business
- How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Influencer Marketing
13) Ask People to Talk about You
Encourage feedback, positive or negative, from your customers. Remind them that you will be reading all reviews or survey answers. Treat all your customers with equal respect, even when you disagree with their opinion.
Remember that it is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to maintain a current customer, so focus on how you can make your current customers happy.
In fact, according to a study from SuperOffice:
- 86% of customers will pay more for a good customer experience
- 73% consider it an important factor while making a purchase decision
- 65% find a positive experience with a brand more influential than great advertising
There are many more ways to market your growing business online, and much more depth to the thirteen tips listed here, but if you're overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start, this blog post will help you.
To learn more about digital or online marketing, check out these guides and articles:
- How to Perform Marketing Competitor Analysis (+ 6 Best Tools Comparison)
- 7 Marketing Strategies that Work to Increase Conversions
- 10-Step Checklist to Digital Branding for SMBs
- The #1 Marketing Strategy for 2019: The Content Sprout Method
- 44 Must-Have Marketing Tools for any Business in 2019
- What Single Grain’s Marketing Focus Looks Like in 2019
- How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business in 2019