Growing a small business is a challenging endeavour in today’s fiercely competitive markets.
It can be hard to cut through the noise and reach your target audience when a slew of competitors tries to do the same with similar products and services.
If we add that small businesses operate on a shoestring budget, which leaves less than enough financial resources for marketing activities, it’s clear that you need to get very creative if you want to promote your company and increase your visibility and awareness.
Here are a couple of ideas to help you build and maintain a strong online presence in 2020.
First Things First
Having a reliable marketing team is something that you should think about before taking any further steps.
It’s a good thing that you can tap into a huge, global talent pool and hire people from all over the world, thus being able to reduce costs and hire people on a part-time and freelance basis.
However, since running a remote team can be challenging, it’s important to take a couple oftips to managing remote employees into consideration.
1. Build a Website
This should be the first and most important step in your marketing strategy.
Namely, only 51% of small businesses have a website, meaning that they miss a huge marketing opportunity. Nowadays, most people look a business up on the internet before they decide whether they want to do business with it or not, and not having a website will make you slide into obscurity.
So, building a website is a worthwhile investment. This will be your own personal corner of the internet and a place where you can tell who you are, what you offer, as well as allow your potential customers to get in touch with you.
However, bear in mind that this doesn’t mean that you can simply slap it together just for the sake of having a website. According to surveys, first impressions are 94% design-related, while only 6% refers to the actual content of the website.
Only a well-designed, professional-looking website will do for making a good impression. Otherwise, your business won’t come off as credible and trustworthy, which will result in a high bounce rate.
In case you already have a website, think about revamping it, optimizing it based on the latest trends, and ensuring an exceptional user experience.
2. Create Superb Content
Traditional, pushy advertising tactics have become a relic of the past – you can expect to attract potential clients only by promoting your business.
You need to offer something of value to your target audience.
That’s why it’s essential to create a lot of great content that will address their interests, pain points, and needs. Great content educates and entertains and allows you to forge a connection with your audience on a meaningful level.
But, content doesn’t mean only writing blogs, though this practice should be your top priority because companies that blog frequently get significantly more traffic than those that don’t.
Since more than 50% of global internet trafficcomes from mobile devices, you should adjust your strategy and leverage visually-oriented content that your potential customers can easily consume while they’re commuting to work, jogging, or doing something else.
So, make sure to include videos, podcasts, and webinars in your regular content efforts.
How-tos, instructional videos, and various guides that help your audience solve some of their issues and pain points are very likely to bring you not only qualified traffic but also loyal customers.
It’s true that creating professional videos can be quite costly, but let’s not forget that the latest iPhone models have exquisite cameras and that even some movies were shot in their entirety using one of these devices.
3. Optimize Your Content (and Website) for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) goes hand in hand with content marketing.
The thing is that no matter how interesting and valuable your content is, your audience won’t be able to find it if it doesn’t appear among the top search results.
In other words, you need to fine-tune it so that it’s on Google and other search engines’ radar.
This means that both your website and content should be SEO-friendly.
When it comes to the technical part of this strategy, it’s crucial to make sure that
– your website loads fast,
– that it’s easy to navigate so that your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, and
– that it’s mobile-friendly meaning that it displays properly on mobile devices.
All this will result in much better user experience and a reduced bounce rate.
When it comes to the content itself, the first rule of SEO is that your content should be exceptional and relevant to your audience. If this is so, it will be much easier for you to earn and build high-quality backlinks, that is, links on authority sources that point to your content.
Keyword research is another SEO tactic that can help you improve your Google rankings and attract your target audience. It refers to finding the most relevant and frequently used search words and phrases that people use when they’re looking for something on the internet.
4. Make the Most of Social Media
Using social media is a convenient method of connecting with your audience.
It’s a cost-effective method, but you shouldn’t rely simply on regular posts, because, for example, Facebook’s organic reach has been on the decline for quite some time. This social channel decided to turn to its original idea and mostly focus on connecting people and not serve brands.
This means that only 6% of your Page fans will see your organic posts.
To improve this bleak stat, you should take advantage of paid ads. Thankfully, Facebook boasts pretty granular and detailed targeting options, meaning that you’ll be able to ensure that the right people will see your ads.
LinkedIn is a particularly important social media platform for entrepreneurs, which is why you should polish your profile and start engaging with other people from your industry. But, simply posting updates and sending connection requests isn’t enough.
If you really want to make a difference and boost visibility, you need to join different relevant groups, start participating in discussions, and share useful content. These methods can help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche, and that’s how you’ll build the credibility of your business.
5. Leverage Email Marketing
You have probably heard that email marketing is dead, but nothing could be further from the truth.
This strategy has undergone a serious makeover from its early days of email blasts and generic messages that led to the development of spam filters.
Modern email marketing is all about sending personalized and tailored approach that resonates with your potential customers. With advanced email automation tools, it’s possible to slice your email list into a number of different segments, create personalized copy for every one of them, and schedule sending of your outreach gradually and in a human-like manner – a couple of messages at a time.
There are various ways of obtaining email addresses, such as creating lead magnets, gated website content, social media contest, loyalty programs, etc.
Email marketing allows you to send your potential and existing customers relevant content and valuable resources on a regular basis.
It would be best to implement all these ideas and create a comprehensive marketing strategy if you want to grow your business. Some of these tactics require hiring a professional, while others allow you to take advantage of a DIY approach and save some money.
Aran Davies is based in Swansea, Wales. He attended the University of Gloucester, earning a BS with honours in computer science in 2003. He is the blockchain expert, developer and head of content at DevTeam.Space.