Beginning to market your business can be a challenge, if you don’t know where to start. Marketing online is not just about making a website, or forming a facebook page. Whether posting pictures, videos, or articles for your business, you need to know what look, demographic, and format you should have. Here are ten basics to online marketing you need to kick off your business on the web.
Know Your Enemy:
Find a target audience for your company. Knowing the worries, values, and troubles of the demographic can help establish a basic connection with the people you are focusing on. If your company aims towards married women between 30 and 45, they focus more on the welfare of the family, education, and safety. They may also use social media sites or read articles on parenting sites. Having information such as this can aid in how you form your marketing campaigns, so that they address their views, lives, and frustrations so they look to your product or service.
Understanding the Vibe:
No matter what product or service you are providing, you need to figure out what look and feel you want to send out while marketing your business. If you have a beauty salon, you will most likely have a feminine and chic look, with earth tones for the background. If you promoting a restaurant, the feel should be warm and inviting, with pictures of your food to make people want to go there. Either way, the colors, messaging, tone, color palette, and logo should have a connection to your business as a whole. Having an all red site while your logo colors are blue and green may not be the best choice. The brand elements of your business form not only the theme of the site, but also the feeling you want to send to potential clients or customers that see it.
Having A User-Friendly Website:
Part of having a professional-looking website is making it easy to navigate for everyone. Put the phone number for your business in a clearly visible, and obvious spot, such as the top or sidebar. Along with the phone number, an email address and business hours should be easy to find and available to all site visitors. Having a clean, focused design can make it much easier for the consumer to use. If all the information on the website is scattered, it may be hard for your customers to find what they need. Keep updating the content on the site as news comes up, such as a new item on the menu, deals and special offers, or information on a topic that pertains to the site.
Keep Them Coming Back:
To keep current customers with you, and bring in new ones, you should publish new and relevant content that your customer base would like. A hair salon may write about a unique hairstyle, a new member of the staff, or a hair product that they just began to offer. Whether you want to establish a blog page on the site, or just put up posts on the homepage is up to you. Posting a new article every 2 weeks can keep readers coming back for more. Consider posting the articles on a social media site as well, because it can be shared by readers. This allows for your followers friends to see your article. They may, in turn, become followers themselves.
Strength Through Social Media:
Social media can be an easy way to connect to potential customers, and keep in touch with your current ones. It is important to get on the right social media for your business based on what you do, sell, and the demographics that you aim for. Hair salons and remodeling contractors might use Pinterest because the user base of it is mostly women. Pinterest is also popular for showing pictures, so it can be a good way to show off a finished kitchen, or hair style. Facebook may be a better option for restaurants and diners, because it allows for a large amount of text to give out information on specials or events. Pictures can be put up on Facebook as well, so a picture of a new menu item can go out to your customers. Only 5.4% of Facebook’s users are below the age of 18, so this caters to the adult and family base that restaurants go for. In fact, 15.6% are age 55 or above. Figure out which social media sites will offer the best connection to your customers, whether current or potential.
Consider making a mobile version of the site, in addition to the standard style. With the growing use of smartphones, this can be a huge plus. The mobile version should offer the same information as the standard version. A phone-friendly website might have a map function, or a click-to-call option. This adds to the chances of being contacted by people who are in need of your services.
Email blasters are used to send out mass emails to customers who have signed up. It allows you to send information to all of your clients and offer special deals to have them come back. Coupons, announcements, hints, offers, and more can be sent to all of the customers who have signed up. Email marketing vendors such as MailChimp or Constant Contact can be used to set up an email blaster easily and keep you connected, organized, and ready to send out a mass email. Just make sure you stay within the U.S. Federal trade laws and keep from sending emails to customers who leave or refuse the email blasts.
Search Engine Connections:
Getting information out to the world is very easy in the age of the internet. The best way to get your name out there is by using search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a great way to do this because it adds keywords to organize where your website should appear when someone searches. It is based on what keywords the searcher is using, such as the service or product they want, what location they are in, et cetera. You want your site to come before all the others, so use multiple, keywords that are relevant to the purpose of the business.
Using Online Business Listings:
An online business listing is a great way for you to put your business, and website, out for consumers to find. Directories such as Google Places, Yelp, and Yahoo! Local can bring local customers to you. Many listings are connected to Google or Apple Maps, so people using the map service can find you easily. Make sure that the information on your listings are correct.
See What Works for You:
Which marketing tactic works the best for your business? Are customers opening your emails? Find out what is bringing you the most new customers. This is important, as it tells you where to continue spending your time and money. Remember that you probably won’t get a huge influx of new customers on the first day. It may take a while, but once established, a fully functional marketing set-up can really benefit your business.