Use digital marketing to promote your business
10 Ways to market your business online
In a world where tools like Google Analytics let you track the conversion rate of each page of your website, and platforms like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords let you bid for leads and sales, it’s understandable that many marketers forget about the value of branding.
Branding is the oft-ignored side of digital marketing -- a strategy that produces real results over the course of months, years and decades instead of minutes, hours and days. It’s slow, traditional and long-term -- three characteristics that make it a digital outlier.
While branding doesn’t produce the immediate results of a PPC campaign, it’s one of the most valuable marketing assets around. An established, trusted brand can bring new customers into your business in huge numbers, propelling you to the top of your industry.
Luckily, taking the first steps towards building a trusted brand for your business isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Below, we’ve listed seven tips to help you establish, expand and strengthen your digital brand presence as a B2B or B2C company;
Use Facebook and Twitter ads to promote content
Creating great content is a great way to strengthen and expand your brand presence, but it will produce few results if no-one can find it.
Platforms like Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads are invaluable tools for content promotion. Both allow you to reach a large, highly targeted audience of people likely to respond positively to your brand.
Using Facebook Ads, you can target people who like similar products and companies to your own, helping you reach a highly responsive audience. Twitter’s ad platform even lets you target the audiences of specific brands and people:
This means that you can promote your content to an extremely specific audience, limiting your reach to the people most likely to read and respond to your content. In effect, you can add to your brand without ever reaching people who are unlikely to become customers.
While Facebook Ads and Twitter require some testing, both can be extremely cost-effective brand development channels once your campaign is “dialed in.” If you’ve never advertised on Twitter or facebook, Simcol is the way to go
Keep your content and image consistent
Great branding relies on your message being consistent with your brand image. Red Bull uses video so effectively because the subject matter it focuses on -- extreme sports and pushing the limits of adventure -- match its brand image.
If a brand like Xerox created a YouTube channel and started releasing extreme sports videos, would it get the same results as Red Bull? Unlikely.
It’s important that your content matches your brand image in tone, feel and subject matter. If it doesn’t, it’s unlikely to create any type of meaningful connection with your audience.
Focus 100% on branding, not conversions
Online, it’s extremely easy to track the exact response rate and profitability of an advertisement, right down to the top-performing placements and demographics. This makes it tempting to focus on conversion rate and short-term ROI as the barometer of a campaign’s effectiveness.
The end result of this is that many marketers launch social, search and display campaigns with branding in mind, only to compromise them by optimizing for direct response metrics like ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) and conversion rate.
Branding works best when there’s no pushiness or sense of urgency. The world’s most effective branding campaigns don’t push you to buy a certain product or take action -- instead, they focus entirely on associating a specific feeling with a certain brand.
Connect with others on LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn groups are a great way for quickly connecting with others in your industry or niche to help spread your message. You can promote your content through LinkedIn groups as long as you don't come across as spammy. It's best to add value to a conversation or discussion before trying to drop your links.
LInkedIn groups are also a great way of contacting people who you might not have mutual connections with. You can message any other member in the group without being connected, which can become a huge asset depending on the particular circumstances. Share updates often in the group, and be sure to stay in the spotlight without oversharing.
Leverage the power of Instagram influencers.
Today, with the ever-pervading power of social media, you can instantly reach droves of people from across the world at a moment's notice. But we also know that algorithms and visibility are working against us, especially when we don't have the reach of hundreds of thousands or millions of followers.
To reach those people, we need amplifiers, power users and influencers to help spread our messages. While this won't be free, it will give you instant access to a wide audience in your specific niche as long as you select the right Instagram influencer to help spread your message.
Create useful video tutorials on YouTube.
YouTube offers a great resource for marketing your business on the web. While you might find some friction at the outset for building your audience, if you focus on creating useful video tutorials, eventually, you'll reach a vast amount of people. Again, you have to focus on adding value without much concern for generating profit.
YouTube is a great resource for tutorials because you can teach people just about anything in an easy-to-understand format. Whether you're screen-sharing to teach a digital skill, or you're capturing something in the real world, just ensure that the quality of the recording and the overall content is high. Also, be sure to drop a link inside the description back to relevant content on your site.
Develop a relationship with your customers through email marketing.
Email marketing is something that every business owner should be engaged in, but it's no easy feat. To succeed with email marketing, you need to give something away for free in exchange for the consumer's email address. It needs to be something of value. If you are serious about collecting emails, take the time to create a free report or ebook that will help people in your industry or niche. Then, develop a relationship with that consumer through drip-fed campaigns using a system like Aweber, Get Response, Constant Contact or Mailchimp. However, don't try to sell at every corner and turn. Connect first, then focus on selling.
Collaborate with popular bloggers in your niche.
Reaching out to to popular bloggers in your niche might be an effective way to market your business online, especially if you have something of value to add to one of their posts. If you find a popular blogger who often writes about a particular subject that directly correlates to your line of work, why not reach out and look for ways to collaborate?
A great way to make this happen is to offer your services as a guest blogger. Clearly, you'll have to have a good background in writing yourself, and it might be difficult to find a popular blog willing to allow you to do this, but it would be worth a shot if you eventually secure a guest post.
Offer a free product or service to customers.
Studies have confirmed that people are more likely to accept something for free than they are to pay a nominal price for it. So, why not provide a free service or product to your customers? Maybe you offer a free 15-minute consultation or an entry-level product that you want to give away.
Whatever you offer, be sure to secure the customer's contact details so you can get in touch with them later. If you're giving away a service for free, you have an opportunity right then to upsell those customers to your paid services. People are more likely to feel like they owe you when they accept something for free as well.
Use business listing sites like Yahoo Local and Google Local.
If you're running a local business and looking to attract nearby customers to a brick-and-mortar location or offering some professional service that's geographically-specific, you should list your business on local business listing sites such as Yahoo Local and Google Local.
Google Local is an especially powerful way to list and verify your business information, providing public details such as your company's address for Google Maps appearances, store hours and other information related to your business. Ensure that you keep this information accurate and up-to-date.
Optimize your website for SEO.
Clearly, optimization of your site for relevant keywords is an important aspect of marketing your business online. However, the one thing to keep in mind is that if your business is new -- less than two years old -- and you've built very little authority or content, you're going to have a hard time ranking at the top of Google's SERPs for any keyword that's marginally competitive.
The goal is to build excellent content, but also ensure that you optimize your site's On-Page and Off-Page SEO. While this can become a very lengthy discussion, pay attention to things like your site's speed, mobile usability, meta descriptions, link profile, reading level, citing of sources, content quality, insightfulness and so on. This is more likened to a marathon than a sprint, so don't get discouraged in the short term if you don't see enormous results.