Thinking about starting a small business of your own is an easy thing to do. However, making that small business work, is a completely different story.
It’s because managing a small business is not just about dealing with customers, balancing sheets, or earning and selling. Managing a small business also requires you to have the know-how to market your business to the public.
And at this day and age, marketing has evolved from the traditional brick and mortar method to the more digital and increasingly more popular online marketing.
What is online marketing about?
On your quest for learning about online marketing and how it can affect your business, it is important to understand that marketing is not the same as advertising. Online marketing covers a set of powerful strategies and tools that can help you promote your business and services via the internet. Advertising, on the other hand, is only one of the many techniques that you can use to fulfill your online marketing goals.
What are the basics of online marketing?
Before you venture into marketing your business online, you must establish and lay down the foundations first. Here are four of the most important aspects:
Establish the goals and needs of your business
One important aspect of online marketing that you need to specify is the goals and needs of your business. What do you want your business to achieve through online marketing? What do you need to do? Knowing the direction your marketing efforts need to go will help you plan out the entire venture better. Here are some goals that you can refer to for your business:
- Brand awareness. Do you want people to know and recognize your business?
- Sales. Do you want to increase your sales? Do you want to sell?
- Expansion. Do you have any plans of branching out into other ventures? Do you want to expand your customer base?
- Customer retention. Do you want to retain your current customers? Do you want to provide more engagement opportunities for your customers?
Understanding your customers
The next thing that you must establish is your understanding of your customers. Establish a connection with your customers. How did they learn about your business without online marketing? What made them like your services or products? What aspect do they like most? What do they like to see or experience in the future? Build rapport with your customers because they are a fountain of information for you.
Once you have gathered intel on your customers. It is time to analyze their individual characters. Knowing the types of customers that you have, the way they interact, and their preferences will help you tailor your online marketing efforts to their needs.
Once you’ve gathered sufficient intel on what you need to do for your business, you can start planning and formulating strategies to achieve maximize that information. You need to know which way and what tools to use to get the optimum results.
What marketing strategies can you utilize?
Now, there are a lot of strategies that you can employ in your online marketing scheme. However, you need to remember that although all them work, some of them may not be the best for your plan. But, that does not mean that they are not worth examining.
One way of marketing businesses online is through paid media. One of the most known examples is online advertising. Online advertising is the most straightforward method of online marketing. You can buy ad space on other websites so that your ads will be displayed on their sites. You can also pay media companies to advertise your business via social media, promotions, and more.
Another effective strategy that you can utilize for online marketing is through earned media. Every time customers mention your business, share your posts, or review your services on social media, you are marketing your business but at no added expense. Your customers are the ones advertising for you because you’ve earned their confidence and trust.
Methods under-owned media aim to gain exposure through providing content that centers on the business but does not necessarily aim to persuade people to buy. Here are the most common examples of online marketing that involves owned media:
- Content Marketing. With content marketing, you post blogs relevant to your business that people can enjoy but do not necessarily aim to persuade them to buy. You can provide your customers interesting and useful information that is still relevant to your business.
- Email Marketing. Most companies label this method as one of the most effective. In fact, it seldom to see big companies nowadays who do not use email marketing methods to boost their business. With email marketing, you send your clients newsletters showcasing updates and promotions of your products or services. To be successful with this, you need to establish an email list first.
- Social Media Marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and all other social media platforms out there are also strategic tools you can use. Capitalize on your Twitter follower or your Facebook likes to spread the word about your business.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With SEO, you are affecting how your site ranks in search engines through targeting organic traffic. If you opt for this method, you must make sure that your website contains content that is highly relevant to your business and is optimized with keywords that search engines can rank and crawl.
- Conversion Optimization. You can also use conversion optimization as one of your winning strategies. With this method, you are aiming to increase the number of organic traffic or visitors to your site that can be potential customers.