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Top 15 Online Marketing Tips and Tricks for Small Businesses

The Internet and social media provide small businesses with a great and accessible set of new tools, technologies and opportunities for success. Small business owners can now be more successful with a little knowledge on how online marketing works and very little budget. If you’re one of these businesspeople, the following list is for you.

Tip #1 Define your targeted audience

All successful businesses market to a certain demographic. If you want to succeed, you need to understand your audience. Do proper research and think about who your potential customers are. This doesn’t mean that you need to hire a research professional. You can do this on your own. All you have to do is think about who is most likely to use your product or service. Take these factors into consideration: age, gender, financial situation, social status,even religious affiliation and values. What do your potential customers care about? How can your product or service help them?

Tip #2 Align your business and online marketing your goals

This step deals with what you specifically want to achieve. That means you have to think about sales measures, profit, expenses, revenues and cash flow, as well as a key performance indicator for your activities. Once you do this, set your online marketing and digital ad budget based on the working metrics you have developed.

Tip #3 Set your online marketing budget

If you follow online marketing best practices, you can build your brand and business online. You have defined the target audience, as well as the metrics you need to watch. The next big step is to set your budget.

A cost-effective way to control the budget is to pick activities that can help each other out. These include SEO and content marketing. The next step is to just stop doing what doesn’t work. Careful monitoring of digital analytics will help you to use even a small budget efficiently and effectively. Finally, create online content that can be re-used in different places. You can use blog posts and social media content on different online platforms to improve the SEO ranking of your website. It’s essentially recycling the content with some minor changes, and it saves a lot of time and money– both of which are usually in short supply for small business owners.

Tip #4 Use “Smart Branding” techniques

This step has a lot to do with understanding how a consumer perceives your brand online and your product or service. If, for example, a company has a dead social media account or a boring blog design, nobody will connect to it. Customers today want their shops to accept credit cards, and their online retailer to respond to their social media posts promptly when they ask a question. What this means is that you have to maintain your digital and social media presence non-stop. Keep your website up-to-date. Offer eCommerce, improve your Facebook profile, your Instagram page, or your YouTube channel so that viewers will come and want to stay. Make communication key to your work. In addition, offer your customers free services and resources online, but make sure they have something to do with what you’re selling.

Tip #5 Learn SEO hacks to improve your search results

If you want your business website to appear among the top ten results of all major search engines such as Google or Yahoo, you must optimize your site content to achieve SEO. Make sure to include keywords within the content, and write blog entries on topics of interest to your customers. Do this as a guest contributor.

Tip #6 Start a blog

Blogging is a valuable and often overlooked online marketing tool for small businesses. Blogs can help set you apart, engage customers and prospects, and improve SEO. Write up interesting and useful content. When a potential customer reads it, they will want to come to you and get to know you and your products and services more. In addition, blogging can help you promote your brand and establish yourself as an expert. How will you know that your blog is effective, though? Consider total visits per month, new sessions, traffic specific to your channels, bounce rate, and the rate of customer retention. Considering how easy it is to track results with digital analytics, you can set objectives for your small business.

Tip #7 Use Google Maps to acquire local customers

Google Maps is your friend when it comes to local customer acquisition. Simply update your company details on this platform regularly so that local consumers can find you. Make sure to include high-ranking user reviews. You can also blog about local events, such as news, reviews of local hotels and restaurants, etc.In addition, include specific geographic content wherever you can. That way people will spot it and know where you are. Well-managed local business marketing will get you decent revenues and a good jump-start into something bigger.

Tip #8 Optimize Google Maps to improve local SEO

If you use Google Maps properly, you can expand your business visibility a lot. Most major companies use this to improve their online marketing, and you should too.

Most customers and potential business partners will want to find you on a map. When you type the name of your business, its location should be right there on Google Maps. Placing it there will also provide people with the best route to get to you, by any means of transport.

The best tool to help people find your business more easily is Google My Business. Using it, you can get far better local search rankings.In addition, you can even connect your YouTube account to it, update your hours of operation for your customers to see, and share any new image to promote your brand. Moreover, using Google My Business, you can directly respond to reviews, as well as communicate with customers directly.

Tip #9 Use social media

If you already know your targeted demographic, this step is easy. Social media platforms make it very easy to target and connect with your audience to build personal, mutually beneficial relations with your potential customers. Make sure your monitor social media and respond promptly to feedback.This action will help you improve customer loyalty, your online reputation, and your business.

Tip # 10 Understand the benefits of organization-wide social media interaction

When you use social media, you have direct contact with your customers. You can chat with them, stream whatever it is you do during the day, and all of this at the click of a button. You will gain access to your customer base every waking minute, which will do wonders for your business.

There are strategies you need to undertake if you want to use social media to your business’ advantage. First, you should have private employee groups online. This will encourage every team member of your team to use social media to talk about work-related topics. Doing this will strengthen your relationship with your employees and between co-workers. In turn, it will make your business grow. Next, post your content on each social media platform you own. Don’t forget to encourage – but not force – your employees to share this content across their social networks and respond to it, as it will make your business growth more visible. Finally, develop a Q&A section on Facebook for customers only. That way your client base can keep track of your work, and you can connect with them directly. It’s direct feedback at no cost, but with endless benefits.

Tip #11 The best time to post content online

We’ve established that social media and blogs can be important digital marketing platforms. But all of that will be for nothing if nobody reads your content. The next step is to realize when is the best time to actually post content. After all, it’s like a TV or radio ad – if you play it when everyone is sleeping, nobody will see it.

There is no one universal time that works with every single brand or business. It depends on what you offer and who your customers are. The best way to do brilliant online marketing is to study social media insights.Most social media websites offer such data freely to their users. This data includes views per post, how many users engaged and when, the geographic location of each customer, how old they are, and when they’re active the most.Google Analytics, for example, can greatly help you with this. Post your content during the most popular time slots, and you’ll be on your way to success.

Tip #12 Leverage email marketing

Email marketing is an important tool for small businesses. For customers and prospects who want to stay engaged with your business, offer basic subscriptions. Start an email newsletter, and send them updates, special offers, discounts, or sales information about new products and services. Make sure your content is interesting and valuable to keep them subscribed.

Tip #13 Try Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) can be great for new businesses who still struggle with obtaining organic visits to their website. You can use this service by picking keywords that relate to your product. Next, display your ads within the sponsored links of the search engine.

Tip #14 The importance of online reviews 

Every search engine ranks online reviews higher than other content. If your business earns high reviews, it will help with your SEO and complement your other online marketing. Most customers are likely to choose a product that someone else has reviewed. A good review can make a customer click on your product and purchase it, or even just check it out.

You can’t force customers to review your product or service, but do ask them. And ask them for honest reviews, good AND bad. Not only will these help you improve, but they will also make you look like an honest businessperson who wants his or her business to grow. That way you can have a balance of reviews, and at the same time customers that are willing to comeback to you in the future.

Tip #15 Give customers a great online experience through your website

The Internet is is home to more than 1.5 billion websites. Most of them get overlooked because they don’t stand out. Pay attention to this. Think about your website as your business’s digital storefront. Unique design choices will attract eyeballs and get people interested.

Browse other websites that directly relate to your business. What are your competitors doing online? Take a look at what they have, design-wise. Study them well, and then decide based on your research. You absolutely mustn’t copy someone else’s design. Create something uniquely your own.

There are online resources that can teach you how to design your website successfully, at almost no cost. In fact, most major YouTubers and online celebrities recommend some of these websites as good starting points.Not only will you attain a new skill, but you’ll also design an amazing website and pay almost nothing for it. And if you do a decent job, the work you put in will pay for itself with more potential customers visiting to see what you have to offer.

Conclusion

If you invest your time and do the proper research, you can use online marketing to help your small business grow and expand. The list above is not just for small business owners.Major corporations use these same tactics and best practices. Do not ignore the opportunities of online marketing, but remember that a good balance between online and traditional marketing tactics will give help your small business to be more successful in today’s very competitive business world.

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Richard Larson

Richard Larson is the Marketing Manager at GoPromotional.co.uk, the leading UK promotional products company. He enjoys sharing his experience on a range of subjects to enable customers to increase their brand awareness through the use of promotional merchandise.

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