- Online marketing should be an essential part of any business growth strategy.
- Local SEO and classified directories help businesses reach their target audience.
- Consistency is key to building a strong online presence.
Whatever type of business you run, it’s vital that you invest some time into online marketing. The ubiquity of smartphones means consumers of all ages tend to look for shops, service providers, restaurants, and other facilities online instead of turning to the humble phone book.
If you’re not a web developer yourself, the thought of arranging online marketing might be a little intimidating. Once you’ve got a list of resources and platforms to use, however, it’s easier than you think to get started. If you invest a little time every day into your online marketing strategy, your business will be well-positioned to attract an audience online.
Every Business Can Benefit from Online Marketing
Today’s consumers spend a lot of time online. According to a report by Ericsson ConsumerLab, the average Indian spends 3.4 hours per day online. Some of that time is work-related, but a lot of it is social time. Brands that can get their image in front of consumers via social networks or online ads will be the first ones those consumers think of when they need the type of product or service that the brand provides.
You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune to Increase Your Reach
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that online marketing means spending a fortune on paid search ads or social media campaigns. While it is worth doing some highly targeted paid advertising, there’s a lot you can achieve for free. With patience and consistent effort, brands can build up a steady stream of organic traffic from viewers who are interested in the things they have to offer. This type of marketing is one of the most effective options for growing brands.
The Best Ways to Promote Your Business Online
Taking a diverse approach to online marketing is a good idea, especially if you’re on a budget. Pick the platforms that suit your niche best and focus on those as you try to build an audience. Make a point of doing a small amount of online marketing every week, so you’re constantly growing your presence. As you get more comfortable with digital marketing, start expanding your presence to include other platforms, and keep track of the response you get on each one.
Build a Website
Even if your business doesn’t sell goods online, it’s worth having a website, so people can research what your business does, view prices and contact you. Today, there are many easy-to-use site creators that allow people to create a simple website without needing coding skills. One example is Wix.com. This free website builder makes creating a static website as easy as writing a document in your favorite word processor. It also offers drag-and-drop widgets for integrating social media and other feeds into your website.
Open an Instagram
Instagram isn’t just for fashion bloggers and teens. Almost any business can benefit from having a presence on this social photo-sharing website. Create an Instagram profile, link it to your website and use it to share photos and short video clips. If your niche isn’t one that could be called aspirational or fashionable, use Instagram to share information, tips, and fun stories to do with your business. Engage with your followers and build trust with them from that.
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest has some similarities with Instagram, but people engage with it in a slightly different way. Pinterest users often build pinboards when they’re researching new projects or shopping for a major purchase. Sharing your own content on Pinterest and following other users, called Pinners, can help you build awareness of your brand. The extra incoming links you get from pins could be beneficial for your website’s rankings and the amount of traffic it gets.
Make Some Videos
Video marketing is often overlooked by small business owners because they think it might take too much time and effort to do. Today, it’s easy to make explainer videos using online tools. If you don’t like the idea of animated videos, you also have the option of going live and broadcasting yourself on social media using only your smartphone. Marketing techniques that used to cost a fortune to employ are now quite literally in the palm of our hands. Going to the effort of sharing video will help you stand out from the crowd.
Send Out Press Releases
Journalists are always looking for local interest stories and interesting topics to cover. Sending out professional press releases, including quotes and a clear hook for journalists to use, is an easy way to get media attention. Services, such as PRNewswire, make the job of sharing your press release with a huge list of journalists less time-consuming. Another way to be mentioned in the media is to use a service, such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO), to connect with journalists looking for expert quotes for their stories. Most of the journalists using this service are not located in India, but the prestige of being quoted in international media is worth pursuing.
Focus on Local SEO
Don’t get bogged down with the idea of chasing top rankings for international searches. The competition for those spots is fierce. Instead, focus on ranking in more localized searches. If you have a business, aim for good Google My Business rankings. Google has captured more than 98 percent of the search market in India, so it’s best to focus your attention on ranking for that search engine. If you’re doing well on Google, you should automatically do well on Bing and Yahoo.
Use Local Classified Sites
Another good source of local traffic that often gets overlooked is local classified sites. Sites, such as JustDial, IndiaMart, and Sulekha, can all be good sources of traffic for local businesses that are looking to reach Indians, especially in the B2B space. These classified sites have a strong conversion rate because people who use them have clear purchase intent, making them a sensible place to spend your ad budget.
Work with Other Local Businesses
Find local businesses that operate in fields similar to yours but aren’t direct competitors. For example, if you run a dog grooming service, work with a local pet store. If you sell car parts, work with a valet. Exchange links and cross-post on each other’s social media profiles. Run promotions where customers of their service get a discount at yours and vice-versa. This is an effective way of attracting highly qualified local leads.
It takes time to see results with online marketing, so be consistent with your efforts. Install some analytics scripts on your website and use those tools to learn which traffic sources are most useful. Do a little bit of marketing every day, and eventually, you’ll be the go-to business in your niche, according to the search engines. Online marketing offers a lasting, large pay-off and could be what takes your business to the next level.