In the age of the coronavirus, brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants need to adapt or die, it’s never been more important to have a strong online presence.
Today’s consumers search for information, share experiences and make many purchasing decisions online. Many online marketing activities can be done for free or at low-cost, but you must have the budget set aside to invest in marketing.
Following the guidelines below will help you attract new customers and increase sales. If you’re online, happy customers can also spread the word about your business via social media. Best of all, you don’t need a huge marketing budget to make an online impact. Once your business has reached a certain point and you access enough budget, you can always outsource these tasks to a marketing agency or freelance professional.
Do these 7 things and you’ll have a huge opportunity to grow your business with minimal investment:
1. Get found in online search
Any business today should have a well-designed, user-friendly website. However, you could have the most beautiful website, but it won’t be of any value unless it’s found by potential customers.
Your website needs to be search engine friendly, which means that your site will be ranked highly by search engines when internet users search for keywords relating to your product or service category. In simple terms, the right consumer will be able to find you! Doing this doesn’t need to cost you. Use tools such as Moz’s on-page grader to improve your online visibility organically.
2. List your business in online directories
Local businesses need local online listings. Without listings on popular listing pages, such as Google, Bing and other local business directories, you’re probably losing out on in-person customer visits, phone calls, and website visitors. Many of these basic business listing sites are free, including:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
3. Create an email marketing list
Email marketing is an effective tool for marketing your business to potential and existing customers and to provide them with useful updates and promotions.
There are many ways to create a strong email marketing list, for example:
- Create an enticing opt-in offer on your website
- Gather email addresses at your point-of-sale in your physical store using a QR coder
4. Engage through social media
Word spreads like wildfire through social media. Create an engaging Facebook page, become active on Twitter, interact on LinkedIn, post on Instagram and you’ll be likely to get customers knocking at your door. The secret to effective social media engagement is not to push your product or service onto consumers – rather interact with them, give them valuable content, create interest and attract them to your business.
5. Create interesting content
If you’re not already doing it, start blogging regularly. Avoid topics that relate only to your business. Rather write about areas that will interest your target audience and provide value to them. This way, your content is more likely to be read and shared.
6. Understand your website visitors
Perhaps most important of all, get to know your online visitors. Create a Google Analytics account and analyze what your visitors are doing on your site and where they are coming from. Google Analytics is simple to setup and use, and should be accessed on a daily basis.
7. Get a business loan
Unfortunately, not all online marketing activity is free. You will need to have some budget for online advertising, website design, promotions, and campaigns. If you don’t have spare cash for this, get a quick business loan to cover your immediate marketing expenses.
With a bit of online research, tutorials and youtube videos, none of these strategies are difficult to implement. Start small, grow your online activity and reap the rewards!