It’s no overstatement to say that the online business marketplace is a crowded one. No matter what your idea might be – even if it’s the most innovative concept a business has ever been founded on – there will be competition, and you’ll need to know how to make yourself stand out if you want to succeed. For that reason – and for many others – marketing your business has never been more important.
The truth, though, is that even marketing your business is difficult. After all, since there are so many online companies out there vying for supremacy, that means there are just as many marketing companies looking to help them do so. As such, your marketing strategy needs to be airtight if you want to build a presence for yourself. Here’s our step-by-step guide to marketing your online business.
Content is king
The first and most important thing to remember about online marketing is that content is everything. If you want to generate interest in your business and fulfil your digital marketing needs, then you’ll need to create great content first and foremost. The nature of this content will, of course, differ depending on the industry in which your business is established, so we can’t necessarily tell you how to construct it.
To build good content, though, you’ll need to conduct a market analysis to see what content your competitors are putting out there. Your content needs to be informative, well-researched, and engaging. It helps to focus on areas of your industry that haven’t already been written about at length; that way, your content will be more visible and more people will benefit from it, thereby increasing your business’ profile.
Social media is critical
Marketing an online business in the modern age is virtually impossible without the aid of social media. For any self-respecting business, social media is pretty much the only way to engage with your customers on a direct level and to address what’s happening in the world on a moment-to-moment basis. It’s also where most people will see your advertising and engage with your content.
Just having a presence on one social media platform isn’t enough, either. You’ll need to establish yourself on all the major outlets, and that means staying up-to-date with social media platforms that have growing demographics. It’s also important to know where your primary demographic lives in social media terms, and to shore up your advertising on the corresponding platform.
Build a unique website
Even though social media should be the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, you’ll still need to have a website that customers can go to. A unique website serves as a banner for your business; it projects an image of success, stability, and legitimacy that social media simply can’t convey. When people want to know your business is for real, the first thing they’re going to look for is a website.
Of course, that means you can’t just build any old site and expect people to appreciate it. Your site needs to be three things first and foremost: professional, easy to navigate, and communicative in terms of your company’s core values and mission. If you hit those three goals, the rest should fall into place around them. Don’t be afraid to hire a professional web designer if you don’t have the skills yourself – it’ll pay off!
Work with influencers
Traditional marketing may not be dead, but it’s definitely taking a backseat to influencer marketing. This involves contacting folks with influence on social media platforms – usually content creators of some renown – and asking them if they’d like to collaborate with you on a campaign. This has the benefit of reaching audiences organically; it doesn’t feel like marketing in a traditional sense, so conversion is more likely.
It’s important to reach out to the right influencers if you’re going to take this route. Only contact influencers who would work well with your brand’s core values and aesthetic. Some influencers may not be right even if they have a huge following, while others could be the right choice despite a smaller follower count. It’s important to look past vanity metrics and see the tangible benefit for your company.
Use local advertising
Just because your business is online-only, that doesn’t mean online marketing is the only way you can approach creating a campaign for it. You should use all of the tools at your disposal, which could mean building a physical campaign that involves looking for billboard space or even just putting up posters (if you’re legally allowed to do so, of course).
Small businesses are more likely to have a local scope to grow, so reaching out to people on a local level could pay serious dividends for your business. This could also have the added benefit of bringing you a dedicated audience who will appreciate your presence in the community; there’s nothing better than serving a group of people and cornering the market at the same time!
Conduct extensive market research
You can’t tailor an effective marketing campaign if you don’t know what your customers want. As such, conducting regular market research is critical for success in the world of business. This means regular outreach via methods like surveys, emails, street questionnaires, or whatever other method is appropriate for you and your specific situation.
When you have the results of your survey and you’re looking to analyse data, remember to be thorough. Many, many marketing mistakes have been made through misinterpretation of data, so don’t just give it a cursory glance and make decisions based on that. Your business deserves your full attention, so scrutinise what you have as thoroughly as you can!