We now live in a fast-paced digital age wherein most of the world’s population have their own social media accounts, emails, subscribed websites and online networks.
For a business that wants to market online, yesterday was the time to begin as everyone recognises that the place to find anything, even information on you, is online. Recognising the need, there are a multitude of tools and practices that are essential to building your presence online. Here are the ones that have stood the test of time and don’t necessarily require you to be an online guru.
First off is SEO. Search Engine Optimisation has evolved since the early days when people worked out you just needed to put the keyword you wanted to rank for a hundred times on a page. In fact, the search engine algorithms have become so advanced at determining quality content that in some niches the lay-person can compete against big-budget companies. Of course, if you are doing SEO yourself you should not expect to rank for highly competitive terms like “home loan” as companies employ SEO professionals huge fees for these sorts of terms.
Second is Blogging. How do you keep a website on the first page? It needs constant updating and static pages won’t cut the deal. Ensure great customer engagement by following an editorial calendar for the content you release. It doesn’t matter what form it takes. You can upload videos to infographics as long as it remains relevant then it should have staying power.
Social Media comes in third. Remember that it is still marketing and exposure for your brand and content can lead to more engagement and traffic. Building portfolios in social sites and creating natural friends list and fans is a sure way to go. Most social networks have their own intuitive ways of sharing, say Twitter (less is more with 140 character posts).
Email Generation or marketing is fourth but not last. This is one of the oldest online marketing methods that is still here today because it works. Build your database of email contacts and you will always have a resource to deliver your marketing through. What’s impressive about this tool is that it lets you deliver fresh content and sales talk as you desire.
Next on the list at number five is online reviews or forums (actually part of social media as you would know if you have ever joined a LinkedIn group). Before probably buying something out of eBay or Amazon, online shoppers would most likely read reviews and forums to get a glimpse of how products worked for other people. What are the experts’ take on it? If you don’t ace well at this department, it’s time to refocus on making your product outstanding first and making excellent customer service a priority.
Sixth is content that builds authority. It starts with the content you add to your website but can also be eBooks, white papers, special reports, case studies, speeches and workshops. What a single article can’t comprehensively capture, you can include in a more in-depth paper. If your competitor does semi-weekly blog posts on European travel but you build a comprehensive eBook about it, complete with tips, discounts and other salivating offers; the latter option would win anytime.
The internet is a vast sea of possibilities and using it as your marketing partner is essential. There are a multitude of tools and channels that you can use to promote your business, with those that work for one business not always working for another. If you are just starting off, see what your competitors are doing and what is working for them…you may just identify something you can do better!