How To Promote A Business Online? – 6 Things You Should Be Doing – Part Two

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two

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How To Promote A Business Online? Part Two

6 Things You Should Be Doing

Over the 26 years that I have been doing Digital Marketing, I have met business owners who simply set up a website, did nothing to promote their business online, and just hope for the best.

Then there are those who think they know how to promote a business online. So they create a website and set up a few social network accounts. Unfortunately, this group thinks that posting on their social media once in a blue moon is good enough for people to find them.

Of course, there are those who have an inkling what Digital Marketing is all about. But they only use a select few techniques to drive traffic to their site.

Which of these types of business owners are you?

At the same time, I must say that I totally empathize with all types of business owners. The reason is they are not in the business of marketing – whether online or offline. So it is not reasonable to expect them to know much about it or be an expert at it. As a business owner, it is understandable that as you are focusing more on your core duties and responsibilities to run and grow your business. And leave the marketing to the experts like me. Still, it is worthwhile to know at least what online marketing is all about. So it is good you are reading and learning more about it now.

There are times when you will find that many internet marketing efforts require some testing to find out what works and what does not work. For example, Facebook Ads with hard selling copy may work for a certain target audience, but may not for another. All that testing will take up a lot of your time and effort.

The good news is – with this series – How to Promote A Business Online? (start reading from part one if you have not done so) – you are given an enormous advantage. From a wide variety of tried and tested internet marketing methods, I have narrowed it down to a few for you to start. These are ideal for you to see real results in your sales.

Here, I present 6 Things That You Should Be Doing to enhance your digital marketing efforts. Not many know of all these 6 tried and tested marketing methods. And everyone and every business should be doing them. So when you do apply all six of them, you can produce some serious results.

And – drum roll – here they are:

1.   SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

2.   Social Media

3.   Blogs

4.   Online Videos

5.   Build a List

6.   Free Reports

1.    Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Did you spend a lot of money for your business website to be created?

Whether you did spent a lot, not so much or very little, the more important question is – did you spend enough or at all for your website to be search engine optimized?

If your website is not search engine optimized, it will never get ranked high in the search results. The effect of this is nobody will know the existence of your business website, your business and your brand.

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two - SEO - Search Engine Optimization
SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO is an important digital marketing tool to promote your businesses online. More and more people are becoming aware of this, and are doing it for their websites, whether by themselves or hiring professionals to help.

So how does SEO help to promote your business online?.

Search engines use an Internet bot, often called a spider, to collect information on the World Wide Web, and build lists. This includes strategic use of keywords, backlinks, and more.

When your website does not have any strategic use of keywords, plus a significant number of links to your site, and many other SEO elements, your website will have a hard time achieving ranking on the first page of search results. Without online visibility, it will be virtually impossible for people to learn about your business through online means.

Important Tip for SEO!

Do not use sluggish elements like Flash.

For years, I have highly recommended to many clients to not have Flash on their website, especially the home page. While it can look impressive, websites with Flash do not get indexed properly by search engines. The simple truth is that search bots cannot read Flash content.

Nowadays, having Flash can even hurt your search rankings as search engines have begun blacklisting such sites. They regard these websites as deceptive, having no keywords, and no content.

2.   Social Media

Today, for every business, Social Media is a must have.

In 2013, Jayson DeMers reported on Forbes that:

“Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not a Luxury”

Today, those prophetic words have proven to be true. Social Media is a priority for your business, and complements as well as augments your SEO efforts. It will improve your website’s search rankings and allow your business to be found.

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two - Social Media
Social Media

As part of your marketing and PR (public relations) mix, it will help your business to increase brand exposure and enhance brand awareness. This makes it a great tool to establish a stronger brand for your business.

You can use social media to build a community of people interested in your products and services. It is an excellent tool to share your expertise and knowledge on your products and services as well as interact and receive valuable customer feedback.

All business owners know that marketplace insight is very valuable. With social media, you can get this valuable information direct from the source. Never before has businesses had such access that can help improve and grow the business.

Social media has many other benefits. It can also be used to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and boost sales by converting loyal fans to customers.

3.   Blogs

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two - Bloggiing
Blogging

Important Tip for SEO!

Search engines Love new and fresh content!

Blogging is one way of keeping content fresh on your website. This will enhance your chances of being at the top of search engines. Also, you can blog such that your content has all the right long-tailed keywords.

In addition, when you blog posts that are interesting and captures the attention of people, you can build a following. This following is immediately your potential customers ready and ripe for you to market your products and services to.

After all, when they follow you, it means they have an interest in what you are offering to them. Again, just like social media, they can be a valuable source of feedback and marketplace insight.

4.   Online Video

Online videos are the next wave in content marketing.

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two - Online Video
Online Video

You can create a simple video using text slides, and do a voiceover with or without background music. Or a video presenting your products and services. The content for video is virtually limitless.

And the best part is that more and more people love watching videos rather than read a lot of text. Hence, you now have another hot digital marketing vehicle to reach numerous customers and prospects. For maximum effectiveness, just be sure to place the online video where people can find it; e.g. social media, your website, YouTube, etc.

5.   Build A List 

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two - Build Your List
Build Your List

One of the goals of your online marketing plan should be to build an email list. It is a database of people who opt in; that is they consent to receiving emails from you about your products and services.

To capture such data and increase your email list, you need an autoresponder. This is an indispensable tool for all businesses. It saves time for you because it is there on a page of your website, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, ready to accept input from people who wish to sign up and receive emails from you.

It is a set of standardized letters that are set up once, and the necessary contact with each new individual who opts into your email list is taken care of automatically. Hence, it is actually very good for lead nurturing that is absolutely essential in demand marketing.

6.   Free Reports

Everyone loves free stuff, especially when there is some valuable information available that is pertinent to their interests. When you offer free reports on a particular area of interest to your potential customers, you will firstly establish yourself as an expert in that particular field.

How to Promote Your Business Online? - 6 Things You Should Be Doing - Part Two - Free Stuff
Free Stuff

Of course, first you need to create reports that are of value to others because they offer useful information. When you have that, you can offer them on your website. Get people to provide their name and email address (at the very least) in exchange for a free report. As you can guess by now, this is another way to build your email list.

Conclusion

When you apply the above 6 Things You Should Be Doing, you will find that your website will be placed higher in search engine results ranking.

As a result, more and more people will be able to find you on the Internet, and connect and engage with you. You will now have more opportunities to communicate with them, and convert them into customers.

I am sure you noticed that this is just an overview of the 6 Things You Should be Doing. There will be more details in future blog posts. Do sign up for my newsletter to be updated. Or connect with me on Social Media where I will post updates, too.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.

Blessings.

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How To Promote A Business Online? – Introduction – Part One

How To Promote A Business Online? A series of articles that will help business owners (or anyone with a website) to learn what are the essential strategies to help create awareness of your brand, to have high online visibility for your website and brand

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How To Promote A Business Online? Part One

Your Customers Are Searching For You Online … Can They Find You?

Are you a local business owner? Or a business targeting a specific region?

Over the past few years, have you noticed a drop in demand for your products or services?

Or perhaps you are a new business, and sales has been really slow or not at all?

In my years of experience, I have met many businesses that were facing one of the above two situations. Of course, there were many other situations a business could be facing. Some businesses could be doing well and yearn to do better but do not know how to achieve that growth.

Whichever one of these situations that you are in, this series – How To Promote A Business Online – is for you. You will learn ways to increase brand exposure, enhance brand awareness, draw traffic to your website, engage with people who are interested in what you are selling, and tactics to heighten the chances of converting prospects into customers.

To help you achieve all that, I will share with you the following:

  • The basics of digital marketing
  • The types of internet marketing strategies that can help market your business
  • 6 essential things you should be doing to gain online presence and be noticed by your target audience
  • The meaning of online local domination and how to do it
  • As well as helping you to come up with a simple digital marketing plan and put the tasks and tactics in the plan to work for you.

Before all that, I will share with you why traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore, and why it is imperative that you start marketing online.

Traditional Marketing Is Not Working Anymore

The Internet revolution is well under way, and the way to reach and communicate with your target audience must change. Today, your target audience that you seek has become increasingly fragmented due to new technologies that allow them to experience media in myriad platforms.

The fact of the matter is that traditional media such as television, radio, magazines, and newspapers are well on their way to the fate of the dinosaurs. Advertising on traditional media to reach your market may work in the past, but it is no longer as effective as before, and will not bring in business as expected. This is particularly true for print media that many people do not pay attention to anymore.

Businesses that are still using such outdated forms of advertising are throwing away many thousands in expenses on ineffective marketing every month. It is easy to do a quick survey to find out if this is true. Simply ask a few people where their copy of the Yellow Pages is. The answers will astound you.

Some may say that they have it in some storage area, gathering dust. Some may have thrown it away (may even cite waste of space as a reason). How does that make you feel about the money you’re spending?

So where are people going to when they need to find products and service?

How To Promote A Business Online? - People are searching online to buy products and services
People are shopping online

The answer is the Internet.

They are scouring the Internet to connect with their friends and family, and search for products and services they need. So businesses that want to reach out to existing customers and have new customers find them simply must have a quality online presence. And this means not just having an ineffective website that looks like it was done as a school project.

Today, most websites are well thought out. The design, layout and content are interesting and informative. The interface and experience are personable. Due to the fact that many people now surf the Internet on mobile devices, many websites have become what is known as responsive websites.

All these effective websites utilize a myriad of savvy digital marketing techniques that improve their search rankings and make them stand out from their competitors. For example, if you have a site with no keywords in it and almost no backlinks, you are missing the boat and will never get to the top of the search engine results.

And having a website alone is not enough for your business nowadays. You need to be on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, etc., where your target audience is hanging out and communicating. Social media enables you to reach out and communicate with your target audience on a personal level. This is very powerful, and has never been available with traditional media.

Of course, besides having a website and being on social networks, there are other digital marketing techniques and strategies that you must do. We will discuss and explore all these in the rest of this series.

Why Is Internet Marketing Important?

In every form of media, there are specific marketing strategies that apply to that particular media. The Internet is no exception.  In order to get traffic to your website, you need to stay on top of these digital marketing strategies, and implement them. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on one of the most efficient and lucrative sources to get new customers for your business.

In my years of experience, I have encountered many local business owners who did not apply any digital marketing strategies to grow their customer base. This is simply because they have no idea what needs to be done.

It is understandable as digital marketing is so new and foreign to most business owners. They are so busy running their business, managing their staff, and taking care of their clients. And that is all right as they should rightly focus on their core business.

How To Promote A Business Online? - Which strategies to use? Where to start? Are many of the questions business owners often ask
Which strategies to use?

Some don’t even know where to start. Most don’t have the time to learn what digital marketing is all about. Plus, it is constantly evolving. So to keep themselves updated takes up quite a lot of time and effort.

Then there are those who know and understand the value of digital marketing, and how it can bring increasing returns to their businesses. They are aware of some digital marketing strategies, but don’t have the time and resources to do it. Like the other business owners mentioned in the previous paragraph, they are bogged down by the running of their business, staff management, and providing the best services and products to their existing clients. They, too, know that this is an arena where it is always evolving.

To find out if you are familiar with digital marketing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are long-tailed keywords?
  • What is keyword density?
  • What is Web 0? And Web 3.0?
  • How do you set up an autoresponder?
  • How do you change the tags on your website?
  • How do you create videos and audios for your website?

If you don’t know the answers to the above questions, don’t panic. It is okay.

It is absolutely normal. You, like most business owners, have wisely spent your time focusing on your core role; that is to manage your business and ensure it become successful. You have mastered other aspects of your business that were crucial to your business.

But now, you need to learn more!

It is time for you to discover what needs to be done in order to have an effective digital marketing plan for your business.

The Importance of Having a Good Online Presence

Today, most local business owners are running lean and hungry. Hungry for more business. Hungry for that sales phone to ring. Hungry for more customers to walk in through the door.  But the economic and business landscape is always changing, always in constant flux.

Today, reaching your target market cost-effectively is nothing like it was a decade or decades ago. Business owners need to understand these changes, adapt accordingly, and meet the challenges they are facing. This is essential to the survival of your business

Case Study:

In 2011, I was the newly appointed Business Development Manager of a local business that was spending thousands of dollars on Yellow Pages advertising. The business has been doing that for the previous past years, and nobody was tracking if this expenditure was bringing in any new customers.

A quick survey and phone calls to our current clientele proved that not one customer used the Yellow Pages to search and find that local business. Needless to say, when it was time to renew the advertising contract, I put a stop to it, and saved thousands of dollars for the company.

There would be those who are not savvy at digital marketing, and would be at a loss as to what to do with that big budget so as to get the best possible returns on the company’s marketing investment. All that money could be poured into online strategies that might either fall flat or backfire. The learning curve is sharp and unforgiving.

As someone who had been practicing digital marketing for 25 years, I knew and understood that this big budget needs to be re-channeled to advertising on the Internet so as to get the best possible returns on the company’s marketing investment.

Just like me, there are entrepreneurs who realize that the Internet is the future. In August 2014, Google reported that they now process “over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide”. This number grows by more than 40% to 60% each year. In fact, 81% of people search online before they make a purchase.

What is more important is that a large majority of these people search online for local services and products before making a buying decision. Very few turn to the local newspaper to find what they want. Even fewer think of the Yellow Pages anymore. This is why it is essential that local business owners need to have an online presence, and have effective digital marketing in place.

Unlimited Potential for Growth

Understanding how digital marketing works, and using the tactics and techniques correctly to promote your business can easily result in huge increase in sales. When your digital marketing strategies work effectively and there is increased sales, you create positive impact on your own business that can have positive effect on the world around you.

When you encourage more money to be spent locally by having a steady stream of new customers, you also improve your local economy. There could be fewer downsizing and layoffs. Sometimes, new jobs could even be created.

How To Promote A Business Online? - Digital Marketing can lead to High Potential Exponential Profit Growth
High Potential Exponential Profit Growth

In fact, no matter how the economy changes, because you are able to reach those who are interested to buy from you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and your business will grow. And that is what effective marketing is all about!

Digital marketing has the potential for exponential profit growth. If you’re not ready for your business to double or even more, stop reading now!

Important Statistics You Need To Know

Statistics are great for understanding your customers. Here are some statistics that show you how people are using the Internet to search for what they want:

  • Over 5 billion searches occur every day, and 1 in 3 searches is local.
  • 5% of people searching on Google will choose a business that is on the first page of their search results.
  • 5% of clicks go to the #1 ranked site of search results.
  • 6% of clicks go to the #2 ranked site of search results.
  • 4% of clicks go to the #3 ranked site of search results.

From the above statistics, you can see how important it is to have a strong online presence, to be ranked high for search results. Thus, it is imperative that your business develop and implement an effective digital marketing strategy. This is so that those looking for products and services that you provide can find you. Even when they don’t know your brand or business name.

Making Changes to Your Online Marketing Methods

You would like to get maximum results from your digital marketing plan and strategy. To achieve that, you will need to make some pretty drastic changes to your digital marketing methods. To help you with that, here are some insider facts you need to know.

First, it is a fact that there is a potential to grow your business using digital marketing. And that potential can be phenomenal, no matter what industry you are in. You just have to learn what needs to be done, and cultivate this opportunity.

There are six extremely useful digital marketing techniques that you should be doing. Again, you have to learn these techniques. Then put them into practice and you will be able to outperform your competitors quickly.

Have you ever heard of local online domination? Well, this is a goal you need to accomplish. And you can do by learning and mastering a four step process. When you follow the four step process diligently, you will have higher chances of getting the results you desire.

Every marketing effort needs a good plan, and has the best results because of it. You will need to create a digital marketing plan and follow it as closely as possible. A plan is essential for managing all the crucial tasks that can take your business to the top of the search results as well as attract new customers for you.

It is critical to do an audit of your past marketing efforts, if any. By taking the time to thoroughly analyze what you have been doing in the past, you are better equipped to create and implement a new and better digital marketing plan. Also, you can measure the progress by comparing past results to results from your new digital marketing efforts.

Most business owners can get overwhelmed by the number of tasks required from the new digital marketing plan. This need not be so. You just need to make the tasks more reasonable by breaking them down into bite-sized chunks. A good place to start is to do the tasks that are one-time jobs. Especially those that are also the foundation of your digital marketing plan. For example, content for your website. Make them into a checklist and have fun ticking them off.

Once the one-time tasks are done, focus next on the tasks that repeat. These would be the long-term commitments that require monthly, weekly, or even daily attention. For example, blog updates or Facebook postings.

Speaking of these long-term tasks that repeat and require constant attention, you should consider hiring a vendor to do this role. Perhaps even the entire digital marketing plan. The reason is these tasks take up a lot of time. You need to do research to find fresh, interesting and relevant articles or spend time creating your own unique ones. Then there is the copywriting to be done. This itself is an art.

Good copywriting captures people’s attention and inspires them to act; e.g. visit your website or make a purchase. Plus, good pictures and videos not only captivate an audience but also reinforce your brand image. Now, videos are the choice form of communicating with your target audience. Videos are great as they can appeal to the senses, touches the emotions, and is easy to digest. I believe the future is Video Marketing, and will share more about this later. All this require the right digital marketing partner with the right experience, expediency and skills to help you make your digital marketing a success.

Finally, you need to create a system for tracking the results of your digital marketing efforts. More importantly, it can determine and improve your Return On investment (ROI) thereby measuring the increase in your business income.

This is just an example of how tracking your digital marketing results are useful. There are, of course, many other ways to track and measure the performance of your digital marketing efforts. By doing so, you know how your business is growing, and how to further enhance the growth through digital marketing.

That’s all I have for the introduction. I know it’s lengthy. I did think of breaking this introduction into two parts, but thought better not to. After all, it is an introduction. And also I was concerned that when done in two parts, the essence of the points may be diluted.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please like and share this post. And of course, definitely leave a comment for me. I would love to hear from you.

* Update – Continue the series to Part Two – How To Promote A Business Online – 6 Things You Should Be Doing.

Blessings.

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