So, your business offers a fantastic product or service. But you need better online exposure to generate more customers and bigger profits.
You’re not alone,. mMost small-business owners face this problem sooner or later. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of the top 10 internet marketing strategies.
It’s important to understand that not every option is right for every business:
Some cost money, while some are free. Some need an investment of effort, while others are quick and simple.
But by taking inspiration from the steps below, you can produce a tailored online marketing strategy to boost your sales.
Let’s get started…
10 Online Marketing Strategies for Small Business
1. First, Assess Your Website
We think your website should be the centre of your marketing efforts. After all, it’s the one corner of the internet you have total control over. So it makes sense to start by assessing your website from a customer’s perspective.
Start by asking these questions:
- Is your web design clean, modern and mobile friendly (working on multiple mobile devices for any screen size?
- Can potential customers see your main products or services at a glance?
- Is your content accurate and up to date?
- Are you using images, videos or other media?
If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, then it could be time to show your website some TLC.
Web design or maintenance not your strong point? Why not keep things simple with a website builder?
Go Deeper: As well as checking for common website mistakes manually, you might want to use a tool like Google Analytics. (This offers an insight into how visitors behave on your site – and much more besides.)
2. Up Your SEO Game!
When you’re putting together new marketing plans, one of the easiest points to forget is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and the organic traffic it can bring.
SEO isn’t as complex as some people make out. In a nutshell, it just involves:
- Creating content that matches what people are searching for.
- Presenting that content in a way the search engines can understand.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. Before diving in head first, we suggest reading-up a little. Then, once you’re familiar with the topic, you can create an SEO strategy to cover points like:
- Identifying keywords (search terms) that people use to find businesses like yours online. Make sure these terms have enough search volume using keyword research toolstools like Google Keyword Planner.
- Adding those keywords naturally throughout your content.
- Keeping that content fresh and up to date.
- Creating compelling meta titles and descriptions for each page that takes into account ranking factors.
Learn More: Our guide on how to start SEO will show you the basics.
3. Build Your Presence With Killer Blog Posts
Feeling ambitious? How about taking your website beyond the standard Home, About, and Product/Service pages?
A blog is a great way to:
- Engage readers in a ‘non-salesy’ way
- Build trust and present yourself as an expert in your niche
- Turn your website into a go-to resource that visitors can bookmark and return to
- And turbo-charge your SEO strategy with meaty, keyword-rich articles!
But what should you write about?
Start by Googling an obvious search term for your product or service. Then scroll down to the ‘People also ask’ section. This should help you identify relevant questions people ask.
You can then create high-quality articles to answer those questions!
Learn More: The internet marketing experts at HubSpot have created a great guide on how to write a blog post.
4. Guest Posts
We’ve already looked at how blogging can establish you as a respected authority in your field. One way to take that further is to guest post to other websites with similar themes.
Also known as guest blogging, guest posting is the ideal way to broaden your reach by writing a post for another’s website. You could:
- Get your content read by people who wouldn’t find your own website
- Build brand awareness and name recognition
- Drive extra traffic to your site through links
- Boost your SEO by guest posting on respected sites that allow ‘do-follow’ links
NB: It’s important to understand the expectations of the website you’re contributing to. Some may have policies against salesy content or self-promotion. Others may only accept blogs on a specific topic.
Check the rules and make sure you stay within them!
Keep Reading: Superstar digital marketer Neil Patel has published a great guide to guest blogging.
5. Consider PPC Advertising (Pay Per Click)
Even if you’ve built a great body of keyword-rich content, ranking top of the search results can take time.
On top of SEO, PPC ads are a great way to jump-start things. Whereas SEO is slow (but powerful), PPC can deliver instant results. It involves paying Google (or other search engines) to display your ads near the top of the search pages.
The name – Pay Per Click – means that you’ll pay for each click through to your website. This is very different to paying a fixed cost to have your ad displayed, regardless of whether anyone responds to it.
But when you’re paying for each and every click, it’s important to make them count. Instead of directing people to your home page, you could create tailored landing pages for each ad improving your conversion rate.
Landing pages often have a slightly different look to the rest of a website. You can tailor your language, images – even your page design – to suit a specific audience. It’s a great way to maximize your return on investment.
Learn More: The marketing pros at WordStream have put together a guide to PPC.
6. Reach Out With Email Marketing
The steps we’ve looked at so far could help you attract more potential customers to your website. Email marketing can be a solution you don’t feel like kicking back and waiting for them to arrive.? What if you feel like reaching out directly?
That’s where email marketing comes in!
You can use email marketing to target new customers or keep current customers loyal. You can either buy email mailing lists or build a list of your own.
One way to build an email list is to offer freebies via your website to anyone who registers. eBooks and downloadable guides are great tempters. Both can be tied in to your blog to offer extra info to readers who want it.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you may already have an email list of past customers. If so, why not consider remarketing?
Remarketing just involves promoting add-ons or new products/services to your existing customer base. In many ways, it’s easier than marketing to complete strangers. That’s because there’s no trust barrier to overcome.
Whichever route you go down, you can maximize your results by:
- Creating catchy subject lines. (A great subject line is the key to getting people to actually open your email!)
- Keeping things short and sweet. (You don’t need to close the sale via the email itself. You’re really just trying to get readers interested enough to click through to your website.)
- Prioritising only your best offers and most important news. (Sending out too many emails can alienate potential customers, and leave you looking like a spammer.)
Email marketing needs a soft touch. But if you get it right, you could reach a bigger customer base without damaging your brand.
Tip: If you’re investing time and money in email marketing, then professional email hosting with a custom email address is a must-have.
7. Social Media Marketing Strategy
Love it or hate it, when you’re creating a future-proof internet marketing strategy, you can’t ignore social media!
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a ready-made user base that covers the whole world. And the big social media platforms know a lot about their users. This makes it possible to run hyper-targeted marketing campaigns and reach the right potential customers.
Before you dive into paid social media advertising, start with the basics. Set up an account and page for your business on the main platforms. Be sure to share the key details would-be customers might need to know. Then provide a link to your website.
It makes sense to send some traffic in the opposite direction too. You can use icon links in your website’s footer to promote your social media accounts to existing customers. (They’ll be the most likely to follow you in the early days.)
Paid social media advertising has become big business in recent years. But there’s plenty of room for the little guys to get in on the action. If you don’t think you can set up your own campaigns, you could engage social media marketers on Fiverr or similar freelancing platforms.
8. Extend Your Reach Via Influencer Marketing
Struggling to get traction on social media? Influencer marketing is a powerful way to jump-start your campaigns.
Social media influencers have already put in the hard work to build-up their presence. By paying for a sponsored message, your business could piggy-back on their success.
If you’re in the ecommerce niche, an unboxing video could be a great option. Arrange to send your product to an influencer. They’ll shoot a video unboxing and getting to know the product.
If you’re in the fashion space, you could consider sending clothing or accessories to an influencer. You could sponsor them to simply wear the item in their next video. This is one of the subtlest types of online marketing, but it can build brand recognition in a non-salesy way.
Finally, if you have a bricks-and-mortar business, you could arrange for a local influencer to visit and vlog about their experience.
9. Press Releases
Is your business doing something newsworthy?
Maybe your team have just completed a sponsored fun-run? Maybe you’ve opened a major new branch? Or maybe you’re launching an innovative product the media will want to cover?
Creating a press release is a great way to build hype around all these events – and more.
The art of a great press release isn’t as complicated as you might imagine. Here are some basic tips to get you started:
- Keep it brief (300-400 words is a good number to aim for)
- Front-load the most important info at the beginning of the release
- Include up-to-date contact details in case reporters want to follow-up
- Keep it professional by following an established press release format
10. Test, Test and Test Some More!
Let’s repeat something we said at the start of this online marketing strategy guide…
Not every approach will work for every business.
That’s why it’s vital to keep testing one campaign vs another. This is especially true if you’re investing money in a marketing strategy like PPC.
A/B testing is a respected way to optimise campaigns. It involves running 2 similar – but slightly different – ads, to see which delivers the best results.
Of course, some types of online marketing can’t be judged so quickly. For example, you can’t expect to post a blog on Monday night, and top the search results by Tuesday. SEO is a long game best played slowly over the months ahead.
But when it comes to most of your marketing efforts, you should expect to see results much sooner. If you don’t, it could be time to tweak your campaigns – or try different types of online marketing instead.
Discover More of the Best Internet Marketing Strategies
Here at tasjeel, our guides are written to make complex subjects easier to understand.
If we’ve inspired you to dig deeper, the team at ahrefs have published a guide to their 11 favourite internet marketing strategies.
Why not check it out?