5 Ways to Get Your Small Online Business Noticed
One of the most prominent misconceptions entrepreneurs have is that merely having a website means consumers will automatically take notice and make a purchase.
While it is true a site is operating 24/7 with most of its functions automated, getting people to notice takes work. In my opinion, investing in marketing for a small online business is so important, one should consider looking at various small business loans in order to give your marketing efforts a boost.
To make a living from an online business, whether it be a store, a service, or a blog, people must visit your website, and that will not occur without you putting work into it. You have to market your site to the world. This means you will have to come up with a marketing plan designed especially for your online business.
Below are five ways to get your small online business noticed.
1. Curate Content From Influencers, Especially Those Known in Your Industry
According to some stats by Business 2 Community, "94% of elite marketers now use influencer marketing because it drives 11X more ROI than traditional digital marketing channels, according to Invespcro." Another 94 percent of those marketers who used influencers said they believed the method to be highly effective.
In the United States, 48 percent of marketers have plans to increase their budget for influencer-based marketing campaigns. Additionally, 71 percent of marketers say that an "ongoing ambassadorship" is the best form of influencer marketing.
An Infographic from Business 2 Community is included featuring further information.
It can be hard to continually come up with great content for your small online business.
Using online influencers solves that problem since it is their business to create highly engaging content for their viewers to comment on and share throughout the social media universe. Rather than you showing off your knowledge and expertise, having another voice do that for you gives your site credence.
Another way you can garner someone's influence is by "curating" someone else's content.
Curating content does not mean you copy it but means you write about it and include a backlink to it. If you enable "pingbacks," it will inform the owner of the website that you wrote an article concerning a topic they wrote about and shared a link to their site.
This pingback comes with the possibility that they will also visit your website and with any luck engage with you. Another method would be tagging them in social media whenever you share a comment of theirs.
In this fashion, you create the opportunity of recruiting an influencer for free and who has a natural interest in your online business. By helping one another, you both can grow your businesses together.
2. Use Multiple Web-Based Platforms to Engage With Potential Customers
If you have a Twitter account, keep in mind that whoever follows you might also be on your email list. There is no need to duplicate messages from Twitter in your emails, hence annoying your audience. This idea should be applied all the way across the board.
If you had a physical business, you would want to hold events or hang out wherever consumers in your market hang out. An example could be a motorcycle dealership. The owner of the dealership may hold events at car shows, motorcycle shows, professional motorcycles stunt shows, race tracks, among other places.
The same idea transcends to the online world. You can find numerous communities on social media venues such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
By repurposing your online content into various formats, it allows you to broaden your virtual reach while avoiding sharing the same content all over the place. One example could be writing a how-to article on your website and making a similar video representation for YouTube. You can also link one to the other.
It is also important to understand that social media marketing strategies are continuously changing as social media companies change their guidelines.
For example, Mark Zuckerberg announced in January of 2018 that Facebook would decrease branded content in favor of more "family and friend" related content in its news feeds.
In addition to that, Twitter got a lot of flack for allowing spammers and bots to push agendas from political organizations and hate groups. Hence, in July 2018, Twitter announced users and third-party applications will no longer be allowed to post duplicate posts to multiple accounts. The social media giant also banned mass-liking or retweeting posts.
Social media metrics company Buzzsumo released a report called Content Trends 2018: BuzzSumo Research Report showing, on average, social media shares per post declined 50 percent in 2017 compared to 2015.
All these things and more are important when considering your social media marketing strategy.
3. Email Marketing Still Works
You have probably heard or read people denouncing email marketing as outdated and a waste of time. While this may hold a small amount of truth, they are also forgetting that it is not the strategy itself that does not work but the way in which it is deployed. All you need to do is choose an email marketing strategy that works for your particular online business.
According to Ascend Marketing, 51 percent of professional marketers say the success in email marketing is stunted by the lack of relevant information they have about their contacts.
Another blunder is annoying recipients by sending way too many emails which resulted in 78 percent of subscribers canceling their subscriptions (Hubspot 2016)
Email marketing still provides numerous advantages when used correctly. It can increase sales, generate new customers, and help in customer retention. On the other hand, social media marketing requires continuous engagement until people decide to become customers.
To contradict the rumor that claims email marketing is dead or dying, The Radicati Group predicts the number of email users globally with an increase to three billion people by 2020.
These statistical numbers leave no room for doubt when it comes to the potential power of email marketing, especially considering three out of four companies affirm that they see favorable results by it (Econsultancy).
4. Create Ways to Earn Free Publicity
Having your small online business mentioned in the media is a great way to get noticed. On top of that, it gives your business some clout behind it. However, before pitching to any media outlet about your business, be sure that what you are sharing is newsworthy and focused on the value you provide the community.
One way you can get the news out there is through press releases sent to your local and online media outlets.
Another great strategy is to help a reporter out, such as providing free expert advise. In many cases, this may be a long shot, but it has been done time and time again by many others before you. So, if it is applicable, why not give it a try.
5. Be Authentic and Approachable
Over the years, Fortune 500 companies have learned to embraced authenticity and transparency, resulting in consumers doing the marketing for them. Some that have profited from authenticity and transparency are Airbnb and Dove. Pepsi and Uber are examples of companies that did not adhere to those two principles.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project
In 2004, Dove began its Campaign for Real Beauty. Now it is called the Dove Self-Esteem Project featuring “beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety" in its mission statement.
Dove has consistently aligned its marketing campaign with its mission statement, and in doing so has succeeded in changing the public's perception about the brand as being a champion for women's empowerment. The company is trying to change the conversation around beauty.
Additionally, Dove's longevity and the amount of resources it has invested in improving the advertising industry's slanted view of beauty has made Dove appear more authentic in its marketing campaign.
Made Me Tear Up...
How Airbnb Lives an Authentic Brand Story
Airbnb is another perfect example of authenticity. Rather than the company creating its brand story, it allows its customers to not only be a big part of the story if not the brand story. The brand is defined by the experiences of the hosts and guests: check-in, stay, experiences, departure, writing ratings and thank you notes.
Wisely, Airbnb allows its customers to tell their stories, whatever they may be, rather than communicating what it thinks consumers want to hear. If you are curious about this, feel free to check out “Stories from the Airbnb Community.”