Every business today is working hard to grow and scale in this competitive environment.
If you are a business owner of such then you will agree with me.
The older ways of marketing your business are not sufficient to grow.
Some of them include advertising in local newspapers, TV advertisements, pamphlets and so on.
Hence you need to adapt the online medium of promotion in order to grow at a faster and efficient pace.
With the help of technology, you can take your business to next level.
There are dozens of websites that will guide you through adapting such online promotion tactics.
But at times you still find it confusing and complicated to understand those concepts.
You don’t need to stress yourself out because we are here to make things easy and simple for you.
Table of Contents
Before you proceed with learning how to use online promotional methods, let’s first start to understand the benefits that you will achieve.
Benefits of Digital Marketing and Online Advertising
Visibility and brand identity
If you’re wondering whether your small home-based business or a hobby could qualify for promoting it online and finding visibility which has turned into a source of income for you, then let me tell you a secret.
Yes, it can also help you to connect with investors and like-minded individuals looking to invest and learn about the same.
Your skills, services and products can all be marketed online. And why is this so?
It is because every second person you find today owns a smartphone or is connected to the digital world in some way or the other.
Users are continuously hooked to the online world and businesses are taking advantage of the same to grab their attention.
Increasing number of active users
The number of people using a smartphone is increasing day by day.
Here are the statistics of a survey which says, as of January 2020 India alone had over 688 million online users.
And globally as of July 2020, the number of active online users was 4.57 billion, which meant 59 per cent of the total global population.
This is great opportunity to take your business online and make it reach to the online audience so that people can learn about what your business is about, what services or products it offers, what people talk about your business (Reviews and Testimonials) and so on.
Connect with customers globally
Your existing and potential customers can easily connect with you using online technology from wherever they are.
With Digital Marketing and Online Advertising, you can reach out to a specific set of audience who could possibly be interested in your business.
Connecting with customers at local as well as global level can be easily achieved at very cheaper cost using an online platform.
Track your results easily
With tools such as web analytics or other metric tools, it is easier to check how your marketing campaign has been working.
You can obtain complete details about how your campaign worked, how many people reached out to your business, how you can improve your campaign and so on.
Drive sales and support
Having an online platform for your business can help you to sell your products and services instantly.
It can also help in providing support without physically meeting each other and being available to them 24×7.
Your customers can get their work done may it be purchase, or get inquiry answered within few clicks and without having a need to make a phone call or visit your office.
So, without using any more time, let’s start to learn some of the free ways or tools using which you can take your business online and scale it.
Free strategies that does not cost a single penny
Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. are some of the most popular social networking sites that come with both – free and paid features.
Today most of the social media platforms are used by business owners to target their audience towards their brand.
Social media audience can be targeted based on demographics, interests making it easier to reach only to people who will be interested in your business.
The first step here is to create social media page and personalise it with your business information on the most widely used social networking sites. These includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Create Facebook Business Page
Create LinkedIn Profile for your business
Create twitter account for your business
Create Instagram Business Page
Create a Pinterest account for your business
The next step is to create posts on these social media pages that you created. The posts must be done consistently, may it be daily, once a week or once a month.
These posts may include images such as visiting cards and posters about your business, projects that you have worked on if your business deals with undertaking projects, hosting quizzes, contests and offers, surveys to understand customer response about your business.
You could also post about what your customers have said about your business so that people who reads about that can have clear understanding of how people are loving your business.
The final and the most important step is to reply to your customers who have commented on your posts.
People who view your posts may have some inquiries or your known people may greet you for successful future of your business.
You need to reply to each and every comment that you receive in the most positive way even if you get a negative comment.
Listing your business online
If a client is looking for services or products similar to what you provide, they will definitely type online and if your business information is not listed there, then there is a high possibility of missing out on a potential client.
To feature on some of the popular search engines like Google you could register your business with Google My Business which allows you to appear in Google searches and shows up on Google Maps.
This could be done by just filling out a form and registering the business followed by the verification and confirmation process which could be done via phone call or an email. You need to have a google account to proceed.
Click here to create Google My Business account
Registering on Yahoo! Local as well as Microsoft’s Bing also expands your spectrum.
Once registered you just have to update your information as and when you get new information such as photos, new projects completed and so on.
Let your customers write review about your business, rate your services so that new potential customers can look up to them before making their decision about your business.
Email marketing is a way of sending promotional or informative messages to your customers or potential customers through emails.
The goal of sending these emails is to make the potential customers aware about your products and services and offers and to encourage them to take action.
For example, if you have a blog and if you want to drive users to your blog, then you write an email to your existing customers with brief summary about what the blog article is about and give a link to read the complete article.
You can use email marketing along with other forms of online marketing such as social media marketing, content marketing (blog) and so on.
You can use free tool, Mailer Lite to create your email marketing campaigns.
The first step is to identify the need for using email marketing. The need can be to get more people to know about your business, to generate more sales of your product, to educate people and so on.
Once that is in place, your next step is to create a landing page. A landing page is a single page website where you display all the details about your business, your services or product details and a button to take an action.
By clicking on that button, a popup window opens where the user needs to enter their email if they are interested in your service or product or offer so that they can avail demo of your product or detailed information about your service or offer.
In this way, you can collect email addresses of people who are interested in your business and are not your current customers. Once that is done you can create subsequent emails and they can be scheduled to be sent automatically as per your strategy.
Click here to create your FREE MailerLite account
Video marketing is an online marketing method where the information about your business is reached to your potential customers in the form of videos.
You can create videos about your services or products you offer, informational videos, etc and share it with others through video streaming sites such as YouTube.
YouTube can help you publish your videos and help you to reach many people as it is largest video streaming website used in the world. The best part is that it is totally free to use.
You can then use other forms of marketing such as social media, email, etc to share the video.
You just need to create a YouTube channel and create videos and publish them on your channel and share them.
Click here to create your YouTube channel
Paid ways of promoting your business
Create your business website
A website is like your online office or store where people will get all the information about your business.
Suppose your business is about providing services or products to your customers, then they can get information about:
- Services/Products you offer.
- Pricing of your Services/Products.
- Discounts and offers.
- Ways to contact your business.
- Ways to avail your services online or offline or purchasing the products and so on.
There are three basic investments needed for your website to launch in the online market.
Firstly, the cost for developing a website if you are not aware of the technical practices for creating a website.
Secondly, the domain for your website. The domain means the name of the website. For example, the domain name of Flipkart is www.flipkart.com. Similarly, for Amazon, it is www.amazon.in.
Third and the last form of investment required is to purchase the hosting. Hosting is the place where your website will be placed on the internet.
There are many free website builder software products that can help anyone to create websites for their business without the technical knowledge. Such builders include Wix, Weebly, Shopify, etc.
The only disadvantage of such builder software is that you cannot customize the design the way you want.
You will need to upgrade to higher paid plans.
You can use WordPress for creating your website because it gives a various option in customizing your website.
But if you need custom features in your website that are not available in WordPress which are called plugins then you will need to hire a website developer to create your website.
Create a blog for your business
A blog is a website where you write informational articles, upload informational videos and other content to make your potential customers aware of different aspects of your business.
For example, if your blog is about educating people about using Mailer Lite product, then in your blog you will write different articles about mailer lite such as what is mailer lite, its pros and cons, comparison with similar software and so on.
So, people visiting your blog will read all this information which will help them to buy or use the product.
You can write articles on any topic of your choice but should be relevant to the topic that you decide when starting your blog.
For example, if your blog is about technology such as smartphones and so on, you cannot write articles about food recipes. It should be only about technology products.
If your blog topic is about food, the you must write articles related to food.
Click here to access the guide in creating your blog
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It is very important to understand how search engines work. You may have your website or a blog up on the internet but does it list among the top five search results when your business is searched for?
If it does not then you need to use SEO techniques to rank your website at the higher position in the search results.
SEO helps you to get visibility on search engines.
From reviewing the site for its structure and content to technical advices, content development, keyword research is all taken care by the SEO.
It works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand.
There are various courses available online that helps in learning about SEO.
Nowadays a lot of companies are looking to hire content creators with SEO knowledge as they are the ones who can guide them as to what changes need to be done.
When people search for businesses, the websites of the businesses rank in the search results based on their SEO strategies applied.
If you have invested in Google advertisements, there is high probability to rank your business in the search results as the ads are displayed first in the search result page and then the other search results.
Paid advertisements are also available on social media platforms. For social media such as Facebook, you can run advertisements on Facebook.
These advertisements are displayed to the people using Facebook based on the demographics and interest. These advertisements are displayed in the form of regular posts with a clickable link.
If the advertisement links are clicked then the user is directed to the relevant page of your website. Other social media platform follows the same process for ads campaigns.
Create Your Google Adwords Account
Create Your Facebook Ads Campaign
If you have understood all the free as well as paid methods of promoting your business, its your time now to take action for your business future.
If you are not able to invest money then you can start with the free options to build your online presence.
Social media is very powerful to take your business among people. As and when you are comfortable in investing money then you can opt for paid strategies.
If you have any queries then please ask them in the comment box below and we will reply to them as sooner possible.
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Today, with the ongoing pandemic there are various restrictions that are imposed and in times like these, the online medium becomes one of the fewer tools to connect with people.
So, why wait any longer, take the next step, and enter the digital marketing and advertising world. It has lots to offer!