New to Marketing Your Business Online? Here’s Where to Start
Online marketing is an essential part of promoting a small business these days. It’s more than just opening a Facebook page or starting a blog. Marketing your business online is about creating value for your customers, entertaining them without asking for anything in return. If you are able to consistently make your audience happy, they will invite you to keep them informed.
This guide will outline the marketing essentials that can differentiate your small business from the competition in 2017 and beyond.
Social Media Basics
Social media is a subset of online marketing. You have to maintain active pages on all of the major platforms to stand a chance of cutting through the noise on the internet. Luckily, there’s a simple strategy that you can use to turn a single piece of content into multiple social media posts.
First, make sure your business has all of these:
You can look at YouTube like your own personal TV channel. You don’t have to pay for airtime, so it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity and create great video content. The most important thing is to set a steady schedule and stick to it. Start out by scheduling a new video to come out every two weeks. These can be video blogs, educational videos, footage from live events, or anything else. All that matters is that they come out at the right time.
After you have a YouTube schedule set, you can talk about your upcoming videos on Facebook, Instagram, and your blog. Schedule a post on each of these platforms in the days leading up to the video release to spread the word. If you want, you can schedule additional blog posts on other days to round out your content strategy.
Visual Content Stands Out
Compelling visuals are required for good online marketing results. Posts with images in them get 650 percent more engagement than text-only posts (http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/visual-content-marketing-16-eye-popping-statistics-you-need-to-know.html). Photo galleries are even better, generating five times more clicks than individual photographs do. These are significant differences in consumer engagement.
You don’t need a great camera to have high quality photos for your posts. There are many sources of royalty-free images, such as Pixabay and Image Source. You can search for relevant photos on
these services and re-upload them onto your own posts, free of charge. This is a great way to add a visual element to your text content.
Using a service such as Bitly (https://bit.ly) to shorten your links will benefit your business in multiple ways. Shortlinks allow you to see how many times a given link is clicked and where people are clicking it from. This is very valuable data, but many people fail to get access to it. You only have to set this up once and you can enjoy the benefits forever.
One common use of this strategy is to create shortlinks for all of your social media pages. That way, if you link to your Facebook page somewhere, you will know exactly how many people clicked it. This can lead to valuable information about where people are paying attention to you and clicking your links.
Beyond the analytic aspect of shortlinks, there’s the aesthetic side. Shortlinks just look better than most web URLs. Some social media services are notoriously bad about generating huge links that span hundreds of characters. You don’t want to ask your customers to click that kind of link. Give them a simple, functional shortlink to put them at ease.
Listen To Your Data
Facebook has powerful analytic tools built into their platform. If you post on a Facebook page frequently, you can then go back and see exactly which posts are performing the best. You can look at demographic data to determine the age, gender, and location of your audience. There are also tools for measuring the performance of your paid advertising campaigns.
Perhaps the most intriguing data offered by Facebook is its “When Your Fans Are Online” chart. This chart, found under the “Posts” tab of the insights page, shows you detailed data on when your page’s fans are on Facebook. You can use this data to see precisely when the most effective time will be to post future content.
Imagine two business owners, only one of whom is using this analytic data. The one who has no data would be posting at random times, unaware of how to get better results. The other person would be calmly posting at the ideal time of day. Who would you rather be? Don’t miss out on this chance to use data to improve your own online marketing.
This guide is just the beginning. Online marketing changes every day, with new websites and social platforms being built all the time. It’s a good idea to stay up to date however you can. Whatever happens, if you stick to the basic principles of regularly releasing videos, using shortlinks, and analyzing your data, you will succeed with your online marketing results.