A Guide to Online Marketing

Social apps on smartphone

Most business owners seem to think of online marketing as a complicated task. As a result, they are afraid to try it out and forgo online marketing all together.

Online marketing really isn’t much different than more traditional marketing platforms like radio, TV, newspaper, or other offline media. The difference is really in the tools available to you and the lower cost of entry. There are many free ways to market online and many ways to purchase paid advertisement in which you decide how much to spend. This guide to online marketing explains some of the simple concepts involved and why you should try it.

Business owners with basic knowledge online platforms including social media platforms can launch successful marketing campaigns.  Here is a simple guide on how small businesses can use the tools and platforms for online marketing to successfully promote their products and services.

Social Media

social media iconsAn essential requirement for online marketing is involvement in social media. Gary Vaynerchuck CEO of Vayner Media, host of the Ask Gary Vee shoe and writer of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right hook: how to tell your story in a noisy social world, talks constantly of the importance of social media and being on the edge of the new. He shares his experience of success as simply marketing where no one else does. While marketing is a bit more complicated than that, meaning there is more to simply picking the newest platform around, it certainly is a good place to start.

Social media should be seen as a form of networking, something that throughout the ages has been integral to marketing success. Social media platforms are an easy way to let people know who you are what your company is about and what products or services you offer. People then can share this with anyone they think might be interested and help spread the word organically with your efforts and time being the cost not money.

Websites

laptop onlineBuilding a website isn’t complicated, there are many Do-it-yourself (DIY) tools available to do this. It’s also not difficult to find someone that can build one at a low cost like a freelancer or student. One of the problems we see however has to do with business owners getting a website, adding their information and list of services and hoping it works. Eventually those sites are abandoned because there is no ROI in sight, either there is no traffic to the site or simply no measurable sales. Think about what you look for in a website when you need a product or service. It’s not enough to list the products, people want to see detailed descriptions, user reviews, instructions or explanations about why they should use your products or services. Creating a website is about more than just saying to people here I am, you can read more information and get tips in our post DIY vs. professionally developed websites.

Create Relationships

Business relationships are important, vendors and distributors would have a hard time doing business without the other. When it comes to marketing its no different, there are many different types of businesses and many rely on the services or products of others to grow and thrive, or simply to stay in business. Bloggers for example may have a large following of people who read their posts but need products to promote and sell to make a living. If you make or sale camping gear for example, it would be great to reach out an outdoors enthusiast who blogs about their experiences, you can give them your product for review or sponsor them in return for marketing. Build relationships with your customers so they can help spread the word and promote your products for you.

Attracting new visitors to the Site

It’s not useful to have an excellent website or online store without visitors. You must actively think about ways for attracting new visitors. I’ve mentioned utilizing social media and building marketing relationships so far but businesses need to create a strategy for traffic acquisition. This can be done by leveraging multiple resources, ideas, and incorporating paid channel advertising to reach a large yet targeted audience. Content marketing for example is a way to distribute information and create interest, this type of content is not intended to promote a brand directly but inform your audience. When you contribute to your audience by giving them the information they are looking for you generate traffic to your site or social media accounts, this in turn can build trust in you, your company and brand.


About the author

Josue Nolasco – VP of Green Shield Technology.

Graduated from ITT Technical Institute with a bachelors in network cyber security. I attended the Travel Channel Academy  which was great fun and have been working with small businesses owners for years helping them implement new technologies for a better and more productive management of their business.

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