If you’re new to the world of online marketing, then you’re in for a treat. With so much information, tools and strategies, it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start. That’s why I’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty and compiled this ultimate guide for beginners. The following will discuss the best ways to promote your business online.
Find Your Niche
In case you’re wondering, “niche” basically means “a small focused group of people” who share your interests or hobbies. For example, you might have a niche for crafty ladies (like me) or foodies (like my husband). When you find a niche, you can tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to a specific group of people. That’s a win-win!
For instance, if you’re a food blogger, you might want to explore ways to promote your food blog. You could very well target foodie women and cater your content to please only that audience. Or if you’re a fashion blogger, you might want to explore ways to appeal to the fashionista in all of us. You could use fashion terminology and show off your designer wardrobe, perhaps? Or maybe you’ve got something unique to offer like restaurant tips or travel advice?
Use Social Media
Social media are the digital playgrounds where you can engage with your audience and watch as your engagement rate increases. Every social media platform is incredibly different, and each one offers its own perks for marketers.
While Twitter is a great place to connect with potential customers, and even gain some real-life acquaintances, you should avoid using it solely for marketing purposes. If you do, you risk turning off your audience and losing credibility (you know, that annoying “real life is important too” voice in your head).
Facebook is a bit like Twitter in that it allows you to connect with people who share your interests. The key differentiator is that you can have a much larger reach on Facebook. While Twitter has about 300 characters to work with, Facebook allows you to have up to 1,500 characters. That’s a lot of space to fill!
On Facebook, you can engage with your audience in many ways. You can post articles, videos, or even graphics. And don’t forget about live videos! Those can be a great way to engage with your audience while also giving them a taste of what you have to offer. For example, if you’re a fashion or style blogger, you might want to try posting live video chats with influential people in the fashion industry. When you do this, you give your viewers an opportunity to ask you questions live, and you also provide them with content that is directly related to your niche.
Start A Blog
Blogs are like digital word of mouths that exist online. When someone discovers your blog and shares it with their friends, they’re effectively talking about your business. In other words, if you have a delicious food blog, people will stumble upon it, read it and then tell their friends about it. Ultimately, that means you’ve got a way to drive more traffic to your website (and ideally, make some sales too).
Blogs are relatively simple to get started with. All you need is a laptop, some spare time (as the saying goes, “not all of it”) and the willingness to put in the work. Of course, you could always outsource some of that work. You might want to consider hiring someone to help you set up your blog. Not only will having a team of people working for you increase your productivity, but it also provides you with someone to help you navigate the complexities of the online world. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t know where to start” as a reason why business owners give up on their marketing efforts.)
Create An Online Shop
An online shop is a marketplace where customers can purchase products that are delivered to their homes. This type of setup can also be referred to as an e-commerce store or an online store. If you have a store that you’ve built with WordPress or another content management system, you can use that to sell your products. Alternatively, you can use a third-party e-commerce store like Shopify, WooCommerce or Volusion.
You’ll need to register for an account with each one of these third-party shopping platforms to start selling your products. Once you’ve got your account set up, you can start creating your shop! You’ll need to decide on a name for your shop, and then work on positioning yourself as an expert in your chosen niche. Ideally, you’ll want to find a way to position yourself as an authority in your field. When someone is searching for information related to your niche, they’ll come across your shop. When they do, you want them to click on your products and make a purchase, not a competitor’s.
Use Email Marketing
You’ve probably heard of email marketing, given its omnipresence in the digital world. Just think about how often you get emails from brands and websites you follow. Now, imagine if you could harness the power of email marketing to promote your business. That’s what marketing emails are all about. Emails can be customized to target a specific group of people (like a neighborhood, a sex group or even a social media audience) with content that is specifically designed to appeal to them.
Marketing emails are one of the best ways to market your business, especially if you have a large email list. Just remember that emails can be extremely effective, but they can also be expensive to send (depending on the size of your email list). To get the most out of email marketing, it is important to segment your email lists and focus on building a quality email community.
Start A YouTube Channel
YouTube is one of the world’s largest and most popular video platforms. What’s more is it’s incredibly easy to use and understand. Anyone can create a YouTube channel and start sharing videos about anything.
Now, imagine if you could use YouTube to promote your business. The video platform allows for an amazing amount of customization, so you can focus on creating content that will engage your audience. While YouTube doesn’t necessarily require you to have a large audience to be effective, it certainly doesn’t hurt. The key to leveraging YouTube is understanding how to build a community around your channel. Just remember that any content you post to YouTube will be available to anyone, so it goes without saying that you should only post quality content. Plus, make sure you include social media links in your videos’ descriptions, as well as in your blog posts. This will help your viewers easily find your content while also encouraging them to share it with their friends.
Start A Blogger Coffee Club
Bloggernomics is the practice of making money online from a blog. It’s a way to make money from a place you love (or, at least, enjoy doing). If you’re a talented writer with a sizable audience, you might want to consider starting a blog strictly for the purpose of making money. Or, you could join a group with other bloggers and create a club. Buy a cup of coffee (or a beer, if you’re into that) for a fellow blogger who has more than 50,000 followers.
When you join a blogger coffee club, you’ll be able to network with other bloggers and potentially gain some valuable insights about how to become a successful entrepreneur. Moreover, you’ll be able to enjoy a beverage (or six) while also supporting a good cause. If none of that sounds good to you, then perhaps freelance writing isn’t the right career path for you. But, if it does, then consider blogging as a way to make money and enjoy life.
Try Test Marketing
Did you know that many large businesses lose millions of dollars annually due to ineffective marketing? Not all of it, either. That’s because not everything worked out as planned. Which is why you should always consider experimenting with marketing strategies before you put them in place. Or, you could just use a trial and error approach and see what works and what doesn’t.
You might want to consider trying out several different techniques and then pick the one(s) that work best for your specific niche. Or, perhaps you want to try a mixture of strategies, and see what works best. For example, you could start with a small pitch to get your foot in the door, and then shift to more of a resource-sharing strategy once you’ve gained the trust of your audience. Not only will this ensure that you’re not wasting your efforts, but it could also lead to a full-fledged monetization strategy.