How to Market Your Business Online Without Breaking the Bank

You’ve probably heard of the “golden hues” that attract potential customers to a business – the red colour for retail outlets, and the yellow and green for food businesses. Well, thanks to the internet, you can develop a similar colour scheme for your website, and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

In fact, you can use the same techniques that famous brands like Google and Apple use to grow their audiences and make sales – and you don’t need to be constrained by the need to follow their algorithms. You can use paid advertising, social media marketing, and SEO to find your audience, and without breaking the bank.

Let’s take a closer look.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is any form of ad placement that you pay for and expect to receive a return on investment (ROI). Usually this is measured in terms of lead generation and sales. The benefit of paid advertising is that you can target specific audiences and genres with the right ads.

You’ll want to run ads which are relevant to your target audience, and avoid anything patronising or “out of home” (e.g. interrupting the viewer with ads when they’re on other websites).

With paid advertising, you can reach a large audience, and when set up correctly, can generate leads and sales. Facebook and Google Ads are two of the most popular and effective platforms for running paid ads. You can use these to promote your products and services, or just use them to get the word out about your business.

Social Media Marketing

A form of paid advertising that uses social media to connect with audiences is social media marketing. Here, you’ll want to post content regularly and engage with your followers via retweets, likes, and shares.

The benefit of social media marketing is that you can target audiences by gender, age, and geography, as well as monitor the performance of your campaign through hashtags, trending topics, and analysis from third-parties like Hootsuite.

You can use social media to attract, engage, and convert your audience into customers.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is a form of paid advertising that involves optimising your website content and META tags for search engines such as Google and Bing.

The goal of SEO is to have your website show up within the first few search results when potential customers type in keywords related to your products or services. If your website isn’t showing up within the first page of search results, or doesn’t rank high enough on the first page, you’re losing out on a potentially large audience.

SEO is a broad term, and involves a lot of tactics and strategies – from building a strong brand voice and engaging with your audience to making sure you have the right Catchy Headline for your product.

You can use SEO to attract, engage, and convert potential customers into repeat and sales engagement. For example, if you sell shoes, you might want to have keywords like “shoes” or “sneakers” in the H1 heading of your homepage, and then use SEO to drive traffic to your shoes website.

Choosing A Niche

When choosing a niche, or area of specialization, you want to pick something that you’re passionate about. Once you’ve settled on this, you can build a niche business around this interest – provided you have the resources to back you up. For example, if you’re passionate about lifestyle, you might want to create a blog around this topic. This blog can then grow into a podcast or a YouTube channel, or a Facebook page.

A niche doesn’t have to be a single topic. You can build a business around anything – from beauty to style to food to travel – as long as you can find a way to monetise it. The golden rule is to pick a niche that you’re passionate about, and to build a business around this interest. This will keep you motivated, and allow you to build a customer base quickly and easily.

Setting Up Shop

For those looking to break into the world of online marketing, you’ll want to start by creating a shopify store. This is similar to eCommerce, but allows you to target customers and build a brand for free.

If you’ve decided on a blog as your vehicle for marketing, you can also use shopify to create virtual stores for your products. With a blog, you don’t need a shop to market your products. You can simply create posts with the same information you would include in an eCommerce store.

If you decide to go down the shopify route, you’ll want to pick a domain name that is short and simple, but also has the right mix of letters and numbers to catch and convert visitors to paying customers (i.e. not just forpsisits).

You’ll also need to have a clear idea of what your shop will look like. This will involve some graphic design and copywriting, so be sure to get some help from experienced freelancers in these areas if you aren’t blessed with talent in these areas.

Permanent Markers

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to establish some kind of marker on your website to tell visitors that this isn’t just another one-off blog post. This is an area that you’ll want to focus on throughout the design and build process.

You can use sticky posts to establish a conversation with your visitors, or run a mailing list or newsletter to keep them informed of relevant information.

Another option is to establish a newsletter or blog series where you regularly share the most recent news from the field of your interests. For example, if you’re passionate about lifestyle, you might want to establish a blog where you interact with your readers by sharing interesting news about fashion houses and designers.

Content Creation

Now that you have a permanent marker, you can move on to content creation. This isn’t just limited to blog posts, and can include anything from product reviews to case studies to interviews.

Depending on your niche and your skill level, you might want to consider creating a podcast for free. If you’re a brand newbie, this is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Create a series of 10-15 minute podcasts on a topic that you’re passionate about. This area of specialized marketing can be highly rewarding, as you can build a sizeable audience which will listen to and value your advice.

Community Building

Once you’ve got a decent sized audience, you can start to build your community. This isn’t just about making sure your social media posts are relevant and engaging, it also involves engaging with your audience via email and online chats.

You can use your blog or podcast to establish yourself as an expert in your field. In addition to establishing your authority in your field, you can use this platform to connect with and gain support from other professionals.