In the past, business owners had to rely on traditional marketing methods to grow their companies. However, with the advent of online marketing, small businesses have the ability to target their ideal audience and engage them with content that is relevant and useful. In this article, we will discuss seven online marketing strategies to help you develop a winning online marketing strategy for your small business.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving a business’ online presence in the search engines, such as Google and Bing. One of the primary ways that a business can improve their SEO is by using keywords in their content, websites, and emails. SEO is a long-term process that can take several months to a year to see results from. However, as a business continues to improve their SEO, they will see more organic traffic to their website and increased sales conversions.
2. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a form of online marketing in which publishers (businesses) pay Google per click (per impression) on their ads. To be able to run ads on Google, a business must have a Google account and be signed up for the Google AdWords program. Once they are in the program, they can set up automated payments via a credit card or checking account. When a consumer clicks on an ad, the business pays Google the set amount for that click. Then, Google charges the business a small amount per click.
PPC is a useful tool for businesses that are looking to gain immediate exposure to a large audience. If your business is new and needs immediate exposure, then PPC is a good option for you because you can have ads up and running within a few days. This form of marketing is affordable and easy to manage.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing (SMM) is the practice of gaining publicity and attracting consumers through social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. When done right, SMM can be a powerful tool for marketing businesses both locally and internationally. However, when done poorly, it can do more harm than good.
A business can use social media to promote their products and grow their company. On social media platforms, individuals can like, share, and comment on the content that is posted. Therefore, if you are posting content that is educational or entertaining, you are targeting the right audience.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing (EM) is the practice of sending promotional emails to existing customers in order to gain new customers. There are two types of email marketing:
- Direct email marketing: This is a form of email marketing in which you send an email to your existing customers with a promotional code or coupon. For example, you may want to send your customers an email with a promotional code for 10% off their next order.
- Segmented email marketing: With segmented email marketing, you send a different email to each of your subscribers using a tool like Constant Contact. With segmented emails, you can target your audience based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics. Moreover, you can use software to create and send personalized emails based on a customer’s previous purchases and interactions with your company.
Businesses that use email marketing to promote their products and services will see an increase in sales. Additionally, segmented emails allow businesses to gain more from their existing customers by targeting certain groups of customers with content that is tailored to their needs.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing (CM) is a type of marketing that involves creating and distributing content (such as blog posts, case studies, infographics, etc.) to an audience (generally either current or potential customers) in order to attract, engage, and retain them.
One of the best things about content marketing is that it is very easy to implement. You can either hire someone to create content for your business (either in-house or via a freelance writer, content strategist, or blogger) or you can take the step yourself and use tools like BuzzSumo, Hootsuite, and OneOpinion to gain quick content ideas.
6. Online Stores
An online store (also known as a storefront, marketplace, or e-shop) is a type of business that exists solely within the digital world and allows customers to purchase products online. In the past, businesses had to rely on physical retailers to purchase their products. However, with the emergence of online stores, small businesses can now sell and ship products directly to customers, eliminating the need for physical stores.
The best part about online stores is that they are very easy to set up. You can either use a tool like Shopify to create an online store (and connect it with your bank account) or you can hire a company like Fiverr, which provides a one-stop-shop for any type of online store (including shopify stores). Moreover, with Shopify, you can integrate your online store with your email marketing and social media accounts to gain maximum exposure.
With the emergence of online stores, many old-fashioned brick-and-mortar retailers have started pivoting and turning towards online sales as a supplement to their traditional stores. This is especially the case for smaller and mid-sized businesses that may not have the resources to fully invest in a retail store but can make use of online stores to supplement their traditional outlets.
7. Online Portals
An online portal (also known as a digital marketplace, online broker, or e-shop) is a type of business that provides a central location for customers to access products and information online. You can think of online portals like Uber or AirBnB for business—they are a place where customers can find what they want and connect with businesses that provide that product or service.
However, online portals typically operate within a certain industry (such as Lyft if you want to become a driver or Airbnb if you want to become a hotel manager). They also often focus on a specific type of product or service (like Uber does with drivers or Airbnb does with hotels).
In the future, more and more businesses will emerge as online marketing continues to evolve and develop.