Many businesses underestimate the importance of online marketing. Small business online marketing is crucial to building a relationship with your audience in the digital world. Implementing a strategic online marketing strategy is an important component for business growth and success. There are many components of online marketing for businesses and we’ve narrowed down five important basics of small business online marketing.
1. Appealing Website Design
Establishing a website for your business is crucial. Often, when people hear about your business, your website is the first thing they search for online. In most cases, your website serves as a first impression to your audience. Implementing a compelling design and layout for your website is important because users are not likely to spend a lot of time on your website if it is visually displeasing or hard to navigate.
2. Compelling Website Content
Simply establishing a website for your business isn’t enough. Building a website should be strategic and planning is essential to any part of small business online marketing. A good website should incorporate quality content – include as much relevant information about your business so your audience can get a good idea of what you do. Showcasing your current or previous work for clients on your website can also provide proof of your ability to deliver quality products and services. Publishing regular blogs about your business, market or industry provides your audience with updates and advice, which is important to small business online marketing.
3. Consistent Branding
What is branding? Most definitions describe branding as the process of creating and marketing the presence of your company to your customers and differentiates your business from the rest of the competition. A brand can be identified through a company’s logo, graphics and more, but where a brand truly exists is in the hearts and minds of its audience. Your business’s brand should clearly convey the message you want your audience to know. Consistency is a key component to branding. Consistent branding should include using the same colors, fonts and graphics throughout all of your business’s marketing materials and platforms. The messaging, voice and appearance should also reflect your business’ core values. For example, Facebook, graphics for online ads and more should all reflect your business’s brand. If you’re struggling with design and content for your site, it’s likely that your business brand needs re-tooling.
4. Engage on Social Media
Even today, there are businesses owners who brush off using social media to reach their audience. Many business owners don’t feel the need to establish themselves on social media or don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to do it. Establishing your business’s presence on social media can help reach your target audience and keep in touch with them in many different ways. As a small business, you can provide updates, showcase products and provide behind the scenes material of your business, incorporating the “human side” of business, which can deepen your business’s relationship with its audience. Social media is a terrific way to keep the conversation about your business going. If your business is currently on Facebook, read this recent blog we wrote about marketing small businesses on Facebook.
5. Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing is essential to small business online marketing. Email marketing is cost-effective, strengthens the relationship between your business and its customers and audience, as well as a good way to have a direct conversation about your business. One example of email marketing is writing and distributing a newsletter for your business. Newsletters are a fun way to highlight anything important happening within your business and introduce market- or industry-specific content. A newsletter is customizable, so it can be designed to reflect your brand with relevant fonts, colors and graphics. Remember to follow the aforementioned guidelines for branding. Make sure to show off all your design and writing skills as well as incorporate eye-catching visual content.
Small business online marketing is sometimes underestimated; often because businesses don’t have the time, knowledge or tools to build an audience or maintain a relationship with an audience. Many businesses already regularly use the internet, and there are endless options to get your messages across to your audience in many easy, cost-effective ways. Want to know how we can help you with your small business online marketing? Let’s chat!
Recent Public Relations graduate and intern-turned content marketing specialist. When I’m not swimming through waves of web pages for new content, you can find me at hockey games or reading a fantastic book.