10 Ways to Advertise Your Business Online
Having your own business could sometimes seem more expensive than profitable. You will obviously need to spend some money upfront in marketing and advertising your business if you hope to gain more customers. If you are on a tight budget, online marketing can come to your rescue. Let’s take a look at the top 10 ways to advertise your business online in a way that will get you both money and exposure.
- Search Engine Optimization
There are many ways how you can successfully advertise your business online. But, one of the sure-shot ways would be to have excellent search engine optimization performed on your website. While optimizing your website and all its pages with major SEO factors like keywords, images, and so on would take time, one thing you need to understand that SEO is not a one-time effort. It requires regular commitment and you need to work on your SEO on a weekly or so basis to get the best out of it. Besides Google, you will also need to optimize your website for Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engines out there. Backlinking, keywords, and other optimization strategies need to be used. Most of these are simple and can be self-taught. However, if you don’t have the time to do devote to this, you can always hire someone to help you out at this end.
- Google My Business Listing
The first step you need to take is to get your business verified by Google My Business listing. Local businesses that qualify to enter this listing will show up at users’ searches along with relevant information, such as the company’s name, their contact details, open hours, and even the types of the payment they accept. Recent research indicated that over 70% of the users first look at a company online before they make the decision to visit it in person. This is an extremely important step that you cannot afford to skip, especially if you have also run a brick and mortar store.
- Online Directories
An online business directory works just like Yellow Pages of the old days. It contains a list of registered businesses in specific industries or niche. There are plenty of online directories out there, some general and some others catering to a specific location, category, or industry. Instead of signing up at all online directories you come across, you might want to check out the quality of the directory first. It’s not a good idea to associate yourself or your company with directories or websites that don’t have a great reputation. This could even affect your overall search rankings. Google is one which you cannot skip. The best part about this is that once you register here, you will automatically start showing up on Google Maps, making you seem more official and authentic.
Influencing is a very new concept for some. But, we have always had influencers around even before the dawn of the internet. Brand ambassadors for countries, tourism, or certain brands of shoes or clothes were all usually celebrities, influencing the product and giving it a boost. The digital influencers usually stick to a certain category or niche and have a lot of following you can potentially benefit from. While the more popular ones cost a lot, you can also find some good ones for free, especially if you can send them free goodies or services.
- Online communities
There are thousands of online communities with each one dedicated for some business idea or other. However, if you deal with clothes or sports, just join the relevant communities. Contribute to these communities, answer questions, and never, ever bombard your advertising. However, if the context permits, feel free to do so.
- Start a Blog
Blogging is an excellent type of advertisement that we can look into. Writing blog articles may seem tough for some, especially since it needs to be 100% plagiarism-free. However, fear not, there are plenty of resources who can help you out with this. In addition to this, you can also use your blog articles to embed keywords and perform a whole lot of SEO on this. The ROI factor on this is huge. Having a blog not only helps you gain visibility but also acts as a way to connect with your target audience and gain some visibility.
- Social Media
Social media is great for keeping in touch with friends and family. Of late, users have found another great use for it. You can use your various social networking platforms to advertise your website or brand and directly get in touch with your customers. Most platforms offer paid professional advertising. However, you can always put in some effort and do it for free. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are all virtual gold mines in advertising, especially if you have basic experience with digital marketing.
- Use Free Email Marketing Services
There are plenty of free email marketing services that can help you run your advertising campaign effectively. MailChimp is a popular email marketing service that allows you to send emails to about 12,000 people per month. If you choose to go with their paid services, you will get a lot of other options to work with. For small companies, however, these free trials are a great way.
- Press releases
Press releases are a very effective marketing tool that you should make full use of. Every time your business achieves something, reaches a new milestone, or donates for a charity, have a press release. This will generate publicity and give your business more publicity. Remember, no publicity is bad publicity!
- Encourage Word of Mouth
Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of referrals or recommendations. Most of us ask our friends or families for recommendations before we go ahead with something. Make use of this and encourage your customers to refer your business if they are happy with it. It is completely free and has potentially very high ROI.