So you just launched your online store for your small business? Now you want to know how to get customers to visit your awesome new website. Depending on your industry, competition can be fierce and dominated by some big hitters with deep pockets for marketing. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for small and medium-sized businesses like yours
In this article, we’ll look at several marketing techniques that, used together, form a marketing strategy that any small business can use to attract clients to their platform.
1. Establish a Unique Selling Point
You probably know your industry inside and out, but unless you’ve entered a very narrow niche, you may have to fight for clients with hundreds of competitors. What makes your company stand out from the crowd?
A unique selling point (USP) is the magic that makes your business the right choice for a specified segment of the market. It might be outstanding customer service (although most companies say that), unbeatable prices, custom or unique products, or something more specific to your niche.
You don’t need a USP, but it helps if you can build a marketing strategy around a theme that differentiates your company from the competition.
This could be something as simple as choosing the demographic you wish to target and building a brand around it. Every age demographic is different and requires unique tone, content, and even social media channels.
For example, if you target young entrepreneurs in their late 20-30s, Instagram would be the ideal social media channel for your client as 90% of Instagram users are under 35. But, for an online store targeting a demographic of 50+, Facebook makes more sense as 72% of 50-64 year-olds use this medium in comparison to only 18% on Instagram.
Finding your brand and USP requires time and research but it will help you to grow in the long term. After all, when you are speaking to everyone, are you really speaking to anyone?
2. Forums and Social Media Groups
One of the best ways to gain exposure for a business brand is to be an active participant in industry forums and social media groups. Find online forums and communities that target your industry and join them, become an active participant.
For instance, if you’re selling Cogs Widgets, find a social media group with people who like what you’re selling. Make a name for yourself in these groups and become the expert.
Don’t neglect general interest forums and Q&A sites such as Quora, they can also be great for raising brand awareness among users.
3. Content Marketing
Content marketing is essential for a number of reasons:
- It helps build an audience and demonstrate expertise.
- Content is a vital component of search engine optimization.
- Content creation drives social media posting.
We advise almost all companies to a take three-pronged approach to content marketing.
- A Company Blog
A blog on the site of your company gives people a reason to visit the site. Create relevant, interesting content that appeals to your target niche.
- Guest blogging
Guest blogging is the publication of your content on other blogs and sites. It has two main benefits: increasing brand awareness and generating backlinks.
- High-Value Gated Content
Invest in long-form high-quality content that can be used to capture email addresses. Short ebooks are effective for this.
4. Search Engine Optimization
As you might expect, the search space for your niche can be ferociously competitive. If it is, Focus on niche long-tail keywords in sales copy and publish blogs and other content to get as many high-quality pages as possible into search indexes.
Make sure all your pages have relevant keywords that potential customers might use to look for your products.
5. List In Site Directories
Industry directories aren’t as important as they once were, but it’s still worth the effort of registering, not least for the backlinks. Find directories pertaining to your industry and sign up.
At the very least, make sure you’re signed up with Google My Business and Bing Places for Business.
6. Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be a godsend to small business: some big companies were built almost entirely on the efforts of their affiliates.
In a nutshell, companies offer payments to affiliates when they refer a new customer to them. Creating a generous affiliate program and joining an affiliate network like CJ Affiliate will help your company to gain traction.
Influencer marketing is of increasing importance. Influencer marketing relies on the reach of bloggers and social media users with large audiences to promote a brand. This can be particularly effective for niche industries that can precisely target the audiences of relevant influencers.
7. There’s No Beating Great Service
This is the last item on the list, but in reality, it is one of the most important promotional tools that any business can have. Build a great product or service and customers will promote you for free on forums, in social media, and in person to person interactions. Word of mouth is and will always be, the most effective promotional strategy for any brand.