For small businesses seeking an online presence, it can be tough to make your product or service stand out from the competition. In fact, getting any attention at all is never guaranteed in the vastness of the internet!
But if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to put our best foot forward online! Whether your small business trades online or you simply want to build brand awareness, the internet and social media is now your most reliable (and, believe it or not, affordable!) marketing solution.
First things first, don't panic! All good things take time and this is particularly true of building a successful online presence for your business.
At Content Empire we work directly with small business owners every day to provide customised content marketing strategies, tailored to maximise their business potential online.
To give your business a boost, here are 5 steps that our team consistently recommends:
1) Define your audience
We can't emphasise the importance of this process enough. A deep understanding of your target market is crucial to gaining the best possible return on your content marketing investment.
Clearly outline your brand identity and business goals, then take a step back and define exactly who makes up your customer base.
As time passes you will discover more and more about this audience. This knowledge will allow you to tailor each facet of your marketing strategy to match their search patterns, interests and purchasing trends.
2) Lift the performance of your website
Your website is the home of your online business and should clearly demonstrate your brand and its points of difference to your target audience.
Consider the colour scheme, ease of navigation, prominence of your logo and quality of visual and written content.
Research indicates people are increasingly choosing to access online content from mobile devices, including their smartphone or tablet. To get the most from your website, make sure that it is mobile responsive, meaning that it adapts to any screen size.
An effective business website doesn't have to come with a high price tag. There are many user-friendly, free tools to help you create your own - Wix, Shopify, Squarespace and WordPress are all great places to start.
Top tip: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an effective means of driving traffic to your website without paid advertising. Enhance your SEO by researching the search terms used by your target market and add these to the meta data descriptions in the back end of your website.
3) Publish a regular blog
Regularly generating fresh, relevant blog content that adds value to your target audience is an effective method of conveying your brand identity and positioning yourself as industry leader without breaking the budget.
When housed on your website, each blog post provides you with the added bonus of boosting your website SEO. This works to give your business page greater reach and a better chance of capturing the attention of customers searching for your products or services.
4) Get social
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn ...social media has become an integral aspect of our lives, and it's a tool you can use to drive leads toward your online business.
Successful social media campaigns combine a clear and simple message with a strong visual element that captures attention.
Top tip: The paid promotion options offered to businesses by social media platforms are a cost effective way small businesses can build brand awareness. "Boosted" or "sponsored" content is served directly to your chosen target audience to increase the reach of your content and introduce your brand to many more prospective customers.
5) Yes, you should use Google Ads
The most common method of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Google Ads campaigns are cost-effective and easy to create. Each small, carefully worded advertisement is designed to encourage people to click through to your website or landing page.
Google Ads are only served to users who search for your selected keywords. It is therefore important to regularly improve and refine these terms based on those that prove most effective.
This may be a paid service, but it is up to you how much you choose to spend per day (even $10 per day will go a long way towards advertising your business), so you never have to spend more than you can afford.