As a marketing expert, I receive a lot of email, calls, and I notice tons of questions on discussion boards from business owners who are trying to market their business online.
So as a business owner, what do you do? Here’s the top 10 ways to market your business online:
- Writing and Submitting Articles. For writing and submitting articles there’s only one place to go: Help A Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is one of the fastest-growing social media services in North America. Every day, HARO brings nearly 30,000 reporters and bloggers, over 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses together to tell their stories, promote their brands and sell their products and services. HARO is entirely free to sources and reporters, and unlike a majority of social media services, is independently owned and funded and has been profitable since day one.
- Guest Blog Posting. I’m a huge fan of guest blogging. In my opinion, it’s the most effective online marketing strategy there is, assuming you do it correctly. The great thing about guest blog posting is that you get introduced to a whole new audience and that content last forever.
- E-mail Marketing. E-mail is the most popular online activity on the internet. For most businesses, permission-based marketing are the most memorable and cost-effective way to reach new and existing customers. I would recommend MailChimp as a tool to use.
- Create a Blog. Blogging requires the discipline of creating, writing, and/or contributing information of value to your niche market (a segment of mainstream). Blogs position you as the expert. Blogs communicate news and announcements. Blogs allow for community building. Blogs allow for one-to-one relationships. Blogging to me is awesome, but put blogs on your NOT-TO-DO list if you don’t have the discipline.
- Participate in Social Networking. Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest (Arenas) have hundreds of millions of users that are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. Some people recently have been saying having a presence on each is a smart strategy. Well, it depends. What I have noticed is, if you’re a single person company you’ll spread yourself too thin. The only people who can effectively maintain a presence on each of them are social media supergeeks or business owners with entire teams of people dedicated to growing and nurturing the network, day after and day. Most of us don’t fall into either of those two categories, so for us, the smarter strategy is choosing the one social network where your audience seems to congregate and then putting in the time and energy to really do it effectively. You can focus on others later.
- Offer a Free eBook or Checklist. Auto-responders are programs set up to automatically respond via e-mail when triggered. It’s basically e-mail on demand, making information available to your prospect and customer 24/7.
- Start a Podcast. Is simply an on-demand radio show. Some of your target audience will learn by hearing and podcasting address this issue. Podcasting is described as “push” audio content. Podcasting is a delivery tool. Content is still king in any communication, especially recorded podcasts. Compelling and remarkable content ensures continuous listening.
- Do Online Radio and Podcast Interviews. This a great way to get introduced to other people audience’s and maybe practice just in case you get a national opportunity. Most interviews are posted so that listeners can download an mp3 file and listen to it anywhere at anytime. You also reach a group of people who maybe don’t read a lot.
- Participate in Discussion Forums. Forums are another name for online bulletin boards. online discussion boards, and online message boards. They enable two-way conversation (engagement) by exchanging tips or posting conversations and information. One good thing about forums is that they save information posted for other people to see at anytime.
- Start a Newsletter. Publishing your own free newsletter can bring huge amounts of qualified traffic to your websites while helping you increase your profits. The number one reason that people are online is because they desire and need information. Newsletters help build trust and start relationships online.
Finally, be patient with your online marketing efforts. Find the ones that work for you and implement one, two , or three of them. Building trust and traffic takes time. Like anything else, the ones who win are the ones who stay at it after everyone else has quit.
Question: What advice do you have for marketing your business online?