Online marketing, which is also called internet marketing or online advertising, is any tool, strategy or method of getting the companyname out to the public. The advertisements can take many different forms and some strategies focus on subtle messages rather than clear-cutadvertisements.
One of the main internet marketing strategies that can help online retailers build a successful Internet business is search engine optimization (SEO), the process of tailoring your website to the algorithms that searchengines use to rank websites based on “signals” that the site emits.
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There are many things to consider when crafting a successful internet marketing strategies,but there are Twenty key decisions that over the years I have seen helphundreds of small business owners grow their sales and create sanity intheir internet marketing strategies.
Internet Marketing strategies For Small Businesses With Limited Budgets
Define Your Brand
Build A Simple & Effective Website
The website is the central component of any business’ digital marketingstrategy; it’s how your current and potential customers can most easilyfind and connect with you. Given its key role, it’s astonishing thatmore than half of small businesses owners (52%) said their business does not have a website, according to the Yodle survey.
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Make your website a priority this year. Whether you’re just buildingyour website now or looking to improve the one you have, keep these keythings in mind moving forward:
- Make Contact Information Visible & Consistent:Incorporate your business’ contact information (phone number, address,email address, etc.) throughout your site, not just in your About Us orContact Me section. Ensure that your contact information is consistentwith what you have included on online business listing websites.
- Design An Appealing, Easy-To-Use Interface: Investin a contemporary website with a visually appealing color scheme andstraightforward navigation. It will not only make your website moreattractive and seamless to navigate, but will also reflect on theprofessionalism of your business. Be careful about using features suchas Flash which may negatively impact your site’s search rankingpotential and which don’t load on some smartphones.
- Use Defining & Searchable Keywords On The Front & Backend: In drafting content for your website, be sure to incorporate keywordsthat consumers will most likely use when searching for your products and services. Ensure that your web designer incorporates these keywordsinto anchor text in page URL links and adds keyword-specific titles,descriptions and tags to videos posted on your website.
- Keep Current By Regularly Updating Content: Inorder to stay relevant to those visiting your site (including searchengine crawlers) be sure to update your website content on a consistentbasis. Develop an editorial calendar to update your site in conjunctionwith big promotions and sales, events, and other notable activities, orwhen you introduce new products or services.
- Monitor Website Analytics: Pay close attention towhere your website visitors are coming from, how they’re finding you,and what they’re doing while on your website, so you can consistentlyupdate and improve their experiences through tweaks to your site’snavigation and content.
Publish Great Content
I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-asscontent. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t freealways better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’thave too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out somearticles for your blog.
Create Instructional Videos
Video content is reallyvaluable to internet marketing strategies, and while it can cost big bucks to get professional YouTubevideos produced, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot yourself or hiring a film student off Craigslist. Wistia offers a great video tutorial showing you how to shoot expert-looking footage on your regular old iPhone!
Post to Pinterest and Instagram
If you are selling a highly visual product or service, say you are in the bridal or foodbusiness, you should be regularly posting images on Pinterest and/orInstagram. Posting is free and both platforms have large followings (read: how to get followers),particularly among women. Pinterest is the ideal social media to add in list to your internet marketing strategies, if your products or website is mainly female based.
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“You can drive major traffic to yourwebsite via Pinterest, and no platform uses hashtags to build audienceslike Instagram,” says Eric Elkins, CEO and chief strategist at WideFoc.us, a real time social media company.
What is Your Unique Benefit?
Your unique benefit should highlight the one (or two) main thingsyour product or service actually delivers (benefits) that your targetcustomer really wants, not a long list of all the things your productdoes (features).
At Infusion-soft, we know our customers don’t just want our software:They want to grow sales and save time. We don’t describe everything oursoftware does or the hundreds of benefits, we keep our focus on thosethree key benefits in everything we do. And the simpler we describe it,the better our marketing works.
Who is Your Competition?
When someone is looking to buy a solution to a problem, they willquickly make sense of the alternatives to compare against – yourcompetition. However, most entrepreneurs haven’t specifically definedwho their real competition is and don’t focus their messages to createclear differentiation for their buyers. This frustrates the buyingdecision process and makes your digital marketing efforts weaker.
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You need to be clear in your own mind about what your biggestcompetition is in digital marketing. If you are a tax accountant, is your competition reallythe other tax accountants in town? Other CPAs or financial planners? DIY tax software? Doing taxes manually? National tax accounting chains? Each competitor type would create different comparisons, so you need to narrow it down to one or two main competitor types.
Never Stop Growing Your Network
In internet marketing strategies “if you stop, you will die”. Expand your network of contacts and potential clients. Ask your best,most powerful, most influential friends or business associates tointroduce you to the five people they think you should meet to expandyour business. Take each of the contacts out for coffee and get to knowthem. Discuss your plans and future goals, tell them about why yourbusiness is special and ask for their advice. You will be amazed at howthese new contacts will pay off ten-fold with recommendations to you for new business and innovative ideas you hadn’t thought of.
Internet Marketing on Twitter Giveaways
This might sound silly in internet marketing strategies plan, But give away your product or promotional item on Twitter will work better. Ask a questionabout a product on your website or blog. The first person to answerwins. When you send the item write, “Retweet upon receipt,” to beentered in a second contest.
Google AdWords On The Cheap
Run market research on the cheap by using Google Adwords to target an audience. Make the landing page a question survey. Asnappy question to attract people, along with Google’s Geo-targeting can provide great results, for next to nothing. You might interested to read: Top 15 Reasons Your Business Should Use AdWords for your Internet Marketing Strategies.
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Explore Bing Ads for internet marketing
With Bing Ads, you can create ads to reach the right audience and meet your business goals. Currently BingAds has lower competition than google, so you can eaily work with them. They has lots of features life geo targeting, age, device etc. Recently BingAds added 20+ new features to make your internet marketing strategies easy. Here are Top 8 Reasons to add Bing Advertising to your Internet marketing Bucket list.
StumbleUpon Advertising for Internet Marketing
If you want to try some paidadvertising but you’re not looking to break the bank, StumleUpon’s Paid Search Discovery could be for you. Paid Discovery delivers usersstraight to your site, ready to engage. What works best on Stumble Upon? Photography, visual assets, and humorous content.
Stumble Upon is pretty cheap compared to other paid ad structures.You start with a base price of 10 cents per click, then add +2 cents for age targeting, gender targeting and device targeting. You can see the whole price list for detailed info. Whichever way you spin it, Stumble Upon’s paid offering is leagues cheaper than most other social media ads; Facebook ads, for example, can cost as much as 80 cents per click.
Also Read: How to get traffic from StumbleUpon?: A Secret Guide
To really benefit from StumbleUpon, use targeting options to make sure you’re hitting the right audiences and niches.
Add Online Reviews to internet marketing strategies list
Let your fans review your business, then incorporate their reviews inyour blog post — good or bad, unless of course it’s obscene,not-safe-for-work bad. Online reviews are a critical component of yourbusiness’ reputation and can do wonders for converting new customers.Services like RateItAll.com/Promote allow you to submit anything forreview – whether it’s a local business, a blog, a website, a product, or a brand. Other popular review sites include Yelp (local businesses),TripAdvisor (travel related items), and Viewpoints (products).
Inspire Customers To Call You
Do something really different. Send a monthly postcard instead of a hard copy newsletter. Self-printed cost is $0.46 ea. including the stamp.Make it fun and colorful with a strong “Call to Action” title, like:“100 reasons to call us. List 10-to-20 reasons, including your skills,talents, and tasks. Give customers a coupon for a discount, or a freedoughnut, or something fun to inspire them to call.
Digital Marketing with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a major socialmedia site that is often under-utilized. Don’t just add network connections and sign out – join groups, enter into dialogue withconnections, and share your blog posts. There’s a ton happening onLinkedIn, and it can be a great place to promote your content, shareideas, and build your brand.
Apply Online for Business Awards
Most industries havebusiness awards you can win, providing you with an online badge you canplace on your website. Badges like these can boost credibility, and as a result, increase sales. If there aren’t any awards for your industry, host your own! You’ll get a ton of attention from other industry businesses who want to apply foryour award, which means even more connections and more possible futurecollaborations!
Email Marketing as Digital Marketing
Email marketing is a great way toget new visitors engaged with your business, as well as maintainrelationships with your existing customers.
Get new website visitors to sign up for your newsletter by offering a bonus content piece for subscribing (e.g. get your freeebook detailing how to make a homemade pizza when you sign up for ourFirst Slice newsletter). Slowly nurture your subscribers via email until they are ready to become paying customers. Start your email campaignswith a free email marketing service like MailChimp.
Related: How to turn your blog post into an ebook
Be smart about SEO
Still don’t have a clue aboutsearch engine optimization or how it relates to your blog or website? SEO is critical for having massive success is online marketing – and can’t be ignored or overlooked anymore. Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy about howto improve your search engine rankings for your best keywords and let’sget to work.
Related: 34 Search Engine Optimization Techniques
Get endorsed by a local celebrity
Its true; your internet marketing strategies should start from the local market. Many businessowners dream of having their product or service endorsed by a globalcelebrity. But instead of trying to get a superstar to support yourbusiness, try seeking out a local celebrity instead.
Who exactlyare local celebrities? These are people your local paper is writingabout — perhaps an “unsung hero” such as a teacher or a resident who’sdoing something positive and newsworthy. Since they’re in yourneighborhood, these people should be relatively easy to locate andcontact by phone or e-mail. Let them know you’d like to send them agift, namely your product or service.
Improve your irresistible free offer
Perhaps it’stime to replace that outdated “free report” or “eBook” with an evenhigher value freebie to offer site visitors. As I referred to in my post about the best freebie out there – my favorite is still the Audio CD –which has huge intrinsic value because it’s a physical “thing” and youcan capture mailing addresses in addition to just email addresses.
Creating a clear online marketing strategy is not what companies do after theyget big, it’s what small companies do to grow and get bigger in thefirst place.