The internet is a crowded space, and standing out is becoming more and more difficult. Given that more than 60% of purchases start with an online search, and that most millennials will research a company on Instagram before making a purchase, it has never been more important to build your online brand presence.
Here are 5 marketing strategies that you should consider:
Have a clear brand identity
A perceived brand is an actual brand; it’s pertinent that your audience and potential customers understand your brand, your product or service and how to buy it. Your choice of logo, colours, branded imagery and Copywrite (the written form of marketing) are all crucial to creating awareness and attracting attention to your business.
When generating the content, look beyond your logo, product or service. Your content should connect back to who you are, your brand’s values, mission and overall aesthetic. It should be cohesive across all of your platforms and communicate the value proposition of your brand.
Be easily searchable (SEO)
Searchability is arguably the most pertinent piece of your digital media plan. If your customers cannot find you easily, in the first minute of their search, on the first page of Google, etc., they will not spend time digging further. Your searchability is affected by many different factors such as your website content, backlinks, speed performance, metadata information, and local SEO citations. The use of SEO makes your brand more visible which in turn, improves user experience, drives traffic, and gains more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.
There are a huge number of factors that will impact your SEO, and it can be complicated. However, you’ll want to get the basic fundamentals down so you can generate revenue and build towards hiring that marketing specialist or consultant that can do the deeper dive for you.
- Content must be well written with many of your target keywords included. Write long content like blogs and articles that are favoured on Google.
- Ensure you have backlinks from reputable websites. That means having other websites link to an article or page on your website as much as possible.
- Use consistent language and branding on your website, Google My Business, and other platforms.
- Ensure your metadata is updated on your website (this can be more complicated, but there are plenty of resources if you search on Google).
Leverage the free features on the platforms
Social media has evolved to be an essential piece of any business’s marketing strategy. Applications are primarily free and the features offered on the platforms can help you generate brand awareness and a large audience. Here are the most relevant ways to grow your audience in 2021:
Instagram Grid: This serves as a social media storefront. Use a clean aesthetic approach to showcase your products or services, make sure your message about your product or service is crystal clear and connect it back to your website. Make sure your Instagram is a business page as well.
Instagram Reels: This is a fairly new feature and is currently the easiest way to generate an audience and increase engagement. Use these short videos to show a little more about your business and personality. Introduce your team members, show your production process, do client showcases and ultimately, have some fun with it.
Twitter: Twitter continues to stay relevant in business and political spaces. Integrate Twitter into your public relations strategy and keep your customers and local community informed.
Facebook Business Listing: Facebook is an easy way for your potential audience to validate your business and find out more about you. It is also easy to connect with your audience and grow through inviting your personal contacts and running contests. Ensure that every feature is being utilized on Facebook to ensure that you show up high on Facebook and Google.
TikTok: There is a way to leverage TikTok for every business. It is similar to Reels, but the algorithm has proven to be the most advanced in the market. This will make it easy to connect directly to your target market, even if they do not follow you. On TikTok, content is king. Create quality and interesting content that is aligned with your brand. Not an easy ask, but once you find that sweet spot, your audience will rapidly grow, and in turn, your brand awareness will increase.
LinkedIn: There are two ways to optimize your success on LinkedIn. A business listing adds credibility and is a great place to post long content. Have your business listed on LinkedIn and have your employees and yourself list that as their place of employment. Use this to establish your brand as an authority in your industry. Make it educational and entertaining.
As a business owner and leader, you should also be active on your personal LinkedIn profile. This is an opportunity to share your experiences, knowledge and business information while engaging with many other professionals. LinkedIn is the number one professional social platform for you to have a personal presence on, and your ability to build influence and credibility is outstanding.
Google My Business: Your GMB listing will affect searchability, and is the core platform for reputation management. Encourage your clients to engage with Google reviews because it has become one of the first places a potential client will look to establish trust in a service or product. Reviews are crucially important and they play a large role in searchability. The more reviews and the higher the score, the higher you show up on Google. Posting social content to GMB will allow you to share updates, promotions, etc., all with a call-to-action button for free. These have a direct correlation to lead generation and you can monitor the insights for the number of calls, directions and website clicks you receive.
Engage with your audience
When managing social media accounts, it is easy to be a bit disconnected from the content that you are putting out. As a social media manager or business owner, it is important to be present on your business social media pages and engage with your followers, your commenters, and your network. Putting out content is not enough, you need to like, share and engage with others on the platform. A few easy tips to create more engagement:
- Respond to all of your comments.
- When putting out a new post, go like all of your previous posts’ comments.
- If someone shares something about your business or tags your business, share their content on your page.
- Like and comment on those that you follow, focusing on local businesses, leaders and industry professionals.
- Integrate a DM strategy on Instagram. (THIS ONE IS REALLY IMPORTANT!) There are currently no restrictions on Instagram for businesses to message/DM people. You have an easy way to message your audience directly, so create a DM strategy for your audience. If someone new follows you, DM them thanking them and sending them an offer or sharing more about your business!
Utilize paid strategies to generate sales
So far, we have shared four great ways to grow your business through online marketing that is free, but a strong paid strategy is pertinent to generating leads. There are a few easy ways, that are effective and have a low cost per result:
- Facebook Ad Campaigns: These campaigns can be to generate engagement, leads, messages etc. and are very easy to implement and monitor.
- Instagram Ads: Run through the same Facebook Ad portal, you can put together Story ads and feed ads directly to your target market and connect back to your Instagram page.
- Paid Search: Google has a lot of different types of ads that you can run – YouTube Ads, Localized GMB ads, etc. – but Paid Search is the most important one for generating website traffic and generating sales. Monitor the cost carefully and be hyper-aware of the keywords or long-tail keywords that you are using.
- TikTok Ads: A new feature that has launched for businesses, but is still very low cost due to the lack of businesses advertising on the platform. The most important thing is that your ads look and feel like a proper TikTok, not an ad.
Whenever you are doing ads on any of your digital platforms, ensure that your organic strategy on the same platform is strategically aligned and strong.
For more insight on how to grow your business online, watch this video from Driverseat: