Online marketing can yield results without sophisticated or technical skills.
Below is an example of a basic online marketing strategy that small businesses owners and managers can implement today with little resources.
1) Get a decent website
It doesn’t need to be the most expensive or high-tech website.
It should have clean design, the problem(s) your business solves and a clear way to contact you.
It is best to use simple language. A good website has contact information and other important information visible on every page. Your visitors shouldn’t need to think about how to do business with you.
I like to keep the phone number at the top of every page, especially if you want people to call you.
One of my clients, P&H Salon, have their phone number, hours of operation and a clear call to action (Book an appointment) right at the top of the home page and throughout the website.
2) Create a blog
A business website without a blog is a quiet and lonely place.
Keeping a blog has many benefits to a business, including:
- positioning your business as an expert (authority) on your subject/services
- attracting clients organically in Google searches
- people will share your content if it is high value
- building trust
- demonstrates reliability and longevity of the business when applies consistentlty
- educate your clients and prospects on your services which informs, reinforces and encourages their purchase decision
- many other unpredictable benefits that you find out about when you create content
The key to a great blog is adding value and rarely pushing your products or services. You want people to get value from your content, and not feel as if you are pushing your products and services on them. If they like and need what you have to offer, they know where to find you.
3) Share your content on social media
Once you create content on your blog, share it with the world. Depending on your audience, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram are great places to share your content.
4) Build an email list and share your posts to your audience
There are two general ways to build an email list: offline and online.
Online Subscribers: Getting subscribers online from people who visit your website is hard. It requires great content, patience and promotion. The sign-up form on this page is in the sidebar on the right.
Offline Subscribers: A great way to build your list offline is to collect email addresses from people who visit your store. Offer prizes, giveaways, incentives.. oh, and the promise of great content. The content used in your blog becomes content in the mailing list. It’s a great way to build loyalty and remain top of mind to your customers.
The most important thing to remember before venturing into email marketing is the power of permission.
Seth Godin is the master on this subject. Make sure people want to be on your mailing list.
Canada has recently instituted a law called the CAN-SPAM Act. This Act requires businesses to get express permission to send marketing emails to anyone in Canada.
Even if it wasn’t a law in Canada, it’s the law of email marketing. Don’t abuse your list or add people without their express consent.
Opt-in to Seth Godin’s email list and he’ll send you one post every day about business, marketing and culture. It turns out, it’s the best form of direct marketing and his followers are fiercely loyal because of it.
Once you have a solid website, you are creating value-driven content, you are sharing it on social media and by email to your subscribers, repeat the process.
Create a content calendar (once a month, twice a month, once a week – whatever your resources and time allow) and stick to it. Consistency is key in content marketing.
Go for it and good luck! If you have any questions, simply fill out the form on the contact page and I will be happy to answer them for you.