Your website is built, your social media accounts are live and now comes the hard part… how to advertise and grow your business by attracting customers? A dedicated plan and committing regular time implementing it are a sure-fire way to grow your business online. The type of business you have will dictate the best methods of advertising.
The following guidelines for marketing your business are tried and true methods that I’ve used for my own business and that of my web design clients:
With over 2.6 billion monthly users each month, every retail business should take advantage of using a Facebook page to interact with their customers. Top reasons to have a Business page include:
- Personalized interaction with your targeted audience
- increased brand loyalty and awareness
- Repeatedly driving traffic to your website which increases search engine rank
Regularly posting updates including featuring products, customer photos, testimonials, video tutorials or links to blogs benefit your website and businesses growth. The key is to produce content that your audience wants to interact with. It may take some testing to start but Facebook’s Page insights will show you what does and does not work.
At over half of Facebook’s popularity, Instagram reached over 1 billion users per month as of April 2020. However, the key to Instagram’s popularity relies on photos and video with the latter gaining more ground with Stories and IGTV. The focus is less on text and links to content and has more visual appeal. Proper use of hashtags, the pound sign “#” for those of us who remember when it was called that, can help you grab more attention outside of just your followers.
Video content continues to gain the most ground in user preference so if you are comfortable with a more interactive approach, jump in with both feet and fast. Video marketers are seeing as much an 87% increase in website traffic because of video. Keep your videos 3 minutes or less and you are sure to grab attention.
Tagging along with Video marketing on Instagram, YouTube continues to grow exponentially with Wyzowl’s research finding that people watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week. YouTube is a great fit for video marketing that exceeds 3 minutes with a focus on product tutorials and demonstrations. If you’ve gotten your feet wet with shorter videos, take the plunge and attract consumers who prefer to learn via video than the old-fashioned method of reading.
Other Social Media
Twitter, Pinterest and other social media options are also available. While I have not covered them in depth, they provide their own unique methods of interaction and use.
Twitter in my experience is about conversation and building buzz. Appropriate use of Hashtags and trending topics can garner interest for your product or service.
Pinterest is a rabbit hole of creativity. You can very easily get lost in the wonder of ideas, creativity, design boards and more. A great fit for businesses that like to create boards for topics, photos, products, etc. that tie in well to your business.
Newsletter / Mailing List
Beyond social media options, having a mailing list that you regularly send a newsletter out to your customers should be a priority. Your goal is to keep visitors coming back your website on a regular basis. Return visitors spend more time browsing and are more likely to make a purchase on your site than new visitors. Focusing on getting existing customers back to your website should be your priority while working towards getting new customers to build your base.
Emails should be sent during the week to garner the most clicks but inundate your customers inbox more than necessary. Before long they will hit unsubscribe if they feel you are sending too many messages or not send new and original information.
Write a Blog
Since you’re here right now that means you probably saw this post online on social media. See what I did there? By writing this blog post, something you saw made you click and want to read what I have to say and the same goes for a post you write and share on your own social media channels.
A blog is a great way to put a personal spin on your thoughts to share with others who may be seeking answers, want tips on how to do a task or share ideas with customers and visitors. You can add images, video and more to a blog, there really are no limits.
Other Advertising Methods
Every order you ship needs to have an invoice, flyer, business card or other traditional form of print advertising with a link to your website on it. Frequently with smaller businesses, customers forget where they bought something and if they try to return to your website, that printed item may save the day if an order confirmation email has been deleted. Promote! Promote! Promote!
Word of mouth is a great advertising tool. Ask your customers to share your business with family and friends, leave a review, post a video or other form of communication talking about your business. The more buzz created, the bigger the reach.
Car magnets and stickers are great for mobile advertising. No matter where you are, whether for work or play, you can promote your business and website.
Your Next Steps
Don’t be overwhelmed. Take a second to breathe and review the info above.
Start with one option and then once you’ve established a presence, move on to the next. Commit time each week, no matter how busy you think you are and promote your business. The more active interest you take in promoting your business, the more successful you will be.
Change your tune from
“I don’t have time”
“I make time”
and you will see the results as your business grows.