The majority of businesses advertise online nowadays, which means the battle for attention for the average internet user is raging more than ever before. For businesses, this means that getting noticed in a sea of other businesses doing the same things, is becoming increasingly difficult.
However, marketing online has grown to much, much more than just buying advertising space. People are now doing a myriad of things to advertise their business online and get noticed, like setting up a strong social media presence, using email as a marketing platform, building high-converting landing pages and using forums to engage in a direct, one-on-one conversation with their customers.
Here is what you can do to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by the people you care about most – your customers.
Set up a Facebook page and start creating Facebook live videos
Facebook still reigns as the undisputed champion of the internet, amassing more than two billion active monthly users, and almost 1.5 billion active daily users. For that reason, your first step towards marketing excellence is to create a Facebook page as a place where your customers can come, talk to you, share their experiences, ideas and demands. It is also a place you will use to help solve your customers’ problems and dilemmas, strengthening the bond between the two of you in the process. You will use it to raise brand awareness, to show your customers your business’ personal side, and share the content they would find useful.
You can find a step-by-step tutorial on how to create the page here.
That being said, it is important to know what kind of content you should consider for your Facebook page. We highly recommend focusing on video content. Why? It’s very, very, *very* (we can’t stress this enough) efficient. Recent stats have shown that more than half a billion people watch videos on Facebook every day. And if that wasn’t enough, 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2021 will be video traffic.
If the type of your business allows it, create Facebook live videos. All you need for those is a smartphone and the Facebook app, and you’re good to go. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to go live on Facebook via mobile on this link.
For example, if you own a hairdresser salon, or a tattoo parlor, you might bring up a livestream session when you start cutting or tattooing. You’d be amazed at how many people actually enjoy watching these sessions. For inspiration check out these 9 Facebook live for business examples. Live video streaming can be used to present a new product or offer, to host live tutorials, to do a live Q&A, or simply to chat with your customers.
Utilize landing pages to engage with your customers and grow your business
One of the purposes of landing pages is to help you with lead generation [Image Credit: Pinterest]
Landing pages work on a simple give-and-get principle – they offer a visitor something valuable, and ask for an email address in return. That email address is crucial, as it allows the business to open a direct and (virtually) free channel of communication with a cherry-picked group of consumers. Businesses can set up landing pages themselves, they don’t need to hire expensive design experts or buy software that’s gonna burn a hole in their wallets. A simple landing page builder, like this one, together with a few minutes of their time, will suffice. Moreover, collecting email addresses is only the first step – landing pages can be a tremendous customer retention tool. Businesses can use landing pages to offer things like:
- Discounts and sales
- Special events (for example, a dentist can offer a free dental check-up),
- Joining mailing lists to get newsletters filled with useful and interesting information,
- One-on-one appointments.
Send out newsletters
When it comes to advertising your small business online, don’t forget newsletters. Newsletters are a great way for small businesses to engage with their current customers and retain them. With that in mind, you should keep the types of sales and content of these emails in your mind, at all times.
You can use newsletters to notify your customers of new arrivals, or if their favorite items are back in stock. You can use it to notify them if the store will be closed on a specific day, or for a specific reason. But not all of the content in a newsletter must be promotional, you can also use it to tighten up the bond you have with your customers by providing valuable, cool information. You can write a few tips or tricks about your business, or something you’ve learned in your practice. So if you’re running that bike store, you can write about that cool new method of replacing the chain you learned yesterday, or share some arcane knowledge on how to clean your bike after a downhill, without looking like you fell down the mountain in the process. You can send out newsletters directly from your inbox or by using simple tools that offer hundreds of ready to use templates. The bottom line is that you can have your newsletter up and running in virtually no time.
Obviously, buying ads is still indispensable and you would do good not to turn a blind eye on it. Besides still being highly relevant and efficient, another thing that’s good about buying ads online is that it is much easier to set up than it sounds (it makes sense – people will make it easy for you to give them money, right?). You don’t need expensive visual designers, copywriters, digital marketing experts or dark arts practitioners to get your ad campaign up and running. All you need to do is pick a platform and go through its step-by-step guide, and you will have set up a campaign in no time.
For platforms, we suggest either Google or Facebook as those two are the largest and have solid customer support. To learn how to set up your Google advertising campaign follow this tutorial, and for Facebook – this tutorial.
Another cool way to advertise your business and get noticed among the crowd of your choosing is to find where they hang out online and get into the conversation. Forums, social media sites and topics, such as Facebook groups or Twitter hashtags, are teeming with questions for which you, and your business, are most likely the answer. By successfully finding those sites, and within them, the right threads/questions, you can join the conversation, add value to it by providing great answers, and promote your business in the process. Start by googling questions your customers usually ask you in store, see what comes up. You can type in the same questions directly on Facebook / Twitter, as well. After that, try expanding the search by using synonyms, as well as shorter or longer questions. Just don’t forget not to come off as too salesy when responding to questions. People won’t mind you throwing in a few nice words about your business, as long as you are able to properly answer their questions and help them with whatever problems they are facing.
Let’s say that you own a store selling healthy food. By searching for pages related to healthy food on Facebook, you can find groups with hundreds of thousands of people discussing different foods and recipes, sharing experiences and new ideas. A perfect place to get noticed.
Facebook is a great place to start a conversation about your business [Image Credit: Screenshot]
Advertising online and being noticed in an internet brimming with businesses and people with ever shortening attention spans is becoming an increasingly difficult task. But it can be made simpler by staying up to date on the current trends, knowing where people go when they’re online, and what they look for, once they’re there. With that in mind, you’ll do good to start using Facebook live video tools, landing pages, newsletters and forums to advertise your business. Without a doubt, it will get you noticed among your current and future customers.