A lot of traditional small business owners harbor the misconception that online marketing is a waste of time and money. They carry this wrong notion that the internet is useless to them because they sell their products and services offline. What a lot of these entrepreneurs don't know is that most consumers these days search for information about products and services online before they make a purchasing decision. Searching for a product online doesn't necessarily mean that you are also going to buy it online. For instance, if you want new dentures, you search for dental clinics listed online in your area. You copy their contact details from their website and visit their office the next day or so.
That's how online marketing works. You create a presence online for your small business so that when someone searches for products and services that you are selling, there's a good chance that he or she will come across your website or blog and become a new customer. If you are still new into online marketing, here's a brief breakdown of the best strategies in promoting small businesses online. If you employ these tactics on a consistent basis, there's no reason why you shouldn't see a significant increase in your business profits.
1) Create a website for your business with a regularly updated blog section. Setting up a website is very cheap these days. All you need is a competent designer or programmer. Domain registration and hosting will only cost you a few dollars a month. That's a bargain considering the rewards that you will potentially reap if you manage your website properly. Use the website to provide information about the products and services that you offer. Make sure that the site contains your contact details. It's also highly recommended that you create a support or help section where people can directly ask questions from you.
2) Be active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even YouTube. All of these tools are free to use so you have nothing to lose. You only have to invest your time in creating content that people will find interesting and worth-sharing. What's great about social media sites is that it's so easy for content to go viral. Imagine if something you posted on Facebook goes viral on the site. The deluge of attention will translate to new customers and possible business partners.
3) Run contests or promos that take advantage of the internet's free economy. People love getting stuff for free. Giving away prizes is a branding technique that has worked for centuries. What's great about running an online contest is that it's so easy to do and you can reach thousands of people in just a short period of time. The best place to run a contest is on a social site like Facebook. It could just be a simple question wherein the best answers get to receive a free product or service from your business. To make it more interesting, you can integrate videos or interactive photos into the contest which people can share with their friends.
Promoting small businesses online can be frustrating at times especially if you are just starting out. But you will soon realize its worth when you see the new customers trooping to your store because of your online marketing campaigns. The trick here is to be consistent with your campaigns. Be patient and give your campaigns time to generate the results that you are looking for.