Five secrets of online marketing

Getting your business noticed online is one of the most affordable marketing strategies you can embrace.

Getting your business noticed online is one of the most affordable marketing strategies you can embrace. It will likely take more time than money, and that’s okay because spending time on this strategy will give you a chance to learn first-hand what is working and what needs improvement.

Choose what works for your business

When implemented consistently, online marketing can do great things for your new business. But many business owners feel overwhelmed by all the options because they are unfamiliar with this topic. Often they give up on their campaigns too soon and never enjoy the results.

If you want to learn more about how online marketing can increase brand awareness, improve traffic to your site and boost your sales, read these tips.

1. Promote a niche

Marketing your business online is all about standing out. The Internet has an incredible ability to draw attention to a specific thing. Focus on one area of expertise that will draw traffic to your site. Even of that niche isn't the focus of your business you can use the tactic to attract more prospects to your site.

For example, an auto repair shop might advertise as “Specialists in Winter Tune-Ups.” The garage does much more, of course, but people searching for “winter tune-ups” in that location will find the business.

2. Build a clean website

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression online. Your site must engage people right away and let them get to the information or product they want. Remember, you only have a few seconds to capture interest before visitors may click away.

  • Get to the point. Don’t bury the lead. Help your visitor to find what they are looking for. Selling pizzas? Put the menu list on the home page with a big ‘order now’ button. Pitching consulting services? Feature the top 3 benefits of your service up front.
  • Make people feel welcome. You can help people feel comfortable on your site by using casual language, placing friendly images and offering plenty of help to navigate the site (like a pop-up Live Chat window to answer questions).
  • Easy to navigate. Design an intuitive site where people can easily find what they are looking for. For example, people expect an About Us tab or a 1-800 telephone number to appear near the top of the page. FAQs are also really popular.

3. Offer interesting content

Helpful content is one way to add value to your customer experience. It also engages your audience and pulls them into your world. That’s why creating short, engaging content – articles, blogs, videos and polls – is so important. It’s the key to keeping visitors to your site coming back for more.

Consider offering these types of content:

  • Ebooks. Give some tips on how to build something or solve a problem.
  • Webinars. Host live video training sessions to demonstrate your expertise.
  • Blogs. Great for weekly posts containing tips, news or helpful resources.
  • Articles. Longer thought-leadership pieces will help visitors to learn something new.
  • Videos. Easy to do with any camera, you can create a one-minute video to demonstrate your product, interview a customer, explain your process or offer a tip.

The idea is to offer visitors to your site many reasons to stick around, learn more and engage with your products or services. Indeed, an interactive website is a great way to market and brand your business. The more your visitors share the content on your site, the more your name gets known.

4. Embrace the Internet

Once your site is built and you have added some interesting content, it’s time to get your share of Internet traffic. There are a few options available to you:

  • Social media. Get active on popular networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest. Find out first where your customers hang out.
  • Online advertising. Investigate banner ads, sponsored links and pay-per-click advertising to help pull qualified folks to your site.
  • Search engine optimization. It’s a process to help increase your site ranking with popular search engines, such as Google. You can work with an Internet marketing expert to help you.
  • Affiliate links. Contact non-competing sites that are attracting your type of customer to see if you can arrange to exchange links.

5. Keep at it

The key to any successful marketing strategy is consistency. Online marketing is no different, and you'll need to take action every day. Create your plan and allocate some time every day to do one thing – like send a tweet or post a blog. Keep at it to see your online traffic improve over time.

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