As an entrepreneur or small business owner, in the early stages of your business, the online marketing and promotion strategies you use to grow your business will be entirely up to you.
You might think that as a business manager, you don’t need to learn everything about marketing promotion strategies, and you don’t need to cover all the technical details; but you’ll soon learn that even if you don’t do everything yourself and you hire somebody to help you with certain areas of your marketing promotions, you still need to learn the basics of how online marketing works in order to get results (and not get ripped off).
At the end of the day, you decide how much you invest in each area, and if your decision is not based on numbers and facts, it will cost you!
But if you are a solopreneur taking the first steps in the online industry, you might find the avalanche of information overwhelming, and you might have a hard time focusing on what really matters for your marketing strategy.
Fortunately, you can learn and in the internet era, you have access to unlimited information and lots of online marketing tools to help your business grow.
So stick with us for a 10 minute read to see what you should be learning on the types of promotion in marketing, and get your business started with the right tools and knowledge to make it a successful one.
Let’s start with the numbers and see how users prefer to get their information and how marketers measure marketing impact.
As you can see, internet users and marketers both agree on the importance of content and relevant information in the process of lead and sales generation, and there are several marketing promotion strategies & techniques you can use to complete your goals.
Let’s take a walk down 7 of the most important online marketing promotion strategies and see how each one can help your business grow.
1. Build a personal brand
Whether you like it or not, as a business manager, you’ll be at the core of your business, so you’ll have to get used to being in the center of attention. Promoting yourself as a professional is really the easiest way to gain confidence and grow your small business.
The numbers don’t lie: an amazing 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people, even if they don’t know them, over branded content. People love to interact with other people, and before your brand grows the size of Apple or Google, people will associate it with you, your values and your personality.
If you are just starting your business, but you have been working as a specialist in the same area, you might already have a personal brand, even if you don’t know it. But if you are changing your industry, you should learn the most efficient ways to promote yourself and build a brand identity to gain trust and authority.
The key is learning how to use your own personality to promote your business and become a role model for the people around you. This means you’ll have to get to know yourself, learn more about your qualities and defects and find the marketing mix that works for your business and personality.
There are several ways you can start doing this, here are some of the most effective techniques we tested and we strongly recommend:
- Write guest posts
- Build webinars
- Be active on Social Media
- Build a LinkedIn profile and connect with other industry leaders
- Create an online community with the same values
- Follow personalities that use personal branding and learn from them
Seth Godin is a marketer with a great personal branding; every step he makes is calculated to bring him closer to his goals, and he’s one of the personalities that can inspire you by using few words. All the details, from the way he presents himself, to the writing style he uses are so authentic, you’ll definitely remember them.
2. Work on your content marketing every day
For an online business, content is king! In order to succeed, you’ll have to create a blog, write ebooks, maybe start a podcast; so it’s important to learn how to create unique and relevant content or at least you’ll have to create a strategy and hire someone to help you with the technicalities.
Take a look at these statistics on the importance of content marketing.
As you can see, content marketing has tons of advantages, and they’re not all about SEO. Your business has to get noticed in the online field, and if you’re selling something, you have to make sure you gain credibility before you ask people to buy from you.
A great evangelist for content marketing you should follow is Andy Crestodina, the founder of Orbit Media; his work has helped thousands of people do a better job getting results with their online strategies and he wrote hundreds of practical articles about how to use content marketing to increase your business.
Also, Andy is an active speaker at Content Marketing conferences and events, so if you have the chance, you should watch his presentations. They are filled with great, actionable tips, but they can also share the great passion he’s got for Content Marketing, and that’s really inspiring!
Take a look at his amazing presentation at the latest CTA2018, you’ll learn a lot just by listening to his advice.
And, always make sure you use his advice on how great content should be: useful and interesting!
3. Learn the basics of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and make no mistake, it’s one of the most important parts of your online business.
Highervisibility.com surveyed 500 small business marketers to find out what small businesses know about SEO and discovered that a quarter of them were unfamiliar with the SEO best practices. In conclusion, learning more about SEO can instantly boost your business and give you a competitive advantage.
As you can see in the infographic above, there are many misconceptions about SEO and how it should be done; dive a little deeper and try to find out how to grow your business using SEO best practices and you’ll avoid the most common SEO mistakes. Even if at first it might seem complicated, SEO is not rocket science, and once you get used to the terminology, you’ll see there are actually some simple principles behind it.
As a starting point, here is the SEO hierarchy of needs; it can help you properly adjust your SEO efforts and, ultimately, rank better.
4. Keep the conversation alive with Social Media Marketing
In the last years, Social Media Marketing has become an important part of any online marketing strategy. If used right, it has lots of advantages for brands, and it can be useful in more than one area of your business. Social Media Marketing can increase your branding, boost your sales, and even help in areas such as customer service or SEO.
For example, we love the way Rand Fishkin uses Twitter to engage his community. Even if he is known as the founder of MOZ, he uses his voice to influence and engage the community of SEOs on Social Media. But it’s not all about SEO and Digital Marketing, you’ll see Rand speaking up on other themes such as feminism and using his voice to defend his values.
Social Media promotion works great for big brands as well as for local business advertising.
5. Use Email Marketing to increase your conversions
Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways you can connect with your audience community. And, if done right, it is still one of the most effective online marketing methods out there. After all, you have the potential to enter your user’s inbox and convince them to take action.
A well-thought-out email marketing strategy will help your business make a profit. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32 (DMA, 2018).
According to the latest trends in email marketing, you should use interactive email marketing to get even better results! Interactive emails are a great way to engage your audience and get them to enter your website.
A great example of how to use a newsletter to grow a community comes from Paul Jarvis. He sends his Sunday Dispatches every week like clockwork, and he’s built a great community around his newsletter. Remember, while Google algorithms shift constantly and Social Media organic reach decreases, your Newsletter subscribers are your community, and no one can take them away from you.
Newsletters don’t have to be spammy, all you have to do is find new and creative ways to engage with your audience and they will love it!
6. Learn to master paid advertising
Paid advertising is really efficient since nowadays you can access a huge database of potential customers and target your ideal customer with great precision, and follow them across all the internet.
You might think you don’t have to use paid advertising if you have an awesome product. Or if you don’t have much competition. Wrong, and wrong again! Ads are not only crazy-efficient but build trust among your customers. And, if they keep seeing you, you’re halfway to getting them to buy from you. If you need a more in-depth presentation, read our blog post to find out which advertising platform works best for your business.
On Facebook, people are there to have fun and connect with friends, so try to keep it funny and casual, while still revealing some clear advantages.
Never underestimate the power of a great visual or animation within your ads strategy! We are visual beings, and we often notice and remember a great image much easier than a simple text. There’s a reason they say sometimes an image is worth 1000 words!
Actually, research shows people love good visuals; it seems 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
A tool like Bannersnack can help you create amazing designs for your display and Social Media ads, even if you don’t have experience or design skills. You can learn a lot just by editing our templates.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to create visuals using Bannersnack, check it out and enjoy our online design tool!
7. Go mobile with Mobile Marketing
And, last but not least, let’s talk about Mobile Marketing. Nowadays we spend a huge percentage of our time glued to our smartphones, so creative mobile marketing apps or campaigns are great ways to enter the lives of our users.
Check out this great awareness campaign from Mazda, advising us to stop scrolling while driving. The ad, designed by Saatchi & Saatchi, is created to combat distracted driving, presenting a car crash and the visualization of a cracked mobile phone screen. It had a huge impact, and it’s timeless and meaningful.
While not a traditional marketing campaign designed to boost sales, this type of content talks about the brand’s values and mission, so it will surely be remembered.
So, there you have them, the 7 pillars of a successful online marketing strategy to get your small business on the right track. Now that you know how each one can impact your business, you can go ahead and work on your marketing campaigns towards success!
Illustration by Anita Molnar