FIVE WAYS FOR START-UPS TO PROMOTE THEIR BUSINESS ONLINE
The internet is, without question, the most effective tool to utilise in an attempt to reach a more extensive, national or even a global audience for your business.
There’s a range of different ways that you can use the internet to your advantage in promoting your business.
There’s something available for every kind of business to use to benefit them, whether you want to raise your profile locally, increase your reach, establish broader brand awareness, or target a particular demographic of customer.
There are ways of promoting your business online through paid advertising. There are also many opportunities to promote your business online for free.
It’s all about choosing the right option for you and your business, and being sure that you use it in the way that will be most efficient and effective for you.
MAKE IT EASY FOR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS TO SPOT AND IDENTIFY YOU.
Access the services offered by popular search engines and their tools to promote your company as a popular brand. The more visible your company is – news, latest updates, promotional offers, and pictures of recent events – through renowned and trusted search engines; higher are the chances of customers identifying your company as a well-known and famous brand.
While searching for your company, important information such as contact and location should be instantly and easily available.
Here are just a few of the most beneficial ways to promote your business using the internet and perfect for when you are starting up in business.
1. DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A WEBSITE?
Does your business have a website? If not, why not? With companies such as Wix and Squarespace, offering free building and hosting services, it’s never been easier or more accessible to get your business website up and running with a design that you choose.
Of course, these services often come with domain name limitations, usually just including the name of the service (e.g., yourwebsite.wix.com) in your domain name. Still, you can often claim a custom domain name through these services for a reasonable and competitive price.
If you have the budget you can always find a web developer to design a website for you. With so many web developers in the market, you can get a good start up site for under £500.
If you do already have a website, then look at what you can improve. Is your website clear in defining you and your business? Is it up-to-date, showing current and accurate information? Is it easy to access and navigate?
ACCESSIBILITY ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS
Accessing information through smartphones is extremely common now. Companies are working with the latest technological aids to ensure that their websites are comfortably accessible on phones and tablets along with laptops and PCs.
The response of your web pages, images of products, and other important aspects such as viewing contact information needs to be compatible with all kinds of gadgets having different screen dimensions. Your website needs to be smartphone-friendly.
Remember to keep updating your website regularly, even if your website isn’t used to complete sales.
Outdated information on your site can lead to confusion for potential customers and may be the difference between them buying from your business or going elsewhere.
Keeping your website fresh is also attractive for search engines to rank you higher.
2. GET YOUR BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Everyone who is trying to build and promote a successful business should be using social media to their advantage.
There are several ways to use social media to promote your business, and maintaining consistent social media profiles will keep customers and potential customers interested
It’s a great way to keep your business visible to a broad audience, and, used effectively, can be a great way to raise brand awareness.
Facebook may be the most effective social media network to use for your business.
A business Facebook page gives potential customers a concise overview of what your business is, the services you provide, where it is located and ways that they can contact your business for more information if they are interested.
It’s also the most effective way to raise engagement with customers, as customers can share and comment on your posts publicly.
Here are some useful statistics for Facebook:
- 40 million people use Facebook
- 71% of UK adults (+13 years old)
- Of all internet users in the UK, 78% of them use Facebook
Just from these statistics you can see the potential is vast for your business.
Twitter is also handy, as it allows you to send short, concise updates to your followers. And their ‘promoted tweets’ feature will enable you to reach a wider audience with the tweets that you think will be most effective in bringing new clients to your business.
3. USE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of getting your website/business social media pages to show up within the first pages of Google/Bing/Yahoo during a search for the name of, or words associated with, your business.
Learning about Search Engine Optimisation is hugely beneficial for you and your business, as 67.6% of Google results clicked are within the first five – so getting yourself into that top five could be the difference between gaining a new customer, or that customer going elsewhere.
In such scenarios, getting yourself introduced to SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques will greatly benefit you. It will improve your rank on the search listings.
BEING ON THE PRIMARY LIST OF SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS
These days, there’s hardly anyone who uses any other option other than the net to search for a required business. And the inquiries through the net are received by companies listed in the top search results.
If you believe that you have invested enough for a strong online presence and still you are not on the primary list of search results, then this means that you are receiving way fewer business inquiries than you should.
There’s a wide range of resources online for learning the basics of Search Engine Optimisation, and how you can get it to work for you.
4. GET INVOLVED WITH ‘GOOGLE MY BUSINESS’
Have you ever searched a term such as ‘sushi restaurants near me’ on Google, and received a sidebar overview of a particular restaurant, including opening hours and address? Of course, there are other results, but you’re far more likely to choose the one that first appears.
That’s Google My Business – and this service could be just as beneficial as refining your business’ SEO.
Only by filling out some information with Google, you can be sure your potential customers receive a clear and concise overview of your business when searching for it.
It also gives you the tools to see how present your business is with the search engines, and the ability to respond to reviews or questions from potential customers.
If you aren’t already involved with this service – especially if your business is one with a physical location – then looking into it is a must.
5. PAID ADVERTISING
Paid advertising as mentioned briefly earlier, is a fantastic and efficient way to expand the reach of your business, increase traffic, and target the demographic that your business caters for the most.
Social media marketing is a booming industry these days and has been almost single-handedly responsible for bringing individual businesses into the limelight on a global scale.
Whatever your choice of social media for your business, there’s a way you can advertise through the site and reach new potential followers and customers.
Instagram’s story feature allows viewers of your short advertisements to ‘swipe up’ for more details about your business.
Twitter allows you to boost your profile with a short tweet to potential customers who may be interested in your brand.
Facebook offers a range of different types of advertising styles so that you can pick the most effective one for you and your business.
37% of online shoppers say that they use social media for ‘inspiration’, so getting your business or products seen via advertising on a social media platform is a great way to increase interest, boost traffic to your site, and maximise the potential for sales overall.
Working as a business adviser I am amazed at the number of businesses I come across who don’t have a good business profile online.
They are easy and free to set up and the only thing that is likely to happen is that you will make sales!