The internet is a boon for new business owners, providing ample easy opportunities to promote your brand. Before the World Wide Web, smaller businesses had to resort to highly-localized, ineffective methods like circulating fliers, running advertisements in local media, etc.
Now, you have the power to reach your customers, wherever they are located, for free or minimal costs. If you’re new to online marketing or just looking for some ideas on how to promote your business online, you’re in the right place. Read on for a list of the best ways to market your brand online.
1. List your business on Google.
Your Google Business Profile is a free listing that will allow your business to show up in Google Maps, in local search results, and in a detailed panel on the right (called the Google Knowledge Panel) when someone searches your business.
This should be your very first step towards establishing an online presence for your business, and will benefit you greatly in the long term. Just create a Google My Business account, and make sure to verify your ownership of the listing. Once verified, you can start optimizing your listing to appear higher in search results.
2. Create a website for your brand.
Creating a website will provide you your own online space where prospective customers can come to learn more about your products and contact you. Your website will also be your first step towards crafting an effective SEO strategy to rank higher in keywords related to your business. And with several free and paid website building tools in the market, you can create an attractive website without any technical knowledge.
Read our Ultimate Website-Building Checklist to learn everything you need to know to build a kickass website for your brand. If you’re looking to create a website, here’s how we can help you create one in all of 30 minutes!
3. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Effective Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is one of the best free online business marketing ideas for long-term growth. SEO is a set of steps that you can take to rank your website’s pages higher in related search results.
When done correctly, SEO will help your business appear in the top search results for your customers. In short, Google will promote your business for you, and bring you new customers in the long run.
These are three key points to consider when working on an SEO strategy:
1. Add relevant industry-based keywords to your webpages.
2. Publish regular high-quality content that your customer will want to read.
3. Make sure your website is secure, loads quickly and is optimized for mobile phones.
4. Create a blog and post high-quality content
Creating a blog section on your website should be the cornerstone of your SEO strategy. Publish regular high-quality articles related to your industry, your products, your customers’ biggest challenges and more. These articles will, over time, help you rank highly for industry keywords and bring in new audience on autopilot!
5. Establish social media presence for your business
Most of your customers spend a great chunk of their day on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. So that’s where you should be! According to Statista, over 3.6 billion users used social media in 2020, and this number is expected to swell to over 4.4 billion users in 2025!
For starters, create accounts for your business on Facebook and Instagram. Enter all of your important business details like phone number, address, website URL etc.; pick a good profile picture (and cover image on Facebook); and publish regular posts. This will help you engage with your regular customers and find new ones.
6. Embrace email marketing.
Create an email list containing email addresses of your loyal customers as well as industry contacts and prospective customers. Add a ‘Subscribe’ option to your website where visitors can opt-in to your email list.
Then, start sending out regular email communication— product updates, offers and discounts, newsletters and more. A quality email list is worth its weight in gold! if you’re new to email marketing, read our email marketing guide to get initiated!
7. Invest in digital advertising
While running ads on Google Search, YouTube and social media platforms will take some getting used to, a well-optimized campaign will pay for itself many times over in the long run.
For most businesses, it would be a good idea to start with running ads on Google Search and Facebook, since this is how most people discover your brand online. While the technicalities may all seem too much, there are a ton of free online resources available. Start small, investing only a few bucks in a campaign at a time. Study your audience’s interaction with those initial campaigns to optimize future ones. Rinse. Repeat.
8. Collaborate with influencers & other businesses
If you can spare some cash from your marketing budget, engage with an influencer relevant to your category and location. This will help expose your brand to a new set of audience and bring in new customers overnight.
A good way to engage with an influencer would be to organize a giveaway or a contest. Such activities garner a lot of buzz online, and could help you create a quick database of prospective customers.
Alternatively, you can engage with complimentary businesses in your industry. This will guarantee that both the brands get exposed to each other’s audience. For example, a fashion brand can tie-up with a grooming or accessories brand for a fun activity. Or a online food delivery business could tie up with a beverages business or a video content business.
9. Join online communities and forums
Find and engage in Facebook groups related to your business. Establish genuine relationships and promote your business when the opportunity is right. You should also join open online communities like Quora and Medium.
Find questions relevant to your industry and provide high-quality answers. These efforts will bring you new audience and gradually build into long-lasting meaningful relationships between your audience and your brand.
We hope the ideas above give you some perspective on how to market your brand online. But take our word, treat this as a jumping off point and keep learning, since internet marketing is a vast sea and there is so much you can do to grow your brand online.