So you’ve gone and taken the leap—you decided to go ahead and embark on a journey of becoming a small business owner. Congratulations! Whatever industry you decide to open a business in, just the fact that you’ve taken the plunge is a big step. But now, you need to get the word out there that you’ve got a service or product to offer to the public.
You need to start bringing in customers who pay you for your services, or else your business won’t stay afloat for long (and no, the freebies you’ve been giving out as “exposure” don’t count). So how do you start advertising your business? Read on to find a few marketing ideas to help get your business’s online presence off the ground.
Make Sure You Have an Online Platform
First and foremost, you have to ensure that you have a place on the internet where people can find you. Be this a website, social media account, or blog—make sure people find you! So if you currently have none of that right now, head on over to your website host of choice or to one of the “big 3” social media platforms (better if you visit all three—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and make an account. This is nonnegotiable. It doesn’t matter how bad you are at social media. If you want your business to succeed, you need the word to get out there. And in the digital world, social media is your playground.
Stay on Top of Your Chat Game
So you’ve made your website, created your business’s social media accounts, put up your logo, described the product or service you’re offering—what now? Make sure your customers can contact you and that you reply promptly.
Nothing turns off customers more than finding your website or social media account only to not contact you if they want to avail of your services. So make sure you put your contact information on all of your sites and monitor your messages to ensure you don’t miss a potential customer’s inquiry, an order, or a reservation.
Utilize Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok—all these social media platforms seem chock-full of content that you might not understand how, exactly, to utilize for your business. But one thing people on these platforms like is interesting content. Consider putting up posts or short videos of the production side of your company.
For example, suppose you’re in the beauty business. In that case, makeup videos, hair transformations, even showing the effects and advantages of beauty procedures such as facials or microneedling are content that will get your target market to pay attention to the products and services you are offering.
Offer Discounts, Promotions, Giveaways
In case you haven’t noticed yet, people love freebies. To boost customer engagement with your posts, host giveaways, hold promotions and offer discounts. The more people your posts reach, the better advertisement for your business. This is like the online equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising when customers tag their friends to check out what you’re offering. These posts are also a good way to mix up the usual advertising content you post regarding your product or the service you are offering with something more interactive.
Consider Boosting Your Ads
Most social media platforms offer an option for you to “boost your ad.” This means that they’ll show your posts to a wider reach of people. If you have cash to spare, then utilize this feature as it gives your posts a head start versus reaching a wider audience in a more organic way—such as waiting for word-of-mouth publicity to start garnering you more followers and customers. As a rule of thumb, spending 5% to 10% of your total revenue on marketing is deemed as a prudent amount.
Refine Your Target Market
No matter how much you would like to be a people pleaser, you must come to terms that your business cannot cater to everyone in the world. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Knowing your target market is an important step in making sure that your business continues to grow.
And there are many applications and software now available online that track the demographic that best interacts with your posts and avails of your product. Utilize Google Analytics and review the statistics they give to better understand how your digital marketing efforts are going. Knowing your customers, their needs and wants, their feedback on your product—all of these together will help you improve your business.
Whether you consider yourself a digital marketing genius or someone who can’t seem to make heads or tails of how social media should be utilized, use the advice above as a starting point for your business’s online presence. In the digital world we live in now, it would be a waste not to advertise your product online simply because you have no idea how.