With internet users now spending twice as much time online when compared to 2005, getting your business into shape with some engaging online marketing content is a no-brainer.
That’s right, if you’ve spent any time around a 16-35 year old over the past few years, you will have noticed a huge spike in internet usage. An average of 30 hours per week is being spent online and, with growing audiences for social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, you’d be mad not to take advantage.
So, what can you do right now to cement your business’ online presence? The good news is that the world is your oyster when it comes to marketing small and medium-sized businesses online.
And the best news?
For the most part, you’ll be accessing millions of people for FREE.
Let’s take a look at three simple ways to get you started.
1/ HOST A PHOTO CONTEST
This is a great way to get people talking about your services or products, or even things that are closely related to your brand.
Get onto Facebook or Instagram (or both) and announce a competition for the best photos of, for example, their favourite flower (if you’re a florist) or perhaps their favourite thing to do with Dad (if you’re a menswear store, leading up to Father’s Day).
Offer a great prize for the winner and watch the photos come streaming in. The best part about having people share their personal photos on your company’s Facebook or Instagram page is that you’ll spark conversations and shares with and between current and prospective customers.
2/ GET YOUR CUSTOMERS SHARING POSTS
The best thing about social media for business is that it’s a cheap and far-reaching tool for marketing your products and services.
A common mistake businesses make is sharing obvious marketing or advertising material on their Facebook page or in Twitter posts. The aim of the game here is to encourage people to share your posts with their friends—widening your reach and generating conversations about your company.
For example, if you’ve got a blog you’d like to share on your Facebook page, don’t just publish the link to the blog, but publish an interesting image paired with some thought-provoking words and link-through to the article.
If you’re running a nursery and would like to announce some new winter-hardy plants you have in-store, write up a blog on ‘the top 5 plants for winter gardens’. Once published on your website, post an image of a winter garden on your Facebook page with the words ‘thought a winter garden was impossible?’
People will share things like this—it’s viewed as valuable information rather than straight-forward marketing material.
3/ BLOGGING IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME
If you haven’t got a blog set up yet, 2015 is the time to do it. We can’t stress enough just how essential to maintaining a healthy online presence blogging really is.
Your customers, both your current and (importantly) your prospective will be interested to know just how you are positioned in comparison to your competitors. They want to know if you’re an expert in your field—if you really know what you’re talking about.
For example, let’s say that you’re looking for a plumber to take care of that leak in the downstairs bathroom. The first thing you’ll do is take a look at the plumber’s website, read a few reviews or testimonials to make sure there haven’t been any horror stories, and then make the call.
When checking out a company’s website, many people will look to see what information the company is publishing.
If you are in real estate, potential vendors may be interested to read your blogs sharing insights on the present state of the market. Publishing this type of material not only positions you as an industry expert, someone who has their finger on the pulse, but also builds trust with your client.
So, there they are—three easy ways to get your business more attention online. The best part about using social media is that it won’t cost you a penny to get started and the results can be impressive.