New school or old school business! Whichever category you belong, one truth is you definitely need to get your online brand visibility right.
No business produces products and has services that they decide to lock up in their cupboards and never get noticed. Every business right now wants to be noticed.
Online promotion is a necessity for almost any business these days.
If you are a new business, or one with a low advertising budget, navigating the many options available to you can be daunting, especially when you are also concentrating on other day-to-day business needs.
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However, major search engines, social media, and advertising services have made it easy to promote your business online. In many cases, services are free or low-cost.
Give your customers what they want by having a sound presence online. How do you announce your presence online?
Create a working website
The first and most important thing to do is to create your business website. This allows your search engines to help customers locate your business when they try to search for certain things using relevant keywords to your business.
For example, on Google when you type milk company, the third search result is Wamco the producers of Peak milk.
That is usually what search engines do. They place your website on their search result page so that your ideal audience can locate you.
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There are 3 major search engines to leverage for your business: Google, Bing, and Yahoo. They are the major search giants online.
Registering your business with Google Places allows it to be found more easily on Google searches and it shows up on Google Maps.
All you have to do is fill out the form and register, then get your business verified through their confirmation process, which can be done either with a phone call or snail mail.
Yahoo! also has a big database of businesses called Yahoo! Local. It’s free, and is certainly worth the few minutes it takes to set up.
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Microsoft’s Bing has a similar service that’s easy to sign up for. It is imperative to kick start your marketing objective with first creating a website that meets all the requirements of search engines and also a mobile friendly website in which mobile users can also gain access to.
A visible online business presence requires that users can visit time after time for relevant information. Luckily, you don’t have to be an experienced web developer to create a website for your business.
You can hire a digital marketing agency that offers web design as one of their services or simply use WordPress or Wix using simple guided steps to create a business website.
You can also use a company like Go Daddy to get a business domain name for your online business.
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Finally, you have to make sure you have detailed content explaining what you do, your contact address, and other important things as regards your line of business.
Your web content is very important because it is you customers first understanding of what your brand represents.
Be extremely sure to make it right and one good thing is, websites are always a work in progress, you can keep adding and subtracting until you get the final result you hope to achieve with it.
You should clinch seriously to social media
The community of internet user’s hangout in one social media platform or the other which is why it is important to have your presence there.
There are a million and one potential customers who will engage with your product or service. Create an account across the social media platforms that will enable you interact with your audience on personal bases.
Social media isn’t just a tool to gain exposure—it has now become a necessary time investment for every business to make.
You can tie in ads and offers on your Facebook page and have a direct channel with your customers on Twitter.
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Networking on LinkedIn—both at the personal and company level—can be another way to help your startup. Use the platform that is most beneficial to your business i.e. you can’t use a platform that won’t yield high interaction with your audience.
Pick the platform that best suits your business and target audience for an increase in engagement. Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website.
Look for groups that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don’t spam them with constant promos for what you sell.
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Make your social media pages fun and interactive by responding to comments either by liking or simply commenting also.
Try to share images, videos, podcast and articles. Trust me; no customer wants a boring business social media handle.
Start a blog to increase your online brand visibility
Depending on what you set out to achieve with your blog, it is necessary that it adds value to your audience. A blog not only helps your company get its name out through followers, but its a way to connect with your consumers more directly and boost web traffic.
One of the major keys of blogging is to keep your audience updated as frequently as you can. A dormant, abandoned blog is worth nothing. You have to keep up with the trends in your niche and establish your brand as an expert in that field.
Blogs give you the opportunity to create a story about your brand and establish yourselves as experts and thought – leaders. It is really disheartening when some bloggers are just so indifferent about the value of information they disseminate.
This is usually a long term strategy, and it won’t pay off overnight, but every entrepreneur needs to understand the importance of embracing this online marketing method.
Not only does building a noteworthy blog in any industry or niche help to drive traffic by peaking the interest of Google, but it also leads to creating authority. If you can become an authority in your industry, you’ll garner the attention of consumers, the media and business owners alike.
That will build you as an authority, and eventually, increase your visibility and amount of sales. You can share the links of your article on your social media page to attract more participation and traffic to your website.
Put up multimedia on YouTube and Flickr
Creating engagements is more than just posting images and articles; it is about sharing more interactive things across board.
The likes of YouTube provides you with a free way to distribute creative promotional videos, but in order to succeed you must put up content that people want to view and are relevant to your business.
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A Flickr profile can also help by giving you one place to compile all the photos for your business, and allows you to link back to your website.
Invest in search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is as essential as water is to the human body. SEO majorly combines the entire vital component that make up your business online presence worthwhile.
It comprises of content, website, images, blog and keywords etc that will enable you rank during a search. Once you fail to meet those ranking requirement, then be rest assured that your business will be running incognito.
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No one will know such a business exist online. Search engine optimization cannot be underestimated in the world where internet users keep clicking to seek for information.
Every time your business does something newsworthy, don’t hesitate to shoot off a press release—maybe folks will pick up on it.
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They’re a powerful media tool to use to help generate publicity, and having free distribution of them is a bonus.
There are dozens of websites out there that you can use for your press releases, such as PRLog and 24/7 Press Release.
Join a relevant online community and contribute
Every niche has communities online that you can get involved in. But just signing up for a forum and posting every once in a while about your business isn’t beneficial for anyone, and will likely just annoy people.
Actively contribute and build a rapport with the community, while keeping your business out of it.
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Passively promote your business by putting a link in your signature or mentioning it only when the context is appropriate. Make sure your contributions are valuable, intelligent and straight to the point.
Don’t take out time posting irrelevant contributions or digressing meaninglessly from the actual discussion. For every meaningful contribution you make, you establish yourself as a thought leader and promote your business alongside.
Devote some time in email marketing
Create an email list of all your clients or leads that have subscribed via your website, and start sending them your newsletters, promos, and articles.
It is important you request for them to subscribe not going behind with some email blasting.
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This is a very convenient method to get your ideal audience to know more about your brand on a more personalized mood. You should always direct your audience using links to your website for more information.
This particular move attracts more traffic to your site and boosts your ranking due to the number of people visiting your site.
Get involved in wieners, seminars and conferences
This will not only help you boost your brand awareness both online and offline but it will also showcase you as an expert and thought leader in your niche.
This is an automatic publicity stunt because people will want to know more and with that, they will search for your company which in return will lead to patronage. Once the right things are said or used, success will be just a step away.
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Team up with other popular people in your niche
It is very difficult especially when you are new to the online marketing circle but it is worth the try. This enable you exchange ideas and seek to broaden your knowledge on certain issues.
Sometimes, you can go as far as collaborating to write books together like Neil Patel.
He has written quite a lot of books on digital marketing but he has collaborated with others in the niche. For example he co-authored a book titled The Advanced Content Marketing Guide along with Kathryn Aragon.
This simply means, not only his leads and prospects will read these but those of his co-author. It is quite an interesting venture for greater lead accusation and also brand awareness.
Offer a free product or service to your ideal customers
It could either be a giveaway of your product, free consulting or your service. It attracts your customers to your brand, product or service. Studies have confirmed that people are more likely to accept something for free than pay the nominal price for it.
So, why not provide a free service or product to your customers?
Maybe you offer a free 15-minute consultation or give a sample of your new product.
Whatever you offer, be sure to secure the customer’s contact details so you can get in touch with them later. People are more likely to feel like they owe you when they accept something for free as well.
To create that special place in the heart of your ideal audience, you have to ensure you implement all I have mentioned above. Truthfully, that is the only way you can achieve visibility on the internet.
Your leads, customers or prospects can only search for what they want. Therefore, it is your duty to ensure that your leads and customers are able to notice your online presence.
For me, the above mentioned ways are in my own opinion the most relevant methods that are high engaging with a high return on investment rate.
Implementing these strategies all alone can be so much work especially when you are new in internet marketing. The best option is to ensure you consult with a digital marketing agency in Nigeria to discuss all your strategies.
This will enable you gain professional advice and also best practice rules so you don’t end up wasting your money and time.
Every business is gunning for the ultimate price which is to attract leads and grow their revenue.
But how long will it take to get positive results after implementing all of these strategies?
It really does depend on a lot of factors including budget, implementation methods, complexity of your business, competition etc but when you work consistently, with a plan and towards clear measurable goals, you can have great success online and grow your business 40 percent faster.
Please do share with me some other means you have used or can use to achieve your online presence.