Growing a business doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and persistence to see results. If you have a good business idea to start with that is in a profitable niche, then setting up a website and deciding on a marketing strategy should be next on the agenda. How important is marketing for business growth? It is very important, no matter how good your idea or product is, if no one ever sees it what good is it? Marketing is the rudder that keeps your boat afloat, so to speak.
What are the best methods of marketing?
There are many different types of marketing strategies. But how many of them will actually work for your business? Which marketing strategies should you choose to promote your business?
There are 8 basic marketing strategies that will work to help you grow your business. These strategies are:
- Content Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Google My Business
These methods work because they target certain groups of people who are already interested in what you’re offering.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the top 3 major search engines people use to find what they’re looking for. There are many others but we’ll focus on the major ones for right now. The first place to start is often with a Google Adwords campaign.
People are typing keywords into Google and coming back with over 40,000 search queries every second. No other method of advertising has the potential to get your business in front of that many pairs of eyes.
Google Adwords is the one that started it all. It’s been around a long time and it is very competitive. You will need to do a lot of keyword research to make this work for you. It requires searching the competition and volume for your chosen keyword and making sure there is enough demand in your niche. If you target the right keywords you can get a flood of traffic to your website, but if you target the wrong keywords you’ll hear nothing but crickets. This strategy definitely has a learning curve to it.
Although it is a form of paid advertising, the goal of an Adwords campaign is to have your ad show up when a user types in the keywords that relate to your product or service. This works well if your page is optimized with on-page SEO. The good thing about Adwords is that it can be used alone or in combination with other marketing strategies for better results.
Content marketing is the process of promoting your website, product, or service using content that offers value to the reader. This strategy costs nothing to implement, you just need to have a source of content and post it on the Internet. Content marketing is not like copywriting which is focused on sales, but instead seeks to educate, inform, and entertain the reader with information that is interesting and engaging.
It has a slow turnaround compared to other paid methods but it is no less effective at bringing traffic to your website. Why? Because people don’t like to be sold to, they would rather learn something new for free and maybe come back to purchase something later. If you take the time to build a rapport with your audience they will come back and they’ll bring their friends. Content marketing was one of the top marketing strategies of 2016, when more than 18% of marketers reported good results with it.
Content marketing consists of:
- Quality content
- Relevant topics
- Optimized for search engines
- Optimized for human readers
- Frequent content creation & promotion
Another good method of engaging with readers is by writing and posting engaging information on your blog. Every month, more than 409 million people read blog posts through RSS feeds on their desktop. It is easy to start a blog and requires very little maintenance. There are inexpensive hosting services that will perform updates and WordPress installs for you as part of your service package.
You can focus your content on important topics in your niche, issues, concerns, or offering advice. Having a blog means you have a place to direct traffic to get your content read. You can monetize your blog with ads in the sidebar, or by placing affiliate links.
Blogging is a cheap method of advertising since it doesn’t cost anything other than the initial start up (hosting and domain name).
Vlogging pertains to blogging by way of a YouTube Channel. You Tube is a very well-known marketing strategy used by people to promote their businesses through video content. They create a channel and create short video posts on topics related to their business and include a link back to their website for more information.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Local SEO (search engine optimization) incorporates your location into the search results. If you want to rank for your business name+your location (city, state) for better targeting. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers in their area who are looking for their service. It uses the same keywords on the website and in search, and is optimized with html, authoritative links, and more.
This is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which differ greatly from what’s practiced in standard SEO, and some of which are far easier to manage using local SEO tools and can require specific local SEO or local search marketing services.
Digital marketing is advertising delivered through digital channels such as social media, email, web applications, mobile applications, search engines, websites, or any electronic devices (electronic billboard, etc).
Digital marketing is designing a strategy to promote a business, product, or service by electronic media. The applications are widespread to reach across multiple media applications like phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, etc.
Email marketing is marketing to your customers by email. This requires building a list of subscribers and creating a newsletter or email that you send out once or twice a month telling your readers what is new or upcoming on your blog. Since they subscribed to you you can show them ads or suggest products that may be of interest to them.
Marketing strategies combined together make a bigger impact on your traffic. You could use Adwords with social media marketing for example to boost your advertising power. Or Facebook ads with content marketing. Each one has it’s unique benefits, but combining strategies will help you grow your business faster than a single method could do.
Social Media Marketing
When talking about social media marketing, it includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Users of these platforms share content every day, all day long across the various sites. If you get lucky, your content may go viral and be what everyone is talking about.
Facebook, in particular, is another good source of advertising. It is relatively inexpensive and you can set your target range to reach people with related interests. Over 2 million small businesses advertise with Facebook every day. Creating the ads is easy and doesn’t take long to accomplish. The Facebook Ads Manager also makes it fairly simple to run and test multiple ad sets.
Google My Business
Claiming your Google listing is another way to get your ad to come up in search results. Your Google My Business listing will have your information as the owner and can help people find your business. It incorporates your Google+ profile, Google Maps profile, your Google reviews, access to data on Google Analytics and Google Insights all in one place. It will also display your brand name or logo so people will recognize you in the listing.
Optimizing your Google Business listing is as simple as just filling out your profile and all blank areas and using your keywords and related terms.