5 Online Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Business Exposure Online
The success of your business relies heavily on your skills in the industry and your ability to deliver the product or service that your customers want. However, even if you have the most innovative new product or the most inclusive services, you won’t have a chance to win over your customers if they don’t even know you exist.
With the prevalence of the web in our everyday lives, you’ve probably realized that the internet is the place to be, but it’s not enough to just be there. You have to know how to make online exposure work for your business. Here are 5 Online Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Business Exposure Online:
1 – SEO and Article Marketing
One of the first places your potential customers will look for you is a search engine, which is why search engine optimization, SEO, should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. When you have a business website which is attractive to search engines, you will appear in the natural results for searches of all of your key products, services and areas.
Search engine optimization of your website depends on a lot of things, including the design and structure, the age of the site, how regularly new content is added, quality link sharing, the coding and the meta tags attached to the site. One way that you can control your search engine rankings is through article marketing. When you update your business website with relevant, well written and informative information, the search engines will see you as an authority site, and will present your site in results as the most helpful to searchers.
Once you launch an SEO campaign there is minimal effort and cost involved in maintaining the flow of traffic to your site. you should start your SEO campaign by identifying five key phrases which your potential customers are likely to be using to search for your business’ products or services. You can then adjust the content of your site to focus on these key phrases and your website will begin to appear in the organic search results for those phrases.
When looking at search engine optimisation as a way to boost the online exposure of your business, you also need to be able to strike the balance between your keywords and key phrases, and useful content. Search engines use algorithms with hundreds of different elements to assess whether a website should be ranked highly as a useful resource. Therefore, the content needs to appeal to readers, users and customers, but also needs to attract the attention of the search engine crawlers which find and rank websites.
2 – Pay Per Click
While search engine optimization can rank you at the top of organic search engine results, you can also launch a paid campaign to get you to the top too. Pay per click advertising will list you in the ’Sponsored’ section of search engine results, and while fewer users choose a paid result over an organic one, you are increasing your business exposure by being at the top of every search for your keywords.
If you launch a pay per click campaign, as the name suggests, you only pay when someone clicks on your link and is taken to your website. Your website will still need to be search engine friendly, and you can choose to target key words and key phrases within your industry with your pay per click campaign.
You will also receive reports on the success of your campaign so you can see how much you’ve had to spend to secure customers who follow through with a sale for your business. With pay per click advertising you are engaging with an audience who is already actively looking for your business product or service, and with 92% of people heading to a search engine to find what they want on the internet, you will want to make sure you are exposed to this controlling market share.
3 – Social Media and Blogging
In most cases, regardless of your industry, your business can benefit from exposure through social media. Social media is one more way for you to get your business name and business message out there, and helps your business stand out in an already competitive world – online and off. The results of the Social Media Examiner’s survey found that 88% of all marketing campaigns which included social media had generated more exposure for the business, plus, 72% of respondents said that their small business website received more traffic and more subscribers.
Almost two thirds of the businesses surveyed said they saw improved search engine rankings after dedicating time to social media in their online marketing campaign. This improved exposure lead to 59% of respondents forming new business partnerships, 51% generating new qualified leads and 49% said they were able to reduce their overall marketing expenses.
While 43% of respondents saw improved sales figures after their social media marketing, 72% of businesses said that their social media exposure had helped them to close sales. While it still takes time and effort to develop and cultivate relationships in a social media setting, those businesses who put in that effort see the results.
For example, part of that effort should be spent working out which social media platform will give you the best exposure to your potential customer demographic. Each social media site attracts a different demographic, for example if you are looking to create business to business relationships then LinkedIn can be beneficial. However, if you are looking to get to know your customers better then consider using Facebook or Twitter to connect.
Facebook lends itself to business exposure with a range of new tools, such as Facebook Places which lets users share their location – if you run Joe’s Pizza at Brighton and your customer has just enjoyed a meal at your restaurant then they can update their Facebook status with their location so ‘Joe’s Pizza at Brighton’ is shared with all of their friends.
Twitter is an equally effective marketing tool to boost your online exposure, however, while MySpace is the most visited social network site, it is unpopular as a marketing platform. If you’re wondering about your exposure, comScore revealed that over 150 million Americans access Facebook in February and 23 million logged on to Twitter.
Another popular and effective form of social media marketing for your business is the blog. However, it will take some careful planning and marketing initiative to generate the traffic needed to successfully expose your business online. Therefore take the time to set up your blog properly, filling out all of your information and writing witty, insightful and useful blog posts, but don’t be too discouraged if you still have very little traffic.
One of the best ways to generate traffic for your blog is through guest posting and while you will be invited to be a guest on a blog once you are established, when you first start out you will need to invite yourself to be a guest blogger. You may have to invite yourself to dozens of different blogs, but if even one or two of them accept your offer, you are on your way to the following benefits:
* A chance at a connection. If you flat out ask another blogger to post a link on their blog to your blog then they’ll probably refuse. However, if you offer them a guest blog post you are giving them fresh content, new ideas, a new style, and a little break from writing themselves.
* Help the blogging community. As a guest blogger you are helping out another blogger with content, and this puts you in good standing in the blogging community. Make sure to always help another blogger where you can, because you will form a connection, and they may be able to return the favor in the future.
* Increase your blog traffic. Writing on someone else’s blog, about your business, product or service creates interest around your brand. Plus, with your blog post you also include a link back to your website or your blog and this increases the traffic to your site and increases your online
* Free advertising. While you can pay to post ads on other websites and blogs, a guest post is not only free, but it is also in depth and engaging for your potential customers, and much more likely to result in a sales conversion.
4 – Email Marketing Tips
While connecting to your customers as a community can be effective, directly targeting your customers and potential customers in their email inbox can create qualified exposure for your business. A bulk email campaign is easy to organise and execute, and allows you to keep in touch with your existing or past clients, as well as establish relationships with potential customers and
An email marketing campaign is most effective when you contact your list of prospects and first ask them to opt into receiving more information. Most people will opt in as they will want to see what sort of news and specials you are offering. You can then start experimenting with the way you target your customers, to see what works and what doesn’t, where you can try a different call to action and different images with sections of your database and measure the response. Plus it is cost and time efficient to use and experiment with email marketing campaigns.
To manage your business’ email marketing campaign, you can use the following steps:
* Buy a database of contacts. You can purchase a list of contacts and email addresses who are in your demographic, however, you do run the risk of purchasing a database which has broken email addresses, fake names and uninterested people. Plus, if you are buying the list, how many other people have bought the same list and already spammed your potential contacts?
* Email marketing software. There are a range of programs available for purchase which allow you to load your own databases of contacts, and design your own emails from scratch, or by manipulating the templates and colours preloaded, and adding your own images and text.
* Email marketing professionals. You can also choose to work with a company who specializes in matching businesses to their best-fit potential customers and writes targeted email campaigns for you.
5 – Website Design Tips
While you want to make sure your business is exposed to the online world, you also want to make sure it is the right kind of exposure and that is where your website design becomes an important part of your online marketing campaign. Plus, a well designed website is also able to attract interest from search engines, which is of course another way to boost your exposure.
A well designed website with carefully considered content can benefit your business with:
* Increased marketing and sales. If you have a website which is hosted by a reliable commercial web server company then you know it will be up an online around the clock so that your customers can access information about your business any day, at any time. Also make sure that all of theinformation your customers could want is easily available, this includes – product information, price lists, specials, promotions and of course your contact details. You can also use your website to collect information about your visitors by including a contact form, where they can subscribe to your newsletter.
* Streamline sales. Your website can also allow your customers to order products and services online, or download forms and information without having to contact your office. This also helps your business reduce time and cost in the sales department as you don’t need to print brochures, and your staff don’t need to spend time explaining details that customers can easily find on your website. Plus, your customers are busy too, and will appreciate the streamlined process, and remember your website the next time they need something.
* Business efficiency. You can also use the mailing list from your website to send targeted communications to employees, shareholders or investors to keep them up to date. Plus, when the sales and enquiry systems are automated by your website, the staff in your office can work more efficiently.
Guest post by Alban who has been working in the online industry for several years promoting websites. Alban is currently writing at Home Loan Finder.
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