Online marketing is an ever-growing trend of taking businesses from the physical realm and transposing them into the World Wide Web realm. This is obviously a cost-effective solution, especially for start-ups and a great way for newcomers to dip their toes into the marketing waters and see how it goes.
But we’ve come to a point where innovation is key. It’s not enough anymore just to set up an online shop and hope for the best. There are paid services on the net that can do this for you literally in a manner of minutes. This is why people are encouraged and sometimes forced to come up with new ways in which to promote their business. Online marketing is exactly this – the process of generating exposure and traffic, hence potential customers.
Regardless of the products or services you’re selling, you simply must take advantage of the social platforms available – things like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus. All these platforms are free to use and give you the possibility of getting up close and personal with your customers. Here are some subcategories from one of my favorite directories:
Not only can this prove productive in terms of getting to know your market and adjust your marketing habits accordingly, but it will potentially generate a lot of exposure for your business. If users see something interesting you shared on your page, they’ll be tempted to share it themselves, thus granting you exposure to their friends who might “like” or “follow” your page. It’s an ever-growing chain which will turn your small business into a commercial success in no time, if done in an intelligent manner.
You can also use any of these social platforms to announced special deals you’re featuring on your main website. If you have a blog, you can link the newest posts on your profiles so that users can access them if they’re interested in the thing you’re writing about. Again – keep in mind that you have to make things interesting so that users will be tempted to share it and add a few new rings on that chain.
Second of all, you need to take web directories into consideration (read this post, too). Having your website listed on one of the good ones will prove quite useful on the long run. Why? Because visitors of said directories always search for specifics. If you are listed there, the odds of getting exactly the customers you want are greatly increased. Here is how some web directory categories may look like:
But there’s a catch here too. You need to figure out what directories are worth targeting. Most of them, unfortunately, will only charge the sum you’re paying for the listing (the review fee, basically) and leave you with just the listing itself – no review included. This can be disastrous, especially if you don’t know how to write your own description and you don’t keep it objective. Users will avoid things like “Best website, best services, top-notch, great”, etc. And it’s clear why – in a list of tens, maybe hundreds of listings, all pretending to be the best – which do you chose?
So go for a good web directory instead. Search for objective descriptions and make sure that they’re listings are relevant. Don’t hunt Page Ranks – some subcategories might not have the same PR as the main categories, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t generate exposure. On the contrary – listing yourself in a general category is risky, due to the possibility of being “just another website”. Find one that exactly describes your services because the customers you’re after will be searching exactly that, rather than browsing through loads of listings to find something relevant.
All in all, you are the sole person responsible for promoting your business. There are many things out there you can do – but social platforms and web directories are two of the greatest and easiest ways to promote your website’s services and/or products.