For your business to flourish and grow, it is of paramount importance that you continually attract new customers to your business. This is where marketing plays a fundamental role. Whilst most companies engage in some form of marketing activities – for example, producing brochures or attending trade shows – the online world also provides some unique opportunities to reach new customers and build loyalty with existing ones.
The key difficulty for most business owners, however, is figuring out which online marketing techniques are best for their businesses. And whilst there’s rarely a single ideal solution, online marketing is often a mix of different techniques which we will cover here.
1. Utilize Social Media
It is almost impossible to ignore social media. A very large percentage of people have one or more social media accounts and many have several including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
From a business perspective, the strategy is very simple to keep your company and your products and service “top of mind”. Because unfortunately, if you’re not keeping in front of your potential customers, they will often forget you. Sadly, and especially today, we are inundated with so much noise.
You might be thinking that you’re adding to the noise but there’s a very specific advantage with the social networks in that you can actually target the audience you wish to reach. It’s not a question of trying to be everything to everyone but rather being very specific to people who are genuinely interested in hearing what you have to offer.
2. Keeping Your Website Updated
You would be surprised that by keeping your website up to date really helps. You should be publishing the latest news in your industry, updating information about your products and services as well as offering valuable information that your potential customers would like to learn.
Once again, the strategy from a business perspective is to be “top of mind” with your potential customers as well as demonstrating your expertise about the market that you happen to be in.
3. Implement Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about getting your website positioned as high as possible in search engines. As you can imagine, most of the searches done online are made with Google although there are others that are starting to make an impact in the online space.
SEO, whilst not easy, is very profitable when done correctly. It will reduce or even possibly eliminate all your online advertising costs.
The key to making SEO work is producing quality and unique content on your website although there are many technical factors that need to put into place as well.
4. Online Networking combined with offline events
Although we mentioned this earlier, using social networks is much more than just reaching and publishing useful information. It’s also about making connections with other people.
If you’re in the B2B market, you will almost certainly have to use LinkedIn although Twitter is another could way to start making connections. If you’re in the B2C market, using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are good bets.
An often overlooked feature in the social networks is the use of groups where people who have a specific interest congregate together to exchange information and ideas.
But perhaps the most surprising and effective method of reaching new customers is to use the social networks combined with ‘offline’ events such as conferences and trade fairs. All countries have significant events, but experience has shown that the US and Europe markets are the ones where the combination of making connections on social networks combined with meetings at conferences and trade fairs is where the sales are made.
So do make a point of budgeting enough to attend any events where your potential customers are likely to be. If you’re thinking of traveling to the US or Europe, book well ahead of time to take advantage of special discounts and favorable pricing for hotels (and also, even though you’re traveling to the US, an ESTA visa exemption is required and starting in 2021, if you’re travelling from the US, you’ll need an ETIAS visa exemption).
5. Make a Free Offer on Your Website
Whilst having a website that offers value to your potential customer is important, it’s equally, if not more important to offer something for free.
If you sell products, this could simply a brochure. If you offer services, then offer a simple free guide to solving a specific problem that your customer has. For example, if you’re a cost-saving consultant you could offer a simple guide on how a customer could save up to 15% by restructuring their procurement processes.
Or maybe you’re an architect. In this case, you could offer a guide on “Latest Design Styles in Country Living”.
These are just simple examples. But the key is to offer something of value to your potential customers.
The business and marketing strategy behind this is to capture some information about your potential client and especially their email address. Because with their email address, you can occasionally keep in touch by sending more valuable information via email.
6. Retargeting Advertising
Retargeting (also called remarketing) is a very cost-effective form of advertising. The objective of this type of advertising is to show advertising to people who already previously visited your website.
In other words, you only advertise to people who have at least shown some interest in what you have to offer.
This very special form of advertising is generally much less expensive than other forms of online advertising and as mentioned just now, is advertising that is only shown to people who have already visited your website.
It’s yet another strategy to keep your company, products, and services in front of potential customers.
Retargeting can also be used in more clever ways. For example, let’s say you’re an accountant and one of the things you offer is a tax audit. In this case, your advertising can be directed to a specific page on your website where you offer a free 30-minute consultation to see if your potential customer would benefit from your full tax audit.