Are you looking for innovative new ways for how to advertise your business? Have you tried a couple of different online advertising methods but had disappointing results?
The key to promoting your business online is really to test out as many different methods as possible as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Everything from free online advertising to staff blogs should be considered – not all will succeed so you have to test, trial and tinker with the mix of approaches that work for your unique business proposition.
Not all these approaches cost very much either. In fact, many of the choices below are free. All you need is some dedicated time for your marketing team to test out each method.
- Start podcasting: You can easily create podcasts on different subjects relating to your products or services. Distribute these freely on a multitude of podcast services (e.g. iTunes).
- Join online communities and social media/social networking sites: Understanding where to advertise your business in the social media space is often confusing for many people. To start off with, make sure you’re on Twitter and Facebook and that your website has various social networking links (tweet & facebook ‘Like’) on every single page. This allows you to promote your products and news developments within your company. Make the most of the online business opportunities that can be offered by participating in social networking.
- Set up several blogs: You always have individuals in your firm that are quite motivated and have vast amounts of information which can benefit customers. Provide blogs for these individuals in your company to promote key knowledge about your products. Just be careful that no sensitive information is being divulged.
- Harvest e-mail lists: Customer e-mails are a key method of advertising your small business. You should maintain a central database of customer e-mail information and test out various e-mail marketing campaigns for new product releases, updates additional services, etc. Use a good quality email marketing manager utility (e.g. MailChimp or Awebar) to automate your e-mail shots (e.g. Aweber.com).
- Provide news ideas to the media: The papers are always stuck for interesting articles to fill out column inches. Why not provide them with topical news items relating to developments within your company, press releases, product usage ideas, etc.
- Publish reports – become an authority: When companies start producing free reports or surveys they instantly start to be perceived as an authority in the industry. Typically, you can be promoting your business within these reports through web-page links, banners, product information, product promotions, etc. Build up your own surveys, using appropriate questions in customer satisfaction surveys, to harvest raw data to analyze for these reports.
- Use the classifieds: If you know how to advertise your business in print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) then you can apply the same strategy to online classifieds. The likes of Craigslist and Yahoo classifieds provide two free options to consider.
- Create newsletters: Similar to publishing reports, the newsletter can start to establish your authority within an industry or product sector. Do not produce newsletters any more frequently than once a week as recipients would quickly tire of them. Use Twitter Feed to automatically tweet your articles or similar plug-ins to promote your content on Facebook. Larger companies can resort to third-party social media marketing services to automate this process.
- Optimize your site for Google search engines: It may not seem like promotion but getting your web pages to the top of search engine rankings is an easy way of advertising your small business. Use search engine optimization techniques to improve your websites ability to get to the top the rankings. Most website design packages (e.g. WordPress) can easily use various SEO add-ins/plug-ins. Consider using search engine marketing campaigns (article publishing, etc.).
- Add your web address to everything you create online: Every newsletter, tweet, Facebook post, e-mail and report should have your web address. Understanding where to advertise your business logo in various digital media can change from type to type. Try to enforce your branding and logo on each digital communication type by including images where possible.
- Submit your site to directories and indexes: This approach is perhaps dying out in recent years as directories usage has decreased. However it is still worth in your company details to industry/niche specific directories and the Golden pages.
- (Tentatively) consider reciprocal links and reciprocal banner ads: You should always be careful about placing reciprocal links/ads on your site for other people’s companies in return for an exchange link/ad on theirs. Contact companies relevant to your niche/product/service directly rather than going via a third-party link/ad agencies. This helps maintain complete control over where you’re promoting your business.
The key to understanding how to advertise your business online is really to test out as many of these different options as possible. Not each approach will suit your business so you know it is him really have to apply some trial and error.