According to some research studies, about one-third of consumers worldwide shop via the internet, with figures shooting up during holidays. So you'll be doing your business a huge disservice by not having an online presence.
However, an online presence isn't enough. You must adopt aggressive marketing tactics in order to spread word about your business and position it where prospects will find it.
Here are five proven online marketing strategies for attracting tons of prospective buyers to your start up or budding small business:
1. Content Marketing
This involves offering relevant information – for free – to your prospects with the aim of building trust and positioning yourself as an expert in your line of business.
To succeed at content marketing, you must offer valuable information that would solve your prospects' problems, answer their questions, and help them make well-informed decisions. Your content could be in various forms – blog posts, ebooks and reports, videos, articles, podcasts, and so on.
By adopting content marketing, prospects will see your business as one that truly cares about its customers. They'll see it as the go-to spot when they need your products or services.
2. Social media marketing
Social media is a very effective avenue for interacting with your prospects and building a strong relationship with them. Since its advent, social media marketing has been used by many businesses and brands to attract more prospects.
You too can quickly spread word about your business with social media. Set up profiles for your business on all the major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.). Then start adopting strategies for building a massive followership.
Aside that social media interaction can convince prospects to do business with you, it's an avenue through which your followers can give feedback and helpful recommendations about your products or services.
3. Local SEO
Most online buyers now use the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, etc.) to find products and services of their choice. And most of the time, they go with the ones that appear first in search results. This means only businesses with high-ranking websites can attract customers through search engines.
Presently, authority sites and global brands (Wikipedia, Amazon, New York Times, etc) dominate the top spots for most keywords. And the bitter truth is, these monsters can hardly be toppled by new websites.
So, a smart approach is to adopt local SEO, which involves targeting a localized audience. For instance, if you sell used cars, rather than target the generic "used cars for sale", target location-based key-phrases like "used cars dallas" or "used cars for sale chicago". Although this strategy will only present your website to a reduced audience, chances are very bright that it would rank prominently for such keywords.
4. Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
If you have a desperate craving for quick results, this strategy is for you. Rather than waiting patiently until your website climbs its way to the top of search engine results (which could take time, really), you can launch a PPC campaign.
Although you'll pay for each click on your ads, this strategy presents your business to online prospects – regardless of your website's ranking.
Aside that your ads would be displayed noticeably on search engine result pages, they'll also be displayed on blogs and websites with relevant content (you may disable this option, though).
5. Reputation marketing
This strategy involves building a 5-star reputation and spreading word about that reputation. It's a very powerful strategy because the success of a business hinges largely on the reputation it has built over time.
According to online marketing experts, 70% of online buyers rely only on customer reviews. So, the truth is, buyers are no longer interested in the age of your business or in the number of products or services you offer. What they want to know is how well you've satisfied your past customers.
Interestingly, online buyers will readily buy a product or service with some 5-star reviews – even if they've never heard of the business before. They trust opinions and reviews – blindly.
So, you must offer high quality products and services, and you must have selfless customer service staff. With these, your customers would readily give 5-star reviews about your business. And the more of such excellent reviews your business gets, the more new customers you'll attract.
Reputation marketing could make or mar other online internet marketing strategies. A single 1-star review about your business can discourage thousands of customers – even if you have a high-ranking website, a strategic content marketing campaign, and a strong social media presence. But a good reputation coupled with those other strategies will bring awesome results.
If you're aiming to attract prospects to your startup or budding business, these strategies are just indispensable. Adopt them and you'll be awed at the results you'll get.
About the author
Sanu Francis Dutta is an entrepreneur and investor. He enjoys helping others succeed in their businesses by sharing valuable tips with them. Find him on Google+ and Twitter to receive instant updates.
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