Every company wants to grow their business. Whether it’s sales, size or simply visibility, growth is a fundamental key to your survival in both the digital and physical world. But maybe your struggle is in online growth. If so, you’re no different than 20 percent of other small businesses who fail within their first year. And as both the business and consumer worlds are constantly becoming more digital in their marketing strategies, you’re going to need to keep pace. You’re going to need to know who to target and how to reach them effectively. You’re going to need to apply your strengths to a shifting digital landscape. And you’re going to need Marketing 101. But you may not want to spend a lot of money. The good news is you don’t have to. If you’re looking to market your business online effectively, here’s a crash course in Marketing 101.

Tip # 1 : Develop Your Site Based On Your Strengths

An attractive, well developed site works on one principle and one principle only: simplicity. That’s basic marketing. If your customers can’t navigate your site, it’s unlikely they’re going to purchase from you. And if they can’t understand what your focus is, they’re more likely to purchase from your competitors. WordPress is widely considered the gold standard for first time businesses looking to develop a site. It’s user friendly, versatile and comes with a fairly comprehensive amount of themes and additional plug ins. If you can use an MS Office or Google document, you can effectively navigate WordPress. Keep in mind, you’ll still need to select a domain to host your site. While most are going to be WordPress-friendly, Bluehost will likely be the most appropriate—especially for smaller businesses looking to strengthen their online presence.

Tip # 2: Craft Your Social Media Strategy Selectively

There’s no question that social media strategies should be part of any marketing campaign. In fact, it’s been estimated that 90 percent of users communicate with businesses through social media. But while there are effective marketing strategies for social media, they’re predicated on knowing which platforms are right for your business. And more importantly, which ones aren’t. Networks such as LinkedIn are probably the last place you want to launch a B2C campaign targeting millennials. But they’re the first place to network actively with both entrepreneurs and other small to medium enterprises. Likewise, you’re probably not going to find much of an audience on Instagram for your commercial financing business. Before you leap headlong into an aggressive social media campaign, think of your audience and their likelihood of engagement. If you find you’re not gaining any traction after 6 months, reevaluate your platform. Analytic tools, such as those offered by Facebook and Twitter, can be invaluable in this process.

Tip # 3 : How Easy Is It For Customers To Contact You?

This should seem elementary. But you wouldn’t believe how many small businesses spend thousands of dollars on outsourcing digital marketing campaigns only to expect potential customers already know how to find them. This isn’t just a question of including contact forms and drop in boxes on your site. It’s about actively driving traffic to your site. Search Engine Marketing campaigns are an incredibly effective tool to ensure visibility during search results. Many small businesses choose to outsource this to Pay Per Click agencies rather than conduct active marketing themselves. But driving organic traffic is not only much more effective—94 percent so, actually—it’s also a process that’s fairly simple to understand. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t as difficult as it may sound. It simply means optimizing your content to rank higher in search results. This can be as simple as developing keyword strings based on Google results for your business to intense analytical review of specially targeted customer segments. It may seem time consuming, but it’s also one of the most powerful ways to grow your business.

Tip # 4: Make Sure Your Email List Is Robust And Up To Date

The key to converting leads into sales is to generate more leads. But unfortunately, a good portion of traffic to your site simply won’t return. Not unless there’s an incentive. Collecting a healthy email list isn’t as time consuming as it may seem. In fact, it can be entirely passive. Entice your potential customers for repeat visits by offering exclusive one time offers and discounts simply by entering their names and email addresses in a contact form. Reach out from time to time to inform them of new products and services. Yes, there’s a strong chance you may wind up ignored. That’s a risk every business takes. But if you manage to convert 50 leads into 10 solid sales, that may be a risk worth taking.

Tip # 5 : Go Mobile Or Go Home

Over 52 percent of all online traffic was generated by mobile in 2018. That number’s likely to be in excess of 59 percent by 2020. And you can guess by those numbers what the next five years will look like.  Mobile compatibility is no longer optional for your business. But learning how to market effectively for mobile can seem a little trickier. Certain content, such as streaming video, may load well on standard laptops and PCs. But unless you improve the speed and performance of your site, your average mobile user isn’t going to spend 90 seconds downloading it on to an iPhone. Performance counts. Ensure your site is  optimized for mobile. You don’t want to lose an entire customer segment simply because of a difference in display resolution.

Tip # 6 : Customer Interaction Is Just As Important In Digital Marketing

In fact, it may be more so. One of the reasons for the rise in social media marketing is that it provides customers with direct interaction with their favorite brands and companies. It provides a much more intimate form of engagement. And if you’re a small business, intimacy is the first thing your customers are looking for. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers. Encourage feedback. Ask questions from your audience. Gather testimonials. Participate in online communities. Create polls on social media. Post blog updates detailing meaningful or unusual events in your life (don’t get too unusual!) In short? Interact with them as human beings, not sales leads. Digital marketing can be as simple as you want it to be. But maybe you simply don’t have the time to generate and promote content. Or would simply prefer to leave it to professionals. No Joke Marketing has been helping businesses like yours develop creative and successful online marketing campaigns since 2013. Why not see what we can do for you? Call us today at (800) 397-2599 for more information.