This article originally appeared on the BNZ Community website.
Marketing your small business online can be hard, with hundreds of companies “claiming” to possess the skills needed to get you leads or sales. If you have time however and are willing to learn it is possible to market your own business online and not only save money but learn a lot as well.
The first step is to get a website for your business, the better the website, the better the results will be for all your marketing efforts. I don’t just mean better looking either. Sure it has to look good but more important than that is the copywriting. Your website must simply and succinctly portray exactly why the prospect whos visiting your website should buy from you. Think of your website as a digital salesperson and ensure everything you say on the site works towards the goal of getting the lead or sale. A good website platform to start with which is free, easy to use and flexible is WordPress. After you’ve grabbed yourself a great domain name or website address install WordPress and then buy a theme from a site such as ThemeForest or find one for free. Fix up all the copywriting on your website and ensure you have a way for people to enquire. Lastly add a service like Google Analytics to your site and setup Goal tracking for your website forms when installed, this will help out later.
Once you have your website, here are 5 ways to start your DIY online marketing journey:
Write Great Blog Content
Committing to writing high-quality articles on a regular basis can be a pain but the value in doing so is huge. Writing articles which show your knowledge on your business industry can be a huge factor in a prospect deciding to purchase from you and in them finding you in the first place. Create a plan to write one article a week and post it to your blog and ensure that the quality is high, ie. to a level where you’d be happy and proud to show it to all your past customers and they’d all learn something from the article. Ensure your blog has an app like Sumo installed which allows people to share the article and helps drive email signups (covered next).
Build An Email List
Once you’ve started writing content it’s important that you email out this content to your current customers, friends, people who have enquired – everyone. If it’s non-promotional, educational content which helps them they won’t mind receiving it and this will cement your business in their heads as someone they can turn to once they need your goods or services. You can signup to a free platform like Mailchimp which will work fine and has a number of templates you can pick from and customise. Put the headline and starting paragraphs of your content and a link to your blog to read the rest of the article and send it out. Like the content writing make sure you schedule the time to put these emails together and remember to keep adding new customers to your list.
Build Some Links
The annoying telemarketers trying to sell you SEO were right, links do actually help. With a bit of work you can build these links yourself. Start by getting your business listed in all the New Zealand directories you can find. Once you’ve built those links start thinking outside of the box, “what suppliers do I deal with that would link to me”, “what friends have businesses”, “what could my business do to get the local online news site writing about it” etc. The possibilities to build links are endless and all that matters is you concentrate on quality over quantity. You can be sneaky here and use a site like Ahrefs.com and type in your main competitors websites to see a list of links they have and go after them as well. Getting these links will help you rank higher on Google and also help your content on your blog that shows your knowledge get more visibility.
Launch Some Advertising
Once you’ve got all the “free” marketing methods above setup and going its time to spend a little bit of money on marketing with Google & Facebook. Google Adwords when setup correctly offers a great way to get yourself in front of active prospective buyers searching for your service or products whilst Facebook allows you to target a passive audience who are of a certain demographic with certain interests and could be tempted if the offer is right. It’s essential for both networks before you plough money into the that you set up conversion tracking, it may be hard so if you know a computer whiz that can help you out here it’s recommended. Conversion tracking will show you exactly how many leads or sales you are getting out of every dollar you spend and will show you where you’re going wrong and how to optimise and improve the campaigns rather than just throwing money blindly. It’s also important to note that Google & Facebook are awesome at making themselves profit at the expense of yours, so make sure if you’re running these campaigns yourself you learn as much as you can about the tricks these companies use and how to use them to your own advantage.
Now you’ve got a good base to market yourself online its time to get creative and test out new ideas and techniques, see what works and go from there. There are heaps of websites around that can help you with your online marketing (such as Inbound.org) and theres literally hundreds of techniques you can use to enhance the 4 basic ideas above (such as using landing pages, split testing and improving offers, setting up autoresponder campaigns etc). The important thing is to put in the time, always track what you do and you’ll be a DIY Marketing success in no time!
Hope these ideas give you a good head start on your DIY online marketing adventure, check out the rest of this website for more.