If you are just starting a new business, it’s safe to assume that your marketing budget is somewhat limited. There is a big chance that you heavily rely on social media to get the word out about your business and attract new customers. No doubt Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube are all great places to reach your audience, however, there are other very important sites and platforms that are essential for business owners but very often overlooked.
Whether you are selling products or offering services, you need to be present in places where people are actively searching for your business. In this post, we will talk about search, review sites and good ole word of mouth.
Let’s start with search
SEO and SEM should be the first priority for any business. It’s a very effective way to connect with people who already expressed interest in your brand.
Search Optimization Engine (SEO) might sound as confusing as its abbreviation. In simple words, it is a way of driving more users to your website by ensuring that your site organically appears on top of the search results when consumers are searching for relative keywords. Google scores all websites to rank them when people are searching for specific terms, so ultimately you want to optimize your site through a variety of tactics to achieve higher relevancy and authority score within Google's algorithm. The higher your website shows up in the search results, the higher the chance people will click on your website link.
SEM is a paid search tactic that helps drive users to your website by placing ads within search results on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEO and SEM complement each other like peanut butter and jelly. As a business, you need to do both. While SEO ensures that your website shows up in search results organically when its relevant to the consumer search queries, paid search helps to expand your audience beyond just site relevancy. You can intercept people who are searching for your competitors, align your website to specific keywords that are relevant to your target audience, concentrate only on users who live in your local area, etc. Basically, you have more opportunities and control of when and how your ads appear in the search results.
Ratings and reviews sites
According to Uberall research, Google Maps & Reviews are the #1 destination where consumers check out reviews before going to brick-and-motor stores. It is followed by Yelp, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, and Tripadvisor. Whether you own a brick-and-motor store or an online business, you really need to be present where people are discovering new information, leaving reviews, asking questions about products and services.
There are 3 key steps to follow:
Good ole word of mouth
Word of mouth is probably one of the oldest advertising tactics, but it is still one of the strongest today. People who talk about your business are the biggest advocates for your brand. As consumers, we tend to rely on other people’s referrals and opinions. We also trust them much more than information we get directly from the business.
So stop limiting yourself to social media only. Go outside and network! Find meet-up groups and different organizations in your areas where you can talk to people face-to-face. This will help spread the word about your business and build collaborations.
You can also engage with your current customers and ask them how they found out about your business. It will give you an idea of how to reach like-minded people who will be interested in your brand. You can go even further and offer a referral bonus to your clients for every new customer they bring in.
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