Did you know that 81% of retail consumers conduct online research before buying? So, retail marketers are spending more on digital marketing to get more customers. In the U.S, for example, retailers are expected to spend $35.48 billion on online advertisements in 2021.
Has your business invested in online marketing yet? Let’s look at ten ways to advertise your business online.
There are over 240 million social media users in the U.S alone, aged between 16 and 64. Social media presence is, thus, important.
Joining, sharing content, and commenting on other social media posts is free. Don’t rely on one social media platform because of the difference in popularity and demographics. In the U.S, for example, Youtube and Facebook are the most popular. TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram are the most popular apps among consumers under 30.
Influencer marketing is a massive market, expected to be worth $13.8 billion by the end of 2021. It’s a form of marketing where brands use an influential person, especially on social media, to advertise a business.
Your target audience should be following your influencer of choice. The influencer should have a passion for your niche. For example, you can’t use an eco-living enthusiast to advertise plastic products.
Influencers are either directly paid according to their rate cards or indirectly via PR packages.
Create, Verify, and Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Google offers free business listing through Google Business Profile. This allows your business to appear in Google Maps and search results for local businesses when someone searches your business name.
Create a Google business listing and verify your details. This lets you edit and optimize your page by including all business details to improve ranking on search results.
Digital Content Marketing
Digital content marketing is a form of online advertising that focuses on creating and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract prospects and convert them to customers.
There are several forms of digital content marketing, including emails, blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasting, and webinars.
Content marketing is quite popular.
In 2021, for instance, 82% of marketers reported actively using content marketing, compared to 70% in 2020.
Consumers are also directly influenced by content. 47% of buyers view up to five pieces of content before initiating contact. You should, consequently, develop a digital content marketing strategy.
So, what content should you focus on?
Videos, blogs, and infographics are the top three content strategies for free online business advertising. Although they are all free to make, and free software for professional editing exist, you can always pay videographers, bloggers, and graphic designers for an extra professional touch.
A website is important for increasing your brand value, sales, leads, and generating business. Prospects visit your website and take about 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about it.
Free websites are cost-effective, but there are no guarantees that your business will appear in search engine results because such websites are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) unfriendly.
Invest in a paid and well-developed website that offers a great user experience because 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a page after a bad experience.
Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a free online business advertising tool. A high-value website is the only cost you’ll bear.
SEO is a set of techniques that help your website rank high on search engine results to increase brand awareness and visibility.
Optimize for Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendliness, and safe browsing, among others.
Paid Digital Ads
So, you’ve created social media pages, Google Business Profile, have a website, and are optimized for SEO, but still want to increase your reach.
Free advertising means that your reach is growing organically, with zero ad spend. Unfortunately, growth is slow.
You’re not guaranteed to be on the first search results page.
Worse still, results on page 2 of Google search results have less than a 1% click-through rate, therefore, paid digital advertising that keeps you on page one of these results is important.
Types of paid advertising to consider:
- Pay-Per-Click Ads- These ads, combined with strong SEO practices, will help your ad appear in the list of links above the organic search results.
- Social media advertising- Pay for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Ads to increase reach. Optimize your advertisement to reach the desired target market by specifying interests, age, geographical locations, gender, among other factors. Always remember to follow community guidelines for your ad to be accepted.
- Display advertising- This is offered by many websites, news sites, and publishers.
- Retarget and remarket- Retarget your customers, and remarket to them.
List the Business on Major Directories
A Google Business Profile is great, but you also need to list in smaller directories, especially those relevant to your niche. For example, a hotel or travel destination should list on Trip Advisor and a workplace on Glassdoor.
Most of these directories offer free listings. Take advantage.
Ask for Customer Reviews
95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase.
Ask your customers to leave honest reviews on their pages and other platforms, with a link back to your business. They can also review your business in the directories you’ve listed in. Always respond professionally to these reviews, even negative ones.
Join Online Communities
Offering solutions in online communities help you stand out as a thought leader and build brand trust. 48% of decision-makers say that thought leadership influencers purchase decisions, and 88% of decision-makers say that thought leadership can be effective in enhancing brand perception.
So, join relevant social media groups, websites, and other online forums such as Quora. Not only will you establish yourself as an authority, advertise your business online for free, but also get free and honest market insight right from consumers.
Online Advertising Is Easy
Marketing a business online can be free or cost some money, depending on your advertising budget. Platforms such as social media, online community forums, and digital business directories like Google Business Profile are free. A website and digital adverts require a bit of investment but have good returns.