Online Business Marketing Ideas. The internet has changed marketing concepts like never before, you need to know what is happening
Estimated reading time: 18 minutes
Table of contents
- How to market your business for free
- Free email marketing lists
- How to get customer trust
- Free marketing ideas for start ups
- Do printed flyers work anymore
- Best online marketing small business
- Digital marketing solutions for small business
- Inovative promotional ideas for small business
- Fresh marketing ideas
- Is branding relavent to small business
- Top marketing strategies for a small business
- Social media marketing for small business
- The value of outsourcing for small business
- Online business marketing starts with a plan
- How do you know where customers come from?
- 5 digital marketing solutions for small business
- Should small businesses have a blog page
How to market your business for free
Nothing is really free because you often have to substitute money for the time spent on marketing. However, that time may be spread across all people at all times contributing to the total.
Take for example asking every customer that walks through the door their email address and mobile phone number. Not such a big chore except that the policy must be religiously enforced.
This simple action will build a marketing list that can multiply the returns many times.
It is important to note that the list will add substantial value to your business and your marketing potential. It will be an asset that can be sold for value.
Free email marketing lists
The names and numbers you collect can be used in many ways. Methods that really work and for the long journey into the future.
- Single Email marketing
- Bulk email distribution
- SMS marketing
Each of the above offers a simple method of customer contact. A small cost is required however very little time is involved to get results.
My daughter runs a retail business and one of the staff failed to collect the data, her excuse was it is a cash sale so it does not matter. It does matter because we want to invite the customer back and cash sale does not appear in the list.
How to get customer trust
The rule of Know, Like and Trust is very real in any business. We will talk about getting known with lots of marketing focus and the Like will be built in your efforts.
They will only buy if they trust you and that is built on consistent touch. As well as honest trading however we just assume that is a fact.
Repeat buyers are easy meat, the reason is that you have achieved trust and their guard has been lowered.
For instance, when someone has made an initial purchase they are ripe for a second go.
They may have bought a football but what about socks to go along with that, Leather polish, or club stickers to add to the purchase.
Supermarkets line the check-out counter with cheap items of attraction, lollies, chocolates even batteries to temp that bit of extra spend. These are high-margin products that add to the overall return in a low-margin industry.
Online Business Marketing Ideas for startups
Free marketing ideas for start ups
This is an essential time to gain recognition however funds are always short.
You want people wandering in the door but no one knows about you so you stand around like a stale bottle of beer waiting for some action.
First thing is to open a Facebook page and an Instagram account and start hammering them with posts. Two or three a day on each one with offers and prices or whatever will bring them in the door.
Next is to do your Google search account and fill in all the details. Grab a few of your friends to give five-star reviews and post them to the account. You are not cheating, they are customers and love your service.
LinkedIn account needs to be completed and a full description of your business entered for all to see. You will be surprised how many people look you up just to see who you are. It takes little time to do and lasts a long time.
Start your rewards club. try and enroll everyone that comes in with a reward plan for being a good customer. It costs far less to service a repeat customer than pay the marketing cost to gather a new one.
If you are unsure about a rewards program think about your supermarket chains. The first question they ask at the checkout is “are you a member”. They know it works and they have every staff member push it down your throat so you will come back. They don't offer a lot but it must work or they would not waste the time.
Finally, lobby your local businesses, introduce yourself, sell your business to them and even leave some flyers if you can. Word travels quickly.
Do printed flyers work anymore
Out off the box ideas for marketing
Ok, we have stepped offline here but with an online purpose. This is a great way to get a local audience and get their details.
A new local Fish shop sent flyers with a great Tuesday bargain. This day is traditionally quiet so any traffic would be good. You just had to go online and enter your details to get a Fish dinner for five people at $15.00. Mums and dads entered in droves to have a family meal at such a bargain. (probably their cost). The shop picked up many for a marketing list, drew a lot of people into the shop, and generated word of mouth.
This is offline marketing to get an online list of interested buyers.
Catering to the seniors
Many of our senior citizens are not going to drive to your location because of impairment, fear, or lack of transport. However, they are still a target market.
Providing a home delivery service will help to bring them on board. You can use Uber, a kid on a Vespa, or any other cheap form and add it to the price.
Lists of people can be found at the local shire, Real Estate agents, or asking your customers to drop a brochure into them. They may not be computer literate but they can use a phone so offer alternatives for them. This group of customers will be extremely loyal and will spread the word widely if you look after them.
Innovative promotional ideas
One valuable method is to partner with other businesses.
For example, I buy my wine from a Wine Club every couple of months. A box of a dozen arrive and included are a couple of vouchers, the vouchers are for complementary businesses with a special offer. They are generally online deals that are targeting you as a new customer to their list. The bit of printed paper may be worth a dollar or so but the returns can be good.
Of course, you can reciprocate with the supplier creating a win-win solution.
By using linking codes you can analyze the traffic and work out your return value.
Online Business Marketing Ideas for small business
Best online marketing small business
Without a doubt, your web page must qualify for first place. It is your shopfront, your reference point for those wanting more than your name.
In most situations, this will be responsible for generating more business than any other activity. The use of keyword selection is paramount in the results and where you can use locality as the pull you will gather more attention.
Further to this is your included blog posts that highlight products and how they can be used.
When it is worked properly blogging will bring amazing results.
Hey, you are reading a blog right now if you want any proof.
Digital marketing solutions for small business
The last couple of years working around the Covid pandemic have proven many things and the least being online shopping is here to stay.
In fact, this can double your sales at less cost than face-to-face marketing.
Setting up an online shop is very easy and just about anyone can do it however it does take time and a continued effort.
Sites like shopify.com specialize in this however at a recurring cost. When cost is an issue using a Woocomerce plugin on any WordPress site will do the same job and at far less cost.
To do this properly you need to connect it with your stock holding and checkout register so that correct product availability is available to anyone. This is a consistent job loading new stock and maintaining price changes on a forever basis. Therefore it needs to be in the control of someone competent in retail marketing.
Extend your potential market
Your online shop is available to anyone anywhere. As an example, my wife just bought me shoes from an America-based store, delivered to Australia and cheaper than a local purchase. This is repeated over and over as buyers expect a vastly expanded market.
My daughter's dress store is located in a country located in the West coast of Australia. A shop that caters to local traffic and the passing tourist trade. Yet she sells dresses Australia-wide because she has stocks of limited production models. Recently dressing a Bridal party some 5000 Klms away with a brand they specifically desired.
Your online shop makes you International and it is up to your imagination to make it really work beyond your dreams.
Online Business Marketing Ideas with a Gorilla
Inovative promotional ideas for small business
Let your imagination run wild when considering your marketing plans. Try and find your point of difference in a bland world of selling.
Gorilla marketing is the art of hijacking high-profile events and having your name pop up on prime-time TV.
A friend of mine runs a Messages on Hold company that markets across the country. He purchased a dozen seats right behind the goal line of the National Football League. Every weekend he gave the seats away on one condition, every time a goal has scored a banner with his company name was held up. Yes, they tried to stop him but they were unsuccessful.
He was a genius at Gorilla tactics and built a highly successful company around it.
Supporting local sport
At one time I was the chief promoter of a suburban rugby team. It cost me a dozen jumpers with my company blazed across the back and front. Yes, they had a small audience however it lasted for two seasons and was seen by many teams. It was both a branding exercise and a direct selling approach and I achieved far more out of it than I put in.
The arts are always seeking support
The arty type people are extremely loyal and brand recognition goes a long way. I sponsored the local Ballet company by providing a couple of much-needed mobile phones. The payback included several free tickets to every production and a full-page spread on the back of the program. The next step was to take important clients as guests to the Ballet which included a social setting after the event.
Fresh marketing ideas
Everyone is looking for a new angle and one that does not cost a lot of money.
Again my daughter organized a fashion parade before the local race meeting. This parade and the winner achieved expansive press in the regional paper with the named Sponsor highlighted on every exposure. The small cost and a big return.
Thinking out of the square and doing the unusual will achieve results
Online Business Marketing Ideas includes brand promotion.
Is branding relavent to small business
In most cases, I believe that the objective in small business marketing is results orientated. However, innovation can count and support all your activities.
International companies spend massive amounts of money on branding with names like Apple, Nike, Uber among them.
However small business does not have this type of reach but that is not to say it can not be a policy.
A friend of mine had a country roadhouse, it was on the main highway however with substantial competition over a spread of about 50 klms.
To be different, and it certainly was he called the business the Youser Youser Bouser.
The reason why such a strange name became a talking point of both the locals and the many passersby. So much so he was written up in the local press.
Ian and his Youser became a stopping point for all travelers based around a brand name and backed up by good service.
I am sure you will find examples around your area that represent the use of a brand to establish identity.
Branding on YouTube
Top marketing strategies for a small business
Choosing the best marketing strategies comes down to analysis. What methods give you the best returns over time. Remember, of course, that you must cost in dollars and time spent because both have a relevant value.
Being in a small business you are limited in time and money so it really comes down to planning and checking results.
If you are going to use Social media it is necessary to pick the one that best represents your target customer so that the returns are maximized. Using a rough guide;
|Tik Tok is for kids||Up to about 20 years|
|Instagram for young women||generally 18-45 years|
|Twitter for the more educated||More academic|
|Facebook is for seniors||Broadly speaking|
|LinkedIn for everyone||A must-have|
Going out of these broad guidelines is sometimes necessary because there is a cross-over effect. Take for example Baby Wear and equipment. This would be an ideal Instagram base however consider the Grand Parents that do a lot of the buying.
Everyone loves Car tires however the younger set only consider them when they are running on bald patches and then seek parental guidance to the purchase ( and often payment)
Online Business Marketing Ideas with Social Media
Social media marketing for small business
This is certainly a cheap method in dollar terms however it does contain a time element to do it properly.
It is important that whatever media you choose must have consistency and that is everyday posting for a long time into the future.
Facebook has advantages because it is easy to preload messages for a week or month ahead in one sitting. Likewise Linked in however the others require more elaborate planning which includes photos and stories.
Facebook is really a necessity because many lookers use it as a reference point for your business. What you do and why you do it in repetitive posting. However, an out-of-date and neglected page will turn many people away.
The value of outsourcing for small business
In most cases, your time is best spent in the front line wowing your customers with knowledge and exceptional service. Doing your books after-hours and some family time leaves little time for the marketing chore. However, it is an evil necessity to remain at the top of your game so how can you achieve the results you want.
The answer is to get someone else to do the work. Set out your guidelines and delegate to the best low-cost opportunity. Kids make great social contributors and there are sites like Fiverr where you can get just about anything done for a small payment.
Make a plan of what you want to achieve and then delegate it out as best you can.
However, you must set up tracking to understand your targeted results.
Outsourcing saves time and money.
Online business marketing starts with a plan
When you have no idea where you are going you will never get there. Plus understanding what works and what bombs is consistently necessary.
Of course, your plan will be flexible based on results and resources diverted to the best return channels along the journey.
It is necessary to have at least five avenues to market working at any time so that you may obtain balance in the results.
There are those must-have media like your Webpage, LinkedIn profile, and Facebook page.
then it is building a program on top of them.
Your plan will not only be what needs to be done but by whom and when
Online Business Marketing Ideas and finding customers
How do you know where customers come from?
This is not a random question but one that has long-term consequences if used properly.
One way is to ask new clients how they found you and tho think back on the answer. It may be as simple as your website but what drove them there.
Regular clients can be asked if they saw the Instagram feed or was Facebook their media of choice.
On all online services, I use Link cloaking to see exactly how many people clicked on a certain link. (prettylinks.com)
My way is to use a monthly spreadsheet that tracks all the links to see what is performing the best so I can divert some attention that way.
Some affiliate sites have inbuilt tracking and the results are clearly available so you can make changes if necessary.
I recently had a supplier complain that I lacked activity and was in danger of being canceled. I was able to show many hundreds of contacts per month and the fault was in their system and not mine. Hard proof can not be ignored.
There are ways to track nearly everything so use your best endeavors to do so and importantly action the results.
5 digital marketing solutions for small business
Here the number 5 is important because it is the minimum amount of customer attractions you should have at any one time. Everything is not equal so you can scrap what does not work and replace it with something better.
- 1) Your Webpage will be responsible for many of your sales. It is your shopfront with tools to gather new customers and needs to be constantly attended. Use Keywords and track the results insisting on a page one position. Nothing else is acceptable.
- 2) It is fact that a blog page can increase Web traffic by around 50%. If this is half right then it is a solution that should be included in your plan.
- 3) Building and using a complete marketing list that encompasses email Newsletters and SMS to bring in new business is necessary. No customer should be exempt fromj the list and every one contacted on a regular basis.It takes about seven touches to launch a sale so use it hard and regularly.
- 4) A good rewards program is not just necessary it is imperative to bringing back repeat buyers. Give them a reason to return because it is the cheapest marketing you can do.
- 5) The humble newsletter still remains one of my favourite methods of touch. It keeps your name at top of mind for that time when a buying decission is needed. It is not a sales tool but enterntainment and education along a range of subjects. You can clearly see your stats to find out what is working
Of course there are many more however these apply to every business as a core group of activities. I could have added Social Media to the mix however we have discussed that before.
Should small businesses have a blog page
The answer is clearly yes because it can increase web sales by as much as 50%. Your blogs are really just extensions of website items that you sell.
It may be long-handled shovels v short handles or can snow shovels be used for sand or what shovel can be used to bury your Mother in Law. Simple subjects that take interested readers on a sales journey by stealth.
However blog writing takes time so outsourcing the role my very well be the best way forward.
Simply type out a list of subjects and any relevant links and pass the duty on.
Like all media, quantity is actually better than quality so a consistent flow of articles will develop all those Know, Like and trust factors we so desperately need.
Blogging for beginners the necessary start.
Online Business Marketing Ideas and my wrap-up
I have given reasons for innovation, online and offline solutions, and many ways to promote your small business.
Your world has become very competitive and the harder you compete the greater the returns you will gather. No longer can you sit back and wonder where the next client will come from they demand you go out and pull them in the door.
However, marketing does not stop online. Your entire staff must be tuned to customer satisfaction to make sure they return many times over a lot of years.