Yup, you read that right. Somebody who literally makes money from helping people market their business giving away tips on how you can market yourself on your own and for free. As you may have noticed, I am a passionate marketer. I create content to educate and expand on what I know but also to share some important information that I wish someone had told me once upon a time (for free). So, here goes…
1) Make full use of social media
This seems like the obvious way but so many of us fail to really realise and tap in to the power of social media when marketing our business. There is a social platform for every type of content and every type of customer. Businesses need to understand the needs and behaviours of their customers and use this to target them in the right way, on the right platforms. LinkedIn is the best platform to reach corporate clientele, YouTube is the best platform for uploading video content, Instagram makes the best platform for images and Facebook is the best platform for creating hubs and communities.
The biggest marketing mistake companies make is what I call “post-and-go” strategy. This is where companies sporadically upload random post after random post and not take the chance to interact and collaborate with their customers and fan base. Keep in mind, that behind every account and every screen, there is a real person, with a real wallet, making a real decision about whether they will be spending their money in your business or elsewhere. It’s your job to make sure you keep them entertained, engaged and involved in your social media activities.
2) Start blogging
Blogging is a great way to validate your expertise and build credibility by sharing knowledge and branded content with your customers. Blogs are usually hosted on your website or e-commerce platform and can be anything from writing articles and opinion pieces which support the company vision, mission and ethos, or putting together lookbooks or style guides giving your customer different ideas on how to style your products. Blogs can also include giveaways, competitions, entries from guest bloggers, there are really no rules to blogging apart from that it has to be of high quality, consistent, and engaging.
As blogging can be time consuming, many brands can be put off and fail to understand how much blogs can add value to your business, draw customers to your website and drastically boost your search engine optimisation.
3) Get to know SEO
Search Engine Optimisation, known as SEO, is not a concept that you can fully learn and implement overnight. There are professional optimisers you can hire (warning: always do thorough research on them before you part with your cash) but you can do a few things yourself to boost your business’ SEO . For example:
- Create page titles on every page. Try to have the key topic of your page within the first few words of your title
- Create meta tags on your pages. In a very simplified way, these work similarly to how hashtags work on social media, using key words and phrases throughout your website to make your site more searchable
- Use strategic search phrases on your pages. Ask yourself which questions your consumer may be asking themselves and link it to your content. For example, if your website is aimed at cost effective solutions for startup founders, incorporating a strategic phrase like free business plan into your content, would help your audience find you better
- Develop new sitemaps for Google and Bing. Sitemaps are used to organise the content of your website and make sure that content is not ‘skipped’ in the search engine
- Sign up your website to different directories (see point 5 in this article)
4) List your business on Google Places
If your business is a physical establishment, such as a shop, restaurant, bar or café, or even if you operate from a tiny one-man rented office somewhere, you have no excuse not to register with Google My Business. This service allows you to post your opening and closing times, register your address, telephone number, website and also puts your business along with all its information on Google Maps. This is a fantastic way of making your business searchable locally and globally and also allows you to monitor/respond to customer feedback on Google reviews. It’s a no brainer.
5) Sign up to local business directories
Consumers love making life easier for ourselves. We love a good directory, whether it’s for flights, insurance or takeaway food. One of the best ways of looking for a business or service that meets your needs is to use directories and compare what is available. It is a great way of gaining exposure and visibility to your business. The key is to identify all your ideal types of audiences and register with all of the directories that they are likely to use. For example, a DJ may register with a corporate events and party planning directory, a wedding directory, a local business directory and be able to reach different audiences (corporate, bridal, domestic) at the same. There are some directories that require paid subscriptions, but often you will also find some directories that are free of charge and help generate an increase in leads and enquiries. The amount of inbound links your blog receives from third party websites also helps to boost your SEO.
If you want to know more about how to market your business, email me for a chat via firstname.lastname@example.org