If you’re trying to establish your online business, then you’ve probably arrived at the conclusion that you need marketing to build your brand awareness and generate traffic.
Its hard to be successful with internet marketing, if the internet doesn’t know you exist. Go figure ??♂️
If your on a fixed income or a shoestring budget you might have concerns about successfully marketing yourself with such limited resources.
Don’t worry about your budget.
Now, you may be thinking, “whaaaaaaaa?!” But stay with me here.
Regardless of the type of business you’re running. Whether its a new business where you’re not yet making any profit. Or a successful company that is well-established, there are lots of options out there that can help you spread your brand awareness, increase traffic, and increase profits ALL without breaking the bank.
Before we begin, lets make sure your website is on point
Having a great website is crucial if you want to succeed with internet marketing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just getting started, or you’re well established, your website is going to be the foundation of your online business.
Regardless of the size of your budget, you should ensure that your website is on fleek (yeah, I went there) and serves as an asset to your marketing efforts and not a burden.
The goal of marketing your business is to generate traffic to your website. Therefore, your site has to be able to attract the attention of visitors enough to not only keep them interested, but also make them want to come back.
Visually appealing and user friendly. That’s the ticket.
Your website isn’t a ‘build it and forget it’ aspect of your business. You should be continually working on improving your site. Not only aesthetically, but also by making it more user friendly. There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ when it comes to your website, but regularly making improvements is a step in the right direction.
So what are the steps you can take to boost your website’s appeal?
The first thing you ought to do is ensure that your website isn’t overly complicated, with a navigational structure that is easy to understand. This is important if you want to hold the attention of your visitors.
When it comes to converting visitors into customers, a confusing website layout is your enemy.
Try to look at your website from a visitor’s point of view, and then decide for yourself the type of user experience offered by your site.
Keep in mind, people have short attention spans, especially when they are on the internet. Therefore, if a visitor finds your website confusing and difficult to navigate, chances are they’ll give up and move on to look at other, more interesting things. Like this:
Also, ensure that your images and graphics are not interfering with your goal which is to convert your visitors to customers.
Some bullet points:
- Make sure your graphics are simple and without clutter
- Use images that are relevant to your message
- Make sure your content is focused on the reader’s problem while offering a clear cut solution(s)
Okay, we established the importance of how crucial a great website is to your business. Now lets take a look at some budget friendly options that will help you establish your brand on the internet and generate traffic, without forcing you to run your online business out of a cardboard box.
Tools To Market Your Business:
Blogging is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. If you just have a basic website, I recommend you add a blogroll.
Posting to your blog regularly will not only generate traffic to your site, but will also increase brand awareness as you build a following.
Post quality content
Having a blog isn’t just about pumping out content day after day. You need to create content that is not only high quality, but useful to your readers. If this means posting less frequently, that’s okay.
After all, poorly written articles are not going to get read. They are a waste of time for you, and useless to your targeted audience.
Try to establish a posting schedule that isn’t too demanding. One that allows you to create high quality content, without getting overwhelmed.
This strategy will pay off in the long run.
Would you rather have 20 high quality articles that get read, linked to, and shared. Or 50 low quality articles that nobody sees? I thought so.
Research your keywords
Understanding which keywords are being used in the search engines is important when deciding what topics to write your content about.
You want to target relevant keywords that people are actually typing into search engines. Try to ask yourself, if you were in your target audience’s shoes, what would you search for to find your services?
Also, being more specific with your keyword selection will benefit you more than trying to target a very popular keyword, and likely never ranking for it.
Blogging about useful, quality content is a big step towards establishing your brand and generating consistent high quality traffic to your site.
Social media is one of your most valuable tools for online marketing, and it happens to be free.
Ask most bloggers and they will tell you that social media is one of the top sources of traffic to their website.
Hold on! Before you start slapping advertisements up on Grandma’s Facebook page, remember being successful with your social media marketing efforts requires some planning and strategy:
Believe it or not your keyword selection is important. Not only is your keyword selection important, but the keywords you use within each social network matter too.
High converting keywords per social network:
- Facebook – Where, When, Inspire, Tell us, Deals
- Google+ – Share, Promote, Discover
- LinkedIn – Created, Improved, Increased, Developed
- Twitter – Retweet, Follow, Check out, New blog post
More of these types of keywords can be found here
Its no secret that social media users are a fickle bunch when it comes to drawing their attention. That’s why you have to make yourself standout.
Did you know:
- Facebook image based posts get 39% more engagement
- Google+ video posts get 28.6% more +1’s
- Twitter tweets with image links get 200% more engagement
- LinkedIn image based posts attract 98% more comments
Now that you understand the importance of visual marketing, its time to add some imagery to those social media posts.
Bear in mind, not just any ol’ imagery will do. Make sure you are adding relevant, yet interesting and attention grabbing visuals to your posts.
Keep them entertained
Social media users like to read fun, interesting and engaging content. You can hit a home run when writing your blog post, but when it comes time to sharing it on social media you will totally strike out if your headline puts them to sleep.
When writing your headlines, try to peak the interest of your readers. The headline and opening sentence is the most important part of every article.
If your headline is boring, nobody will click your post.
If the opening paragraph sucks, you’ll lose the interest of the reader and they’ll end up on youtube looking at videos of puppies.
With a little planning and creative writing you can absolutely leverage social media marketing to your advantage.
They say that video is the future of content marketing. Its not hard to see why. Video websites like Youtube generate billions (yes, billions) of views per day.
If your trying to generate traffic and build brand awareness, video marketing is a no-brainer for success. The best part?
Take a look at these Youtube statistics that will give you a better understanding of the power of video marketing:
Number of people that use Youtube – 1,325,000,000
Hours of video uploaded every minute – 300 hours
Number of videos viewed every day – 4,950,000,000
As the popularity of video continues to grow, its not hard to imagine that its likely going to be the standard of marketing in the near future.
The success of video marketing can’t be denied. Its no mystery that most people prefer to watch a video over reading an article. And its not because people are lazy (although that probably plays a role ?).
Videos convey messages better and help increase people’s understanding of your product.
Check out this infographic:
As you can see, adding video to your marketing efforts can have a massive impact on, not only traffic and brand awareness, but on conversions and guest interaction.
Getting started with video marketing doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think. You can easily produce a decent quality video with your computer’s camera or even your smartphone.
An average quality video can generate a ton of views, and user interaction if it offers value and is interesting to watch.
While a video with high production costs doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. If it’s unhelpful and boring nobody is going to watch it.
Focus on providing value while delivering your message in a interesting way. You can improve on video quality later.
Guest blogging is an effective method of increasing traffic, building brand awareness, and boosting your SEO ranking. All of these benefits, and it won’t cost you anything but your time.
An effective guest post is one that gets you in front of a large and relevant audience. Emphasis on the relevant audience part.
One of the primary goals with guest blogging is to generate traffic back to your own website. So naturally you should try and procure guest blogging spots that will feature you in front of your target audience.
So how do you obtain a guest posting opportunity? You simply ask.
Some websites will offer clear instructions for anyone interested in submitting a guest post. Most of the time though, you will just have to email the owner of the website with your proposal.
Be prepared for rejection. Not all of your proposals will be accepted.
When submitting your requests, you can improve your chances of being accepted if you follow these steps:
1. Create a subject line that is clear and to the point
The subject line is the first thing your recipient sees. In most cases, your subject line will dictate whether your email gets opened or sent straight to the trash.
Anything that looks silly or unprofessional is going to be deleted:
- “Hey! Check this out!”
- “OMG you gotta check out this article!”
- “You wont believe what this one strange trick can do for your sex life!” (??♂️)
Keep your subject line on topic, and indicate exactly what the email contains:
- “I am interested in guest posting for your website.”
- “Request to guest post on your site.”
- “I would like to guest post for your site.”
2. Use the recipients name
Whenever possible, address your recipient by their first name. Its not only a common courtesy, but it shows the recipient that you put at least some effort into your proposal and didn’t just copy/ paste the same proposal to countless others.
3. Tell them who you are, and share your URL
Don’t forget to tell your recipient who you are. It is also a good idea to include your URL address in the email so that they can take a look at some of your work.
4. Tell them what you have to offer
Let them know what you have to contribute to their blog. Share any article ideas that you think will be a good fit for their site and their readers.
5. Avoid typos and use correct grammar
Your first impression is going to be judged on how well you present your proposal. Make sure you triple check your spelling and avoid any grammatical errors.
6. Avoid using flattery, it won’t help
Part of your goal is to stand out from the crowd. To get noticed. Some website owners get many guest post requests every single day. Most of those requests offer some type of generic flattery in a vain attempt to gain favor:
- “Your website is really cool.”
- “I have been following your website for years, it is amazing.”
- “I really like your website, its awesome.”
Flattery won’t help your cause. Its more likely to get you unnoticed.
Guest blogging takes some time and patience, but when you consider all the benefits it is absolutely worth the effort.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to take your online business to the next level even on a shoestring budget. Keep in mind, staying consistent with these methods will yield consistent results with your business.