The goal of starting a small business is to earn money, not to lose it. And while all businesses have a start- up cost, the goal is to keep that cost as low as possible. So when small business owners think about business promotion, they often stress out about their budget. Luckily, in today’s world the World Wide Web makes it easy for businesses to promote themselves without spending a penny! Here are a few ways that you can utilize the internet to attract customers and build your brand:
This one should be obvious. Social media runs the world. It seems that everyone (or almost everyone) is on some type of social media platform. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or some other platform, if you are a small business owner, you need to be on social media. Why? First off, if you’re not, your competitors are! And if your competitors are on social media, then they are already 5 steps ahead of you. In addition, social media does more than just get your name out there. It also helps to build relationships.
Social media makes it easy to interact with your target audience. With the help of social media you can communicate with someone across the globe, answering any questions they may have or addressing any comments that they may leave. This type of interaction can lead to relationship building, which (as we all know) is the key to a successful business. Through online interaction you can build trust and lasting relationships with potential or existing clientele. And one of the best things about social media? Everyone is connected. Social media creates a snowball effect where the more people you connect with, the more people that see your brand. Thus, you are targeting and re-targeting without doing anything at all!
Blogging has become another popular way for business owners to connect with their clients and is a great way to give back to them. Blogs can be used to communicate information, give advice, or simply entertain your audience on topics related to your business. If your blog content is strong enough, you can quickly develop a devoted following that will come back week after week to read your content (which will ultimately help to drive sales).
Aside from communicating with your audience, blogs can also create interaction and dialogue about your product or service. They can also help you establish your expertise and build trust in your relationships with clients. And again, if you can develop trust and interest, then you can develop long-lasting relationships that will lead your business to grow.
If you have the resources to do so, make some videos! Multimedia websites like YouTube and Flickr generate millions of visitors each day, so they are a great way to get noticed. Businesses around the world are creating unique and entertaining videos and gaining millions of views by doing so.
Remember, people are looking to be entertained and it is your job to entertain them. If you can think of something extremely creative and unique then your video has the chance of going viral – and if your video goes viral, well, that’s great news for your business!
Social media, blogging, and multimedia websites are three of the best ways to promote your small business online. With that said, there are many other methods that you can use in addition. Add your business name to local listings such as Bing, Yellow Pages, or Google Places, send out a press release, or join and contribute to an online community.
If you’re a small business owner, don’t spend a fortune on business promotion. Use the internet as a way to promote yourself for free, and once you start to see an income, then consider branching out into other avenues of marketing. You don’t have to spend a fortune to be seen – so don’t!