It can be difficult coming up with promotion ideas for small businesses that are effective on a smaller budget. Promoting your business online offers many advantages. Also known as online marketing or internet marketing, it is possible to promote your business without breaking the bank.
Online marketing resources often require minimal monetary investment. The term free is quite deceptive – you still need to pay with your time!
Statistics from the Office of National Statistics revealed that 75% of UK internet users research businesses, products and services online before deciding to make a purchase. That purchase is often offline, these people pick up the phone and call or visit your business premises.
Building up a broad web presence can directly impact your bottom line, even if you do not directly sell your products online.
Begin by identifying your ideal audience and how they use the internet. In other words have an online marketing plan and promotion strategy.
15 Online Promotion Ideas for Small Businesses.
1. Have a website. Online promotion really does start with your website. Make your website easy on the eye, clean, simple and easy to navigate. The purpose of each page on your website should be clear, what do you expect your visitors to do? Tell them.
2. Have a blog and post regularly. Weblogs are not just about celebrity gossip. Regularly posting useful information on your blog will help to establish your expert status and business brand. Don’t make the mistake of trying to promote your products and services with every blog post. Think about what your ideal client would want to read.
3. Submit an online press release. More correctly described as a media release, online press releases these days present the opportunity to include images and videos. A text only press release is still a great way to promote your business to a broader audience.
4. Leverage the online reach of your industry or sector related websites by contributing articles. Writing articles for online journals and blogs in your business sector is an ideal way to build your brand recognition. Don’t forget to include your contact details and website address in your author bio, not only can this drive traffic back to your website but it can bring in new business too.
5. Make a promotional video. Many internet users would prefer to watch a video than read from the monitor. Capture this audience’s interest with a promotional video.
6. Have a podcast channel. Podcasting is slightly more technical but worth the effort if you produce a lot of audio or video content. Just like blogging, do not send sales messages all the time!
7. Submit your website to the online business directories and review sites. Back to basics. People use a whole range of directories and review sites to find business information online. Word of mouth happens online too, ensure your business is listed on the popular review sites.
8. Encourage visitors to sign up to your newsletter and publish it often. The most powerful online promotion technique is still email when used correctly. Like all examples here, focus on what your ideal client would want to read.
9. Piggy back on the big names, have an eBay or Amazon store. Leverage the power of the internet giants, use their store facilities to sell your products.
10. Write an ebook. Everyone has a book in them somewhere! Offer it to your visitors to encourage email sign ups, or even publish on Kindle. It’s only one small step then to publishing a real book too.
11. Publish results of a survey or case study. Your research can increase your expert status. Other online publishers may cite your results helping to build your reputation and awareness of your business.
12. Get involved in the social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (no you can’t ignore social media for much longer!) Social networks are not going to disappear. In fact they are becoming increasingly important to promote your small business online. Going social is a great opportunity to interact with current and potential clients, get involved with the conversations.
13. Take part in conversations on blogs and forums. Forums are still very popular despite the meteoric rise in popularity of the social networks. Get involved with the conversation.
14. Make it easy for people to share your content and bookmark your web pages and blog posts often too
15. Share your images on websites such as Flickr and request attribution if they are used elsewhere. Perhaps an under used technique. Image sharing sites are used regularly by internet publishers looking for free graphic content. Request a link back if your images are used.
These are just a few online promotion ideas for small businesses to get you started. Using varied media and distribution outlets has the advantage of communicating with your ideal audience using their prefered channel.