Online Marketing Tips all Small Business Owners Should Use

An effective marketing strategy utilizes new social media channels and upcoming trends. Regardless of your company’s current success, you should always be aware of the most current marketing tips for small business. If you want to stay competitive in your industry, you have to stay ahead of your competition.

1. Get to Know Your Audience

Think about your audience before you make any major decisions. You need to know their interest and responsibilities. When you have this information, you can personalize your marketing strategy.

2. Offer Valuable Content

You can create valuable and relevant content when you know your audience. In 2018, a generic sales pitch will not bring you new customers. You need to reach your audience on a personal level. Your content should focus on catering to their wants and needs. Instead of promoting a product, focus on providing information and entertainment.

3. Use Visual Content

The human brain can process images faster than it can process words. You should have quality written content on your website, but you should also have pictures and videos. In addition to the visual content on your website, you can engage with your audience by using Facebook and Snapchat.

4. Focus on Your Presentation

Advertising changes every year. A decade ago, companies could reach customers with generic headlines. Today, customers will open mail that comes from recognizable senders. Personalized mail can give your company higher conversion rates. Your messages should be optimized for mobile viewing. All of your messages should have a call-to-action.

5. Revise Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media algorithms are always changing. In some industries, it is almost impossible to gain traction without advertising. Paid advertisements are expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue in 2018. Last year, nearly 80 percent of successful companies promoted their products with social media.

6. Use Marketing Automation Software

A small business owner has limitless possibilities. However, the responsibilities that come with managing a company can be overwhelming. Some of your marketing tasks can be automated. You will have more time for meaningful interactions with your customers when you use automation software.

7. Support a Cause on Your Company’s Website

Many successful companies support causes that are important to their audience. For example, a finance company might donate some of their profits to an organization that promotes financial literacy. If you let your customers know that you are interested in making the world a better place, they will promote your products to their social circle.

8.Attend Online Networking Events

When you attend online networking events, you can interact with people who are interested in your industry. You will learn marketing techniques that are ideal for your industry. You will also meet several knowledgeable professionals.

9. Host a Weekly Podcast

A weekly podcast will help you attract new customers. Your audience will expect you to deliver new content every week, and they will promote your podcast on social media. You can discuss current events that are important in your industry.

7 Pitfalls of Social Media Marketing

Using social media as a marketing tool for your business is an efficient and effective way to reach both existing and potential customers. Although social media is a relatively new phenomenon, it appears that it’s here to stay. Appropriately leveraging social media makes it easy to reach a large amount of customers quickly. However, it is important to note that social media marketing can also have seriously dire consequences for your business if not managed well. Here are 7 common mistakes that businesses make in managing their social media campaigns:

1. Blurring the Line Between Personal and Professional

We’ve all seen posts made by businesses that cross the line. Posting content that is too personal, offensive, crude, or controversial doesn’t convey the right tone or message to your customers. Remember your audience and your role as a business owner. You want to post relevant content pertaining to your business that promotes your gleaming reputation as a professional. Save anything else for your personal networks (or just don’t post it at all). There’s no better way to send customers running than posting tasteless, meaningless trash on your social profiles.

2. Not Utilizing Tracking Software

To save time, using software to track your online effectiveness is essential. There are several affordable programs available to help you manage and monitor the success of your campaign across all of your social media outlets. Local Austin SEO firm, Moonraker Marketing, recommends Hootsuite, which offers a user-friendly dashboard that aggregates data from all of your social accounts. While the basic Hootsuite plan is free, upgraded plans for business are available as well.

3. Ignoring Online Interactions

In order to build relationships with customers, it is important to make them feel like their opinions matter. When customers interact with your business online, it’s imperative that you take the time to respond, even if it means apologizing publicly for something you’ve done wrong. Ignoring comments from customers not only leaves an impression on the person commenting, but will also make an impression on everyone else looking at your page.

4. Forgoing a Plan

Having a plan of attack will make executing a successful social media strategy more likely. Sit down and plan out your short-term (3-6 month) social media goals, as well as your long-term goals (where you hope to be in a year). Setting a clear schedule for posting content and creating social accounts will make your campaign less daunting and will keep you on track to achieve your goals.

5. Allowing Interns to Manage Social Media

Only experienced professionals should be tasked with managing a company’s social media accounts. Social media represents your brand online, so letting a young and inexperienced intern manage your social accounts leaves your brand exposed to misrepresentation. Overly-eager interns who lack discretion or adequate knowledge may leave you with a mess to clean up when they head back to school in the fall.

6. Overreacting

Many people lack discretion when sharing comments and venting frustrations online, saying things on the web that they would never dare say to someone in person. In the course of doing business, it is likely that at some point you will encounter an unhappy or cantankerous customer who wants to tell the whole world what you did wrong and why everyone should avoid your business. Before you react to comments online, take a few minutes to think through your response. Publicly owning up to a situation or extending a gesture of goodwill towards a rifled customer looks a lot better than unleashing belittling comments in response. Strive to be the bigger person.

7. Sticking to Old Methods

The online world evolves at a rapid pace, so being aware of new trends in social media is key. Like a once glossy, cutting-edge iPhone 4, that social media strategy that was working for you 3 years ago probably isn’t so relevant today. Be willing to shake things up and adapt as social media changes.