* We’d like to thank our new friends: Joseph Green and Bill Brown of Strategic Capital, for contributing to our blog and sharing with our audience!
Every company today needs to have an online presence to make money and to grow their business. From a Fortune 500 company that sells a product to a mom and pop shop that offers repair service, and every company in between, some type of digital presence is simply a requirement.
Being online helps you to reach more customers, better target specific customers, improve communications with your customers, and do all of these things for less money than traditional print relations (Bryant, n.d.). Sure, every company needs to have a marketing budget. And to raise funds for this budget many small business owners liquidate their own savings, sell their own stocks, take out 401K loans or cash their loans in, and even sell their structured settlements to get the cash that they need. But the great news is that online marketing is both less expensive and can actually get you more profits than more expensive traditional marketing, leaving you more time to focus on your business and less time worrying about fund raising.
Following are five ways that you can make the internet work for you and increase your profits:
1. Social media marketing – The best and most effective technique.
Social media is one of the best ways to market because it costs next to nothing. By simply having a Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram account, or others, you can reach thousands, even millions of customers. And, you get free advertising as those customers share your information with others – it’s the new form of “word of mouth.” All you need to do is share relevant, interesting information online and it travels without your doing a thing.
2. Video and info-graphic marketing – The technique which speaks out to the most to customers and is easily and quickly understood.
On your social media feed or your website short, bite-sized videos and info-graphic pictures are important. Today people have short attention spans and they expect information in short bursts. Strive for using bullet points in your writing, but better yet create videos of 2-5 minutes and graphics that are visually interesting and have informative text woven in. A good info-graphic can quickly go viral!
3. Guest blogging – Getting the most out of a content based strategy.
If you have an employee who is a good writer then you can get some great articles and content posted for your website and social media at little cost. But you can do the same thing, and get more diverse content, by inviting guest bloggers. For example, if you own an appliance repair business try to get a friend from the local fire department to write an article about the dangers of electrical fires with poorly maintained appliances and then post that on your site. In this way you inform customers, draw them in, and then hopefully earn their business.
4. Email marketing – Reaching out to your desired customer base.
Sending physical pamphlets and mail can cost a dollar or two, even more, per person. But you can send an email to hundreds, even thousands, of people for almost no cost. Collect an email address from every customer that enters your door or calls you and use this, along with online registrations, to create an email list. Then, do not blast these people so much that they block you. Instead, create relevant emails or newsletters that are interesting to them and send them out once a month. Make sure it interests them. For example, if you own a children’s clothing store write newsletters with information about children’s health to pull those parents in.
5. Mobile Apps – The most trendy method of reaching the right customers.
If the budget allows (remember that little list of places to get money in the second paragraph) you can go all out and create a mobile app that advertises your company and gets people excited. This is a big ticket item in initial design, but it can go a long way. For example, if you own an aquarium shop create a free game where people can care for a virtual fish tank on their phone or table, and make sure that your name is prominent in the tank.
With a little creativity, digital marketing can make a huge impact on your profits.
- Bryant, B.J. (n.d.). What are the Benefits of the Internet to Business? Small Business Chronicle. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-internet-business-316.html
Joseph Green is based out of Spring Valley, NY and works as a professional internet marketing analyst at Strategic Capital. He believes in providing the best and suitable financial advice. Joseph has vast experience in various financial sectors and specializes in structured settlements. He keeps writing about helpful and practical financial solutions.