How to Grow Your Online Business Beyond AdWords and Facebook Ads
When it comes to running an online business, marketing can be somewhat limiting. If you have a brick and mortar storefront, you can utilize a variety of traditional advertising methods (i.e., signs and banners). However, for digital storefronts, it can sometimes seem like the only reliable avenues of promotion are Google AdWords and Facebook ads.
While these options are suitable for most brands and have a decent ROI, you can’t rely on them solely to grow your business. So, with that in mind, we want to go over the various alternative marketing methods that can help your online store succeed.
A Holistic Approach to Marketing
One of the most important factors to remember when trying to promote your business is that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Different demographics and customers utilize a variety of tools and programs, which means that you need a multifaceted approach. Yes, paid advertising works, but it’s not the whole picture.
In fact, Google Ads (previously called AdWords) and Facebook Ads shouldn’t even be your first marketing channels. Instead, you should pursue multiple avenues to help you develop your message and branding. Then, once you’ve done that, you can utilize paid ads more effectively.
Overall, you should look at marketing as a recipe, not a single ingredient. Too much of one thing can throw off the rest of the dish, so you need to make sure that you have all the right components in place.
Top Marketing Channels (That Are Not Paid Ads)
So, before you set a daily price limit on Google Adwords and Facebook, make sure that you have strategies for all of these platforms as well. Understanding both the value and limitations of each channel can help you succeed in the long term.
If you’re familiar at all with digital marketing, then you know that search engine optimization is crucial. Because search engines like Google are how the bulk of your customers will find you, it’s imperative to make your site as optimized as possible.
Some elements of SEO include:
- Keywords – you should generate a list of the top keywords related to your business or products. Use these to shape your page content and listings.
- Link Building – linking to your site and others can create a network of connections. This network boosts your rating among search engines, making you more noticeable.
- Site Speed and Usability – if visitors are bouncing off your page immediately, search engines recognize that and lower your rank. Common reasons for high bounce rates include slow speeds, confusing layouts, and spammy advertisements.
Just because your online business exists to sell products to customers, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring them to you in other ways. Content marketing is excellent for a few reasons. First, it helps establish you as a reliable resource and authority within your niche. Second, it enables you to create a network of links, which boosts SEO. Finally, some content can go viral, which will improve brand awareness even faster.
Here are some ways to maximize your content marketing strategy.
- Create Value – whether it’s a blog post or an infographic, make sure that visitors gain something from viewing it. Empty content is worse than nothing at all.
- Post on Different Platforms – don’t assume that putting something on your website will build an audience. Share content on social media and other blogs to get more exposure.
- Be Consistent – as with all marketing strategies, you have to maintain momentum. Otherwise, you’ll set yourself up for failure.
These days, email marketing has something of a bad reputation. However, while it’s one of the oldest options available, it still works wonders for online businesses. Here’s how you can make it work for yours.
- Customize Your Emails – segment your subscriber list into different categories. This way, you can create unique messages for each group that will resonate better.
- Understand Your Audience – learn what your customers value the most and speak to that through your marketing. This will make your emails resonate a lot more.
- Be Direct – don’t hem and haw for 400 words before getting to the point. People will ignore an email if they don’t understand its intent.
Although we’ve covered content marketing already, video is its own animal. Video clips are much more engaging than alternatives (i.e., pictures and words), making it a viable option for many businesses. Some strategies to utilize include:
- Add Subtitles – most users watch videos with the sound off, so you need to plan accordingly.
- Make it Exciting – you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, so make sure that you start with a bang.
- Customize Video Clips For Different Platforms – sites like YouTube are great for full-length videos, while social media is perfect for truncated versions.
Although Facebook Ads are technically a part of social media marketing, there are many other ways to grow your business on these sites. Some examples include:
- Audience Engagement – respond to posts and be active with your followers. This will encourage more people to join.
- Hashtags and Mentions – be sure that you are utilizing hashtags and mentions to boost individual posts. Otherwise, your content will be harder to find for new followers.
- Leverage Influencers – rather than paying Google or Facebook to advertise your products, find a local influencer, and have him or her do so instead. Influencer marketing is potent when done correctly.