Knowledge is power and key to every aspect of our daily activities, I believe there are three types of people, namely those who want to know (Wise class), those who don’t know (Ignorant class) and those who don’t care to know (stupid class). At Webcoupers, we are concerned about how businesses whether small, medium or large who need significant online presence can benefit from digital marketing. We don’t only work for them; we orientate them on how and why they need digital marketing, in short we give them a digital marketing mindset.
Though the art of digital marketing has its technical aspects which can only be conducted by experts but hush! And listen to a secret, you can start your digital marketing campaign on your OWN and even for free and yea don’t make me repeat myself but I really do mean FREE!! Are you interested in knowing how? Then there’s no need to buckle your shoes because you are in the right place as I would discuss 7 free and easy steps to start marketing your business online (I think you are now in the WISE class). Though I would be sharing this information for free, if you find the information helpful don’t be selfish rather share it for others to read and learn also.
WARNING: It is important that almost every business should have an online presence since any activity carried out online, if channeled properly can be beneficial to the business and its customers which is a form of digital marketing.
7 Free Steps to start Digital Marketing
Before conducting any form of digital marketing, you must clearly state out the goals your business plan to achieve through digital marketing. The most common goals for every marketing campaign are usually to create brand awareness, customer engagement/loyalty and sales/conversion (an action you want your customers to perform in your business).
1) Feature in Online Business Directory list: The obvious thing is that you want your potential customer to find you when they make a search so you should make sure your business info (address, hours, description, web address, etc.) is accurate and consistent across the top 50+ directory listing sites (e.g. Google Places, Bing Places, Yahoo, vconnect.com, businesslist.com, hotels.ng, Yelp, Citysearch, Mapquest, Yellowpages, African Directories, AM Forums etc.) This massively improves your SEO (search engine optimization) and will push you higher in Google search results when customers are seeking out your business’s services. Also have a Google+ page or entry on Google Business. If you can’t rank high enough with just your keywords, AdWords is a great way to have your name appear at the top of the search results but this is not free although affordable.
2) Deploy a Social Media Wall: With a social media hub you can now aggregate, curate and display live real time social media content in line with your business activities and marketing campaign, you share fun, relevant updates to your follower base, through your social media hub. There are plenty of advantages to such social media walls. Users can now connect their experience to a product or a brand. Companies can now deliver a unique shopping experience. It’s a win-win for all. Taking advantage of such social media hubs would be to run social contests motivating shoppers to use social media to win such contest and you can then capture the social content and display it through social walls. Another strategy is to target certain products with specific #hashtags. By using targeted #hashtags users are requested to post social content (tweets, posts, images). This helps create social buzz around your product and also provides social proof. They are fun ways to build positive awareness for your business and get people in the door. Rather than looking like just another company, you can make yourself look like the dynamic local business that is giving its customers something. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
If you wondering what social media means then go to twitter.com, facebook.com, linkedin.com, Google+, Instagram.com. You don’t need to be in all the social media only select the ones that can be of advantage to your business. Your aim here is to engage potential customers and increase your followership through engaging contents.
3) A Domain Name; an appropriate and effective business domain name can help your business stand out from your competitors. It would help your customers find you easily; this will give you more authority and a big edge. For example imagine you have a burger shop in Lagos your domain name should be linked to your product or business so you can select from lagosburger.com or theburgershop.com and if you want your company name attached hugolagosburger.com etc.
4) Build a website or Blog with good UX/UI: If you thinking of utilizing digital marketing for your business this is necessary as it would be a hub to give proper details of what your business is all about plus there are free websites templates with free hosting online e.g. WordPress, juice it now. Every potential customer who come across your business online either through your social media hubs or directory listings or even through referral would want to conduct more research before purchasing your products or requesting your services and the best place they can get all the information they need is on your personalized website. Most of today’s consumers are searching for fast, clear answers, so use responsive designs to create good User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). This is a great way to help customers find you easily on any device, and it increases their brand trust. Make sure it’s mobile optimized as consumers are looking to their smartphones to decide where they want to spend their money.
5) Content Marketing: This would obviously not cost money but would need dedication and creativity. To boost your customer followership, engagements, search engine rankings (SEO as customers would easily find you when searching for things related to your business), provide benefits and encourage sales or leads there is a need that you generate proper and effective content on your blog focusing on keywords that best address your business (cars, Cameras). They could be educational, comical, entertaining, or informational depending on the nature of your business. A business with good content that benefits their customers would gain more customer loyalty than others. To get started you might need to draw a content plan and you can use hubspot.com, contentmarketinginstitute.com and coschedule.com free templates and guides.
6) Email marketing: send email marketing campaigns with relevant info and updates about your business. This is the cheapest and easiest way to reach your existing customers. Send out email newsletters. In fact even social media like facebook still make use of emailso if you own a brick-and-mortar business, email newsletters just became your new best friend. By providing a fast, simple email newsletter sign-up option on your website/blog, you are setting up a system of communication between you and the people actively interested in your brand’s products and services. In order to get the most out of email newsletters, be sure to follow current best practices, and create genuinely useful content as a reminder to your core audience that you are still there for them. The email should be personalized and persuasive and there are free and easy email templates tools from mailchimp.com, hubspot.com etc.
7) Turn customers into brand advocates. Your marketing campaign doesn’t end once you’ve made the sale. Utilize loyalty technology to bring customers back into your store and to acquire their email addresses. The way to continue the cycle is to take satisfied customers and turn them into brand advocates though social media and the Web. Encourage customers to write testimonials and submit content on social media, or offer local discounts to get them back in. Offer various incentives to get your customers and potential customers engaged. No more automated posts or dull updates – if you want more traffic, engagement should be paramount. And not just any engagement: targeted engagement. With a little legwork and a bit of innovation, your brand can build quite a local following, which can lead to brand loyalty and thus a healthy conversion rate.
Create share-worthy content across all platforms! Like Social media contests, discounts and even scavenger hunts, if you don’t have the time, let the experts at Webcoupers execute your social media strategy for you and you’ll be increasing interest and sales, but more importantly, you’ll be cultivating a community and facilitating discussions about your brand in the social space.
What are you waiting for? Get started now with your newly acquired digital marketing mindset, remember don’t be selfish be nice and share this post.