For many small business owners, online marketing professionals might as well be speaking Klingon. What’s an SMB? What does PPC mean? What’s the difference between a planned marketing campaign and real-time marketing? Don’t worry, this guide will get you up and running with the basics of online marketing in a few simple steps.
Step One: Learn Your Keywords
Assuming that your business already has its own website and social media accounts, the first thing you need to do is a little research—namely, keyword research. Keywords are search terms used by prospective customers to find companies like yours, so if you’re not using the right language in your content you’re never going to show up in Google’s search results. The best way to do this is to start with broad research either using a simple keyword research tool or with the assistance of a professional.
Once you have your keywords, it’s just a matter of using them organically (that means naturally) in the content of your website and social media posts. Keep at it and you’ll rise in the rankings before long.
Step Two: Keep Your Content Fresh
According to Entrepreneur.com, up to 71 percent of B2B (that’s business-to-business) marketers use content marketing in lead generation, paying more than 60 percent less than standard outbound marketing while achieving three times as many leads. Even if only ten percent of your leads eventually turn into happy customers, those aren’t statistics anyone can afford to ignore. The key here is to stay active and interesting, with a focus on content that is engaging to prospective customers while still being relevant to your brand. This is also where those keywords come in! By combining powerful content with the keyword research you did earlier, you can increase the effectiveness of your content marketing dramatically.
Content marketing isn’t just about text, either. Use infographics, videos, podcasts—anything that you know will engage your target audience the best. If you got the help of a marketing pro for your keyword research, they can also help you figure out which content will be the most likely to hit the target.
Step Three: Get Social
You’ve heard all about the importance of social media marketing, but if you’re just starting out you may not know how to use it. However, with Social Media Today reporting as far back as 2013 that more than 70 percent of marketers were using Facebook in lead generation, you need to learn it—and fast.
The trick to social media marketing is a combination of the keyword and content marketing you learned about in the previous two steps. Use what you’ve learned to make powerful visual and textual posts that your audience wants to see, using the terms they’re searching for and content that will stick with them all day. Social media allows consumers to interact directly with their favorite companies, both big and small, so not only does this utilize both online marketing methods you’ve learned so far, it also helps you to keep your audience interested through direct communication. Again, this is a marketing method that can use the assistance of a professional, especially if you’re just starting out.
In general, opting for professional marketing help when you’re just getting started can offer your company a major boost. You’ll be free to run your business while your marketer does the research and handles the content that you need.
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