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online marketing in port elizabeth

5 Online Marketing Methods Your Business Needs Today

Online marketing can be pretty tricky once you start getting into it in a serious way.

5 Online Marketing Methods Your Business Needs Today


Written by Louisa Gee

Louisa loves Carl Sagan, noise rock, vociferous online debates, and writing content for websites.

October 24, 2018

digital marketing
lead generation

There’s a lot of trial and error involved when you first get going, and sleepless nights can set in when you’re keeping a close eye on your online marketing budget.

But the good news is that there’s a few relatively simple tricks that small business owners can incorporate into their online marketing strategy. These methods will boost your brand and increase your sales without breaking the bank. Take a look at some of them below!

1. Feel Good Freebies

It hardly needs to be said that the best way to market your products and services is to give some of them away for free.

Obviously, this is not an option for every small or medium business owner. The thing is, offering your existing or potential client base the occasional freebie helps create brand awareness. It doesn’t matter if you sell digital or physical goods and services, people are going to be more interested if you give them free stuff.

free stuff

So what kind of freebies should you offer? A low-cost product, samples, free trials, free online tools like calculators or e-guides – whatever suits your industry, but won’t affect your bottom line too badly.

2. Connect with your Customers

As a business owner, you already know the value of networking with your base. To do this effectively you need to know your industry and your market inside out. Trade fairs, demonstrations and general networking events are your friends as a small business owner. They show that you know your product, you care about your market, and you’re serious about succeeding.

It’s also super important to stay connected, current and interactive on social media. Customers don’t trust a small or medium business that doesn’t engage on social media, so prioritize this method of growing your brand.

Related: get some tips on how to maximize your online marketing to millennials

3. Service with a (Cyber) Smile

Effective and ongoing interaction with customers is the key to your business success. Respond to messages on your business Facebook page, or messages directly from your website, as promptly and pleasantly as you can.

online marketing customers

In a multicultural society like South Africa, with a number of official languages and customs, you need to know your customer well. You have to learn to accommodate your customers’ queries and input, no matter how daft they might seem to you. Don’t forget that they don’t know the business like you do!

Great customer relationships are a surefire way to get people to trust you, and to forge new relationships. With relationships, come brand exposure!

4. Energise with Email Marketing

In the bad old days of business marketing, getting hold of a good email list took lots of time and effort. You had to do a ton of research to get addresses, then send  everyone in the list, one by one, an introduction mail about your products or services.

It was obviously very easy for potential customers to delete the mail straight away without reading it. It was also far too easy to forget to paste the customer’s name over the name of the previous person you sent the mail to. Not a good realisation to come to, after you already pressed “Send”!

email marketing

These days, we have magical innovations like web design that includes contact forms, that you can use to capture email addresses for lead generation. The next step is to set up automated mails on platforms like Mailchimp. You can set up automated mails that get sent to everyone on your chosen list, at whatever point in the process and whatever time that you decide. You can use your list to promote specials, offer freebies, and generally remind people that you exist and want to help them meet their needs.

This creates ongoing engagement with your client base, allowing you to build your brand with minimal effort. Platforms like Mailchimp can take a little time to master, but it’s well worth some sweat and the occasional tear to get it right!

5. The Power of Pay Per Click

Investing in a Google AdWords campaign can yield almost instant results. Who doesn’t want instant positive results when it comes to business? Your level of investment will depend on how good the results are, but it’s definitely worth it.

There is an art AND a science to PPC advertising. You want to use the right keywords, and format your Google ads in a way that puts them right under the eyes of your target audience. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, it’s probably worth letting the professionals handle it for you.

These 5 online marketing methods will definitely provide results for your small business. They’re pretty fast to implement, and you don’t have to invest big money to get results.

Happy online marketing!

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