A company website is the one place—-one and only—to tell your company’s story. Social media is a close second; however, with algorithms that dictate how often and if your posts are visible to customers, you still can’t guarantee that customers are hearing your story or even getting your updates.
Digitally, the website is it. It’s the place for a company to tell their story, use call-to-actions to spur sales, and to generate customer responses. A well-built website is mobile-friendly, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines.
No matter how well-built, however, your website is not the only proverbial game in town. This is the digital age; the internet is full of websites—including your competitors. You can’t just expect customers to come find your website. You have to promote it. You have to utilize tactics that put your website in front of potential customers.
Note the last part of the equation: potential customers. Especially for local brick-and-mortar businesses, your website has to be promoted at a target audience within your service area. Views by a nationwide audience don’t equal sales.
The good news is that effective tactics don’t have to be expensive. Some of the best tactics with a high return-on-investment are surprisingly affordable for small and large businesses.
Social Media Posts
Social media is free for businesses, but it’s also incredibly crowded. The “trick” to using social media to get sales is to choose a social media site (or sites) that your customers use (this chart of social media demographics can help), post at times when they are online, and provide valuable content. Valuable content is anything relevant and helpful to customers, such as website links, articles, graphics, and (when appropriate) humor. If social media marketing is intimidating, consider outsourcing the effort to an experienced marketing company that fits the budget.
Search Engine Optimization
Website optimization is a must of every website promotion plan. Not only should a website be built for search engines and customers, it should also be enhanced with search engine optimization technology. For local brick-and-mortar companies, local optimization technology is the right fit. Local optimization targets online users searching online with a 10-,20-, or 50-mile radius around the company location (use these tips to choose the right optimization firm).
E-mail marketing is a marketing tactic with one of the highest return-on-investments. There are some best-use practices that lead to success. Build a strong e-mail list (use this list of ways to build an e-mail list) and draft e-mails with relevant content and clear calls-to-action.
Word-of-mouth marketing is still an effective way to promote a business. When interacting with customers, drive them to your website. Give them incentives to check the website, such as web-only discounts (“make sure you check our specials on our website”). Include the website address on business cards and coupons that are passed out at the register or included in product shipments.
Social Media Ads
As mentioned, social media sites have become incredibly crowded, making social media advertising a necessity. Social media ads are usually fairly affordable, but should be done on a strategic basis to maximize the return-on-investment. For the best results, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced online marketing firm for assistance with drafting effective social media ads.
Blogging is a marketing tactic that assists with website promotion in two ways. Regular, high-quality content can show up in search engine rankings. Content posted to a blog can also be promoted on social media, driving users to the website (especially when strong call-to-actions are included). Blogging only reaps rewards, however, with well-written, optimized content and images. To reap the rewards of content marketing, contact a marketing firm with experience in optimization.
Online communities, especially on social media sites, can be an effective tactic. Think of an online community as a conversation area among local residents or users with a common interest. When their conversation turns to an ask for a referral, make sure that your company website is the answer. These online communities can be on social media sites or on other websites; wherever their location, they can be an excellent source of customer referrals.