When it comes to marketing your business online, it can feel overwhelming. The digital space is a crowded one and we are constantly bombarded with free content and brands shouting loudly. With the right strategy in place, however, you can make yourself heard.

Follow my 5 (super simple!) tips to reach your audience online without hiring an expert.

  1. Get other people to recommend you

One of the best ways to get new business is via ‘word of mouth’ recommendations and this can be replicated online. Gather testimonials from clients and let them shout about your brand for you. Add the testimonials to your website and turn them into quote graphics to share on social media (Canva is a great tool for this). Also invite clients to review your business on Facebook or give you a LinkedIn recommendation.

If your clients are really busy I would suggest going through past emails and gathering any nice feedback they have sent to you. Pull this together and then send to them asking if they are happy for you to share as a testimonial on your website or social media. I’ve never had a client say “no” to this.

You could take this one step further by offering up some sort of ‘refer a friend’ discount or even inviting customers to become affiliates, if it’s appropriate for your business.

  1.  Start a Facebook group

We all know that it’s now seriously hard to get reach on Facebook.  It’s estimated that due to the algorithm only around 10% of your business page followers actually see the posts you share. Facebook groups are not restricted in the same way as standard posts (yet); in fact Facebook are pushing groups, so it’s a great way to talk to your followers and potential customers without being blocked.

Start by inviting everyone who follows your business page to join your Facebook group. Set up some regular threads and show up daily to to drive engagement and get people talking. You can use this space to poll your audience, ask what pain points they have, what content they would like to see from you and even get feedback on new products or services. You then have a very engaged group that you can sell to.

Join some groups that your target customers hang out in and start by just listening – see what common questions and problems are coming up and think about how you could help solve them. Offer up expert advice on any subjects you know about and promote your services (if the group admin allows). This can be a really great way to gain free feedback, network and ultimately get paying customers!

  1. Offer yourself up as a guest expert

Offer yourself up as a guest blogger to spread the word about your business and what you do. You could also feature as an interviewee or guest on a podcast, video chat or even on a Facebook Live session (if you are feeling brave).

This is a great way to make yourself and your brand more visible and drive traffic to your socials and website. This is what is known as “inbound links” and these help your site to rank higher on Google search results pages. As well as driving visitors to your site, it also gives you great content to share with your social media audience that further proves your expertise. Sharing this sort of content helps to get the conversation started and thus boost engagement. This is essentially what we want from online marketing – a two-way conversation as opposed to just passive sharing of content.

  1. Harness the power of video

By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (source: Cisco)  and businesses that use video in their marketing have 27% higher click-through rates (source: Buffer). Social media platforms favour video over text posts as it keeps their audiences engaged and on their sites longer so if you haven’t already, now is the time to give video a go.

Social video is designed to be a lot more relaxed and “real” so you really can just record a short video on your phone without having to worry about it looking polished or edited. In fact, social media audiences love “raw” behind the scenes type video footage.

If you are new to video it can feel a bit daunting so I would suggest starting off with recording some video for your Instagram stories – it will vanish after 24 hours! Then you could try live video for stories and ease your way into Facebook Lives or IGTV (Instagram’s new video platform).

Not sure what to actually say in these videos? A great way to start is by writing down EVERY question you get asked about your field of expertise or your business. Then use these questions or misconceptions as the basis for your videos.

  1. Grow your email list

Social media is really great when it comes to marketing your brand but one of the downsides is that you don’t ‘own’ any of your content or (most importantly) your contacts. If Facebook or Instagram decides to close down your account one day then guess what? You lose your audience! So, make sure you are driving people to sign up to your email list too.

You can use your social media accounts to direct people to sign up to your email list,  Include a newsletter sign up on your email footer (WiseStamp is a great tool for doing this) and even offer a freebie or “opt in” as a way to gather people’s email addresses. You could offer up a free “how to” pdf download, access to a free webinar or an email course and ask people to provide their email address in order to receive it. Just be really clear on your communication what emails people can expect to receive from you.

 

 

Article originally posted here: https://www.lightswitchbrand.co.uk/single-post/2018/07/19/GUEST-POST-5-easy-ways-to-market-your-business-online  

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