With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, the importance of promoting your small business and raising awareness have been elevated. Of course one of the primary sources of advertising these days (aside from the much-appreciated and very powerful word of mouth) comes from the Internet. From social media and search engines to a site of your own, here are three things you should be doing to get the word out about your small business online.
Running social media ads
The world of social media used to be fairly simple. You’d set up a page, post your content, and the people that followed you would see that content in their feeds. Unfortunately things have changed and algorithmic feeds have made it much harder to get your posts in front of your audience. While there is a solution to this problem, it will cost you a few dollars.
If you really want to get your message out to your followers and others, you might want to try advertising on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others, Although it’s not free, you can often start boosting your posts and running ads for just a few dollars. You can also customize a number of aspects of your ad, including tailoring your target demographic and stating the objective you have for the spot (e.g. have users visit your site, watch a video, etc.). Because of all these options, you may want to run a few different campaigns at one time to see what performs best for your business and start applying those lesson toward future efforts.
Experimenting with video
Speaking of advertising, one growing medium that marketers are exploring is video. This includes both produced video as well as live streams like Facebook Live or Periscope. In each case, getting started with online video might not be as expensive or challenging as you might think.
For live video all you’ll really need is a smartphone. What’s great about live streams is that they often get prioritized by their respective platforms, allowing you to reach potential new customers. Additionally these streams can be saved and viewed after the broadcast itself. In terms of what live content works, it will really depend on your business. That said you could try showing off some new items, announcing an upcoming sale, or perhaps doing some sort of trivia with the winner receiving a special prize.
Beyond live streams, it may also be worth investing in more produced video content. That’s because YouTube is actually the second most popular search engine in the world behind only their parent company, Google. As a result you can use your video content to help with SEO and find new customers by answering their questions. Depending on what types of videos you plan on making, a smartphone might still be sufficient. However you might want to upgrade your audio and improve your lighting for best results.
Building a better website
Social media and video content are great but it’s also important to give your small business its own online hub. In other words, your business should have its own website.
Once again this might not be as difficult as you’d expect. Furthermore there are several advantages to having a small business site. For one, maintaining a blog can be a great way to not only keep your customers up to date but also boost your SEO in the process. Secondly, for many businesses, e-commerce offers a great supplemental sales channel you’ll want to take advantage of. So, if you don’t already have a small business site of your own, now is the time to start looking into fixing that.
As you probably know, the Internet has been a boon for many small businesses around the world. The question then becomes, are you taking full advantage of it? Throughout this holiday season and well into the new year, you should strongly consider social media advertising, video content, and your own website as ways to promote your small business and hopefully reach many new customers.
Also published on Medium.