Marketing a small business has never been more accessible than it is today, because of the internet. Among the different online marketing channels, there is a wide degree of variation. It’s important to choose the right one as there will be some that will give you a better return on investment (ROI) of your advertising dollars, time, and effort, while others will not.
Online Marketing Types Feasible to a Small Business:
- Search engine optimization – performed to rank websites at the top of free organic listings. This includes the writing of content for websites, blogs and more. Content of the highest quality is, by far, the most important factor for SEO. “Content writing” or “content marketing” is really just the purest and barest form of white hat SEO. (I explain white hat SEO later in this post).
- Website – involves building a unique website for your business.
- Social media marketing – branding, post management and optional paid advertising on social media networks.
- Online Press releases (a modernized version of Public Relations) – writing that highlights news about a business, such as achievements made by a business or employee, a new product or service offering and more. The writing is then released to numerous news channels. The style of writing for press releases is different than copywriting and for content.
- Video marketing – production of videos to circulate online, which can include your website or various other branded sites.
- Pay per click advertising (PPC) – paying for clicks on text, image, or video ads in an auction based marketing platform on either search or content networks.
Affiliate programs – paying affiliates commissions for sales tracked by internet technologies.
- Shopping networks – paid listings on various shopping sites having many advertisers. Their pricing models vary.
- Email marketing – can include newsletters, loyalty letters, advertised sales in a graphic image format, direct response sales letters, follow-up lead letters, and many more, including hybrids. Usually involves the use of copywriting, as opposed to content writing.
- Community building – building an online community website revolving around a topic.
- Interactive advertising – building a website requiring visitors to interact with it.
Listed above are the major types of online marketing, most of them do not require a massive budget to get started. As an over 15 years’ experienced online marketing expert, I can share with you where I’ve seen businesses, from small to large, get the most out of their advertising budget. When done correctly, you can gain the most from having a website, SEO, social media, press releases, PPC and video marketing. Though, with a good marketing strategy, you can succeed on any platform.
PPC Marketing can get your Business on Page 1 Fast
SEO and PPC can have the furthest reach and the best performance of all the marketing channels. However, PPC and SEO can be tricky; you really have to know what you’re doing to profit and gain. I cannot stress that enough.
But PPC can be Difficult and Complex
If you don’t know what you’re doing, that is, you have no training or experience at PPC advertising, than it is very easy to dump money into it and not get anything in return.
If you decide to embark on PPC, be sure to get some training on it, even if you decide to hire someone to do it for you. In this way, you will be able to assess the person’s skill level, at least somewhat.
PPC is very complex and if a competitor’s business has been doing it for a while, they can more easily overcome you. Know that for some industries, there are winners and there are losers in PPC. Depending on the industry and location, it can be a very competitive auction. Usually, it’s the novice that advertises in PPC for a short while and then disappears from PPC because they’re not satisfied with the results. Tread the waters of PPC very carefully.
Great Content on Web Pages and Copywriting in Ads is Advantageous
To succeed in PPC, it is advantageous to have a strong website or landing pages. Whether you’re advertising a service or product, it’s important to have well-written content. PPC ads with potent copywriting will get better click-through rates, that is, more clicks to your ads.
SEO can have Great Performance in the Long Run
With PPC, your business can be on page one very quickly, but at a cost. If you rely solely on PPC, you will always have to pay to be on page one. Furthermore, the cost of doing PPC increases, year over year. With SEO, there is also the cost of doing the work, especially initially, however the business gains exponentially over time with free organic listings. In the long run, SEO is a great way to market your small business.
Search engine optimization has evolved and changed tremendously over the past 15-20 years, but to great benefit for large to small businesses alike.
The very first method of ranking websites was introduced at Stanford University in 1996. Yahoo was founded in 1994, MSN in 1998 and the domain Google was registered in 1997, and went public in 2004.
Stay Away from Black Hat SEO
In the beginning of the world wide web (www), when all the robots and digitized illuminati spies were created (just kidding!), many SEO experts used “black hat” methods to rank websites at the top. The term “black hat” refers to SEO work done in an effort to trick the search engines into believing that a particular website should be ranked at the top. SEO consists of both “black hat” and “white hat” methods that can be done.
White hat SEO is ethical and performs better in the long run, and is the only method search sites permit.
Today, it is extremely difficult to do black hat SEO and get away with it. The search engine algorithms are very complex and advanced to recognize black hat SEO. Websites engaging in black hat methods are completely unranked from the internet when they are caught. It is best to stay far away from black hat SEO. The algorithms now are exceedingly sensitive to it and will lower your website’s rankings if it is even seemingly doing it a little bit.
White Hat SEO gets Better Results all around
I have always engaged in white hat SEO, and thankfully, the many businesses I’ve done work for have never felt the effects of algorithm updates, such as the well-known ones like Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, and Pirate. I advise you to do the same, don’t risk your small business from being obliterated online and de-ranked. It’s not worth it. Why would you anyways? You can accomplish the same results and you will, in fact, get better results for your rankings and higher profits by engaging in ethical and sound SEO.
Quality Content is the most Important Factor for SEO
The most important factor in SEO is having quality content and making it fresh. Ideally, you want high quality content on your website and blogs. You can also publish content on other websites, like informational sites, online how-to sites among many others. You can become a leading expert by doing this.
Aside from the high quality content writing services I provide for your website, blogs, or other media outlets, I also provide “white label” writing for distribution or publishing to other sites. White label writing means you can list your name as the author. All types of writing services that I provide to clients are white label. You own all the rights when I transfer the work to your possession. You are welcome to use my name, only if you wish. You can publish any writing I do for you wherever or however you like. It is a unique and quality piece of writing that is yours to keep forever.
Social Media Marketing contributes to SEO
Social media marketing consists of posts that can be images, text, or videos. When doing social media marketing, it is helpful to envision the target demographic in your head. This will help you write and develop posts that interest them and thus more likely to get shared, likes, and followers, which contributes to SEO. Some social media websites also make available advertising on their networks.
When Writing Online Press Releases it is best to have PR Know-How
Online press releases must consist of quality writing, correct formatting, and overall know how to be accepted and published in top news sites. The writing must be about news, such as a recent event, intelligence information, report or something newsworthy. Press releases that are well written and have a great eye-catching headline are picked up by more news sites. Knowing how to pick the right newsworthy topic and creative writing can be highly valuable for a press release.
The various distribution sites where you can release it vary on price, reach and reputation. They also vary on choice offerings. Some offer distribution by industry, specific markets, regions and locations. Press releases can be done to support various online marketing strategies.
If you need copywriting or quality content for your website, blogs or any other marketing channel, type in the contact form to your right, at the top, and I will respond as quickly as possible, within one business day.
Marketing a small business online is one of the best things you could do, for yourself, and for your customers.
Read the difference between copywriting versus content writing.