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6 online marketing tips for small businesses

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Small businesses are often time poor when it comes to marketing their own business, with client demands frequently stretching internal resource to the limit. Therefore, it’s important that marketing activity is undertaken efficiently and delivers optimum return on investment.

We've created some quick win tips to help you make the most of your marketing budgets and time.

1. Squeeze the juice out of your email database

The best way to use your email database is to create different email content and deliver it in a series of emails relevant to the recipient’s position in the customer journey.

Segmenting your email database into lists based on all manner of variables – buying frequency, location, age, gender etc. – will allow you to increase open rates and prompt more clicks through to your website, moving a potential customer through the customer journey, all the way to becoming a brand advocate.

This article shows you more specifics on how to slice and dice your email database to work harder for you.

2. Know your target audience on social media

There is A LOT of noise on social media, generated by brands that relentlessly spam their followers (the ones that hang around long enough) with sales messages.

Differentiate yourself by creating a strategy behind the content you share. Who is your target audience and what questions do they need answers to? Speak to your current and potential customers – go to networking events, monitor online forums and find out what their main challenges are – then provide them with the answers they need via your social media content.

If you don’t have time to create the content yourself, explore apps like Buzz Sumo, which will allow you to search for freshly baked content, ranked by total shares and engagement (a sign of usefulness).

3. Mix offline with online

Perhaps you’re planning to have a stand at an industry event. Don’t just show up at the event on the day and start trying to pull people in. Sure, you’ll still get some attention on the day, but wouldn't it be better to have created buzz before you even get there?

From generating offers and incentives for people to attend, through to sneak peek social media content of creative or exciting reasons for people to visit your stand, there are a multitude of opportunities for you to increase engagement and interest in your business and its attendance at an event.

This article goes into more detail to give you some handy pointers on how to link your offline and online activity and make the most of your marketing event.

4. Get mentioned in the online press

If you have a new product or service to shout about, it’s well worth investing time and a little budget for securing coverage on external news sites and blogs.

Target influential publications in your industry and approach them with a well written, succinct press release. Tying your press release into a recent survey, or industry challenge will give journalists a ‘hook’ and increase the potential that your release will be published.

For tips on writing press releases, check out this article.

5. Blog

According to a survey by HubSpot, 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers and do so at a 60% lower cost-per-lead than outbound-dominated organisations (cold calling, email marketing focused organisations).

Even if it’s one article a week or every fortnight, blogging allows your business to increase its share of search results in Google, catering for user searches linked to the titles of your blog posts.

Blogging gets your brand in front of your target audience and for that reason is the archetypal ‘no-brainer’.

6. Make your website more customer-centric

There are some highly effective tools available to find out which elements of your website resonate most with site visitors.

Performing simple A/B split tests – whereby certain users see one version of a page and other users see another – will allow you to identify which version gets the biggest returns for your business, from hard sales through to more engagement with content, or onsite enquiries.

One tool that allows you to deliver the best possible experience for visitors to your site is Optimizely.

If you have any specific topics for your SME or start-up that you’d like us to cover in our blog, tweet us @Flexioffices – we’d love to hear from you!

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