The Internet offers hundreds of subtle ways to market your services online. While advertisements and social media posts have a broad appeal, creative marketing techniques can reach a niche audience and introduce your business to new online communities. These tactics make your business appear everywhere: at conferences, in newspapers, on forums and throughout listing platforms.
Combining traditional marketing techniques with unique methods can double your Instagram followers, increase your conversion rates and open your business to fresh networking opportunities. When other companies take note, you'll start creating beneficial business partnerships.
List Yourself on Niche Directories
Many clients turn to listing sites, such as Google Maps, instead of search engines when they need services. Some businesses optimize their Google Maps listing but neglect listings on other platforms. When a customer visits Yelp or Angi and doesn't find your company, they'll hire one of your competitors.
Find popular listing platforms, then fill out your profile to attract customers from around the web. Some websites have a pre-populated listing--all you have to do is claim it and add your business information. You can reuse assets, such as photos, logos and descriptions, from Google Maps.
Listing your business on multiple sites also helps you collect a diverse set of reviews. Evaluate what works and what needs improvement, and make sure you thank reviewers for their time.
Chat with Industry Leaders
Forums, Facebook groups, blogs and LinkedIn posts offer another opportunity for free promotion. Every time you comment, you're indirectly advertising your business. People see you sharing knowledge and connecting with experts, visit your page out of curiosity and potentially send a connection request or make a purchase.
Scroll through your LinkedIn feed to find ways to interact. You can congratulate people on their successes, add your thoughts to articles, share memories and ask insightful questions to earn a response from the writer. Groups provide opportunities to share your expertise and help others succeed. Read blog posts, and add your thoughts in the comments section--just keep them mostly positive.
Post on Blogging Sites
Sharing blog posts on your website poses a challenge. You have great content, but you don't have a built-in audience to read your thoughts. Blogging websites, such as Medium and Vocal, have millions of users looking for new articles to read. When you start sharing your content outside your website, you'll find a new audience and potentially rack up thousands of views.
Before you start blogging, make sure the site allows reposted content. Avoid direct advertisements--people visit content websites to learn, not view promotions. Stick with informative and entertaining content that inspires readers to learn more about you. Once they're on your site, your possibilities range from claiming a lead to closing the sale.
Send Press Releases
A press release is a prewritten article that newspapers publish to update the public on local events. Typically, press releases include:
- An attention-grabbing headline
- Details about your promotion
- A quote from you or another expert
- Company and contact information
Business press releases announce major updates, such as store openings and relocations, leadership changes, promotions, contests and job openings. You can hire a copywriter to draft your press release, then email the document to journalists. If a newspaper accepts your press release, community members will see the article and follow up with you.
Give Conference Lectures
You're already attending conferences, so why not make yourself the star instead of a regular guest? Reach out to conference leaders to see if you can host a talk, demonstration or question-and-answer period. Your name appears on fliers and advertisements, boosting your recognition and positioning you as an industry expert.
During your talk, you'll showcase your knowledge, publicize your company, connect with leaders and help others succeed. People will want to network with you because they see you as a prestigious business owner. When you get online, you might find dozens of LinkedIn requests, several emails and a few sales leads.
When you're not attending in-person conferences, host live webinars on YouTube or Instagram. You can set up a webinar on your own without waiting for a scheduled event and invite other experts to join.
Offer Free Upgrades
Generate new leads by offering temporary free upgrades. People who hadn't made a decision about your product will sign up to take advantage of this deal. You'll add more value for the same price and show them what they'll get if they pay extra next time. Plus, you'll show customers that you care and want them to enjoy a great deal.
Possible upgrades include a free product with their order, free samples, a 30-minute consultation and an extra service. You can also bundle products at a discounted price. Some businesses even sell "mystery bags" with secret items that cost more when you buy them individually.
Launch a Recycling Program
Invite customers to help the environment with a recycling program. When they return old, reusable packaging to your business, you'll offer a discount on their next purchase. For example, if you sell candles in glass jars, customers could return five empty jars in exchange for a 50% off coupon. You'll save money on materials, and they'll feel good about themselves, building positive associations with your business.
Recycling programs also show customers that you care about the environment. While other stores add pounds of waste to landfills, you're minimizing your ecological footprint and setting a good example for other companies. Highlight this practice on social media to impress your followers.
Develop Instagram Layouts
While Twitter and Facebook promote text-based content, Instagram's image-heavy layout basically makes your profile a second website. You can grab visitors' attention with vibrant graphics, colorful promotions, crisp photography and catchy slogans. A link to your website at the top potentially generates dozens of leads for free.
Instead of making individual posts, consider developing a layout that turns your profile into a scrollable art piece. Some brands use a grid format, alternating between images and text graphics to create a quilt-like pattern. Others split a single image into three, six or even nine posts to make a giant block. Just make sure that you plan ahead so that you don't accidentally break the pattern.
Publish a Gift Guide
To market your services online, you need to create a need. Generally, that involves highlighting pain points that your products can solve. However, the holidays create another need: finding gifts for your loved ones. Gift guides show your followers that they save time and money when they shop from your company.
Organize your gift guide by demographic so that customers quickly find what they need. You can create a sense of urgency by adding a countdown to your website, showing enthusiasm for the holidays while reminding visitors that time is running out. Offer holiday discounts to drive even more sales.
Host an Influencer Takeover
People turn to influencers for lifestyle advice. When you host an influencer takeover, their fans follow you and check out your website--after all, their favorite entertainer endorsed you. Temporary followers become permanent customers when they see how much they need your product. The influencer themselves might even make a purchase.
During your collaboration, the influencer "takes over" your social media by hosting live streams, chatting with fans, sharing content and offering testimonials. They promote your company throughout the day to drive traffic. At the end, they could offer an exclusive coupon code, rewarding followers who showed up for the event.
Create a Channel Intro
Having dozens of YouTube videos on your channel can be a little overwhelming. Guide your audience by creating a channel intro that summarizes information, talks about your business and shows them how to find specific clips. Essentially, you're making a trailer for your company like a movie preview.
Expertly Market Your Services Online
Before you start creative e-marketing, you'll need a basic foundation so that customers can learn about your business, buy products, contact you and follow you on social media. E-Marketing Associates provides tools and services to build responsive websites, monitor reviews and engage customers on social media.
Fill out our form to receive a free business report. We'll grade your company on several factors, including your website, business listings and social media posts. Afterward, reach out to discuss turning your report card into straight A's.