DIY / Entrepreneurship / Guest Posts

Marketing Online for Small Businesses – The DIY Approach

Marketing a small business can be tricky. In this guest post, Candice Kropf, Owner of Social Ideas and Co-Founder of Social Sessions, shares a few DIY online marketing tips. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us, Candice!

DIY Online Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

As small business owners or entrepreneurs, we’re usually multi-tasking our way through the day and on a budget that would be lucky to be likened to a shoe-string. We don’t have the money for agencies to handle our marketing and are usually doing a lot of it ourselves.

The avenues are endless and often overwhelming, but the online space tends to lend itself very well to the DIY approach that suits our kind of lifestyles. Where do we start when we’re looking to market ourselves online, though? Here’s a list of our favourite DIY online marketing tools:

  • Google advertising

Where do you go online to find what you’re looking for? Google, of course. Apart from ensuring that your website appears as high as possible on the first page of search results (Search Engine Optimisation: SEO), a great way to grab attention here is to use Google Adwords. Once set up, your ads will appear on the right hand side of Google search results and you only pay each time your ad is clicked on.

You can set up a Google Adwords account at adwords.google.com and start advertising your business, based on keywords that people would use to search for your kind of product or service on Google.

  • Social media

Social media is a powerful online tool that is free (or as close to as possible). You’ll need a social media strategy and know how to work the platforms so that they correctly represent your brand and attract the right crowd. Attend a good social media course (like Social Sessions) or consult a specialist to get you going in the right direction.

Try out the social media advertising options available to you as part of your strategy – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have easy to use advertising functions. You generally set up an advertising account, link it to your credit card and then set up your ads accordingly. 

  • Banner advertising

Identify where your target market is active online and see if you can advertise there. Most successful websites, blogs and online stores offer advertising options and you pay monthly to advertise on their website – you just need to get in contact with them and request their media pack. With some basic Photoshop skills, you could design your own banner and save on expensive design costs.

[KAMERS: Find out more about banner advertising for your business on the KAMERS website and blog here.]

  • Website optimisation

First of all, make sure that you have a good website and that it is correctly set up to optimise search results. Depending on how your website is set up, you can easily use SEO plugins to help with this. You should also spend a little bit on consulting an SEO specialist to ensure that you’re correctly set up to optimise search results – it’s worth it.

  • Online PR

If you’re good at writing and are knowledgeable in your own industry, why not put it to good use and write some great content for others to use? Build your own brand and it will help your business. Identify blogs and websites to which you could contribute and contact them to discuss options. Bizcommunity is always a good option and they welcome good new content.

Tips:

  • If you’re hesitant, pick one or two avenues and put a little bit of budget into each to test their reach and return. 
  • The best approach is to identify your target market and where you’re likely to reach them. Devise a strategy to target them using the tools mentioned above and set a definite budget for yourself – you can easily get carried away and overspend!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck. Most channels will have some sort of support function to reach out to, or reach out to a specialist for advice.

[KAMERS: Exclusively for our readers, Social Sessions are offering a special 20% discount to their next social media and digital design workshop! Find out more.]

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Social Sessions.

Photo: Supplied

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One thought on “Marketing Online for Small Businesses – The DIY Approach

  1. Insightful post. I think social media is the best tool of them all. It helps you connect directly and closely to your clientele. This is not the case with any of the other methods discussed. However, website optimization can have its own advantages if it really helps the customers have a good experience on your site. 🙂

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