In the digital world, it can seem like there is so much content to read, consume and produce. When you launch a new business, it may seem challenging — and even overwhelming — to figure out how you are going to cut through all that noise and stand out online. However, it can be an important first start to a successful new business if you at least try to do some online marketing and promotion. In fact, online promotion of a new business is one of the cheapest ways you can get started in your marketing efforts.
Website: The first thing to do is to create a website for your new business. This can be anything from a simple templated site from WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or similar services to a professionally designed website you hire a web designer for. No matter which route you go, you need to include your business name, contact information and what you do.
You can also consider some other sections like details of your service/product, a blog with informational or educational posts relevant to your industry and more detailed information on your business (like any licenses, certifications, etc., you may have).
Some considerations for your website may include the SEO capabilities of your site, so search engines can find and rank your site appropriately; the design elements you want to feature (will it be photo heavy or text heavy?); and who will be updating the site, so the technical backend will be in line with what you or any other users can manage.
Social media: Once you have a website, you can create social media profiles for your business. Link back to your website and write a short bio about who you are and what you do for each profile.
You do not have to create an account on every single platform. Instead, you should focus on platforms where your target audience already is. For example, an HVAC company doesn’t necessarily need to be on Instagram, unless your audience is there and you have a great idea of how to post graphic content related to the HVAC industry. But a special event hairstylist might want to consider Instagram as a primary platform.
Once you have selected your platforms and created your profiles, you can start creating content for social media. Be sure to update regularly, so you are consistently getting in front of your followers and reminding them of your business. Additionally, creating a content calendar and using a scheduling tool can help you stay consistent. Depending on your business, you can create a cadence of themed posts or ones that fall in to certain categories (product posts, informational posts, how to guides, etc.).
Email marketing: This can actually be the most difficult to set up, but it can be one of the easiest and most successful if you do it right. Why can it be difficult? Well, in a post-GDPR world, you need to have permission from people to store their data, like an email address, and contact them. Even though GDPR is a European thing, many U.S. and international businesses are following these trends (as they know it is only a matter of time before they are laws here too).
Once you have started collecting emails from your website and from customers (or prospective customers), you can start creating a monthly email with helpful tips related to your business. You can also send out promotional specials or new services/products you are offering. This is a great way to stay in touch with people who have a need for what your business can do.
These are three of the first steps you can take to promoting your new business online. These are simple ways to get your name out there and attract new customers, as well as stay in touch with current or past customers. It’s important that you are able to create these connections to cut through the ever-more-crowded Internet.