Customers frequently ask me, “How can I develop my business online as a small business without a website and with little or no knowledge in SEO?”
It’s possible that you are experiencing difficulties expanding your business in the absence of a website or an online store.
While SEO is primarily concerned with optimizing websites and ranking well on search engines, SEO can also be applied to other forms of online marketing.
If you do not own a website/online store, there are numerous ways you can still attract customers, improve your brand visibility and grow your business online without SEO.
Your customers are unique and dynamic, and they are everywhere. Business owners may have to adopt various strategies to attract and keeps customers.
I have written this article to help business owners explore other channels they can leverage to achieve their business and marketing goals beyond SEO.
Following are ten proven ways to attract customers and the right audience to your business;
1. Social Media
We can’t ignore the fact that there is an endless supply of social networks offering content that aims to lure you in and keep you hooked.
Social media marketing, which uses social networks to promote a brand and improve marketing communications, comes to mind.
The exciting thing is that social media is a reliable platform for businesses to attract target audiences. It has more than 3.4 billion active users. Below are some of the most popularly used social media networks;
Even without necessarily “selling”, social media is, on its own, a tool for connecting with the target audience and selling.
The place of social networking for businesses cannot be overstated. Businesses do not seek to solve problems with every move anymore. They are learning to dedicate their attention to connecting with their audience through personable interactions.
There are too many social networks with varying numbers and efficacy of users. Hence, the marketer must audit the social media networks before starting a social media plan.
How to Best Use Social Media for Boosting a Business
- learn to optimize your social media profile
- determine your target audience
- maintain your social media presence by posting consistently
- use visual contents
- set a goal and pursue them bit by bit
- use viral content such as memes
- occasionally measure your success
2. Paid Advertisement
The advertising industry influences everyone in one way or another in a world as busy as ours. Scientists and technologists are constantly advancing their processes, resulting in a wide variety of the influences-the majority of which we don’t even realize.
As a by-product of progressive technological advancements, advertising (ads) has contributed significantly to building target audiences from all walks of life.
Digital advertising functions on the internet and mobile gadgets and has outran the formerly existing traditional media advertising such as television, radio, billboards, and fliers.
Advertising helps to change outdated or unfavourable perceptions of one’s business or website. It is an efficient way of referring users to one’s business or content and boosts visibility in the long run.
Some advantages of Paid Ad
- ads introduce new products in the market
- boosts market expansion
- enhances Goodwill
- increases visibility and sales
- educates the consumer on products and services as well as their utilization
- beats competition
- arouses desires for a product or service.
3. Host/Attend Webinars
Promotion is quite essential to any business-whether big or small. Therefore, events generally are planned by people and made for people but not without an objective.
For a more precise understanding, a webinar is a live interactive event that attendees join on their desktop or mobile devices over the internet. The most exciting thing about webinars is that they are a sort of one-to-many communication, which means the presenter can reach a specific group of online viewers and listeners from any part of the world.
Usually, the aim of online events by a business is for promotion and success. The presenter needs participants whose attention can be sustained through content that offers them value.
4. Email Marketing
While many businesses find email challenging, it remains one of the most effective ways to promote their business.
Emails are not only intended to increase product visibility, push services, and promote events.
Additionally, businesses use emails to communicate with their customers, collect feedback, and provide valuable information about their products, uses, advantages, and other helpful data.
Getting a Workable Email
- the marketer must set goals and personalize the contents of their email
- endeavour to find out what your target audience likes to see
- offer tips, advice, news and stories that are closely related to your brand’s values
- send Emails frequently (but make sure it does not seem to bombard)
- be strategic in your planning and timing-organize events as you want them to unfold
5. Giveaway & Promotions
Your customers love free things! It would be best if you read that again.
Making a profit is the core of every business, but one proven way to get your customers’ attention and maybe sympathies is to offer them something ‘extra’.
A freebie could be a souvenir that matches the purchased product or give away a product that has been sitting in the store for too long.
The truth is this; humans are attracted to good things when they come easily and freely- this is how giveaways work! It helps people identify your brand and reminds them of your business when the need for patronage arises.
The business owner has an enormous task of presenting his product differently in the usually competitive market so that customers can be more attracted and build trust n the long run.
Giveaways are not miraculous happenings; they are just strategies used to compel, attract and sustain consumer patronage.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influence marketing is simply an intelligent way of getting influential people to promote one’s business by partnering with them.
An influencer, therefore, is anybody capable of affecting customers’ purchasing power. Influencer marketing is often mistaken for ‘celebrity marketing’, but both differ.
Business owners need influencers because they usually possess authority, knowledge, and high-esteemed positions. They spend time building cordial relationships with their audience.
Imagine a partnership with such a personality as a business owner; it sure would be a quantum leap for any business!
7. Content Marketing
As the name suggests, content marketing is a marketing strategy focusing on content creation, distribution and optimization to boost one’s business.
Content marketing is quite broad and, in most cases, employs the use of relevant articles, videos, podcasts and other media in attracting, engaging and retaining an audience.
This marketing strategy is the best-proven way to boost a product into something unique and highly sought after, no matter how common.
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that focuses on building a well-cemented relationship with one’s target audience by making available high-quality content that they would find relevant to their areas of interest and search.
This provision, however, would have to be consistent to be able to deliver to customers’ needs as much as possible, as failure to do so may lead to a loss of audience to ever-existing competitors.
It’s easier to attract customers to business when a business owner tries as much as possible to forgo ‘self’ and focus on the needs of his audience, as the latter’s satisfaction would mean the promotion of the former.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing involves hiring people to promote your business and rewarding them based on commissions.
Usually, an agreement, like a partnership, is signed by the business owner and an affiliate. The affiliate would help promote the products and services of the business for an agreed payment which sometimes comes from a part of the profit realized from the sales influenced by the affiliate.
In the current marketing era, affiliate marketing has gained prominence for its smooth process, low-risk involvement, ease of startup, flexibility, and many other reasons that have led to it being considered one of the best marketing strategies.
The interesting thing about affiliate marketing is the fact that it does not require any additional skills or previous experience. The affiliate only needs to have a compelling interest in whatever content or product the partnering business owner offers and good writing skills.
The creativity of the affiliate and the provision of a platform on the part of the business owner make affiliate marketing easy and affordable.
9. Social Proof: Collect & Share Reviews
You’re likely to buy from a restaurant that has a large number of people patronizing them. When many people are using or purchasing a product, others want to follow suit.
Your potential customers are sceptical about you and your business; they would want evidence that you are reliable. Providing excellent customer service is a good marketing tactic.
In a survey, 42% of customers said they bought more after pleasant customer service experiences.
Happy customers will be too eager to leave a positive review of your brand.
Customer reviews, also known as social proof, are an excellent way to build trust and increase your brand’s visibility.
Listed below are a few examples of social proof you can collect and distribute;
- user testimonials
- social shares and mentions
- business credentials
- expert’s approval
- earned media
- celebrity endorsement
10. RP & Partnerships
Public relations (RP) and partnerships are sure ways to attract customers to your business. There is no better way to reach people than networking; leveraging the audience of your partners and that of other companies with similar audiences.
Join communities, online groups and forums and drive engagement there, offering solutions to their problems and letting them know about your brand.
Attend meetup events; if you own a local business, attending trade fairs and conferences in your industry can be a good networking opportunity.
Approach networking with a “how can we help you” attitude, rather than “here is my product, buy from me”.
Teaming up with businesses with a similar customer base but aren’t directly competitive and strategizing how you can market to one another’s customers to drive new business is a smart way to attract new customers while not spending a fortune.
For instance, if you are an educational institution that trains software engineers, working with fintech companies that hire software developers would be a great partnership.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. What do you think of my list? Do you think it is complete? You are welcome to add number 11 if you believe it will benefit our audience.