Outpacing challengers in a competitive market doesn’t necessarily mean you need a large budget. You just need the right combination of tools and tactics to determine what works and what doesn’t and—ultimately—where your marketing dollars should go. Check out our five cost-effective tips for promoting and growing your small business digitally.
1. Start With Your Website
Matching messaging to customer wants. It’s highly likely that your target customers are online researching products and services before they buy. So, it’s a safe bet that your website could be their first introduction to who you are and what you offer. Ask yourself, what do your target clients/customers need to know, and how easily can they find it on your site? If you build your messaging around their wants and needs, you’ll have a website that’s engaging and easy to navigate.
Doing it yourself. If you prefer a hands-on approach, you can choose from a number of website builders that are easy to use or will allow you to drag and drop the features you want. Some commonly used website builders include WordPress®, HostGator®, Squarespace®, GoDaddy®, Weebly® and Shopify® (which is designed specifically for e-commerce websites).
Consulting the professionals. If you’d rather not tackle building something on your own, you can hire an agency to build or update your website. Hiring an agency can provide more options for handling complex functions and unique features on your website, but it probably will be much more expensive.
Whichever route you choose, adopting mobile-friendly features can improve users’ experience and make it easier for them to connect with your business from any device. This is becoming increasingly important as Google also ranks websites by mobile user experience.
2. Boost Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of increasing the odds that potential customers will find you when they use search engines.
Tactics for boosting your ranking. You can find out what words people are using when they search for your business by adding analytics tracking, such as Google Analytics™, to your website. You’ll have a ready list of keywords people used to arrive at your site. Then you can create content that includes those terms. This will be especially important for title tags for each of the pages on your site.
Since search engines look for new and relevant content, it can pay to add a blog. Make sure you add new content frequently and that topics are relevant to your audience to keep them engaged. Finally, professional services like Moz® and Ignite Visibility™ can help you with strategies to boost your search engine ranking.
3. Use Digital Ads
A digital ad is electronic advertising that appears online. It’s a way of increasing your business’s visibility on the web. Ads can be launched through search engines, on social media sites like Facebook®, Instagram® and Twitter®, and through banners on other sites. Search engines allow advertisers to bid on keywords to appear higher in search results, but this could get expensive for small businesses. An older but still effective tool is email. You’d be surprised how effective an attractive, well-written email ad can be.
4. Create a Social Media Strategy
Social media is a great way to spread the word about your business and build a larger, more loyal customer base. But simply having a Facebook page or engaging in the occasional tweet isn’t going to win you many more fans. You need a strategy to help you reach your target market and achieve your goals. Regular activity on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn®, YouTube® and Snapchat® can increase your visibility with customers. Here’s your chance to get creative!
The key is to create a plan for well-timed and thoughtfully positioned social media posts that grab your audience’s attention, but don’t make them feel like you’re on a hard-sell campaign.
5. Stay Active on Review Sites
Check to make sure your business is listed on Yelp® and other review sites. Most of those sites include instructions on how to claim and update your business profile. Did some customers pay you a nice compliment? Encourage them to review or rate your business, because it can drive more traffic to your site and increase your visibility. When you actively manage your profile on review sites and respond to feedback (positive or negative), it shows you care about customer service, which can build trust in your brand.
We Have Business Solutions
A winning marketing plan helps you attract customers and keep them coming back. No matter how you decide to promote your business, Navy Federal offers a full range of business deposit and lending solutions, including digital banking with free Bill Pay.* A Business Solutions representative will be happy to explore ways to help your business run smoothly.
- Decide whether you want to handle tasks like website setup, SEO, digital marketing and social media yourself—or if you want to outsource these tasks to specialized professionals.
- Create a monthly budget for promoting your business while also establishing metrics for tracking your return on investment. That way, you can see how well your strategy is working and where you need to improve.
- Set up your business’s banking and finances—including business checking and savings accounts—to make sure you can pay for any expenses you might accrue as you market and advertise your business.
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This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.