- Small businesses need to invest their marketing budget on the right target audiences online.
- SEO, social media and content marketing are great long-term strategies, while ads give you quicker results, especially for new businesses.
- Landing pages are great for generating or converting leads, while influencers may be viable alternatives to ads for the right business.
With a wealth of opportunity and an almost unlimited number of advertising channels online, it can be confusing and often intimidating as a business owner to know where to invest your marketing budget to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
We understand it can be easy to get lost in acronyms like SEO, SEM, EDM, PPC – the list goes on!
The best starting point is to stick to the basics of Marketing 101 – focus on who are you trying to communicate with, your target market, and where they are spending their time online. For example, if targeting a professional male in his thirties, it may be more suitable to target him via a paid LinkedIn advertisement over investing in display ads on Snapchat.
Our digital team at Adoni Media have put together a guide on some of the online marketing channels that are available, and which may best suit your business.
1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If you’ve heard the term SEO but don’t quite understand what it is or how it is useful, we will break it down for you.
When you are searching for something on Google, you will typically type your search term, perhaps a location, and Google’s algorithm will produce a suite of results. For example, typing “public relations Brisbane”, will generate a list of organisations in Brisbane that offer PR services, showing paid listings, or Google Ads first, followed by organic listings.
The average Google user will not scroll past the first five results, so as a business owner, you want your business to appear as early as possible in the list.
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the process of improving these results through various activities, including content marketing, Google My Business optimisation, building a mobile-friendly website and adding relevant keywords to your website on the most basic level. Therefore, it’s important you understand how to improve your Google ranking and in turn ensure your business is easily searchable or you can outsource to an SEO expert who can help you do so.Should I use SEO for my business?
Is it right for me?
Although improving your SEO will prove an effective part of your marketing strategy, most of the time, there are instances when investing in SEO is unsuitable. If your business is new, entering a saturated industry and requires immediate results, SEO may not be the best strategy as it takes time to build credibility among search engines.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing is the distribution of content, such as blogs and articles, created for a particular online audience. When written correctly, content marketing can be one of the best ways to improve your SEO and drive traffic to your website. Including a link back to your website builds your brand visibility online and is a powerful tool to improve your searchability.
On a broader scale, content marketing can also help to build trust and credibility by being recognised as a leader in your field and can ultimately lead to customer conversions if the reader is interested in the product or service discussed in your content.
3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Google Ads
SEM differs from SEO in that it is using paid advertisements to increase visibility as opposed to organic ranking. Google Ads campaigns run advertisements appearing in a targeted Google search, which funnels customers to your website. You only pay for the ad when the customer clicks and is re-directed to your site. The ads are built around keywords that customers are likely to use when searching for your service or product.
4. Banner ads
You are likely to see banner ads appear while browsing a website or reading the news. Like an ad appearing on an app, it provides you with a niche and engaged audience. This can be a useful platform if you want to target people browsing a specific website. For example, as a mortgage broker, it could be useful to buy banner ads on a real estate website.
- Interstitial Banner Ads - These appear in the free version of apps and games, appearing in apps at game intervals and usually cover the entire screen. This can be useful if your product/service is of a particular niche and aligns with certain apps or games, and it ultimately presents you with an extremely engaged user.
- Paid Facebook Advertisements - With the everchanging Facebook algorithm, paid Facebook advertisements are proving more and more valuable to businesses trying to get their name in front of potential customers. You have the capability to target specific people of a certain demographic, their interests, and location to name a few. While it can take time and a large budget to test and measure the right imagery, captions and target demographics that work for your business, it is a good place to start to get your brand in front of your target audience.
Is it right for me?
Facebook advertisements can be useful to gain results through many aspects of Facebook, including event responses, post engagements, lead generation, messages, and even sales conversions. This platform is well suited to small businesses trying to engage with a local target audience.
5. Organic social media content
While it can be beneficial to build a brand presence on the social media platforms below, and post frequently to your followers, the algorithms in place often mean that your message may not be delivered to your audience without paying for it.
Facebook is the largest social media platform with over 2 billion monthly users. Creating organic content on Facebook is a great way to promote the ‘human’ side to your business, for example showcasing your team members, service offerings, testimonials and imagery of the great work you have done in the past. Showcasing these types of content can turn potential leads and enquiries into sales.
Like Facebook, Instagram is another great way to showcase your brand personality and the human side of your brand. It is a visual platform where you can share imagery and videos, and is the perfect place to showcase the culture of your workplace, behind the scenes, and interact with the wider community through the use of geo-tags and hashtags.
Instagram is extremely suitable for businesses that rely on visuals and the platform itself can moonlight as a ‘try before you buy’ mechanism. Businesses such as hairdressers, landscapers, artists, performers, and food and beverage venues like cafes, restaurants and bars would benefit greatly from showcasing the best of what they have to offer through regular posts on their Instagram profile and stories.
The nature of Twitter is to broadcast short and sharp messages to a wide audience. This platform will best suit businesses who need to break news and timely announcements, such as local newspapers, schools and sports clubs.
Given Twitter’s capability for followers to tweet a message your brand, it also works well for businesses with frequent and repetitive customer service enquires as it can serve as a public forum to answer questions.
Given that it is a professional business platform, this is the best place to promote B2B content. In addition, if you want to be seen as a leader in your field, LinkedIn is an ideal platform to publish niche editorial content, such as advice or informative pieces to establish credibility and authority for your brand.
6. Landing pages
A landing page is a fantastic tool for any business trying to generate leads and make conversions. It has a form that allows you to capture visitor information in exchange for an offer. They are simple, clear, and focus on one specific goal. Instead of directing your website traffic to your home page, your landing page acts as a gateway to direct the visitor to act. This may be:
- Signing up to a newsletter or mailing list
- Receiving free product trials and seminars
- Enrolling in online courses
They work extremely well to make the most of your Google Ads campaigns, and to also capture keywords to direct traffic to your website.
7. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing involves engaging with people who are ‘influential’ or have a wide following on social media platforms with the aim of having them promote your product or service. For example, if you have a sustainable fashion brand, you could look to engage with an activist to promote your products.
Is it right for me?
Depending on the size of the following your influencer has amassed, this marketing tactic may not be appropriate for everyone. For example, mainstream celebrities and successful social media influencers often charge a hefty fee for promoting products.
It should be noted, however, that smaller influencers with an engaged following could be an ideal avenue for a small business to explore as they may accept free product in return for promoting your brand to an engaged and highly targeted audience.
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