Maintain a regular blog
People love content, and by writing engaging, helpful and informative blogs on subjects relevant to your business, you can attract and retain new people and a loyal following. Use optimised SEO blogs as part of your added value strategy, which can answer questions about your service/s or product/s and anything else your audience might want to know about. Be sure to add in video or images to maximise your reach and engagement!
Know your hashtags
The amount of people who abuse hashtags is astronomical. Whether it’s overusing or underusing, using the wrong hashtags, or – worse – using ones that aren’t spelled correctly, these errors are all easily avoided. Fixing this mistake can and will yield great results. Just think of hashtags like little social media signposts that all point towards your content. Used correctly, they are the perfect way to connect and advertise your business – drawing people in so they buy what you’re selling.
It’s also worth noting that there are various community hashtags that can and should be used appropriately to reach a wider audience, including #ThrowBackThursday or #photooftheday, as well as location tags that allow you to localise your content for an audience closer to home. Think about creating your own hashtag for your business too – something catchy that you can add to every post as a ‘unique identifier.’
Live videos on Facebook are a great (and free!) way to build your audience. Posting them doesn’t require a huge budget either; your camera phone or laptop camera can be all you need to get yourself ‘out there’ and connected to your audience. As they’re already seen as lower standard in terms of quality, no script is necessary (and more authentic if it’s not!) This means you don’t have to have the latest equipment or be asn expert in videography.
Whether you’re posting how-to videos, behind the scene ‘candid shots,’ or hosting a Q&A session with your followers, when you’re done, the resulting video can be edited and uploaded to your YouTube channel (which you already have, of course!)
Ask for feedback
Customer testimonials are more formal versions of reviews; they do the same thing in a more professional and formal way. Be sure to ask your customers for feedback that they are happy for you to post – whether it’s written or filmed. You can then share these on your website, your blog, your social media pages or anywhere else appropriate. Think of them as an informative demonstration of what you and your business can do for the people who put their trust in you.
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Creating endless content is time consuming. Often, small businesses only create content for one outlet and don’t reuse or cross-post it. In reality, this strategy can limit their scope and reach, meaning they spend more time and money coming up with new ideas and less time expanding their reach. Instead, think about a cross-posting strategy that allows you to repurpose posts and stay relevant on more than one social media outlet.
Use Facebook to share blog posts with an image containing a ‘pull quote’ from the actual blog
Pinterest on Instagram should be used to share visual content only. The same image can be posted on both medias
Images containing pull quotes can also be shared to Twitter, with a shortened URL and relevant hashtags
Your most ‘liked’ images on Instagram can be shared to a Pinterest board
These are just a few of the ways your content can be cross-posted.
Ask for reviews and always respond to them
Your reviews are an integral part of your credibility. They’re what make people trust you and what you’re offering them. Use this free tool to your advantage by encouraging your existing customers online or face to face to leave you a review. It’s worth linking to your review pages from your website or embedding a selected few in a testimonial page. Make sure you reply to all the reviews you receive – whether they’re negative or positive – and remain professional at all times. This shows you care about your reviewer’s opinions are willing to take feedback.
Everyone likes a good graphic. Whether it’s an image or infographic, they are great for showing your audience that you know what you’re talking about. You don’t need to be a designer to create good, sharable infographics on social media. There are plenty of free tools you can use like Canva or Venngage that have millions of templates you can use to look professional.
Network with other business owners
Building a network and teaming up with other similar businesses to yours is a great way to get your products or services ‘out there.’ We’re all in it together, and if you’re happy to help others, they’re generally happy to help you. It’s worth doing some research to identify which businesses mesh well with yours, and once you’ve found them, approaching them and asking whether they’d be interested in a cross-promotion exercise. What have you got to lose?
Write and distribute a newsletter
If you know your industry and audience well, then email marketing can be an effective strategy. It’s also easy and affordable, especially if you have a small list and you are able to manage it relatively well. Think about using a free version of an autoresponder software package and be sure to write upbeat and relevant newsletters that keep people informed about what your business is up to. You don’t have to write hundreds of words: short and snappy is just as effective as long and informative. Just be sure that what you’re saying is relevant and engaging.
Lastly, for local businesses, a great way to attract new customers is by attending events in and around your area. Network with people you’ve never met before and spread the word about your services organically. Attend local meet and greets, volunteer with local charities, sponsor a local charity and even run a local event yourself! These are all great ways to raise your profile and market yourself and your business without spending a fortune.
Ultimately, marketing yourself in a way that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg takes a degree of innovation and effort. However, the key to success is choosing what you do wisely and carving out the time to implement your strategy for as much money and effort as you can afford. Doing just one of these top 10 tips consistently can help attract new customers to your business and increase your sales.
By Vikki Keenan, who started her career in IT & has been a business analyst for over 20 yrs. Following her career in banking she did a Post grad in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Enterprise at UCD.
Vikki was an early adopter of online trading and ran a successful business on ebay in the early noughties for a number of years gaining knowledge and wisdom in the online marketing process.
Vikki has a deep understanding of business marketing which has developed into an international business working with IT professionals helping them network effectively online in as little as 15 minutes per day for conversations with high value clients!
For more information visithttps://www.vikkikeenan.comor check outhttps://specials.vikkikeenan.com/linkedin-trainingfor free training on how you can leverage LinkedIn for sales.