While a website helps a company communicate with customers and prospects, and look professional, it is not the only way to get your business noticed by consumers. A company website provides an opportunity to make a great first impression, but it can also be time-consuming. Website management takes skill and strategy to make sure it is found on search engines and attracts your target audience.
Initiatives like Google Adwords will get you found in the short term while search engine optimization (SEO) can take an average of six months to get seen, depending on your competitors’ use of keywords. Both should be used to gain an understanding of your audience and to gather traffic to your website.
There is much to consider before allocating a tight budget to a website. Therefore, if you are a startup with a small budget, you should try other marketing and communications strategies to gain awareness.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Setting up a social media profile on Facebook or other platforms is easy. The real strategy is gathering followers and participation. All social media platforms have an algorithm, and you must play to that algorithm to get seen by your audience.
But first, you must get people to follow your company page, which will only happen with advertising. While you can ask friends, family, and co-workers to follow, that is different from how you will get your audience’s attention. You must advertise your page to the audience you hope will follow it.
Most companies are on social media these days. So, you are competing with other companies your audience follows to get seen in their feeds, even after liking your page. Therefore, a robust advertising strategy is needed to gather and maintain visibility.
There are many types of ads in social media. For instance, Facebook provides lead generation and brand awareness campaigns. Combining both will ensure your brand gets seen and gathers participation.
You can also leverage boosted posts to gather participation from your current following. It is the game of probability. The more engagement you get on a post, the more likely the social media platform is to show your post in feeds.
Like search engines, companies that produce quality content are more likely to be seen by a person. Quality content means it is liked and shared, which is why heavily promotional posts will not do well at first. It would be best to have a healthy combination of messages posted on your platforms.
‘Google My Business’ Profile
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to list your business. You can provide details about your services, along with photos of your team and business. This information can appear in search engines, helping you to get discovered by your target audience. After all, Google is the ultimate search referrer.
The hardest part with Google My Business is ensuring it is set up correctly from the beginning. Companies with multiple locations can struggle to update their information. It is also common for a business owner to forget their login credentials and for someone other than the owner to claim the listing. There is minimal customer support to correct any verification issues, as well. Regardless of the problems, Google My Business is still a great way to get seen.
Localized Apps and Citations
Most smartphone users have a subscription to a local app, making apps like NearBee attractive to business owners wanting to gather local interest. Local citations are another great way to get seen by local consumers.
A local citation is any online mention of your business, such as local directories. Google My Business is not typically called a “citation” since it is fundamental for local companies. Trip Advisor is an example of a local citation.
Online reviews on these platforms are vital for establishing credibility and gathering business. Consumers depend on reviews and recommendations, so it does impact shopping choices. If you plan on utilizing these platforms, it is a must to have a strategy for gathering good reviews.
Public Relations (PR)
Earned media can be a great way to gain recognition in your community and industry. While advertising works to gain revenue, people tend to trust traditional media more, such as byline articles and press releases. These publications will not cover highly promotional stories, but they will cover thought leadership and news-related stories.
A good media relations strategy should include a professional. You will need help coming up with story angles, and you will want to make their pitches correctly to editors for gathering publicity. Sometimes, the media will reach out to the contact about a news story, and the contact must know how to communicate with the media.
Promoting your business takes a great deal of strategy and planning. It is important to create a cost-effective way to communicate with customers and prospects in a way that makes sense to them. In the end, it will help you to secure and build your relationship.
Ashley Jones is the CEO and owner of Marcom Content by Ashley, LLC (MCA), specializing in digital marketing and communications services. MCA works with content to make it impactful and relatable. Helping companies in various industries of all sizes, MCA understands the marketing mix for gaining visibility from the right audience at the right time. Learn more at marcomcontentbyashley.com.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.