You’re a small business owner and you’ve poured your heart and soul into making it a success.
But now, it’s time to get online. There’s no better way to expand your marketing reach than to get your product and brand in front of a national or global audience (or improve your local reach).
But which online strategies do you want to use? How many should you focus on? Do you even have time for it?
Why You Should Focus On 1 Online Strategy
What a lot of marketers online don’t realize is that dominating a single strategy can build an entire business. People out there are making a killing on just using Facebook, or just Pinterest, or just YouTube.
When your focus is single-minded, you’ll be able to master the strategy in no time. Then, it’s a matter of consistent effort over time.
For example, Digital Marketer is a website that teaches other businesses how to be successful online. They recently hosted a webinar where they showed how they brought 250,000 visitors a month to one of their websites, Survival Life.
Could you build a business on 250,000 visitors per month to your website? Without a doubt.
Of course, if you’ve got a marketing team of 20, you can diversify a bit more from the start, but for most small businesses of 1-5 people, focus on mastering a single one until it’s producing leads and sales. Only then can you move on to another strategy.
The Top Online Strategies For Small Businesses
Remember, just pick one of these and decide to become the BEST online marketer in your niche for that strategy!
This is my favorite long-term free strategy, but it can be more demanding. It’s great because it’s very close to free (just buy a domain name + hosting) and it’s a great place to showcase your brand. Plus, your articles can rank on Google, sending you continual traffic for free.
The downside is that blogging requires a second strategy to promote the content you’re writing. Just writing a post doesn’t mean it’ll get seen – you’ll have to work it on Facebook or other places. If you’ve got a couple people working on this, it’s a great strategy. However, you’ve got to be able to write and have a good sharing strategy.
Types of business: Pretty universal strategy – the vast majority of businesses can do this one.
- YouTube Videos
It definitely takes a certain personality and commitment to doing this strategy well. With someone who’s got a fun personality or is very articulate and an interesting teacher, videos can show off your brand faster than any strategy.
The downside is equipment. If you rely on your iPhone and slap up the video on YouTube, your audience will see through that right away. You need video editing software, and preferably a decent video camera and a way to capture sound.
Types of business: Any type of “how-to” business, like fitness, cooking, crafts, art, home improvement, or anything else where you can teach people something visual is ideal.
No, it’s not just for women looking for recipes and crafts! That example from above, Survival Life, is a blog aimed at middle-aged men – yet Pinterest is still a huge strategy for them.
When it comes to organic social media success (strategies where you aren’t paying), the name of the game is consistency. Interact about 3-5 times daily on Pinterest, with about 80% of the time you repinning others’ posts, and 20% posting something of yours.
Types of business: any business producing very visual outputs, like recipes, fitness, art, crafts, design, rebuilding cars, remodeling, landscape, etc.
- Facebook Ads
And at last, my favorite strategy of all.
Facebook ads are incredibly effective because they’re cheap and Facebook has spectacular targeting options. For any business you have, you can find a massive audience to market to.
Sure, it costs money, but it’s way cheaper than Google. You can spend $5-$10 per day and see enough results to make decisions about your ads in less than a week. With Google, you’ve gotta spend hundreds.
Plus, I love that you can run ads to get leads, ads to get more Likes, run ads to pieces of content, or even retarget people who have visited your website but didn’t buy.
While Facebook ads strategies are vast, I’ll show you an easy one that you can get started with.
Your First Facebook Ads Campaign
1. Head over to your Facebook Ads Manager:
2. Select “Create an Ad,” and then “Increase conversions on your website.”
3. Enter your capture page URL and select a conversion pixel
Ideally, you’ve got a dedicated landing page designed to capture your visitors’ info in exchange for a free offer! If you don’t, I’d run a Facebook campaign sending them to a piece of content on your website that gives a good introduction to your brand and drives curiosity.
Also, you’ll need to install a pixel to run a leads campaign to a capture page! It’s just a piece of code you or your programmer/web designer can install for you on the page.
4. Select your ad’s audience
Here’s the part that makes Facebook Ads amazing: the targeting. Much of it is self-explanatory, but let me draw your attention to the “interests” section.
The easiest way to target someone is to find a Facebook Page very similar to yours. For example, if you sell investment material, type in “Warren Buffett.” The people who are interested in Warren Buffett are very likely to be interested in your investment products also.
I aim for potential reach around 500,000 – 1,000,000. Warren Buffett gives me 1.1 million, but if I select only “Men” to target, that drops to 800,000. Perfect.
5. Optimize your spend
Even if you have a massive budget, I’d still start at $10 a day or less. This will let you ease into it and learn the ropes.
Also, be sure to leave the “Optimize For” part alone. Facebook will do the bidding for you and they do a really good job.
6. Select images and ad copy
Facebook lets you either upload your own custom images, or select from their selection of professional Shutterstock photos. You’ll have to test this – at NetHosting we’ve had ads work better with our own images, and some work better with professional stock photos.
You can add up to 6 images, and each image will create a different ad. However, all the variations you create will still only spend up to your budget. If you specify $10, Facebook will rotate between the 6 ads you create, even displaying the successful ads most often, but keep all of their spend under $10 combined.
Lastly, write some simple ad copy for the headline and body… and let your Facebook ad run! Check in on it daily to see how things are going. If you consistently add new ads and pause the ones that aren’t working, you’ll stumble across the most effective ads for your brand.
Do any of these small business online strategies look appealing to you? Which one are you going to try?