5 ways to market your business online
It seemed like 2022 was going to be a year of getting back together. Conferences would be in person again and meetups would abound as people made up for lost time.
Alas, the pandemic continues and the future remains uncertain. If you’re not able to get out in person to market your business or website, here are 5 things you can do to market your business without leaving your home.
1. Get into podcasting
Podcasting has exploded in recent years. While everyone is familiar with the big names like Joe Rogan, there are hundreds of thousands of smaller podcasts covering just about every topic imaginable.
If you are looking for a great online marketing tip, try these two opportunities to promote a business through podcasts.
- Start your own show. If you create a guest-format show, it gives you the opportunity to invite influencers in your business category on your show and create one-to-one relationships with them. This will also grow your audience and awareness of your brand.
Hosting a podcast is a lot of work, though. Starting your own podcast requires setting up a mini home studio, creating podcast cover art, signing up for a podcast hosting service, audio editing, and coming up with great content for each show.
- Be a guest on other peoples’ podcasts. This will introduce you to their audience and you don’t have to worry about editing and publishing the show yourself. You can find podcasts looking for guests on services like my own, PodcastGuests.com.
Cost: $0-$1,000 depending on if you are a guest or host your own show.
2. Hold a virtual event
Virtual events used to be a second-rate experience to in-person events, used only as a less-expensive alternative to in-person events. But the pandemic has changed that. Virtual event platforms like Hopin help recreate some of the magic of in-person events. The upside is that the barriers to attending are much lower when online, so event holders can reach a much larger audience.
Another way to market your business online is to hold a virtual event to build your name as a thought leader in your industry. Invite your customers and partners as speakers to make them feel important while also delivering great content to those who attend. Holding a virtual event can pay dividends through improved relationships and visibility.
Cost: $0-$500 depending on the size of your event.
3. Audio conversations
Remember Clubhouse? It was all the rage a year ago, only to fizzle out. While activity has waned, there are still active rooms with dozens or hundreds of users. And if you’re into Twitter, you can use Twitter Spaces, which is essentially Twitter’s version of Clubhouse.
Marketing your personal and company brand in audio rooms like these is a balancing act. You don’t want to just show up to promote because you might be kicked out and then tarnish your brand. Instead, you should concentrate on adding value and subtly introducing the company.
For example, if you help answer a question someone else has, that person might click on your profile and follow you. If you do a great job, the room moderator might even give you a shoutout.
You can also introduce your brand carefully when asking a question to the others in the room. For example, “Hi, this is Jeff with example.com. I have a question about…”
Another benefit to joining rooms is that you can learn from others.
4. Post on LinkedIn
You already post on Twitter and other social media platforms. What about LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is often overlooked as a social media platform because it didn’t start out as one. It was all about making connections. But LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to amplify your message.
The difference between LinkedIn and other social networks is that LinkedIn is all about business. No politics and cat pictures here. That makes it a good network to post, share and comment about business topics.
In addition to posting your own updates, be sure to comment on others’ updates to help build your clout.
5. Start an email newsletter
Social media platforms decide who sees your content. Google decides how high up to show your content in searches. These are gatekeepers. Fortunately, there is one type of marketing that gets you directly in front of your customers and prospective customers: an email list. No one can take your email list away from you.
Starting an email newsletter is simple thanks to platforms like MailChimp. They will manage your subscriber database, help you design emails, and take care of the technical part of sending mail. Or you can try a platform like Substack, which allows you to focus on the writing without having to deal with all the behind-the-scenes clutter.
The key to a successful email newsletter is good content and consistency. Don’t get overzealous when you start. Stick to a content plan that works for you, such as a monthly email to your customers with updates, sale prices, etc.
Build your list slowly by asking existing customers if you can add them to your email list. Ask your subscribers to forward the emails to anyone who might enjoy receiving it. And entice people to sign up for your email list by offering them something in return, like a free online report.
Building an email list takes time, but it’s nice to know there’s no gatekeeper between you and your audience when you “own” your own email list.
Cost: $0 to start
Kick your marketing into higher gear
These five ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to market your business online. Pick one or two to focus on over the next few months. If you don’t gain traction, come back to this post and pick another idea!
And when you’re ready to get back in the world, be sure you have up-to-date business cards. With Namecheap’s Business Card Maker, we make that easy!