The sheer number of possibilities that online marketing and promotion entails, whether it be regular blogging, improving SEO, embracing social media and boosting social sharing, adopting pay per click (PPC) advertising or simply getting better at email marketing, often tends to terrify and overwhelm business owners.  Much of business and product promotion today consists of and revolves around online marketing. It is what big flourishing companies have mastered to get where they are today. However, despite the success surrounding online strategies for promoting businesses, many marketers and business owners have yet to tap this area of online marketing efficiently. They haven’t answered the question ‘How do we promote our business online?’ Online marketing is a constantly evolving arena and moves at the speed of light. Thus to keep up, marketers need to possess a certain sense of wisdom and understanding of the online marketing world.

There are a million things you can do to promote your business online. Luckily for you, we have compiled and listed the 5 best ways to incorporate savvy techniques to promote your business online.

1. Take Advantage of the Local Listing Services

Every business needs to list and rank in both, organic and local search results so they do not miss out on potential traffic.

Search Engines:

The majority of the internet traffic is derived from search engines. As a result, in order to promote your business online, search engines should be the first place that you turn to. Search engine algorithms need to be aware of your business so they can incorporate your site when displaying the search results for queries posted by users on the search engine bar. You can do so by submitting your business profile and website link to search engines directly. Presently, there are three search engines – Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, that generate the most traffic.

Google My Business: Formerly known as Google Places and Google+ Local, Google My Business is probably the most important place where businesses can list online. By listing your business here, your business will be found more easily on Google searches and Google maps. The registration process involves filling out the required form and getting your business verified by Google. Once your business is registered, it will appear on the search engine result pages (SERP) when your target audience performs relevant search.

Yahoo! Local: Yahoo! Offers businesses the opportunity to register their business for a basic listing in its Yahoo! Local directory for free. Like Google, registering with Yahoo! Gets your business integrated with other Yahoo! Products like reviews, maps and much more.

Bing: In order to get your business listed and promoted on Bing, you should go to Bing Places for Business and add your business to the directory. The registering process is pretty simply as you complete your listing profile and verify it by receiving a PIN, either by phone or email. Once you have completely registered, Bing promotes your business by letting customers find your business online.

By registering your business on these three big local listing services, you can promote your business by making it easier for customers to find you on the web. You should also take time to improve your SEO as it is directly related to how strong your search engine presence is, and in retrospect, affects your online promotion strategy.

Online Directories:

Apart from registering on search engines, you can also sign up your business with service listing sites like Yelp,TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, Merchant Circle and many more. Acting as modern day yellow pages, these are the sites potential customers frequent to find business solutions and generate a lot of traffic on a daily basis. Thus, you can benefit from the increasing referral traffic to your site by getting listed on online business directories.

Once you register your business profile and site to these online directories, your potential customers will be able to find out more about your company. Just make sure that you are careful and consistent when it comes to including details regarding your business like the location and business category. Registering on online directories is also great for your website’s SEO as it improves the business ranking in local results.

2. Build a Strong Online Presence on Social Media

Social media is a spectacular medium to promote your business by reaching and engaging with seemingly unlimited clientele. It is not just any tool to gain exposure – rather, it has become a mandatory time investment for every business to make.

Even though a lot of attention is lavished upon social media by marketers and businesses, not all businesses have used it effectively. Rather, it is more of an afterthought today. To fully take advantage of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and generate a full blown impact, marketers should put social media at the heart of their business model.

Follow the trends: Many social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have made it easier to keep track of trends by following trending hashtags and using them to promote your business.

Run contests and games: Social media is all fun and games. Keeping this in mind, you could run trivia questions related to your business in exchange of a giveaway. These giveaways could be a shirt, mug, etc. With your business logo printed on the merchandise.

Deliver a great online customer service: Because customers are central to business, it is only fair that you keep them happy. One way to do so is to provide them with an extraordinary customer service. Luckily for you, social media has made it possible to practice real-time customer service.

Social link building: Another way to promote your business via social media is by linking your content on your business’s social profile. This is a brilliant way to put your business in the face of your audience and a fantastic opportunity to acquire quality backlinks as your business gets exposed to a much larger and broader audience.

Display advertisements: Majority of the people and web surfers tend to spend their time on social media sites. As a result, social sites are a great opportunity for business to reach and connect with a broader audience by running their marketing strategies there. Facebook, the powerhouse of all social media, offers businesses a range of advertising tools. Businesses should capitalize on these opportunities and make the best of it.

3. Create and Post Remarkable Content

The most important thing that you can do when developing a strategy to promote your business is to create outstanding and impressive content. When crafting content, you need to realize that it should have the ability to captivate your audience, it should also be useful, intriguing and short.

Here let us take a look at a few ways you can promote your business through content:

Start a blog:

Starting a business blog as an extension to your website is a terrific way to promote your business. A blog not only helps you in getting more followers but it is also a means to connect with your customers directly. However, you need to take into account a few things when writing a blog to ensure maximum impact:

Make it relatable: Customers are not likely to read your blog if it is a vain and useless article. Instead, your content should be found practical and relatable to their everyday lives by the readers. If the content somehow adds value for the reader, it is likely to be more sharable which will end up promoting your business to a broader audience.

Keep it short: In this day and age where hundred hours of video is uploaded every minute, people tend to suffer from information overload. As a result, people have little patience and even less time to consume the content you post. The best way to go about it is to create bite sized chunks of content so that it grabs the attention of readers and keeps them interested without getting bored. Again, micro content is more sharable and tends to boost the traffic to your site.

Update it frequently: An abandoned blog where you post updates once or twice a month is bound to kill your business promotion strategy. You need to keep the customers interested and coming back for more. If you are not posting regularly then it gives the impression that you are not actively involved in your business. However, at the same time, you should not be posting too frequently as well because customers tend to feel annoyed with the inundation of information.

Network on other business forums:

Contributing to other online discussion forums is a growing trend among marketers to promote a business. You can use Google to search out a couple of active forums that are directly related to your niche and contribute in the form of a guest post. This will let you promote your business to a broader audience.

Use multimedia content:

The best thing about promoting your business online is that you get to have lots of opportunities to share information related to your company in audio-visual formats. You can share multimedia content on your website and social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Flicker and many other video sharing and slide sharing websites.

4. Recognize and Appreciate the Value of Email Marketing

With all the buzz around social media, businesses tend to neglect email marketing for business promotion. It existed long before social media came into existence and still today, remains the key source for communication.

By making customers sign up for email subscriptions, you can reach out to them by sending newsletters and promotional offers to potential and existing customers. However, you need to seek the recipient’s permission to send an email before putting their name on your email list. One way to build permission based email list of people who wish to subscribe to your emails is to entice them with giveaways like a free eBook.

However, even if the customers have opted in to receive your emails, this does not mean that they are going to read them. It is up to the marketers to make them want to read them. One good way to do so is by rewarding the recipients with special discounts if they click through and informing them of the upcoming deals and products beforehand.

5. Publicize Your Publicity

The end goal of any promotional strategy is to make customers aware of your company, products and services. Thus, every time your business does something or is involved in something newsworthy, you should draft a quick press release and send it out to websites and bloggers. Press release is a very powerful and influential tool to generate free publicity and promote your business online. Websites like PRLog and 24/7 Press Release can be used for your press releases.

While the internet has raised the stakes when it comes to online marketing, it has also leveled the playing field considerably for business promotion. Now even the smallest businesses can promote their business via web when first it was only the big brands and corporations benefiting from online visibility and promotion. Embracing the ways mentioned in this blog, you are guaranteed to gain a solid amount of attention and engagement online.

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