The recent crash of Facebook and Instagram left many social media marketers and influencers stranded for a day, wondering what to do with themselves and how to promote their businesses that day. Let this be a lesson to everyone! You simply cannot rely on other business platforms for your only marketing strategy. What would happen to your business if the entire social media universe imploded for a day or (gasp!) more? Here are some suggestions to successfully promote your business using digital marketing beyond social media.
website & blog - A Digital marketing Must
First up for digital marketing beyond social media is your business website and blog. Your website, with your own domain name, should be your hub for all things digital. All of the business information you care to divulge should be on your website in a clean, user-friendly way. Keep the information up-to-date, and if possible, use a blog. A blog is really important to your online presence for many reasons:
- Search engines love them and love the frequent updates;
- It gives you content for social media posts, Google Business posts and Pinterest pins;
- It sets you up in your readers' minds as an authority figure in your industry; and
- It keeps readers coming back
Please do not put all your eggs in one basket and rely solely on your Facebook Business page, your Etsy shop or your Instagram account. They could easily be here today and gone tomorrow, or completely revoke access to your page on a whim. If you do not have a website or blog yet, make this your main priority. This week. Now. Go. Now. Seriously. Need a web designer, WordPress manager or blogging help? Contact us!
Set up a Google Business Page (if you qualify) - Another Digital Marketing Must
Google Business pages are free and are really, really great customer feeders and should be a mainstay in your digital marketing efforts -- if your business qualifies for one. The key with Google Business pages is you have to have a physical business address or service area. Google will not accept PO Boxes. This means if you're a brick and mortar florist shop, you're in. If you are an online-only florist, you're not. If you are an online life coach, you're out of luck. But, if you're a life coach with a physical address -- that customers can visit you at -- and service a general area, it's your lucky day. If you don't want customers knocking on your home door at all hours of the day or night, you do not qualify.
So, let's look at how a Google Business page benefits you, if you qualify:
- Your business location will show up in Maps, and customers can easily get directions to your location;
- Your Google Business listing will show up in search results, allowing customers to visit your website, get directions or even call you directly from Google;
- You can create posts to your Google Business page! Post about specials, sales, your latest blog post, anything you want!
- You can also upload photos of your business and products;
- Customers can leave you reviews and read reviews;
- and customers can even ask you questions directly on the Google Business page.
Definitely, if you qualify, get your Google Business page up and running and use it to its full potential immediately. You'll be amazed at the uptick in traffic coming from it.
Try digital marketing via Pinterest
Pinterest may seem like social media, but if you use it often, you'll realize it's more like a search engine and a great option for digital marketing of your business. The cool thing is you submit the links -- called pins -- either from your website or from other websites. Pinterest is extremely visual, much like instagram is, but the difference is the content on Pinterest is a lot more evergreen than on Instagram.
Pinterest tends to gravitate heavily toward the female audience, so if that is your target gender, the platform should work for you. Here is some great demographic information about Pinterest. Pinterest is also rolling out a new audience analytics feature that shows you what the most searched categories are and more. If you're not familiar with Pinterest, spend some time exploring in there; you'll quickly get sucked in and repinning in no time!
Video friendly (or want to be)? Focus on YouTube
Much like Pinterest, Youtube is really a search engine, but for videos. Videos can be extremely viral and a great addition to your digital marketing arsenal. Videos are a great way to get your message out there, show the day in the life at your business, offer consumer tips and advice, reiterate your blog posts, etc. If you can get your message on video in a fun, friendly way, your videos could potentially take off. Also, a lot of searched content on Youtube consists of how to videos. If you can explain a process or educate your audience, you'll be at an advantage over your competition who may not be on Youtube.
Also, don't be afraid to get creative! What if you could create a weekly video series that isn't long, but scripted in a way that feels like The Office? What if you could put together a weekly comedy series that pokes fun at yourself, your business, the world, whatever, and causes viewers to come back each week to see more? Your options are pretty limitless (as long as you keep it clean and legal!). If this type of video campaign fits your brand strategy, go for it!
Do some reputation management on Yelp
Another search engine, Yelp can make or break a business. If you have a physical presence, make sure you've claimed your Yelp page. Upload photos and please by all means, respond to any negative reviews you (hopefully do not) have. You don't want to be accusatory or unapologetic. Quite the opposite. Be professional, responsive and offer a solution. A polite, professional response that attempts to rectify a negative review goes a long way in the minds of yelpers who come across your business page and are trying to decide if they want to use you or go to your business or not. Yelpers know you're not going to please everybody, but they want to know how you respond to those that aren't pleased with you.
Hey Alexa, Help Me Market My Business
Voice controlled apps and appliances are gaining in popularity. My hunch is they're more than a trend. I personally use Amazon's Alexa to remind me of tasks, give me the latest news, read my audible book to me, convert recipe measurements, etc. With Alexa Skills, you can even set up your own business Skill. If your business is the type that can offer a tip of the day, you can create a Skill that Alexa users would subscribe to in order to listen to it daily. Or, you can now set up your blog to be read by Alexa as well. Here's how to do it.
Educate the masses
Have you thought about education sites like SkillShare (please note, that's a referral link!) and Udemy as an avenue to digitally market your business? On these sites, you can sign up to teach classes on subjects you are an expert in all while promoting your business at the same time. For example, a florist can offer classes on how to make an arrangement, corsage or boutonniere, while pointing students to their website for examples, and using their branding on class handouts.
By implementing some or all of these digital marketing strategies and using them to compliment your social media marketing strategy, you'll see a difference in attracting customers to your business. For more marketing help, be sure to check out our other blog posts or contact us.