How to market your business online? Social media is omnipresent and omnipotent, or so it appears. Around 65% of marketers aren’t able to measure their social media marketing ROI (return on investment). Thus, it’s not only possible but also potentially more effective to market your online business without social media.
Here are 9 ways to market your online business without social media:
While marketers are unable to measure the return on investment, around 80% of companies are failing to quantify social media’s impact on their businesses. The ambiguous ROI and, therefore, the impact of social media necessitates the following 9 ways to market your online business. Keep reading.
1. Email marketing
Around 70% of businesses surveyed by the Data & Marketing Association reported that they could calculate their return on investment for email marketing. The same report notes the strong ROI estimates of marketers, averaging a £35.41 return for every £1 spent on email marketing.
Compare this measurable or quantified return on investment with the ambiguity of social media marketing, and it’s evident why email is still so popular among businesses across industries or sectors and target markets. Also, email serves as an integral part of a sales and marketing funnel.
How to market your business online without social media
Including social media icons or widgets has been customary in email marketing for more than a decade now. However, you can include other relevant information, interactive elements, or a call to action on the footers, headers, and elsewhere in your email.
Use pertinent information like the customer service number, a messenger app icon for live chat support, and your website URL.
Companies redirecting their potential leads from marketing emails and newsletters to social media proactively invite the latter’s ambiguity. Such a move doesn’t help the marketing or sales funnel. Instead, encourage potential leads to click on the website or landing page link or a chat icon to speak with your team that serves as the subsequent phase in the marketing funnel.
2. Content marketing
Content is the foundation of any type of marketing, including social media that demands unique posts, blogs, vlogs, images, infographics, hashtag campaigns, memes, gifs, and more. Thus, you need to develop content for your website, blog, emails, video library, and authority sites.
Optimise every web page, blog post, newsletter and email, video, and article you may write for authority sites. An online business doesn’t need social media to publish or distribute content through the internet. There are several alternatives, some being more effective than others.
How to market your business online
Here are 4 ways to market your online business using content:
It’s essential to note here that all the online business marketing practices in this guide can and ideally should coexist. None of the programmes is an isolated exercise. The email and content marketing campaigns must complement, supplement, and collectively have the desired impact.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Search engine optimisation is quintessential irrespective of whether or not you use social media to market your online business. However, optimising a website isn’t limited to the text on every web page. Website SEO covers everything from design to link wheel and content distribution.
The objective is to feature as high as possible on the Search Engine Result Pages. Top-ranked websites’ sustained outreach dwarfs social media impact unless you consider an odd viral post reaching millions of people. Besides, featuring on the top of Google and Bing results for chosen keywords ensures outreach to the target audience, unlike a viral social media phenomenon.
A solid blogging strategy enriches search engine optimisation, content and email marketing, branding, and lead nurturing, among others. Also, a blog with significant traffic will propel your website to the top ranks of the leading search engines without any social media marketing.
One blog per day or another viable routine is more manageable and effective than spending several hours on social media without a tangible return. Besides, unlike social media posts, your blog continues to expand the knowledge base, thus becoming a permanent, effective asset.
A vlog, video blog, or video log can be as effective as a well-crafted infographic. Integrate video into content marketing, and you don’t need social media to entice your target audience. Also, like a blog, your vlogs will continue to expand and enrich the video library, a powerful asset.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
SEO, blog, and vlog are organic content marketing campaigns. You don’t pay anything to search engines and video sharing platforms. However, you may need content delivery networks for distribution and article directories to expand the outreach of your blogs, vlogs, and website.
Search engine marketing is an effective way to market your online business without social media. However, it’s an inorganic process requiring paid advertisements. I discuss SEM in more detail in the online advertising section, but it can’t flourish without content marketing.
3. Affiliate marketing
The largest global marketplace and e-commerce giant, Amazon isn’t the only one leveraging affiliate marketing. Every online business can harness the power of affiliates and benefit from commission-based marketing campaigns. You pay nothing if you don’t have a sale or lead.
How to market your business online for free
You may enroll affiliates independently as an online business or consider established networks. Either way, you don’t commit to any upfront investment or recurring costs unless an affiliate delivers a quantifiable result, which could be a sale, lead, sign up, or anything else you decide.
Also, affiliate marketing can play an instrumental role in content marketing. Your affiliates will create what’s effectively user-generated content, and you don’t have to invest money, time, or effort in the entire process. Here’s a valuable resource to learn more about affiliate marketing.
4. Community marketing
Traditional businesses operating offline have an active presence in their local community and social sphere. Likewise, online businesses can develop their virtual communities, not only for customers but also for the larger market. Such a digital community can be a forum, support centre, or a combined blog and knowledge base with the active participation of your business.
NVIDIA has official forums linked to the brand’s website for the community to ask questions, seek support, and help one another. There are digital forums and communities of Tesla’s car owners and Prusa’s 3D printer users. Create such a community and use it for marketing.
Community marketing is an interactive process. Every online business can have fascinating insights into its customers’ experiences, expectations, and grievances. In due course, an online community can become a more significant asset than every other marketing campaign.
5. Business networking
Email, content, and affiliate marketing should serve lead generation and the subsequent phases of a sales funnel. Simultaneously, a company should proactively develop an online community while also working on mutually beneficial partnerships with other relevant businesses.
Successful business networking is exceptionally more effective than social media marketing. A combined marketing or promotional campaign with cross-platform sales potential offers a real and quantifiable return on investment. However, the scope of opportunities is subject to a niche.
Attend industry events such as webinars, trade shows, business forums, and all such hotspots to create a network of partners, associates, and influencers. One rewarding association for joint marketing and cross-selling can significantly improve the prospects for your online business.
6. Public relations
You can classify contemporary public relations for online businesses into three categories. The first is conventional media, from digital news to trade or industry-specific publications. You can use the outreach of business journalists and the influence of analysts to market your business.
The second category comprises authority sites, which are high-ranking websites in their niches. How you engage with these depends on the policies of the websites. For instance, you can write guest posts for these sites to market your business and promote specific products or services.
Every prominent industry has a few authority sites. The target market interested in particular products or services refers to these sites for the latest information, reviews, analyses, offers, and other resources. Ideally, you should have a presence on such sites. Also, many authority sites are advertising platforms, so you can consider paid promotions when necessary.
The third type of public relations is direct engagement with the target market. You can publish news about the products and services in development, issue press releases periodically to keep your target audience informed about your business, and establish ongoing communication.
7. Referral programme
A referral programme isn’t necessarily a marketing campaign. However, it can be an integral part of your plan to generate leads and acquire customers. Consider a reward for your existing customers if their referral works out, free trials for those referred, and giveaways if possible.
A referral programme isn’t difficult to plan for most online businesses. Yet, not all referrals work out because of substantial lapses in other departments, a reason why this marketing tactic is listed so late in this article. Today, consumers don’t rely solely on others’ recommendations.
Almost everyone has access to the same online resources as a customer referring your product or service to a friend or family member. Thus, the internet sphere must have sufficient relevant content about your company, including information about the products or services and reviews.
Email marketing is a non-starter without content. Likewise, content marketing is futile without search engine optimisation, and affiliate marketing doesn’t work if your website is unprepared to provide all the information relevant to the redirected traffic. Similarly, referral programmes work better with community marketing, especially when customers are already active on the forums.
8. Online advertising
Search engine marketing is unavoidable for most online businesses, especially if one has yet to witness significant traction through organic traffic. You may consider sponsored posts and banner ads on various relevant websites. Or, you may explore PPC or pay per click advertising.
How do you advertise your business Online?
You may consider Google Ads to put up advertisements on its search engine result pages and countless websites and digital interfaces using the service. Also, Google Ads allows you to pay for advertisements listed atop the first-page search results for targeted keywords.
Search engine marketing in general, Google Ads in particular, and other online advertisements based on pay per click are effective, viable, and quantifiable ways to market a business. You pay for an ad if and when a user clicks on it, not otherwise, so there’s no upfront investment.
Thus, you can focus on your business content, advertising copy, offers, and other critical information to intrigue your target audience instead of worrying about the return on investment or the feasibility of such marketing endeavours. Google Ads and PPC are viable considerations.
Where to advertise my business Online
The largest search engines and online platforms like Google, YouTube, and Bing must be on the shortlist to advertise your online business. Also, consider Amazon, if relevant. Finally, make a list of the top-ranked authority sites and websites with enormous traffic based on your niche.
Use pay per click for most of your online advertising as it’s economical. Weigh the pros and cons of banner ads and other relatively costlier advertisements depending on your needs. Test the waters with Google AdSense and then plan an extensive online advertising campaign.
9. Traditional marketing
Social media is noisy, constantly distracting for the users, and fickle for a business or marketer to genuinely reign in all probable consequences. For instance, consumers signalling their interest in a product has a negative effect on their purchase intent, especially when the post is related to identity, personal preference, or social, cultural, and environmental values.
Likewise, many social media campaigns have backfired for companies over the years, some with immensely detrimental effects, including public relations disasters and ruined reputations. In such circumstances, tried and tested traditional marketing campaigns like phone calls, flyers, brochures, and other engagements with a professional yet personal touch can be refreshing.
You may have seen some of the Netflix posters and ads on the streets of London, TV, YouTube, and every platform that can maximise its marketing and thus outreach. The largest streaming service in the world uses traditional marketing regularly because it’s still relevant and impactful.
Explore all or several ways discussed in this guide to market your online business without social media.
However, don’t dismiss any or shortlist mediums before you’ve quantified outcomes. Also, avoid relying on only one medium entirely because every business needs a marketing mix.