You want to promote your business online to get more customers but you have little or no idea how to go about it?
The questions that might be in your mind because you want to promote your business online can be:
How to promote your small business, how to promote your business for free, how to promote your business on Instagram, how to promote your business on Facebook, what are the websites to promote business, what are the cheap ways to promote your business, how to promote my business on Google for free, how to promote your business locally for free, and how to promote your business on social media?
This post will show you different ways to promote your business online for free. You will also learn how to promote your business with paid methods that work better and faster for business online visibility.
The year 2020 showed a lot of people the essence of having an online presence as a business owner.
Coronavirus affected all works of life−small scale businesses, large scale businesses, firms and industries. We were all affected and many businesses shut down. Many worked from home; for those who had access to the internet.
Those whose businesses were closed because of the pandemic suffered losses except for the ones that run their business online. Ecommerce businesses were on hold as airports and seaports stopped regular shipping of goods.
Let’s forget about coronavirus; pandemic or non-pandemic, there are many reasons to put your business online.
Before you can promote your business online, technically, you must move it online. In some context, to move your business online still mean to promote your business online.
Why You Should Move Your Business Online
- You can reach more people in any part of the world if your business attracts global customers.
- It makes customer care service more responsive and reachable at any point in time.
- A business transaction can take place at any time without person-to-person contact.
- People can still find information about your business after closing hours without making calls or sending emails.
Have you gotten valid reasons to move your business online? If yes, what are the effective steps to take in promoting your business online for free or paid?
How to Promote Your Business Online
No matter the type of business you venture into, it can be promoted online. For the rest of this post, we will be discussing the ways you can promote your business online.
Did you know most people first heard about a new business on social media? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular social media platforms where you can promote your business online.
Social media isn’t for just sharing photos, videos or news. It is like a TV station where billions of people around spend countless hours daily.
How to Promote Your Business on Social Media
For a starter, the most recommended social networking websites to use to promote your business online should be Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook is the biggest and the most popular social networking platform on planet earth with over 2.7 billion active users. Does this not tell you anything about the potential of using Facebook to promote your business online?
How to Promote Your Business on Facebook
If you are looking for cheap ways to promote your business, Facebook will be the first choice.
Facebook profile account wasn’t created for business purposes that is why they create pages. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your Facebook profile to promote your business. There is merit and demerit of using your Facebook personal account for business.
For merit, people who know and trust you can easily patronize you if they are interested in your business.
Many use their personal Facebook profile to grow their business. They do not post about what they sell often but create compelling and engaging content centred around their business.
You can imitate this if you want to create awareness and give your business exposure especially when you are running a personal business.
Here is what to do;
For instance, you sell solar panels or you are into solar installations, you shouldn’t just be posting solar panels, inverters, bulbs, etc for sale on a daily basis.
You should create good content on power, maybe once a week. Then other content can be helpful tips on home safety and security. Engage on other people’s content who are friends. When they post, try to make meaningful comments.
Join good Facebook groups that discuss business. Create good content and post in the groups and comment in other members’ posts. This is called strategic commenting.
Another option is to create your own Facebook group and grow it. Know that it is not an easy task to grow a Facebook group.
The demerit of using your Facebook profile to promote your business is that you can’t run sponsored advert with it. This means you can’t reach a lot of people.
So you will need a page if you want to reach a wider audience.
You need to create a business page to start telling the world about your business. Almost all the top big brands in the world have a Facebook business page.
Should we mention some? MTN, Coca-cola, Nike, Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Barclay bank are just a few. We can continue to mention more brands and this post will become lengthy but that is not the aim.
During this coronavirus lockdown, many people were been restricted from entering the banking hall. The banks were still working, customers were still been attended to through their online platforms, one of which was their Facebook business page.
So if you want your business to still be in business no matter the world’s condition, you should use a Facebook page for promotion.
The mistake made by many and are still making is by using their profile account to post about business daily. This is not a good business practice.
If you are selling clothes or any other product and all you do daily is to post the items on your timeline, a lot of people will get tired of your updates.
Sooner or later they might, unfollow, unfriend or block you. The Facebook algorithm will also deal with you. Most of your posts will not be seen by your friends because your updates are not engaging.
Create a Facebook page, add the necessary information on the page so it will appear professional.
Post about your business on the page and to reach more people, promote the page using Facebook advertising.
Facebook advertising is not free, you will need to spend money. This is the easiest and faster way to promote your business and reach more people in your state, outside your state, and in other countries.
An important thing to know
There is a thing you should know about Facebook pages. For instance, let’s say you have 5000 followers on your page, when you post on it, only 400 people or less might see the post.
You might ask why is it so, that is how the Facebook algorithm works. They want you to spend on adverts and this is the major source of Facebook income. If you must have been thinking about how Facebook make their money, they do so from adverts.
More people can still get to see your page posts when people are sharing them. This is how many celebrities get to grow their Facebook fan pages.
How to Promote Your Business on Twitter
Twitter is best for customer care service for many big businesses. If you want a quick response to a complaint, enquiry or anything else, Twitter will be the best place to reach out.
Although, small business owners might not want to use Twitter because some people are not knowledgeable about how the social network works and some see it as a place for viral gossip and cruise.
The truth is that there are multitudes of people that don’t know how to use Twitter. I have had an encounter with different people of various ages both young and averagely old who asked “what is Twitter?’’
There was a time I went to buy toothpaste and there I met a situation where a young girl was paranoid that she couldn’t get money from the POS operator despite being debited. The transaction failed.
These things happen often with our country banking system. The girl was arguing and angry that she must collect her money, the POS operator was saying she can’t give her cash because the transaction failed.
To cut the story short, I had to intervene by the telling girl to contact the bank customer care on Twitter.
And she was like how does it work? I had to help her open a Twitter account at that spot with her details so she can contact the bank. And she was using an iPhone. This is to let you know many people are ignorant about Twitter.
If you are a business owner and want to still keep in touch with your customers at all times, make sure you create a Twitter account and use it actively.
Twitter is the fastest way news spread faster. Most businesses, celebrities, politicians, and government agencies use Twitter to communicate fast with their customers, fans, and followers.
You can run paid advertising on Twitter but Facebook is better for paid advertising because it is cheaper and has more active people.
Post regularly on your Twitter account. Your tweets shouldn’t just be all for selling. You will need to educate, motivate, inspire, and inform your followers.
Make sure you use relevant hashtags for your business so that people can easily find your business.
Follow Other Twitter Accounts
People won’t follow you if you don’t follow others. Only celebrities or public figures can decide not to follow others and they will get millions of followers.
Do not follow random accounts. Follow accounts that shared similar interests with your business.
If you are into skincare business, follow accounts that are into skincare. Not only will you grow your Twitter followers but you will get inspiration on what to tweet.
Interact With Other Twitter Accounts
To get easily noticed on Twitter aside from paid advertisement or using influencers, you should interact with other accounts related to your business.
For instance, you are running a skincare business, you should retweet and also reply to tweets of other businesses. By this, their customers or followers will notice your own account.
How to Promote Your Business on Instagram
Instagram has grown from just being a photo and video sharing social media platform to an online store for many vendors. A lot of business owners are using Instagram to sell their products and services.
Facebook and Instagram have shop features where customers can select a product, make payments with their debit cards or send money by bank transfer.
Instagram shops have limitations. They are only available in some countries. If your country is not included, it is so unfortunate.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use Instagram for your business. It can be used as well and effectively just like a Facebook page.
You can still sponsor ads for your Instagram posts to reach many people even when they are not your followers.
It will be a very big mistake to rely only on Facebook and Instagram. These social media platform is like renting a shop. The day the owner give you a quit notice, you will pack and your customers won’t find you anymore. This could mean you will be out of business for some time.
That is what will happen when your social media accounts get deleted. Your Facebook and Instagram accounts can be deleted at any time for policy violations. Yes, shit happens. It has happened to some people before and it is still going on.
They might just tell you that you have violated a part of their policies and hence you are not fit to use their platform anymore.
Just imagine all the time and efforts you have put into getting followers that have become customers. You might have even spent a huge amount of money too and then wake up to see that everything is gone.
It is very devastating. Your customers will be searching for you on Facebook and Instagram but they can’t find you.
If you didn’t create other channels aside from social media to reach your customers or followers, you will be starting from scratch. And who wants to start from scratch?
That is why we always advise business owners to build a list and a website. We will be coming to that but first, let’s talk about how to use Google to promote your business.
How to Promote Your Business on Google
Google is the largest search engine and they process about 3.5 billion searches every day. Mehn, this is certainly huge.
There is a free and paid way to promote your business on Google. I am sure you want to learn how to promote your business on Google for free if are on a low budget or if you have no budget set aside for advertising.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one way to promote your business on Google for free. It involves the use of phrases (keywords) related to your business on your web pages(website or blog).
SEO is very broad and talking about it here is beyond the scope of this post. It is a result of SEO that some website pages are always on the first page of search queries when you look for certain information on Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Google My Business (GMB)
Google my business offers opportunities for businesses without a website to put their business on the web. With GMB, people can still find your business when they search for certain businesses in their locality.
Google my business is like a simple single website to list your business and its details for free. You can add your business name, business address, phone number, operating hours, photos, and customer reviews.
To put your business on Google my Business, visit google.business.com/create to get started.
What if you run a personal business? If you are a web designer, digital marketer, painter or any other thing you do and you want people to know about what you do when they search for use on Google, you can add your information. Visit google.com/search/contributions/profile to learn how to create your people card.
Google has its own advertising network which is still the biggest on all advertising networks. If you have a budget for advertising you could use Google ads to promote your business online.
You will need to have a website to be able to do this except you want to send people to a social media page which is never the best.
Google ads are those banner and text ads you see on many websites and blogs. You also see them on Google search at the top of every search result and some appear at the bottom.
How to Promote Your Business with List Building
A list could be phone numbers or emails of people that have patronized your business or have once contacted you about your products or services.
There is no rule to go about this but there are best methods to do this.
Your customers will surely have your numbers but not everyone will want to call. Some people are stingy with their call credit, so it is left for you to contact them either through call or SMS.
SMS has a high open-rate because an internet subscription is needed to receive text messages. The downside is that you can’t convey a piece of large information through it.
WhatsApp can be a better option. You could start Whatsapp marketing for you and your customers to reach each other.
The downside is that WhatsApp can ban your number. It has happened to me and others too. In my case, I had to change my WhatsApp business number.
Sometimes, Whatsapp can ban you repeatedly. If you are changing numbers, people might start seeing you as someone into shady activities.
So what is the best way out of this?
We recommend building an email list.
There is no way anyone on the internet using Facebook or other social media platform will say they don’t have an email address.
You need an email address for so many things. Many online portals will ask you for your email address before you could signup on to their platforms.
Building an email list means you collect the emails of your customers or individuals that have shown much interest in your business.
By this, you can contact them at any time. You are almost independent. You will need an email marketing service to send them updates to their inbox.
Even if the email marketing platform closes your account for any violation, you can import your list to another platform and continue reaching out to your customers.
You own your list forever!
Before you think of building an email list, you will need to sign up with any of the email marketing platforms. There are so many of these email marketing companies.
As a beginner, you can start with a free email marketing service to grow your email list. There are few out there which are easy to use. If you ask which one to start with, you can try out Sendfox.
Sendfox offers a free and paid plan. Their paid plan cost $49 and is lifetime, so you don’t have to be paying every month to send emails.
I am not saying they are best for email marketing (building list) but are recommended for a beginner without a budget for email marketing software.
I am pretty sure you have seen an email opt-in form where you are asked to subscribe or input your email address to access certain information.
The owners of such a webpage are building their email list so they don’t need to post on social media daily or run paid adverts regularly for a new product launch.
Note: Email marketing does not fit all businesses. You can’t expect a local market woman selling foodstuffs to be doing email marketing. The most important thing is to have a list (phone numbers or email addresses) of your customers.
So far we have talked about several ways how to promote your business online which are using social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and list building).
There are other social media platforms you can use which are Pinterest and Linkedin. If you want to know more about them, you can do a little research.
Above all, to promote your business online, you need a website. If you didn’t read that clearly, I will repeat it. To fully promote your business online, you need a website.
How to Promote Your Business With a Website
You should get a website if you want to be professional to promote your business online. Many businesses that have their own websites attract more customers and retain their trust than those that don’t have a website.
Benefits of Having a Website
The benefits of having a website are enormous but I will highlight just a few.
- Your customers will always find you even after closing hours. That is, even when you are closed for business, they can still find information about your business through the website.
- They can easily find the information they need without one-to-one communication. The type of services you render, price, contact information, etc will be available to them without calling or sending emails.
- Even though some websites are created to scam others, your website can increase your credibility if everything is put in order. If thequickweb site was hap-hazard, I am sure by now you would have exited this page without going through the content.
- Your website can save you costs. It is not all businesses that have a physical office. Some sell their services and products from their website. Thequickweb, for now, does not have any physical office but we still make money and have clients all over the world.
- With a website, your business can be accessible to anyone over the world. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store where people must come by and can have dealings with you; your website bridges such a gap.
I can go on and on to tell you the benefits of having a website for your business. The few benefits listed above should at least tell you having a website will be beneficial for your business.
How to Set up a Website
The accessibility and availability of your website at all times are dependent on the host.
As a beginner, you might be interested in knowing what is a host. There are posts on this blog that explains that.
For emphasis, we will explain once again what is a host. A host is an internet company that provides the resources for a website to stay online and running.
For every website to be accessible on the internet there must be a host.
There are so many hosting companies in the world but there are some that surpass others. Not all hosts are reliable.
Have you ever visited a website before and it is offline for some time and later it back online and then goes offline again at another time?
That is the result of the host. Downtime is what they call it. I am sure you don’t want your business website to be experiencing frequent downtime. No one loves that!
Getting your website up and running means you will need a good and reliable host that provides all the needed resources and functionalities.
Every business at this time needs an online presence to keep customers abreast of the latest products, services and news.
Questions You Might Ask
If you have read this post to this stage, you might have various questions to ask.
And the truth is that it is not possible to use this post to explain the technicalities of some things discussed here.
For instance, you might want to know how to use Facebook and Instagram advertising to promote your business online.
I talked about Facebook advertising but did not explain the processes. It is not something that can be explained so easily by typing words. You need to see how it is done either by watching videos or reading ebooks.
I talked about building a list but did not give full details on how to get started. If you are interested in learning email marketing and start building your list, you can send a message using the contact page.
Then I also talked about creating a website as an integral part to move your business online and did not show the step-by-step guide in doing so.
Never worry, I am not leaving you in the dark.
Teaching every detailed aspect to promote your business online, from A-Z will take days. It is not something that you can grab at first hand.
Here is what I decided to do;
I will do a step-by-step comprehensive training on how to promote your small business online.
It means I will train you from the basic to the advanced steps to promote your business online, which will include:
- How to start Facebook and Instagram ads.
- How to start Google ads.
- How to start Twitter ads.
- How to start email marketing without having to spend a dime on software, page builders, etc.
- How to start WhatsApp marketing and grow your list.
- How to create your website without coding or having any programming skills.
- How to get your own company or professional email and many more.
- How to promote your business website.
If you are ready to calm down and put your mind into knowing all of these, signup using the opt-in link below this post.
Follow the instruction by filling in your email. After that, go to your inbox and confirm your email.
There are many articles online on how to promote your business online, they will tell you what to do but not how to do it.
This is why you should take virtual one-on-one training seriously.
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