I’ve noticed something about business owners.
Most of them have the same frustrations when it comes to online marketing, which includes creating a business website. As a web developer and digital marketing strategist, I work with a lot of business owners and I hear the same things over and over again.
Any of these sound familiar?
- “We need a nice website but web development is so expensive.”
- “It’s hard to find a web developer I can depend on.”
- “My last web/graphic designer ghosted us.”
- “Does paid traffic actually work?”
- “I’ve heard of SEO but how can I used it?”
- “It’s so hard to make my business stand out from the competition.”
- “I can’t figure out why my website doesn’t make my business money.”
- “We have so many things going on but it’s so hard to explain that to a customer.”
- “I get asked the same question from customers and it’s frustrating.”
- “Why do bigger businesses have such nice websites?”
If you’ve said any of things and it resonates with you, (at least a few should) you’re in the right place.
In this post I’m going to explain the 17 online marketing strategies business owners like you, can use today to grow and monetize your customer base.
You don’t need to do them all. But the more you consider these strategies the more it’ll help your business.
If you want more hands on help, you can always email me directly here.
PS: I don’t have a course to sell. This is genuine advice.
Now onto the strategies…
1. Go where your customers are online.
Don’t use every social media platform. Sure Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat exist but it doesn’t mean you need to use every single one.
Sometimes it’s better to focus on one or two platforms you truly feel comfortable on and your target consumer invests time in.
For example Facebook has a bit of an older demographic (35-40+).
So if you’re selling insurance policies or a product targeting an older demographic, then Facebook is it.
Choose your social platform wisely.
This also applies to how you prioritize your paid ad campaigns. Focus on the platform where you’ve seen results, or know your customers are.
2. Personalize your marketing tactics.
You’ve seen it. Impersonal ads trying to be more edgy than the next.
Car companies, beverage companies, they all do it.
But how can a smaller business compete with people’s shortened attention spans and multi-million dollar marketing budgets from mega-sized companies?
By creating personalized marketing.
It can be in the form of a personalized thank you note.
A short video message.
Anything to show your customer, you see them and appreciate their contribution to your company.
3. Offer more value, don’t lower prices.
It’s OK to be considered a premium product even on a smaller scale.
Boutiques are still considered to be places of luxury and perceived value.
By offering more value than the competition, you will be able to stand out.
It’s not that customers don’t want to spend more money on your product, they just want to know they’ll get more in return.
Sometimes that just might be a warmer welcome when they enter your store.
For example, coffee shop A sells an espresso for $2. No one makes eye contact or knows the customer’s name.
Coffee shop B sells an espresso for $4 but everyone knows the customers name and their order is usually being worked on as they walk into the door.
The value is that warm customer service being offered.
4. Sell to your existing customers.
It’s easier to sell to your existing customers than it is to find news ones.
Companies that realize this don’t get lost on the endless hunt for new customers to stay afloat.
Realize you already have customers.
How can you show them the most amount of value?
Is there a way to solve a problem they might have after that initial purchase they’ve made?
A class you can offer?
A package that offers more support?
“Fishing from your own pond” is easier than fishing from someone else’s.
5. Tell your customers who you are.
It’s understandable that you want to remain anonymous from your business.
As business owners were usually a bit introverted.
But explaining to customers why you started your business, why it’s important to you and your journey up until now allows people to emotionally connect with your business.
There’s nothing wrong with really putting yourself out there and telling your customers who you are and how grateful you are they continue to shop with you.
6. Introduce your customers to something new.
This doesn’t mean releasing a new product or launching new services for no reason.
It means you can share what new things around the world are being innovated within your industry.
If there is a mind boggling product that relates to your business share that.
Your customers will consider you as informative and adventurous.
They’ll even likely share that information to others name dropping your business in the process.
7. Make your website the home for everything online.
Usually we think that businesses should live on social media platforms.
Lots of times social media only companies do this, only to be completely dismantled after a social media ban or profile security issue.
It’s important to have the online version of your business exist in a stable and consistent way.
A website should connect all the platforms you share content and have a clear way of converting that traffic into an action.
What’s the point of having 30k followers on Instagram if it doesn’t convert to sales for your business?
You can also use your SEO efforts to drive traffic here by writing posts that are helpful and relate to your industry. Then having that article link back to your website. It sounds simple but if done right you could have a traffic collecting hub for your business.
It’s not easy, but starting sooner than later is best.
8. Allow your customers to communicate with you in real time.
Often people have questions, especially customers. They want to know someone is available to help them when they need it.
In our modern world of instant gratification, answering a question in 48 hours just doesn’t cut it.
Make sure you have a live chat box that can go directly to your phone.
So you can be right there answering questions in real time and watch your sales go up.
9. Answer questions before they’re asked.
Pain points in business are things that cause uncertainty in people using your business.
They usually appear in frequently asked questions, which usually are hidden somewhere on a site but should be upfront.
If people are concerned about your store hours, answer the question before it’s asked.
“Yes, we’re open 24/7.”
10. Focus on one call to action.
User experience designers keep things simple for a reason: people cannot focus on too many things at once.
Schedule a call
Subscribe to the newsletter
All these commands on one portion of a website would drive someone wild.
(Just reading it is overwhelming)
So it’s important to simplify what you’re asking from your customers.
Do you want them to leave their phone number?
Do you want them to purchase an item?
Do you want them to call you directly?
Consider this first and have your website functionality focus on just that.
11. Invest in the tech that’s making your business money.
If you have profits, make sure to reinvest in the tech that’s making you money.
I almost want to stop there and let that sink in.
Oftentimes we see businesses that continue to hold on to profits without reinvesting in computers or other devices for their employees.
Even maintenance is often disregarded until it’s too late and then you have to say the most embarrassing thing a business could say to a customer.
“Our computers are down.”
Don’t be that business, and if it’s happened make sure it never happens again.
Being consistent and having contingency plans for broken systems will pay off in the long run.
12. Focus on what generates revenue for your business.
Oftentimes we are so focused on the competition we emulate them without realizing.
But your business is different, all are.
If personal outreach is what’s accounted for the last 20 large accounts you’ve gotten.
Then guess what you should focus on? Outreach.
I know it sounds like an obvious concept.
But you’d be surprised how difficult it is to focus when you’re grinding out the ins and outs of your business day in and day out.
Keeping your eyes in the bigger picture is important.
13. Pay your employees better.
This is considered blasphemy for business owners.
Labor accounts for one of the biggest expenses a company can face.
There was a story I read recently where a business owner was struggling with his sales team, who weren’t producing the results he wanted.
He was distraught and hurting financially.
He went to speak with his father and his dad said one thing, “Pay them more”.
The business owner was taken aback asking how if they weren’t making money.
But he did this anyway and instantly he saw results.
Employees are trying to get by as well. Good leadership isn’t a cheap way of producing better results. Showing your employees you care with money shouldn’t be a bad thing.
It’s the opposite and can produce some surprising results.
That company is doing great now.
14. Perfection is a form of procrastination.
This doesn’t mean sacrifice quality.
It means things will improve as time passes and you get better at running your business. So get comfortable with the idea.
Logo’s evolve, so do businesses.
15. Show loyal customers you care more than the competition.
Customer loyalty is important.
Statistically it’s easier and better to market to existing customers.
Lots of times we think that means buy 6 get one free deals but this can go so much further.
Try reaching out personally to customers that you find are bringing in the most business.
Be genuine, be you and be appreciative.
16. Letting your product speak for itself.
Sometimes we find the need to plead to customers. Big companies like Pepsi can’t exactly do this. Their product is good but not great. It’s a sugary drink that’s a bit unhealthy.
But if what you provide is superior sometimes simply telling customers to try your product or service, with confidence, might be enough to generate buzz and referrals.
If you’re afraid of that time in the spotlight with your customers, maybe it’s time to place more efforts in product development.
17. Bring traffic to your website, not your social platform.
We touched on this in one of the earlier strategies.
Instagram and TikTok get enough traffic, trust me.
It’s important to use social media to generate traffic for you.
Then converting that traffic in a way that brings in revenue. That change in traffic and the direction it’s going on will help make decision on your website and how you conduct business online.
One more thing…
I spent hours writing this because I want to help as many business owners as possible. I know it’s hard out there and it’s frustrating to see so many businesses not getting the results they deserve from their online presence because they don’t know how best to approach it.
(So, if you found these strategies helpful, I’d love it if you would share this post with others you know who could benefit from it directly or share it on your social media platforms.)