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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

How to enhance your online presence

Your business might have started out as just a dream of being your own boss, and turning an idea that just came to you into a reality, or filling a gap in the market that you spotted.

You may have taken time to nurture your idea, build up your business plan, gain the investment and make your dream come true. Working for yourself can give you the opportunity to get a great work/life balance and give the flexibility that employed jobs can’t match. 

However, once you create your business, you may begin to wonder how you can expand and make something more of it. Often businesses start from home, and so tend to be online from the start - but that doesn’t mean that online promotion is not important for all business types.

How do you enhance your online presence? Here are some of the steps to consider. 

A decent website pays dividends

One of the first things when it comes to your online presence is to ensure that you have a decent website. This can be one of your biggest assets. These days so much is done online.

Most consumers automatically go out to seek a website to find out more about a business or to check whether or not they can order online. Take time to ensure that your website is responsive, loads quickly, and is attractive and full of relevant information. With so much choice out there, you will want to ensure that your website stands out from the crowd. 

Keep your social media up to date

Social media can be one of the easiest ways that a business can stay relevant to their audience. It can be a great way to reach out to potential customers, and that is because so many people use it.

With at least 70% of people with Facebook profiles, for example, checking them at least twice per day, you would be foolish to not want to tap into that to gain some custom for yourself.

Setting up business profiles and having them linked with your website is a good place to start. Ensure that they all match in terms of branding, and remain consistent with the type of content that you share.

Coming up with a content strategy

If you want to be successful when it comes to social media, you need to think about the content that you share. Back in the day, you could share endless promotional posts that would be to do with your business, and the products or services you are providing.

But now, with so much choice out there, consumers are getting wiser, and they are more selective about the content then see on their social media feeds. You now need to be a little more creative.

While you still want to promote your business, you need to think about how you do it, and also how often. Mixing those posts with more topical content can help your business to be more attractive and an account people want to follow and engage with.

Play to your niche

Marketing isn’t as generic as you might think. You need to be specific to the industry and niche in which your business sits.

Stay specific to your industry so that you can appeal to the right customer base. For example, if you have set up a small dental practice, you could consider a specialist in marketing for dentists.

Use SEO to boost traffic to your site

Search engine optimisation, where you use keywords in your content, can be a great way to help potential clients and customers find your site when they look for specific search terms online.

You could also think about building links back to your website through other web pages and online articles. It helps to show search engines that people recommend your website, which in turn can help build up your reputation with search engines. 

Is your online shop performing? 

Your online shop might be one of your biggest assets, but is it performing as well as it should be? While you will want your website in general to work well, the ecommerce side of things also needs to be on top form. This is when your advertised stock levels match what you actually have, your pricing is correct, and delivery and logistics information is uploaded.

The last thing you want to do is to put off customers or start the customer journey on a bad foot if they order something you don’t have, or the purchase doesn’t go smoothly. 

Outsourcing online marketing can free up your time

One last tip is to start placing a value on your time. Obviously when you first start up, you tend to want to do things yourself. You don’t have the money to hire people or outsource aspects of running your business.

But, once things do start to move along, this is when you need to work out the value of your time, and what it is best spent doing within your business. This might be developing new products, finding investment or engaging with new customers - while you hire experts to take care of your SEO or social media management, for example.

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler

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