Marketing and digital marketing, in particular, is a thriving industry sector; filled with experienced professionals whose job it is to promote your business, service or product.
However, if you are a small business and don’t want to invest in marketing, or simply want to promote your own business, how would you go about doing so?
We have put together a list of 5 DIY marketing tips that can achieve positive results for your business, without the need for an expert.
1. Understand your business, your target audience, and your rivals
This may seem obvious, but without the basic knowledge of what surrounds your business, it is unlikely you will succeed.
Determining a target audience is likely to be something you considered in the design stage of the business. However, revisiting this subject from a marketing point of view is a valuable step to take.
Remember, in the marketing stage you are trying to raise the awareness of your product and increase sales, which means identifying and evaluating the customers that will use your product/service, then sell it to them.
Similarly, identifying your competitors is likely an area you have visited before. Use these competitors to see what others in the industry are doing and how you can generate extra business for yourself, using inspiration (not copying) from your competitors.
2. Basic search engine optimisation of your website
SEO is part of the marketing department that focuses on improving your organic search rankings. Whilst certain aspects of SEO can become very technical, there are simpler elements that you can improve yourself that will start naturally increasing your keyword rankings.
Keyword research – There are a number of free online tools which, along with some industry knowledge, can help you to identify some keywords that you want to improve your rankings for.
META data – Whether you have a content management system built into your website or not, you can adjust the META data to start the SEO process. Using the findings from the keyword research, include the keywords in your META titles, META descriptions, and image alt tags, which helps to explain to search engines and site visitors what content they are likely to find on each page of your website.
Not only does this improve your rankings, it can improve your traffic and click through rates to your website.
3. Social Media
Unless you have been living under a rock since 2004, you will know about social media and how big it has become. There are some 1.44 billion Facebook profiles throughout the world and within the past few years, more and more people are using Facebook for business purposes.
You can use social media effectively for your business without needing to be too knowledgeable about the available platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Follow this mini guide for effective social media marketing:
- Create your desired social media platforms.
- Design your social media pages to resemble your website, using images and colours.
- Add all relevant business details, including a telephone number, opening hours, a brief business description and a link to your website.
- Start to follow social profiles that are relevant to your business, including potential customers, industry leaders, and competitors.
- Start to interact with other users - Asking/answering questions, posting interesting images/videos and running competitions are just some of the things you can do to kick-start your social media marketing.
4. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Since 21st April 2015, Google has been penalising your website’s rankings on a mobile device if it isn’t mobile friendly. Statistically, 50% of search traffic to your website is on a mobile device and this figure is set to increase year after year. It, therefore, means having a mobile-friendly website has become an essential, and without one, you are likely to have less brand visibility, less site traffic and ultimately, fewer conversions.
It is possible to test your own, however. You can do that here:
5. Use your business experience
A large percentage of marketing often comes down to trial and error, even at the top level. To have a successful marketing campaign, it is essential to learn from your mistakes and work to your strengths.
Having tried promoting your business through social media, email marketing, SEO or pay-per-click, analyse the results and continue to use the methods that are succeeding in your business.
You can install a Google Analytics code on your website very simply, which will give you access to data such as, where your site traffic came from, how the user found your website and whether they found what they were looking for.
Marketing your business can be straightforward, providing you don't overcomplicate it.
Use analysis, your target audience and your own business knowledge to determine the most effective way to market your business.
If you are unsure or need extra help, ask family, friends or some marketing experts for their advice, collate some ideas and experiment with your marketing techniques.