You have the heart, inspiration, energy and brain to make things happen but you are stuck in the mud and a huge hand keeps pushing you deeper and deeper into the thickest, stickiest mud. The hand only let’s you come up for short gasps of air. The worst part is that you know you have the potential but it is being squandered. A racehorse tethered to a pole.

Same metaphor goes for marketing!

Marketing. Plenty of starting businesses hate that word, and online marketing can be even more challenging. As there are websites and competing companies in just about every niche imaginable, using marketing to stand out from your online peers can seem to be an incredible challenge. This is particularly true if you do not have that much money to put into your marketing budget.

However, there are plenty of tips which any online business can use to market their business no matter their financial situation. Here are five tips to develop a successful online marketing strategy.

  1. Don’t forget your audience

The simplest yet most essential advice is to know your audience before you even pitch them your product. What is the demographics you are trying to attract? What is the frequency of that demographics? What personality traits are you focusing on that can align with your brand personality?

These are just a few questions for you to ponder. In the business world, with an exponential level of growth it is getting difficult to keep up with the herd, but by asking the right questions, you can devise a proper marketing strategy. When doing market research be sure to have an open mind, do not filter in the brainstorming phase. First, let the ideas come then you can filter them one by one. The best form of learning the learning from the customer; customer’s feedback can quickly tell you what is wrong with your brand. Go for a survey with your unhappy customers & correct the mistakes pointed out by them.

  1. Content is King

No matter how good your website is, or how smooth your site operates, if your content is not compelling, it will not attract the visitors. Mostly it is the value you add to the life of customers that determines the probability of buying decision your client will make. The best approach is to use the power of humor to get the attention of your customer. Other times it is the technical lingos that attract the technical nerds. Moreover, sometimes it is the fonts you use in the typography that built trust among the customers. Some fonts are considered as more trustworthy then others.

content is kingWhatever your reason may be, split test your content & see if it is making sense to the customers. If the content is good, it will engage the customers, and once the customers get engaged, it will be easy for them to trust you & make the purchase.

Next is to use your content to target your relevant audience. Content alone can tell grab the attention of the audience you are trying to meet. Often the social proof is an excellent way to hook your customers on to your website. Confused customers visit the feedback page to get an assurance that your website is safe enough to use & what people are saying about you.

  1. Being active on Social Media is always a win-win

What is more important for customers is to find you on the medium where they are most comfortable with. Be it website, or mobile, but in this technological era, customers prefer social media as the ultimate authority. If they find social plugins to sign up, they quickly put their personal info & get along with the order.

However, an active social media strategy does not mean you create accounts on all social media platforms, but these accounts turn dead right after few months. An advisable approach is to pick one or two accounts & stick to it. Being focused in social media gives your clients a clear indication of how serious the company is, towards its customers.

social media presence sucks

For a general audience, Facebook is the best choice, for small businesses or corporate people, LinkedIn is the smart choice. For Entrepreneurs, it is a mix and match, but because of Entrepreneurs start with a limited budget, Instagram is a great choice to jump-start your business without spending a dime on marketing.

  1. SEO is still relevant

What good is a product if it is not on the fist page? You can create the best service or the cheapest product, but if your customers cannot find it on the first page of Google, you are doomed. If you still think SEO is irrelevant to try ignoring it for a month & see what happens. Trust me, you will vanish from the social cosmos, and your target audience will keep using your competitors website.

Dieter Hsiao, CEO of Mezzologic, believes that companies must take a holistic approach to link building, which means collecting links from multiple channels.

“It is maximizing a company’s web presence, ensuring that customers can easily find and obtain the information and resources they need – and making it simple and enjoyable to research and buy the company’s products,” says Hsiao.

SEO TipsWhile there are small tricks you can use to improve your SEO rating like links and consistently use primary keywords, understand that the best way to get high on a Google search is to come out with consistent, quality content. I cannot emphasize enough how important content and content marketing can be for any online strategy.

  1. Bye bye mobile-friendly websites, welcome to mobile-only apps

Do you know there were around 2.5 billion app downloads in the year 2016? Well, this clearly shows the importance of apps in this era. However, what most of you do not know is these apps were mobile-only apps. Gone are the times when companies use to convert their entire websites into an app. Now, apps are specially designed for the mobile. Few options, more usability, and flexible approach make an app more desirable by the users.

Consequently, any business must have a mobile strategy. This means that it is necessary to design your website so that it is easily navigable by mobile users. It may be a good idea to create a separate website for mobile users, especially if your small business is a retailer or restaurant. Also look at getting less information on every web page – while people may be spending more time on mobile compared to desktops, they still spend less time per page compared to desktops.

A great website design is easy to navigate with a mobile as it is with the actual website. The necessity is not to put all the content in the mobile app, it is to put the minimum content which can make a maximum impact.

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