There’s no time like the present to launch your own business. With the internet becoming faster and more readily available, you can literally run your company on the go. But with so many new entrepreneurs out there, ensuring the survival of your new venture could prove to be harder than you thought.
To secure the longevity of your business, marketing is essential – especially for small businesses. It is often overlooked by new entrepreneurs because of low capital. The good news is that big money is not a prerequisite.
Why market your business online?
- Your prospects are already online.
- Audience data exists so you can accurately target your marketing.
- Most online marketing platforms are free or operate on a pre-paid model.
- You have the potential of increasing your reach in a short period of time.
- Reporting and data management are already taken care of and available to you.
How can you market your business without spending an arm and a leg?
1. Get a website to market your business
Search engines are the new normal. Whatever you are looking for, you can search for it online. So, what happens when people search for your products or services online and don’t find your business? You miss out on sales! You can no longer afford to not have a strong online presence.
A website is the first step to ensuring you get found online. If you are just starting out, try your hand at a DIY website builder. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, get help from a pro and choose a custom website design.
2. Leverage social media to market your business
Social media marketing is the new “word of mouth”. And while it may take some time to build your audience, when used effectively, it can contribute greatly to the growth of your business. A good social media campaign can quickly broaden your follower base and increase loyalty to your brand.
If managed right, a Facebook business page can do wonders for your new business. You can advertise your products and services on this page for free to your followers, as well as add a small budget to advertise to a bigger audience on Facebook. Facebook lets you choose who you market to through targeted audience selection. According to Statista, as of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion monthly active users – that’s a really large audience!
Instagram is all about great, visual content! You can use images and videos to illustrate the value of your products or services. They are predicting that the number of users on Instagram will surpass 111 million in 2019. This makes Instagram one of the best social media platforms to grow your business on.
3. List your website on directories
Websites such as Hotfrog, Ananzi, and Cylex are all online directories for small businesses in South Africa. Here you can list your online business for free or for a low monthly fee. Most business categories are welcome, so list anything from your cupcake shop to your airport parking service. This not only allows people to find you on these directories, but it can create backlinks to your website if you have one, which is great for search engine optimization.
Marketing is important for any business – big or small. But remember that only using one method of marketing is not always effective. Try to leverage all the available resources online to ensure you get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Registering your company is also a great way of separating your business affairs from your personal life, so consider formal company registration.