Every small business faces the challenge of today’s head-spinning technology when it comes to branding and marketing their products and services. Business owners recognize that the majority of their potential customers are spending time online shopping, playing, and connecting. So they find themselves asking questions like:
- How do I get visible online?
- How do I find customers in an online marketplace that is so overcrowded?
- How do I connect with my target market?
- How do I stand out from the crowd?
Attracting new customers to your business requires time, budget, and an online marketing strategy; a scary prospect for most.
You know that branding your business and marketing to potential customers online is important. Hiring a professional or digital agency to do this could be out of reach for some small businesses. Doing nothing isn’t in your best interest, either. So we’ve put together a quick list of do-it-yourself resources that will save your time and your budget. You can thank us later!
The Multi-Million Dollar Industry of DIY
For some reason, most of us have an insatiable desire to DIY just about any project we can get our hands on. Some very smart people have capitalized on that mentality by creating loads of tools and resources catering to small businesses in an effort to help them become master DIYers.
Knowing that you need to get things accomplished quickly and that you have a limited budget to work with, developers have created low-cost tools to help you grow your business. And when you use these resources you don’t have to be a tech-savvy internet guru to make a splash online! We promise.
Start with a Plan
You’ll quickly discover that there are an abundance of tools to satisfy the DIYer in you, but that can also get quickly overwhelming.
Before you start poking around you need to evaluate what your business actually needs. Review your current marketing strategies and your goals for the future. What’s missing and what needs some work?
Consider things such as:
- Digital Newsletter
- Social Media strategy
Here are some of our favorite online DIY solutions to check out, all with great reviews and a perfect starting point for getting your business known online.
Logo: You need a logo to brand your business and make your customers remember your name. Websites like 99 Designs [https://99designs.com/] and CrowdSpring [https://www.crowdspring.com/] bring together designers across the globe that compete to create an original logo for your business. It’s low cost, high quality, and it’s easy.
Email Marketing: Keep customers engaged in your business by staying in front of them with interesting stories, cool tips, and the latest industry news and sales. If you aren’t already sending out a newsletter, now is the time! Most online email marketing tools allow you to add your customer contacts, send emails, and most importantly track the result. Tracking gives you the insight you need to make a better connection with your customer. Knowing how many customers opened, shared, forwarded and clicked through your email lets you know what to do the next time around. Reputable, low cost and easy-to-use tools online include MailChimp [https://mailchimp.com/] and Constant Contact [https://www.constantcontact.com/].
Website: Today’s consumer is technology-driven, and an updated website is essential to any business. Online web solutions like Wix [https://www.wix.com/], GoDaddy [https://www.godaddy.com/] and Homestead [https://www.homestead.com/] have easy-to-use website templates, and you can build your own website without any coding knowledge. Many of these online website builder tools provide hosting and domain services as well, giving you everything you need to get your new site online.
Don’t be afraid of doing things yourself. You can save time and a bunch of money simply by relying on internet tools and resources available to small businesses.
It’s important to note, though, that these solutions are typically just starter solutions.
As your business grows and expands, online marketing support to get ahead of the competition and reach more customers will become more important. That is when it’s time to partner with a digital agency for website support and marketing strategy.
Evaluate Your Results
Too often we find that small business owners build their own website and create some social media pages, but then never really evaluate their effectiveness. They are missing out in a big way. When you pay attention to the traffic to your site, the engagement of your newsletters, blogs, and social media, and listen to the feedback on your brand, you are gaining invaluable insight into your target market. You’ll know just what’s working and what’s not so you can take the best next steps.
After years of working with small businesses, InfoStream Solutions [https://infostreamusa.com/] has learned that an engaged and informed small business owner is the best client to have; and they get the most out of working with us. Because they’ve gone through the development of certain online marketing strategies themselves, they have a leg-up when it comes to knowledge and experience, and our collaboration is that much more meaningful and efficient.
So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and try out some very inexpensive and intuitive online marketing tools to get your own business noticed and growing. And when the time comes for more comprehensive strategies, call an expert. You’ve given them a great start!