How to Promote My Small Business Online?

In the last year alone- online business has become a fundamental of business, instead of just a clever way to promote your brand.

Here’s how to get on top, even if you’re tiny.

While internet marketing and website functionality has long been a business basic, in the year of covid lockdowns- it quickly became the only way many small businesses and local retailers saw any patrons at all.

With global marketing campaigns and multinational reach taking a backseat to local customers and convenient optimization.

What was once viewed as a way to bulk your business quickly became the only way to survive.

And chances are, yours isn’t the only small business feeling this renewed crunch to get online and get noticed.

But, online marketing is a different world. From posting a flyer or two, or just depending on word-of mouth advertising throughout your community- internet marketing comes with a plethora of options, techniques, and targeted ad experiences.

So as a small business, how do you know which campaigns to invest in, and when to save your money?

Perhaps the most useful tool for a small business looking to break out on the saturated online market is the digital marketing agency– or SEO agency.

These usually provide your business with a team of online marketing savvy individuals that know how to get you noticed in the places best suited for your small business.

Saving you time and money. The SEO services agency of today are probably just as useful as a Madison Avenue agency was in the ‘50s- but at a fraction of the cost.

Using AI, Google and analytics to get you the customers you want and the exposure you need.

Promoting With Google

Most digital marketing agency focus relies on using Google to help your business flourish in a targeted manner.

Which is no surprise as the search engine itself has become a verb. It’s rare that we’ll hear someone tell us to check out a library, or ask a friend.

Instead “Google it” has become the go to advice for just about anything: from how to treat a headache, to where to find car insurance.

Google Search Ads & Ranking

Getting your website noticed through top rankings and proliferous ads is the number one way to funnel traffic to your business, both for new customers, and those who are already brand loyal.

Top ranking sites are those that show up first anytime someone searches for something using Google.

With the right Search Engine Optimization tactics, your business has the same ability to show up for a search as any other competitor- including the big ones.

Most SEO agencies will optimize your website and any content you create to contain specific words that relate to common searches.

Which is just one way in which any business can gain relevancy online, and get themselves noticed in the community.

Google Search Ads work similarly to SEO practices, but instead of putting in the time it takes to reach those lofty heights organically, retailers can pay google to get their sites mentioned first.

Which is a great way to get the ball rolling while you’re waiting for other SEO techniques to take effect.

Especially if you take advantage of the many types of ad campaigns that Google offers– like Google video ads, shopping, and programmatic display advertising.

Google Shopping

If your small business is built on selling goods or products- Google Shopping can be a great way to get your products on your consumers radar.

As the platform allows consumers to instantly compare products and prices from a multitude of different vendors.

Google Shopping Campaign example
Google Shopping Campaign example

Working similarly to conglomerate marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy- with the ease and convenience of a Google search.

While the technology is still relatively new, being revamped and released last year, consumers have taken to the new experience quickly.

Particularly as it lets them price compare in a convenient way and all products advertised are backed by a Google guarantee.

But as you might have guessed- you’ll need a Google business account in order to qualify for product placement, and a bit of SEO strategy in order to rank appropriately.

Google Maps

Google maps is an incredible way for local brick and mortar shops and well as online retailers to reach their immediate customer base.

Allowing users to perform a quick search for anything they may need in the area.

Moreover, this free listing service doesn’t just work in the google maps app, but also integrates with the search engine itself- helping to prioritize businesses that may be local to whomever is searching for them.

In order to effectively wield the promotional power of Google Maps and location based services, you’ll need to establish and verify a Google Business Profile- which is actually pretty simple.

Once your profile has been established and verified- optimization once again becomes important.

As it can more easily tie your business to relevant searches, even to show up in the list of “nearby” businesses that are marked directly on a map of search engine results.

These top ranked results also offer the added benefit of showcasing any google reviews your business might have and linking directly to your website, showing business hours, and even offering promotions.

Google Business Profile

Google MyBusiness profile example
Google MyBusiness Profile example

In order to really get the most out of your Google Business Profile and Google Search Ads, you’ll need a great website.

While that sounds pretty obvious- a great website isn’t just one that has decent content and products- but one that really represents your brand and works well. Bring customers in, and keep them there.

A professional website is important, but so is a well optimized one. Which are sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to create using free web publishing services.

So if you’re going to spend money, spend it on creating an incredible, user friendly site. One that works well on both mobile and desktop devices.

A great business website can also function as an advertising platform for associated business– by allowing for programmatic display advertising.

Which can offer your business additional income and additional exposure through collaborative marketing campaigns.

Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know for 2021

Digital Marketing trends have shifted in the last year, as personalization platforms like Google Shopping play a key role for retailers and consumers alike.

COVID-19 changed how we interact with one another, how we work, and how we shop.

How do UK digital buyers predict that the coronavirus pandemic will affect their future purchasing habits?
How do UK digital buyers predict that the coronavirus pandemic will affect their future purchasing habits? (emarketer.com)

While few can say that they are comfortably out from under the grip of the deadly virus that rocked the world in 2020, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

But even with the promise of change on the horizon, many consumers -and retailers- are finding that some of these new habits are just too good to let go of.

Bringing into stark focus the necessity of social media, consumer focused and targeted ad campaigns, as well as comparative pricing and locational data boosted by Google Shopping management services.

6 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

Google Shopping

Topping these new trends that will surely show continued endurance in the coming years is Google Shopping.

While the application isn’t new, the tool has shown a surprising upswing in interest and use within the last year, particularly as demand for online goods soared, and a wider variety of retailers looked to step up to the mammoth task of going online.

For online businesses that are strongly considering a revamped SEO strategy, or setting renewed reliance on their digital marketing agency, a clear google shopping campaign for 2021 won’t go amiss.

Particularly as the platform functions differently than most other online shopping hubs like Amazon and Etsy- instead, supplying consumers with similar products from a multitude of retailers in order to secure the best price.

Example of Google Shopping Ad Result
Example of Google Shopping Ad Result

Social Media Buying and Reach

Making Google Shopping management services a must for any retailer that wants to sink their teeth into e-commerce without affiliating with larger retail outlets.

Moreover, consumer behavior trends in 2020 saw more shoppers gaining inspiration from social media platforms like Instagram, and then using Google to discover new products.

So while we may have gotten used to the more compartmentalized approach to SEO marketing, 2021 seems to show more crossover trends.

Requiring retailers to consider new types of social media campaigns that can dovetail into comparison platforms like Google Shopping.

Further reinforcing the position of a digital marketing agency that knows how to not only improve ranking, but also focus on social media presence, local listings and geolocation data, as well as more intimate digital forms of customer relations.

Online Communications and Events

Like online events and communications.

Is suspected that 2021 will see a continuance of the work from home trend, as well as an ever increasing reliance on digital communication.

This can include many different aspects of marketing, from online meetings to more personalized content and customer care.

How well your digital platforms perform in these spheres will not only strengthen ratings and improve CTR- as consumers have reported that convenience is one of the most motivating factors to buy- but will also help your business improve ROI by reducing administrative costs.

With fewer profits designated towards keeping an office and associated transportation costs, businesses can instead focus this retained revenue on marketing campaigns and better equipment for work from home employees.

AI in Advertising and SEO Marketing Agency

AI is continuing to play a huge part in digital marketing– let alone the entire e-commerce business sector.

Allowing your SEO services agency to better understand consumer habits while being able to more efficiently filter customer requests and create consumer focused content.

Perhaps the most exciting AI innovation to see improvements this year is “Programmatic Advertising” or an automated bidding system that translates into ad buying.

Essentially creating a real-time, targeted ad purchase point, that will target specific customers that are currently browsing the publishing website.

Making new customer acquisition more effective in both overall costs and time.

Personalized Conversational Marketing

Outside of feeling like customers finally have access to convenient price comparison, and enjoying a higher degree of relevancy in the ads they are shown, consumers also want to feel like they are still capable of reaching a human.

This type of personalization and conversational interaction allows consumers to feel more involved in their purchases, and more confident about making them.

Thanks to the shift into a multitude of channels, as opposed to just website traffic, consumers are looking for a more bespoke and individual shopping experience.

Where the retailer is capable of quickly interacting with buyers in a space that is familiar for them.

What was once mitigated by face-to-face encounters in brick and mortar stores, has now been moved to chat interfaces and comment sections.

Engendering brand loyalty and a personalized feel to an incredibly impersonal platform.

Video Marketing

Few things have become so important in the new normality of digital marketing as the humble video.

Using fun themes and often a more casual approach, video marketing is taking a bit of a diversion from the ad campaigns used historically by marketing agencies.

Away from the feeling of an overproduced and curated advertisement- consumers seem to be continuing to look for that personalized and friendly approach.

Preferring short videos like Facebook Live updates or Instagram’s Reels to learn about new products and services.

Video marketing also translates well to other types of digital marketing, far beyond social media.

Videos can be transcribed, easily shared, or even turned into a podcast.

Not to mention the format is mobile friendly and easy to consume while performing other tasks– something consumers need.

Even short videos on websites have been shown to increase Google rankings as people seem to be compelled to engage with video more than text or even banner ads.