Social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing – so many ways to market products and services online can be daunting for anyone, and 50-something entrepreneurs are no exception. But online marketing is more than worthwhile, as it’s usually cheaper than traditional advertising and reaches a wider audience. What’s more, it can be tailored to fit your business model or specific needs.
Many of the essential concepts of traditional advertising hold true for online marketing so that, with the right approach, it becomes a simple and steady ongoing effort. The following tips can help any 50-something entrepreneur, whether tech-savvy or not (that was me in my early days), make the most of online marketing.
1. Invest in search engine optimization
Websites have to work hard to appear at the top of the Google search results, where they enjoy great visibility — people are more likely to click on the topmost results than on any others. To ensure your website ranks well in the search results, you need to publish valuable content relevant to your niche, optimize your content for keywords, generate backlinks, and be active on social media networks, among other things. It’s called organic search engine marketing and can increase your online visibility significantly and be a steady source of traffic.
2. Use social media to spread the word about your business
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube are great for connecting with your audience, sharing with them news and updates relevant to your business, encouraging referrals and more. They help you build a following, generate interest in your company, and drive traffic to your site. You can also buy ads on social media to target very specific user groups.
3. Don’t forget about email marketing
Despite the emergence of more advanced online marketing platforms, email marketing continues to have the highest conversion rates. It consists of building an email list of customers, prospects, and other followers and sending emails to them regularly. Email marketing is most effective when it doesn’t try to sell directly, but, just like content marketing, provides knowledge and insight.
4. Sell benefits, not features
The Internet is very competitive for companies and marketers; for customers, it is easier than ever to research and compare products. Successful online marketing offers reliable solutions to specific problems customers are facing. At the end of the day, it’s not about the great features of your product, but about its usefulness and benefits.
5. Make content marketing a priority
Your website, blog, and social media pages all require content in the form of updates, articles, posts, images, or videos. Fresh and relevant content helps establish you as an authority in your niche, engages your audience, and persuades people to discover your products or services, which is often more effective, as well as cheaper, than buying ads. The thing about content marketing is that creating content, optimizing it for search engines, and publishing it takes time. Don’t let the idea that content marketing is time consuming keep you from eliminating this as a vital tool. You may want to outsource it.
6. You can always outsource online marketing if it’s too much trouble for you
You can hire freelancers to handle specific aspects of your online marketing, such as content creation, social media marketing management, or advertising management, or choose an agency that does it all for a monthly fee. For as little as a few hundred dollars a month, you and your staff can save dozens of hours while taking advantage of the benefits of online marketing.
Last but not least, online marketing is by its nature very customer-centric. It’s very important to listen to what your customers are saying, to monitor their responses, and to make them feel important. This will keep them engaged with your brand.