In the past few years, every company has been jumping on the social media bandwagon with the hope of reaping the gains that a few big brands have had. Social media is no longer the next big thing; it’s here and it’s being used successfully. But that doesn’t mean it raises business awareness for everyone and can easily be time consuming (read: wasteful).
The great social media rush has resulted in some cringeworthy attempts at social media marketing from long-established brands. Social media, when done as badly as this, actually makes businesses seem more out of touch. Clearly, using social media is not always easy for a business.
So, for those who don’t have the time or resources to spend on social media, here are three other ways of growing your business awareness – that might get you noticed social media.
1. Attract new customers by purchasing a mailing list
Using social media is a great way to directly connect with thousands of active or potential customers on a grand scale. But there is another way to do this. Every day, millions of people check their Twitter and Facebook notifications, but also their email inboxes. Email marketing is a huge area that is actually being underutilised by small businesses.
This study from WordStream talks about the many advantages of using emails as a form of marketing. For example, newsletters from small businesses can make very interesting reading for customers in a way that constant tweeting can’t.
Newsletter providers MailChimp talk about the many huge success milk sellers Goat Milk Stuff had by sending out email-only offers to their customers. These kinds of deals draw customers into your business, and make them feel reading your emails was rewarding and worthwhile.
Purchasing a mailing list is the best and most efficient way to reach the most people with your emails. There are many companies out there who can provide tailor made mailing lists with recipients from your target audience. If you get stuck, use this helpful guide on using mailing lists from mailing list providers Electric Marketing.
2. Give people the answers by producing great content
Since the internet has been dominant in our lives, people from all walks have life have turned to Google with every question they have about the world. Now especially, with features like voice search becoming so popular, the internet is the only place many people turn to for answers.
Contrary to popular belief, search engines do not solely return results from Wikipedia or Q&A forums at the top of every results page. Instead, Google prioritises the pages that have the most relevant information to the question the user searches. This presents a great opportunity for small businesses to climb to the top of Google’s rankings by providing high quality answers to questions relevant to their field, even getting answer boxes pulled through into the results pages.
For example, the top result for the popular search query ‘how to make cupcakes’ is a blog on ‘Mumpreneur’ Annabel Karmel’s website. Similarly, the top result for the query ‘what are the most popular names’ comes from baby-name business Nameberry. Clearly, there is room for small businesses to increase their online prominence and clickthrough rate by providing comprehensive answers to popularly searched questions in their area of expertise.
3. Don’t forget the classics: use traditional PR
There is still a lot of merit to getting traditional press coverage on the internet. According to traffic insights from web analytics company Alexa, the most read news websites in the world are established institutions like the BBC, CNN and The New York Times. Because of this, it is still worth reaching out to journalists, or trying to make headlines in other ways, possibly through charitable work or record-breaking attempts.
If your product is unique, effective, and in high demand, the press may come to you without prompting. A great example of this is the Oculus Rift. The device’s Kickstarter success was covered extensively in the traditional media, catapulting it from niche concern to popular phenomenon.
Alexa’s insights also reveal that video sharing platforms like Youtube are, unsurprisingly, extremely popular on the internet. Small businesses capitalise on this by working with famous Youtubers on product placement videos. The International Business Times discusses how startup Famebit connects videomakers with brands to make perfect product placement videos that will reach millions of viewers.
Alternatively, if you have the resources, it might be worth making a corporate video for your small business and uploading it to Youtube yourselves. There are many reasons every business should have a YouTube channel according to production company Tellyjuice. By creating great adverts and video content yourselves, you can bring in customers and strengthen your brand identity. If your video is popular enough, it could gain traction, go viral and be repeatedly shared on, yes, social media.