1) Social Networks
You are probably familiar with social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. What you may not realize is that these social networks can be powerful marketing tools, when they’re used wisely. Start by setting up an account for your business on each of the major social networks. Before you start adding friends or soliciting followers, make sure you populate your profile with information about your company, images, and links to your website. As a general rule, don’t start posting promotions right away. Establish yourself as an interesting person to follow. Post links to relevant industry news articles and build a following in the tech community. This takes time but, once you’ve got loyal followers, you’d be surprised how many of them turn into customers.
2) Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a term that is bandied about all over the place these days, and for good reason. The higher up your site appears in searches, the more customers you’ll get. It’s a one-to-one ratio. If you’re not familiar with SEO, head over to one of the many SEO forums and start reading up. It’s not complicated, but improving your SEO is a skill. A good way to start is by using a tool like Google Analytics to see what search terms people are using to find your site. Once you know what people are looking for you can start seeding your site with those terms to boost your relevance in searches. You can also boost your SEO by earning backlinks from other websites in your industry.
A backlink is just what it sounds like: a link back to your site from another site. Backlinks are heavily indexed by Google and a few high-profile backlinks can send you right up the search result list, fast. The more popular the site is that links back to you, the better. Consider soliciting backlinks by offering products or services, or by reviewing other providers. Backlinks grow naturally as you grow your business, so the real grunt work comes at the beginning. Don’t despair if you don’t see immediate results. Chances are, when you do start seeing results, they will snowball quickly.
4) Press Releases
Press releases will get you immediate attention, and they can be great for marketing specific products or promotions. There are many websites where you can post press releases for free, and some where you can pay for your release to be indexed faster and more comprehensively. If your release is particularly newsworthy, you can submit it to local papers and radio and television stations.
5) Email Newsletters
Email newsletters get your message out to the people who care to hear it: your opted-in subscribers. There are many email newsletter platforms you can use to manage your contacts and automate your messages. Most of these cost under $30/month and include widgets for your website. Start sending out a monthly newsletter about happenings in your company along with special promotions just for newsletter readers.
6) Ad Buys
Ad buys are a classic, tried-and-true advertising tactic that work best in conjunction with other forms of online advertising for grabbing consumer attention and driving sales. Ad buys work best on forums or magazine websites, where readers are spending a lot of time. Ad buys can be expensive, so, in order to maximize your ROI, you should wait until you have a special promotion or a new product line before purchasing them.
Classifieds are free, there are a ton of them out there, and they are thoroughly searched by consumers on a daily basis. You probably won’t be able to post a straight-up ad without getting flagged, but free giveaways, free trials and contests are all fair game for most classified sites. Work classified posting into your weekly schedule and the benefits will accumulate over time.
Well written, well researched articles may not be easy to write, but the results can be exponential. If you write something people want to read (and include a link back to your website) people will follow it just to learn more about you, the esteemed author. There are tons of free article-submission websites where you can build a following fast. A single article can continue to drive traffic for months, and it gets you noticed, both good things for your business. Writing one really good article that impresses readers is infinitely more powerful than twenty mediocre articles nobody wants to read. Take your time. Think it out. It’ll pay off.
9) Forum Participation
Forums are communities and, as such, participating in the discussion and making friends is just like networking in person. Build trust with the people you meet. Contribute interesting or helpful information. Establish yourself as an expert in your field and be sure to include a link to your website in your signature. Many no-follow forums may not get indexed directly, but if you do your job, they will get followed.
10) Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a critical part of any established business. Reviews allow current customers to express themselves and share their experiences and they allow new customers to learn about your business. As a business, you can learn a lot from the experiences of your customers. If you strive to deliver top-notch customer service, you will see it reflected in your reviews. You may want to consider partnering with a third-party review service. This lends authenticity to your reviews, so your customers know they are real and unbiased.