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What You Really Need to Know About Online Marketing as a Small Business Owner

Rolando Herrera
Rolando Herrera

Marketing your brand online may not be as difficult as you think.

Are you considering starting your own business? If you are, you will likely collide with a central problem that affects the sustainability of your burgeoning startup – marketing. For many business owners, marketing is an extremely complicated concept.

In actuality, the concept of marketing is both straightforward and methodical, relying on one fundamental objective: building solid relationships with your clientele through effective research and advertising.

Even if you're selling a time machine or a map to the Fountain of Youth, you won't achieve any financial growth unless your target audience knows what your products or services are. For this, you'll need an effective strategy that will leverage your marketing goals and sustain the profitability of your business.

Are you searching for the information to establish the foundation of your marketing plan? Let's explore a few important areas of online marketing to give your marketing strategy a powerful jump-start.

1. Keyword research is your greatest weapon.

Keyword research is the key building block in an impregnable SEO foundation. Before you dive into the multilayered field of online marketing, you'll have to understand the basis of keyword research and use this resource specifically to your advantage.

There are thousands of online articles that all explain why keyword research is important to succeed online, but these articles rarely give any details as to why this is true. Here are three actionable keyword research tips you can immediately implement into your keyword strategy:

Use Google Suggest to find popular keywords. 

Google Suggest is a search engine feature that provides users with the best-matching suggestions for their entered search terms. By simply typing in terms such as "how to," you can find the most relevant keywords in your niche. To maximize your keyword mining results, use the standard formula of how to + niche (e.g., "how to lose weight fast").


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Steal your competitors' keywords. 

Call it unfair, but stealing your competitors' keywords can help you dominate your industry. This is especially true if your competitor has a higher ranking in your local SERPs. You can type the URL of your competitor's website into Google Keyword Planner to monitor their keyword usage. Furthermore, you can access the Keyword Ideas tab to learn more about the keywords your competitors are using, or use the Ad Group Ideas tab to receive topic ideas relating to these keywords.

Look for the sweet spot.

It's important to choose keywords that are generally low-risk, high-reward. If you pick keywords that are too competitive, it's less likely that you'll rank high for them. Conversely, if you choose keywords that aren't being used online, you'll only be wasting your time. Look for the sweet spot in your keyword research to find the perfect equilibrium with your suggested keywords. You can use the Larry's Priority formula to generalize the correct keywords to implement in your strategy. Here's how the formula works:

1. Take the number of monthly searches for the keyword.
2. Multiply that number by the suggested bid.
3. Divide it by the competition level on that keyword.
4. Rank all of the keywords you inserted into this formula accordingly. The highest number is the keyword that will give you the optimal return.

2. Content marketing drives traffic.

Once you've implemented your keyword strategy, you have laid the framework to boost your online rankings. This will lead to high online visibility in a few months if your strategy is successful. Meanwhile, focus your attention on your content marketing efforts, primarily because content marketing drives traffic.

If you want to create exceptional content that will inform and inspire your target audience, remember these three critical tips.

  • Use your research. Conducting quality keyword research will give you insight into the keywords that are popular online. If you can use these keywords to create valuable content for your audience, Google will reward you by ranking your content higher than other articles when a web user enters a corresponding keyword.
  • Keep your content engaging. In the B2B industry, there are millions of online articles that often communicate the same topic. Hence, if your content isn't engaging, your visitors could migrate to other businesses that have more valuable information to share. Always remember to keep your content engaging by providing your audience with precious information they'll use in their everyday lives.
  • Stay original. To elaborate on the previous tip, your content must be entirely original to succeed online and rank successfully in your local SERPs. To achieve this feat, try determining the information you can share that your audience won't find anywhere else. Use in-house infographics, case studies and expert opinions that will create your very own spin on a popular topic.

3. Social media is your key to advertising success.

Social media is a massive platform that can grow your business, generate leads and build your online brand. In fact, did you know that 90 percent of all marketers claim that social media marketing has boosted their business exposure?

You can effectively use social media for advertising success, but first, you'll need a viable strategy. Here are a few ways you can capitalize on the resources you have to achieve a substantial return on your social media marketing budget.

  • Create a social media plan. Frankly, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Needless to say, many businesses make the mistake of blindly leaping into social media marketing without a formal strategy in place. To avoid this trap, start putting your strategy to promote your online brand in writing.
  • Start off small. There are dozens of social media networks, each offering distinct advantages (and consequences) to the businesses that use them. You can easily overwhelm yourself by using multiple social media networks in the beginning stages of your business. Start small by only using prominent social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Expanding your expertise on these networks will make it more convenient to implement other social media networks into your strategy down the road.
  • Target, target, target! Your audience isn't some homogeneous blob, and if you treat them like it, you'll waste a lot of time and money. Each consumer you are targeting has different interests, idiosyncrasies, goals and purchasing habits. Fortunately, you can use Facebook's advertising tool to perform granular audience research. For example, if you are targeting fans of Donald Trump, it would make much more sense to target individuals who use the hashtag #NeverHillary for your search. Facebook Ads makes it easier to target specific audiences this way, and you should take advantage of this feature.

Marketing can be a difficult concept to master. However, following the tips above can help your small business achieve huge success from your unique marketing strategy.

Image Credit:
Rolando Herrera
Rolando Herrera Member
Rolando L. Herrera is the VP of Marketing and Co-Owner of Insignia SEO an Austin SEO Company at the heart of Texas. He is also the VP of Marketing at XTech Staffing. He's a marketing expert with experience working for Fortune 500 companies like the Walt Disney Corporation. He’s helped brands and businesses grow at a rate of 300% over their prior years using innovative digital delivery methods. Before creating Insignia SEO, Rolando worked in creating and developing sales teams in the Telecommunications field. His sales team was among the most successful in the company due to the marketing techniques that where implemented in the sales process. Using marketing as the delivery method for sales with mail marketing, email marketing, and affiliate marketing strategies the team had a funnel with extremely high conversion rates.