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FCR Media provides Digital Marketing and Print Solutions that Help Your Business Reach Local Customers
FCR Media continues to lead the way in local business advertising solutions. We guide you every step of the way from presence building, lead generation, customer retention and on going support whenever you need it.
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#10 Top Tips For Getting A Business Started Online
1 Be Social, Be Where Your Customers Are
Social is a vital part of any online marketing strategy. From sharing posts you’ve written yourself and interacting with others, to becoming a public voice on your business sector and curating content written by other knowledge leaders. An important tip is to take planned approach. Decide in advance what kind of social media strategy you want to adopt for your company. The voice of the company and on which sites(channels) you want to engage.
Top Tip: Have a plan that is realistic within the time you have available. A sure fire way to fail is by spreading yourself too thin by trying to be present on too many channels at once.
2 Get To Know How Search Engines Think
Search engines are controlled by algorithms. This is a set of rules that decides which page should be first as it’s perceived to be most relevant and which should be last or least relevant. Everyone knows about Google and Bing but the web is made up of many different search engines all broadly following similar rules. By understanding how these engines think you can create webpages and content that will constantly rank higher and reach a more targeted audience.
Top Tip: Google ‘google SEO primer’ or else ask us for advise.
3 Check What Help Is Out There For You
There’s never been a better time to start a new business. Make sure to ask everyone you know from your Bank of Ireland Business Advisor to Local Enterprise Board if there is any programs available that you could benefit from. You’d be surprised whats out there to help you get started. You found this program after all and saved a ton of money.
Top Tip: Sit down for a morning and make some calls to local innovation units in your area. You can cover a lot of ground with a few phone calls. Check out Business Supports on the localenterprise.ie website.
4 Engage, Engage, Engage
One of the keys to engaging on the web with customers is to be authentic. The old adage ‘People Do Business With People’ never rang more true than on web interactions today. Being active and engaging on social media can signal to customers that you are knowledgeable about your industry and trustworthy.
Top Tip: Be personable and professional. This is about business, so sharing your favourite cat video, unless your business is pet care, or a night out on the town may not be the best way to gain customers.
5 Find Your Voice
Who are you as a business? What makes you different to the competition? What makes you interesting to customers? It can take time to find your niche and what works for your business sector. Have a look at how other similar businesses approach their marketing and see what you can learn from that.
Top Tip: Ask yourself what your business does best, Ideally find a few things your best at. Now you can shape your messaging around these points to make you stand out from others in your market sector.
6 Network With Other Entrepreneurs
Find out where other business people meet in your town or city. Look out for Tech gatherings, Chambers of Commerce, or business meet ups through sport or outdoor activities. You can learn a lot at these events as many attendees will be in the same boat as yourself and working out new ways to scale their business, meet ups can also be a fountain of inspiration helping your find new ways around market challenges.
Top Tip: Be social and relaxed and prepared to share your experience, networking only works if it’s fun for everyone involved.
7 Advertise On Search Engines And Social Channels
Consider online advertising to get your message and brand out in large volume. Paid campaigns can be a great way of getting immediate traffic, you can go from zero to hero in a day. Depending on the kind of product you sell, you’ll find some channels are better than others. Start off with a small budget to see what works and build up based on how many customers your getting in return. For most businesses Google Adwords and Facebook is a great place to start.
Top Tip: Don’t forget your negative keyword list, if you’re not sure contact a pro and let them advise you.
8 Claim Your Business Listings Online
Online listings are a great way of getting your information out to consumers in your local area. Local consumers are key as they are likely to buy from you. Listings also help establish your business across a wide variety of platforms from top Irish local directories, maps, app’s and review engines. These services are very strong in engaging ‘Local’ customers for emerging and established businesses alike.
Top Tip: It’s absolutely essential you keep your listing information up to date as wrong information can be very harmful. Put notes in your diary to remind you to do regular updates or use a service like SnapSync.
9 Measure Success
It’s simple to integrate smart analytics on your business website and keep a keen eye on the reports from your lead management program including social and mail campaigns. This will allow you to understand exactly what kind of communication engages customers and optimise your content for higher success. You can now connect the journey from traffic to actual customers who engage with your business.
Top Tip: Mailchimp for email campaigns has a great free account with reporting and Google Analytics is also free to use.
10 Measure your return on investment
Maintaining an online presence across multiple channels can be very time consuming and time is your most precious commodity when running a business. When adding paid advertising to the mix you’ll have to consider your spend too. Keep track of how much time and money you spend on each channel and see if it matches the customer engagement you gainin return. This insight will allow you do more of the good stuff and axe the channels that don’t give significant return.
Top Tip: If you’re starting from scratch, set a date in your calendar for 1 month’s time to review your strategy, as it can take some time to establish traction and get meaningful data. If you’re a larger company with more traffic then you can see trends much quicker.