'Water everywhere and not a drop to drink' … this is exactly how I felt when I began my journey to finding places online where I can promote our business. In one hand, you have the vast encyclopedia of the web and all the sites, blogs and platforms I can go on and talk about my business and the issues that we were trying to solve. On the other hand, you have to think carefully which domains you want to be associated with, which ones allow that type of content and which ones are suitable for your business and its audience.
So if you like me, struggle to find your feet at the beginning, here is a good (by no means complete) list of the top 10 places online you can promote your business.
# 1 Changes start from within – Optimize your email signature. How many emails do you send every day? Quite a few of them I imagine. Now imagine how many people you could have engaged if you had a link to your website included in your email signature. In fact, today it is becoming quite normal to have your own or your company's email signature contain not only a name, phone number, email address and website, but also links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media profiles. So, make sure you use every bit of real estate in your emails.
# 2 Search Engines – It must come as no surprise that the major of web traffic comes from search engines. With that being said, search engines should be the first place you turn to promote your business. Make sure that search engines know about your business, your locations and your website by submitting all the relevant information and completing local search forms. It's free and it only takes a few minutes.
# 3 Social Media – Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you will know that social media is an essential part of business success and it is particularly effective and efficient tool to use for smaller businesses.
Social media allows you to connect directly with your prospects and customers, but also gives you the fantastic opportunity to promote your business, website and content. By using social media successfully you will be able to keep marketing costs to a minimum, measure what is and is not working well, and build a community feel that reflects your brand.
# 4 Video – Because it's a video platform, YouTube may not initially seem like a suitable platform for marketing your small business, but guess what? It is! Closely tied to Google+, YouTube is a more social and influential platform than ever.
Creating and posting video content on YouTube is a great way to boost the visibility and credibility of your small business. Creating video content does not require a big budget. All you really need is a camera.
You can create content featuring your customers saying why they like your business, it could be a short video of you explaining about your product or even a quick tour of your promises. A simple video like this can make all the difference!
# 5 Photo Sharing – Photo sharing sites are perfect for creating more buzz around your business and also creating some links to your website around the web (this is good SEO practices 101). You can take a picture of your product, your promises, your logo and share them. Depending on what your business offers photo sharing websites could be more or less useful to get your point across, suddenless you should give them a go.
# 6 Guest posting – Guest posting remains one of the most important marketing strategies. Guest posting, as the name suggests, is writing and publishing content on a third-party blog or website as a guest author. Done correctly, this strategy for sharing content is a great way to find and connect with new readers, find prospects and create a wider audience for your business.
Depending on your industry and area of expertise, some websites may be more suitable than others. Here are a few content sharing platforms that would be a great place to start.
StumbleUpon (this website is particularly good as it accepts a variety of different content formats on every topic imaginable)
# 7 Presentations – Slideshare is a free website which allows you to post content as a presentation. Presentations are viewed by the general public, and can increase traffic to your website, landing pages, or blog. It is a great place to promote attractive, useful presentations to get the visibility you need.
# 8 Audio Submission Sites – Similar to Slideshare – a site dedicated to presentation submissions, there are websites entirely devoted to audio submissions. Be it an audio explaining the benefits of your products and services or an audio of a webinar you held, you can submit it.
Again, this is a great way to gain extra exposure for your business.
# 9 Answer Questions – There are plenty of websites out there that are dedicated to asking and answering questions. This is the perfect opportunity for you to engage with potential customers. You can either ask a questions regarding your product and see who answers and target those people as potential clients. Alternately, you can find questions on topics you are familiar with and answer them including a link to your website.
If you are a wedding photographer for example, you can ask a questions 'What is the most important thing when considering hiring a wedding photographer'. Or somebody else might have asked 'Why are wedding photographers so expensive' to which you can answer explaining that there are a number of costs involved in the process such as travel, film, printing of a wedding album etc. You can also include your prices and a link to your website. Who knows, maybe this thread would be read by a potential customer.
# 10 Go on the 'Front Page of The Internet' – Would you like to go 'on the front page of the internet'? Then go to Reddit. It is a social platform allowing like-minded people with similar interest to connect.
The great thing about Reddit is there are small communities called sub-Reddits that bring people and their interests together. There are sub-Reddits about pretty much any topic you can think of, so I am pretty certain there is one that would be a good fit for your business. There are some generic ones, such as / r / smallbusiness, / r / businessproblems, / r / entrepreneur etc.
Similar to the questions submission sites, you can ask and answer questions, submit content and links, write stories etc.
Check it out!