Whether you’re strapped for cash, or you simply enjoy being in control of your image, DIY online marketing is a real possibility. You don’t have to be an expert, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money. What follows is 5 tips that will help you find your own unique path through the world of online marketing.
1. Use search engines to learn the basics
Whatever you want to do for your company, whether it’s online marketing for law firms or social media marketing for plumbers, somebody out there has done it before. A simple trip to Google.com and a search for what you want to do will return tons of blogs, articles, and how-to videos. For example, you may have wondered how some websites have little pictures show up next to their name in search results. A search for “how to get my picture to show up next to my website in search results” brings up immediate results.
2. Pay attention to what others are doing
If you’re on Facebook, take a look at what companies you are a “fan” of. How did they manage to get you to become a Facebook fan? Can you use the same method to get fans of your own Facebook page? See what local businesses have a powerful online presence and start researching how to do it on your own. For example, you may notice that a local grocery store has a lot of fans by giving away a small price each week. Could such a tactic work for you? Perhaps you could contact that same business and do a joint contest with them.
3. Don’t try to do everything
It’s easy to end up with a to-do list about a mile long. You might want to build a facebook page, a google+ page, build a website, start a blog, write articles, do SEO, do adwords, do PPC, network, and so on. But if you try to do it all you’ll end up spending all your time marketing instead of doing what will actually earn you money. Choose one or two things to work on, and leave the rest for a while. For example, if you’re in a small town you may want to see if there are any community facebook groups that you could join and use to promote your business. In a large city you might favor spending some money on Pay-Per-Click ads (PPC), or on guest posting on a popular blog.
4. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Experimentation with marketing methods can lead to surprising results and opportunities which you have never expected. For example, a local insurance agent decided to try some event marketing in which he set up a prize booth at a street fair. This led to so many referrals and introductions that he had business to last an entire year from this one method. His colleagues thought he was crazy for trying, but you can bet that now they all do the exact same thing in their communities.
5. Stay ethical
One of the first things you’ll realize as you begin to do your own online marketing is that it’s easy to smear competitors and create fake reviews for them, or for yourself. Avoid this ethical trap. Not only is it morally wrong, it puts you at risk for punishment by the very websites you use, and can even lead to lawsuits and bankruptcy. When it comes to marketing, just promote yourself the best you can and let the customers speak for you.
Doing your own online marketing can seem daunting. However, with a little research and a little time you can do just as well as any professional team. Good luck!