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Market your small business online

  • Blog
  • 03 March 2016

So many of our everyday activities now take place online. Whether we’re chatting with friends on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, ordering groceries for home delivery or researching which car to buy, many of the once ‘real world’ tasks are now handled from our phones and computers.

So, as the team here at FSB knows, it follows that advertising has changed dramatically over the past decade. But the question is, how do small businesses make themselves known online?

 Market your small business online

Paid Advertising on Social Media

Among the most popular ways to market your business via social media are Facebook; Sponsored Stories and the Promote function. This requires the small business user to create a ‘story’ or advert that will generate interest in your offering and then to pay a fee to have it inserted in news feeds. The Promote function sees you create a page for your business and then pay a small daily amount for a trigger advert to pop up on the side of feeds. These are both useful forms of lead generator as they can be targeted to specific locations or interests.

Banner Ads

As the name suggests, these adverts run at the top, down the side or right in the middle of popular web pages. If people are interested in the ad or business, it will attract their attention and they might click the ad to be forwarded to your site.

Using Google AdWords

Google’s Keyword tool allows you to identify which words or phrases are being searched most often by potential customers. Armed with this knowledge, you can significantly influence the quality of the business leads you generate when you create or update your own website or add blog posts.

By knowing which words and phrases to include, you can accurately target your intended audience and make sure that your business or blog posts show up in the relevant search results. The same knowledge can be used to create effective AdWords campaigns in which you pay for traffic to your site generated through Google's sponsored listings.

Local Directories and Apps

It goes without saying, your business should be listed in all relevant local directories and business-specific apps. Remember to ensure that your site is kept up to date; works on mobile devices (also important for search engine optimisation); and that you encourage visitors to complete the desired action, for example purchasing a product or providing you with their contact details as you build up your business database.

Build a Strong Social Media Presence

All these methods need to be part of an overall digital and social media presence. Building a strong presence is a discipline in its own right but essentially, it requires a consistent appearance and voice, and frequent and varied activity over a range of platforms.

While this new marketing reality may seem overwhelming, for small businesses, the advantages are there if you know how to use them.

At FSB, we understand that small businesses need all the marketing help they can get to compete with the big boys. And as the UK’s leading non-political, not for profit business organisation, we’re ready to help.

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