Having a digital presence is essential for any company that wants to reach new audiences.
SEO, social media, and paid search are three powerful opportunities to present your products or services to more customers. But when you start as a business owner, expanding your digital reach can be overwhelming, where to start?
To celebrate Google International Small Business Week, which is based on UN Micro, Small and Medium Business Day, we’ve created a resource for micro-businesses that may not yet have a digital presence.
Here, we discuss the tips of four small business owners on how they found online audiences initially after launching their businesses, so you can make sure you’re using the right digital tools to expand your own reach.
Also, listen to the HubSpot advertising director on how to get the most out of Google Ads as a new business owner.
How to find and reach your target audience, according to small business owners
1. Have some general assumptions about your target audience, and then narrow them down.
When you first create a digital presence, you’ll want to start by focusing on some broad, easy-to-identify categories of your target market.
Your team can begin by identifying your customer’s target segmentation. This includes:
Additionally, you can add geo-targeting if you only intend to market a specific location.
Along with general customer information, you will also want to answer the following question: My business helps people who have a pain point X. In other words, what challenge is your business solving?
Understanding your customers ’problems can help you build a better narrative of who they are, which will help you target your digital strategies effectively.
2. Analyze your target audience to see if your product or service will appeal to similar audiences.
When you find your audience online, it’s important not to get overwhelmed by spreading the web too far.
Chances are your product or service already exists in some way on the market. So look at what your competitors are doing to inspire you for your own digital strategy.
For example, if you see that most of your competitors are creating ads for YouTube, it could be a sign that YouTube has proven to be an effective strategy in your industry.
3. Implement SEO strategies to create a website presence.
Once you feel confident in your target audience, it’s time to leverage SEO to increase your website’s ranking and start attracting search engine traffic.
You want to start by creating an official business website. Make sure your page is optimized for SEO search: Among other factors, it includes optimized images, responsive pages, and fast loading time.
Then create a free Google My Business profile to make sure you can capture search traffic and Google maps. This is especially useful for pedestrian traffic; for example, if you own a restaurant, Google My Business can make sure you show up when someone in your local area searches for “places to dine near me.”
Another tip? Create a solid content strategy. Content is the fuel that will ultimately drive your SEO machine.
Chandler Bolt, general manager of SelfPublishing.com and Self Publishing School, told me, “It was a long-term work, but our business really started to take off when we created our blog, we launched our podcast and we we focused on creating useful content that solved the problems of aspiring authors.Our formula is simple: create the best content on the internet for any topic we write about, and then get as many inbound links as possible for this post “.
Now, Self Publishing School constantly ranks keywords related to writing or publishing. A solid SEO strategy led to huge growth of the company and helped them reach the audience that mattered most.
If your business is having a hard time finding search terms that align well with your products or services, consider how you can partner with more established brands to solve your customers’ problems, and vice versa. This allows you to access potential customers with high intent without relying solely on SEO.
Scott Rogerson, CEO of UpContent, told me: “We continue to build on content collaborations and add new ones to help our customers address the pain in their digital channels. It was thanks to this first approach that we were able to assess quickly. which use cases were most valuable and within which industries they were most common. This has formed the basis on which our SEO, social media and digital advertising strategy is built. “
4. Explore the most popular social channels among your target audience.
The HubSpot blog survey found that 57% of consumers discover products more often on social media, and 23% of young people aged 18-24. prefer to buy products directly through social media.
Which means social media is an undeniably powerful opportunity to increase sales.
In addition, social media has a huge audience: more than 3.6 billion people use it worldwide. Therefore, regardless of your marketing goals, it is imperative that you create a digital presence on at least one of the social platforms.
If you’re new to the world of social media, you’ll want to start by identifying which channels you want to follow first. To do this, you need to determine where your target audience spends time.
The top three social media channels in terms of monthly active users are Facebook (2.9 billion MAU), YouTube (2.2 billion MAU) and Instagram (2 billion MAU). It’s a good idea to start with a channel with great potential and then reduce it.
Social media can also help you listen to your potential customers and learn from them to grow better. As Molly Rigatti, Senior Growth Marketer at Impulse Creative, puts it: “We’ve found that creating a space where people can ask their questions is much more effective than trying to start conversations by telling companies what they need to be successful.”
Rigatti says, “We listen. We listen to the wishes and needs of our customers. We listen to diagnose their real problems instead of prescribing the easiest sale.”
If you’re still unsure of how to increase your social media presence, take a look at 21 ways to build your social media presence, such as HubSpot marketers.
5. Take advantage of Google Ads to increase your reach.
While paid advertising can be daunting on a limited budget, with Google Ads you can take advantage of powerful targeting capabilities at a relatively low cost.
To discover some tips on getting the most out of Google Ads with limited resources, I spoke with HubSpot’s advertising director Rex Gelb.
When it comes to an effective keyword strategy for startups and small businesses, Gelb told me, “My recommendation would be to start with keywords that best relate to your core products or services and branch out from from here “.
For example, suppose you sell a niche product within a larger category, such as children’s soccer spots.
“For starters,” says Gelb, “I would make an offer for exactly that:‘ Kids Football Boots. ’If that’s okay and you have the budget, you might try to make an offer for‘ Football Boots ’below, and Yes that it works, ‘stains’ after that “.
Gelb adds: “Extending your targeting in this way means you’ll get some irrelevant clicks and wasted advertising spend, but you’ll also get more scale and you may find that even with a higher customer acquisition cost, “We are still generating a positive ROI.”
Google Ads is an undeniably powerful tool to reach new customers. In fact, for users who are ready to buy, paid ads on Google get 65% of clicks.
However, like any effective long-term marketing strategy, Google Ads needs work. As Gelb says, “Many companies are looking for ‘tips and tricks’ to try to overcome the system, but I would say that between 70 and 80% of Google Ads use best practices that have been tried and true.”
So … what are these good practices? Gelb advises: “Choose keywords that make sense to your business, write ads that are highly relevant to those keywords, choose the right campaign goal based on your business goals, control your search terms report and try, try and test. If you do. these things (and read a little bit about the types of concordance if you don’t know them), you’ll go most of the way. “
All in all, creating a digital presence takes time, but it’s worth it. With the right SEO, social, and paid strategies, you’ll start to see your website and social platforms working for you by getting new traffic and leads every day.
If you’re a HubSpot customer, congratulations – HubSpot now offers integration with Google Ads that allows you to scale your qualified leads and increase conversions by connecting your HubSpot and Google Ads accounts. Best of all, we now offer an exclusive HubSpot offer to Google customers with a 20% discount on the first year of HubSpot and then a 10% discount in perpetuity.