How to Use the Internet to Promote Your Offline Business
Got a brick-and-mortar business that you need more customers for? There are a lot of different ways that you can go about promoting your offline business, but one method you shouldn’t neglect is to use the internet to drum up interest in your wares. The internet provides many free ways of getting the word out about a business, and quite a few paid ones too. Here’s what you need to do to convert marketing online to offline promotion for your business.
Start a Website
Whatever methods of promotion you employ you are going to need a place on the internet to send potential customers to so that they can find out more and make inquiries about what you offer. This means that you need a website.
A website gives you the opportunity to provide in-depth information about your business and what products and services you provide to customers. It also allows you to provide background information about the industry your business is in. Many of the people coming to your website may be looking for solutions to problems they do not fully understand. Your site gives you the opportunity to educate them so that they know what they need and they also know that you can provide it.
You may be thinking that a website is somewhat redundant in the age of social media. You could just set up a Facebook page and send people there. The problem is that social media sites disappear all the time (remember Google Plus?) and sometimes change their functionality in ways that might not suit you. A website gives you an internet presence that you control and which is going to be around for as long as you like.
Make sure that your website has a good flow to it and ensure that its navigation structure makes it easy for people to find what’s available on your site. Give them recommendations for related content so that they know alternative solutions are available. Favor substance over style in your site design and functionality.
Start a Blog
Your website should also have a blogging area where you post articles about your industry. You can get fairly creative with a blog, but you’ll want to mainly focus on discussing real-world situations and problems in the industry you are in. People may come to your blog for entertainment, they may come for solutions to their problems, or they may come for a better understanding of the problems and situations they find themselves experiencing. By posting blog content on all these topics, people who need the kind of solutions your business provides will have a reason to come to your website and will be encouraged to recommend it to others.
Try to work as many related search terms into your blog posts as you can manage. Research the types of questions people ask about and search for when looking for answers for problems relevant to your business and use those terms within your posts, possibly as sub-headings. This gives search engines an incentive to recommend your blog pages in their search results involving those terms.
Create Social Media Accounts
The advantage of having a social media presence in addition to your website is that social media has virality inbuilt into it. People can subscribe to your accounts and get notifications of anything you post. For that to work though you need to be posting things that potential customers will consider worthwhile. Also remember that your social media posts should all direct interest back to your website.
Your social media pages will be similar to your blog pages so you can post the same content there. Just reword the posts so that they aren’t regarded as duplicate content by search engines.
Your offline business can benefit from online internet promotion in a variety of ways. You can sell your products and services directly, or build up awareness of your business by creating online discussions that involve it. The internet gives you a lot of options for online to offline promotion and you would be foolish not to take advantage of as many as you can manage. So start planning your online presence today, and start making the internet work for you and your business.