If you’re a small business owner in Utah, you’ve probably noticed something: we love small business. Despite the fact that big tech companies keep moving here and there are, of course, national chains all over the place, the shop small movement needs no encouragement here. Even after COVID-19 hit and business were struggling, people showed up in droves (though, not physically) to shop, donate, and buy gift cards. Basically, anything that they could do to keep the little gems that dot our state alive. But how did these businesses get the word out that they needed support? Through their internet marketing. They used the good ol’ world wide web to reach they customers and find new ones.
But you don’t need to be a company hit hard by the Corona virus to take advantage of internet marketing. As a digital marketing firm, internet marketing is all we do at Avant8. Not only that but we love Utah businesses (partially because we are one). So, we through together some of the basics for internet marketing that Utah businesses (and others, I guess) can take advantage of.
Get that SEO moving
Let’s start with a big one: search engine optimization (SEO). Talk to anyone who works in internet marketing for about… oh, one minute, and you’re bound to hear about SEO. It is the bread and butter of our world. This is because SEO has everything to do with how your company’s website shows up on an internet search. Basically, good SEO means that you show up on the first page of a search on Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine, preferably as one of the first few entries. The best way to do this is through keywords.
Keywords are anything that someone might use to find you on the internet. Generally, they have to do with whatever you sell or offer. So, if you own a thrift shop, your keywords will be things like “thrift shops,” “secondhand store,” or “used clothes.” The way to get SEO to work for you is by using these keywords in creative ways on your site. For example, you can make sure that they make their way into descriptions and captions on your site. You can even run a blog where you write articles using the keywords as your focus and inspiration. Search engines look for these uses of the keywords to find the most relevant and helpful sites for their users.
This is a very simplistic explanation about SEO. If you want to do a deep-dive into the exciting world of SEO, we go into a lot of detail about SEO in several of our blogs here.
Keep up on social media
If you don’t have at very least a Facebook account associated with your business, there is one question I have for you: why not!? You would not believe what a difference having an active social media account can make for your internet marketing. It is one of the best ways to find new customers and interact with your current ones.
If you already have some social media accounts for your business, how often do you update it? Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Hopefully, it’s one of the last two. You want to make sure your customers know that you still exist. Plus, social media platforms tend to give precedence to very active accounts. The more often you update, the more likely you are to find new customers.
You may be asking, “okay, great. But what do I put on social media?” Basically, whatever you want, as long as it has to do with what you are as a business. King’s English, a Salt Lake based bookstore, posts about sales their having, new products they’ve gotten in, and often have posts with colorful stacks of books asking about their followers’ reading recommendations. Grey Whale, a local record shop, posts about new products and sales as well, but they also post music-related memes that their followers will find funny. The main thing that you need to decide is what your company’s voice is. Is it professional and to the point? Or is it funny and casual? Once you decide that, the rest will likely fall in place.
Try out some ads
Let’s be totally honest, no one really likes ads unless they’re during the Superbowl. Most people find them repetitive and annoying, and internet ones are often creepy. It seems like all you have to do is think of a dog bed and suddenly you are bombarded with ads about dog beds. But here’s the thing about ads: they work. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be seeing them all the time. And here’s the extra special thing about internet ads: not only do they work, but they’re cheap. In the past you had to pay for precious space in a paper or magazine, or for airtime during primetime TV. On the internet, space is never ending as is airtime. So, you don’t have to pay much to get your name out there.
The big thing that you have to decide about internet ads is how you want to do them. If you get a lot of your business from social media, try some ads on Facebook or Instagram. If you would rather just skip to the point and not have to have an ad designed, try PPC (pay-per-click). PPC ads are like paying to have your SEO guaranteed. Your site gets stuck at the top of a search and you only have to pay if someone clicks on the link. You may have to play around with the ads to see what works for you. But you won’t regret it once you find that magic combination.
Internet marketing may seem daunting as a small business owner in Utah. But don’t let it scare you. It’s really all about doing the small things, like keeping up your SEO and social media, with the occasional big thing, like ads. But if you’re thinking that that all may be a bit too much for you to handle on your own, you could try out our services. We, here at Avant8, like to think that we’re pretty good at this stuff. In fact, we know it.