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2020 was the year of uncertainties. However, it was also a year full of opportunities. How? With the entire world working online, the businesses had a great scope of expansion. Those who were able to look out for such chances took the best out of last year. While some businesses came into existence, many lost their identities as well by not being able to go to keep up with all the changes.

The same thing goes for 2021 as well.

In fact, with the digitalization of markets in 2020, consumers are more aware of the options available to them online, which is more preferable and comfortable for them. Online business promotion is the key now for businesses to grow this year. If it was a time before pandemic, promoting a business would have been easier with the availability of options like printing brochures, putting up banners, and word of mouth advertisements. With the growth of online ventures, the promotion has become, if not harder, but trickier as every business is in the game now.

Planning to start a business??

Then 2021 can be just the perfect year for you to start with. All you need to do is be aware of all the possible ways by which you can promote and grow your business. You need to exactly know who your target audience is and exactly how to get them interested in the service or product you provide them.

For that, it is important to make the presence of your business, both online and offline, known to the target audience. They need to be aware of the existence of your business among all your competitors to start being interested in your business.

Now, there are many ways by which you can advertise your business over the internet in this social media world. It requires constant work and efforts to keep your business in the limelight. To do so, first, create an online presence, grow contacts and improve your business’s visibility.

Here are 12 ways by which you can grow and promote your business in 2021 (with a bonus tip at the end) –

1. Build a website/blog

No matter if your business is more offline oriented or online, having a proper website with all the necessary information about your business is a must in today’s era of the internet. Build a website, which along with the details about your business, services or products. Along with that, also have the page of your business on various social media platforms and be regular in posting content related to your niche, but at the same time, catchy and worth looking at.

To take the maximum out of your website, make sure you follow the points below:

· Register for a domain name.
· Invest in your website. Make a website worth looking at.
· Remember, there are other devices too. Make your website mobile, tablet and smartphone-friendly so that it works smoothly on any device.
· Be regular with the updates. Keep posting, improving content on your website.
· Keep the layout of the website simple and easy for prospective consumers to explore freely.

2. Promotion on Google

That’s right. It is universally implied that Google is the best place to start promoting your business. Now, how do you do that? It’s pretty simple. Verify your Google business account. By doing that, you would be able to promote your business website on Google and your business would appear on the list of businesses around your niche. It’ll appear on Google maps and other Google search results. This way you can have the targeted audience coming towards your business themselves. Not just google, apply this trick to other search engines as well.

3. Implement optimization of website for search engines

The primary need for any website is to be SEO friendly. If SEO optimization sounds new to you, you can always hire an SEO consultant who can guide you through all the necessities for both on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Use keywords that make your website content appear friendly to the google crawlers so it can help you to get on the first page of the search engine. Make changes to make your content relevant, page title catchy and do interlinking efficiently. What people search for try to include those words in your content.

4. Take advantage of social media

While mostly all offices work from home now, the traffic on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. has rapidly increased. Social media marketing is being widely used as content marketing strategies by businesses around the globe. When you interact with similar pages on such platform, comment on posts or share their work, you gradually build a relationship with them. Social networking sites are always a good way to go for both b2b and b2c content marketing.

5. Advertising and Paid Promotion

You can always pay to promote your business in YouTube videos, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. Availing this promotional technique ensures the best way to reaching out to your audience, making them at least glance at your page or post, which may lead them to click on it and ultimately make a purchase. This way your business could reach more and more people with positive returns.

6. Make use of Influencer marketing

Reasons why you should opt for influencer marketing.

·It is comparative less costly

·It makes exactly the right kind of audience aware of your business

·It involves a trust factor that influences prospective consumers to purchase from your business

Look for social media influencers or bloggers who could help you reach your target group of people through their following, give them offers to promote your business. Be professional. Specify how your business could be beneficial from their followers. This ensures the reach of your business to the number of audiences who are most likely to click, open and purchase your products or services.

7. Create an email marketing strategy

It is important for you to build an email list for your business. Send your subscribers’ email regularly, not only promotional but some that may include some sort of schemes, discount coupons, special offers for them to feel special. This way you will be able to grow your audience and have frequent visitors to your website, increasing traffic and sales. Use catchy subject lines that make the prospective consumers open the mail, use humorous one-liners (remember everyone likes humour!) and relevant images to go with your mail. You can approach various email marketing services agencies and take their advice as well.

Make sure to include links and use the right font to direct them to where to click if they wish to visit your website.

8. Offers and discounts go a long way

Consumers are mostly interested in businesses that cost them comparative less than others. For that, make sure to avail discounts to regular consumers, offers for prospective ones. Make your deals seem attractive to them. This will ensure that if a consumer likes your product/service, they may promote your business through word of mouth on their own. Thus, more visitors to your website, social media handles and more purchases.

9. Don’t forget the power of reviews

In this smart age of the internet, consumers are smart too. While reviews could be tricky as on one hand, positive reviews can get your sales high, negative reviews may take away the few consumers who came on their own. Regardless, make sure you attend both types of reviews, especially the negative ones. Apologise if necessary and provide some alternative solutions to the complaints. Make sure to not compromise with the quality of your product/service and attend all the criticism with respect. Create a healthy relationship with your consumers.

10. Improve social proof and trust for your business by word of mouth

Keep an eye for the content created by your customers, the text they send regarding your product/service or their mention of your business anywhere. Share that on your handle. This will ensure that the prospective consumers know that your business is trusted by other consumers, making them gravitate more towards your business. Make sure to use such social proofs whenever necessary.

11. Never underestimate LinkedIn and Quora promotions

Create a profile on LinkedIn and Quora. Provide valuable content, follow people of similar niche and create a brand value for your business on LinkedIn. Most of the posts on LinkedIn are seen as genuine, make use of that. Get connected into groups and increase the visibility of your business everywhere.

People refer to Quora insanely. Take advantage of that. Post relevant answers to the questions which are somewhere related to your niche, subtly leave the links to your website. It shouldn’t be loud and would only work if your answers are genuine.

12. Be flexible

One of the most important steps to grow your business is flexibility. See what works for your costumers instead of sticking to what you think is best. Be willing to change if something’s not working, keep experimenting until you find what works best for your business. After all, customer satisfaction is the key to everything that follows in the journey of growing a business.

Bonus. Grow an online reputation – There are three kinds of promotions.

One, that you do through your own website. This includes descriptive posts on your social media, details on your website and social proof that you provide to the audience.

Two, that you pay for. Which includes your promotion on Google, other websites, social media or through influencers.

Three, that you earn by your work.

Earned promotion is completely quality based. The more value you provide to the consumers and the quality work you do makes you achieve this ‘earned promotion’. This includes blog articles about your work, word of mouth, positive reviews and so on. But to reach this level of promotion requires you to have a positive reputation online. Be genuine in your work and make sure you leave no dissatisfactions. Thus, it is extremely important for business to monitor their online reputation by following the right strategy to do so.

Promoting a business online is not a piece of cake, nor it is the hardest thing ever. All that’s required is consistency. It is not necessary to be perfect all the time, running for perfection only increases doubts, it is important to keep going. Making use of all the available resources wisely and keep a keen eye open for more, all that is needed.

Remember, promoting a business in these times is more of smart work than hard work. Look for opportunities and grab them. Trust me, 2021 can just be your year.

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