Either you already launched your business, in the process of launching it or still in the thinking process we have the basics of what you need to know and do when you bring your business online. Especially those who have a physical storefront. We’ll use real estate as a means of bringing all this tech lingo together so it all makes sense.
In short, you need to know these three aspects of internet marketing:
Your Social Media profiles
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The reason why you need to get a website, it is your plot of digital land in this digital world. Doesn’t matter if you built your website with Shopify, Godaddy, WordPress or Squarespace. As long have you have your land or your 40 acres if you will, that is what you want. Because yes, you can run most of your business on Facebook, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon etc. But here’s one thing they all have in common. They can BAN YOU.
Doesn’t matter if you played by the rules or not. Getting sales or not, they have that type of power over your business because remember, that is their land. They have the final say so on who stays and who goes. Think of the famous quote from Training Day, “I run stuff here. You just live here!” If this isn’t making to much sense, we suggest watching the show Girl Boss.
the business she ran on Ebay got terminated and she was forced to build her own website to sell her products.
Who’s to say this couldn’t happen to you? So we suggest having your own website and this is one of the many purposes to having a website. We’ll expand on this on a later blog post.
If your website is your home, then social media if your front lawn.
Front lawns need to be mowed, detailed and maintained. Social media marketing is no different. You need to mow your social media (post new content), you need to detail your social media(add profile pictures, banners, contact information) and you must maintain your social media accounts(reviewing to see which content is performing best and responding to comments written on your profile). Never underestimate the power of the Internet. For the Internet always wins. Regardless of the intent of the content you or we publish, it can be taken and used to create something that goes viral. Remember the popular video of “grandma what do we have for Thanksgiving?” video was legit catchy and next thing you know, everyone knows who you are. Shirley Caesar, a pastor found herself as a meme.
Though her message was taken out of context, people now know who she is. As a business owner like yourself, this could be you. You publish content and then people find you from someone else’s video they made that happened to have you in it. Now that’s way more word of mouth marketing for you. Of course, this isn’t the only route to successful social media marketing but it is the most desired. We’ll break down social media marketing in another blog post.
If your website is your home, then SEO is simply telling people where you live.
You may be having a sale, product launch or a cookout but NO ONE KNOWS WHERE YOU LIVE! To correct this, you can create links to your website on other people’s websites. Sometimes you can accomplish this for free or pay money to have this done. Don’t know what a link is? This is a link. You can click on those words there and it’ll take you to the homepage of this website. You’ve seen this before on the countless articles you’ve read online. This can be done as a means of sourcing where your info came from and it is a SEO tactic. In a way, you are telling people where you live or other people are telling more people about where you live.
This thing SEO….*insert Katt Williams voice* this thing right here…. This thing is the epitome of the art and science of digital marketing. We’ll use this analogy, there are a million targets for you to aim at. Though it’s tempting to throw your darts at all the targets, don’t do it. These targets are your target audience. Side note, if you don’t know your target audience then you can’t do SEO for your business. Know your target audience first, once you have that, head over to Google Keyword Planner in your Google Adwords account.
Research what your audience is looking for. Wouldn’t you rather market your products and/or services to people already searching for what you sell? Of course, and SEO helps you achieve this goal. This can bring in traffic from Google, Bing and Yahoo….truthfully we are only concerned with ranking in Google. Don’t worry, Yahoo and Bing already know this as well. 😉
We’ll expand on this topic as well later on. But as mentioned on our about page, we strive to keep black people and black businesses on the positive end of the digital divide one day at a time.