From Website Building to Social Media: How to Build Your Online Presence on a Budget

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In 2016, approximately 16.8 percent of all UK sales were SEO (search engine optimisation). That number is expected to grow to 17.8 percent by the end of 2017, equating to more than £67 billion in total sales via this method alone. This means that, if your business doesn’t currently have a web presence, you’re missing out on some major cash.

Though some business owners cite lack of budgeting for this type of marketing expense, the reality is that you can build a strong online presence with little to no money. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Build your own professional looking website

Some businesses forego building a website because they think that it takes thousands of pounds to put one up. However, with several do-it-yourself free site builder options available, you can get your business online with very little money up front, like £10 or less.

Services like LCN have sprouted up as of late; and this local UK web solutions provider has SEO (search engine optimisation) which provides the ability to create a professional looking site with an easy-to-use interface that you can customize to your specific brand, for as little as £8 a month.

website builder

Ideally, you also want one that helps you with SEO (search engine optimisation) to improve your ranking. It should also be mobile-friendly since a number of people do their shopping on mobile devices.

Get on the right social media platforms : 

Once you have your website in place, the next step is to get your company on social media. This is absolutely free to do, but it’s also critical since 2.46 billion people currently use at least one form of social media—whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or one of the countless other options—with that number anticipated to surpass 3 billion by the year 2021.

Before deciding which platforms to use, it helps to know which ones will give you the most exposure to your desired customer base. If you don’t already know the answer to this question, then it’s time to do a little market research.

An easy way to do this is to ask your customers about their social media habits. Which platforms do they have profiles on? Where do they spend a majority of their time?

Learning the answers to these types of questions tells you where a majority of your efforts should be spent with regards to social media. It also tells you where you’d likely be wasting your time.

social media sharing

Provide relevant posts and encourage sharing : 

In a Global Trust in Advertising report which involved consumers in 56 different countries, 92 percent of those surveyed said that recommendations made by family members or friends meant more to them than any other type of advertising. This means that you want to create social media posts that people will share, giving you exposure to those who don’t already know about you, but also adding a form of social proof.

This first requires that you create posts that are relevant to your target audience. This may include posting blogs about how to solve some of their most common problems or creating videos to show them how to best use your products. Be creative and see which ones get the best response.

Most importantly, encourage followers to share these posts on their own pages. You may even offer a discount or put them in a raffle if they comply, giving them a little more incentive to help spread the word about your company.

Create effective social media ads : 

If you do have a little bit of money budgeted for advertising expenses, a great place to spend it is social media ads. You’ve already done your research and found out where your consumers spend their time, so why not promote your company to them in the one or two places you know they’ll likely be?

While other forms of advertising can easily cost you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, this option can be tailored to any size budget. Only have £5 to spend this week? No problem. Just run your ad a day or two. Have £20 to spend on advertising next week? You can easily create a campaign within that price range.

To make your ad more effective, target the demographic most likely to purchase your products and services. What age range are they in? Is it higher in one gender than another? What are their interests? The more you tailor your ad to this audience, the better your results, no matter what amount of money you decide to spend.

Also, some of the most effective ads contain images or videos. Don’t worry about spending a fortune on either as a simple smartphone will often provide good enough quality to get started. As long as your viewers enjoy them, it doesn’t matter whether they were professionally taken or not.

Building an online presence doesn’t have to be a major business expense, and it won’t be if you follow these simple tips. But it will help you collect your portion of online sales, no matter what industry you’re in.

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