Deciding on and setting up a business is only the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. Unlike the Field of Dreams, you can't just build it and expect people to come. You need to start promoting it right. And nothing can be as effective as digital marketing at the moment.

Webbiquity reports that companies are increasing their digital marketing budgets. Many marketers have, for a fact, spent a total of $42.8 billion to advertise online. These numbers are natural considering the fact that today's consumers (around three billion individuals or 40% of the population) are online. Moreover, digital marketing is more affordable and cost-effective when compared to traditional marketing methods. It's also easier to track and monitor, allowing marketers to change their campaigns dynamically according to clients' likes, wants and needs.

If you too want your business to reap the benefits of digital marketing, here are five effective ways for promoting your offerings to the online community.

#1) Write a Blog or Article

Today's smart consumers need much more than ads and promotions. They want well-researched, easy-to-read, and highly informative content that allows them to effectively make buying decisions. And who better to give them advice than an industry leader as yourself? You can create articles and blog posts that show off your expertise while helping customers troubleshoot different issues. This content will place you and, ultimately, your brand in the limelight. As a result, expect your readers to think of you the next time they need your kind of services.

#2) Get Reviewed

Through a survey, Moz discovered that 67.7% of consumers may be swayed either way by online reviews. Therefore, consider having a few positive reviews online to bring traffic your way. However, remember that reviews need to be honest as readers can detect fake ones from miles away. So, work on your services' weaker points and then invite influential bloggers to try them for free. If they enjoy the experience you delivered, ask them to write and post reviews. You can later circulate these reviews via social media or press releases.

#3) Create a Video

'Seeing is believing'; treat your consumers to a detailed video that showcases your brand and services instead of boring them with blocks of text and annoying them with endless ads. In addition to entertaining your clients, video could very well be worth a thousand sales. Kissmetrics reports that videos appears in 70% of the top 100 search results, ensuring more organic traffic to your brand. Moreover, 64 to 85% of clientele are more likely to make a purchase after watching a service or product video. However, you'll need to make a great video that engages them to truly benefit from this technique.

#4) Draft a Case Study

If you're a B2B service provider, you'll need more than blog posts or articles in your marketing artillery. Though considered the underdogs of content marketing, case studies have the power to increase brand awareness and show how your brand can deliver quality results to clients. You can use your case study to drop the name of a valuable client, impressing potential customers and promoting them to start researching your offerings.

However, don't make your case study come off as too promotional. State the facts and let your clients do the talking on your behalf through quotes exclaiming how professional your brand has been. Especially focus on the results you achieved so that new clients may be tempted to try your services too. Once your case study is ready, feature it prominently on your site, send it to your mailing list, and post about it on social media.

#5) Get Social More

Social media offer a variety of channels that promises you a wider reach than any traditional advertising technique. From social networks to forums and all the way to photo sharing platforms, the sky's the limit if you decide to be more active on social media. You can also opt for promotional tools such as Facebook Ads if your budget can accommodate it. What makes these tools valuable is that you can set your campaigns to reach most of your target audience. Ads aside, you can engage your existing and prospective clients through your groups, forums or pages. How well you interact with them can determine the number of requests you'll be getting for your services in the near future.

Each of these five techniques will help you reach out to a larger audience without exhausting your budget or pushing your marketing team over the edge. So try them while the year is still young so that you can achieve your goals earlier than planned.

Published on: Feb 7, 2016