Tired of constantly changing social media algorithms and social media platforms pulling organic growth further and further out of reach? You’re not alone! Organic marketing on social media can quickly become a time, money and energy-sucking exercise…. ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially when your business is growing. That’s why we’ve collated 15 proven ways to market and grow your business without relying on social media.
It’s not that social media doesn’t work. For most business owners, social media can be a great source of traffic and leads. It’s just that the free exposure and quantifiable results are inconsistent at best and keeping up with the constant changes is … well, time-consuming (to put it mildly).
These days, social media often just feels like an endless stream of posts from friends, family, and FB group members who will never buy your products or services. Not to mention the ever-changing algorithm making organic reach really difficult to achieve every day…
Unless you want to spend 12 hours a day on social media:
- posting new content every day
- doing live videos
- posting stories and reels daily (or multiple times a day)
- spending time engaging with a lot of other accounts
- finding great stickers and filters
- continually doing hashtag research
- posting in all the different groups you’re in to stay active and present
- remembering to tag posts and stories
- doing keyword research for your descriptions and tags
- applying to join new group boards, groups, tribes, etc
- try to get shares, saves and tags from others
Personally, I’ve got other things to do with my time – like serving customers and growing the business… and if you’ve landed here on this article, you probably do to!
Luckily there are alternative ways to market your business online without spending hours on a ton of different social platforms every day. Alternative marketing options that cut back your time and effort on social media and still get results! #winwin
But first … You need a plan!
Before you jump the social media ship altogether, it would be wise to have a plan in place to know how you are still going to promote your business, get leads and generate sales. So, start with a plan.
Because no matter what type of marketing you decide to do, you must know:
- Who your customers are
- What they want (solutions they seek)
- Why they want it (current pain points and outcomes they desire)
Then, once you have this information at your fingertips, you can develop a marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals.
Also, an important note – doing almost anything consistently is more likely to be successful than changing tactics every couple of months. So, create a plan and stick to it long enough to determine if it really works for you or not.
A word about Content Marketing
Maybe you noticed that several of the methods we mention are correctly lumped under the Content Marketing umbrella.
You see, content marketing is our jam around here, so it’s no surprise we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve in that department.
But since a lot of different strategies are encompassed by the term “content marketing,” we’ve pulled out a few specific tactics to keep it actionable and straightforward for you.
Okay, with all that out of the way, are you ready to discover new ways to market your business instead of social media so you can finally reclaim some time and start seeing results?
Let’s do it.
15 Ways To Market Your Business Online (No Social Media Required)
The truth is, the world of marketing constantly changes and evolves. And that’s especially true since business went online. Which means it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on strategies that can help you reach your target audience.
That’s why we’ve rounded up 15 different ways you can market your brand online that don’t involve social media. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find something here that fits the bill for you.
(click any title to jump to that section):
- Blogging Consistently
- Guest Blogging
- Email Marketing
- Creating Courses Online
- Affiliate Marketing
- Google Advertising
- JV Partner Opportunities
- Sponsored Features in other people’s emails
- Online Communities
- Forums & Discussions
- Business Directories
- Google Reviews
- Your Website Real Estate
Yes, blogging. Believe it or not, blogging consistently is one of the most proven methods to grow your small business online.
Because if you can write content that informs, entertains, and inspires customers you can attract potential clients to come directly to you. How awesome is that?
Of course, learning to blog effectively does take a little time and effort. But, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. For a ton of resources on blogging and related content marketing strategies, check out our Power of Content Marketing post here.
And by the way (mini-rant ahead) – don’t forget to include a call to action (aka CTA) in every post. This is one of the biggest mistakes we see. Tons of content … no calls to action. How will your audience know what to do next if you don’t give them a hint?
You might have noticed we mentioned “consistently” a couple of times. That’s because a single post here and there isn’t going to get the results you’re looking for. So if you want this to work, give it some priority and keep content rolling out on the regular.
It’s also important to note that after you write your great posts, you also need to optimise them for search engines.
Because when you blog consistently and optimise each post for SEO keywords relevant to the topic or niche of your site, you’ll gain visibility on search engines (like Google or Bing). And here’s the really cool part – the longer you do it and the more optimised posts you stack up, the more search engines will take notice.
Which leads directly to our next idea to market your business …
If you’re not familiar, SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. And it’s all about optimising your content so that search engines can find it and show it to the right people.
We list it here separately from blogging because SEO goes far beyond just blog posts. Ideally, every page on your website should be optimised for search. And if you want to get really serious, there’s some technical stuff involved, too.
But don’t get overwhelmed by that – you can start now by optimising just your blog posts (and address the rest later, if you decide to).
For successful SEO, you need good content on your website that ranks well for the words or phrases people actually use when they search online.
To make this work …
- Understand what keywords are
- Write about topics related to your business and include keywords in title tags, headings, subheadings, etc.
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Grab some Blog SEO tips here
Then, after you’ve been blogging for a while, check your website analytics to see which content is working best. Use the information you find to improve your future content and SEO results.
For lots more on how to be successful with SEO, check out our SEO Guide here.
Guest blogging is a great way to connect with new audiences you might never otherwise find. The key to making guest blogging work for you is to focus on websites relevant to your industry that aren’t direct competitors – and share interesting content with them that will provide value for their audience.
Before you approach a blog to ask about a guest post, make sure you have a clear idea of what your ideas are for the blog post.
- What can you provide that their own content or other guest bloggers aren’t providing?
- How will your post help their readership or generate traffic to their site?
- Is your content relevant to their audience? If not, keep looking for a better match.
It’s common for guest bloggers (that would be you, in this scenario) to offer a freebie the host can share with their audience – something like an eBook, checklist, or another valuable resource. If your business produces products, then consider giving out samples or a coupon code.
Another way to get in front of a fresh audience is to publish your content on LinkedIn Pulse or Medium.
These are both platforms with large followings that allow you to publish your content for free. To avoid any duplicate content issues, wait at least a couple of weeks after you publish a post on your own site before submitting it to platforms like these.
By creating a podcast for your business and publishing consistently, you will create familiarity with your audience. It’s an amazing way to build the famous ‘know, like, trust’ factor.
Contrary to what you might think, a podcast is often not as time-consuming to produce as some other forms of content, nor does it require expensive equipment. Podcasts are flexible in how often you publish new episodes so you don’t have to worry about the pressure of producing a post every week.
Some benefits of using podcasts for your marketing efforts include:
- growing your email list
- tapping into another traffic source with better click rates
- building credibility
- becoming more memorable
You might wonder how exactly email marketing helps you market your business.
But email marketing is actually a powerful way to connect with past customers and potential prospects. In fact, year after year, statistics continue to show that email is a more effective way to acquire customers than social media. So this is a technique that definitely deserves your attention.
First, understand that email marketing and sending an occasional newsletter are not the same thing. So before you start shooting off random emails, take a little time to come up with a plan (there’s that word again).
Some basics of email marketing include:
- Creating lead magnets to attract subscribers to your list
- Nurturing subscribers to become customers
- Building a relationship with your subscribers
- Using email marketing software to segment your audience into different groups so you can promote relevant offers or content that interests them
- Regularly reviewing analytics to see what’s working so you can improve over time (sensing a trend, here?)
To learn more about how to use email marketing to market your business, check out our 5 Email Marketing Campaign Tips here.
These days, there are a number of ways to sell courses online without a lot of tech headaches.
For instance, you can sign up for an online course platform (such as Udemy, Skillshare, and others) and create a course on any topic you want.
The best part is the platform will do all the promotion for you. You just have to create the course content and set it up. They’ll do the rest.
It’s an easy way to get in front of a large audience and start building a following for yourself. As an example, Udemy has over 12 million students around the world. That means your course can reach new audiences and help build up your business brand at the same time.
There are two sides to affiliate marketing – one is when you promote goods or services for another company. And the second is when you get others to promote YOUR products or services.
Today, we’re talking about that second one.
You can use affiliate marketing to grow your business by getting others to promote you to their audiences. Of course, they will expect to be compensated for any sales that come through because of their efforts.
Fortunately, there are a number of platforms you can use to set up an easy-to-manage affiliate program for your business these days. One of our favourite platforms, Simplero, includes an affiliate program function as part of its comprehensive service. Give it a look-see if you are interested in trying affiliate marketing out as a new way to market your business.
The best kind of joint venture partnerships usually come about because one party has some valuable content and the other party has an audience ready for that content.
But JVs can take a lot of different forms – from one-time workshops to limited-run collaboration to ongoing partnerships.
Check out this great article for some examples of different ways you can use joint ventures to build your business.
If you want to go straight to the source, consider advertising your business with Google Ads.
This is the opposite of organic marketing, where we try to attract the right customers through content. But sometimes, it’s just quicker and easier to pay a few dollars to bring your audience directly to your door.
Google advertising can be helpful in many ways, and can positively impact your business. And don’t forget about Google Adwords’ Remarketing service for targeting people who have visited your site but were not converted the first time.
Learn more about Google Advertising via their own page right here.
Sponsored emails are sort of a blend of paid advertising and guest blogging. Basically, it’s where you make an arrangement with someone who has a large and engaged email list relevant to your niche so that you can be featured in one or more of their emails.
Sometimes that means you pay to be featured. Other times, it is a two-way thing where you each feature the other in your emails. And I’m sure, many other scenarios exist as well.
For a good overview of sponsored emails, take a look at this article.
In today’s social media-focused world, it’s easy to forget that there ARE other communities besides Big Social.
Despite the ubiquity of those platforms that shall not be named, there are still lots of other communities around the Internet. If you can find some that are relevant to your business, they can be a viable place to connect and build relationships with potential customers. And possibly advertise, as well.
Here is a list of notable active virtual communities from Wikipedia to get you started. But I’m sure there are tons more out there.
Another new community to explore is the “drop-in audio chat” app, Clubhouse. Although currently available via invite-only, it is getting a lot of action right now. Take a look to see if this new community platform is right for your business.
Forums are another holdover from pre-social media days. Back in the day, most websites with an active following would host their own forum for customer support and community engagement. And some of them are still going strong.
Of course, there are some forums that are stand-alone. A great example of this is Reddit, with over 234 million unique members.
You can literally find a subReddit on practically any topic you can think of it. Once you find a few subReddits that relate to your business, dive in and start engaging. Or, take a shortcut and advertise on Reddit.
Either way, this is a massive gold mine of information for you to discover.
Business directories used to be a great way to get some eyeballs on your website. Over time, they have become less effective. But they are still another way to get your name out there and start getting some traffic.
Before publishing your website on a directory, make sure your site does not contain any broken links or content. And also be aware of self-promotion rules for each platform.
A couple of tips to keep in mind …
- Submit only one listing per service: Do not create duplicate listings in different categories as this will dilute search engine results.
- Write keyword-rich descriptions about yourself and what you offer
This article provides a nice overview of how to use business directories plus 13 directories you can start with.
Here’s a mind-blowing statistic for you – over 60% of customers check Google Reviews before they visit a business. Wow! That’s because people want social proof and reassurance that your business is