Discover these 3 easy and free marketing ideas to help you boost your online business in South Africa.
Advertising is no longer reserved for big brands with high budgets. All you need is a digital presence, and you can easily spread the word about your business — without spending a cent. Marketing has many levels and is constantly changing. Yes, spending money on ads is good, but not all businesses have that luxury.
For new businesses, you don’t need a constant supply of money, but rather a good foundation and management in certain areas, which include:
- Website optimisation
- Social media
- Email marketing.
Set up your website correctly
Your website is an extension of your business and should be treated as such. Shopify templates make it easy to set up your website with images and other content. With millions of other websites online competing for the same customers, incorporating good SEO into your website is an excellent method for improving your search ranking.
What is SEO?
Before the internet, you would pick up the Yellow Pages book to find a service you needed. Today we ask Google. Your website needs to have the right information so that website crawlers can find it and show it to potential customers.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. When you search for something online, the search engine crawls websites to find the most relevant answer to your question — and SEO means setting your website up so that it can be found.
How do I optimise my website?
Shopify templates show exactly where to put keywords, products, tags, content, and metadata which help crawlers to index your website. No coding necessary.
Other quick ways to build an efficient website include:
- Writing content that uses relevant keywords that relate to your business
- Link your social media platforms to the site
- Hyperlink products within content so that users can go there immediately.
Social media platforms are proven to drive customers to your website and show off your brand personality. Whether you’re dancing in the new Bathu shoes on TikTok or posting new products from 1quickdeal, social media makes it easy to advertise products for free.
Reach more people
To encourage more sign-ups, social media apps have made it easier for businesses to advertise for free on the platforms.
In 2016, Facebook developed Facebook Lite. It takes up less space on entry-level Android phones, runs on low bandwidth and doesn’t use as much data as the regular app — an important selling point for South Africans with slow connections and expensive data tariffs.
How to make social media work for you
- Connect your social media icons on your website to your relevant and active accounts.
- Post regularly on your profile about products and encourage your followers and friends to like, comment, and share your posts and stories.
- Set up an autoreply on your Facebook Messenger, so that you don’t miss a message, or redirect customers to your preferred communication platform.
- Be present on platforms you know your audience use.
- Always engage with customers who comment on your posts — this lets them know you care about their purchase.
People who subscribe to your newsletters are already interested in your business and what you have to say. By building up a quality database, you can speak directly to your customers via email and keep them connected to your brand.
All purchase data is stored on the back end of your website, but you can also add pop ups to your home screen, encouraging customers with incentives like free delivery or a percentage off sales to subscribe.
You can send up to 2,500 emails from your Shopify account for free which is available across different plans. Some of the email features include:
- Design templates - You can easily import your branding, products, and store colours into a range of email templates and customise it with text, links, buttons, and promotions.
- Segment your list - By applying tags to your email lists such as where they live, what language they speak and what products they bought; you can create emails specific to these criteria.
- Abandoned cart - If a customer doesn’t complete a transaction, it’s important to set up your email campaigns with direct links to their cart, reminding them of their products and quickly finishing their purchase.
- Welcome mails - When customers subscribe to your newsletter, it’s crucial to make them feel welcome with an email - this also confirms their opt-in, which keeps you in compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).
Email marketing can be tricky to manage, so it’s important to remember:
- Never sell customer’s information or any other data to an external party
- Limit the number of emails you send
- Link your emails back to your website or social media channels.
Spread the word about your business
With affordable Shopify website plans available, Facebook Lite, free email marketing features, apps, and an abundance of social media platforms to choose from, there are no more excuses not to start your business today.