The strategies behind promoting a vegan business on the Internet are not much different than any other conventional business. However, because the universal vegan community is so strong, it can often be easier finding relevant online communities, networking and relationship opportunities, and exposure on other websites.
All of these elements, combined with a solid web presence, can help increase the visibility and growth of your vegan business in many ways. Below we delve into five of those ways, and how you can actively leverage each of these strategies to expand your traffic potential and grow your company.
Establish & Optimize Your Web Properties
First and foremost, it’s vital to have specific web properties to represent your online business. The most common, and often most effective, is a website. Other assets include social media profiles (such as your company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages,) as well as your Google My Business listing and other directory profiles (such as Yelp.)
The type of vegan business you operate will dictate your ideal web properties. For instance, if you sell vegan products and you’re trying to build your brand, then you may want to have a website and social media presence on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, if you operate a local business, then you could get away with having only a Google My Business page.
Overall, it’s best to have a website and few social media profiles that best represent your audience. You can even leverage “optimizing” these web properties to be better found in search.
Be Found in Search
Going back to the local business example, there are certain ways you can optimize your website and Google My Business listing. Otherwise known as search engine optimization, or SEO, there are specific strategies that help increase your business’ search ranking in Google.
In other words, you can optimize aspects of your site and Google My Business listing for specific keywords that reflect your business (i.e. “vegan restaurants in Seattle” or “vegan cat food.”) To learn specific strategies, then Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz is a good resource.
As for non-local businesses, choose your keyword targets wisely. It’s often hard to outrank Amazon.com and other high-authority websites. So if you’re thinking about optimizing your website for “vegan protein,” you should probably considering taking that further with something like “organic vegan protein supplement” or “vegan paleo protein powder” depending on what it is that you sell. Understanding your potential rank for keywords surrounding vegan protein powders is vital to your success.
Grow Your Online Footprint
One factor that’s going to help your site rank higher in Google is links directing from other sites. In essence, the more links pointing to a site, the greater credibility and authority that site will earn. For this reason, you should invest a great deal of your efforts conducting outreach and further your business presence on other websites.
Grow the online footprint for your vegan business by following some of these action items:
- Get listed on local and business directories. Yelp.com, Yellowpages.com, Yahoo! Local, and Bing are good places to start for local directories. Beyond local, search around for vegan directories or other communities related to your product/service/cause/etc.
- Be active on social media platforms and engage with influential people, businesses, and brands that resonate with you and your company. Establishing relationships can result in wider exposure in front of new audiences (i.e. an industry influencer with 100k twitter followers retweets an article you wrote.)
- Reach out to other vegan websites for networking, sponsorships, link exchanges, and guest blogging opportunities. Contributing to other websites can help increase your online footprint all while generating some quality links back to your website.
Produce Content Regularly
To truly become an authority figure in your online vegan niche, I strongly suggest producing content on a regular basis. Whether that be weekly articles, a monthly video, or a combination of mediums, establish some type of content schedule and stick to it.
This can be both an enjoyable and creative aspect to growing your business. Coming up with great ideas for content marketing is not only fun, but highly effective for SEO and online exposure. When you produce interesting content that gains the likes and shares of your social media audience, you can really empower your company’s growth potential.
Stay Engaged on Social Media
Helping to facilitate the efficacy of your content marketing and outreach efforts is social media. In addition to being found in search, having a strong social media presence is the bee’s knees to building your vegan business.
Like we alluded to above, invest in handful of social media platform that reflect your business model and target audience. If it makes sense to be on SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, then do it. But if Instagram and Facebook are all that you need, then so be it. Unless you have advanced social media automation tools or social media savvy employee, managing all these platforms can be time consuming.
It’s time consuming because regularly posting and sharing content; reaching out and connecting with new people and brands; and engaging with your audience by responding to their comments; these are variables that define a stellar business.
Tyler Tafelsky is a search marketing specialists with eight years of experience in the profession. Tyler is an advocate of plant-based living and leads an active role in the fitness community. His current projects are Better Triathlete and VeganProteinPowder.reviews, where he shares his ideas on specific areas of interest.
Image credit: Mayumi T. Photography