When small businesses get started, their focus is often on how to get their first group of customers through the door. They may rely on traditional forms of advertising, such as print ads and coupon mailers or even big signs on the side of the road. They may trust that since they know they offer a good product or service, it’s only a matter of time until customers will find their way to them.
While this strategy may bring in a trickle of business, there is a better and easier way. Small businesses should consider the huge marketplace of prospects online. No small business, no matter how new, should overlook this vast marketplace.
Benefits of online marketing.
The group of potential customers that are found online is a much larger group of people than you are likely to be able to attract locally. Using digital marketing, you can reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
Other benefits of online marketing include:
- The ability to interact with your prospects and learn exactly what they are looking for
- The ability to reach a global marketplace
- You can save money and reach more customers for less money than traditional marketing methods
- Get to know your audience and allow them to know you personally which can help to create brand loyalty
- You can track responses to your marketing efforts immediately
If a potential customer can’t find you online, they may conclude that your business doesn’t appear to be legitimate.
Your customers are online.
If you have been avoiding digital marketing, is it because you think you are simply not ready? Do you think you just need some time to get established and then you will figure out the digital marketing angle?
The problem with this approach is that your customers and potential customers are already online. Right now. Today. There’s a good chance they might already be looking for a business like yours, but if they can’t find you easily, they are probably going to choose someone else.
This is how people do business today. When someone has an interest in your business, whether it is in your niche in general or if they are curious about your brand, the first thing they are going to do is research online and see what they can find out about you.
They expect to find you there with a website and a social media presence. They may be looking for reviews so they can learn what other people are saying about your company and whether it is a good place to do business.
If a potential customer can’t find you online, they may conclude that your business doesn’t appear to be legitimate. There is a very good chance that a lot of these prospects may decide not to take your business seriously and they will quickly head somewhere else.
Once they have made that decision, they probably won’t be back.
Be accessible to your customers.
It’s clear that in today’s digital world, the first place the average consumer looks for what they want is online. Whatever product or service they are looking for, they will most likely start their search with Google. If you have no online presence at all, you won’t be found, and you can’t compete.
If you have an online presence but your competitors are easier to find and are found first, you still might not be found at all. Besides creating a website, learning search engine optimization is a strategy that can help you move ahead of your competitors just by being the first name that a prospect finds in a Google search with keywords that can lead them to your business.
Simple questions that your prospects may want quick answers to should be easily discoverable online, such as where you are located, what your hours are and what you specialize in. By looking at your website and your competitors’ websites side by side, your prospects should be able to compare hours, prices, special offers and more.
This is why it’s imperative for you to know what your competitors are up to. Your prospects are already checking both you and your competitors out. They are already comparing you against each other. What are they finding out?
Few forms of advertising are as cost-effective as digital marketing. Small businesses frequently try to get as much as possible done on a small budget. Many forms of digital marketing allow you to communicate your brand and reach a wide target audience even when your budget is very tight.
Compared to advertising on TV, radio or through direct mail, digital marketing costs considerably less and reaches a much wider audience at the same time. Using digital marketing to promote your small business will help you to have a much better chance of business success.