Small Business Internet Marketing – 7 Things Decision Makers Should Know
The ways in which businesses can now communicate with potential and existing clients continues to grow at break neck pace. Any decision maker that has invested in a form of small business internet marketing in order to grow their business will have seen the number of options to interact with their audience increase rapidly over the last 5 years. From dynamic website design, blogging, video marketing, email marketing campaigns to social media marketing, the list of methods truly is endless.
With all that choice available it can quite often be very confusing for small business owners who are focused on doing what they do best: delivering value for their clients, regardless of the niche they are in. It could be keeping the family warm by getting the central heating working, providing a beautiful smile through dental surgery or helping individuals through a divorce or the death of a loved with one with professional legal services.
The long and short of it is that the Internet has changed the way in which consumers process information and communicate that information between other people. This in turn means the advertising methods of old are not the same and do not produce the same results as in the past.
In order to compete in a disruptive and often crowded marketplace businesses have to be more creative and outsmart their competition by leveraging strategies and techniques that speak to their target market and invoke a reaction.
The Seven Pillars of small business internet marketing:
1. Know Your Ideal Audience.
You may think this sounds super simple but you would be surprised at the number of small businesses who don’t know exactly who their ideal client is. If you don’t have an idea of who this is then your advertising is not an investment, it is a cost. Unless you know who your target audience is you will be spending money trying to attract people who are not interested in what you have to offer.
Increase your chance of success by being specific about who you want to market to.
2. Always offer Quality Content.
While it may be hugely time consuming to update your website or Blog several times a week, having a lot of quality content that backs up your authority and helps keep customers interested in you is almost always going to be of benefit to you. I say almost, because if you don’t then take advantage of that traffic, then you will have wasted your time! Think of some of the Big Name Websites, every time you click on Amazon you will see different offers, different products and new information. If someone has been to your site and enjoyed what they saw, then they come back and see the same again they aren’t likely to give you another visit.
Quality content has become a by word of advertising online over the past few years, but that doesn’t mean that businesses haven’t been practising content marketing successfully for years and creating loyal audiences in the process.
And while it may be difficult for a business owner to justify taking the time out to create content, the more quality and insightful content you create that is distributed online, the more targeted clients will see it and the greater the chance you have of making a connection resulting in an inquiry or lead for your business.
The more you can do to educate potential clients about your business from the outset the easier it becomes to convert those leads into paying clients in the future.
3. Distribute Your Content High and Wide
In traditional marketing you have TV, Radio and magazines. Online you have websites, blogs, video sites, article sites, micro blogs, and social media. When your business has invested in creating a piece of content, that one piece of content can be broken up and converted into many different formats and then distributed in many places.
Keep your small business internet marketing interesting and different so people will be able to see your messages on different platforms and recognise that is you increasing your authority and building your brand in the process.
Make sure you are taking full advantage of the different online mediums available as the chances are your audience will be and you can bet your competition is!
4. Targeted Search Engine Campaigns are Priceless
Search engine optimisation is where you place your business in front of people who are ACTIVELY searching for your business or services. Targeted potential clients go from not knowing who you are or anything about your business, to seeing the benefits of your services within seconds.
Search engine optimisation is a key way to attract clients, the higher up the search rankings you appear, the more clients will click on your listing and therefore you will have a greater opportunity to convert. That is why a lot of businesses invest in improving SEO so they get the opportunity to attract targeted clients before the competition.
5. Connect with those that have trusted you before.
When a client has worked with you in the past they have paid their hard earned money to benefit from your services so they already know about you and how you can help them. Continue to educate your clients even when you have served them to keep them in touch with your business and what you can do. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing.
Make every possible attempt to get the email addresses of your clients and put together a strategic marketing campaign that uses this prized information.
Tell your clients about how you are helping other clients, inform them through multimedia about other services or products that you offer, offer promotions to entice them to benefit from your business once more.
One of the most expensive things in business is a onetime client – leverage email marketing to make sure that you don’t suffer that huge business failing.
6. Online Marketing is measurable.
The beauty about online marketing is that nearly everything is measurable. From positions in the search engines, the number of clicks, number of conversions or downloads and leads generated to sales made. Everything is trackable and when everything is trackable it means that you can test for the best performing adverts or marketing methods and repeat them time and again while constantly improving.
This is one of the major reasons why so many businesses choose to market online because there is a ready source of information that can be provided to decision makers to support the work that is being done.
Small Business Internet Marketing is Part of the Marketing Mix
7. Offline Marketing is still valuable
Offline marketing is still valuable and supports any marketing campaign that you have. If a targeted clients sees an advert in a trade magazine that arouses their interest they then Google your business services to find out some more and they see you on the first page sharing some great content or with some brilliant third party testimonials then they will truly feel that you are the best company to help them resolve their problems.
Small Business internet Marketing is not a quick fix, and you shouldn’t consider it a miracle way to save your business and get profitable clients overnight. As with anything it can take time, effort and patience to get the results that you crave but don’t give up. Listen to feedback, monitor what does and doesn’t work and remember that if you consistently apply great techniques then online marketing will deliver your business targeted leads, increased sales and higher profits.