Why Your Business Need to Focus on Online Marketing

Why Your Business Need to Focus on Online Marketing

Do you win any new customers via your website?

If not, or if you’ve never even attempted any online marketing then you’re most likely missing out on a huge chunk of your potential customer base, even if you think that offline marketing suits you better.

 

If you’re not convinced then let’s take a quick look at the numbers:

  • Facebook has over a billion users.
  • Twitter has over 600 million accounts
  • People spend more time on social networks than they do on email.

 

There is no longer any reason to choose online marketing over mainstream marketing because online is mainstream, and being more visible online means more people will find you.

 

No matter who your ideal customer is, they will be online and looking for places to spend their time and money. By making sure your website is drawing people in, particularly people who may not know they’re looking for you, then you can ensure that you’ll be tapping into a new, steady stream of customers.

 

For many small to medium business, traditional offline marketing can seem expensive and slow. Anyone who has ever priced up the cost of direct mail, or placed an advert in a local paper will know this first hand! A huge benefit of marketing Online is that you can create smart, expensive looking campaigns to rival bigger competitors, and ensure that those campaigns are seen by the people that matter in a much more targeted way than any offline advertising can manage.

 

Another advantage for smaller business owners is that people respond well to the personal touch. This is something that many larger organisations can’t match online and means that smaller businesses often have the advantage when it comes to building relationships online.

 

With that in mind, here are some other great reasons why Online Marketing is something that will work for your business:

 

New ways to connect with your market

Even a long established high street business will be able to find new customers online. There are always people who have just moved to the area, or who never go down that street who may never have seen or heard of your business. By establishing a strong online presence your business can appear in local searches, and be visible to a whole new set of prospects.

 

Build Trust

Ultimately, people always choose to do business with people they know. By using social media sites or your blog to build up a good online presence you will be able to build up relationships with people who may never have been to your office or picked up the phone to you. A surprising number of people will be reading your updates, and when the time comes for them to spend their money your business will be top of their mind as they’ll have seen you online.

 

Create Value

It might go against the grain of traditional marketing, but giving away content online is a great thing to do to build long term customers. The more information you provide, the more you will be seen as a source of knowledge and a trusted source or provider. People will start to associate you with being a great resource of information, and will come to you for information rather than your competitor.

 

Provide up to date information

There’s nothing worse than visiting a business website and seeing that it hasn’t been updated for 6 months. It’s like visiting the doctor’s waiting room and all the magazines are a year old. It makes it look as though you don’t care! By being active online you’re showing your followers that you are active in business. Stay relevant by commenting on recent news articles that relate to your business, or send out news of special offers, new staff members or customer testimonials.

 

Capture Data

Your website should be like a 24/7 shop – always open to serve your customers. If someone is browsing your site but isn’t yet ready to buy, you should tempt them with a free giveaway in return for them leaving their email address. This means that the potential customer leaves your site and has something educational, fun or useful to remind them about your business, and you have the details of that customer to try and tempt them back again with your next great offer.

 

Instant Feedback

Again, the internet is always on, and people are always there using it. If something isn’t working then you can very quickly get an idea of this and make changes to see if you can achieve better results. You can also get actual feedback from customers. Use online questionnaires to ask about the service people have received, or to see if they found what they were looking for. This type of feedback can be very valuable for finding out what works and what doesn’t work for your brand.

 

Trackable

Everything that you do online can be monitored and tracked. This is great for business purposes as it means you can get a very clear look at how your online investment is working. Everything from the number of website visitors, to where they came from and how many of them called you can be tracked. For many business owners there is a lot of risk in spending money on marketing endeavours and just seeing how it goes. With online marketing this is not the case – you can see everything.

 

For those of you who like to try and manage your own campaigns, there are tons of resources out there to help you learn the basics, many of which are either free or very cheap. If you’d like to know more about how to get your website working harder for you then download our free guide, Websites that Sell.

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7 Basics of a Winning Online Marketing Plan

7 Basics of a Winning Online Marketing Plan

7 Basics of a Winning Online Marketing Plan

There are countless articles, books and blogs about Online Marketing plans, people have made their careers as experts on the subject. For anyone just looking to understand the basics it can be difficult to know where to start, which is why it’s time to go back to basics with these 7 simple reminders.

1. Online Marketing is not a Quick Fix.

online marketing plan

Yes, it’s true that if you’re online marketing is well managed you can have great results very quickly, but don’t expect that to happen overnight. It’s important to establish your presence online and on Social Media as one of the key trust measures of sites on the Web is their longevity – a longer established site is more likely to rank better in the search engines, and the longer you are on Social Media the more genuine followers you will build relationships with. Even if you are using something like PPC where you can get “instant” results, without a well-established web presence clients may be put off by poor search results when they come to research you.

2. You have to be consistent.

The internet is inundated with new content every day. No matter how great your content is, if you stop updating your site and social media, then your followers will soon get bored and move onto a competitor site that has been updated more recently. In order to build a trusted following of engaged readers, you have to give them a reason to be interested, and you have to do it regularly.

3. Establish a recognisable brand image

You might not be a household name, but choose a brand image, colour scheme or logo that you can set up on your blog, social media and online adverts that is recognisably you. This means that if customers from Facebook come through to your blog, or vice versa, they know they are in the right place.

4. Be prepared to tweak things regularly.

online marketing planA campaign may work brilliantly first time, the chances are it won’t. Online Marketing is not always a consistent animal and you have to be prepared to make changes to your copy, images, or your general approach in order to get the best results. The great thing about Online Marketing is that you will probably have access to statistics on just about every aspect of what you do. Something as simple as changing a few words in an advert can make all the difference. Similarly, and advert that works really well won’t necessarily work really well over a long period of time as people will get bored of seeing the same thing. Don’t be afraid to make changes!

5. Always have a plan.

Don’t start any marketing campaign without a strategy. Make sure that for each campaign you have an end goal and budget as well as other potential milestones that you want to reach. This means that you can check your progress along the way and if you’re not making the progress you wanted then you either tweak your methods, adjust your strategy or re-evaluate your goals as necessary.

6. Use your Website as your Central Hub

Your own website or blog is like your own online real estate. You own it, so you can do whatever you like with it. No matter how popular Social Media sites are, always remember that someone else owns them which means they can change the rules at any time. By all means build up a following on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whichever other site seems to best suit your business or industry but try and direct those fans back to your blog whenever possible. As an added bonus, all the links back to your site from other sites will help boost your sites credibility with the search engines in the long run.

7. Budget for your time

As part of your online marketing plan, remember that budget is all important and return on investment is key to any successful campaign. Social Media sites may cost nothing to use, but the time you spend on them and other web sites shouldn’t ever be more than you can afford. Your time is valuable; some would say it’s your most valuable asset as it’s the one thing you can’t get back.

What Online Marketing lessons have you learned the hard way? What are your favourite simple tips?