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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.