It’s common for many small businesses to focus primarily on offline marketing, such as local newspaper ads, radio and telephone business directories. The world is changing though, and online marketing is something that small business owners can’t afford to ignore any more.
What is online marketing?
Online marketing takes many forms, but most can be categorised as falling under one of the following types:
- Search engine marketing
- Display advertising
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Mobile advertising
In essence, online marketing is any form of advertising that takes place via the internet.
So why is online marketing important for small businesses?
It is important that all businesses, both large and small have a well rounded marketing mix. This ensures that should sales or leads generated from one channel dry up, the business will still be getting customers via other methods.
Here are our top 5 reasons why online marketing is important for small business:
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Having an online presence means that your business is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week; well sort of. If you’re an ecommerce site then you could be selling your products at any time of the day or night. If not, then your website or social media profiles could be generating leads for you to follow up on when you are back in the office.
Drives targeted traffic
Online marketing can drive highly targeted traffic. Visitors coming via search engines are finding your website because they have searched for words and phrases relevant to your business offering. Compare this to a radio ad where the majority of people hearing it probably don’t need your service at the time it’s actually on the radio. You’re relying on them remembering your particular business when they do need it.
Achieve better conversion rates
A result of more targeted traffic is a higher conversion rate. As visitors to your website are looking specifically for the product or service your business if offering, you’re more likely to convert them into customers. Many small businesses don’t often consider conversion rates and are obsessed with simply driving traffic to their site. It’s not only quantity, but the quality of the visitors that could increase sales.
Stay ahead of the competition
Do you want your business to be the last in your sector to embrace online marketing? I’m guessing probably not. It can take time to see the benefits of some online marketing channels, such as SEO and email marketing, e.g. you need to build up a quality email opt in list if you want to get good conversion rates from your email marketing campaigns. It’s better to begin some sort of internet marketing sooner rather than later, that way you can stay ahead of your competition and not lose market share.
Building your brand
Online marketing is great for building your brand. There is a certain level of trust and authority that is associated with websites that have top rankings. This can do wonders for a brand since yours is the business that that everyone sees when they search for your products and services in your niche. Social media is another brilliant way to build your brand awareness and it also gives you the opportunity to interact with your customers.
Online marketing is key for small businesses that want to be future proof. Ecommerce and online business grows each year and can’t be ignored by small businesses looking to stay ahead of their competitors. In short, make sure you are doing online marketing of some sort, whether you a small local business or a large international company.