Using Internet Marketing for Your Business
In 2014 BrightLocal conducted their annual SMB Internet Marketing survey and found of the 700+ businesses participating in the survey, 37% percent were planning on spending more on Internet marketing in 2015. Of the respondents to the survey, 32% said Internet marketing was ‘very effective’ at bringing in new customers. About half of the companies surveyed said they spend less than $300 a month on Internet marketing.
There are many more interesting results in their full write up, but from just these three elements we can make some deductions. First thing and the most obvious is Internet marketing doesn’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Compared to the cost of a billboard, signs on a bus, paying a guy to spin a sign outside your business, or handing out flyers, Internet marketing does not have to be a budget busting effort. The other takeaway is those businesses currently engaged in digital marketing are finding it a good way to get new customers. Additionally, another group (quite possibly some of the last group just mentioned) are actually going to increase their spending on Internet marketing.
The rational person doesn’t increase spending on something if they aren’t getting something worthwhile out of it. Of course, we have to account for the few people are are irrational or who love to throw good money after bad for bizarre tax reasons or because their brother-in-law needs to put something on his resume. No judgement here.
Internet marketing is good for business. More to the point, using Internet marketing for your business is good. You may still be on the fence, so let’s dig deeper on this idea.
How will Internet Marketing Benefit Your Business?
You want more customers, more clients, more consumers of your products and/or services in order to grow your business, increase revenue, and be successful. Marketing accomplishes these goals. Whether you engage in advertisement, in-store promotions, or word-of-mouth campaigns, you are doing marketing.
Internet marketing is just another tool in your marketing toolbox. When you use this tool, though, you have a far more extensive reach. Instead of reaching just the people who are listening to the radio at the right time, reading the newspaper on the right day, or who already have a relationship with your business, you can target those people who aren’t even aware they need or want your products or services.
These are people are are searching on the web for a way to solve a problem. These are people who will be introduced to your business as a solution to their problem.
Internet marketing will benefit your business by putting it in front of the right people at the right time.
A small retail store may get several people popping in and looking around the shop before leaving. Unless the people working there grill the customer over why they are there and how they got there, those browsers will escape the store without providing any information.
Compared to visitors to a website, the story is completely different. We can see what interested the person, what pages caught her eye, and what page she looked at before she left the site. With the website, we can collect a lot of information just from the behavior of the visitors.
Through Internet marketing, we can begin to identify who uses your services and who just looks but never takes action. Internet marketing then allows you to pursue the right kind of traffic, bringing the people who will convert to your business.
Where to Start with Internet Marketing
You’re aren’t convinced yet, but you now think you might be able to use Internet marketing for your business. Where do you start?
When you read about the topic, you get lost in a maze of content talking about search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and a whole mess of specialized services helping (or hindering) your efforts. It may seem overwhelming, but it isn’t.
Follow these basic steps to get started with digital marketing.
- Register a domain name.
- Set-up a website.
- Write content for your customers.
GoDaddy.com or Hover.com can get you a domain name for $15.
Setting up a website could be costly, or you could use a service like squarespace.com and use their templates. This saves you on design costs to start and you will pay $26 per month ($18 if you pay annually). Combined with domain registration, your basic cost will be $327 a year. You most likely already have a domain and website, though, so you are already paying these costs.
This is your basic platform for all your digital marketing. If you want to engage in social media marketing, you will need to setup accounts on the appropriate services (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and begin engaging your community. It isn’t as simple as that, but it is how to start.
Why use Digital Marketing for Your Business?
Because it is a cost effective way to bring new customers to your business increasing your revenue. The amount of people you can reach with your message about your business is much larger. It is cost effective per customer acquisition.
Your website will continue to work so long as you pay the hosting and domain fees, which means it is a 24/7/365 marketing solution.
Your newsletters are a deep connection between you and the people who chose to receive it. You’ll be able to hone your message and speak directly to the people most interested in your products and services.
Your social media efforts are a simple way to give interested people a sneak peek behind the scenes and make a connection with the people who provide the services and sell them the products they love.
All your Internet marketing efforts result in telling the story of your company in the way you want it told.
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