The Importance of Online Marketing for Small Businesses
Online Marketing is an important part of building your online presence. As a small business, taking control of your online marketing allows you to compete more effectively with your competitors and enables you to get closer to the wants and needs of your target audience.
I believe that the key benefits of online marketing for small businesses can be summed up as follows:
- Online Marketing is cost effective
- Online Marketing is measurable
- Online Marketing is easy to control
- Online Marketing can be personalised
- Online Marketing has a potentially high conversion rate
Let’s consider these benefits in more detail.
Online Marketing can potentially cost you next to nothing in terms of finances if you already have a business website setup. Most social media platforms are free to register with, as are many directory listings. The only cost you will need to make will be in terms of your time. So, if you have a limited marketing budget, online marketing is both affordable and cost-effective.
Installing a traffic measurement tool on to your website, such as Google Analytics, will help you measure the impact of your online marketing activity. As you create and publish content to your website via your blog, or by directly encouraging social media followers to visit your website, you will be able to track this information via your measurement tool. This information can be invaluable for you to understand what is / isn’t working when it comes to your online marketing messages.
Easy to control
As a small business owner, you are the person making the decisions on what your marketing message is at any given day, week or month. There is no need for board meetings with numerous other decision-makers in order to discuss the latest marketing plan or strategy. You make all decisions and so your online marketing activities for any given day, week or month are within your control at all times. If you want to run a new discount you can, and if you want to withdraw your special offer you can at any time. Once you’ve made the decision, you can make immediate changes and tweaks to the marketing message you are providing.
Your marketing message can be personalised to the target audience that you are addressing. For example, if you wish, you could tailor the content published on your social media platforms to different target audiences. This way the conversations and discussions you have with these audiences can be personalised specifically for them where you can address your different customers’ varied needs and requirements.
Potentially High Conversion Rate
Online marketing can allow you access to your target audience in a way that traditional marketing does not. Conversations can be current, queries can be answered immediately, issues can be addressed and problems resolved instantly. As a small business owner, controlling your own online marketing, your customers can appreciate having direct access to you. This helps to develop your trustworthiness and so there is much potential for converting possible customers into actual ones.
Developing an effective Online Marketing strategy for your small business is a key factor for your online business success. Keep in mind the needs of your customers and target audience and tailor your marketing approach to what they want and need. Online Marketing takes time, effort and a consistent approach. By following these steps, you should find that the benefits outlined above come into force for your business in no time.
The main issue with online marketing (especially if you are taking it all on yourself) is that it takes a good time investment in order to work properly. It can take time for your content to start driving traffic to your business website and it obviously takes time to create that content in the first place. However, all this is really about is nurturing your communication with your target audience, which really, you should be doing anyway, whether that is in written or verbal form. You need to know who your customers are and you need to be able to talk to them.