Many local business owners understand the value of advertising, and the fact that money spent on advertising can translate to money generated in revenue. The days of opening up shop and expecting a steady flow of traffic are over, and it’s hard to say if they ever actually existed. Many businesses that we have spoken to say that they expected just that however, the day they opened their doors to the public suddenly people were going to show up. The reality is that this is simply not the case, there is too much competition and unless you are on a main avenue that gets a lot of foot traffic, then people are not going to randomly stumble into your place of business. Don’t stress though, millions of businesses are thriving, and it’s due to marketing. There are really infinite ways to market your business, and with the advent of the internet the ways in which you can market have exponentially grown.
How to market your business using the internet.
- Websites – This has become an obvious marketing expenditure for 99% of modern businesses, but we still must stress the importance to the %1 of people who have not adopted this modern marketing strategy. Almost everyone is online these days, which means your business should be too.
- SEO – Like we discussed in our previous post, search engine optimization is a great way to market your business. Depending on the type of business or service you offer, you will find that many people are searching for it online. It pays dividends to be the business that shows up at the top of search engines when people are searching for your particular service in your town. There are ways to optimize your own site, but unless you have experience, leave it the professionals. After all, you wouldn’t trust your car to anyone that wasn’t a mechanic right?
- Press Release – A press release is a great way to break the ice and let your local community know that you are open for business. There are tons of great press release companies that will take your information and get into hundreds of local media outlets. These include print newspapers, but also all their online publications. Which means your website on hundreds of different websites.
- Online Paid Advertising – As the internets popularity has grown so too has the amount of advertising opportunities. Again you will want to hire a specialist if you do not have experience with online advertising. Online advertising is definitely not something you want to overlook, and if you are spending money on print advertising you might want to consider diversifying your budget. The internet whether we like it or not is collecting an erroneous amount of data on every single one of us. It is constantly gathering information on our shopping patterns, personal interests, the places we frequent, and more. Though this seems a bit intrusive and perhaps even somewhat Orwellian, as a marketer it is extremely valuable. If you choose to advertise online you can target your ideal clientele better than any other media outlet, and often at a much better price. Online advertising is typically set up as pay-per-click, which means you only pay when people actually click your add, and check out your website, which offers some guarantee with your marketing dollar.
The internet offers modern small businesses an extreme advantage to those that came before them. It is currently the most effective way to reach targeted audiences, and is only getter better with time. Though it may seem overwhelming to those that have never done any marketing on the internet, most of the advertising platforms are designed to be pretty intuitive (Google, Facebook, etc). Paid advertising is not right for all businesses, just as SEO is not right for all businesses. A great way to know what’s right for your company is to see what your competition is doing, and then think about what customers seeking your service would do to locate your business.
There are tons of other ways to market that do not consist of the internet, but do not overlook the power that the internet can offer your business.