According to the Google ComScore, it is estimated that roughly 60 percent of all small businesses don’t have a website. This also means they probably don’t have an online presence either. Without an online presence, these businesses are leaving money on the table since more searches are done in Google for local businesses than in the Yellow Pages. If you want your business found, you have no choice but to develop an online presence. These internet marketing strategies will help you get started:
1. Decide what you want to achieve with your online marketing efforts.
All your marketing efforts must have a marketing objective. Without one, your marketing may take your business in a direction you don’t want to go. Do you want to increase the number of customers buying from your business? Are you looking to increase your reputation? What about increasing your word of mouth marketing from your customers? These, and others, are legitimate questions to ask if you plan to implement any type of internet marketing strategy. Have clear goals and also have a way to measure those goals.
2. Decide which internet marketing techniques you will use to market your business.
There are many different ways to market your business online. Some are effective, and some are not. If you want to increase brand management, then consider developing a website, optimizing it for the search engines, and then using content, like articles, free reports, and even video to promote yourself.
If increasing customers quickly is an issue, then consider pay per click campaigns or directory submission. There are about 35 different relevant directories in this category that can dramatically increase your traffic. Make sure mobile marketing is a part of your strategy because many use their mobile phones to search for local businesses now.
3. Choose a company to do your marketing for you, especially if you aren’t familiar with marketing online.
If you are just starting out, and you have the cash, then leave it to the professionals, especially if you want to increase your traffic quickly. If, on the other hand, you have a tight budget, then you’ll have to do it yourself. Read two to three books on internet marketing by reputable authors prior to planning your campaigns. Then you’ll know what to include in your campaign, as well as what you need to learn to execute your campaigns. Do your homework. It will save you a lot of grief and frustration later.
4. Choose both a short and long term internet marketing strategy to get you started.
Short term internet marketing strategies include: free classifieds, joint ventures, forums, social marketing, and video marketing. Long term strategies include: article writing, affiliate program management, free ebooks, reports, and document sites, blogging, and press releases.
Regardless of which of these techniques you choose, start by building a website first. This is where you want to send your traffic. Include a subscription page and add your subscription box to all of the pages on your site. This will allow you to keep in contact with both potential and current customers. Send them special offers and other content of interest.
5. Test and track your efforts, as well as add new techniques to mix up your marketing.
No marketing plan will really help you if you don’t know how well you are doing. Testing and tracking is an essential element of the process. Include it from the beginning as you have a wide range of things you can test: headlines, copy, clicks, sign ups, etc. Take different measurements in different areas to increase your effectiveness. Make your campaigns work as hard as possible for you. Keep your winning campaigns and then discard the rest.
Internet marketing is a simple way to increase your business. I know I’m repeating myself, but as an offline business, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t use internet marketing strategies. Give yourself a competitive advantage and increase your traffic and sales with it, and you’ll see results much faster than conventional offline techniques.