Online Marketing for Small Business
A complete marketing plan should utilise a mix of both online and offline marketing activities. Gone are the days where you can rely solely on word of mouth, a brochure or a repeated marketing technique to attract new customers. When you repeat old techniques, they become stale and less effective over time.
I have a client who used to rely on leaflet distribution for getting new customers in their local area, as they measured their marketing effectiveness, they noticed that their leaflet distribution was getting less effective over time. That’s because they were sending out the same ad to the same audience and it was no longer productive. For a full marketing strategy, you need to have both online and offline techniques that are continuously evolving.
Small businesses can start online marketing by getting a website that is clear and articulate and answers the questions that customers have. Once you have a website that’s working for you, you can dip your toe into strategies such as Facebook advertising, Google advertising, banner ads on related websites and directory listings.
It is important that small businesses measure everything, budgets are tight and you need to know what is working for you and what isn’t. You can use Google Analytics to measure your website visitors. You can use click measuring to see what people are clicking on.
How do you set up online advertising? First, you need to determine what your sales path is. Do people first give you a call, answer a few questions and then sign up for a trial or do they buy a smaller product before buying a larger product? You need to write out your sales process. Then you have to design your website around your sales process. Have a website where people can easily contact you. You can have information sheets and product information. You can have free consultations by the telephone or Skype so that people can make contact with you to answer any questions that they have. Answer all the common questions or concerns on your website so that as people weed through and work through your website, they’re reducing their indifference and concerns.
Always collect contact details or email addresses on your website by offering a signup form that gives them something of value that is related to your product. Always have clear contact details. I generally recommend having a telephone number on the top right-hand side of the page and a clear contact form that is the last item on your menu. That’s where people expect to see it.
If you’re only a small business, you may be wondering if online marketing is for you. The online arena now means that small businesses can compete for the same customers as large corporations in an affordable way. It has opened up opportunities that have never before been available and every small business should take advantage of them.
In closing, I recommend that you get online with your website and measure it. Measure all your online marketing activities and your advertising so that you know what is effective and how you can continuously improve your marketing efforts.