Remember when advertising your business was as simple as taking out an ad in the Yellow Pages? These days, traditional media costs more and has a lower return on investment (ROI) than ever before. While large corporations have the resources to reach their target market on a variety of platforms, small businesses (specifically those serving a local market) must prioritize their marketing dollars.
When it comes to achieving the highest ROI for your small business marketing, few things compare to word of mouth. However, that requires you to rely on your customers to market your business for you. Once you have decided to take marketing into your own hands, Internet marketing is your next best bet for a high conversion rate and the best choice for reaching the masses.
Marketing your small business was simple back when it was just a billboard, a Yellow Pages ad, or a spot on your local radio station. Today’s SMBs have significantly more options to choose from when it comes to reaching their customers. Should you spend more time on Facebook? Do you need to start paying for AdWords? Should you go back to school to learn web design? The options seem to be infinite.
Here’s where you should start:
Internet Marketing for Small Businesses
- Clean up your (digital) house: Your Website is your digital marketing hub. Make sure that your customers can find it, navigate it, interact with it, and make transactions through it. This should be your number one priority.
- Social is hot, but SEO attracts more customers: We’re still in a search heavy mindset. Your customers are going to Google for everything, even on their mobile phones. Don’t neglect your search engine optimization (SEO).
- Make Facebook your social media anchor: Most local businesses should begin building their social media influence on Facebook. It might not be cool, but it has become an essential utility in our daily lives.
- Focus on adding value: Businesses often make the mistake of going into business mode when they adopt social media; it’s all about making the sale. Reality is that most people use social media because their friends and family or using it. If your business wants to interrupt someone’s day, you need to be bringing value.
- Track everything: Whether you outsource your Internet marketing to an agency or hire someone in house, you need to hold them accountable through data analytics. Tracking your progress and results will allow you to make wiser marketing decisions. There are many parts of marketing that play into a long game strategy, and some that work for immediate results. You need to be aware of what’s being worked on and what’s currently working (or at least improving).
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