No matter what your business – a shop, restaurant, service or supplier – the way you market your business will determine not only how your business is seen, but how many potential customers actually come across your services. It’s a key part on any of today’s business plans, and what’s one of the most efficient marketing platforms available today? The internet.
- sales increase
- exposure and awareness of your brand increases
- improved search engine rankings
- customers – existing and potential – have access to your products and services like never before
- gain feedback on your business
- it’s easy to track and measure; see what’s working (and what isn’t!) for you
The first step is to consider all the different platforms:
Social Media: This is a fantastic way to engage and build relationships with your target customers, and drive traffic back to your website. While signing up to websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are free, putting aside a budget for promoting updates and creating adverts may be wise.
Blogging: Think of a blog like your company’s own little online magazine – write about what is happening in your industry as well as company news, and you will give customers and clients a whole new insight into your business. There are many free platforms available, such as WordPress, which are easy to use and easy to integrate into your existing website. Have a quick look at ours to see how we manage ours.
Email Marketing: Sending out a regular email newsletter will ensure your latest offers, products, services and company news go straight to your subscribers’ inboxes. There are some great systems available which allow you to completely personalise your newsletter, separate your subscribers into lists – great for sending targeted emails – and test two versions to see which is more successful. Plus, you can track vital analytics such as how many are opened and how many people clicked through to your website.
PPC & AdWords: Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, is similar to advertising in local publications. You pick the website which appeals and attracts your target market, and place an advert on that site; you only pay for the people who click through to your website. AdWords are based on keywords that your customer will use to find you on search engines. There are lots of variations within these options, and it is well worth setting aside a budget for these types of internet advertising.
E-Commerce: If you have products to sell and want to get them to your customers as effectively as possible; e-commerce is a great solution. Having an online shop incorporated into your website allows customers to buy products directly from you without the costs of retail premises or staff; very cost-effective. You will have full control over how your products are marketed, and it will help toward search engine rankings too.
Once you have conducted enough research to answer any questions (remember, we’re here to help too!), it’s time to put a plan together. Think about what your ultimate goal is, who your target market is, how you will measure it’s success, and what your budget is. This may take some time and effort, but the results – even if it just increased awareness of your business – will be worth it.
Take a look at what other companies are doing
If there is a particular company you remember, it is because they are doing marketing right. If all of this is new to you and you are unsure where to start, take a spare few minutes to take a look at their website, click through to their blogs, social media accounts, and do a quick search for them. You will get a brief idea of the brand’s personality and see why internet marketing is working for them. Why not have a quick peek at companies that are in your industry too?
There are certainly a lot of things to consider, and coming up with an internet marketing strategy will require a lot of research and planning. Luckily, this is what we love to do! So if you’d like a meeting to discuss your internet marketing opportunities, please get in touch!
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