If you are a business, big or small, you already know the importance of marketing. Until a few years ago most marketing was done via print or media such as television but now there’s a new player in town – online marketing. What is online marketing? Online marketing is the practice of selling or promoting goods and services through the use of the Internet. Perhaps you’ve considered it and are wary because you think things like social media are more for fun and play than business. Perhaps you just don’t know where to start or how to implement platforms like Linkedin or Facebook into your marketing campaign. Maybe you’re just worried that you’ll put in time and effort and won’t be able to see a return. What you may not realize is how important including online marketing is as a useful business tool these days. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons your business should be online.
- Product awareness: People buy products they know about and with which they have familiarity. Using online marketing increases your brand’s product awareness and can reach not only a national level but an international one as well. Having a strong online presence, helps your customers become familiar with you, your company, your brand and makes it easier and more comfortable for them to buy your products.
- Look at the Numbers: A report from Forrester Research revealed 39% of online retail transactions by NEW customers start with clicks from paid or organic search results. 30% of transactions by repeat customers start with an email from the retailer and an additional 30% type the retailer’s URL directly into the browser. In 2012, an estimated $226 billion was spent on online purchases!
- Wider Reach: As mentioned above, putting yourself online means you’re not just reaching local consumers but national and international as well. Add into this the fact that nowadays less people spend time watching cable or listening to the radio and instead watch streaming content or listening to online radio channels, especially while on the go, and it’s easy to see the importance of online marketing. Reach your audience where they already are!
- Cost Effectiveness: You can market yourself online for very little and sometimes even no money. It’s up to you how much or little you want to spend to reach your audience and that amount can change as your business grows.
- Results You Can See: Web analytics tools allow you to track meaningful metrics and offer you the opportunity to make informed business decisions on data, and not just assumptions. Based on data, you can determine the actual ROI of your online campaigns. If they aren’t meeting your expectations, than the data provides you with the rationale to terminate the campaign.
- Increased Traffic: You already have a website you use but unless you let people know about your site, chances are slim they will just accidently stumble across it. With online marketing, especially social platforms, you can direct more people to your site. And if you don’t already have a website for some reason, that is the number one thing you should have – this is your open 24/7 storefront!
The benefits of online marketing are there for the taking, all you have to do is reach out and get started!