You don’t want to be that guy - the one who gets left out of the loop, falls by the wayside, gets passed over by the wave – and whatever other “sad loser” analogy you can think of. So how do you capitalise on the new methods and trends for your business?
Studies show that more and more consumers are using social media and mobile Internet to check out prices and other variables, before they make a decision on what company to choose for a product or service. Online marketing, without a doubt, helps you to build relationships with customers and generate new leads with relatively low cost or effort to you. Let’s check out why you should be taking advantage of the trends.
1. Online marketing is convenient
Your business can run around the clock, without you having to worry about opening hours, or paying staff overtime. People browsing late at night, or in other time zones, can sign up for one of your offers, get an automated mail letting them know you’ve noticed them, and get the ball rolling to become a client of yours. The Wall Street Journal reported that more people are now shopping online than in physical outlets.
Clients can also browse your online store at any time and place orders when it is convenient for them. We all know those moments when you’re bored (or slightly tipsy!), just sitting around, and decide to do a bit of retail therapy on your tablet or phone. Take advantage of those “therapy” moments in others.
2. Online marketing helps you reach more customers
Before the Internet, your business was pretty much limited to people living in your town, or its close surrounds. These days, there’s no limit to the distance of your market. You can sell your goods or services in any part of the world, if export is your thing.
Joe Soap in another part of your country, Jose Jabon in Spain, Josef Mylo in the Ukraine – they’re all potential customers these days. And with Google Translate and similar options, even language is no longer a barrier.
3. Online marketing is more personal
Another one of the advantages of online marketing is that you can build a profile of customers’ buying history and preferences. You can even make them special offers when you see they haven’t bought anything in a while – and this system can be set up automatically, with virtually no effort by you!
The magic of modern Internet tracking systems and algorithms means you can track the web pages and product information that potential clients have visited on your site, and make targeted offers that reflect their specific interests. For example, you’ll be able to find out which of your pages is getting most traffic, and what people are looking at.
4. Online marketing is a great low-cost option for small businesses
A brick and mortar retail outlet comes at a premium – depending on where it’s situated, rental can be exorbitant. Even a small outlet in an “unfashionable” part of town will cost a lot in terms of furbishing, security, etc; and probably not net you the returns the want.
Marketing products on the Internet costs less than marketing them through a physical retail outlet. You don’t even have to keep stock on your premises – lots of people move stock through “virtual warehouses”. You can also order stock in line with customer demand, and not sit with unsold stock on your hands.
5. Social media marketing is like free advertising
Internet marketing lets you take advantage of the growing phenomenon of social media. Just take a look at these user figures for only a FEW of the media platforms:
- Facebook: 1.7 billion users
- Google+: 300 million users
- Instagram: 400 million users
- Reddit: 36 million accounts
- Snapchat: 100 million users
- Twitter: 320 million users
These are mind-boggling numbers that previously only existed for boffins working in fields like astronomy and paleontology - now made available to you, just sitting out there online, waiting to be potential customers for your business!
An article on the Forbes website highlighted the social media trends and the links to online marketing. If your marketing consultant guys can keep ahead of the ever-changing trends and learn to capture leads by staying ahead of the pack, you won’t be hurting for revenue.
6. Online marketing creates better customer relationships
The Internet allows businesses not only to increase customer numbers with a good online marketing strategy, but also to build and sustain relationships. You can draw people to your online store using lead generation techniques – then, if someone buys a product, you can begin the relationship by sending a thank-you mail, for example. You can mail customers regularly with special, personalised offers so that a sense of trust and friendliness develops. You can also invite them to review you products, which also helps to build a solid sense of community – the customer is important and you value their feedback.
The best part is, you can pretty much do all of this in your sleep – modern email campaigns can be tailored and automated to suit your business.
7. Online marketing allows you to multitask
One of the core advantages of online marketing, that’s often overlooked because of more obvious in-your-face benefits, is that it gives you the ability to deal with huge numbers of customers and potential customers – all at the same time.
People have the attention spans of goldfish, these days. Once you have an efficient and properly targeted infrastructure in place, your business can practically run itself, without the customer dissatisfaction that can arise in a busy brick-and-mortar business where people aren’t getting the immediate attention they crave.
8. Online marketing is time-saving
In traditional offline business and marketing, you need to figure out who will be dealing with the nitty-gritty of running the business, and who will run ads, try to generate new leads, etc. Chances are – that guy is you, you and you.
Internet marketing lets you get every aspect of your business fully automated. You search for the best tool for your marketing campaign, or the best company to get your campaign up and running – and welcome to your new life on the golf course (if that’s your thing)!
9. Online marketing has ongoing positive effects on your market – even without sales
Well-executed content marketing on websites and blogs will keep working to promote your products and services for YEARS – even as your business evolves and grows. An E-book marketing campaign might well go viral and can push your business to a new level. Some content marketing gets passed around on social media and the Internet even after the relevant companies have been sold, or expanded into large corporations.
Internet marketing gurus like Neil Patel are well aware of this trend, and have devoted years to studying and perfecting it for the companies they advise.
10. Online marketing is versatile and easily tweaked
Imagine you run a Mom-and-Pop business the old way – word of mouth, captive audience, plain old-fashioned “it’s cheap and I’m here.” You might be the Belchers, for example.
If you want more customers without online marketing, you need printed flyers, sandwich boards, even billboards. What happens if things change – you run out of stock, your specials change, the mall your business is in shuts down? Your expenditure can’t be recouped. Those flyers can’t be recalled. Your business will look silly.
With online marketing, you can tweak your advertising within seconds, and tailor it to your new requirements. Vital needs of your business can be taken care of without shutting down the whole operation.
11. Online Marketing helps you diversify your strategy
It’s important to diversify your marketing strategy to hit your target audience where it counts. This means using many variants of tactics to reach prospective clients. Online marketing makes this process much easier. For example, if you want to run search engine advertising (SEA), or social media advertising (SMA), you can consider these 2 options:
- Pay Per Click search engine or social media advertising
- Hiring a SEO professional to optimise your business page, and get organic free traffic to your site
You can run a blog alongside your business website, and use content marketing to create a mixed strategy – thereby enhancing your marketing and advertising reach for your products and services. You might also consider creating ads of different format to target specific set of people and generate more awareness.
Fact is, if you take a good hard look at the options and benefits, and get a good online strategy together with a professional consultant, your business almost can’t stop itself from snowballing.