The Internet has provided opportunities for marketing online and offline businesses alike. While some industries are still based on the brick and mortar of business, many others are completely online. In fact, there are so many people using the Internet that the ratio of online business to offline is increasing. And if you want to be on top of the online marketing game, you need to get started sooner rather than later.
Just as offline businesses typically operate with a single location, the business owner must take advantage of the new age of online marketing to attract potential customers to their website. But, that does not mean the opportunity is totally different from traditional offline marketing. Many of the tactics used in offline marketing will apply to online marketing. So, while many techniques may be new, the basics should be the same. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Social Networking Sites – This is probably the most widely used strategy for promoting your business online. The more sites you have, the more traffic your website will receive. One downside to social networking sites is that people can feel obligated to check in at your site when they feel like it, which means you may get no real return traffic, but you can’t turn away people if they feel obligated to check in.
Email Marketing – There are three main types of email marketing: Constant Email Marketing, Email Referrals, and Email Shaming. Constant Email Marketing sends out a reminder email every day or several times a week. Email Referrals allow you to send out emails to people who have expressed interest in the website. And Email Shaming is when you send an email to anyone who has emailed you, as an attempt to discourage them from doing so again. Email Shaming may make some people uncomfortable, but it can also keep people coming back to your site in the future.
Pay Per Click – You can use pay per click to reach targeted customers. Pay per click works by displaying your ad to those visitors who have opted into your list, and then paying them to view your ad. There are many ways to successfully implement this marketing strategy, including searching the Internet for keywords that would appeal to potential customers. You could also use pay per click software to track the effectiveness of your ads. Keep in mind that if your ad is not relevant to the keyword you are targeting, you could lose potential customers.
Email marketing for a product is another approach. An example of this would be sending out articles to email lists with affiliate links in the body of the email. Or you could put your opt-in form in an email template to build a mailing list for future use. Always remember that you are trying to attract those customers who have already expressed interest, rather than those who have not indicated an interest yet.
As your small business grows, you’ll soon see the importance of finding the right approach to promote your business online. These four strategies will help you grow and succeed in your online marketing efforts. Just be sure to measure your results before putting all your eggs in one basket. Or, if you are already starting to see good results, you may find it easier to implement more than one strategy.