Articles

Online Marketing – Helping Small Businesses

Online marketing was once a much easier prospect than it is today. Search engine optimization was easy to do and results were often dramatic with very little effort. Email marketing worked much better because there was less spam so people were more likely to actually read the emails they got. Even online banner advertising had phenomenal click-through rates when it first came out.

As the Internet has become more and more popular, though, it has become more competitive making it ever more difficult to get good ranking with SEO. Pay-per-click programs such as Google Adwords become more expensive over time as more companies bid on keywords and the cost of those keywords gets driven up. Email marketing is ever more challenging – many people have not just one spam filter but two or three that you have to contend with. And now you have to include social networking in your online marketing strategy as well. While the tools for online marketing have gotten better, the game has gotten more complex and more costly for most small businesses.

Even though it’s more competitive, it’s more important than ever before to be investing in online advertising and marketing. That’s because traditional forms of marketing are on the decline, even as Internet marketing is growing. A recent informal survey we conducted among a group of 35 small business owners showed that not a single one of them had used the yellow pages for finding another business in the last month. Dollars spent each year on print, radio and television advertising are rapidly decreasing because marketers realize that people turn to the Internet to find the products and services they are looking for. If your business can’t be found online, it means that you are losing potential customers.

Because the virtual world is constantly changing, it is important for smart business owners to stay abreast of the changes that affect online marketing. This can be a difficult task, as most business owners don’t have the time to devote to keeping their primary business going, much less taking the time to learn and execute an online marketing plan. It can be overwhelming.  For this reason, many large companies employ staff to deal with their online marketing needs, but for smaller companies this may not be feasible within their budgets. This makes it necessary for them to outsource their marketing needs to companies that specialize in all aspects of online marketing.

A firm that specializes in online marketing is generally on top of the latest trends in virtual marketing.  They know what works and what does not because they have used many forms of marketing for different companies.  They also can keep top on what the competitors are doing on their websites and make sure that your business is able to compete against them for the attention of prospective customers. If you don’t have time to become an expert in online marketing, you need to hire a company that is.

Consumers spend more time researching products and services online because they can do it right from the comfort of their own home. They can research and compare various companies and find the products and services that they need and want.  They can do this on their own schedule and take as long as they might need to shop and compare. This is a great advantage to both the consumer and the businesses they frequent.  No longer are people confined to businesses that are in their local area or who are only open certain hours. With the advantages of the online world, now consumers can use businesses down the street or across the world with almost the same ease.  All of these factors make a business’s online marketing strategy extremely important to the success of their company.