Every business, whether a manufacturer, distributor, whole seller, middleman or retailer; wants to sell more and more to earn more profits. There are lots of businesses marketing similar products and that equates to stiff competition. Every now and then, they come out with new plans and strategies to surpass the competition, like ‘superstores’ or having round the clock store hours. This just results in having to maintain a big store and employ more employees. This can ultimately affect their profit margin. It becomes more difficult for the small businesses, with limited funds and staff, to compete.
However, with the arrival of the internet, the marketing playing field has been leveled between big and small businesses. Not only has the internet leveled the playing field, but it has expanded it as well. No longer are businesses limited to a local market, they now have a global market to sell their products. Small business marketing online is unlike traditional methods of marketing. Online marketing can be carried out with a small investment and doesn’t require a big store and inventory, and depending on your business model, may not require any physical store location or inventory at all. It merely requires a computer and internet connection.
Just as with any marketing, before you start Small Business Marketing Online you need a marketing plan.
- What product(s) or services will you be offering?
- Who is your target market?
- Who are your competitors and what products or services do they offer?
- Where online do you plan to focus your marketing efforts: AdSense, AdWords/PPC, social media, etc.?
The next step is to approach a professional internet marketing consultant and provide them with the necessary information so they can guide you in developing an online marketing strategy. These details can also help the marketing consultant to suggest a web site design as you will need a web site in order to market your business online.
Building a web site that is both appealing, easy to navigate and full of valuable content is essential to your online marketing efforts. A blogging platform, such as WordPress, is one effective way to run an online web presence that makes it relatively easy for you, the web site owner, to maintain your site and add fresh new content. Some businesses may require an ecommerce driven site.
Regardless of the type of site you require, ensuring that your site is optimized for both your readers and the search engines can be the difference between success and failure in small business online marketing.