In the last decade, the internet has created a whole new world of marketing opportunities. Thanks to the digital nomad community and the self-employed nature of many content creators who work remotely, there are now many ways to market your product or service online without having to be physically present in a store.
While there are many benefits to selling online, it’s definitely not for everyone. You need to consider the pros and the cons before taking the plunge.
Marketing on the internet allows you to establish credibility and trust with potential customers before they even have a chance to get to know you. With few exceptions, consumer reviews and testimonials are highly visible and extremely influential online.
If you run a business that’s been around for a while, you may already be familiar with the power of customer reviews. Whether you’ve ever heard of Fiverr or Dropshipping, you’ve probably been affected by some form of consumer review.
Since the beginning of time, people have been telling others about their products and services. In the early days, it was usually a simple, “this is the best car,” or “this restaurant serves the best food in town.” These days, people use platforms like Google Reviews and Yelp to share their opinions about different businesses. In the case of online stores, it’s pretty standard for customers to leave a review after they’ve made a purchase. And guess what? Often these reviews can dramatically influence a customer’s decision to purchase your product or service. (Learn more about the credibility-building power of reviews in this HubSpot blog post.)
Establishing credibility and trust with potential customers is just one of the ways that marketing online can be beneficial. You can also use digital marketing techniques to gain brand awareness and drive more traffic to your site. And let’s be honest, when was the last time you heard of a business that didn’t have a virtual storefront?
If you’re looking for a way to grow your business quickly and don’t have the time to develop a strong online presence, then marketing online may not be for you.
The main concern is building a strong web presence. It can take a lot of time to get your site built, stocked with content and optimized for search engines. In the case of Shopify, it takes about as much time as it does to create a basic blog. (If you’re curious, you can try out Shopify’s Basic plan for free for 30 days.)
Why? It’s because building a powerful digital presence that can attract, engage and convert customers takes a lot of work. And that’s not something that many startups or solo entrepreneurs have the time for.
If you don’t have or want to spend the time developing and maintaining a strong web presence, then outsourcing your online marketing to an experienced agency is probably a better idea. (You can read about WooCommerce and Shopify’s growth strategies here and here, respectively.)
Of course, there are also cons to selling online. You have to be technically capable of handling all the transactions yourself. If you decide that being manually intensive is worth the time savings, then selling online can be a good option for you. (Learn more about the manual nature of online sales in this digital marketing guide.)
Even if you don’t have the time to build a strong web presence or if you’re looking for a way to quickly and easily get your product or service in front of potential customers, online marketing can still be extremely beneficial.
The key is to find your sweet spot. If you want to dip your toes into the world of digital marketing, there are plenty of low-hanging fruit opportunities that you can easily replicate. For example, you can easily get started with a simple Google Ads campaign for your blog — no technical expertise required. (You could even do this yourself with Google Tag Manager.)
While this may not be a full-time career for you, online marketing can be a great way to increase your business’ visibility and find new customers. And at the very least, it’s an option that deserves consideration.