Online Marketing for Small Business: How to Stop Spending All Your Time Online?

The ‘traditional’ means of marketing for small businesses have included newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. However, the advent of the internet has changed all that. Today, online marketing is the preferred method of reaching potential customers. Here’s why.

Faster Research

One of the advantages of online marketing is the ability to do extensive research much faster than traditional means of marketing. With the use of keywords and other tools, you can find any piece of information you need in no time at all. Even better, the results of your search are displayed immediately. This saves you from having to wait months for your next issue of newspaper to be delivered or hear one local news radio station after another cut-throat competition for your attention.

More Targeted Audience

Another advantage of online marketing is that you can target your audience better than any other form of marketing. You can choose the language and style of your web content to suit your target audience. If you are not sure who your audience is, you can use tools to research consumer behavior. With the growing influence of the internet, more people are accessing the web content of businesses than ever before. This means that you can get your message out to a broader group of people than ever before.

More Conversations

While traditional forms of marketing have focused on one-way communication via a printed newspaper, radio, or TV ad, online marketing encourages two-way conversations between brands and their customers. This can be done through a variety of means including social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

As TV stations have shifted their focus to mobile and internet streaming, the number of people watching live TV has dropped significantly. Many TV viewers now prefer to use their smartphones and laptops to access content instead. As a result, conversations about your products and services can now happen online rather than just appearing in occasional conversations at the grocery store or other public places. This kind of marketing encourages customers to interact with brands through social media platforms. The internet and social media allow businesses to connect with customers everywhere, anytime, and through any channel they choose. This gives businesses the opportunity to have constant communication with customers and remind them of your brand’s existence even when they don’t expect to see your ad.

Increased Product Awareness

Awareness of a product is the first step to purchasing it. For consumers who are not sure what a product is, a lack of awareness can cause them to avoid purchasing it due to a lack of knowledge. However, once they are aware of a product, their likelihood of purchasing it increases. With businesses gaining awareness of their products through digital marketing, this step is made easier. The internet allows for businesses to connect with customers globally and through various channels based on their needs. This means that even if a product is not made in your country, there’s a chance that you can introduce it to the people in your country through digital marketing.

Get More Genuine Interest

Since the inception of email marketing, businesses have been using it to acquire new customers. However, with the increasing popularity of social media, businesses must utilize this channel too if they want to stay in contact with their customers. While email marketing allows you to have one-on-one communications with potential customers, social media channels allow for business to have open, two-way conversations with their audience. This means that customers can ask questions, provide feedback, and the business can respond accordingly. Additionally, customers can now see the responses of businesses almost immediately, increasing the likelihood of a business responding timely to an inquiry.

More Effective Measurement

The digital marketing world is full of numbers. While many businesses still rely on printed marketing materials to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, the digital native prefers to look at the results of their efforts digitally. This is why more and more businesses are turning to online marketing to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. It’s important to note that not all measurements are created equal. What is the conversion rate of a particular piece of content? How many of my Facebook ‘likes’ did this post generate? Which ad campaign generated the most sales? The answer to these questions are all important and can help a business determine the success of a particular strategy.

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to figure out which online marketing tactics are working and which ones are not. In order to do this, you must look at the numbers. When you compare the amount of traffic generated through different channels, you can see which ones are performing well and which ones need to be changed or removed completely.

In his book ‘The Art of Marketing’, Jordan Shapiro points out some valuable tips for marketers.

1. Measure the right metrics

Shapiro advises marketers to “focus on the metrics that matter most—those that will allow you to prove whether your strategy is working or not.” These include things like the number of web pages visited, the amount of time spent on a site, the percentage of people who clicked on a particular link or button, and the number of conversions (i.e., the ratio of orders to visitors.)

2. Be consistent

Shapiro states that “a consistent approach is the key to effective marketing. If you want to improve your odds of landing a sale, you need to adopt a consistent approach throughout your marketing campaign. This means that you must stick with one strategy and execute it as best you can. Being a jack of all trades and using various methods to gain online marketing success will only hinder your campaign.”

3. Focus on building credibility

Shapiro contends that marketers can lose sight of their target audience if they become too focused on gaining new subscribers. Instead, he advocates a ‘controversial opinion’ approach, which he says “addresses the problem of gaining credibility in a noisy world.” In other words, if you want to succeed in the online marketing world, you need to focus on building credibility with your existing customers rather than seeking to acquire new subscribers to your email list.

4. Find your ‘voice’

Shapiro says that marketers should not just copy what they have seen others do. Instead, they should find their own spin on things and adopt a voice that is uniquely theirs.

He continues, “Your customers will appreciate your uniqueness and will be more likely to respond to your calls for action and consider your advice. One popular approach is to find a platform that is comfortable to you and begins to embody your brand. For example, if your company is all about community, you can use a social media platform that is based around that theme.” In other words, if you want to truly gain online success, you must put your own spin on things and find a way to make your voice heard above the rest.

5. Use multiple channels

Shapiro points out that while the bulk of your marketing activities should be focused on growing your audience, you should not neglect the other major component: driving traffic to your website. You can use various tactics to achieve this including SEO, display ads, and affiliate marketing. However, the important thing is that you should not be limiting yourself to one channel.

He says, “The more channels you use, the greater your chances of drawing in an audience. While you should not expect to reach every person you speak to, with digital marketing, you can certainly expect to speak to a large portion of the population. So, by reaching more people, you increase the chances of at least one person being interested in what you have to say.” In other words, if you want to truly succeed in the online world, you must not limit yourself to one platform. Instead, you must use various platforms and seek out different kinds of audiences.

6. Measure the right results

Ultimately, you will be held accountable for the results of your online marketing efforts. Since the metrics will matter, you must be sure that you are comparing apples to apples when measuring the success of your efforts. Make sure that you are looking at the right sets of numbers and that you are not just focusing on the tools used to track and analyze those numbers.

For example, when measuring the effectiveness of a particular piece of content, it is important to look not just at the number of times the content was viewed but also the duration that the viewer spent on the page. While the former may indicate that the content was successful, the latter can tell you that the viewer was indeed interested but ultimately did not take the action you were hoping for.