If I could highlight the one main mistake that small to medium sized businesses do, it is failing to implement internet marketing into their current marketing and promotions strategies.
Most small to medium sized companies are either afraid of exploring internet marketing strategies, intimidated that they don’t have the knowledge to do so, or under the misunderstanding that it is far too expensive for them.
There are many benefits to all businesses, through using targeted internet marketing, good website design and best practice SEO strategies. Whatever the size of business, from a sole trader business to a local company, internet marketing should be included in their current marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.
1.) Cheaper Than Offline Methods
Internet marketing strategies and methods are far cheaper, compared to traditional offline methods. Advertising on TV can take thousands and thousands out of your budget, besides the internet now has 24% of all display advertising, having recently overtaken television. Billboard advertising and print media can be as equally expensive.
Compared to the older traditional methods like Yellow Pages or the Thomson Directory, the costs involved in internet marketing is around 80% – 90% less. Advertising online can be tailored and based on your marketing budget, and you’d also be able to incorporate other ways of free advertising such as uploading videos or launching viral “word of mouth” campaign.
2.) Bigger Audience
There are billions of internet users all over the world, and guess what? Nowadays when people want to know about something, they just run an internet search or “Google It”!
Implementing internet marketing for your business opens the door to a bigger, wider audience from all around the world quickly and cheaply. “Why would you limit your market, when you can expand and grow”? Internet marketing is growing at a huge rate with 2.09 billion people, that is 30% of the world’s population, having access to the internet. Compare that to a local newspaper/magazine or the traditional local business directory… No comparison!!
3.) Convenience for the customer
In this day and age, consumers are able to search the internet for goods and products at a time of the day that suits them. More and more people are now working unsocial hours, and not the regular working day of “9 to 5”. Not only are they able to surf the Internet at a time to suit them, but they are also able to compare, goods and services and then make a decision to act. Whether it is to make a purchase or make contact with the business, the prospective customer has made a willing decision that is targeted towards a particular service or product.
4.) Weapon against Bigger Companies
Internet marketing is a powerful weapon to level the playing field against larger competitors. Using traditional offline marketing campaigns are hugely expensive, and a business will need an enormous budget to rival their competitors. If you plan and strategize your internet marketing strategies well, and utilize good web design practices you have a very good chance of getting noticed by your customers, and be listed on the first page of the search engines.
5.) Increase Localized Exposure
There are various strategies that will increase localized exposure. If proper search engine optimization strategies are implemented, when local customer’s key in geo oriented keywords, that is relating to a business as well as an area, your company’s website will show up. The downside is, people seldom browse several pages of search engine results and so top websites, that are usually found on the first page of the search engines get the biggest slice of relevant traffic.
The Internet offers business an economical, yet valuable way to reach new customers. Online marketing can generate real quality prospects coming in just from the web that they weren’t getting previously, for a lot less budget than what they were paying compared with traditional marketing and advertising mediums.
The benefits of marketing on the Internet are numerous; however this does not suggest that every business should market their goods or services on the Internet. The target must be considered along with the goods and services being sold.
There are of course, expenses involved in marketing through the Internet, and these can vary vastly. For any business embarking on such a course, I would recommend that the most important factor is that you have good support and commitment from your web design team and internet marketing company. You could find yourselves left with a website that is out of date and inaccurate, and that could impact on your business immeasurably, causing more harm than good.