Running a successful small business is rarely an easy road, even at the best of times. Indeed, in the current perilous economic climate, it can often seem like the most Herculean of tasks. Competition for customers and a solid chunk of the market share is fierce, with more and more businesses turning to comprehensive, dazzling advertising plans to bridge the gap. However, there are ways to boost your business’ customer base, as well as your sales figures, without breaking the bank.
While traditional marketing tools such as flyers, television, and radio advertising are still effective means of attracting customers, the costs involved can be prohibitive. For today’s small business owner, a more economical solution is to advertise through means of a website and judiciously applied online marketing strategies.
The first requirement in online marketing is a well-designed, easily accessible web page that features interactive links and easily accessible key information. People today live very fast-paced lives and are always on the lookout for services that are quick, reliable, and easy to access. If a visitor to your website has to thumb through link after link just to find out your location and your range of products, he or she is apt to give up and move on to a site that offers a speedier inroad to the information he/she is seeking.
The last few years have also seen a major shift in the way people shop online. The emphasis today is on local businesses instead of global enterprises. Consumers are more interested in working with local companies and the way in which people search for services online reflects that shifting trend. By advertising your enterprise in the local online market, you stand a higher chance of attracting visitors to your site, as well as converting those virtual visitors into actual customers. Design your website to focus on locally relevant content, as it pertains to the products and services you sell. Optimize your site content for local searches, and list your page on local business listings and ranking services.
It is also important to note that most consumers search for information on a mobile device. Take care to avoid web designs that are Flash heavy or rely on Java script, both of which can make a website hard to access on a mobile device.
Create content that is clear, concise, informative, and jargon-free. Use your website to collect visitor information by offering visitors the chance to sign-up for your newsletter and promotional deals. Use the lists you receive to keep potential customers interested by sending them updates and promotional offers on a regular basis. Keep your site dynamic by updating it every few weeks, and add a blog section where you can discuss pertinent industry trends.
The idea of using the Internet to promote your business is certainly not a novel one, and indeed in a saturated market, it might seem like a pointless endeavor. However, there is a vast deal of benefit to be gained from engaging in a targeted online marketing plan, and it isn’t necessarily an expensive undertaking. With a little bit of research and effort, it is entirely possible to turn your small business into a thriving organization.