Expanding your small business on the Internet will help you generate more revenue and reach a wider market. Statistics indicate that over 78 percent of customers conduct product research online. More than 40 percent of smartphone owners use the Internet to compare prices on their mobile device. Approximately 57 percent of companies have acquired customers through their site or blog. Having an online presence is essential for the success of your small business. Companies that advertise their products on the Internet enjoy greater visibility and recognition.
Whether you want to grow your business, find new customers, or increase brand awareness, you’ll benefit from having an online presence. Companies like MarketingExchange can help you reach your target audience and promote your business on the Internet. There are thousands of ways you can advertise your products, from social networking and blogging to email marketing. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Create a Marketing Plan
Many companies have become successful by swapping their regular stores for an online business. Creating a marketing plan is the first step to a successful Internet business. Start with the end game is mind. Determine your goals and set deadlines. What do you expect from your online business? Are you looking for more customers or increased revenue? Do you want to reach a global market? Once you establish your goals, you’ll have a road map to guide you through the process.
Analyze Your Market
Before setting a budget, figure out your target market first. Your audience is the lifeblood of your business. It’s important to develop your marketing plan with the customers’ needs in mind. There are various online tools and social management platforms that can help you learn more about your audience. Find out where your customers spend time online. Follow them on social networks and engage in conversations. Learn about their interests and hobbies, ask questions, and provide solutions to their needs.
Set a Budget
Now that you know who your target audience is, you can set a budget. The best thing about promoting your small business online is that you can reach your goals even when you’re on a tight budget. As long as you use the right strategies, you’ll be successful. Determine where you want to spend your marketing funds. Put some money aside for unexpected expenses. Consider the following factors when setting your budget:
- Your target market
- The size of your market area
- The nature of your business
- Your objectives
- Your competition
- The strategies used for promoting your business
Decide how much you’re willing to spend on email marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and social networking.
Start by creating a site or blog. Add quality content regularly. Hire an experienced professional to optimize your website for the search engines. Keep in mind that search engine optimization can be a time consuming process. You might have to wait months before seeing any results.
Meanwhile, you can use social media to promote your brand and connect with your prospects. Spend time on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to find out what customers are saying about you. Connect with other small businesses on the Internet. Create engaging videos about your business to increase brand awareness and gain exposure online.
Photo Credit: Flickr/kevin