Online Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

By definition marketing is a creative industry. As times change, so does the approach. The businesses who recognize the changes and tailor their marketing efforts to capitalize on the opportunities presented flourish while others who fail to recognize the writing on the wall – struggle or sometimes perish.

It has never been more important to stay on the cutting edge and to stay creative. As a business, have you recently felt that your marketing strategy was beginning to yield the results you expected?

Perhaps it has been a while since you took a hard look at your strategy. Perhaps it has been a while since you took time to think if your marketing strategy needs some adjustments to capitalize on the changes in the marketplace…

Keeping pace with quickly changing Internet and Social Media marketing trends can be exhausting, and frankly overwhelming. However, it is essential that your team embraces this concept and applies creativity to keep your business on the cutting edge.

Why? Because if you don’t, realize that someone else in your competition is doing it and every day you are losing out some business just because you don’t! Just to add few eye openers, here are some statistics:

  • More than 3/4 of the total population will be online by end of  2012.
  • Mobile internet users will reach 113.9 million in 2012, up 17.1% from 97.3 million in 2011.
  • About 2/3 of web users will use social networks in 2012 and 90% of them will be on the Facebook.
  • 88.1% of US internet users ages 14+ will browse or research products online in 2012.

These figures are good enough to motivate you to get off the couch and start strengthening your marketing strategy to better target your prospects. Are you doing something about this?

Here are a few action steps that probably you should be taking right away if you haven’t taken already:

#1 – Plan Your Online Marketing Approach

You may be planning to launch your new business, or maybe you already have been running a successful business. It Small Business - Importance of Online Social Media And Internet Marketing doesn’t matter, but you need to have a plan of action. Online marketing is another tool – a very powerful tool you can add to your marketing toolbox.
However, planning is the key. Internet marketing can be overwhelming if you do not have a plan. If you don’t already have, you should hire an expert who can help you strategize your marketing efforts. Plan about your value proposition, communication plan with prospects and customers, lead generation, social proofing etc and you will be amazed what can be accomplished online.

#2 – Get Your Online Marketing Toolset Ready

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Getting your online marketing tools ready for use by your team can be the most important thing you can do once your marketing plan is ready.

Your website is the your biggest asset on the internet. Your website is your brand and your most powerful marketing tool. Making sure that you have an awesome website, a blog is the key to your online launch. Your Facebook Page, Twitter account, Google Plus Page, LinkedIn Page and profiles can be vital marketing tools. Get them ready with the details that best represents your brand.

#3 – Take Your Online Marketing Strategy For A Test Drive

After identifying what strategy you believe is best suited for your business, it’s time to test. You may discover that what you thought you could do, isn’t quite working out and your plan needs tweaking. Take this opportunity to make changes while your plan is still in the planning phase.

#4 – Stay The Course – Do Not Fall Back

No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to lose weight or become healthy overnight. Taking your marketing strategy to the next level is a journey that will help your team build process along the way. The time that it takes to generate results will vary depending on your industry and who your audience is.

Don’t become discouraged if you do not get quick results. This is another step where having the support of your colleagues is important. If something isn’t working, brainstorm, change it or determine what small tweaks you can make in order to increase your chances for success. If you stick with your newly energized marketing strategy and stay the course, you WILL see results.

#5 – Monitor Your Presence & Progress

Without proper measurement, it is hard to be effective in scaling and duplicating your process. Set a series of goals and benchmarks for your team and track your progress. Watching your metrics for social media marketing, the online reach of your brand, engagement of your customers and fans online can be very valuable information to help energize your marketing team. There are number of online tools available for this purpose. Make sure you use them.

I understand that these are not the easiest thing in the world to do. But I also understand that rewards of the Internet marketing, if done right – are tremendous! Therefore, I am a strong believer that it’s time for us to get tough and make a change. Internet marketing and social media is here to stay. The sooner we embrace it, the better for our businesses.

Question: What have you found is your biggest marketing hurdle? What do you suggest is the best way to use the Internet marketing for small businesses?

1 thought on “Online Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses”

  1. This is a very informative post for people with traditional marketing approach who need to learn to leverage the internet. Thank you.

    Personally, one of our businesses is a food services business in Ranchi called "Ghar Ka Khana" and when we started, the major challenge was to get the word out amid so many businesses to compete with. But along with the traditional methods and word out mouth advertizements, we also leveraged Facebook Marketing and other online classified services and since we had better quality products and services to offer, the news caught fire and we now have a strong customer base.

    Internet definitely and your guidance has immensely has helped us establish ourselves in the marketplace. Our gratitude for your support and guidance.

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