Many small business owners who strictly deal with local customers erroneously ignore online marketing. That is a huge mistake. Even people living in rural areas are increasingly looking to the Internet for information and advice before making a purchase. If your company does not have a strong online presence, shored up by an online marketing strategy, you are likely missing out on significant opportunities for sales.
Beyond the Phone Book
The importance of being online goes way beyond the fact that no one uses the phone book anymore. Ever increasing numbers of consumers go to their computer or Smartphone when they need to look up any and all kinds of providers. Just so you can get found, you need to have a strong online presence that ranks well in searches for the products and services you sell.
Become the Local Expert
If your customers and potential customers do an online search for information in your niche and they find content from you, your credibility rises. Everyone wants to do business with an industry forerunner, so it is important to put content out there that is actually useful and unique. If you provide helpful information for free, you will be garnering positive feelings towards you and your business. Information marketing of this type also helps you build name recognition in your field and make your business more easily visible to those searching for what you offer.
Create Demand When Business is Slow
Your business relies on demand. However, every business has high and low periods. With strategic online marketing you can impact your own demand. An online push of email marketing, Internet advertising, webinar offerings, pay per click ads and a social media blitz can transform a slow period for your business into a much busier one.
Increase Customer Value
If a customer has previously purchased from you and is satisfied, he or she is likely to purchase from you again. While that is true in general, most of your customers do not know everything you sell. In addition, if it’s been a long time since that initial purchase, they may even have forgotten that you were the supplier.
Online marketing, especially email marketing and social media can keep you fresh in the customer’s mind, so that they come back again and again. This means that your customer value is rising – every customer you have spends more money with you. It is always easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.
By putting together a strong online marketing plan, you will find that even your small local business is doing better than ever. With the results you experience from your online marketing efforts you will likely abandon many of the traditional marketing strategies you have used in the past. After all, why pay for a yearly ad in a book that no one uses?