One of the keys to growing a small business in the information age is learning how to take advantage of the internet. Internet marketing has become one of the most important arrows in the quiver of small businesses everywhere. Learning how best to use the internet will serve any business owner well.
Before the emergence of the internet, the primary marketing tool for small and local businesses was the yellow page directories. People turned to their large yellow phone books for information about goods and services in their community. But, as the average person has become more familiar with the internet, the yellow pages have begun to disappear.
Small business websites have replaced yellow page ads as the primary source of information for consumers. People use their web browsers now to search for everything from pizza delivery to roofing contractors. Websites have huge advantages over phone book advertising. You can put much more information on a web page than in a 2 inch by 2 inch ad. Local businesses can now provide their customers with contact information as well as customer reviews and detailed information about the goods and services the company provides.
A goal of internet marketing is to drive traffic to those websites. A fancy web page does a business no good if no one ever sees it. Attracting people to view your website is important. This is why social media can help.
One way to do this is by becoming involved in social networking. The large social media sites make it easy for businesses to create their own social networking pages. These pages allow the businesses to stay in contact with their clients. They also allow them to provide information to prospective clients. You can put a link to your business’ website on your social media page so viewers can get even more information.
People are turning to social media for more than just staying in touch with old high school friends. Many people assert that they actually get most of their news each day from these sites. With people logging on to these sites by the millions, your small business needs to take advantage of this marketing tool by providing quality content through creative and informative status updates.
For businesses on a tight budget, blogging offers a free and effective alternative to investing in web hosting and web design. Free blogs afford businesses the ability to post vital information about their good and services as well as providing quality content for people to read. Much of basic information that you can put on a website can be published in a blog format as well.
Once you have driven traffic to your website, you need to know how to take advantage of this traffic. Websites are great ways to collect data about your clients. One way to do this is to use your site to collect email addresses. You can then use those addresses in email business campaigns. Offering coupons and discounts is a great way to use emails to build your business. Don’t just send out advertisements with no benefit to the consumer, or your emails will be quarantined to the spam bin.
In order to grow in this environment, small businesses need to take advantage of internet marketing. Phone book and billboard ads are no longer enough, and are to an extent now completely unnecessary. The internet is now our primary source for information. Your business needs to have an active and robust on line business to compete. It is what you prospective customers expect. If you are not taking advantage of the internet, you can be assured that your competition is, and that they are reaping rewards that could be yours.