Importance of Marketing For Small Business
The landscape of marketing for small businesses has changed considerably over the years. Not so long ago, a typical small business would post a sign on the exterior of the store-front, pass out some business cards and pens, and maybe even make some in-person sales calls. In the modern era, a lot has changed in the world of marketing.
No longer can small players do business without a website. Period. They simply must have a website presence in order to stay competitive in this increasingly online environment. Recent studies indicate that even if consumers aren’t going to purchase online, they are still researching products and services prior to buying.
Meaning, potential customers are searching online before they go out to physically buy a product or service. So, if a company is without a website, the potential client will not be able to find them. Gone are the days of finding the company in a phone book, calling them to ask if they carry a product, and then getting directions to the store.
It is estimated that more than 85% of traffic is generated through the search engines, like Google and Bing, to a business website. So, after building and hosting a website, many of these business owners think they are ‘good to go.’ That’s simply not true. It’s important when consumers and prospects are conducting these searches online, that they can FIND your website.
Simply throwing a website out in cyberspace will not get customers to you. Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) methods to your website will not only boost your search engine rankings, but also your quality of traffic. The higher the quality of traffic, the more conversions, or sales, you’ll ultimately receive.
Here are some items to consider for the online marketing success of your small business.
With SEO, your prospects are targeted and they are actually online searching for the product or service you offer.
SEO drives qualified leads to your website.
An optimized website gets higher rankings, along with a higher rate of traffic.
Traffic generated through SEO is still the most cost-effective method of getting customers to your website.
It’s budgeted and long-term.
Marketing for small businesses now means more marketing for less. Many of these business owners don’t have the luxury of the larger advertising budgets. So, this may require them to wear many hats, get more advertising done for less, and concentrate on where their marketing dollars should be directed.
Why Marketing For Small Business Is Critical
Here are some powerful statistics that should tell you why advertising for your business is not only important but critical at this point in time. According to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) small businesses make up ninety nine point seven percent of employers, create more than fifty percent of the non farm private gross domestic product in the US. Small businesses employ over fifty percent of all private sector workers and make up ninety seven percent of exporters.
There are over five hundred thousand small businesses that start up every year and twenty five percent will be thriving four years later and will create more that seventy five percent of the net new jobs that add to the economy. Due to the economic downturn many people that have been downsized or laid off are starting businesses according a USA Today article “Recession, layoffs fuel many to start small businesses”. What this means is that marketing for small businesses is not only very important but critical in order to help pull ourselves out of the economic downturn.
I Already Know Marketing For Small Business Is Important, Now What Do I Do?
This is where we get into the real cool part about how online marketing can be very cost effective. While the internet is very large and vast and a little misunderstood, it is a great asset when used in marketing for small businesses. Starting with your web presence or your website, you have a twenty four hour presence to the world that can start to create relationships with your potential clients.
How To Use Internet Marketing Correctly
Where a lot of businesses drop the ball is that they don’t make the website work for them very well in terms of developing that relationship. You as a business owner can be generating leads by simply setting up an opt in box on your website to collect contact information and let your potential customers learn more about your products and services as well as offer discounts and invite them to events.
Utilizing the power of social networking is also an important and cost effective way of marketing simply setting up a like page or fanpage on Facebook opens your presence up to another five hundred million people that spend at least thirty minutes a day on this giant social networking site. Here again is a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers mostly by word of mouth, the best kind of marketing for any business.
Developing long term relationships with people on their terms and offering them products and services that will help them in their daily life is what marketing is all about. The internet has cleared the playing field for anyone operating a small business and is quickly becoming the most cost effective form of marketing for small businesses.