The world is moving further online, because of the 2 year long COVID-19 pandemic. It has compelled all of us who have traditionally gone out to buy goods, to buy online due to lockdowns and restrictions imposed. 2 years have passed, and buying online has become a habit. The pandemic has made us more connected, and the economy has moved to digital at an amazing pace. As a result, marketers are compelled to develop a new web marketing focus. Necessity is the mother of invention.
With ever-connected customers and the age of online buying upon us, businesses are left with no other option but to move online. Those who were already on the bandwagon did well, and those who were getting there sped up. And, businesses that weren’t there should get there as quickly as possible.
Do you want to take your business online? I fully understand that some traditional and heavy businesses like real estate, mining, steel, car-making etc do not have an option to go completely online. They can leverage digital marketing, making the best use of the ever-connected customer.
Today, online businesses offering to sell products and services have prospered irrespective of the hard times, while those who weren’t online suffered. So, isn’t it time your business shifted to or developed an internet marketing focus?
The focus of any business, new or old, is to get more customers through the door. Many businesses have great confidence in their product and are of the opinion that in time, customers will walk in. Imagine, if you were making a purchase, would you walk in to buy just on the strength of products or services?
Traditional forms of marketing, such as advertising in newspapers, print ads in magazines, coupons, hoardings, and a host of others, are not that effective anymore. How many traditional telephone sets have you come across in the last 6 weeks. I have seen none and with the traffic, I hardly get to glance at a hoarding. Newspapers, who has the time, with Google news spewing them out hourly? Similarly, traditional marketing, at the most, only brings in a small trickle of customers.
Imagine, if there is a way to bring hoards of customers through the door at a fraction of the cost! Add to it the opportunity to offer your products and services to a global audience. Is it worth the shift? Businesses, today, should not ignore the possibilities of digital marketing channels which can offer a multitude of benefits.
The advantages of focusing on internet marketing
There are multiple advantages of internet marketing that cannot be neglected if you are an entrepreneur. If you are not on the internet today, you do not exist. Simple!
- All traditional web marketing channels market locally, be it in a city, state or the country. However, online marketing has a much larger potential since it addresses almost every internet user across the planet.
- Do you know how many customers have seen your hoardings or read your print ads? No, traditional marketing is hardly measurable, and there is no cost of acquisition that you can put your finger on. Whereas online marketing is accurately and highly measurable, and scalable. You can track and analyze data instantly and change the marketing strategy instantly, if required. You are in complete control.
- By using web marketing channels, you can enable a two-way communication with your customers and prospects. This translates to offering better customers service and creating bespoke products and services for asking customers. You are also saving time and resources by cutting down on the communication time, looking proactive.
- Online marketing channels can help find the right customers at the right time, using personalization. This is possible by creating lists and following the competition, all the while, communicating with your prospects across every stage of the buying process.
- Using online marketing, you can do more for less, keeping your cost per acquisition low. Once things get measurable, they get actionable, and action drives a business.
- Season or no season, you can engage the audience to generate brand loyalty and enable repeat business. Using loyalty schemes and other marketing sops, it is easy to create loyal customers at a fraction of the cost.
Getting started with digital marketing
Digital marketing has endless opportunities, as you have seen above. If you are getting there for the first time, it could seem intimidating with all the jargon and tech talk. It is not rocket science, neither is it a walk in the park.
If you are a small business or a startup, you could easily assume that it will take a lot of money and time. And, you will go back to traditional channels biding your time and crossing your fingers for your business to grow to an affordable stage.
Try to imagine the possibilities, with over 5 billion users using the internet or 60% global penetration, where you can take your business. Show up and be there for the opportunity to bear fruit. Why not today?
Do you still think you should put away the digital route to the future?
It is a myth that going digital takes too much money or time. Once you decide, it will be a matter of weeks to create your presence and begin talking to customers. Find the right digital agency that can create a wonderful set of digital channels for you.
Most of your customers are online
We spoke of 5 billion internet users worldwide. What do you think one of them would do when they need a product or a service? Or, if they want to buy your brand. They will search for it online!
And, you aren’t there and neither is your product or service!
It’s a pity, isn’t it? These 5 billion users think that if your business does not have an online presence, you are from the stone-age. However good your product or service may be, if you are not online, 60% of the world’s population will not find you. In which case, what are the chances that your business will grow.
And, as you assumed, if your business isn’t growing, you cannot go online. So, it’s a vicious cycle, and putting off the game-changing ‘go digital’ exercise will only reduce your opportunities.
When people look you up online, they will find out what others think of your products and services (reviews), and for local businesses, almost 90% of viewers will not approach you if you do not have excellent reviews.
Today, the connected customer is assuming that you do not run a legitimate business if you are not online. So, your business is out of the game and they will move to your competition. And whatever opportunity exists without an online presence is miniscule. What should you do?
Assess your competition
The competition is only hotting up. Even as a traditional business, you need to monitor your competition all the time. And, such information is not easily available in a traditional business landscape. If your business needs to grow, beat the competition. It is much easier to assess your competition online, that it is accurately measurable.
Assessing strengths and weaknesses of your own business and that of your competition, you can understand what’s working and what’s not. Be it the marketing strategy or consumer perception, these insights can help change your strategies and web marketing practices.
Research your competition to find out what digital marketing channels they use, what keywords they leverage, what kind of content they publish, and which influencers do they leverage? There are a lot of tools available online to collect this information – Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, Google alerts etc are some of the well-known tools available.
Similarly, there are many customer insight tools available that can help understand consumer perception. This information is critical to build sustainable web marketing strategy.
Always be there for your customers
By spreading the word across, you should be accessible to customers and prospects through your website or on social media. It is important to resolve issues and answer queries as quickly as possible.
The best way to keep in touch with your customers is to rank on top of search engines. Build a website (or get it built) and learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). Outranking competition is the first step to creating a successful business.
Use Goole Business to list your business with complete details to be found by customers and prospects easily.
Leverage time and your customers will come to you
Your website is your store, even if you have a traditional one. To be successful, ensure that your website is up to date all the time. Take care of it as though it is a traditional store.
With internet marketing, your web store reaches a global audience, and it is scalable. It is open 24 X 7 to the global population and the logistics of opening and closing a traditional store are out of the window. Does this increase the chances of your business growth?
Since your store is open even while you are sleeping, what is the first thing to do when you wake up? Address queries, fulfil orders and take care of service issues, at least communicate. This improves customer relationships and loyalty, all from your small physical space. And, we always see a proactive policy in friendly light.
More online marketing, less investment
Small businesses are always marketing on a shoe-string budget. When you look at advertising using Google AdWords or social media ads online, it is only wise to research properly and fine tune them to reach your target audience. Otherwise, you will only spray and pray while spending more money than required.
Again, choose your internet marketing channels carefully and wisely. Competition research can point you in the right direction by showing you what is working for them and what is not.
Strategize your web marketing
Do you have a website to showcase or are you looking forward to create one? Do you want to advertise online and looking for help or ways to reduce your budget?
The first step to achieving online success is to learn. And learning takes time. Learn while you earn is better, simultaneously growing your business, isn’t it?
Talk to us about anything and everything in digital marketing. The consultation is free, one time.
More Digital Marketing trends for 2022.