Small business drives the economy, more so than large corporations. Of course, with the number of individuals who attempt to break into the small business market, the ability to survive in the cut-throat marketplace is difficult regardless of the industry chosen. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, more than half of start-ups fail within four years of operation. In order to minimize costs while maximizing revenue, it’s important to establish a basic business plan with a strategy that provides inexpensive marketing opportunities.
Enter into the world of online marketing. Considering that 60% of Americans shop online today and even more use the internet for research into their future purchases, and add to that the fact that, by 2017, the number of online shoppers in the United States is expected to increase by over 11%, and you have a recipe for the biggest possible success factor for a new small business.
Of course, having an organic presence with a well-ranking website is crucial in building your online success and, in conjunction, your overall bottom line that leads to a successful business. However, getting that visible, first-page ranking takes time. Instead of risking failure while you wait for your rank to build, you can see instant results through paid online marketing options. Not only is online marketing much less expensive than traditional media; it reaches a much wider audience of your choice based on your specifications.
In the past, Facebook and Twitter were solely for social purposes, but today, they are a messaging service that allows you to advertise your products or services to a specific market that is already interested in the industry. This gives you an edge over larger corporations because you can take the time to personalize your message and seek out the audience you already know locally.
Paid Search & Display Advertising
Another inexpensive method of targeting your audience and gaining presence on the internet while also working on your organic results is through paid search and display advertising. Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter, as well as similar systems, allow you to take charge of your advertising. You choose:
• Keywords related to your products and services that will bring searchers to your site
• The geographic region in which you want to advertise your business
• The websites on which you want your display ads to be seen
• What you are willing to pay to get a visitor to your website, based on the topic of their interest
• What hours you want your ads to run
You set your budget so that you never overspend, and you still gain visibility in the largest marketplace available to you without the hefty expense of newspaper ads, billboards, or other ‘traditional’ media that could be cost prohibitive for a new business venture. In addition, through analytics programs, the fruit of your efforts are much more measurable.
As you bring visitors to your website through other forms of online marketing, collect email addresses so that you can maintain contact through a monthly email newsletter that keeps you fresh in visitors’ minds and helps to tout any and all specials and events you offer.
When to Start
It’s never too early to get involved in online marketing. As a small business, you need every advantage you can get just to stay afloat until you finally reach a real profit margin, which often takes five years. As soon as your website is up and running, you can begin advertising on the internet and profiting from your ventures. Creating an effective online marketing mix is an ideal way to improve the chances of retaining your small business and seeing it through for successful growth.