Internet Marketing for Small Business Owners

Internet Marketing For Small BusinessKnow Your Customers

Yes, it’s Marketing 101, but it is always worth remembering. Learn as much about your customers as possible and how they access, interface and buy in the digital world. Internet marketing for small business owners is more critical for success today than ever. If you are not sure about your customers’ online, mobile, or virtual shopping habits, then read on.

Experienced Digital Marketers

Anyone can build a website today. But will they build it to meet your needs? Or will they be constrained in what they can build/design for you because of limited programming and software development capabilities or experience?

In other instances, small business owners try to go-it-alone, and the soon realize that the “build-your-own-website-in-a-box” they saw advertised online or on T.V. doesn’t look at all like what they have ended up with.

When considering a digital marketing team, review their portfolio of work and ask about their experience/expertise with e-commerce, SEO, and web analytics. A good digital marketing team will be able to handle all of this. And all these components are especially critical for successful internet marketing for small business owners.

Third, choose the right analytics for your website.

It is absolutely vital that a website have analytics running on it. Without analytics, a small business is losing out on a wealth of information that can grow sales. It’s really core business intelligence.

A basic analytics platform can capture the number of visitors, geo-location, device type, time on page, and how are they getting to the website – keywords, search engines, referring sites – and dozens of other important metrics.

There are literally dozens of providers for website analytics. It can be a challenge to sort through all the providers to discover which is the best match for your type of small business.

Fourth, review your web data on a regular basis.

It is important to remember that marketing in the “real” or “virtual” world is as much a science, as it is an art. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, analyzing your website’s data can provide you with valuable and actionable insight as to how customers are interacting and interfacing with your site.

Careful analysis can reveal great but unrealized opportunities or it can indicate that customers are reacting to a design element or other factor on the site in a manner not predicted.

The bottom line is that analyzing the data helps you recalibrate your site and web marketing accordingly and create better results very quickly. And who doesn’t like to save time and reduce uncertainty?

Fifth, don’t be overwhelmed by all the social media outlets/platforms.

Only the largest corporations can afford to have a robust presence on multiple social media channels. However, this requires a host of resources including a fulltime social media team that develops, analyzes, updates and interacts on those platforms. BUT the good news is……..

A small business doesn’t need to be on FourSquare, Yelp, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Waze, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, MySpace, Groupon, etc. in order to connect with its customers. In fact, depending on your customers’ demographics, buying, and social media habits, you only need to be on one or two of these platforms/applications.

Keep it simple! “Hangout” where your customers congregate and communicate to them via the channel they use the most.

For example, a fast food establishment is more likely to see customers respond to offers via text messages or on Waze than if it were to post the same offers on LinkedIn, Goggle+, or Facebook.

Conversely, connecting with the much-coveted “soccer-mom” demographic would require a different social media approach depending on your product or service. Generally speaking, Facebook and Pinterest would be the most advantageous places to establish a presence in the social media world to connect with this demographic.

Conclusion It can seem intimidating, but a well thought out and designed website and digital strategy will give a small business a significant competitive advantage and, in most cases, provide the best return on its marketing dollar. Internet marketing for small business owners should not be a mysterious and epic undertaking. If you are uncertain about your customers’ technology habits, how to design and launch or re-launch your website, contact us before you spend time and capital. Working closely with a skilled consultant can ensure that your website will quickly achieve a real ROI and grow your business.

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