Online and Traditional Marketing
Today, we do nearly everything online. When we want to learn about something, we “Google” it. When we need directions, we map it on the internet. When we need to make a purchase, we do our shopping online. Gone are the days of scouring the yellow pages, paper catalogs and newspapers to find the answers, products and services we need. To attract new customers and drive business growth these days, traditional marketing activities are not enough, you’ve got to be online.
To make the most of your marketing efforts, your digital marketing and traditional marketing activities need to work together. Take, for example, word of mouth referrals. When a friend tells you about a business or service that interests you, what is the first thing you do? You Google it. Whether you’re looking for directions, hours of operations, or more information - you expect to find it online. How heavily is your buying decision influenced by what you find? What if you don’t find anything at all? This simple scenario demonstrates the everyday integration of traditional and online marketing that has become the new “expectation.”
Build Your Online Presence
If you want to build your online presence but are wondering where to start, consider these 5 steps:
- Design and launch a website. Most website hosting plans include an intuitive website builder tool to help you build a professional website for your small business. All you have to do is pick a template, add your images and follow the point-and-click design process to build your site.
- Submit your site to major search engines. Google indexes literally billions of webpages. Make sure your website gets found by taking advantage of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keyword selection tools offered by web hosting companies to quickly and easily submit your site to leading search engines, such as Google.
- Understand how your customers use your website. Utilize the analytics that are typically included with your web hosting plan to see which web pages and products are most popular. With increased understanding of your customers, you’ll know how to better target and market to them.
- Launch an email marketing campaign. Email messages provide customers and prospective customers with an easy, direct way to interact with your company. Recipients can simply click a link within the email and be taken to your site to learn more or make a purchase.
- Get listed in local Internet directory listings and online maps. Local Directory submission apps let you quickly and easily get found online by submitting your business profile to dozens or sometimes even hundreds of local directories, online maps, social sites and mobile search applications – even if you haven’t published your website yet.
Integrate Online/Offline Marketing Activities
Once you create your website and launch your online marketing campaigns, make sure to incorporate them with your offline marketing efforts for a cohesive, well rounded marketing strategy. Include your website on all of your printed materials such as business cards and direct mailers. Add a sign up form to your website to allow people to receive special promotions and coupons in the mail, or that can be printed from an email campaign for use at your location. The opportunities are endless – so get creative!
Delivering a fully integrated online/offline marketing strategy can keep your existing customers coming back, help you attract new ones and promote business growth.