Whether you’re running a small business from home or establishing yourself as an entrepreneur outside the home there comes a time when you have to look past your core activities – what it is you make or sell – in order to progress. When you have confronted and overcome the administration and finance requirements of your enterprise, the next thing to tackle is marketing.
The arrival of the internet has meant the market for your goods or services is bigger than ever before. Here are the benefits and the ways in which you can make the most of the new opportunities that internet marketing presents:
- To attract customers you might not reach if you rely on your immediate geographic locality alone. Today you can trade virtually anywhere in the world and even if you are starting small it never hurts to plan for growth.
- It allows you to understand how search engine optimisation (SEO) works and what it can do for your business. Getting as close to the top in search engine rankings makes a significant difference when your potential customers are browsing – people are impatient and are unlikely to persevere to find you on page 21. Learn the basics of SEO yourself to help your business and acquire a new skill!
- Google AdWords and similar programmes can help you seek out your ideal target market. Unlike organic searches, which can be hit and miss, paid ads have fixed locations often at the top and bottom of search engine results that are directly related to the search term.
- Making full use of social media can spread the word even further giving your business a friendly face will advance your cause. Businesses are now using social media as well as individuals. This offers the chance to interact directly with customers through networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Create a blog to personalise your enterprise and interact with customers and potential customers. Your blog reflects you as a person as well as the enterprise about which you’re passionate. Making the best use of it communicates your commitment and desire to connect with your customers. Starting a blog can be fun to write but mastering WordPress or Tumblr might be a little daunting, so make sure you have the right skills to make it successful.
- Optimising the impact of your virtual shop and learning how to handle online transactions and customer relations. Unlike a real world establishment, your online shop is subject to your skills in manipulating technology to achieve what you want. The faster you become an expert, the better.
- Understanding the techniques that online customers use if you operate in a niche market – particularly important for promoting specialist goods or services.
- Making best use of effective keywords in everything you use to market your business, whether blog posts, social media interactions or website content. Subtlety is what’s important today, so learn how to make sure your written content highlights your enterprise’s unique offer in the best possible light.
- Analytics are very important, as is understanding how they function and how to make best use of them. Tracking and reporting on your website traffic reveals useful data that can influence your sales and marketing techniques for the better.
- Improve your skills at choosing and placing quality images on your site and blog, the better to highlight what you do. Alongside appropriate keywords, choosing the right images can have a huge impact.
- Clarify your marketing goals so that you can more easily and confidently set targets and monitor progress. It’s important to know where you want to go, and to be able to measure whether you are heading in the right direction.
If you’re wondering where to start, there are hundreds of online tools out there to help you and internet marketing courses at a variety of levels.