Every small business needs a marketing plan, and many businesses have great success with online marketing initiatives. Unlike traditional advertising and marketing strategies, Internet marketing efforts for small businesses are usually measurable and trackable, which means the small business owner can easily find out what is working at any given time – and what isn’t. Internet marketing can also generate a higher return on investment (ROI) than offline marketing efforts because the business owner has the ability to tweak and modify the campaign as they go.
If you’re a small business owner looking to attract more customers and build your brand, use some of these Internet marketing tools and ideas to drive sales and grow your business:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
No matter what your marketing budget looks like, you always have the opportunity to promote your business on the major search engines free of charge. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the term used to describe how your website ranks on the major search engines. The better your level optimization, the higher the chances that you will attract traffic through a direct search online.
Optimizing your site involves coding your site correctly, and also publishing web pages that contain quality content with keywords your target market is searching for. There are dozens of ways a small business can increase its rankings on the major search engines, and you may need the help of an online marketing specialist to get things started.
Pay-per-Click Campaigns (PPC)
PPC campaigns are among the most effective Internet marketing tools for small businesses. These ads run on the major search engines and can be targeted to attract only high-quality prospects. You pay only for the ads that get clicked and have the ability to set a daily budget.
Banner or Content Advertising
Placing ads on other sites and blogs can help to generate a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website. Content campaigns are relatively easy to manage and execute, and most are easy to track. Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo! offer their own content marketing programs and make it very simple for you to display ads on relevant sites. You can also purchase ad space on social networks such as Facebook. Facebook ads are served in the sidebar of the user’s homepage, and can also be targeted to reach your ideal customers.
If you have a large customer base and are interested in promoting special offers and discounts on a regular basis, set up a targeted e-mail marketing campaign. E-mail marketing continues to be one of the most effective online marketing tools for all types of businesses, and can take the form of newsletters, printable coupons or just regular announcements.
If you have the ability to create a short video or commercial for your business, use the power of the web and social media to promote your business through a video marketing campaign. You can purchase video ad space on certain sites, or promote your video on YouTube. Video marketing makes it easy for customers to learn more about you within a few seconds or minutes, and can help you share a message that much faster than other types of content.