Internet marketing is no longer something that anyone can neglect in industry if they intend to succeed. Since 1995, I’ve been selling myself online so I’ve been converting a long time ago. Nonetheless, I still marvel at comments made by small town merchants who say, “Everybody knows me, so I don’t have to advertise,” or “We’re too small to need the Internet” or, best of all, “Our population is too small for us to think about Internet marketing.” I’ve heard variants of these 3 arguments put forward as reasons for not converting to online marketing for nearly 20 yea. Unfortunately, it is out of operation for more than half of the business owners who expressed those objections. Most of those remaining have come to realize that the Internet is a market for itself and is now taking part. Click here to enable the notifications for Make My Business Boom – Hanover details here.
The Internet is huge, and thus seems to be the domain of big players with media all over the world. The Internet touches every corner of the planet, however, attracting revenue from large and small populations alike. Your competition is no longer restricted to the brick and mortar retailer down the street, no matter where your business is located. Your company must also compete with famous retailers like Target, Home Depot or Macy’s even if they have no outlet near you. Big box stores may not have an outlet in your neighborhood but they have massive online sales divisions appealing to your potential customers. Then there’s a host of virtual shops that don’t have any physical presence at all, but sell to the next-door neighbor. Just because you don’t see a throng of your neighbors shopping somewhere, that doesn’t mean that they don’t. By not selling yourself online you have no chance of replacing the industry that the Internet has taken and is continuing to take.
There are virtually no other marketing media with the Internet marketing speed, efficiency, and reach. Plus, the range of Internet marketing techniques is as broad as, and is increasing, the technologies used to access the Internet. Some of the basics to compete for a global, internet-market share are…
- An eCommerce ready website. If you don’t have the skills to build a professional look and a fully functional online presence, spend a couple of bucks hiring someone to do the job. Layout, ease of navigation and accessibility are important when it comes to online marketing. I know the retailers can’t afford a website all the time. I usually respond by pointing out that opening another outlet was the old school strategy of increasing market penetration, which was a huge expense. A top-notch eStore costs less than the amount required to sign a contract, and an eCommerce website’s annual maintenance costs less than a month’s lease on a storefront.
- Utilize files. Print is virtually dead as a media advertising, and will be in only a few years time. Equally, online digital ads isn’t going to be far behind. Search for video ads if you intend on marketing online. It’s not costly for your product or service to make a professionally looking video display. In reality, if purchased from someone with decent video editing software and fair editing skills, a decent 30 to 60 second, quality video presentation costs less than $100.
- Adopt Mobile Software. Just as print and advertisement media is in its death throws, so is the technology of immobile computing. Mobile devices already number in the billions, but that number will double within 5 years. By comparison, desk top computers for personal use have already begun the extinction route.
- Social media should form a good portion of the Internet marketing focus of any business. Billions of users are getting their news and entertainment now, and communicating through social media. Over time the number will only increase. If you’re already promoting online, or are intending to do so, and you’re not spending a huge amount of effort on social media, or being left behind.
- Email marketing, the opt in kind-not spam, should remain a marketing tool for the internet. Yet consumer products and services will mostly be for profit. This is because texting in non-commercial applications would eventually completely overtake email. Email volume is now only sustaining itself as the number of online users continues to grow and email accounts are therefore still being developed and used. It will or has already peaked, and will decrease as texting, video calling and social media networking grows to connect for personal use.
Internet marketing is still a relatively new medium, so it is changing constantly. It does improve, however, to be able to reach potential customers more quickly and easily. These consumers are as likely as the Nigerian exchange student attending university in Paris, France, to be your next door neighbour. Both may visit a website and buy a product that you have on your retail store shelf, which will cost you as a sale. On the other hand, if you concentrate at internet marketing then both will be able to visit your website. Obviously your website sells the same items that you have on your retail outlet shelves. You could sell your neighbor in your store as easily as you do online, but the Paris-based Nigerian exchange student is a deal you would never have made if you concentrated on your local market. Such is Internet marketing’s reality.