Now, I am not an internet wizz-kid by any means and, unlike my own children, I did not grow up using computers as a daily experience. When I was young, there was no internet commonly available to everyone (yes, I am a dinosaur!). However, I am a small business owner and I have learned how to effectively use the internet to market and advertise my business enterprises. One of my current enterprises is to help other people in my shoes to get their businesses noticed when potential customers for their services search for them online.
So, why do you need to use the internet at all to advertise your businesses? Why not just print a load of flyers and circulate them in your area? Why not use a large billboard near your business premises to let the area know what it is you provide that is much better than your competitors? Why not take a regular ad in your local newspaper to let people know what you do?
Let’s start by examining what you are trying to achieve here. You are wanting to attract people in your local area who may be interested in the products and services which you sell. So you need to let people know you are there and what it is you sell/do/offer. As a small business owner, you also need to do this as cost effectively as possible. As a small business owner, you are probably needing to be a jack-of-all-trades. Although your speciality is in your service/product, you are probably not a marketing expert.
Traditional marketing and advertising can be costly. Printing and distribution of flyers. The hire of a billboard. The repeat expense of newspaper ads.
Also, traditional marketing is not specifically targeted to your potential market or demographic. How many of the people receiving the flyers will be interested in your product? How many of the flyers will end up in the bin? How many of the interested people will go any further and visit your premises? How will you know? How cost effective is that?
Limited budgets demand quantifiable results, where you can clearly see what response your advertising has achieved. Where you can be clear that you are attracting the correct type of people. Where you can be sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Internet marketing is highly quantifiable. You are able to track the numbers of people looking for your products or services in your area. You can find out the words they use to search online (keywords). You can use this information in your own marketing efforts to target your ads to attract the right people. You can track how many view your ads and how many go on to click-through to your website or further business information. You can see how many go on to buy online or visit and buy from your premises.
Conversely, you can see what is not working and you can stop or alter your ads accordingly. You can save your budget or redirect your budget to get it working for you as hard as possible.