When small businesses get started, their focus is often on how to get their first group of customers through the door. They may rely on traditional forms of advertising, such as print ads and coupon mailers or even big signs on the side of the road. They may trust that since they know they offer a good product or service, it’s only a matter of time until customers will find their way to them.
While this strategy may bring in a trickle of business, there is a better and easier way. Small businesses should consider the huge marketplace of prospects online. No small business, no matter how new, should overlook this vast marketplace.
Are You Postponing Digital Marketing?
Why would you choose to postpone putting time and effort into digital marketing? Different small business owners may come up with a variety of reasons to avoid this form of marketing, but in the end, procrastination is still procrastination.
Small businesses sometimes believe that they don’t have the time or the money to be competitive online. They think they can only face so many challenges all at once and they are still learning the ins and outs of business in general. Many of them may prefer to take things slowly and to stick with one or two basic forms of advertising, assuming that their business will evolve as time passes.
They may even think the best strategy is simply to wait for customers to show up. Since they are a small business, they may think they only need a small number of customers.
This is not an effective approach. There is never a guarantee that your business will attract customers just by existing and even if it does, you may not attract as many customers as you need to make your business become profitable.
Be Accessible to Your Customers
It’s clear that in today’s digital world, the first place the average consumer looks for what they want is online. Whatever product or service they are looking for, they will most likely start their search with Google. If you have no online presence at all, you won’t be found, and you can’t compete.
If you have an online presence but your competitors are easier to find and are found first, you still might not be found at all. Besides creating a website, learning search engine optimization is a strategy that can help you move ahead of your competitors just by being the first name that a prospect finds in a Google search with keywords that can lead them to your business.
Simple questions that your prospects may want quick answers to should be easily discoverable online, such as where you are located, what your hours are and what you specialize in. By looking at your website and your competitors’ websites side by side, your prospects should be able to compare hours, prices, special offers and more.
This is why it’s imperative for you to know what your competitors are up to. Your prospects are already checking both you and your competitors out. They are already comparing you against each other. What are they finding out?
Let Customers Come to You
Think of digital marketing as a way to make yourself accessible to the people you are trying to reach in order to offer your products and services. The scope of your business can reach well beyond your walls. You are able to attract a much larger audience than you possibly could by just catering to local prospects.
By creating a web presence, your business is open for business even when it’s closed. You can create an atmosphere in which your customers can come to you anytime day or night.
At their convenience, customers and prospects can send you emails with questions, make purchases and browse your inventory.Potential customers who have no way to physically come to you can still do business with you, whether they are limited by disability, transportation or simply living too far away.