The Basics of Online Marketing for Small Businesses

Having an online presence for small businesses is no longer an option. It is now more of a requisite for the business to survive and thrive.

As people rely more and more on the internet for their needs, not having an online presence is just like handing over your business to your competitors on a silver platter. On the other hand, no matter how small your business may be, the internet levels the playing field for you against bigger and better funded companies. With the right tools, you can make your business grow, be able to develop a base of loyal followers, and most important of all be able to brand yourself in a way your customers will love it.

 

Online marketing is essential to any business big or small without which they will lose their competitive advantage. The best part is you need not be an internet guru to be able to conduct successful marketing campaigns through the internet. Of course you can always hire professionals to do the job for you but it may burn a hole in your pocket. But whether you hire someone else or not you just the same need to spend some time to learn and understand the basics of online marketing.

 

Here are the basics of online marketing:

  • Establish your online presence with a website. It will serve as your virtual storefront to showcase your products or your services. It will tell people who and what your company is all about and what you have to offer.
  • Get found online. Setting up a website for your business is not enough. You need to get people to come to your website. You need to be found. And this is where Google and other search engines come into play. Through the search engines, people will know about your company. More than 80% of online purchases are initiated with queries made through search engines. It will help a lot if your website is optimized for search engines so that your website always lands on top of search engine result pages. To be able to do this, you need to be familiar with search engine optimization tactics.
  • Make good use of social media to develop an edge over your competitors. Social media is where your target clients spend most of their time when they go online. Be where your customers and engage them by being part of their social communities and participating in their conversations. Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in are some of the social networking sites you can effectively link to your website. Once you’re in, you can draw the interests, develop the trust of your social networking contacts, and ultimately lead them to your site.
  • Advertise any way and anywhere you can. Use banner ads to promote your business through other relevant websites. Better still make some placements on the Google Adwords network. And if you are short on the budget, advertise your products for free at Sulit.com or Ayosdito. The important thing is to get your message across to your targeted consumers.
  • Join online local business directories like Google Local Business Center and Yahoo! Local. It is free and can give your business a great boost.
  • Launch email-marketing campaigns. Start building a list of current and potential customers through opt-in features such as email alerts or newsletters. Simply ask people if they wish to receive email alerts from you every time you may have a sale or offer special discounts.

 

 

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Paul Agabin is the Founder and CEO of Wooka Interactive. He is an internet marketer based in the Philippines which deals with varied topics such as local industry news, seo strategies, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media management, website reviews, and the like. You can contact him at 0917-5069839.

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