Many business owners still think of Internet Marketing as “that other thing”, something that they do in addition to offline marketing because they have been told that they should do it. While it’s true that there are a handful of businesses which do tend to prosper under traditional door-to-door sales methods, they are small scale, hyper-local services. Almost every business which sells a physical product could grow if it went online.
More Time Online
The amount of time that British people are spending online has doubled over the last ten years. The average person would spend just under ten hours online per week back in 2005. Today, they are spending 20 hours and 20 minutes per week online. In fact, 16-24 year olds are spending 27 hours and 36 minutes a week online. The increase in online time comes primarily from increased smartphone use, which means that we can be connected wherever we are.
Growing Your Audience
So, how can you reach that huge, always connected audience? Well, Google is a good start, but focusing on Google for SEO is not the only way to reach people online. There are other popular search engines (such as Bing and its partner, Yahoo), and there are numerous other platforms too. Social media is growing rapidly, with Facebook trying to carve out its own niche as a highly focused search engine, allowing users to search for content from within their iOS app, and view that content in-app, or share it with their friends.
If you want to reach the widest audience possible, you should look for ways to take advantage of organic search, paid search marketing and social media. Companies such as brand innovation agency Blond Ideas Group could help you.
Online marketing is a powerful tool. The Internet gives everyone a voice and if you use it properly you can reach a huge audience, and establish yourself as an authority figure in your niche. You should never forget, however, that the Internet is a two-way communication tool. Just as you can share information with your customers and prospective customers, they can talk to you. The most successful brands take advantage of this and use the Internet as a way to solicit feedback and engage their customers. This gets disgruntled customers explaining why they are unhappy (hopefully before you lose them), and turns your happiest customers into brand advocates. An honest, enthusiastic compliment or a share from a happy customer can be the most powerful promotion tool of all.
Online marketing is here to stay. In fact, it should be one of the default forms of marketing. We don’t say “electronic television”, so why do we feel the need to prefix “marketing” with “digital” or “online”? The Internet is a part of our day to day lives now, and it should be a part of our marketing strategies too.