Small Business Internet Marketing- 6 Tips for Beginners
Internet marketing is a great place to start for small businesses trying to gain exposure and build a customer base. Through digital platforms, brands can increase traffic, conversions, and sales.
Marketing projects can seem like a difficult task for startups and small businesses looking to establish their presence in various sales channels. Every platform has a different landscape and offers several tools and benefits.
However, the biggest challenge is to figure out how to begin marketing and where to start. Internet marketing is available to all types of retailers, from traditional to online stores, and can significantly enhance traffic and customer reach.
6 Tips for Internet Marketing
For starters, small businesses should begin their internet marketing efforts already knowing their objective.
Whether it is to increase brand awareness, improve conversion rates, or expand customer reach, companies should develop a thorough plan of action then consider the following 6 proven tips.
1. Understand Conversions
The term conversions can be used in many different ways when a business refers to consumer activities. For example, an online shopper that signs up for monthly subscriptions and a social media user transferred to a brand's online store are both considered conversions.
Regardless of the context, conversions are the metric retailers must monitor to determine how well their online marketing campaigns perform. Conversion rates are typically measured in a ratio or percentage, where the audience is compared to the engaged customers. For example, if a retailer's site has 2,000 visitors a day, but only 150 sign-ups for marketing emails, their conversion rate is approximately 13%.
The easier browsing and transactions are, the better the conversion rates will be. Therefore, retailers should focus on creating engaging content that attracts consumers and establishing a convenient shopping experience that streamlines purchases.
2. Differentiate Paid vs. Organic Traffic
The internet is filled with millions of users, making it a very competitive place for retailers of all types. Many companies start on social media to gain traction and generate organic traffic. Once a constant flow of customers is maintained, businesses can begin monetizing their platform by launching advertisements.
Retailers can also improve their search engine rankings through search engine optimization (SEO) or by utilizing Google ads. However, Google's algorithm is forever evolving, requiring businesses to continually adapt their marketing strategies.
Retailers need to determine where they want to invest their money and time. While providing original content should attract consumers organically, search engine algorithms may value other factors such as relevant keywords.
3. Utilize Social Media
Social media is an excellent marketing tool to reach customers that would otherwise not be exposed to a company. It is also a way to gain a foothold in social commerce and online shopping.
Social media ads reach a wide range of consumers, regardless of whether they follow the brand's account or not. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all offer paid advertisements that can be promoted to millions of users immediately.
4. Track Insights
Once a business has generated enough traffic, it can collect and track customer data to analyze and produce insights. More data is available to retailers that use paid traffic, as analytics will describe the primary sources of traffic and the conversion rates. In other words, a tracker will count how many consumers derived from Facebook, Instagram, and any other platform a company advertises on.
These metrics enable management to determine which campaigns yield the biggest return on investment (ROI) and which are underperforming. For example, a Goggle ad may generate 900 browsers, but only 70 purchases, whereas a Pinterest promotion brings 600 users and 120 buyers. While Google made more impressions, its lower conversion rate may not be worth the payment.
Besides a company's eCommerce site, most platforms and point of sale solutions have their own analytic features that give a general overview of user demographics, such as age, gender, and location. They also report the performance of active promotions in real-time.
5. Launch Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is one of the most effective advertising techniques, with the average conversion rate being four times faster than other traditional marketing strategies. By signing up for regular emails, customers can receive personalized content, exclusive discounts, and heads-up on new launches.
The impact of email marketing has many retailers investing in promotions specifically designed to persuade consumers to join a mailing list. Most online retailers have programmed a pop-up to appear for every new visitor requesting their name and email address.
Typically, when a customer creates an account on an eCommerce site, they are automatically enrolled in the email list. This not only allows the business to send promotions but also reminds shoppers when they have abandoned their carts without finalizing the purchases. By sending periodic messages, companies can improve conversion rates and sales.
6. Discover Local Marketing
Some businesses may require in-person interaction to showcase products or services. Online marketing is still a useful tool for traditional retailers, as many platforms offer geotargeting, which launches promotions to users within a specified location. This ensures only locals who are close to the establishment can view ads.
Some other tools companies should consider using include-
- Facebook local awareness ads
- Yelp listings
- Google local business listings
- Groupon ads
- Snapchat local geofilters
The power of digital marketing is limitless. Businesses just need to understand how to utilize the tools available to them to optimize exposure and conversion rates.