Wanted to share with you an article I wrote this month, which was featured in an e-newsletter of a colleague of mine, Janet Falkenberg of ExecuStrive, an Indianapolis virtual assistant firm. Thanks, Janet, for letting me share this article with my Indianapolis business colleagues.
Do you consider yourself a “traditional marketer”? Are you spending a majority of your marketing and advertising budget on offline activities, such as yellow pages ads, print advertising, coupons and billboards, because “that’s what our company has always done”? Are you wondering whether these methods are still paying off, or whether you’re spending too much in these areas for the return on investment?
Many companies have not yet maximized the opportunities that exist to market their businesses online. Some of the options available include:
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising (Google AdWords)
- Social media marketing (YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)
Finding More Clients Online
Don’t get me wrong: traditional advertising has its place, and for some businesses, it’s the best method of reaching the ideal client. However, more people are using the Internet to research businesses and make purchases online rather than searching in yellow pages or in their local newspaper. With online marketing, your business could increase its brand awareness and lead generation exponentially using some of these online marketing methods. So you are missing out on a potential audience if you don’t at least consider online marketing as part of your overall strategy.
But where should you start?
Outsourcing your Online Marketing Efforts
Many business owners don’t have the skills or technical knowledge to use online marketing, or are overwhelmed with the idea of incorporating online marketing tools. In this case, it’s best to ask a marketing professional for help. They can steer you toward the right online marketing tactics that best fit your budget, target audience and sales goals. A professional can also create a marketing calendar of activities, as well as help you set up your online marketing plan and implement your online marketing program too.
For instance, if you had a plumbing company, and your website that was optimized for search terms such as ‘Indianapolis plumbing’ or ‘Indiana plumbing company,’ you could be generating hundreds of leads for your business each day, just from web searches alone. Couple this with blogging, a YouTube channel showing plumbing tips, and a modest pay-per-click advertising campaign, and you’ve got more leads than you can handle – all at a lower cost than one month of your yellow pages ad. Do you see the potential?
Integrating Online and Offline Marketing
Many businesses find it best to integrate both online and offline marketing methods in order to achieve greater results at a lower cost. If you’ve always spent $1500/month on billboard advertising and $1000/month on yellow page advertising, for example, we can look at how you could reduce your spend in traditional media and move some of that budget to online media. In most cases, you can market your business online at a much lower cost than traditional advertising.
I hope you can see the value of incorporating Internet marketing into your current efforts. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results and — the return for the cost — that it can bring for your business.