Don’t Yet Have an Online Presence? Your Biz is Missing Out!

Most small businesses nowadays tend to have an online presence to enhance their businesses, get a hold of a larger customer base, and measure the business upshots of their marketing campaigns. This is in turn reflected in an astounding survey by Netcraft.com, according to which 227,225,642 online websites have already been registered until September 2010. But, at the same time another appalling survey indicates that 69 percent of the small businesses don’t even have a website. This was a huge shock for me to take in the idea that in this era of social media buzz, there are still businesses who are relying on the traditional means of marketing.

Thus, I will be highlighting some of the advantages that these small businesses would miss out on, if they don’t have a dynamic marketing campaign online.

A Broader Customer Range:

With the evolution of the concept of an integrated market economy, the traditional ways of marketing and campaigning have now become obsolete. The Internet allows businesses a global exposure, irrespective of where the business is located. Even for small businesses with determined goals, and not aiming for a global market, an online presence will still ameliorate the profits.

Say for instance, if the outlet previously targeted customers only from that particular town; with a credible website, now that business will attract customers from other nearby towns as well. Also, using search engine optimization and other similar tools can enhance the online presence of a business on search engines to relevant users. However, with internet shopping on the rise, even the small businesses can now set broader goals to attract the global market.

Freedom to Modify business Information:

With so much competition going on in the market, it is now crucial for businesses to keep updating or rather modifying their products and business information. This can turn out to be very costly for the traditional modes of marketing like TV commercials, but a website and a blog gives the business owners the freedom to keep updating their business information in compliance with the competitive market.

Competitive Edge:

If a business competitor owns a website, and is running a successful business campaign through dynamic blogs and a rigorous social media interaction with the customers, it can turn out to be a huge competitive advantage against the other small businesses with similar products. Thu,s to keep a competitive business edge, it is very important to take advantage from online forums as well, otherwise someone else will.

Measuring Marketing Campaigns Online:

This is one feature of online marketing campaigns that distinguishes it from all other traditional ways of campaigning. There are a lot of ways to measure how well a business campaign is doing online, and how effectively is the return on investment for a particular campaign, so that it can be altered accordingly.

One of the ways to measure effectiveness is to measure the traffic through the number of clicks on the online advertisements. Another way to measure email marketing efficiency is to use the Google alerts using key words that you have used in the advertisement or the websites, and seeing how people perceive them. Also, the number of email subscriptions can also indicate the level of effectiveness.

An RSS feed is another way to learn how your customers can subscribe to your blogs and website. Increase in the number of subscriptions indicates the customer’s interest in the particular product or service.

Social media tools are also very dynamic in measuring customer feedback. Using tools like Addict-o-matic, Boardtracker, Tweetdeck, Socialmention or other similar tools turns out to be both effective and at the same time cost effective.

Customer Feedback:

Quick customer responsiveness is another feature that gives online business campaigns a comparative edge over other mediums.

Using social media forums like Facebook and Twitter allows the customers to get themselves engaged in the campaign, and this enhances their brand reliance. When they suggest brand slogans, or give suggestions, even criticize a service or a brand, and the business owners respond to them, this encourages the customers to relate themselves to that brand.

Similarly, blogging allows reviews on the service, an inside look into how things work at a company or other interesting stuff. Customer feedback on blogs is also valued customer feedback which can be beneficial in the long run.

Though, internet marketing has its own disadvantages, but one thing is for sure, small businesses not employing the modern marketing campaigns lag far behind than those who accept the change and alter themselves accordingly.

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Farhan Niazi is an experienced web developer with a passion for blogging. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand and is currently working for McCarrison Hayes as their Chief Information Officer. He is the founder of SMB Tech Guide and writes for several blogs and magazines including Two's Company, Stirring Media and TMR Direct. Follow him on Twitter.

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