Chase the target market. That’s what successful small and medium businesses do. It’s tougher for SMBs, those with smaller marketing and advertising budgets as compared to larger competitors.
Traditional marketing – television, newspaper, billboards, etc, have served businesses of all sizes for decades, but in today’s world, the online structure levels the playing field for smaller entities. Consider an online element, such as social media. Any-sized businesses may host a free Facebook page, Twitter profile, and so on.
More SMBs are making the online move. Why?
As offered in the intro, elements of online marketing are completely free of charge. Aside from social media profiles, blogs are also free. It costs less money to market online. Of course, search engines such as Google and Yahoo offers online ad platforms, but it’s not necessary. Consider an owner, doubling as an engaging writer. It is completely plausible and free of charge for the owner to blog as often as they wanted, accrue a following, and direct attention to a brick and mortar or online business.
Let’s consider a law business. When someone needs a lawyer, they usually seek offices in their geographic location. A potential Google search may be aligned with ‘St. Louis lawyers.’ A lawyer, comfortable with hosting a blog, as well as savvy regarding search engine optimization, may begin influencing the search engine results pages, targeting keywords associated to St. Louis and law.
Television ads run according to time. Those wanting their ads appearing at prime intervals must pay more. Paying for ads running throughout off hours are hardly worth the investment. Billboards stay in place but only as long as SMBs are willing to pay. Newspaper ads are fleeting, as most consumers may notice for only one day.
However, websites offer SMBs 24-hours of operation, seven days per week. Websites never close, and do not cost more according to what time of day or night. Aside from an all-time open website, social media tools allow users to automate to-be posts, so even if an owner is sleeping, they may leverage social platforms, making impressions on potential customers.
What is the return on investment for a billboard? It’s difficult for a SMB to determine. What about a television ad? It’s also difficult to assess a return on investment. However, web metrics are generally quite easy to examine. Platforms, such as Google Analytics, allow website owners to track the amount of impressions, click-throughs, on-page time, and browser behavior across pages. Examining metrics, such as Yodle reviews, makes it a lot easier for a in-house or third-party marketing team to examine present situations, counseling brands about on-page content, landing pages, A/B testing, and keyword concentration.
In the past, it was difficult or smaller brands to compete. Larger brands had more money and resources, leveraging better television ads, billboard locations, and radio play. Now, online properties have leveled the playing field, granting SMBs plenty of opportunity to compete in any industry. SMBs save money, have the ability to leverage all hours of day and night, and may analyze real-time metrics, making notions closer to the dollar, better reviewing return on investment.
George Wilson is a digital marketing guru. He loves writing about this fast-paced industry on small business blogs.