Franziska Iseli-Hall of small business marketing specialists Basic Bananas looks at ways to make online marketing work for your business despite the arrival of the big players
There have been some rumours about ‘online marketing coming to an end’ for small businesses as competition is growing and more of the bigger brands with bigger budgets are jumping online and making use of online marketing strategies which makes it harder for the small guys to compete!
Don’t worry! It’s (almost) all hype! Some of the so-called ‘online marketing gurus’ are trying to get a bit of attention, so they can sell their magic potion to solve this problem.
Online marketing is far from dead and there are still plenty of opportunities for small or start-up businesses. It’s not too late for you to jump online.
In fact the online world is growing at a rapid rate with more and more people buying just about anything online, learning something new, playing games, entering competitions, finding a service or product, meeting new people (including a future husband or wife) and hanging out with friends on social media sites. You almost don’t have to leave your house or get out of your pyjamas anymore to survive!
Yes, some of the ‘hype’ around online marketing might be true. Some strategies that worked really well five years ago and made early adopters rich, don’t work that well anymore or simply cost more money because there is more competition online.
But as long as you have a very targeted market and a fabulous product or service, you will be fine.
The good news is that the internet can be a very cost effective platform for small businesses to attract clients. Small businesses often don’t have the big marketing budgets bigger brands have and can’t afford TV ads or big billboard campaigns. The internet allows small business owners to build a strong online presence without breaking the bank. It’s all about being smart and innovative.
Having said that, the online world is fast moving and ever-changing and it’s crucial to be adaptable and stay ahead of the game. Test and measure what works for you, ditch some strategies and adopt new ones.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
More and more people are using the internet on mobile devices such as the smart phone, iphone and ipad. So consider integrating mobile marketing strategies. Think about whether a podcast could work for your business, sms campaigns, online webinars or maybe an iphone app.
So if you aren’t online yet, get on there as soon as possible, find out what your target market is looking for and provide them with the best solution possible.
If you don’t have a website yet, it’s time to get one. A functional website or blog is a good place to start! In the next article we’ll show you how to drive traffic to that website using different innovative strategies.
Looking forward to seeing you online!
Franziska Iseli-Hall, Director at Basic Bananas – Small Business Marketing Made Simple (www.basicbananas.com)