The Importance of Online Marketing to the Future of a Business
Over the past decade or so the internet has completely transformed the way in which we do business. While companies operating solely in the brick and mortar world have suffered a decline, those carrying out operations online have prospered. However, while the internet can be the making of a business, it can be the breaking of one too.
The web is a vastly populated marketplace and the competition can be fierce. Only the strongest will survive online, and much of that strength comes from online marketing.
The power of online marketing
Every successful internet business has arrived where it is today off the back of good online marketing. Your business could have the best products and services on the most innovative website on the Web, but without marketing it will all be in vein. You see, online marketing is what attracts the most important element for any company: targeted visitors.
Visitors are ultimately the thing that will make or break your company online. The more visitors you have investing in your business, the more scope there is to grow and expand into new areas such as e-commerce. To get these visitors and turn them into customers, you need to spread the word far and wide about your business, and shout from the rooftops about who you are and why you are the best at what you do. In traditional ‘real world’ business, this is done using various forms of print media: flyers, brochures, classified ads, etc. In internet business, it is done through search engines, blogs, and social media.
Online marketing is the internet equivalent to driving around the streets with a huge megaphone and handing out flyers. It helps create that much-needed exposure and is essential to the future of your business. In fact, without it, there is a good chance that your business will have no future.
Online marketing is cheap and, when done correctly, can produce results fast. A significant proportion of the Western world has access to the internet these days, whether through a home computer, an internet café, library, or a mobile device. This means it is easy to access potential customers. The most common way of doing this is through search engines. By producing quality SEO (search engine optimisation) content (on and offsite through guest posts, commenting, and social media) that is optimised to target competitive industry keywords, your site will be rewarded with a more prominent ranking on search engines, which will immediately give you the edge over the competition.
Social media is another avenue of online marketing that has developed rapidly in the past few years and now plays a key role in a successful future in online business. Millions (or billions in the case of Facebook) of people use social media sites to connect with brands. A strong presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, will help you directly interact with customers, promoting products and services, and receiving critical feedback from those with a direct interest in your business that can influence how you move forward as a company.
As long as there is an internet, there will be internet marketing and, as broadband continues to reach new markets, the number of people online will only continue to grow. This will make it even easier to form new business and client relationships with people around the world and expand your company way beyond anything that would be possible from a brick and mortar building using print media for promotion.
If you harbour a desire to expand your business in the future, online marketing is something that you should embrace in all its forms.