The unstoppable march of the Internet has led to the creation of a highly competitive and almost cutthroat virtual market.
In fact, it’s such crowded place that a small business may have to shout to make itself heard.
Moreover, its survival may be endangered if it doesn’t adopt and adhere to the correct and appropriate online marketing strategies to increase its visibility.
However, as the online market keeps growing globally, internet marketing will come to the rescue of most small businesses.
As the saying goes, the virtual market never closes or sleeps.
While offline businesses have fixed working hours, a small online business can function 24/7.
This not only increases its exposure but since customers can place orders at any time of the day or night, it results in increasing sales substantially.
Hence, it earns more revenue, too.
Enhanced Customer Range & Reach
Small businesses, which display their products online, increase their exposure to new customers by leaps and bounds.
This helps them to reach out internationally also and keeps their cash registers ringing by way of extra revenue earnings.
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After all, an online business works in a barrier-free world, and small businesses would do well to take advantage of it to widen their target market.
They can even export their products without a distributor network in foreign countries.
Cost-effectiveness is the key
It has been proven time and again that internet marketing methods and strategies have been far more cost-effective than conventional print and other methods of advertising.
Today, by way of effective content writing, forum posting and social bookmarking, a small business can advertise its products for free even.
Moreover, these ads have a longer lasting effect and create better brand identities and brand recall. The cost is also much cheaper if paid campaigns are launched online as compared to traditional advertising.
Internet marketing also eliminates the concept of physical retail outlets.
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Thus, overhead costs like property rental, staff salaries, and office maintenance are nil.
Moreover, it does away with having to purchase stock, which can be ordered according to demand, keeping a small business’s inventory costs low.
More result orientation
An effective way for a small business to beat the market competition is to define its target audience first.
This, however, doesn’t work with conventional, offline advertising because of it’s passive and general nature.
This is where online marketing helps them to specify their audience to whom their advertising can be targeted, considering specific location, age, and gender.
A recent study by Harvard Business School has shown that online marketing offers smaller businesses a much more powerful platform to improve their credibility.
Statistics revealed by the study show that small online businesses have grown by 31 percent since 2016 because their sites contain all relevant information prospective clients need to know.
Moreover, their sites have helped them enormously to evaluate their client’s dependability by way of feedback received from the latter.
This feedback has been extremely valuable in helping small businesses rework their marketing strategies and to cater to specific customer demands to increase their business potential eventually.
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Since internet marketing aligns itself to the way consumers make their purchasing decisions, studies by Gartner have indicated that the trend of more and more consumers resorting to research on mobiles and social media for researching preliminary product and price research is certainly going to grow.
And this will eventually influence their final purchase decisions.
Another distinct advantage of online marketing is that it enhances stronger relationships with existing and prospective customers through low-cost and personalized communication on a regular basis.
This, in turn, reflects a distinct shift from conventional mass marketing.
Many successful small businesses have gone the extra mile to personalize offers to their customers after carefully studying their purchasing histories and personal preferences.
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This has been done after tracking web pages prospects visit and garnering information on products they like to buy.
This scientific market research has undoubtedly covered the way for making targeted and specific offers that reflect and cater to their interests.
Such information is also useful for planning and launching online cross-selling campaigns to increase sales values by customers.
Forging stronger relationships
A strong customer relationship is the very foundation of a business, particularly for its sustenance.
This has been strongly proved ever since online marketing has caught on because it certainly increases the levels of customer retention.
This is more so as small businesses take the initiative of often sending follow up emails to customers who make purchases from their online stores to thank them and even offer discounts for future purchases.
This gesture along with invitations to submit product reviews on their website also help build a stronger community.
With social media galloping ahead, it is also seen that those consumers who respond most promptly to social network influences, enhanced sales by around 5 percent.
Online marketing, therefore, enables small businesses to take advantage of this influence through the incorporation of social networking tools in their virtual marketing campaigns.
And it’s just for small businesses to take advantage of it and watch the magic work!