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Why Small Businesses Need an Online Presence

Why Small Businesses Need an Online Presence

Online marketing

There are many ways to market a small business to attract customers. You can advertise using signs, newspaper ads, radio or even television. Some of these methods are more affordable than others and with changes in media some are more far reaching than others. A sign is affordable but may only attract local traffic. Television ads may reach many but are expensive and may not provide a return. So, what is an affordable and far reaching way to attract customers? The answer: online marketing.

Why Use Online Marketing?

People have become more active online than ever before with smart phones placing the internet at their fingertips. This means that if a business is looking for customers, the best place to find them is online.

While being an affordable marketing platform, online marketing also offers businesses the ability to track how much attention their advertising is attracting. It even gives businesses the opportunity to see what both current and potential customers want by allowing them to interact with businesses in a meaningful way (e.g. filling out surveys). Being online means that a company in one part of the world can be seen by someone in another. Simply put, the potential for reaching customers anywhere and anytime is endless.

Despite all of this, the online environment can be a daunting thing to approach for businesses. There are many places to go, many tools to use and it can sometimes just seem simpler to make your own sign and put it up on the side of the road every time you open and take it down when you close. But most businesses have competitors and most competitors have an online presence. So to be competitive, it only seems fair that a business needs to have an online presence.

Go Where Your Customers Are

A fisherman does not climb a tree in the middle of the desert to find a deep sea fish. A fisherman goes to the deep sea. Similarly, the online environment is teaming with potential customers ready to see what you have to offer. If you are not there for them to see you, you will miss an opportunity to attract them and they are more likely to go to your competitor instead.

Having an online presence can also make you appear to be more legitimate and accessible. It also gives past customers the ability to review your service or product and in doing so promotes your business further to potential customers. It also provides feedback for you to enable you to improve your business to achieve more customer satisfaction.

If you are online but are not appearing when your clients are searching for the product or service you provide, you are invisible to them and your competitors gain an advantage. So it is important to make sure that you use all of the online tools available to market your company well enough so that it appears when your clients or potential clients search for keywords that relate to your company.

As well as this, when your clients find you, you need to be set up online in such a way as to be easily comparable to your clients. This means that they need to be able to navigate your page to discover where you are located, contact details, prices for services and so forth. Discerning clients will compare companies, so, as mentioned below, it is important to know what your competitors are doing.

Learn From Your Competitors

Business is a race with multiple runners. If a particular business does not have an online presence, or does not come up when customers search for the service or product the business provides, their competitors have a head start while that business is far behind and carrying extra weight that makes it difficult to even take part in the race.

Like athletes, it is important to learn from those you are competing against. What do they do well, what do they do poorly and what would you do differently to do better? They may use various tools such as blogs, videos/vlogs or graphics to attract attention. They may showcase their brand in a certain way to make it different and stand out from the crowd. They may interact with their customers, both current and potential, and capture their attention in a unique and pleasant manner. There are many things competitors do that can be modified to promote a business. It is also important to remember that even if a business has been online for a while, it can still learn from its competitors and what they are doing to keep things interesting for their customers.

Is Online Marketing For You?

Based on the above points, it is safe to say that it is.


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