In the times, where reliance on technology is becoming inevitable, small businesses need to up their game to capture attention of the customers. It’s time to focus on online marketing. According to Hosting Facts, there are 3.26 Billion internet users as of December 2015.
In 2015, the digital interactions by users resulted in retail sales of $2.2 Trillion
What’s interesting to note is that 2017, is going to witness even more internet traffic. Also, as Wi-Fi and mobile network connected users will generate 68% of the traffic on internet by 2017, the number of users purchasing on mobile is set to increase. The time has come where small businesses owners need to go beyond their usual plan of business activities. They need to start thinking out of the box to capture attention of the customers online, because that’s where they are spending maximum time. The evident shift in the way a customer buys now further supports the figures mentioned above.
So if you are a small business owner who is feeling lost and wondering where all your customers are going- the place is “online”!
How to set up your Online Marketing plan?
There is a lot that you can do to start marketing your business online. But for starters, taking baby steps is advisable. So, in order to get the foundation right the basic business analysis is important. The following checklist would help you to get the right direction:
- Set your goals and objectives: It’s good to know your objectives and specific goals before starting off with a solid online marketing plan. Whether your objective is to increase sales, brand awareness or to create a relevant lead generation campaign, set these goals out and make sure that they are measurable. Give yourself a quantifiable figure and a deadline to achieve that figure. Setting deadlines only makes you more efficient and determined.
- Know your target market: It’s important to understand that the audience behaves differently “offline” and “online”. So, doing thorough research on your online target audience will help you save both time and money.
- Know your competitors: There’s no shame in checking on your competitors!! In fact if you talk to any marketer, they would rather throw marketing jargon at you- it’s called “competitor analysis”. But, to make life simpler, it’s basically keeping an eye on the strategies followed by your competitors. Do they have online presence? If yes, then what all channels are they on? Are they using a systematic online marketing strategy? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to kick start and grow your understanding of the online marketing world.
- Do an audit of existing activities: Once you know what your competitors are up to, you can start ticking off strategies that you have in place for your business. If you discover you are lacking any strategies you can consider and implement them through an integrated marketing plan.
- Plan out a strategy: Once you have your objectives set out, marketing concepts and strategies should be laid out next. The audit you have done for your competitors and for yourself will act as a reality check of your current position. Once you know that, you only need to chalk out strategies and start working towards implementing them.
Here is an infographic that would help you to lay out your online marketing strategy. It’s obvious that you won’t see customers queuing outside your store or ringing your phone within one day of implementing such actions, but these tried and tested tips for small business would make sure that you are in the right direction of setting up a solid marketing strategy for your business.
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