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Why Your Business needs Internet Marketing in 2013

Why does your business need internet marketing?

internet-marketing-successThe days of separation are over. Only a few years ago there were predominantly two types of marketing – traditional marketing and online marketing. Although the two often intertwined, they could remain separate. For example, if you owned a brick and mortar business you could get away with strict traditional marketing techniques such as television, radio, and print ads to market your business in a local sense. It wouldn’t have been necessary for you to get on social media or even necessarily have a website. However, there is no separation anymore. In fact, traditional marketing techniques typically serve to drive more traffic to online resources and anyone that hears about a business through a traditional marketing resource will immediately go online in order to find more out about that business. Internet has dominated, and in 2013, if you’re not marketing online, you definitely need to be, because your competition sure is.

So, let’s talk a little about why your business needs internet marketing in 2013.

1)      Your Customers and Clients Expect it – the plain fact of the matter is that, no matter what kind of business you are – a restaurant, a retailer, a service provider – everyone expects you to be online and they expect you to have a strong, healthy online marketing presence. When you hand your business card over to somebody, the first thing they’re going to do is go online and research you. When your customers or clients have a question, they expect to be able to easily find you online and ask that question through Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and more. A business without a solid online marketing presence and platform, is looked down upon as unprofessional. It’s the equivalent of a road-side shack in the middle of nowhere with a painted sign out front that says “BBQ”. In 2013, your professionalism as a business isn’t just based on your brick and mortar location, it’s based on the health of your virtual storefront as well. 2)      You’re Probably Already Online – This is true especially for restaurants, retailers, and service providers. People are checking into your business on Foursquare, Yelp, and Urbanspoon. They’re leaving feedback that everyone else can see. People are looking online to view that feedback before they even decide to enter your place of business. It’s up to you to take control of that online presence. 3)      People Expect Information to Come to Them – Over the last several years, people have grown accustomed to new information finding them, rather than them having to willingly seek it out. When people find out about new deals it’s because their friends are sharing it on their timeline, or an email is sent directly to their inbox, or they see a tweet. The bulk of your potential audience is sitting behind their computer screens right now waiting for your business to find them. 4)      It’s More Convenient For Your Customers – Many businesses shun online marketing because they don’t have the time for it or because they don’t understand it. In other words, the thought of delving into all of this crazy Internet stuff becomes an inconvenient notion. What you have to understand is that you are actually inconveniencing your customers by not marketing online. Customers expect to be able to keep up to date with your business through online resources such as Facebook, Twitter, and email. They expect to use these same outlets to ask questions. Nothing is more annoying than a business who has a dead Facebook page and Twitter account that they never update. You see customers asking questions that never get answered and making suggestions that never get taken into consideration. It’s inconvenient to search online for a business you’re interested in learning more about and not finding an up-to-date website or any other information. It detracts customers, and they’ll default to your competition who stays up to date with customers through Facebook, Twitter, and email and provides special offers to their loyal online customers, which brings us to our next point. 5)      Online Marketing is Caring – In 2013 online marketing outlets such as social media, paid ads, and email marketing are no longer just “in your face” advertisements. You see, people have become numb to that type of marketing, which is why even traditional marketing is starting to change and go seamlessly hand-in-hand with online marketing. Internet marketing is all about building relationships and providing transparency to customers – the more you love your customers and the more transparent you are as a business, the more positive attention you’re going to get and the more your customers are going to love you back. Social MediaIn other words, if you care about your customers, you’ll give them what they need. You will show them that you care about them by offering them incentives that they can only find online. If they are loyal to you, you are loyal right back to them.

I think a lot of business owners who are still “iffy” about jumping head first into a solid online marketing campaign for their business don’t understand the personal, relationship-building aspects of it. Internet marketing isn’t about ploys. It isn’t a newspaper ad that says “we’re having a sale, come see us” it’s an entire personal relationship that says “tell me what you would like to see us do, and we’ll do it for you because we care about you.” Basically, online marketing isn’t about talking – it’s about listening and then giving your customers what they want. By listening to your customers talk to you through the outlets they find most convenient (Internet) then you are showing that you care and that’s the most important thing you can do as a business.

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