Online marketing goes way beyond having a fancy website for your company. In today’s internet-driven society, it has become necessary for businesses, both big and small, to create an online presence that attracts consumers. Why? To continuously reach wider audiences and boost sales.
The internet has opened doors to a whole new digital economy which many consumers prefer over the traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. According to sales forecasts generated by eMarketer, retail eCommerce sales are expected to reach $4.058 trillion by 2020 worldwide. This figure reflects the increasing trend of online shoppers.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are unaware of the importance of online marketing, few do not have a budget and many simply cannot dedicate enough time towards making a digital marketing strategy. Business success is all about giving customers exactly what they want with ease. Leading firms across the globe are ahead of the competition for a reason; they know how to tap into evolving eCommerce markets led by internet-savvy consumers.
So, the real question isn’t about having an online platform for your business, but rather, how to effectively use that platform to bring in sales. So, let’s discuss a few reasons why your business should consider online marketing:
More people are online
Online consumers are reshaping shopping trends and creating more opportunities for businesses worldwide. According to PwC Total Retail Survey 2016, 54 per cent of consumers buy products online on a weekly or monthly basis. This figure is expected to grow by 2020, reflecting the increasing time spent by customers online. So as a business, would it be a wise decision to let go of ever-increasing online sales opportunities? No matter what industry your business operates in, it is crucial to create an online image that appeals to customers. At the end of the day, you want to bring in sales both through online and on-store mediums. So why not capitalise on your online presence?
Your competitors do it, so you need to do it too and do it better
In such as fiercely competitive environment, foregoing the idea of online marketing is not even an option. A simple competitor analysis will show you how many of your rivals are opting for online marketing channels. The real trick is to do it better than them, way better. Digital marketing tools offer plenty of options to experiment with online branding and marketing. Your job is to make an online marketing plan that fits your business ideology, attracts customers and doesn’t exceed your budget.
Targeting the right audience is easier online
Long gone are the days when one-size-fits-all marketing approach seemed the best. Today’s era demands a more customised and precision marketing strategy. For every product or service, there is a consumer somewhere out there. How do you find these customers and pitch your product offerings? Online marketing is the answer! With so many online channels and social media platforms, you can target specific markets anywhere across the globe. For Instance, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram let you search for specific consumer groups based on demographics, interests, geographical regions and more. This means you can advertise your products to the right consumers and improve your sales potential.
Online marketing is cost-effective
Not all businesses have big budgets for marketing. Smaller businesses seem to struggle the most when it comes to allocating funds for marketing purposes, which makes competition seem unfair. But online marketing has levelled out the playing for everyone. The world of the internet offers equal opportunities to all businesses no matter the size, budget or location. All you need to do is find the right online tools and services such as local listing management, content marketing, Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media Marketing to position your business online. Traditional advertising mediums such as billboards, Television or Radio can cost you a fortune and may not be impactful. However, digital marketing is not only cost-friendly, but offers more reachability across the globe.
Interact with your customers and learn
Consumer demands are continuously shifting and to stay at the top, you must meet these ever-changing consumer preferences. This means you must be constantly updated and aware of what your consumers are looking for, what they want, what they like and what they dislike. This information is essential for marketing purposes and paving way for future product offerings. Traditional marketing methods are typically one-sided, where information whether in the form of images or text is placed on mediums for consumers to view, offering almost zero-interaction. On the other hand, digital marketing offers plenty of consumer interaction and engagement opportunities. Through commonly used social media platforms, you can interact with your consumers, gain insight on their preferences and build a better digital marketing plan.
Build brand reputation
Branding necessary for long term business success. Consumers may or may not remember a product or service, but are most likely to associate brands with their shopping experience. One tiny mistake can give your business a bad name in the market and in the minds of your consumers. Put it this way, a brand is a perception of a business which exists in the minds of your customers. It can take several years to build a positive brand image. However, online marketing is helping new and small business quickly position themselves in the market and move towards strong brand building. Through online channels, you can advertise and create memorable user-experiences which add to brand building. Remember, branding isn’t just selling a product or service, it is a combination of consumer engagement, pre and post-sales services, value-for-money and more.
Evolve and grow
Business growth is a must. If your business isn’t growing, you are bound to fail sooner or later. And to grow, you need to promote your business and widen your customer base, continuously! You can’t rely on outdated marketing tools to give you that global reach. Online marketing can give you a head start and let you expand your business. Especially for small or medium sized businesses, digital marketing offers greater opportunities to build a brand and reach out to potential customers.
Now we can conclude that online marketing offers far more benefits that traditional marketing. For business which are still new to the digital world, help is always around the corner. If you think you don’t have the right experience or resources, you can join hands with a professional digital marketing team and have everything sorted out for you. There are multiple digital marketing companies which offer services to help guide and navigate businesses online. Advancing technology is another reason why it’s time to move on and explore the potential of online marketing. So, what’s holding you back? Take lead and gear your business towards to success.
Myra Bari, content writer and editor, Cordis
Image Credit: SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock