If you are not already all over online marketing, you need to focus on two things to get your feet wet: Social Media and a Strong Website.
94% of all businesses with a marketing department used social media as part of their marketing platform
Almost 60% of marketers are devoting the equivalent of a full work day to social media marketing development and maintenance
43% of people aged 20-29 spend more than 10 hours a week on social media sites
85% of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure
58% of businesses that have used social media marketing for over 3 years reported an increase in sales over that period
If you are not currently engaged in social media, I strongly urge you to make it a priority this year. The numbers above are from 2012, and most definitely have increased since then.
Time is such a precious commodity that consumers research major purchases online prior to taking the plunge and many prefer to do all of their purchasing online. They seek out reviews from others, or fully detailed descriptions to ensure that the product meets their standards.
As consumers, we buy everything online nowadays from groceries to Christmas presents to cars. We look online for community belonging and for entertainment from sites such as Facebook or Pinterest.
We all are aware of this and yet many businesses still have not embraced this as a marketing opportunity that they need to grab hold of sooner rather than later.
Social Media is a way to nurture your existing customer base with news and promotions all mixed together with fun yet relevant posts to your industry. This is your opportunity to share your knowledge in a way that people will find relatable. It is the fun stuff that will be shared and get you more readership and a larger following!
Social media is important for your search engine optimization (SEO). Every time someone likes your page, and shares your links or content, they are basically notifying major search engines such as Google and Bing that you have important information that others may also believe to be relevant. In order to increase these odds, frequent posts of creative and relevant information needs to be posted.
Someone views your Facebook page, likes what they see, but wants to research all of the services and products you offer. Maybe they are looking for a calendar of events, a bit of company history, testimonials, etc. Their next likely step is to go search out your website.
Many companies offer an online shopping environment but even when that is not the case, websites help to legitimize the business to your prospective customers. Having a mobile friendly website ensures that customers can even read your site while on the go, or while sitting in their favorite coffee shop with their smart phone.
Simple navigation is the key to success with your website. Bells and whistles are great for giant corporations, but the average consumer wants to find the information they seek quickly without a chunk of time spent searching for details.
Most importantly, your website as well as your social media marketing needs to get the public familiar with your brand. This is your outlet to tell the world what you do, and how you do it in an interactive format. Make this the year you take your business to the next level.