There’s no excuse.
Your small business may be brick and mortar and your focus may be local, but there’s no reason why your marketing shouldn’t be online.
Even though there’s more to digital marketing than just posting a website and hoping for the best, it’s not rocket science and can be applied to just about any small business in any industry.
But why exactly is internet marketing such a useful tool?
1.) It lets you tell your story
This is about BRANDING.
Sure, your logo or the signage you choose for your small business’s building is an aspect of branding. But the internet allows you to take that storytelling to a whole new level.
Take the Sarah Oliver Handbag company for example.
The name doesn’t reveal any particularly outstanding differentiators from other purses, but the business’s website tells an entirely different story.
By creating a video and hosting it on her site, founder Sarah Oliver is able to tell the heartwarming story of the Purlettes, the senior citizens that make her bags.
2.) It showcases your work to a broader audience
This is about SOCIAL MEDIA.
Your current customers may absolutely love the work that your small business does but if you want to grow your company, you want to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Photography-driven sites like Instagram and Pinterest are a great way to showcase your exemplary work and have that content shared all over the world.
This is exactly how Ukrainian entrepreneur Anna Marinenko grew her small business.
Through her Etsy store and Instagram account, she showcased her unique chunky, handmade blankets with beautiful photographs. Thanks to her popularity through internet marketing, she was able to charge up to $700 for her large size blankets.
3.) You get to check out the competition’s content
This is about STRATEGY.
As the article, “Thought Leader Series: How Much Time and Money Should Your Salon Invest in Internet Marketing?” looks at, while you’ll likely want to invest money into online ad campaigns, small businesses should pay just as much attention to funding quality content.
One of the best ways to get strategically inspired with your content (copy, graphics, design elements) is to see what your competitors are doing in terms of online marketing.
This isn’t to copy them, but to figure out what makes your business different than theirs and figure out how to creatively highlight those differentiators.
4.) It demystifies the marketing mystique
This is about ANALYTICS.
Gone are the days of wondering and hoping with crossed fingers that your marketing is working. Internet marketing arms you with the instant numbers and metrics that’ll tell you if your creative is working.
On the social media front, Facebook Insights can tell you the reach of an individual post and calculate engagement.
Likewise, Twitter Ads provide free analytics on impressions and mentions over time.
These resources allow any small business owner to accurately measure marketing effectiveness.
When it comes to internet marketing, the combination of its low cost, high-value analytics, and storytelling opportunities make it ideal for small businesses.
Entrepreneurs and owners can use a combination of online video, smartly designed websites, and curated social media to grow their business.
About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including internet marketing and small business.