The impact of World Wide Web in the business world has been so sudden and brutal that business experts are still trying to pick up the pieces.
Only twenty years ago anyone would have laughed at you if you took the Internet into account when you were planning a marketing strategy.
Those days where people would only clock into offices are gone. With internet, people can go remote and work from everywhere especially with the help of VoIP that connect people cheaply.
Today, the Internet is pretty much the basis of all marketing.
Many businessmen haven’t picked up to this fact yet.
They’re behind the curve, and bound to get stuck there as their sharper peers reap up the benefits of this new world.
That’s why it’s essential for any entrepreneur worth her salt to be Internet-literate in this day and age.
You might be thinking, that’s all well and good, but how exactly is the Internet going to help my business?
How is it different from traditional forms of marketing?
And is it really any better?
To the last question, the answer is simple: yes, it’s much better.
It’s many times cheaper, has the potential to reach much more people and, most importantly, it will reach the kind of people that want to hire you.
Here lies the main strength of the Internet: Targeting.
You will be seen not by anyone who drives past your billboard by the road, but by those who are looking for what you offer – whether they know it or not.
The difficulty is, of course, how to build a presence in this competitive online world.
The answer is content
When it comes to online marketing, content is supreme. And the best way of delivering content to your target public is through social media and blogging.
The immediate benefits or adopting a social media strategy are obvious: increased exposure and visibility and development of brand awareness. It’s also one of developing loyalty with your customers.
Most people today are active members in social media, and they’ll gladly like and share your brand – only if, of course, your brand has an online presence that can be shared and liked.
Research has shown that the mere act of “liking” something in social media creates develops feelings of trust, confidence and loyalty that were not present before the pressing the “like” button – even if their experience with your service was the same before and after.
This level of brand engagement was impossible in the past.
Blogging brings these feelings of community even further by creating a growing, organic body of content related to your business that constantly reminds customers of your brand.
Customers can also easily share blog posts, contributing to the expansion of your target audience in a very cost-effective way.
One of the least obvious but most important benefits of blogging and social media is their fundamental role in SEO. Google sorting algorithms always favor companies that offer new relevant content regularly and engage with their customer base through social media.
By having a consistent brand represented in a coherent way through a variety of social media platforms and blogs, you will also make sure customers find you just by typing the right words in Google’s search box.
But what’s the best way to optimize your content?
You must lay some groundwork beforehand. Keyword research is an important step.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing – how are similar businesses driving engagement through social media?
What strategies are working and which ones could be improved on?
Brainstorming is always a good idea. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and write about her needs and interests.
Make sure your content is up to date. Be in touch with the world by following news outlets like The Guardian.
Look for any developments relevant to your industry, look for an interesting angle or take on them, and share it through your blog.
Some of you might be thinking that, even with all these tips in mind, you just don’t have the knack for churning out snappy prose. But even if writing is not your thing, the Internet offers a zillion of services that will write copy for you for very competitive prices.
Check out reviews on the Internet and find the right company to write for you. There are many review sites out there that may help you in your search. UK Services Reviews is one specializing in scrutinizing writing services in the UK.
Finally, even keeping these basics in mind when developing a strategy for online expansion, you might think there are just too many factors to juggle.
Internet marketing can be, no doubt, daunting – particularly when you plunge into the murky waters of SEO.
Again, the Internet makes it really easy to get help.
Plenty of online tools and services can assist you to develop a strong marketing plan. Word Stream, for example, specializes in online advertising and social media.
The variety of utilities you can find online can make even the most clueless rookie look like an expert.
Use them smartly and you’ll be on the road to Internet marketing success.