In today’s business climate, business owners are faced with increased pressure to deliver more while using less time and fewer resources. Small business owners are faced with more adversity in today’s business world than ever before. The economy is at an all-time low, which leaves many small business owners desperate to find new ways to bring customers in their doors. This situation leaves many business owners at a loss because traditional marketing channels are becoming obsolete. Businesses, which used to rely on traditional marketing tactics to gain the attention of their customers, are finding that they can no longer rely on those tactics.
A shift in media is taking place in our culture. This shift is changing the business and communications world as we know it. Phone books, the Yellow Pages, radio, and even desktop computers are becoming things of the past. Media is shifting to the digital space, and technology and consumers are the drivers behind this change.
In order to reach your customers, you have to be where they are. Whether it’s a laptop computer, Tablet PC, or a mobile phone, this is where today’s consumers are researching businesses in order to satisfy their needs.
Because customers are spending more time online, and because technology is continuously advancing, how can you best reach your customers today? The answer can be found in one word: online.
Reaching Customers through Company Websites and Social Media
Two very common approaches that businesses take to reach their customers in this age of technology include:
- Building a user-friendly website
- Using social media sites
A business’s website is the central hub to which all online activity should be directed. Business owners who realize this have sought the help of social media consultants and search engine marketers to gain more online visibility.
Social media marketing is becoming more widely known as an opportunity for businesses to communicate with their customers while also being leveraged for business. Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are all very popular social media channels that businesses use to reach out to and connect with their audience. This is helpful because it fosters transparency and online visibility.
When social media is used successfully, customers should feel that they know the business on a more personal level. This means that as a business you are not simply shouting out promotions and bragging about your successes. Instead, you are reaching out to your customers while also listening and attending to their needs.
While social media marketing is helpful in the process of building loyal customers and online visibility, it doesn’t guarantee that your customers will find you.
Gaining Online Visibility through Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are ways that businesses are gaining more online visibility with today’s consumers. Many businesses are seeking out the help of local search engine marketers to help them draw in more targeted website traffic that will convert into business. This involves first figuring out how customers are searching for your business.
One simple form of search engine marketing (SEM) is pay per click (ppc) advertising. Pay per click advertising features paid advertisements at the top of the search results for the keywords that you choose to bid on. This type of search engine marketing is a quick and easy way to get instant traffic to your website. Although it is much quicker than search engine optimization, it doesn’t work as well for all types of businesses.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is thought of as a more long-term approach to online visibility. SEO is done in order to bring your website to the top of the search results with non-paid (organic) optimization. Businesses do this in the hopes that they will be able to draw in their target audience when audience members are searching for the type of business and its services. The desired result is that you can turn these audience members into lifetime customers.
When all of these elements (social media, ppc advertising, and SEO) are combined into an integrated marketing campaign, you are able to better reach today’s digitally savvy consumer at every possible touch point instead of by using just one potentially unsuccessful marketing channel.