Since smartphones are now the norm, nearly every consumer does research online to aid in purchasing decisions. Consumers research goods and services all day. This is why search engine marketing (SEM) has become such a vital part of planning a successful business. Online marketing is for both brick and mortar and online based businesses.
The are two basic types of search engine marketing: organic search engine marketing and paid search engine marketing. Both can be important to businesses. A mix of the two types is usually best for attracting web traffic. The main goal is to have your website appear as close to the beginning of the search results as possible. Customers are often short of time and, frankly, attention span, so the longer it takes them to find your website the less likely your business is to see a sale.
Paid search engine marketing can be helpful for many businesses. It can be especially helpful for businesses just starting up who have not yet developed a following or have a lot of competition. Pay Per Click (PPC) is the most prevalent form of paid search engine marketing. As the name suggests, businesses pay for each click on the ad rather than a flat fee. This is a way to pay for only what the business uses. These types of ads are often displayed on the top of Google search results. They will contain “ad” in the search results but will be near the top. The goal is to be at least on the first page of search results as buyers will often not go past the first page of results. Social media also sells this type of ad where the business pays per each customer reached, not just a flat fee for running the ad. It’s comforting to see that your ad is being perceived by potential customers as opposed to just running an ad in the newspaper classified ads.
Organic search engine marketing is, again, as it sounds marketing that gets clicks organically. This method is not effective without proper research. Businesses need to determine what keywords their customers type into the search bar. This is accomplished through search engine optimization(SEO). The key words found during the research process need to be planted on the company’s website so that they come up when that search is run. It’s not a matter of just planting a word anywhere on the website; it’s much more artful than that.
Keywords are often planted on websites through easy-to-read content that makes sense for the company. This would be in the form of short articles or blog entries. Another key to search engine optimization is making your website search engine friendly. You want to have links to other relevant sites as well as information that will help your customers in their mission without driving business away.
Other forms of SEO can include posts to social media, short videos, testimonials/reviews from satisfied customers and having your products used on other websites. Many businesses have a social media account now where they make posts relevant to their field on a regular basis. This is an increasingly popular way to get customer’s attention.
Home entrepreneurs tend to place a lot of emphasis on product and service delivery that they forget all about the other cores of business. No matter how good product or service may be, it is of no help if a company can’t find a sustainable market for it. It is for this reason that marketing is regarded as the most important recipe for a successful business startup.
Before the advent of the internet and all the social media platforms we currently enjoy, business promotion and marketing was a tough undertaking. Thanks to technological leaps over the years, though, the tide has drastically changed for the better. This is not to imply traditional marketing strategies have no place in the modern business setting. In fact, the good old marketing techniques effectively play a significant role in supplementing modern innovation towards the growth of business startups.
What is Marketing?
Marketing refers to any promotion-oriented activity or engagement geared towards enticement of clients and customers. The most commonly used methods of product promotion include general advertising, social media, sales, distribution and merchandising. However, it is the overall execution of your strategies that play a lead role in the final success of your business startup.
As a business investor, the ball is in your court on whether to adopt the modern and cost efficient internet marketing strategy or ever-effective traditional marketing. For many years, there has been raging debate over which is the best form of marketing between the two, but the truth of the matter is both traditional and modern methods of advertising are very crucial to the overall success of your business establishment.However, allocation of marketing resources and time should be based upon your niche market and how best to reach it.
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing is the type of business promotion techniques that were applied before the advent of the internet. Excellent examples of traditional marketing platforms include; television commercials, enticing clients through direct sales, print advertising, mail, radio, magazines, coupons, billboards, and brochures just to name a few.
The benefits of traditional marketing:
There is no denying the fact that the emergence of new technological advancement has drastically revolutionized the way business is conducted globally. However, even in the digital era, there are still compelling reasons as to why the application of the old-school methods are still valid and worthwhile to the current realities.
For example, traditional marketing serves as your safest bet when targeting a niche comprising of, say farmers or retired civil servants who rarely are less enthusiastic about social media platforms. It would be in your best interest to apply traditional methods of advertisement to convey the message since a lot of the people in this demographic segment are not social media savvy or fanatics.
Moreover, person to person sales marketing is highly preferred by many prospective clients since it is in human nature to believe in interpersonal engagement rather than dealing with the unknown. In addition to that, most clients prefer this type of marketing because it inevitably avails them with the opportunity to ask tough questions about the product, prior to getting a real-time response. Moreover, the prospective clients benefit from the practical demonstration of the products use.
Tangibility is also an added advantage of traditional marketing. Besides the provision of hardcopy material, clients are increasingly becoming attracted to this mode of marketing due to its convenience. This is totally different from purchasing products online; where the interpersonal bond is inadequate or totally deficient. Also, it is appropriate to buy products that are tangible for they are visible and defects can be detected in real time.
The downside of traditional marketing:
While there is no doubt that traditional marketing is effective and somehow less costly compared to other forms of marketing, it is also important to note that the method is replete with minor drawbacks and impediments.
For instance, it is not easy for most home-based business startups to solely shoulder the burden of printing and mailing of documents to a wide range of clients and customers with some semblance of ease. Moreover, complex tasks such as mailing, printing and creating radio adverts require some professional guidance and consultancy – an element which is likely to escalate the overall cost of doing business.
Besides the resource limitations, tracking down results of your traditional marketing campaign borders on the impossible. In short, tracking real quantitative results is no mean feat to achieve.Finally, traditional marketing techniques are somewhat forced upon the consumer and in the process, your product or service may just end up pissing them off. You obviously rue “junk” mail as much as the next person.
What is Internet Marketing?
Internet marketing is simply the promotion of goods and services on social media platforms or internet. The marketing strategy is the most preferred mode of product promotion currently because of its ability to reach a wider audience in real time. It transcends business classes and can effectively be applied by any other business startup irrespective of its place in the society. The main strategies applied include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, social media, and email among others.
Pros of internet marketing:
The marketing strategy provides businesses with the much need opportunity to communicate directly with their preferred clientele and get immediate feedback. The results can be measured using quantitative analysis or real data meaning you can know which strategies work and those that don’t.
It is relatively cheaper to operate since it can be managed effectively by an individual from the comfort of their office or home.
Overall, the internet marketing “offers the marketer with the much need ability to connect and interact directly with his target audience.” Says James Fuhr, an internet marketing Windsor Ontario company. It relies on word-of-mouth meaning it’s free.
Cons of internet marketing:
As much as the internet is increasingly becoming one of the most preferred modes of sales promotion, it is also replete with its challenges and drawbacks. For instance, it requires consistency in communication with your clients and the fact that it relies on the internet means those that aren’t online can’t be within your market reach.
Above all, online marketing requires a certain element of specialized training that is associated with the creation of continuous content which must be edited and published. All this doesn’t come cheap.
Here’s a helpful video to get you to understand internet marketing:
Which Marketing Strategy Serves as the Most Ideal?
The emergence of new technology has drastically shifted the way business is conducted with the majority of investors leaning towards internet promotion as opposed t traditional marketing. However, credible surveys indicate that as much as it is possible to attract traffic to your social media platforms through intensive sales promotions, interpersonal rapport with your clients has permanently remained the most trusted and effective mode of proper advertisement and promotion.
So the big question is: what is the most convenient way of business marketing?
The answer to this mundane question is that both internet and traditional methods of marketing are still relevant regarding business promotion and marketing. However, due to its effectiveness and affordability in marketing, experts advocate for the application of 80/20 rule in marketing strategies.
In conclusion, at the end of the day, strategic planning of your business startup is the key element with the capacity top to determine the overall fate of your business going forward.