As the owner of a small business, you have a lot on your plate. You probably know you should be marketing yourself, but maybe aren’t sure what’s the best way to do this.
Lots of small businesses have had great success with online marketing and social media campaigns. Using well-designed websites, targeted email campaigns and pay-per-click Internet advertisements are an excellent, cost-efficient way to communicate directly to your target audience.
Let’s review some statistics to back up those claims:
Traditional means of advertising and marketing are falling in effectiveness because the media market is fracturing. For example, the Search Engine Journal reports that only 18 percent of TV ad campaigns resulted in a positive return on investment. Today, people have more things than ever to read, listen to and watch, and that means the old standbys of television, newspaper and magazine advertising and marketing don’t reach the wide audiences they once did.
At the same time newspaper and magazine subscriptions are falling and TV audiences are scattering, Internet and social media use continues to skyrocket. In January 2013, it was reported that Facebook had reached 1.6 billion active users worldwide, and in March 2013, microblogging site Twitter reached 500 million users. Clearly, your audience is moving off the couch and onto the web.
In just the past six months, the percent of email messages opened on a mobile phone or tablet (like an iPad) has increased 80 percent. So, not only are your customers online, but they’re on the move as well.
As a final thought, think about your social life. When was the last time you got a paper invitation in the mail, as opposed to a Facebook invitation? You might flip through some magazines, but do you have a Pinterest account as well? How often do you read news stories that refer to Twitter or a Facebook status update as a source? The point we’re making here is that all elements of life are gradually moving online and once they’re there, they’re gravitating toward social media.
Many internet marketing businesses now specialize in social media marketing services for small businesses. If you want to know more about what online marketing and social media campaigns can do for your business, you should use search Google with queries such as “[your city] + social media marketing services,” and not the companies on page 1. The companies that rank well are likely to be the most relevant to your needs.
Guest Author Carlton Smith is the President of Flagstone Search Marketing in Birmingham, Alabama.
photo credit: daniel_iversen via photopin cc