When the customer came into the store, it was clear from his accent that he wasn’t from around here. As he was checking out, the store owner asked – “Where are you from?” “I’m from Portland,” replied the customer who went on to say that he was in the area for vacation. Now even more curios than before, the owner asked – “How did you find us?” The new customer reported that he had found the store on the Internet back home. Since he was going to be on vacation in the area, he just had to stop by. And so it began – that small retail specialty store where I worked while I studied marketing at college began to enjoy the fruit of their new Internet marketing strategy. That took place back in the mid 90’s, and today the opportunity that smart Internet marketing offers to take your business to the next level is even better than ever. Let’s look and see how the right kind of Internet marketing can support what you want to achieve in your business.
Where do your customers look for information?
Most people look for information on the Internet before making a big purchase or doing business with a new company. In fact, studies show that this happens 80-90% of the time, even when the purchase is not made through the Internet. What does this mean for you? It means that your customers are looking for information about the products or services that you provide, on the Internet.
People are using Google (and other search engines) to find information about you and your competitors as well as about your products and services. Needless to say, if attracting new customers is important to you, you need to appear in the search engines the right way. One of the great things about using the search engines for part of your Internet marketing strategy, is that you do get to choose how you show up when people are looking for you and what you provide. This is done through search engine optimization (SEO) as well as through search engine advertising, which is often called pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Search engine marketing will enable you to reach new customers at a very important stage in their purchasing decision – when they are still gathering information.
Where do your customers connect?
People have an innate need to connect with others and to have a sense of place and belonging. On the Internet, this need is often filled through Social Media. This provides a huge opportunity for you! One of the first rules of fishing is to go fishing where the fish are. The same rule applies to marketing. It pays to know where your ideal customers hang out. On the Internet, they are likely spending time on Facebook or other social sites. This means that if your marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Be assured that if you don’t reach out and engage with your target audience through social media, your competitors will. Find out how you can put Facebook and the other social media sites to work for your business – download this free Special Report: Discover 5 Ways to Grow Your Business Using Social Media.
Staying in touch
It’s easy to stay in touch with your clients and prospects using the Internet. Email is a great, low-cost way to stay connected with your people. Social media sites are another great way to stay in touch with your ideal clients and prospects. This isn’t about bombarding people with junk email – we all delete enough of that as it is. This is about staying connected in a way that others look forward to hearing from you and are eager to read what you’ve sent them. The Internet makes it easy stay in touch with your audience.
The Internet represents the best marketing and advertising opportunity in the world right now! The rewards for smart Internet marketing are huge. What would it mean for your business if you could increase your number of sales or qualified leads? If you’re in a service business this could mean filling your practice or improving your quality of life by gaining the freedom to be more choosey about who you work with. Internet marketing represents the opportunity you’ve been looking for to take your business to the next level.