Online marketing has undoubtedly become the most effective way of marketing a brand especially for startups and small business with a limited budget. Not only it offers a cost effective marketing solutions but also it helps businesses keep track of their investment which was limited in scope with traditional marketing activities. In addition, it also enables them to create brand awareness about their new products in an effective and less intrusive way. Above all, online marketing allows a small business to market its brand beyond a specific geographical area or a time zone. This ultimately helps any organization to establish strong and healthy relationships with its clients. Let’s discuss all these benefits in more details:
Reducing the expenses is the top priority of any startup. Online marketing offers a multitude of cost effective platforms that can help save precious marketing dollars and if utilized wisely can offer the best result in a short amount of time. For this purpose, social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest, give you much flexibility to promote your business and brands.
In the early days of any startup, it’s vital to keep the feedback loop as open as possible. The ability to respond to customer concerns and suggestions and incorporating it into the product is vital for long term customer satisfaction and your startup success.
In addition, according to a research conducted by HubSpot, it shows that inbound leads cost 61% less than traditional outbound leads. This and many other pieces of research prove that the online marketing is highly beneficial for all the businesses, especially for small and medium size organizations.
2. Easily track your startup progress
Online marketing allows you to easily track your progress. Online marketing offers you plenty of tools to assist you in keeping the complete track of everything about how your marketing dollars are being spent and which activity is generating the most results.
Now a startup can utilize big data and predictive analysis to make predictions about the industries and businesses. This is a whole new set of opportunities for a startup seeking long-term validation of their idea and investment.
You might see Google Adwords and Google Analytics as some regular solution, but they are big data solution for small businesses in a true sense. Many startups and small businesses are utilizing different tools for big data to take their business to next level by using the existing information about a market with information that the big data tools have to offer.
Due to the value provided by the big data, there are now many solution providers in which some of the most notable giants include Google analytics, IBM and Microsoft. There are also some startups which also offer cost effective solutions that include Kaggle, Quality labs and Tranzlogic.
3. Create brand awareness by providing easy information
Due to the availability of easy information online, customers always consult online sources before making a final purchasing decision. It is kind of a fact that if you are not present online or you have not kept yourself updated online then the chances are that you are going to miss many opportunities. For startups, missing any clients is not an option.
Best way to create your brand awareness is by promoting your brands through:
- Social media sites
- Various blog posts
- Emails and newsletter
- Search engine marketing
4. Less interruption
People hate interruptions and so is the case with your customers. Statistics shows that traditional marketing has become less effective as compared to online marketing. The reason behind this is that people now know various methods to block interrupting ads. So in the digital world, buyer’s perspective is very important and you need to discover the ways which are not irritating for your potential customers, otherwise you are going to be “blocked” by them.
Traditional or outbound marketers follow an interrupting approach by advertising their brands to everyone without knowing their interests. On the other hand, online marketing follows a permission based approach in which you communicate only to those people who want to hear from you.
Suppose you have defined your target audience for your brand. Now your next job is to get the attention your target audience. Online marketing offers you various options to do this. First of all you need to create remarkable contents which appeal to your niche. You can do this by developing a nice website with a regularly updated blog and also you can promote your stuff on social media websites. Once you gain their trust and confidence, they would like to hear from you more often. So you will get ‘permission’ from your audience to market them your products and services in a more effective way.
5. Global access without time constraints
As a startup business, you might want to promote and expand your business beyond certain geographical limits. So in such a case, online marketing gives you the opportunity to promote your brands throughout the world. The main advantage of this is that it makes it easier for end user to consult you at any time without any time restriction from any part of the world.
Suppose your business deals with such products which are used all over the world. Now if you are not promoting your products to the online world, you would always be limited to a specific geographical area. Your potential customers are not going to consult you because they are unfamiliar about your business. Similarly, if your business offers online services, you can easily expand your portfolio with online marketing by informing and educating your prospects through various channels like social media channels and by writing remarkable content. In addition to this, such online channels also enable you to pay close attention to feedbacks of your customers, which helps you in improving your brands. This can also serve as a customer support service which will be highly beneficial for your business in the long term. In addition, you can also email them about your new services which might be of their interest. Therefore, online marketing is an effective way to communicate with the entire world and that too round the clock.
6. Establish strong relationships with the customers
In today’s competitive market, strong relationships with your customers determine your business success. The best way to build strong customer relationship is through excellent customer service. Although strong customer relationships do not build overnight and a consistent hard work is needed to understand customer problem and chart out a strategy to anticipate those needs.
Tips to build strong relationships with clients;
- Get the team to work in synergy: The different teams should meet regularly to share customer’s concerns. This will help everybody to understand customer service issues and priorities that normally sales team knows. Online marketers can help chart out a strategy to support customers in online channels as well.
- List the frequent problems: Make a list of top 10 issues that your customers face regularly, update this list regularly and see if the teams are collaborating to come up with solutions.
7. Target a Niche (specific audience)
“Commit to a niche; try to stop being everything to everyone.” Andrew Davis
Your products or services cannot appeal to everyone. So it is one of the most important business decisions for you to decide your target market and to know why they would want to buy from you.
One way to do this is to evaluate how you are meeting their unique needs. Secondly, you must curate your marketing message according to your niche because it is imperative for small business owners to know customer problems and to develop a marketing message that helps them stand out when customer looks for solutions.
To ascertain and manage the risks, it is also mandatory for small businesses to test their products and services and marketing message to gauge the response and risk. It is advisable to work on a competitive document that outlines competitors marketing messages, ads, niche identification and strategies used to reach to target market. Analyzing competitor’s websites and marketing collateral such as brochure and flyers also help in analyzing marketing characteristics.