Let’s say you have a small business, maybe a home-based company or “Mom and Pop” shop or café, and you want to promote your business on the Internet. You’ve searched for information about advertising your business online and came away with more questions than when you began. You discovered that while there is certainly no lack of Internet Marketing agencies, there is great disparity in their services and costs. Some offer a little for a lot, others offer a lot for a little. How do you know what will truly benefit you and who to trust?
With consumers changing their shopping channels from traditional to digital media, Internet Marketing has become a popular commodity for unqualified people who want to make fast money. There are several appealing factors. One is that digital media is still relatively new and an unfamiliar market to many business owners. When contacting businesses, a marketer doesn’t need to know much about what they’re saying to appear as an authority and elicit trust. The truth is they can cause your Internet marketing campaign more harm than good with improper practices.
Second, there is a good amount of money to be made in Internet Marketing, which accounts for why so many people are suddenly becoming gurus. The services of a credible and efficient Internet Marketing company may be viewed in one perspective as expensive. However, if they are indeed good, they will generate enough income for you to easily afford their services and return a profit for your business.
Let’s get back to your situation and say that you cannot afford the services of a “credible and efficient” Internet Marketing firm. What do you do? Perhaps the best thing you can do first is “nothing quickly”. If you have no knowledge of Internet Marketing, don’t make the mistake of falling for the first urgent, top-secret, totally guaranteed offer followed by a lot of $$$$.
Regarding urgency, you will certainly gain a nice head start in a lucrative market if you begin promoting your business on the Internet before to your competition. But chances are the urgency of the plan can wait a few days while you research its validity and credibility of the source. As for the latter two claims, there are no Internet marketing secrets and nothing is guaranteed. Even those reputable marketing companies can’t guarantee a specific return on your investment (much like your local newspaper or radio). If they do, there’s normally a catch.
But digital media, specifically the Internet and mobile phones, is a technologically powerful marketing tool. Eighty-three (83%) percent of U.S. households now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally. Eighty-two percent (82%) follow-up their online research with offline action such as in-store visits, phone calls and emails, and sixty-one percent (61%) make purchases.
So, if done correctly, digital is unquestionably a profitable media to market your business. It’s more cost-effective and produces a greater return on your investment than traditional media.
One way to gain knowledge for yourself and start taking advantage of Internet marketing is by attending training courses or workshops. Many local business groups also have regular meet-ups that include Internet Marketing. When searching for courses or workshops, keep in mind that many “training” events are presented by marketing agencies as part of their marketing strategy. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on the cost and value of what you learn.