For anyone who has been involved with local small business owners in the past decade and a half (which has thoroughly changed the business world) might have heard them calling the whole idea of ‘online marketing for small businesses’ a nuisance which would do them no good. At present day, most small businesses have at least attempted to set their foot in the online marketing arena by attaining a website. What about the other essentials of it?
Optimizing it for search engines, giving it a face by building a brand image, provision of an e-commerce platform for online purchase, engaging with customers on social media are some essentials of online marketing that small business owners fail to recognize the significance of and these are often shrugged off and labeled as ‘big-business-houses-pomp’ but these are nothing but the basics of the online marketing world.
To the ‘conventional’ business owner, these concepts seem like a short-lived fad or time taking struggles. However, the professional and ambitious marketer can browse through the benefits of it. The question arises, is it really necessary for the traditional small businesses to get into the online marketing world, or is it possible to survive bereft of an online strategy?
Common Points of Contention-
Let’s have a look at some common points of contention. Furthermore, some of these points of disputation are quite valid, while others can be dismissed backed with a bit of supporting data.
I don’t need more customers
This one’s a plain-Jane and almost impossible to argue with. If one is satiated with the existing customer base the business has it might not actually need to work it by crashing into the World Wide Web. I won’t try to talk you out of it, just make sure that the customers can be relied upon for the long haul.
All my customers are offline
There are 5 billion Google searches every day and over 1 billion active Facebook users; don’t you think at least some of those users might be interested in your business? Online marketing can help generate new customers.
Online marketing doesn’t work for me
If you have tried it before and you have failed, doesn’t mean that the whole concept of going online is insane. There may be a flaw in the design of your previous shot at it, because the internet is highly dynamic. It happens, even to the stars of the industry and the correct response at it is to make suitable improvisations and be back at the game. Finding new partners, starting up new channels, and increasing the data quality might fetch you some desirable results.
I don’t get it. Just because you don’t “get it” now doesn’t mean you are incapable of getting it. There are agencies that can help you design, execute, and manage a campaign.
Now that I’ve addressed some issues and common points contention as of why online marketing isn’t valuable for some, I would like to mention some points why it is of great value to a business.
Point for Necessity 1: Consumer Expectations Have Changed
Internet has gone very accessible and most of us are seen googling the business name as we hear of it, in search of a social media profile or the business website that can help us learn more about it. People expect you to have a website, and more than often we doubt the legitimacy or discard the potential of a business that does not have its own website. We, most definitely don’t want that happening.
Point for Necessity 2: Competition
You know your competitors and just because you have been reluctant to the whole online marketing idea, doesn’t mean that your competitors have been too. They could be all illustrious over the internet offering a better impression at search in your area. Not only that, the more they’ll keep doing this and the more you continue with your reluctance phase is the further they’ll be ahead of you.
Point for Necessity 3: Rate of Change
The more the technology and the internet are evolving, the more people are getting less dependent upon physical structures. This means on a consistent scale, online marketing is becoming more and more important as time passes. The change is real.
All in all, I believe it would be unjust to say that online marketing is beyond doubt ‘necessary’ for every business but I would also like to say that, by not exploring the world of opportunities that are online for your business, you are hampering the growth of your business and limiting its potential.