I get this question from business owners all the time. How to market my business online and what does it cost to be able to bring customers in from the internet.
There are many approaches to marketing a business online and it does not matter if it is a conventional brick and mortar business or a business that is run completely online.
The goal is to have some sort of website or blog where you can communicate what your company has to offer in a very clear and concise manner.
People on the internet tend to have a very short attention span because they know they can find what they want or need in so many different places. You need to be able to communicate very quickly that you have the answer to whatever they need and you have to do it right away when they arrive at your site.
Once you have a site or blog that quickly send the message “I have what you need” it is time to start driving visitors to that site.
This is where most people fail because without site visitors we are not going to make much money are we?
When trying to market a business online you really have a ton of options that range from completely free to very high cost depending on your marketing budget.
I always recommend small business and those new to advertising online start with low cost and even free resources for marketing their business.
This is because some online advertising can become very expensive quickly and if you do not understand how it works you can lose a ton of cash fast.
Free advertising and marketing can be done very easy and only requires a very small amount of time to get going. The good news is that free can often result in better response that spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The first key is to understand where site visitors interested in you business can be found. There are a few places that you can find them without spending any advertising dollars at all.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing can be leveraged without spending any money and are without a doubt the biggest source of potential customers. Using these resources requires understanding how to get listed in search results where people that want what you have to offer can find your business.
This may seem complicated but it is a skill that anyone can learn and apply without a marketing budget with just a few hours a week working on a marketing campaign.
How do people find the things they want and need online?
They go to a search engine and type in a term related to what they want.
What if you company was listed right there in the search results for terms relevant to what a potential customer wants and what your business offers?
This is how many small businesses have become very successful online and I actually have run all of my online businesses using the search engines as my primary marketing tool.
There are also the social networking sites like Facebook that can be a very good source of potential customers with things like fan pages and simply setting up a company Facebook page to let current clients, friends and family help spread the word about your business.
When it comes to answering the question about how to market my business online it really does not have as much to do with how much you spend. It is more about how much effort you put into making sure you can be found and establishing yourself as the expert in your field or best value in whatever you offer.
Steve Phipps conducts several online Webinars for people looking to make money online and businesses interested in expanding their customer base through the internet.