Tips To Market Your Services Online
The internet has become an absolutely vital part of every day life. While there are people who think it’s a luxury, the simple truth is that most people use the internet for just about everything in life. Either their work requires internet access, or they use it for at home relaxation, or they use it as an entire research library, or most likely they use it for all three.
What this means in practical terms is that any business that wants to be successful has to know how to market online. This is not as simple as it sounds, either. Online marketing isn’t the same as traditional marketing, and if it’s approached in the same way the marketing will fail.
What’s so different about online marketing? And how do you approach it correctly?
Online Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing
With traditional marketing, things follow a fairly straight forward pattern. You figure out what services you can offer. You figure out what kind of people want your services. You design a campaign to advertise those services. You then target your potential market by passing out flyers, buying ad space in magazines and newspapers, and perhaps making a commercial and renting a few billboards.
With online marketing, you still follow the first three steps. That is, you get a solid idea of what services you’re offering. You identify the people who want those services. And then you create a marketing campaign to advertise those services.
However, when you figure out what services you’re offering you also have to consider whether or not you can offer them online. Not every service is suited to an online market. Can you promise quick delivery time? Can you ensure people have multiple ways to contact you? There’s nothing wrong with simply marketing online but offering services in the physical world. You just have to decide which you’re going to do.
When you identify the potential audience for your services, there’s something you must keep in mind. If you’re offering those services over the internet, then your potential audience is global.
This means your marketing campaign has to take into account the various potential cultural differences. This isn’t as difficult as it may seem, especially if you decide to only target a portion of the potential market. Sometimes, accepting that you can only make some of the money nets you more than trying to make all of the money.
How Online Marketing Differs
The major difference between online marketing and real world marketing is the tactics used. In traditional marketing, you might make a commercial or pass out flyers. Buying space to put out magazine and newspaper advertisements is also useful.
Online, ad space is almost useless. Years of underhanded marketing tactics and poor quality control has led to people installing ad blocking software or simply ignoring ads all together. Commercials are slightly more useful, but only if you can make them in such a way as to convince people to search them out.
So how do you market online? By using search engine optimization and social media marketing. The basic idea is to create a “home base” for your company. This needs to be a well-designed website that gives a clear idea of who you are and what you offer.
Then, optimization tactics allow your website to get to the top of the search engine rankings. Studies show that around 92% of people who search for something on Google don’t go past the first page. Around 53% never even go past the first three links! So if your website isn’t up there, then you’re not getting noticed.
Social media marketing involves understanding how to interact with the various social media websites. Twitter isn’t for the same kind of communication as Facebook, for example. This is where the term “viral’ came from. If you can get people to pass around your website, then you’ve made it.
Unfortunately, using SEO and social media marketing isn’t exactly easy. This is why it’s important to hire a professional SEO firm if you want to get it done right. It requires regular attention to current search trends, as well as current optimization tools. Since those change regularly, it’s probably a better idea to hire an agency than to try to learn everything in-house.