February 4, 2013
rosemary published this at 2:44 pm
By Rebekah Griffiths
It’s clear that the internet is becoming an increasingly important aspect of everyday life. From watching the latest TV shows and films to shopping for food and the latest fashion trends, millions of people all over the world connect on a daily basis. This means that by making the most of a strong online presence, perceptive business owners are able to easily tap into a national or even global market. Statistics in recent years have pointed to the eruption of e-commerce; in the U.S. alone, online sales grew from around $70bn back in 2002 to well over $250bn dollars today.
What does it mean for businesses?
With such a huge and active audience available, today’s businesses are advised to bolster their print advertising with online marketing campaigns. Many choose to place an even greater emphasis on modern online methods than they do with other, more traditional marketing means such as flyer distribution, TV commercials, and radio ads.
There are a number of options available when it comes to reaching an online audience and a combination of these, including an intelligent web marketing campaign, can be, for many, the difference between success and failure.
Today, millions of people are connected to one another via social media. Sites like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have millions of active users. What makes it easier for businesses to reach individuals on these platforms is the passive way in which they are approached. Marketing via social media is all about connectivity – making it worthwhile for customers to reach the business, rather than the other way round. Businesses can offer humorous or relevant content to users, who can then follow their activity for the latest industry news and offers.
Not only are businesses able to reach a much broader audience through social media; it also allows companies to engage closely with customers, identify trends, and process customer feedback.
In a day and age when consumers are increasingly choosing vendors based on the quality and convenience of the experience offered, providing customers with exactly what they are after is a sure-fire way of maintaining the brand image.
Just as a store front or print campaign must be both aesthetically pleasing and practical, so too must a company’s website; it should look professional while at the same time point customers in the right direction. In terms of design, a website can be constructed to bear the same colors, logo, and typefaces as the company’s existing branding – which will increase brand recognition with online visitors while portraying a consistent, recognisable company image. Pages can be written with clear, concise, and promotional content, and the most tech savvy businesses will be aware of the effectiveness of search engine optimisation (SEO).
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is all about making a website attractive to the most popular search engines today, such as Google and Yahoo. Since the vast majority of internet users will find the sites they need through the offerings of the search engine listings, this is a crucial consideration for businesses looking at online marketing.
By implementing content that is relevant to what potential customers are searching for, sites will be ranked higher in the search engine listings and can experience vastly improved site traffic, which in turn can impact hugely on custom.
What can it mean for a franchisor?
Online marketing enables a franchisor to allow its individual stores to attract customers because, just as online marketing can tap into an international or global audience, so too can it help attract customers on a more local basis – which could, for instance, include the residents of towns and cities near to a store location. Individual stores can each have a presence on social media sites, and SEO can draw in traffic from the locality and drive regional sales.
How are you combining traditional and social media marketing for your business?