Business Resources

Marketing Online

"What's your Internet marketing strategy?" is usually the first question that follows the announcement, "Hey, my business's website is up." Answering that question with a solid grasp of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) or pay per click (PPC) options, social media marketing, and email marketing ensures that your new or existing online presence becomes a driving force behind CRM (customer relationship management) - the exercise of attracting new customers and keeping your existing ones loyal.

Your small business's high speed Internet connection provides a powerful gateway to the world of online marketing - it's why many bundled packages from telecommunications and Internet providers add website and email services to their business phone and broadband Internet offerings. This makes it easy and cost effective to activate a digital media marketing plan across a multitude of channels from your business computer.

So where to start? The first thing you need to figure out is where your potential and current customers are online and what they look for when using electronic media. Are they spread across the country or are they within a 10-block radius of your store. The answer will shape your website's design, functionality, and ultimately its cost. Do your customers expect to you to constantly update a Twitter feed or is a weekly email more their speed? Do you serve customers in different demographic markets? If so, some may respond to digital marketing, while others may react better to offline marketing such as direct mail.

The more thoroughly you investigate your online marketing options, the less time-and money-you'll spend reaching clients. Instant feedback and tracking abilities will tell you what works and what doesn't, so you can stop throwing resources into a plan that isn't working and devote more energy to what does.