The internet can be a place where, if you use the right tools, your business can thrive. You can use the internet to develop your brand and increase your customer base—all of which are important to business growth and development. Every day, you see and hear references to company websites, Facebook pages, or Twitter feeds. You can use those and other strategies to make the internet work for you.
1. Get a website. A business website is a “storefront” that showcases products, services, and an overall message to the public. At first, it’s not necessary to go completely overboard with a website. Begin with the basics. Describe what the business is about, what products or services are offered, and perhaps a bit about the company’s history and its founders. You can expand your website as your business grows, and you could eventually give customers the option to purchase products online.
2. Use search engine optimization. What good is a website if only a few people know about it? Search engine optimization is a strategy used to direct traffic to a website. There are various methods available to increase the visibility of websites when online searches are conducted. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo have options available.
3. Use email marketing. Many people have talked about how much they hate spam emails. Spam emails are typically a form of online advertising, and they are more successful than people may think. But, spamming aside, email marketing can be done in a professional and unobtrusive manner. Email addresses of customers, friends of customers, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers can be very useful. Sending newsletters or special deals via email reminds customers that the business is still there and that the business offers something they may need. Essentially, email marketing is a way to get business information to the customer in a fast, efficient, and direct way. And it doesn’t have to be spam.
4. Use social media. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have seemingly taken over many people’s lives. That’s good for you. First, create a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn. Then, on your business’ main website, put a link to the Facebook page so your customers can decide whether to follow you on Facebook. Your Facebook page can contain basic business information, special deals, and information about new products.
5. Use straight-up advertising. Have you ever visited a website that had flashing banner ads? More and more websites are including advertisements right on their pages. This is a form of income for them, as well as a form of advertising.
Just as with newspaper advertising, direct-mail advertising, or TV advertising, it’s all about getting the business name, brand, and product out to the public. Advertising is a proven and successful way to attract people to a business, develop a brand, and gain customers. Now there’s a new medium where advertising can be used.