• The Importance of Online Marketing

“I don’t have time for it.”

“It would be too hard to learn and I don’t want to pay anyone to do it.”

“My business will keep doing just fine without it.”

What do these statements have in common? They’re all reasons small business owners avoid online marketing. Perhaps you’ve even used these same reasons to justify your own resistance to it.

Yet, when you consider the benefits of digital marketing, the reality is that there are few things more worthwhile. After all, we are in the digital age. What better way to promote and sell your offerings to consumers? You’d be hard-pressed to find one. So without further ado, consider some of the greatest benefits that result from investing in digital marketing.

The Most Important Benefits of Marketing Online

What’s there to gain by implementing a well-rounded online marketing strategy?

1. More Customers

The chances of a consumer learning that your business exists and becoming a customer, without some kind of online medium—whether that’s a website, review site, social media platform, or search engine—are slim to none. In other words, online platforms are now inextricable from the customer journey, no matter the business.

That being said, you can rest assured that marketing your business online will allow you to reach and acquire more customers.

2. Better Visibility

Online marketing tactics like search engine optimization (SEO) enable your business to be more easily found on the channels your customers are using most. People are more likely to investigate the options that appear first in search results. So as you gain visibility online, it’s more likely that they will check out, interact with, and purchase from you.

3. Improved Local Presence

When consumers perform a Google search for a product or service, Google uses their IP address to detect their location so it can provide local results. Proper online marketing tactics will signal to Google where you are and Google can then expose your business to more people in your area—the people most able and most likely to become customers. The easiest of these tactics is fully completing your Google My Business profile.

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4. Increased Authority

Online marketing is important not just because it helps you to get found online, but also because it can change the way your business is perceived by potential customers. For example, ranking high in search engine results pages, along with respected industry authorities, instantly boosts your business’ credibility. In other words, this is one of the first steps toward becoming a respected local or industry authority and a go-to provider.

5. Higher Quality Website Traffic

Various marketing practices including local SEO, social media marketing, and paid advertising involve what’s called targeting. Targeting refers to narrowing the focus of your efforts to attract only the people who’ll be most interested in what your company does or offers.

If you have a website, such targeted efforts will draw high-quality traffic to that site. There you’ll likely see more engagement and more sales than you would if your efforts were broad and not tailored to any particular audience.

5. In-Person Visitors

The same goes for in-store visits. When you zero in on those most likely to become your customers and speak directly to them, you’ll also notice an increase in visits to your physical location and, ultimately, sales.

6. Long-Lasting Relationships

Marketing boosts sales, which keeps your small business afloat. However, online marketing also does something more, which has a greater long-term impact. It enables you to build relationships.

Building relationships with customers earns you repeat business. Your customers will be loyal to your brand. As a result, they will be happy to refer your business to others, which, as you probably guessed, leads to more sales and loyal customers. It’s a never-ending cycle of goodness, which many businesses are now seeing for themselves!

In reality, you’re probably a customer of several of those businesses. They’ve probably been marketing to you online without you even realizing it!

Online Marketing Strategies

Another approach to understanding the importance of online marketing is to take a step back and see just how prevalent it is in our own daily lives. You may be surprised to see just how frequently you’re being marketed to every day. Consider some common practices that you’ve seen in action, whether you noticed it at the time or not.

Search Engine Optimization

Think of the last time you typed something into your favorite search engine. Were you on the hunt for information or looking for a specific type of business, product or service? Regardless, if you found what you were looking for, you owe it to SEO, or search engine optimization. This powerful online marketing practice is what helps search engines like Google show you the most relevant information. In the past, this may have even led to your making a purchase!

Social Media Marketing

If you’re on social media, you probably follow some of your favorite brands there. And even if not, it’s likely that you’ve at least engaged with them in some way after stumbling across their accounts. This engagement, whether it happens often or not, exposes you to the marketing efforts of those brands. No doubt you can recall seeing a social ad or a post about an upcoming sale or popular product. In other words, social media marketing.

Content Marketing

Without content, the internet would be empty. But it’s most certainly not empty today. It’s filled with billions of pieces of content, both written and otherwise. Each piece is a part of someone’s content marketing strategy, even when that content is purely informational. In such cases, it’s easy to think that you’re simply being provided with useful information. However, you’re also being marketed to by the businesses that produce that content.

Are you beginning to understand how widespread online marketing really is…and how well it works, even on you?

Don’t Resist Online Marketing Any Longer

Trying to avoid digital marketing is not accomplishing anything positive for your business. Why not give it a good try and see the benefits? It wouldn’t be that far of a stretch as you’re probably already using some digital marketing methods unknowingly! For example, that’s the case if you have a website set up for your small business. Take this opportunity to build upon what you may already be doing. Your small business will fare better if you do!

 

This post was published November 2018 and updated January 2020.

Nia Gyant
Nia Gyant
Nia Gyant is passionate about helping small business owners create and execute solid marketing strategies, and writes blogs with a particular focus on inbound marketing and branding.

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