Three Online Marketing TechniquesYour Small Business Should Use Now

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November 29, 2011

For a small business to succeed, it is important that they employ various marketing strategies that are low in cost and high in returns. Online marketing tools do just that, as they provide a variety of uses without breaking the bank.

These tools have their own special purposes that if used correctly, can enhance a small business’ image, monitor their growth and capabilities and effectively reach out to their consumers. Below, the top three marketing tools that are prized for their ease of use and ability to build meaningful relationships with the customer:

Email marketing

There are critics who question just how effective email marketing really is. Fact is,this online method continues to deliver the highest return on investment or ROI out of all other marketing technologies. The Direct Mail Association (DMA) reports that in 2009, marketers who employed this tool gained $43.42 for each dollar they spent.

The reason that email marketing works so well boils down to: 1) the basic relevance of content and 2) the permission to send them. The recipient actually expects to receive these messages and they look forward to make use of their content. This automatically translates to a short list of highly qualified prospects and customers. As a marketer, you only need to consistently keep in touch with this customer base and continue to deliver high quality content that is both meaningful and informative.

The most important goal of email marketing the building of sturdy relationships with your customers. This tool must effectively communicate your brand, your services and your knowledge on a given subject of your industry. These efforts will result in brand trust, recognition and loyalty. After all, when it comes down to making a purchase, customers are most likely to do business with and recommend a name that they recognize and trust.

Online Surveys

A critical part of owning and developing small business is gathering customer feedback. It is not entirely feasible to go down to each and every customer to ask what they think of your product so online surveys were born. This marketing tool makes it practical to request comments and suggestions from your consumers at their most convenient time. 

Online surveys can be conducted right after a transaction, during an event, or after a customer service experience.  These surveys are able to extract a gold mine of information about said customer’s thoughts about your business.Here you will get valuable insights about your products, such as what must be improved on and what you are doing right so far.  Strategies you can employ for a stronger presence are based on what your customers think. These survey results are very useful in guiding the direction and influencing the decisions of your next product or marketing plan.

Social Networking

Judging from the benefits these social networking platforms bring to businesses, it is no wonder that it makes up a large part of many small business owners’ marketing plan. Networking and connections are valuable in a business set up and in these digital times, the importance of an online presence cannot be emphasized enough.

To make social networking work for your business, you must be an active and highly knowledgeable player in the game.  You must make known the value of your service or product first and foremost. A simple profile in existence is not likely to get you anywhere. You need to make a name for yourself in the online community by: 1) offering your product or service and 2) establishing yourself as an expert in your chosen industry. 

This can be done by regular information-soaked posts about the field you are involved in. It is a good idea to have links to your website, your blog or any media mileage on your business and your products. It is also ideal to involve yourself with the goings-on in the community by commenting on other people’s blog posts or involving yourself in forums and discussions.  

It is important that you are consistent with your communication. Continuous efforts to reach out to your audience will eventually yield you as a recognizable and trusted name in your field provided that you have been posting relevant and meaningful content. Soon, your customer base will grow as more audiences become engaged with your posts.

These online marketing tools provide high returns at very low costs. All you need is consistency of message, a strong branding and effort in communications and your small business may reap great rewards.

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