If you are starting up your business, then marketing will be one of the things you will need to look at. You could have the best business plan in the world. But if no one knows anything about your business, or where to find you, then it isn’t going to be as successful as it could be. But in this digital day and age, we have many ways to market our business that we didn’t have, even ten years ago. But what are the best ways to market your business and is it going to be better for business than traditional offline advertising?
Online marketing, for those of you that don’t know, can range from any things from social media marketing to emails and search engines. Now that pretty much most people are online, it makes online marketing really effective. But what are the pros and cons?
The budget for marketing is going to be quite high for many businesses as it is a vital way to increase sales, gain loyal customers and get some brand awareness. But the thing about being to market online now is that it is often much cheaper, especially compared to traditional offline marketing. In offline marketing, you are paying to maintain certain stock levels, paying staff costs, and perhaps even rent of things like ad space on billboards or other types of offline ad space. These costs are naturally quite high as you will be paying to use the side of someone’s building for an ad, for instance. But the ways to spend on online marketing is through social media promotions, as well as through creating an ad through a search engine. This is so low in comparison to offline advertising.
It will depend on your customer base, but at the end of the day, if you’re looking to market in a cost-effective way, then online marketing can be more cost-effective.
If you’re going to be paying for some exposure, you want to know what you will be getting, right? That is where offline marketing does have it’s limits. You can’t guarantee that people will look up and see your ad or even make a note of it. If your business is online, people won’t remember what your web address is after seeing one billboard. Plus, you can’t target the people that will see your advert. You know it will be people that drive past a certain building or on a certain road. But that is all that you can know about them. One in ten of them might be your target customer base, but you’ll never have a way of knowing.
Online marketing, however, is much better about able to target your audience. With social media ads, for instance, you can set why you want to see your ad. Females, males, those based in London or those under 25, for example. The thing with online marketing is also that your exposure is pretty limitless. You can have a global business quite effortlessly, as long as you’re willing to ship to different areas of the world, or to provide work at different times of the day for different time zones. So for maximum exposure, online marketing wins again.
We are all busy in life and strapped for time. But what are people doing in their own time? Are most people browsing social media in their down time or visiting a physical store of yours? Are most people watching Netflix and YouTube or sat watching terrestrial television? You need to know what your audience are doing in their spare time, to make sure that you catch their attention in their spare time. If watching television is going to work, then a TV ad could work as a way to market offline. However, as has been discussed, you don’t specifically know who will see your advert. So you might consider an ad on YouTube instead, if your target audience are teenagers, for instance. Pop an ad up before a popular YouTuber’s video and you know the thousands of people viewing it will be the people that you want to see it.
But in terms of time taken to arrange ads, online marketing wins again. As soon as you’ve paid and set up a social media ad, the ad starts immediately. For TV ads, there are much longer processes to go through. It will have to be approved for showing, as well as licenses for music checked too; the list goes on!
If you are running a business in real estate, for example, then you need to look at the best ways to market for that specifically. But the great thing about online marketing is that you can target house hunters, for instance. Ads through search engines will mean that people that allow cookies will see your ad if they have been recently looking up moving home sites, real estate agent sites or other home related content. So online marketing does allow you to be quite specific in who your target with your ads. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to it all, you could talk to someone like Inbound Real Estate Marketing LLC, for example. Outsourcing your marketing to someone else can mean that their time can be completely devoted to it, so you have time to do other things in the business. You’d just let them know your aims and goals, and then they can get on with it all for you. So that is something worth considering.
At the end of the day, in order to be a success, we need to have customers. There are no two ways about it. So in order to be the most successful, including online marketing as part of your marketing plan is really key. Traditional ways to advertise are great too but don’t forget about the power of the internet, especially in this day and age. Would love to hear what experience you have had of either of these marketing methods!