The importance of online marketing for small businesses

When it comes to advertising, small businesses -with limited marketing budgets- are competing with national brands. Due to the nature of e-commerce, small, local businesses have barely any option but to compete with big corporations that have marketing budgets much larger than years of their revenue. But how can small businesses remain competitive?

The best way to stay relevant is through online marketing. The rapid and constant growth of internet helps small businesses to position themselves, competing alongside big companies by utilizing an online marketing strategy. Many small business owners think that "My customers are offline" or "Online marketing is just a craze." Some of them will even say that "Online marketing will not work for me."

The truth is, that a company will never gain new online customers -or even in-person customers- if the business doesn't have a solid online presence. There are about five billion Google searches a day and more than one billion active Facebook users. Only with online advertising, small businesses are able to target specific demographics and geographic regions; reaching thousands of potential customers online.

The blooming of online marketing can be most undoubtedtly seen in the retail industry. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, online retail stores were found to be the leaders for the whole retail industry sales for more than a year, while the traditional stores sales declined.

Online marketing is, in fact, a necessity. Here's why:

  1. Consumer expectations have changed.
  2. When most consumers hear of a new business, immediately they look up it's website and social media to learn more. To find you, they input your location into their smartphone and use Google maps to get there. Consumers expect you to have a website. If you cannot be verified digitally, consumers who are searching out information doubt your existence and legitimacy. Also, more and more consumers are increasingly looking for products and services on the web and these trends are expected to increase exponentially.

  3. Your competitors are online
  4. If you still have not launched an online marketing campaign yet, know that your competitors most likely have.

Online marketing is a must for small businesses today and is the most cost-effective way to increase revenue, customers and brand presence. Consumers are now online, therefore online marketing is only growing more important.