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How to market your small business online

Online marketing has become the new frontier to market your small business. One of the biggest challenges for any small business is usually the amount of the marketing budget. Online marketing is both cost and time effective. Savvy small business owners understand that marketing online gives them an advantage that they often cannot find elsewhere. However, there are certain things that you should know before you simply place your small business online. Here is what you need to know about how to market your small business online-

- Begin with a website-Virtually every business regardless of size has moved online. This means that if your small business does not have a website it needs to get one-today. Simply by having an online presence you will increase your visibility with both your existing and potential customers. Multiple studies are showing that consumers are turning to the internet in ever bigger numbers to find the information they need before they make a purchase decision. This means that if your small business is not online you may not even be considered by your target market. Keep in mind however, that the competition online is numerous. You will need to make sure that your website sticks out from the competition. It is important to understand that you will only have a few seconds to attract and keep the attention of your target market. If you fail to do this they will simply move on to someone else. In addition, you will need to make sure that your website is easy to navigate. If it isn't your customers will soon tire of trying to figure it out and again move on. Finally, if you are unsure as to how to design a website there are numerous sites online that guide you or you can hire a website designer.
- Consider email marketing-This type of marketing is low cost and highly effective for small businesses. Many business owners worry that email marketing has run its course due to the popularity of text messaging. However, studies show that many consumers still respond to email marketing. Keep in mind that email marketing begins with your website. You will need to have a way to capture their information from your customers when they come to visit your website. Once you have your target market's contact information you can stay in touch with them. However, it is crucial to understand that you must be able to offer your customers something of value. If you fail to do this they will soon feel that you are simply sending out spam and block you. You should also make sure that your email messages are short and concise. Keep in mind that your customers don't want to have to search your message to try and determine what you are trying to tell them. Focus your emails on letting your target market know about specials, give sneak peeks about new products or services or offer a discount.
- Utilize social media-Social media is one of the newest facets of online marketing but has been shown to be one of the most effective. When you are correctly using social media networking you can directly communicate with your customers. This allows you valuable insight into what is and is not working with your business and the products and services that you offer.One of the major advantages of using this type of marketing is that the set up is very low cost or even free. However, keep in mind that you will need to make sure that someone is dedicated to keeping your social media networking efforts up to date and current as this is vital for effective online marketing.

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