No business could survive on word of mouth alone. There has to be marketing involved. Marketing comes in so many ways—actual ads on newspapers, billboards, radio and television plays, which are very expensive; leaflets given away on the street; and through online ads. We live in a different world now. People are predominantly mobile so it is important that business owners capitalize on online marketing especially since in most cases, this is free.

Every day, a new brand or a new company is being launched in America. It is so hard to catch up with every new deals, products and services around. So a startup company should be aware that it is competing with thousands of other businesses.

According to godaddy.com, a lot of small businesses focus on marketing and advertising but a lot of them also fail because they make a mistake in terms of marketing. Majority of the small businesses own a website and they feel superior to those who don’t have websites. But for the smaller businesses, those with only five employees or less, six out of 10 of them are not online. But of the 10 businesses, over seven of them believe in the efficiency of being online. There are about 40 million businesses that have a Facebook page and 75 percent of them pay to boost their pages.

Over a billion people visit business pages on Facebook every month. So it is essential that businesses take advantage of this, more so because it is free—unless you pay to boost it. Here are some of the best reasons why online marketing is important for startup businesses.

1. It is a cheaper form of marketing

If you are still starting a business, it is understood that money is still tight. The first month will be about spending and not much earning. You have to spend capital on permits and licenses, the location, office supplies and the products you have to sell or the materials needed for your services. Every day will involve operational cash-outs. So it will be very helpful if marketing will not cost much.

Putting out ads in the newspapers or through billboards will cost a lot of money. It is even more expensive to have ads on the radio and on television. But if you are on social media, then it could be free. If you have Facebook, you can just advertise your products and services in your own words. But it is still better if you study how to craft your advertising piece so it would be able to entice more people. Whether you are selling products or services, Instagram is also a good way to advertise. Just make sure you tap someone who knows their way behind the camera so pictures will highlight the good of your brand and hide the bad. It may be hard to advertise on Twitter because of the 140-character limit but you can link your Facebook and Instagram accounts to Twitter.

2. Engaging

Unlike other forms of advertisements, online marketing, especially if you go the social media route, gives potential clients direct access to the brand or business. When you put it out there, a person can see it directly and even engage you to a discussion, if necessary. It is a great way of explaining a product or service to the world and in real time. When you take out an ad in a newspaper, you will be limited by the number of words you can put out, lest, it would be more expensive. The same goes with TV and radio ads, you can’t really explain the product as holistically as you would have wanted because of the time limit.

However, if you have a website or you do online marketing, questions can be readily answered and explained. And it becomes a personal conversation between you, as business owner, and the other person, who is either a client or a potential one.

This is exactly what a startup needs. Established businesses don’t need to explain their products and services, loyal customers and even strangers already know them from their reputation. But startups have nothing in their name, but with online marketing, the opportunity to be known and heard is there.

3. Better understanding of customers

Because online marketing allows you to directly reach your potential customers and existing clients, you will have a better understanding of the market. The clients will like that there is a direct contact with the business where they could air their feedbacks both positive and negative. While the business may have a hard time taking in the negative comments, it is a great way to discovering new ways to improve the business or the brand.

It is not just about the direct interaction, though. Digital marketing has the capability to monitor the market’s buying power. There is also a tool that analyzes the buying preference of the public—or at least your market.

4. Cohesive strategy

Online marketing is not limited to Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. One way to market online is through email or mobile marketing. To email is also free. And with emails, unlike traditional ads, you can also explain everything about your product and service. It could be more than that, too. Once you have already launched the product or service, it is now time to grow your brand.

Online marketing strategies include content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing or mobile marketing. Through these activities, you can boost your brand and the company’s mission and vision. You have to consider that you are not just competing with businesses similar as yours; you are competing with everything else on the market. Get that brand known, let it be respected.

According to the Entrepreneur, a well-planned email campaign would result to 65 percent of the recipients actually purchasing the product or service. If you send out 1,000 emails, chances are 650 of those people will buy.

5. Innovation

Being in the digital age will certainly give you the tools and the motivation to innovate in order to satisfy the market’s growing needs. Technology actually makes it easier for every business to upgrade products and services, and online marketing will help business owners identify the innovation path to take.

Author's Bio: 

James Harnsberger is an Enrolled Agent and known as the Wealth and Tax Guru. He and his team are providing professional tax service and business formation services.

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