Online marketing is more important than ever. The survival of your small business depends on it. Embrace it and survive the next five years.

No, really.

If you aren’t using online marketing, you are on borrowed time.

As a small business you might think internet marketing doesn’t apply to you. It’s a misconception. And one that is potentially incredibly damaging.

OK, so most “traditional” businesses today have accepted they need a website.

Although, you might still be surprised just how many haven’t…

In fact, nearly 2 million UK SMEs still do not have a website!

It’s surprising isn’t it? Especially when you consider that SMEs are the group of businesses who, by introducing one, stand to make the largest growth in revenue – approx £106 billion per year.

Learning the stats associated with not having a website makes for eye-watering reading:

  • Cost in potential lost revenues for the 1.98 million SME’s without a website = over £343 billion each year
  • Per business, the average uplift in revenue as a result of introducing a website could equate to £173,769

Just “having” a website isn’t enough

For SMEs who do have one, we say, excellent. But having a website is one thing. Ensuring you are employing the latest online marketing techniques to get it found on the search engines, is another.

In order for your website to contribute to your bottom line, you can’t just sit back and think “there, job done”.

This is where the whole digital mix of comes into play and why online marketing is more important than ever.

This is also the part of having a website that some businesses are failing to understand to their detriment.

It’s also the part that frustrates us the most – because by not using effective online marketing, we know they are missing out!

Online Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

Online marketing isn’t something new for small businesses to think about. In fact, the opposite is very true. And yet, still far too many neglect just how important it is in helping their business to succeed and grow.

Common reasons for resistance to internet marketing include time, money and skepticism over the actual importance of using it.

The reality today is that even if you consider yourself an offline business, i.e. you don’t necessarily have an ecommerce store where you sell a product direct from your website, your customers still care about online.

Small businesses who don’t sell online will often dismiss online marketing, pushing it to the sidelines in favour of more traditional offline methods of marketing and selling.

 

Consumers Turn to the Internet For Information

Shopping online isn’t the only reason people go online. Regardless of whether they can buy directly from a website, the modern day consumer, who could be your potential customer, expects to find a company online. They – like you, most probably – turn to the internet to discover what to do, who to buy goods and services from and much more.

In fact, turning to the internet to search for information is now so popular that to ‘google’ is officially recognised as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary.

In order to remain relevant, small businesses NEED to be found online. Ignoring this change in people’s information seeking behaviour could see you languishing behind your competitors.

 

With such a staggering number of searches conducted daily, you can see why making your business visible on the internet through effective online marketing is more important than ever.

By being online, small businesses leverage a multitude of avenues to gain visibility among consumers. Using the full digital marketing mix to ensure you are found – i.e. things such as SEO, PPC, social media, responsive website design etc. – means you are maximising your chance to make the most of the opportunities available.

Years ago it may have been a choice to jump in on the online marketing bandwagon. Today, it is an absolute must in order for small businesses to survive and thrive.

Internet marketing is to traditional marketing what Tesla is to the petrol car

Across industry, disruptive technology is ripping up the rule book. Think Tesla (cars), Airbnb (travel), Uber (taxis) and Amazon (retail).

Likewise, Google and social media are redefining how businesses of all sizes market themselves.

Marketing any business can be tough. But market you must if you want to grow your business.

Even the best products and services need to be advertised if they are to sell.

Businesses understand this. What is interesting, is the view that many small businesses have about online marketing. For whatever reason, it’s often not seen as relevant in helping them to achieve their growth goals.

In the clients we end up working with, the most common reason we find is because at one stage they have tried it but not got the results they hoped for.

What Online Marketers Know That You Don’t

There’s no question that when it comes to digital marketing there are companies out there who will promise you the moon on a stick. Unfortunately, there will always be charletons in any industry.

If you’ve tried online marketing before and have seen little to no success, don’t be hasty in writing it off totally. It doesn’t mean it’s inherently flawed. What it does mean, is that there was a flaw in its design or execution.

Online marketers who know their stuff, know this:

Marketing is a cost of sale, not a budget.

Why?

Because online marketing companies spend a percentage of sales on leads and then use conversion optimisation to improve the ROI.

You can’t do that with traditional forms of marketing because you don’t have the data. But, we have developed methods to replicate the online world and enable you to compete effectively

The Advantages Of Online Marketing Over Traditional Marketing

Online marketing has a major advantage over traditional forms of marketing (think magazine or newspaper ads and the ilk) in that the access to data is unrivalled.

As well as being expensive, evaluating the effectiveness of traditional marketing can be near impossible.

Online marketing gives you unprecedented access to data so you can continually review and assess what is working and adjust where need be. It’s a much more quantitative and, if you like, scientific approach than traditional marketing could ever be. And that equals wonderful news for your bottom line!

You might place an ad in a magazine and OK you know the readership figures (well, the ones the salesperson told you). But, do you know how many people actually see your specific ad? So you see an uplift in sales following the ad placement. That’s really great. But, do you know how many of those sales you can actually attribute to that specific advert?

With online marketing you never have to worry about that ambiguity again.

Things are much more clear cut because online marketing gives you detailed data throughout the whole process. You don’t have to wait around like you do with traditional marketing – you’ll start to see what is performing well and what isn’t in a very short space of time. If something isn’t going to plan the campaign can be adjusted on the fly.

Furthermore, the data yielded by online marketing gives you a foundation of solid information from which to launch new campaigns – so you’ll have more chance of success.

A well structured online marketing campaign and digital marketing strategy allows you to track individual users throughout your sales funnel, from start to completion.

Truly effective online marketing, of the kind we deliver to our Midlands, predominantly Birmingham based digital agency clients, can drive new visitors to your website, help convert them into paying customers and do so often at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.

That is why online marketing is more important than ever.


 

Grant Funding Available

If you are a West Midlands based business and want to benefit from the opportunities available through online marketing, we’ve got some even better news.

You could do so at half the cost, as we may be able to help you with grant funding of between £2k-£167K to support your project.

Funding is available on a first come, first served basis for eligible B2B businesses (dependent on sector and location).

We have been working with businesses across the region to help them access this type of funding and are excited to be able to announce the release of this latest round.

 

Contact Us Today

If you would like to find out if you could qualify, please call Sarah for more information on 0870 062 8760 or email her today on info@aiminternet.co.uk.

You can see a testimonial of one our previous funding recipients here.

You may also like to read our previous blog on SEO Tips for Blogging Beginners 2017.

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