Small business internet marketing isn’t just advertising anymore. It used to consist of purchasing ads in various places, and then purchasing specific types of ads, when the internet exploded. Now the difference between advertising and marketing has become very clear. Advertising is something you do that’s very passive. Yes, you’ll use specific language in any advertising space you purchase to try to entice people to click and buy, but once you’ve put the ad in place, it’s there and it’s not going to change. Even pay-per-click advertising falls into this more passive category.
But with many of the techniques of small business internet marketing, the things you do are far from passive. If you search engine optimize your website, that might seem passive because once you do it, it’s done. But that’s not true. As you add new pages to your website, you do more tweaking and changing. You’ll use new keywords and different keywords in different areas. Sure, if you use banner ads you’ll change them from time to time, but it’s still much more static that almost any other type of marketing you can do.
And unless you have a huge advertising budget, those static ads like banners and pay-per-clicks probably aren’t going to garner you many sales. It’s the dynamic methods of small business internet marketing that are going to bring people to your website and keep them coming back. And when they keep coming back, they’re once again faced with the things you offer. It can take a person 6 or 7 times seeing an offer before they’re inclined to buy, so the more you get them at your website, seeing your products and services, the more likely it is you’ll make a paying customer out of them.
The most efficient, active method of small business internet marketing that’s guaranteed to let you make frequent contact with your target market is an opt-in mailing list. You can offer some information, a discount, or an ongoing thing like a 5-day course in something relevant to your site to get people to sign up for the mailing list. Once they’ve done that, you have their permission to send emails that will contain links and sales language designed to get them to go to your website and buy.
You won’t want to just start sending ads every day. Come up with something that the people who found your website were probably looking for. If your small business internet marketing plan makes it likely that people will come across your website when looking for ways to keep aphids off of houseplants, for instance, then offer a 3- 5- or 7- day email “course” about how take care of African violets or how to keep houseplants healthy in less than ideal conditions.
Give them something of value, and they’ll give you permission to contact them. Once you have that permission, good small business internet marketing will include emails that contain not just ads, but content to remind them what a valuable resource your website is.