As a small business owner, you must have tried offline marketing methods like TV, radio, print, billboards, coupons/flyers, direct mail, etc., to build your brand image, so that it will help you in selling your products/services. But, today these methods are not effective. Because online marketing is growing rapidly and customers are using the Internet to search for a product and then make a purchase online.
According to the BIA/Kelsey and Constat report, about 97% of customers are using online media for searching products and services to shop locally. They have came across this figure by conducting a survey on how consumers search for products and services.
Another study by BIA/Kelsey and Constat report state that:
- 90 percent users use search engines
- 48 percent users use yellow pages
- 24 percent users use vertical sites
- 42 percent users use comparison shopping sites
Therefore, from the above report you might have understood how consumers search for a product/service. It clearly shows that customers prefer online over offline. Here are some of the benefits of online marketing.
- Brand Development: With the help of online marketing, small businesses can build their brand image and grab its audiences attention as a trusted brand. Developing your brand in your niche as an authority can get you more traffic and leads.
- 24/7 Availability: This is one of the biggest benefits of online marketing. There is no time limit for customers to search or shop. Customers can access your website at any point of time, whether it is early in the morning or mid night.
- Cost Effective: Online marketing is inexpensive when compared to offline marketing methods. It is also an effective way to track your investments unlike offline marketing where it is difficult to keep a track of investments.
- Global Reach: With offline marketing, small businesses cannot reach customers all over the world. Whereas in online marketing, you have the advantage of reaching global audiences. This characteristic of online marketing is beneficial to businesses that have prospective customers all over the world.
- Customer Interaction: Online marketing helps small businesses to interact with their potential audiences and responding to their queries and feedback. This helps you to give quick response to their queries and also helps you to develop your products according to your customers needs and requirements.
- Easy to Track: You can track the number of visitors who have visited your site and how many of them have purchased your products. In this way it becomes easy for you to track your ROI.
- Easy to Publish: In online marketing, small businesses can publish an advertisement or make changes in the present advertisement quickly and easily. Whereas in offline marketing, once the advertisement is published you cannot make changes.
- Online Transactions: Transactions through electronic fund transfer is very fast and it becomes easy for the customer to purchase products online.
With the above advantages, it is quiet evident that online marketing is much more effective and efficient for the growth and success of small businesses, when compared to online marketing.