Even if a business is 100 percent offline and geared toward a local customer base, it can still benefit enormously from small business Web marketing. Customers shopping in person in local stores increasingly look online to find out more about where they want to shop and what is available from those businesses. Having an online presence makes it easier for local shoppers to find out what a business sells, where it is located and why they should trust that business.
Small Business Advertising Online
Once a business website is in place, local business marketing and advertising can ensure that it gets seen by a local audience. Advertising the website on local forums and popular local sites will get it noticed by the very audience that the business needs to survive.
Internet business advertising can be purchased through an advertising network that advertised on a network of websites or through direct negotiation with local website owners. Small business advertising can take the form of banner ads or smaller ads on local websites, paid sponsorship of local podcasts or sponsored posts on local blogs.
Google Places highlights local businesses and makes it easy for local customers to find out where the business is located and to find its website. SuperPages is another resource for small businesses. Like Google Places, it offers concise information about local businesses and makes the website address prominent and easy to find.
Online Business Promotion and Personalization
Small business online marketing is a way to show customers more in-depth and personal information about an offline business. Highlighting the owner, employees, business hours and other information about the business gives it a more personal face than customers can get from a street sign. Social networking sites are a useful (and free!) way to put a personal face on a local business.
Internet Business Advertising and Special Deals
A business website, Facebook page and other online resources make it possible to provide customers with coupons and other special deals. With a coupon in hand, customers have an incentive to visit a local business and make a purchase.
Coupons can be made available directly on a business website, through the mail for customers who sign up to receive them and directly through Google Places. Internet business advertising can offer local customers a better deal than they would get otherwise, keeping customers interested in the business’ online communications.
Small Business Online Communications
Small business Web marketing makes it easier for business owners and customers to communicate. Customers can ask questions about sales, specific inventory or about future product and service offerings. With a firm online presence and an easy way to communicate with potential customers, a small business can use the Internet to increase it visibility locally.