Minggu, 15 Mei 2011

Growing Your Offline Business Online

Growing Your Offline Business Online

Internet marketing can catapult business sales. A company that sells homemade jars of jam to local customers could develop a website, advertise themselves online, and suddenly be inundated with more orders than they can fill, if the product is high quality. Rather than just adding new long-distance customers, online marketing can grow your offline business. Those living within reasonable driving distance of your store often turn to the internet to search for products, and if they see your information online, they will likely gladly visit you in person rather than purchase a product they haven’t seen and touched. Customers like to know exactly what they are paying for, and though they often turn to the internet to learn where to find products, ideally they want to buy them physically.

The reason internet marketing allows for such success is that a vast audience can be reached at a relatively low cost. Advertising in a local publication, such as a magazine or newspaper, can be costly and can only reach so many potential customers. Advertising online opens up endless possibilities. The key is placement of your ad. If you are selling picture frames, for example, then you want your ad to be placed on a website with related content in order to reach interested buyers. A photography website would offer ideal placement. Customers coming to the website to purchase a photograph will likely be in the market to buy a frame for that photograph, and they can see your ad displayed on the page. All it takes is one click of their mouse, and they will be directed to information about your products and how to purchase them. If you are looking to generate mainly offline business growth, then you will want your ad placed on a local related business’ website. The frame-maker would want to place his ad on a nearby photographer’s site.

Ideally, if you market your products on the internet, then you need to have a website set up for your business. On it, you need photos and detailed descriptions of your products, prices, a biographical section telling how your company got started and information about its founders and its history, and your store’s hours of operation, location, and telephone number. This will allow your customers to become familiar with your company and many of your products before they walk in the store. They can come knowing exactly what they want to buy and what the price will be. Listing location and store hours is crucial to maximize customer inflow. Listing the phone number will allow those living far away who cannot visit you in person to place phone orders. Stores selling similar products in other cities or states may see your products and be interested in selling them in their venues. Be sure to also provide an email address at which you can be reached for the convenience of potential customers or vendors. This could lead to more offline orders. You will want to use every avenue to boost your business.

Another marketing opportunity is using Facebook or Twitter to market your products. Set up a page for your business and invite customers and other related businesses to follow you or become a fan. Post your special sales or coupons.

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