In today’s business environment, being online is a must. It is very important to realise that even if you don’t sell anything online, most people search the internet when choosing where to go, what to buy and from whom.
Over 85% searches for products and services, are happening online. So, in order to stay relevant towards consumers, online presence is, in most cases, a prerequisite for success.
Less is More
Do not exceed your capacity by being everywhere, this will spread your resources thin and your efforts won’t be equally effective. Rather, choose fewer online platforms and make sure you are able to perform well. Of course, choosing the appropriate platforms, depends on the nature of the company and its size.
In general, a business manager should run a ‘search optimised’ website, be active on (carefully chosen) Social Media channels, and incorporate email into their marketing strategy.
By performing the above mentioned online activities, it should glean you highly valuable data on how your customers or potential customers behave, which you can then learn from and act upon. However, these are only a few online marketing tools available when promoting your business online.
Paid online advertising is another way to promote your business, and it is becoming increasingly popular.
The Rise of Online Ad Spend
The development of the online market is best described by showing statistics from past decade on how much businesses are spending on online ads. Online ad spend has grown from £825 million in 2004 to £8.6 billion in 2015, an increase of over 800%.
This means that online advertising has grown from 4% market share to over 40% during this period. In other words, 40 pennies of every £1 spent on advertising in the UK, is spent on online ads.
The main driver of the growth rate is partly based on online video advertising, and involves consumer behaviour changes, with people watching video content more frequently and across various devices.
As well, technology improvements have been booming in recent years, allowing people watching video content faster access from just about anywhere.
The value of online advertising will increase by £1 billion per year from 2016 onwards, underlining the undisputed importance of online presence!
In the few cases, where small business owners neglect the importance of an online presence, they typically either hide behind their excuses of too little time or money. Alternatively, they do not comprehend the actual dynamic of the online field. But in reality, consumers care.
7 Basic Steps To Prevent an Online Failure:
- Form clear objectives beforehand for the business’ online presence.
- Gather knowledge about what the business can achieve, how long it might take, and which steps are necessary.
- Estimate a minimum budget to support online activities.
- Track your progress to avoid inefficient investments.
- Prepare appropriate strategy and integration readily available.
- Foster developments and innovative work for online value propositions.
- Focus on strategising, and less on experimenting.
Written by Kristofer Pall Lentz