Can Potential Customers Find You?
Top 4 Places Customers Expect to Find You
Running a business may be one of the most demanding and rewarding of challenges. However, if your target market doesn’t know you exist, all your efforts can be irrelevant. Recent research conducted by 1&1 Internet, Inc. identifies the most common ways that people learn about local small businesses such as event planners and suppliers. Overall results prove that online marketing is not only one useful method for reaching customers; it is the preferred method over traditional marketing. Of these online approaches, the research indicates that search engines, direct websites, social media and online directories are the most popular.
The research finds that 66 percent of respondents prefer using search engines to find a business. To achieve a high ranking on resources like Google, your site needs to be properly optimized through search engine optimization (SEO). Even the best website will not attract visitors without properly appealing to search engines. Ask yourself: What do customers type when they are searching for my business? Use these keywords or key terms strategically throughout your site to illustrate relevance and credibility. Prominent placement on search engine result pages is a vital part of the survival and success of your website.
Although traditional methods such as print advertising and word of mouth are successful staples in marketing, 62 percent of respondents indicate that they use a business’ website to collect information. If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, remember to include your domain everywhere you can including receipts, flyers, bags, email signatures and business cards. Ensure optimal functionality and usability by confirming all information is relevant and easy to find, colors and font are appealing, links are functional and there is an even balance between text and images usage.
Social media continues to be a fundamental part of all small business marketing. Survey results indicate that 37 percent of consumers find new businesses through social media. However, there is a difference between simply having a Facebook or Twitter page and developing a social media presence. To build an effective presence, it is important to understand the goals of each platform. Facebook is generally used for longer, less frequent posts that provide a vast amount of information, raise awareness and engage customers. It is a relaxed outlet where businesses can target messaging to specific audience groups and engage in two-way communication. On the other hand, Twitter allows for shorter, more frequent posts such as announcements or promotions.
The research indicates that 23 percent of consumers use online directories to find new businesses. There are thousands of online directories on the web. Find those that most match your company’s offerings, and make sure you’re listed. Most directories will upgrade your listing for a small fee.
As event planners, understanding how to reach potential clients is a fundamental aspect of making your business a success. Make sure your target market knows where to find you, and let your competition play hide and seek.
By Kelly Meeneghan, Manager, 1&1 Internet, Inc.
February 2013 eNews