Online marketing strategies for small businesses

Online marketing strategies for small businesses

As the owner of a local business, you might be tempted to forego online marketing for your business. After all, your customers are local and they know who you are, right? What can online marketing do for you that traditional marketing strategies can’t? Having an online strategy is more necessary than ever before, and the need for it won’t be going away anytime soon.

Why you should have an online marketing plan

You’ll find your customers online. Your business needs an online marketing strategy because that’s not only where your customers are, but it’s also where they expect to find you. If you aren’t online, you’re invisible to a growing number of people.

You’ll find your competition online. Your competitors (local and otherwise) are most certainly online. Here’s where not having an online marketing strategy can do double damage; you’re invisible to your potential customers, but your competition isn’t.

Traditional local advertising channels are closing. In 2004, 90% of American households had landlines. Today only half of all households still have a wired phone connection. American consumers are ditching their wired phones in record numbers, in favor of cell phones and mobile devices. This directly impacts two local marketing channels: Yellow Pages advertising and newspaper advertising.

Look at how the phone book has changed in the past 10 years. Everyone who has a landline gets a phone book, but the size of the size of this traditional local advertising channel has been cut in half, and will continue to decline. Traditional newspaper advertising, even in the local marketplace, doesn’t work as well as it once did. Overall, daily and Sunday newspaper circulations in the US have dropped in 11 of the past 12 years, and printed newspapers now reach about half of the subscribers they did just a decade ago.

How does the Internet compare with these channels? According to Google, in 2012, 85% of consumers used the Internet to find local businesses. In 2014, 50% of mobile users used local search to find and visit local businesses. In short, Internet searches work for local, brick-and-mortar businesses. Mobile users are out there looking online for a broad range of products and services. With the right online marketing strategy, they can find you. With no online marketing strategy, they’ll find your competition instead.

If you would like more information about online marketing strategies and tactics, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

Photo Credit: Rick Santeugini, via