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How To Educate Small Business Owners about Internet Marketing

When a person runs a small business, they are usually either working with a very small team or even all on their own. Usually, the expertise of that team is going to be devoted to the area of business that they are in, not towards internet marketing. As a result of this, many small business owners don’t really understand what marketing small businesses online requires. It’s important for someone that is running an SEO business to keep this in mind, and to find ways to educate small business owners about internet marketing.

The first thing that small business owners need to understand about online marketing is what kind of results it can bring to them. Many people only have a sort of vague understanding about the potential that lies within the internet. What they need to understand is that a focused internet marketing campaign which is properly executed can greatly increase the profile of their business. Even small local businesses can benefit greatly from an online marketing campaign because so many people now use online methods (including using searches from mobile devices) to find businesses in their area. Business owners may not realize this, so they need to be taught about the various methods and how these methods of online marketing can directly impact their business.

Small business owners also often need to be educated about the effort that they need to put into an online marketing campaign. Showing them that there are simple things that they can do themselves, such as maintaining a blog or Facebook page for their business, serves several purposes. First, these are both important tools which should be used in an internet marketing campaign. It also helps to show small business owners that promoting a business online is easy, and something which is not as esoteric or complicated as they may have originally assumed.

You also need to show small business owners that success online is measurable. Many of them veer away from hiring internet marketing professionals because they feel that they are not going to be able to concretely measure the value that they are getting for their marketing money. Show them the analytics that can be run that will very specifically measure the impact that these marketing efforts have in order to reassure them that their money is being well spent.

Small business owners also need to be educated about how online marketing applies specifically to small local businesses. The more you can educate them about mobile technology for example, and how it is used to locate businesses when people are out shopping, the more likely they are going to be to embrace undergoing an internet marketing effort.

Another thing that is important to explain to small business owners is that internet marketing isn’t just about making sales through a website. It is also about actually getting people in the doors of a physical business. If a business doesn’t have a product that they can sell directly online, be sure to educate them about how an online presence, especially with local marketing efforts, can drive traffic through their doors as well. Taking advantage of local business listings with Google and other directories are good resources to show small business owners how this element of marketing their business online would work.

The reason many small business owners stay away from online marketing is simply because they don’t understand it. This also means that many of their competitors won’t understand it as well. Showing a business owner that, by understanding and employing online technology, they can surpass their competitors is a great way to convince them of the benefits of internet marketing. Be clear, be open, and be specific about how internet marketing can help their small business.

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3 Comments Published

Local Business Marketer / 9 August 2010 / Reply

When it comes to local businesses using social media, it’s better to wait until they’re ready. Once you start getting traction through social media, you lose control over the messaging.

That’s why it’s important to get “customer satsisfaction” thuroughly handelled first, before you ask people to spread their opinion of your company.

I think many small business owners simply want to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to marketing their businesses online. It is definitely up to us to educate them about the potential that online marketing can bring to their businesses.

Chuck Rowland / 1 September 2010 / Reply

We all understand the potential power of a good campaign using local search with the addition of social media, a blog and regular updates of the content. The impact can be enormous for any given business. The issue is how to market yourself and get yourself in front of these business owners. The competition as an Internet marketer is by it’s very nature populated by people that understand the system and use the system.

Whilst it is relatively easy to get a business to rank highly for their market place and searches within that market. How does an Internet marketing company (new)find an edge to get in front of well established SEO companies?

I have found using the old traditional methods of marketing through newspapers and directories as well of course by face to face walk ins works best. So whilst knowing the new way to do business we have to use old methods to get our customers that operate on the old system.

Any one have other ideas?

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