Think People Don’t Search for What You Do? How to Leverage the Internet to Grow Your Business
These days, most people turn to the internet when shopping for products and services. For some items, searching online makes perfect sense. Customers can look at pictures, read reviews and make comparisons. They can even place the item in their cart to see how much shipping costs and how quickly the item will be delivered. With all of this information, customers can make an informed purchase decision.
However, not all industries have as clear a path. Take manufacturing for example. Do people really look for manufacturing companies online? Or perhaps you own another small business and rely on distributors and rep companies to reach prospects. Do you really need to be online when business seems fine?
The short answer is yes.
If an Online Presence is Necessary, Why are Businesses Lacking?
Recently, a marketing firm polled several clients for a small equipment manufacturing company specializing in plastic assembly. The responses were eye-opening. Many of the people interviewed said that they did not use the internet to market their business because they didn’t think their target audience was looking for them there.
Instead, many of them said they relied on their distributors, rep companies and good old fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations to reach prospects. While these are still great measures to take, not utilizing the internet can severely limit the ability to reach targeted prospects and grow your business.
While not having a website won’t kill your business right away, you will soon be in the minority. More and more businesses have websites and are launching digital ads and marketing campaigns to grow their visibility and reach more customers. Over time, you are likely to miss out on valuable business because prospects won’t find you on the internet – but they will find your competitors.
So, how many people are using the internet to search for businesses? Studies show that 81 percent of people search online for a product or service. 90 percent have visited an online store, 74 percent have purchased something online and 67 percent use mobile shopping apps. Do you really want to miss out on this potential?
If I Build a Website, is that Enough? Or Do I Need SEO?
SEO is important for every business regardless of its industry or competition. Keep in mind that you can’t control many of the factors around you, but you can control your SEO. This is important because it reminds you that you can compete with businesses that are much larger and louder than yours. If you find your niche, write good content and maintain an active online presence, you can build a strong community that drives your business further.
Additionally, when people search for your services online (and they will), you want to have some type of presence. Otherwise, prospective clients will contact the other manufacturing businesses they see and not yours. You at least want a chance to speak with prospects and explain your business to them, right?
Here are some examples of why SEO is essential for all businesses – not just retailers:
- Increase your site rank so that people can find your business easier
- Promote brand awareness and get people familiar with your brand and your offerings
- Become an industry authority that people can trust for accurate, up-to-date information
- Track customer behavior and market trends so you know what people are looking for
- Maintain a mobile-friendly website design that visitors enjoy using
Is it Possible to Do SEO on a Limited Budget?
It’s safe to say that the internet is one of the first places consumers go when they’re looking for information or to buy something. In other words, if you’re wondering if your target customer is searching for you online, the answer is yes. With that out of the way, you might be wondering how you can do digital marketing on a budget, especially when you’re a small business with limited spend.
Fortunately, marketing does not have to be expensive. When you work with a company like WSI Net Advantage, you can get reasonably priced marketing campaigns that maximize your spend. We carefully watch every campaign to ensure it’s delivering the best results. With the ability to adjust things in real time, your campaigns will always be working for you!
Additionally, we encourage you to continue your offline marketing efforts for continued success. The best marketing campaigns utilize both online and offline strategies. In fact, these strategies should support one another. For example, you can have your reps target specific customers with a special offer while also sending this group a segmented email with the offer.
Some of the most budget-friendly but effective marketing tactics include:
- Social media
- Mobile friendly website
- Business partnerships
- Referral or loyalty program
- Networking groups like LinkedIn
- Company blog and content
- Email newsletters
Schedule a Consultation with WSI Net Advantage
To learn more about digital marketing for your manufacturing business (or another small business), contact WSI Net Advantage today. We have simple, affordable services that can be customized to meet your needs. Most importantly, our services are effective and proven to work.