I have gone on to assist small businesses to create an online presence by utilizing wordpress. Having been in the retail industry for 20 years, I can tell you that business success depends on your reach. Whether it is through print media, word of mouth or the internet. Businesses today need to interact and connect to their target audience, and most of all, be relevant to their target market.
The first thing I recommend to my clients is to use their websites as an advertising channel. As an advertising channel, a website beats other advertising media on cost, reach and duration. Sure, a news ad can reach the mass market in a hurry, but unless your advertisement, product or service serves a need at the right time, it has no staying power. Many adverts today gets lost in the noise, and the noise is getting louder. Equally loud is the message customers are giving to businesses, what’s in it for me?
Having a website allows you to communicate the benefits you bring to your customers, and it allows them to provide feedback or make their complaints known. So by having a business website, you are opening a channel of communication between your customers and you. In any business, this is the key to your success. You cannot meet your customers’ needs without a channel of communication. Why do you think corporations have such huge advertising budgets?
A study posted on eMarketer last week declared Small-Biz Success From Deeper Online Interaction which, in turn, leads to more sales for their businesses. The study was conducted by the American City Business Journals. The American City Business Journal used this data to show that ‘those on the Web the most reap the greatest benefits’.
Increased Relationships = Increased Sales: The survey proves what we already know – establishing a social Web presence allows SMB owners to reach out, engage and connect with customers more easily than ever before. When you’re on hand to answer questions, provide new levels of support and entice customers with new deals, you create relationships that naturally lower the barrier needed for someone to do business with you. People buy from people. It makes sense that customers feel more comfortable buying from SMBs with whom they have a relationship with online.
– Lisa Barone is Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer at Outspoken Media, Inc., an Internet marketing company that specializes in providing clients with online reputation management, social media services, and other Internet services.-