In Canada and even overseas, a strong shopping trend is observed. Most people would now prefer to purchase their goods online than go to a physical store. Tech, apparel, and most brands report continued growth in their client base. The reason? Good websites, a solid content marketing strategy, and happy, trusting customers.
Small businesses are now encouraged to look into stronger internet marketing strategies to fare better in the trade. With so many channels to manipulate, it’s not that hard to look for materials about search engine optimization. Materials about engaging a market online are scattered--most are offered for free. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Here’s why:
There’s so much free material
Not everyone who is starting a small online business these days is formally educated. Yet, some argue that they can actually survive by just reading stuff online. Sarah is 35 years old and is running a small accessories shop. She currently caters only to customers within Canada. She is considering branching out to other cities or if possible overseas.
"What’s stopping me is the shipping cost, and how to handle customers who might want to return products," Sarah said. Despite these difficulties and blurry areas of concern, it’s amazing that she has survived solely on online materials while running her business. Aside from her store’s Facebook page, though, she does not have much online presence that is not affiliated with bigger stores.
She has not ventured into email marketing yet because she lacks the confidence and the funds for a staff, but she is seriously considering it. The online sphere holds so much potential if she could only get a better grasp of search engine optimization and internet marketing in general.
The challenge is the noise
While it is tempting to learn all the basics for free and by yourself, internet marketing has grown quite complex the past few years. "It’s more than just planting keywords so search engines can rank you and you get more exposure. So much has changed. There are the social media and Instagram to think of, now. People also behave differently when it comes to purchasing items online. While they are more comfortable with the idea of purchasing something they have not seen except for pictures, they are also harder to please," said Sam, an online entrepreneur who has a small shirt printing shop based in Toronto.
"One thing startups can look into is educational investment. There are plenty of free information, but if you want quality, you need to be more critical about the tips you’re getting," Sam said. "Some are hearsay tips, and there’s nothing more dangerous than hearsay tips to an unknowing startup owner."
Given the time constraints, Sam suggests hiring professionals who can advise startups on effective internet marketing strategies. Thankfully, reputable companies can also take care of building websites now with good search engine optimization. It will take a bit of investment, but it will also give small businesses leverage against the big leagues.
If you need help boosting your brand online, contact A.A. Internet Marketing today. Visit http://www.aainternetmarketing.com/ or call 1-866-777-0864