Fact: These days, customers select their vendors using the internet, even customers wanting a local business, like a tire company or a chiropractor or a graphic artist or a hair salon or a bookkeeping company.
Because mobilephones with web capability are increasing rapidly, this trend is increasing. By 2013, more searches will be done on smartphones than on all laptops and desktops combined. And the rapid rise of "tablet" computers, used in the current tidal wave of e-reader popularity, will increase the trend even further.
Diminishing revenues of yellow pages, newspaper ads, and radio advertising prove this migration toward the internet, and you've probably noticed the increase in website addresses included in these print and broadcast methods.
Conclusion: If you want customers, you MUST be marketing both in the physical universe, and also on the internet. Because if you don't, most of the people will never see you, will never learn what you offer, and will never buy. Fact.
The Three-Step Marketing Formula
Developed by CopyDragon webwriters, a professional business writing / marketing design firm, this formula applies both to real-world selling, and to online selling. The three steps must be done in this order:
Location -- You have to have a place from which to do business. In the realworld, you must have a shop or an office or a desk with a phone. On the internet you must have your own domain name (www.yourbusiness.com), and a website. The simplest kind of website is simply a brochure with contact information. The first and most important function of the website is so that you can be found online.
Conversation -- You must have some *system* of engaging visitors to your store or your website into a conversation. Here's why: The average buyer purchases after 7 to 9 contacts of some kind. But the average web-visitor visits once and never returns again. So you must engage a visitor to your store or your website into an ongoing conversation to create 7 to 9 contacts or more. In the store this can simply mean talking with the customer. On the site, this usually means offering some attractive reason for them to contact you, or to provide an email address so you can follow up with them.
Traffic -- You must have some *system* of creating foot-traffic to your store, and eyeball-traffic to your website. Otherwise, your store is simply a hotdog stand deep in the forest, and nobody ever comes there. For your store, this means signage, advertising, and networking. For your website, it commonly means engaging google to guide searchers to you, and your *sending* people to your website in all of your real-world advertising.
Websites and Mobilephone Websites
Because of the rapid increase in mobilephones, you actually need both a website, and also special mobilephone pages, because a normal website looks very bad on a smartphone. Sure, you can see it, but it's too tiny to read. You can expand the page, but peeking through the little window of the smartphone, now it's impossible to find the navigation buttons and move around. The beneficial content of your website cannot be accessed by the growing smartphone visitor crowd.
The answer: Setting up specially-formatted mobilephone pages which deliver a (simplified) version of your website. It's especially helpful if you include a map with your location information, and a "tap to call" button, so they can press a button and their smartphone calls you.
Other Marketing Online Methods
Facebook: The growth of Facebook and other "social" sites has given businesses a two-fold opportunity: (1) You can use a facebook page to stay in touch, to announce promotions, and to create some human-contact between your customers and your business; and (2) Facebook now permits a special "Business Page" where you can offer promotions, capture email addresses, and create ongoing advertising.
QR Codes: Originally developed in the automotive industry, these weird-looking graphics allow any smartphone owner to simply scan the code, and then ... he can be taken to your website, he can store your contact information in his phone, he can sign up for offers and discounts and promotions. He may throw away a brochure or a printed menu, but he won't throw away his phone!
Email Marketing: Sending permission-based emails, which are of interest to the person who chose to receive them, is still the most powerful method of selling online ever developed, and the costs are low.
Video Marketing, Internet Radio Stations, Twitter and More: These are all valid methods of "advertising," if it's done right to be of true interest to the people receiving the information.
Note: To hugely increase the power of these methods, weave them together. For example your newspaper ad or brochure or a sign in your window contain a QR Code, leading people to "Like" your Facebook page, which then offers them a freebie of value, for which they give their email address, to which you follow up with emails containing links back to helpful articles on your website blog, and discount coupons, and announcements of contests and promotions, all the while chatting with your customers and having fun on Facebook.
Want to Learn More?
Read this book: Get a copy of "Marketing Online, Clear and Simple" for a thorough explanation of the Three-Step Marketing Formula and how to apply it to your local business. Available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions, the book contains a coupon code which gives you access to a complete set of online videos that shows you click-by-click how to apply the formula to your business.
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Get Started: Take the first step, and get your own website. If you want high-end marketing consulting and design, to optimize the results, hire CopyDragon webwriters. If you simply need to get a foothold, and claim a corner of the internet for your simple website, get an inexpensive and quick website created for you by WebNova Net.