As a business owner you're inundated with solicitors, consultants, advisors, staff, friends and a plethora of other "helpfuls" all telling you why you HAVE to have a web presence. Why you MUST be able to be found on the Web. But perhaps you're still unsure of why YOU have to hop on this digital tidal wave.
Well, let's examine a few statistics. See if they shed some light on how the Internet can help you not only keep your business running in this recovering economy but flourish in it.
- 90% of consumer buying decisions start on the web (Forrester Research 2007). Let's think about this. We're now in 2011. Four years ago 90% of consumer buying decisions started on the web, can't you imagine it being a bit more now? Aren't your current and perspective consumers most likely part of this percentage? Will they find you or will they find your competitors?
- 93% of consumers believe companies should have a social media presence of some kind (Cone Business in Social Media Study). Do you Tweet? Get liked on a Facebook Fanpage? Well, like it or not - you need to. Your customers expect to be able to find you online and not just through search engines.
- 40% of time online is spent on content sites - those geared toward community (Online Publishers Association). They are querying their friends on Twitter and asking for business recommendations and referrals on Facebook. Do you know what they're saying about you?
As for what specific activities US adults perform online today:
—90% send or read emails
—88% use search engines
—76% check the weather
—75% buy a product
—72% get news
—66% to make or buy a travel reservation
—60% to look for news or information about politics
(According to April 2009 data from the Pew Internet & American Life project included in the Factbook.)
Customer behavior is changing. We expect you to be online. We expect to be able to find you whether we are searching Google or searching Facebook. And unless we're a curent customer who is particularly loyal, we have no problem checking out your competitors if we can't find you. As Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.com, states, "if you aren't publishing compelling content [online], you are increasingly irrelevant." Can you afford to become irrelevant?
So what can you do?
Well, I'm glad you asked. Online Publishers Association asked senior marketers which of their digital marketing components —search, email, display advertising, social networking, and mobile advertising—delivered the best results. Search engine marketing topped the charts at 33% with social networking coming in at 11%.
Clearly, you have some great choices. From search engine marketing to creating quality content, you have plenty of options to utilize to increase your web presence so those consumers out there with money burning holes in their pocket for your products or services can find you and spend that money with you instead of your competitor.
If you or someone you know needs help with their online presence, search engine marketing or social media you can contact TeamBishop at ReachLocal. We are conveniently located in Orlando and help small to medium businesses with their Internet marketing strategies.