This guest post is from Erik Gaandt, a freelance tech writer with extensive experience in website marketing
Marketing is one area where small businesses have experienced dramatic benefits due to the Internet, even in comparison to other operations. Although social media often comes up as the most popular and perhaps most prominent example of how Internet is used to benefit small business marketing, it is not the only one. Small businesses reap a number of benefits from Internet-based marketing through a number of methods, often much better suited to doing so than their bigger counterparts.
Advantages of Small Businesses in Online Marketing
Here are some of the advantages that online marketing offers to small businesses:
Small businesses often specialize in niches of larger markets.
The problem with businesses entrenched in niches is that their products tend to cater to a specific clientele and cannot compete against competitors on an even basis outside of that clientele. As a result, small businesses specializing in niches are more dependent on their clientele to a larger degree than larger businesses.
To survive and perhaps even prosper, such businesses must be able to find and then hold onto customers who are interested in their products. The Internet and Internet-based marketing campaigns can help out such businesses because of their expanded reach compared to traditional mediums. Small businesses can reach out with minimal cost to potential customers at the places that those customers frequent, while those customers can in turn reach those small businesses through search engines and other online services directing them to relevant sites.
Feedback is vital to the success of a business’s marketing efforts in the long run.
Individual marketing campaigns can have enormous impacts on a business’s success, but the data distilled from those campaigns can help the same business refine its practices over time to improve its overall marketing. The problem is that such data are not available without the business spending to collect and compile data into an usable form. Small businesses tend to be disadvantaged in this regard because of a lack of both cash and expertise. However, collecting data from online marketing data is much easier due to tools and services, such as Google Webmaster Tools. Even small businesses can use the provided data to examine both the success of individual marketing initiatives and the flaws that prompted potential customers to turn aside.
Responsiveness is one of the most important qualities in online marketing.
Small businesses can outperform their counterparts on this point because of their closeness to the customers and their more nimble structures. For example, a corporation with multiple offices might choose to base its marketing efforts in one location, resulting in potential problems marketing in other regions due to lack of understanding. Furthermore, it is more difficult for bigger businesses to change directions once their resources have been invested. In contrast, the small business can react faster to changing circumstances and its personnel are closer to the ground, resulting in more responsive and relevant online marketing campaigns.
In short, the Internet is something of an equalizer for businesses. It has eased some of the difficulties that made it hard for smaller businesses to compete head-on against their bigger counterparts. Furthermore, the Internet’s accessible nature ensures that these advantages are available to all who are interested and can invest the time needed to learn its intricacies.
Erik Gaandt, freelance tech writer in web marketing, enjoys sharing his insights on various marketing blogs. WhoIsHostingThis.com is home to hundreds of reviews on the most popular webhosts.