How online marketing drives offline success
With so many social platforms capturing the time and interest of Internet users, businesses of all shapes and sizes do not allow themselves to get caught outside the game, including brick and mortar businesses to which social media offers as many business opportunities as it does to online-based ones.
The impact of social media on real life companies
Nowadays, companies use social media campaigns to build brand awareness and improve recognition. According to studies, 61% of all businesses use these platforms to identify and win over new customers. This is still a small percentage given that research shows that over half the people tweeting on a regular basis do it to recommend various products and services, and a similar percentage of users follow up their declared intentions to make a purchase.
On the other hand, only 6% of all companies using social media say that these campaigns lowered their reputation or hurt their image in some way. This, however, is very probably the result of inefficient and uncalculated ways of using social media.
Localizing your audience
Brick and mortar companies are all about localization. If you run a restaurant, for instance, you want people to come visit you. With 20% of all Google searches being location specific, it is clear there is an Internet market to tap into.
A way of increasing your visibility on the Internet is to list your business with Google Places. Bing Maps is also a powerful tool that allows visitors to virtually step in any business interior they want.
Yelp reviews are an excellent illustration of how customers use social media to spread the word on goods and services. Potential customers like to read reviews before making a purchase decision, thus making sure your business gets as many positive reviews as possible is key, and showing that you listen to negative ones and are willing to act on them is equally important to attract customers.
Bringing discounts and coupons to the Internet
A verified method for bringing in new customers is offering them incentives such as coupons and discounts. With over 1,000 people buying coupons from websites like Groupon every single day, this type of e-commerce is on the rise.
95% of all those using such services declared themselves completely satisfied with the services, thus offering deals through hyper-local group buying sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial and Lastminute.com, among others, can prove very profitable for your business.
Posting ads on highly trafficked websites
Another method of driving offline sales to your brick and mortar business is by using more ‘traditional’ ways of advertising – but applied online. This is translated in the shape of banner ads, for instance, that can be placed on high-trafficked web pages to maximize visible market presence.
Other more online-specific advertising tools are also available like using text link ads or embedded links within articles for instance. The costs involved in these types of online advertising are only one fifth of what they used to be two years ago, and thus they often provide cost-effective solutions for brick and mortar businesses to raise brand awareness, reach a much larger audience and eventually land more sales.
Running an offline business does not automatically mean that online tools are not useful. On the very contrary, having a web presence can only reinforce your offline presence and generate more sales, especially at a time when more and more businesses are looked for and found online. Thus, increasing your presence on the most popular social media platforms will drive success for your offline business.
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