It’s almost impossible to survive today without some kind of web presence. It is more and more becoming a necessity to have a website. In any kind of business, a website can be an essential marketing tool. Small business marketers have realized that a website can enhance their message, increase their brand image and provide potential customers with a better picture of what a business is all about. The website is the 21st century marketing brochure.
In essence, your small business website can contain elements (and I’d argue that it should) of several traditional marketing collateral:
- It is your digital brochure
- A website is a billboard on the Information Superhighway
- It can communicate like a TV commercial
- It should be a gateway for news media to your organization’s public relations strategy – i.e. a press release
- Through podcasting you can make your own radio advertisements
- Social media can turn your website into a word-of-mouth phenomenon
- You might call it an electronic kiosk
- Turn it into a bulletin board
- Each page on your website is like a marketing flyer
- Blog posts are like little postcards
If you take everything you know about traditional marketing and apply it to your website using the unique techniques that are effective for online marketing then you can have some powerful marketing. There isn’t, of course, a one to one parallel. Traditional marketing does have a style of communicating that is not considered acceptable online, however, while the styles of communication aren’t the same the methods of delivering that communication are similar enough that you can still transfer your off line traditional mareting materials to your online marketing plan.
Will businesses some day decide they no longer need a brick and mortar presence or traditional marketing strategy? Many have. What about you?