Increasingly, business is done online and if your potential customers can’t find you on the internet you might just be out of luck. Walk-in customer traffic is probably near an all-time low right now, and websites like Google, Facebook, and Instagram that are the best spots to reach your audience.
So what’s a local business in Jacksonville to do? Forget about outdated advertising platforms like billboards, radio, and TV. These formats target a large number of viewers, but they suffer from several drawbacks:
- High upfront costs & minimum purchases
- Little ability to target traffic toward a specific audience
- No long term effects or benefits
- Results (and financial return) are hard to measure
These specific limitations of broadcast advertising are all dramatically improved with internet-based marketing strategies. Ad purchases can be scaled down to any size of campaign. In an extreme example, you might have a one-of-a-kind product that only ever needs to find one buyer.
You can also target your ads directly at the type of people who would be interested in your product or services. Television and radio allows you to do this a little bit by picking your channels and time slots, but these matches still tend to be very broad and general compared to what internet marketing can do.
Yet another advertising problem solved by online marketing is the long term impact of your marketing campaign. While some ads and jingles may pay dividends long after the last commercial has aired, most advertising campaigns lose effect the minute you stop paying for more visibility. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a popular internet marketing strategy that fixes this issue by creating long term traffic sources through search, social media, and other content marketing channels. While the results of a constructed search campaign can take some time to kick in, they can also last for years. With a good enough website, a little bit of SEO work can also build a feedback loop as the people who visit share it with others, who visit and share with others, etc… etc…
And perhaps the most fatal flaw of broadcast marketing is the fact that there’s no way to measure the results. Sure, if sales go up the week your ad runs, that could be related. Or it might be because the weather was nice, or because a magazine you never heard of said your product was trendy this month. With so many unaccounted variables, it becomes a guessing game.
Internet advertising, on the other hand, provides metrics that can inform you directly about the results of every visitor. The cost to acquire a new customer is something that can be calculated, and this means you can expand your business exactly to the marginal ad budget that makes the most sense.
Finding an SEO agency in Jacksonville
One potential complication with SEO is finding a reputable provider. Picking a good SEO firm is critical because poor techniques can hurt your search efforts and set back your advertising goals. Many SEO agencies use prohibited search strategies to boost their ranks, and while it may work in the short term, it may cause long term headaches in your search standing.
It’s also good to make sure the “local” firm is actually local. Some advertise as being local SEOs, but their local address is just a virtual office that amounts to a post office box that automatically forwards their mail out of state. In fact, the Jacksonville search engine market is in quite a questionable state! Don’t worry though, there are some good recommendations and insights at this link.
The most important thing to remember when you’re constructing an online marketing strategy is that each business has unique goals and strengths. Your online marketing strategy should reflect those goals and strengths, and not be some cookie cutter ad package that’s also being turned around and sold to your competition, as well!
Instant and long term investment, alike
By combining paid search and SEO, internet marketing can deliver instant results at the same time it’s building up to something long term and potentially self-sustaining. All it takes is great content combined with smart marketing!