Marketing a Business Online
People now expect businesses and organisations to have a website, one that can supply basic information and a means of getting in contact. A website has become nearly more essential as a telephone, fax machine and printed brochures. Apart from fulfilling the publics expectations, a website will also help us increase our profit, make it easier for potential customers to find us, save time and expand the effect of a print ad. Marketing our business online will reduce the amount of money we need to spend on advertising, will also help to reduce the cost of running an office e. g. insurance, heating and water etc.
Advertising costs for a newspaper can start at i?? 500 and can rise to anything up to i?? 5000 down to location of the paper; we then have a problem of how many people read our ad. Online marketing will benefit our business as it will allow us to focus on advertising to who are actively looking for our product. Targeted internet marketing means that we will get a better return on our investment. We can put our business in front of thousands of people a month around the world. Hopefully the internet can bring our business to consumers and company buyers around the world helping in take some business away from our competitors.
Brochures and leaflets are costly to produce and 98% of the time ends up in someone’s bin. Using a website is far less costly, to change our prices it can be done in a fraction of the time it also means our business can adapt faster in an increasingly competitive world, and we can also promote and offer new products, prices and promotions in seconds. Costs can vary but we can expect to pay anything up to i?? 1500 + for the whole system. The software used for email and the world wide web is free as it is already loaded on all new computers or can be downloaded free from the internet.
We will also save money if we buy software needed for the business at the time of purchasing our computer as part of a whole package. These packages usually contain word processor, spread sheets, scheduling and data base software, again these can be downloaded free at www. openoffice. org this has the same functions offered by windows. An antivirus protection/firewall will also be required to protect our computer from viruses. We will be using fast broadband for our business because it is faster than a dial up connection, this will enable us to transfer files quickly, and an almost instant access to the internet.
It will also save us the cost of a telephone call every time we want to email or use the internet. If we need to expand in the future we can connect several computers by the one connection again saving us money on multiple connections. Once we have chosen our internet provider we can use our web address which will be www. pudpud. co. uk this will also be our domain name. We will have to register this name with Companies House who will charge a one off fee of anything between i?? 17. 99 – i?? 69. 00.
Our domain registration will last for two years we will then have to renew it at a small cost, the site we will use is www. 123reg. co. uk the site is very easy and very accessible to use and availability of our business name can also be checked here. Promotional Opportunities in the Online Environment As with all promotional opportunities online we will use the web as marketing tool for our business, for our main target audience our customers. Our web pages will have to provide all the information about our company, what we do and the products we provide. We will provide a help desk and not just a ‘contact us’ number.
We will provide quick email feedback or as our company grows a telephone service, something extra to make our customers make enquiries about our products, we could also do a frequently asked question section. To help with promotion of our website we will register our company with several ‘search engines’ such as Google and Yahoo, registering with these companies is free and it will make us more accessible as a company. To make sure we are ‘picked up’ by potential customers we will use ‘key words’ that will highlight our companies name taking it higher up the list.
Some sites like Yahoo will allow us to promote our business in several categories, this can be a long process and it can take up to six weeks for these search engines to check our application. Although our products will not be suitable to sell online it allows us to promote the products we sell, were they can be bought such as store location and availability in stores. It will also allow us to provide images, video clips and animations of our products, printable vouchers which can be used in part payment for our products – especially new products. Being online we can also update/delete/change prices of our products as necessary.