One of our important missions on creating this blog is to help small businesses in the country to be more competitive amidst the tough competition in the business world. That is why we regularly write and publish posts about useful tips on entrepreneurship, management, leadership, and marketing to boost the knowledge of our readers who are mostly business owners and entrepreneurs. When it comes to marketing, aside from offline marketing, we are also dynamically teaching small businesses to leverage the Internet to effectively compete with their big competitors.
Internet marketing or online marketing is an affordable yet effective marketing solution for small and medium entrepreneurs who are on a tight marketing budget. That is why I always recommend Filipino entrepreneurs to never ignore this tool or solution if they want to attain their marketing targets and objectives. There are many strategies and techniques in Internet marketing that a small business owner can implement to attract more customers, boost revenue or sales, promote brand, and enhance customer relations. Among these strategies or types of online marketing are content marketing, search engine marketing (search engine optimization), display marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and referral marketing.
Content marketing involves creating and sharing useful and engaging information that are targeted to existing and potential customers in an aim to influence them to making profitable and favorable customer actions, like buying products, spreading good word of mouth, and staying loyal.
Content marketing could be implemented through blogging and content sharing on social media. Blogging is one powerful means of Internet marketing since it provides regular and fresh content, such as articles, images, podcasts, and videos to its intended audience. Blogging is already popular in the Philippines for years. In fact, it has already been a tradition for several prominent companies to invite a number of bloggers every time they have a new product to launch.
However, there are still lots of Filipino SME owners who don’t utilize the power of blogging to promote their businesses. A useful and rich-information blog could actually attract thousands or even millions of people who can be converted to followers or customers. The key to attract traffic or visitors is to create blog posts that are optimized for search engines, social media users, and direct readers. Check out these “10 types of blog post that attract massive traffic to your blog”.
Creating viral content is also now a very effective online marketing strategy with the rise of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube. On Facebook alone where hundreds of millions of users spend time interacting with each other, marketers can create a viral content, which can be a link to a story, image or video, to create buzz and increase their brand’s visibility online.
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing aims to increase the ranking of a website, blog or its pages in the SERPs (search engine result pages). Its goal is to increase traffic or visitors coming from the search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Search engine marketing includes organic or unpaid SEO (search engine optimization) techniques and sponsored listing or paid inclusion, like pay per click or PPC advertising.
Many businesses in the Philippines, especially for those whose target market are online users, are already using search engine marketing, like PPC marketing, which includes buying ads on Google AdWords for sponsored listing on SERPS.
Example of paid listing appearing on the SERP for the search term “manila accommodation” on Google.com.ph
For small businesses who don’t want to spend money on buying ads, SEO could be one of the best solutions to get to the top of the search engines. However, it takes time and effort to have a successful SEO campaign, not to mention one should have the knowledge and skills to compete with other SEOs. But SEO, when done right, could have a lasting advantage for any business. If you have a website or blog for your business, it is vital to implement SEO strategies to boost your traffic and profit conversion. You may read these “20 SEO Tips for Your Small Business” to learn more about leveraging SEO for your enterprise.
SEO is already popular in the Philippines. And for bloggers and webmasters, SEO is already one of the most important knowledge they must have to be successful online.
There are also other business owners who are buying banner ads on websites and blogs that have audience whom they believe could be their potential customers. This is just like buying ad space on printed magazines or newspapers. The only difference is that they are online and placed on websites or blogs. In the Philippines, the cost of banner advertising could vary depending on the size of the ad and on the estimated impressions from visitors it will earn. It also depends on the quality of the site and its reputation. Other website owners or bloggers offer fixed monthly fee and may give discounts once an advertiser purchase long-term advertising, like for six months or one year.
Social media marketing
Today, we are in the social media era where citizens become netizens who actively hang out and express themselves in social media places, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger. Facebook alone has currently more than 29 million Filipino users, which makes the Philippines the #8 in the ranking of all Facebook users by country according to the statistics published by Socialbakers.com. With the crowd spending most of their time on social networks, business owners and marketers should bring their marketing campaigns on the social media.
Social media marketing involves different strategies and tactics to gain website traffic or attention from people in the social media. It includes creating interactive business or brand pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other top social networking sites. A social media marketing campaign is effective when content or information that is useful, engaging, likable, viral, and sharable is created and used by a marketer. Social media marketing also involves creating good and lasting relationship with people, who could be your friends, followers or subscribers. In common sense, it is getting the concept of sociability to gain trust, confidence and loyalty from your targeted market. To learn more, you may read our post about the “12 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Business”.
There are many other Internet marketing techniques and discipline business owners, online entrepreneurs, and marketers could use to achieve their specific goals. But no matter how many techniques and tactics we use, we have to be consistent in our marketing objectives. For an optimum Internet marketing campaign, these various techniques have to connect each other. For example, content and inbound marketing is used to optimize a website or blog for the search engines and social media sites. Through website traffic, we could also use them to encourage email subscriptions for email marketing. And as long as we are providing quality content, products, services, and relationships – good word of mouth and referral links will naturally grow and spread.