One of the most common questions from the offline business community concerns how to market a product online. It’s not that they don’t know how to do marketing – it’s just that they need new marketing strategies for dealing with the online market.
The biggest difference between the online and offline worlds is the size of the market – while many manufacturers will have offices in numerous countries, the online market is truly global – especially if you have translations available for your promotional materials and customer service available in many languages.
The second issue that must be part of your new marketing strategies is the physical size of the market – is your product easily shipped world-wide? Or is your packaging and packing going to need upgrading before shipping to another continent? And will your product still be competitively priced vis-a-vis local suppliers once the shipping charges are added on? If not, you’re better to focus your online promotions to promoting local, regional and national sales.
Depending on the value of your products, you may need to discuss payment options with your financial institution as well. While low and moderately priced items can easily be handled through credit cards or online services like PayPal, big-ticket items may require the use of wire transfers with or without escrow, so be certain to consult the necessary professionals first before developing your new marketing strategies – possible financial pitfalls like these require prudent solutions before your marketing strategy development process begins.
Assuming all is well with these and any related issues, however, a bit of time to study internet marketing practices currently in use will help a lot in learning how to market a product online. For instance, a blog is simple to set up and maintain, whereas a full-blown website will not only cost you money to develop but also may delay updates while you wait for updates to your site to be completed by your web design company. Conversely, a blog can be updated by any of your office or marketing staff almost instantly.
Since nowadays most offline businesses have a web presence you’ll be safe in assuming your competition does too, so that of and by itself won’t usually be enough to give you a competitive edge – you’ll need to use some of the new marketing strategies utilized by professional Internet marketers as well.
Business article marketing is coming into it’s own online, since most users – your customers included – go online looking for information. Instead of just posting relevant information on your blog, develop an article marketing strategy that gets the info out to the main article directories as well. If neither you nor your staff are familiar with business article marketing yet, go to a couple of the biggest article directories and read through some of the free marketing articles they publish to see how it’s done.
Web 2.0 sites can be well used by offline businesses too, especially advanced methods like incorporating your customer service into your Twitter marketing strategy. A site like Twitter lets your customers worldwide reach your customer service reps instantly to diffuse any potential issues, and giving them specials they can offer just as Twitter promotions can boost your Twitter sales rapidly while keeping your customer base that much happier.
Your offline business can benefit greatly from learning how to market a product online, but first study internet marketing trends and these marketing tips and incorporate them into your marketing strategy development. If you don’t have the time yourself, consider having one or more of your staff trained in the new marketing strategies – it could make a major difference to your bottom line!