Advertising has evolved rapidly in recent years, while the shifts have been largely driven by the growing number of digital channels available to businesses. However, online marketing for small businesses needs to be carried out in a well-planned and targeted fashion, as misguided attempts can lead to poor returns on investment and tarnished brand images.
In a recent iMedia Connection article, the author asserted that hundreds of millions of online advertising investments are launched poorly, and as such, do not provide strong returns. With global investments in advertising increasing every year, this indicates that many small business owners, as well as larger enterprises, are losing out on strong opportunities to capitalize on the Internet's popularity among consumers.
According to the news provider, global marketing expenditures reached $438 billion last year, and one of the biggest sources of loss is poor analytics and a lack of measurement tools to see clearly which investments are working and which are not. Additionally, companies that view each investment as a short-term marketing ploy will not see the highest returns on investment.
The source added that online marketers should focus on finding ways to curate the content created and make it useful over time. Further, iMedia Connection noted that too many online advertisers are posting content to websites that do not come with any value, and will either not be viewed by consumers at all, or only those outside of target markets.
Online marketing best practices have shifted away from guerrilla-style efforts that were more focused on volume, and toward quality content that leads to conversions. Small business owners should first identify the channels and websites most likely to reach their target markets, then provide quality content that engages consumers for the highest returns on investment and strongest brand loyalty.