For years, businesses have relied on marketing strategies like cold calling, direct mail, and yellow pages to promote their business and get new customers. These techniques are dead and do more to tarnish a business’ image than to promote it. Nobody likes to receive unsolicited sales calls; direct mail is considered a nuisance and often thrown in the trash unread; and distribution for yellow page books is at an all time low. “We are experiencing a complete shift in consumer behaviour and savvy business owners know they need to re-direct their marketing resources. They need to move to where their customers are – and today that means moving online,” says Lisa M. Francis an IT professional and Internet Marketing expert in Calgary.
There is no doubt that the Internet has become an integral part of our daily life, taking over as the number one source for news, games, communication and research. The second-largest online activity, after email, is search. People use search engine tools like Google, Yahoo, MSN to find the answer to their questions and to simply navigate through the Internet. Searching is big business, in fact it is the fastest growing marketing segment on the Internet. It explains why a company like Google rocketed from obscurity to becoming a multibillion dollar company in only 10 years.
Successful online marketing centers on having your website stand out when a searcher is looking for answers. “A strong online presence is more than simply having a website. You must be sure that your website can be found by your customers and that means it has to be picked up by the search engines”, explains Lisa M. Francis. Lisa created CalgarySEM.com, combining her technology and business experience, to help local businesses get noticed online. “If a business wants to stay competitive they must be found online”.
“There are many facets to a successful Internet Marketing campaign. It may incorporate article and video marketing, blogging, local business directories, forums, social media and pay-per-click campaigns”, says Lisa. “Your goal should be a 3 point domination including the local, natural and pay-per-click search results.”
The Internet has changed the way we do business and this has now seeped into how local businesses market. As with any great shift, some businesses will transition eagerly, while others stubbornly resist. History provides us with plenty of examples of the dangers of resisting change. The business graveyard is littered with the corpses of both giant corporations and small businesses who have refused to take advantage of the paradigm-shifting trends. Like the telephone, TV, and personal computer – the Internet is here to stay.
Lisa M. Francis is putting the finishing touches on a free e-book scheduled for distribution in February 2010. In the book she provides effective strategies small local business owners can easily implement to get immediate results online and start attracting new clients. “Internet marketing is new, but it is nothing to be afraid of. The risk is low and the benefits are huge. Those businesses who make the transition early will realize the greatest return”.
For more information or to request a copy of Lisa’s new e-book, please visit http://www.CalgarySEM.com .