In 2016, nearly half of all small businesses were without a website. Of the 54% that did, 23% were not mobile friendly. These statistics are quite astounding since the internet is seemingly so ubiquitous in modern society. In fact, 88% of Americans now use the internet and over three quarters (77%) own a smartphone.
From a purely business perspective, not having a website is a bad idea because the global e-commerce market is now worth an estimated $22 trillion. M-commerce (transactions conducted using mobile devices) is worth $3.2 trillion alone. The role that various types of media play in the modern business landscape cannot be understated.
If you are a small business owner, you need to be able to harness both digital and print media to effectively communicate with your existing and prospective customers. The only problem is that every other business out there if they understand the world that they are in, will be trying to be the same. Setting yourself apart is therefore crucial. Here are a few ways of doing it:
Social media is a brilliant innovation, especially from an advertising perspective. Facebook has an estimated 1.94 billion users, while Twitter has over 325 million unique monthly users. Reaching these people is free in so far as you can set up an account today and start tweeting.
The sites themselves create an infrastructure that allows for content to reach immense amounts of people within hours. Viral videos, in particular, demonstrate this point. However, you do not need to spend a lot of money on the production. If you hire local video camera crews you can cut down on costs.
As a point of reference, the Duplass brothers started their Hollywood careers with a film that reputedly cost $3 to make. They used their apartment and only paid for a tape for their camera. It was accepted to the Sundance Film Festival. Creativity and a flair for communicating with people are all you need to be incredibly successful.
Advertising on the internet is exceptionally convenient. Since it connects people all over the world, it transcends a lot of the barriers which have been conventionally used to group potential demographics, like location and class.
However, the internet is a democratising force, and it has allowed people to organise themselves into groups of their choosing. For instance, if you run a tech business that has an emphasis on gaming, before the internet you may have run adverts in public places. While lots of people would see them, only a small proportion of those people would be interested in gaming at all.
That is obviously quite inefficient. The internet has allowed for much more targeted advertising campaigns, not least because gamers will congregate on certain sites like Twitch, or gaming blogs, and you can utilise this fact to advertise to those people.
The ethics of metadata are sometimes problematic, but it is certainly an effective tool.
While it will always be the case that not everyone who sees your ad will respond to it by buying one of your products or using your services, the chances are much better when you are intelligently targeting a demographic.