How It All Began
Marketing as a whole began in the 1400’s with business owners mass producing flyers and brochures to be handed out in the street. The first paid advertising in a newspaper happened in France circa 1836, radio advertising began in 1922 and TV advertising started in the 1940’s. Magazine and print ads began in the 80’s and it wasn’t until the 90’s that online advertising came into the scene, but that was just the beginning. In the mid 2000’s and still today social media advertising is the latest in online marketing but unfortunately in the textile industry many companies have yet to jump on the bandwagon, not just with social media advertising but online advertising altogether foregoing even offering their customers a company website.
Importance of Online Marketing Today
The following are the 5 most important aspects of marketing your commercial laundry business online:
– Branding: online marketing allows you to create product awareness with your existing customers as well as potential ones. Most times a customer will assume you do not carry a product – however by having a customized website in conjunction to social media pages such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, FourSquare, Pinterest to name a few as well as constantly updating these sites with your latest offerings you can keep these consumers in the know about your business and its products/services.
– Cost Efficiency: When compared to traditional forms of advertising including print and tv ads, social media and online marketing is a much more cost effective and productive route. Once you have a website established, the cost of continuously establishing an online presence is much more affordable.
– Increase Sales & Web Traffic: Having an updated company website and online social media accounts allows customers different avenues in which to do business with you – be it by searching your products and services online before even having to communicate with a salesman. The more informed a customer is the greater chances you will close a deal with them.
– 24/7 Availability: Conflicting work schedules can make it difficult to be available around the customer’s schedule. The great thing about online marketing is it doesn’t matter if a consumer visits your sites outside of normal business hours. They will be able to find the information they need and possibly contact you through an online contact form or through e-mail – this ensures you will never miss a potential deal, even while you’re away.
– Credibility: The way customers perceive your brand will affect their purchasing behavior. To keep your business credible it is important to keep your site as well as any social media pages up to date. Having 3rd party references and testimonials on your sites is also a great way to allow potential customers to see that you are a legitimate business. Adding logos of companies you have done business with or are currently doing business with is also a great tool in allowing visitors to see you as a successful and trustworthy company.
Starting An Online Marketing Strategy for Your Business
– First things first, a company website is a key component to your online marketing efforts. You can run as many Google ad words campaigns as you want, but if you have no site to send your visitors to, you might as well throw hundreds of dollar bills off of your building’s rooftop.
– Is there a niche your company specializes in? Perhaps you have the best floor mats in the industry and your competitor XYZ offers flimsy ones at twice the cost. Well make sure your best products and services are introduced the minute a visitor lands on your website.
– Third party reviews can be a very powerful marketing tool because they allow customers to show that you are a credible business without needing to show off or give your own praises. Ask satisfied customers to write a company review on why they are happy with your products and services. It’s also nice to give them something in return for doing so.
– Social Media presence is a MUST! Not just checking your pages but also engaging on them, posting interesting content and having visitors comment back. Make sure to keep the topics fun and interesting while still tying them back to your brand.
– Show off your business. Post pictures of your place, current employees and satisfied customers, company events, or businesses you service. Potential clients love to see companies who have faces and are personable.
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