In a society in which everyday decisions are driven, informed and executed using the Internet, creating an online presence for your business is no longer an option—it’s an expectation, and required support for your traditional marketing initiatives.
Take, for example, word-of-mouth referrals. When a friend tells you about a business or service that interests you, what do you do next? Most likely, you Google it. How heavily is your decision to buy influenced by what you find? And how does it affect your decision if you don’t find anything? This example demonstrates the everyday integration of traditional and online marketing that has become the new “normal.”
If you want to build your online presence, but are wondering where to start, your Comcast Business Class Internet subscription can help. Your free web hosting “Starter Package” offers tools to help you build and execute an integrated marketing plan:
- Register (or transfer) a free domain name for your website. This is the first step in building and promoting your online presence. A domain name is your address on the internet and allows you to customize your email. Every time you communicate with your domain it reinforces your brand.
- Design and launch a website. It’s no surprise that in a recent Citibank survey, 74 percent of small businesses surveyed stated their site was effective at generating new business. Included in your Starter Pack are domain registration, a three-page website and an easy-to-use SiteBuilder web creation wizard. All you have to do is pick a template and follow the step-by-step design process to build your site.
- Make your site searchable. According to Google’s Technology overview page, the search engine indexes literally billions of web pages. SitePromotion will quickly and easily submit your site to leading search engines and web directories.
- Understand how your customers use your site and your company. Urchin Analytics enables you to see which web pages and products are most popular. With increased understanding of your customers, you’ll know how to better target and market to them.
- Launch an email marketing campaign. According to the StrongMail 2012 Marketing Trends survey, 64 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase email marketing budgets in 2012. Email messages provide customers with an easy, direct way to interact with your company…they can simply click a link to immediately learn more or make a purchase. With the basic Newsletter Broadcast included in your package, you can build and deploy emails to up to 100 customers in three easy steps.
When you’re ready to take the next step toward building an integrated, profitable online marketing plan, consider upgrading from the Starter to the Business Package, which provides access to enhanced tools that can help you drive demand and boost sales.
- Add a shopping cart and start processing transactions online. In 2011, notes the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Retail E-commerce Sales, 4th Quarter 2011 report, U.S. ecommerce sales totaled $194 billion, up 16 percent over 2010, as shoppers increasingly look to the Internet to buy. Merchant Manager, included in the Business Package, can help you build an Internet storefront.
- Get included in Internet local directory listings using Instant Business Broadcast (IBB). IBB helps you create an attractive, one-page online directory listing by just filling out a form. IBB handles directory submissions and gets you listed in Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, Yellowpages.com, and seven other directories that handle 94 percent of local searches.
- Expand your email marketing. As you grow your email list, grow the power of your Newsletter Broadcast. The premium version included in the Business Package allows you to distribute your emails to an unlimited number of customers or prospects.
Once you’ve added web tools and kick-started your online marketing presence, start integrating them with your offline marketing. For example, include your website address in your yellow pages ad, business cards and flyers to drive people to your site and improve Google search rankings.
Fully integrating your marketing provides multiple touch points for communicating with current customers, attracting new ones and boosting overall sales. So, take advantage of every opportunity to weave together your arsenal of both online and offline marketing tools and make 2012 the biggest and best sales year yet.
Activate your Starter plan and begin building your online presence
Upgrade to a Business Plan to help drive demand and boost sales
Learn more about how Comcast Business Class Web Hosting services can help build your business online.