Basic rules of Internet marketing for small businesses

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The Internet can be a wonderful place for small businesses to promote their products and services. There is a near-limitless potential for you to reach out to potential customers on the world wide web.

However, marketing a small business on the Internet is vastly different from marketing a small business offline. In addition, the sheer number of Internet marketing opportunities available for small business can be overwhelming, to say the least.

When you are thinking about Internet marketing for your small business, there are some basic rules you should keep in mind:

* Know your audience. Because the Internet is so vast, you have to be able to target those people who are most likely to purchase your product or service. For example, if you run a local window-washing service, it does not make any sense to market your small business to people that read a knitting blog. In addition, you need to be able to focus your marketing efforts on people in your geographic area. Likewise, if you want to sell your arts and crafts online, you are not going to want to advertise to folks who frequent a NASCAR forum. Knowing who your potential customers are and being able to target your marketing efforts in their direction is essential to Internet marketing success for small business.

* Know your options. There are many ways you can market your small business. Some methods have a high ROI (return on investment) while other methods have a low ROI. Researching your options is an extremely important part of stretching your marketing efforts. Further complicating matters is the fact that some methods are more effective in certain niche areas, while other methods may not be as effective in those same areas. Read what others in your field say, but be willing to experiment with new and innovative Internet marketing methods for your small business, as well.

* Know your limitations. Don’t try to do everything yourself. If you do not have much experience in graphic design, consider hiring someone to create your banner and button advertisements. If you do not know how to set up a web site, consider hiring someone to do that, too. If you cannot afford to hire experts in the field, make sure that you at least devote the necessary time and energy into learning how to do what you want to do correctly. A haphazard Internet marketing campaign is almost certainly doomed to failure.

While these rules will not guarantee success at Internet marketing for your small business, they will get you started on the right path.

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