Your Web site — A Perpetual Marketing Machine
Marketing (building brand awareness and generating brand interest) can be expensive. To anyone who’s bought a yellow page ad or had a print brochure designed, they know the costs involved. The real expense comes with the revolving nature of these marketing efforts. Print ads are bought by the week, month or year and even somewhat permanent marketing assets (signs, vinyl lettering, etc.) must be replaced.
On the other hand, a Web site, while there are implementation costs, is an ongoing value. The pages don’t wear out and content can be tweaked to match new marketing campaigns. There are hosting charges, but they’re small potatoes compared to the new charges incurred for the same yellow page ad or a repeat of your ad campaign in a local trade newspaper.
The Multiplying Effect Of The Internet
Print brochures, yellow page ads and signs are all valuable as a “silent sales force”, but your Web site can do you one better. The Internet is based on the premise of linking to one document, or page, from another (hyperlinks). When your content is linked to, this multiplies its effect. It’s like folks finding your brochure somewhere and sending copies to all their friends, without any effort from you! Further, content that was added last week, last month, or even last year can continue to pay dividends long after it was posted. With the continued growth of social networking and automated publishing tools (news feeds), your marketing efforts can become even more effective. They can reach your target demographic via links from folks that found your site interesting and valuable.
Put It All Together
The Internet has changed marketing in dramatic ways. While business cards and a company brochure used to be the essentials of marketing assets, a Web site, even one that only provides basic information is now also essential. Studies show that the vast majority (80%+) of folks looking for products and services search the Internet for information before they buy. Your company needs to be there. And while a Web site isn’t all the marketing you need, your company definitely needs a Web site.