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Internet marketing isn’t just for online business. It can be a tremendous asset to brick and mortar and locally based businesses as well. When you consider the fact that at least 20% of Internet searches are location-specific, if a local business does not have an Internet presence they’re missing out on potential customers and sales.

An Online Presence Drives Foot Traffic

Internet marketing is comprised of many different tactics and mediums. From SEO and content marketing to email marketing and social media, there are a number of ways that a local business can connect with prospects.

The first and most important step to take is to create a website. This fundamental step allows you to begin positioning your business in front of those 20% that are conducting local searches and looking for your business. Customers can begin leaving reviews and you can begin connecting and building an online reputation.

Provide Benefit and Incentives

Internet marketing tactics also present business owners the opportunity to provide their customers with more benefits and incentives. One simple idea is to create an email list. You can motivate prospects to sign up by providing them with coupons.

For example, a bath and body retailer built a substantial email list by promising a free lip balm coupon when people signed up. Who can turn down free lip balm? The list building campaign was a success and now the retailer had a long list of people to contact on a weekly basis with promotions, coupons, and other incentives that help bring them into the store.

A Strong Community of Loyal Followers

A social media presence and a blog can help business owners provide useful information to their prospects. When you are able to provide value on a consistent basis, you begin to build the foundation for a long lasting customer relationship.

For example, that same bath and body retailer might share a blog post on makeup application tips, dry skin prevention, and the importance of using natural products in your beauty products. This information is readily shared online, which broadens the reach and awareness.

Community Connection and Public Relations Opportunities

Additionally, a website provides you with a platform to announce community-driven activities. For example, a bath and body retailer might donate grooming supplies to the homeless and create a campaign to motivate others to follow suit. Internet marketing tools provide the means to promote the campaign and build awareness. This type of public relations activity can also help position a business within a community and create strong connections with potential customers.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. A solid strategy and a well thought out plan make a difference. Tactics like email marketing, online coupons, as well as local search all make Internet marketing a powerful business building strategy.