Online vs Offline Marketing ROI Comparison

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Most small to medium sized business owners have limited financial resources to allocate to marketing. Sure, fortune 500 companies have seemingly infinite budgets for both on- and offline marketing campaigns, but that’s not how things work in the world of small business. With limited resources, marketing budgets must be spent on campaigns that deliver. ROI is at the front and center of every small business marketing choice. With that in mind, small business owners are usually interested in a comparison between online vs offline marketing ROI. Here’s what you need to know.

The Difference Between Online and Offline Marketing

The difference between online and offline marketing is quite simple, so there’s no need to explain it in detail, but just in case you’re uncertain, they can be defined as follows.

Offline marketing, also called traditional advertising is any marketing campaign or strategy that isn’t on the internet. This could include billboards and posters, as well as ads on the radio, television and in local newspapers and magazines.

Online marketing, also called digital marketing, is any form of marketing on the internet. This could include social media and Google ads, as well as content and email marketing.

The difference is simple, but measuring how ROI differs across various platforms can be more complicated. This is exactly why choosing between digital vs traditional marketing avenues can leave many business owners scratching their heads.

Measuring ROI on Marketing Campaigns

One of the benefits of online marketing vs traditional marketing is that it enables businesses to better measure the ROI from online campaigns. Tracking metrics can tell business owners how much traffic their websites are getting from search engines. As an added benefit, business owners can also see what search phrases people used to find them online.

But measuring the efficacy of campaigns can extend even further. With the right tools, some business owners even track how many website visitors are converted to customers. Not all business owners can track online conversion rates with 100% accuracy, so it’s not always entirely clear-cut. Even so, it’s easy to get feedback consisting of real, hard data from digital marketing efforts.

In contrast, measuring ROI from offline marketing can be a bit like an educated guessing game. Imagine you put up a poster. How do you know if potential customers phoning your business saw your poster, or if they got your number off the internet? In most cases, you don’t. The only way you can know for sure is by asking people who phone how they found your business, which will annoy some of your potential customers.

Measurable ≠ Better by Default

Yes, digital marketing success is easier to track, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better by default.

Tracking metrics aren’t beneficial unless you use them to improve your strategy. Incidentally, that’s where digital stands head and shoulders above traditional. Data collected from digital campaigns can be used to improve them.

Too many business owners are so pleased to have accurate tracking metrics, they forget to apply their results to their marketing! Simply seeing real numbers can be deceiving, and can lead business owners to believe they’re getting a better ROI on their efforts than they actually are.

Conversely, just because you don’t know how many customers you’re getting from offline ads, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any. For all you know, you’re benefiting more from your offline marketing than your online campaigns.

To get the best out of any marketing campaign, it’s good to have tracking metrics. Having data to analyze will show you what worked, allowing you to improve your strategy.

Online vs Offiline Marketing ROI: Where Should You Invest More?

The best marketing channels to use will differ from one business to another. Some businesses might find that SEO is the absolute best form of online marketing for them, while others might benefit more from simply handing out leaflets.

For local small to medium sized businesses, it’s important to keep the focus of online marketing on attracting a local audience. Offline marketing can also be a great way to get interest from the community.

Investing in at least some online marketing is more essential now than ever before. But establishing the right balance between online vs offline marketing will often yield the best overall results.

Local Marketing Options

When trying to market a business locally (both online and off) the focus should be on marketing to a local audience. Some of the best ways to market a business locally include:

  • A business website that’s optimized for local SEO
  • Using free local SEO services such as Google My Business and Bing Places for Business
  • PPC campaigns
  • Social media
  • Print media, like leaflets, posters and banners

Using a combination of different marketing channels can help to promote your business to a larger audience. Your target market will also influence what marketing channels you can benefit from most.

A Business Website and SEO

Almost any local business can benefit from having their own website. To benefit from a business website, it must be SEO optimized, as this will help to bring in organic traffic from search engines.

Optimizing for local SEO can include methods such as keyword optimization and content marketing through blogging. Another important way to optimize your business website for SEO is to ensure your website is responsive – meaning it displays well on all devices.

Local SEO Services

Making use of services like Google My Business is a great way to get customers online. A lot of internet users will only look at Google My Business profiles before choosing what company to buy from.

The great thing about a listing on Google My Business is that you can link to your own website from the platform. You can add your company contact details to your profile, giving customers an easy way to phone or email you.

PPC Marketing

PPC stands for pay per click. As the name implies, it’s a form of online marketing where your ads are displayed to an audience, but you only pay every time your ad is clicked. PPC advertising is available on various platforms, such as Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

One of the best platforms for PPC advertising is Google Adwords. Although ads on other platforms can also offer a good ROI, Adwords is the most logical place to start for most businesses. Google sees a lot of search volume. Seeing as most people who search for businesses online do so using Google, there’s a lot of potential for new customers to find you.

Print Media Marketing

Printed leaflets aren’t ideal for all businesses, but some can benefit. While people are less likely to make big buying choices based on a leaflet (think furniture, cars, houses etc.) local businesses like supermarkets and restaurants can see good ROI if advertising things like opening specials or other promotions through leaflets.

Posters are a popular means of advertising in the entertainment and leisure industry. Events like music concerts, weekend farmer’s markets and even trade shows can benefit from using posters and banners.

Not a lot of people still read local newspapers, but reading the paper is still popular among older demographics. Businesses that typically have older customers (audiologists, health care practitioners etc.) can benefit greatly from advertising promotions in the local newspaper.

Global Marketing Options

A lot of businesses can benefit from targeting a global audience, even if they operate locally. A good example is businesses involved in tourism. Other businesses operate almost exclusively online and can benefit from attracting an international client base.

Businesses looking to attract an international audience can benefit from having a business website and optimizing for SEO. Other forms of online marketing, such as social media, PPC and even email newsletters can also be beneficial.

Unlike local businesses, however, companies looking to attract customers from all over the world won’t benefit much from local print media. When targeting a global client base, it’s best to keep all your marketing accessible to potential customers the world over.

Conclusion

Online marketing is a better investment for most modern business models. When working with a limited marketing budget, it’s important to focus on online channels that are likely to yield good results.

Free options like Google My Business profiles and Facebook pages allow all local and international businesses the opportunity to get found online at no expense. When looking at paid online marketing, businesses should strongly consider getting their own website, in which case SEO is a worthwhile investment.

Although online marketing is largely taking over more traditional options, a lot of businesses can still benefit from certain forms of traditional advertising.

Rozanne WildsOnline vs Offline Marketing ROI Comparison
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Elements Your Website Must Have

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Coming up with a website might seem like a piece of cake. Because our lives revolve around the Internet, a website’s layout seems like something we could design in our sleep. We all have a sense of what’s aesthetically pleasing and is also functional. However, some businesses miss these two essential aspects. In the past or maybe even just earlier today, you might have forgotten about the websites you quickly exited out of – the ones where you couldn’t find what you were looking for, the ones that took too long to load, and the ones that just hurt your eyes to look at.

A basic website design needs a few elements to ensure it successfully conveys your business to customers and keeps their clicks (and money!) coming in.

What your business does.
Have you ever gone to a website in hopes of finding out answers and only left with more questions? Ensure your website provides clear information, easy-to-understand content, and error-free copy to create an enjoyable, informational experience for customers. A good way to answer the question “What does your business do?” is an About Us page. Providing simple and accurate product and service descriptions, including pricing, measurements, and features, avoids customers from plaguing your inbox with easily avoidable questions.

Contact Information.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how hard it can be to get in touch with a business. Your website should feature easy-to-find contact information on every page to avoid angering customers who may already be frustrated. A reputable web design agency will know to incorporate a “Contact Us” link into the footer of your website so an obvious go-to spot to reach you will be on every page of your site without interrupting each page’s content.

Quick load time.
We’re going to bet that you’ve exited a website because it took so much time to load, and we’re also going to bet that you can’t remember every single website you’ve exited because of this problem. In today’s fast-paced society, your business’s site needs to load quickly to make a great first impression. Talk to your design agency’s developers to ensure that customers won’t be watching the clock tick away the seconds while they wait to see what products or services you offer.

Responsive design.
There are few things more annoying than having to screen-pinch a website in the hopes of resizing it to fit your phone’s display. With so many different ways to get online, you need to be assured by your development agency that your site will always be presented in the best possible format, no matter what the technology it’s pulled up on. Luckily, web designers and developers are now able to program your site to be responsive for any screen size, so you’ll be able to show off your business no matter if it’s being viewed on a smartphone, tablet, or compute

NSchoultzElements Your Website Must Have
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The Importance of Establishing a Web Presence

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As today’s businesses are able to significantly strive toward attaining more leads through online marketing/advertising, they are provided with an opportunity to market themselves without much effort or cost. Past generations of businesses were required to invest in advertisement placements through newspapers, radio ads, television ads, magazines, brochures, fliers, and simply “word of mouth”. Today’s generation is provided with a platform of marketing that requires minimal expenditures in the advertising department. The world wide web has certainly made a difference in regards to how businesses can expose their products and services for the entire world to see. Why should they resort to anything else when they can simply reach out to millions of people worldwide from their very own location?

The minimal effort that is required for marketing through online platforms is truly remarkable. If businesses were to reach out to millions of people worldwide in the past, they would have to set up appointments to actually travel to those areas or much more. Now, a company can simply set up a website for the whole world to see.

Although businesses are provided with a platform that enables them to reach out to millions of people, there are still some challenges and obstacles for them to overcome. There is quite a bit of competition among businesses on the web. Therefore, it is an imperative necessity for a business to implement the best strategies of advertising in their operations.

A Miami web design specialist can create a set of webpages that truly exemplify perfection for a company. A proficient web developer is really all a company needs to have their company come out on top. As there are a multitude of routes a company can take in regards to their marketing strategies, a digital marketing agency that has a good grasp on knowledge in the field of web development can assist a company towards outshining their competitors.

NSchoultzThe Importance of Establishing a Web Presence
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2015 Website Design Trends

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This year is playing host to some huge changes in web design. If you are trying to choose a Miami digital marketing agency, you should pick the company that can perform all of the following things for you.Big Card Backgrounds
Massive background images will serve as the backdrop for many of your favorite websites in 2015, along with subtle parallax effects (made popular by an iPhone software update) and rich topography. This technique has already been used by Google Nexus and Apple, who are definitely tastemakers in the field.

Card-based Design
With a continued shift to the mobile platform, a web developer must understand how to make content fit on different types and sizes of screens. Card-based design is a proven way to make content look good on a laptop screen, as well as on a smartphone and a tablet.

Scaled Logos
Because many companies will be adopting a digital first branding strategy, logos will need to be more responsive to fit mobile platforms. This will result in scaled logo sizes, so expect to see some fluctuating in your favorite brand’s sizing as they figure out what works best.Responsive Design
This may seem like a no-brainer based upon the changes above, but responsive design’s impact goes deeper than you may think. Many of the top designers in the world believe that the website design industry will move toward a structure that is fully customized for different devices, so a simpler layout that fits on all platforms is necessary for any site.

Increased Privacy
In 2015, websites will be designed to maintain the privacy of its user base. Expect to see changes from its policy and terms of service to the way that these crucial legalities are presented to an audience.

Adaptive Design
Adaptive design takes responsive design one step further. Adaptive design gives the user the ability to create an on-demand look for a web design by uploading preferences to a web designer’s layout and receiving those preferences back in real time. Essentially, adaptive design helps take out the middleman when it comes to updating a website.

NSchoultz2015 Website Design Trends
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Five Tax Tips for Small Business Owners

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If you own a small business, tax season remains one of the most important times of the year. Here are five essential tax tips for small business owners.

Keep tabs on all business expenses

In regards to business expenses, it is critical that you track every single payment. However, business expenses should never be placed on your personal account. For instance, you may need to purchase paper for a fax machine. This is the perfect example of a business expense. Remember, small purchases are just as important as the larger ones.

Home office deductions

If you have transformed an unused bedroom or storage building into a home office, you are likely eligible to receive extra deductions. However, keep in mind that the IRS takes home office deductions very seriously. The home office should always be used for business purposes only. Some of the typical home office deductions include computers, printers, office supplies, electricity, and even furniture.

Remember all of the critical deadlines

While most people understand that the deadline to file annual returns is April 15th, some small business owners forget to pay their estimated taxes. Basically, every small business owner who expects to owe at least $1,000 in taxes will need to make quarterly payments. If you fail to pay your estimated taxes on time, the IRS may charge you a penalty.

Business-related trips

When it comes time to file your taxes, do not forget to include your business-related trips. If you are traveling via car, you will be able to deduct the cost of your fuel. Some of the other business-related deductions include food, interstate highway tolls, cab fees, and the expense of a hotel room. Even short trips to the local post office count. Nevertheless, you still need to keep detailed records of everything.

Never leave money on the table

As a small business owner, you should seek to get as much money as possible from your tax return. According to Choice Accounting Solutions Miami tax accountants, thousands of business owners forget to account for all of their out-of-pocket expenses. After making a purchase, the receipt should be promptly scanned and stored in a fire-proof safe.

There is no overlooking the fact that taxes can have a major impact on the success of a small business. Be sure that you are always prepared for the upcoming tax season.


Victor GonzalezFive Tax Tips for Small Business Owners
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