Everyone has probably heard the philosophical question about the tree falling in the woods. If you need a refresher, here it is:
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
In a lot of ways, this question is applicable to startup companies. You could have the best business plan in place, a well-designed store or website, a new product line that could be revolutionary in nature - but if no one has a clue that your company exists, it will never grow roots in the first place.
Needless to say, marketing campaigns are vital for new and small companies to even have a chance at survival. Without generating enough buzz through word of mouth before opening, you could be setting your business up to fail.
However, in today's uber-competitive market, simply having an advertising plan in place isn't good enough. A recently published study found that a startling 25 percent of startups in the United States will close within a year, with poor marketing campaigns being one of the main culprits for these failures.
This is placing an extraordinary amount of pressure on having the top marketing strategies for small businesses in place from the get-go.
Online marketing is the way to go
If you don't want to be the "silent" tree in the woods, then you should focus primarily on your online marketing campaigns, at least to start.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises' success, and even survival, can depend on targeted, effective and easy-to-implement marketing that covers a multitude of channels.
Small businesses are moving away from offline advertising strategies, and they're doing so rapidly. By and large, that's the smart decision to make, both for now and the foreseeable future.
Several online marketing strategies have reported significantly better returns on investment than offline direct marketing. In fact, just two in five organizations achieve good or excellent returns on investment (ROI).
By comparison, many different online campaigns are achieving higher ROI rates, including:
* Search engine optimization - 75 percent of respondents
* Email marketing - 66 percent
* Content marketing - 62 percent
* Pay-per-click - 59 percent
Even in its infancy, more marketers rate social media advertising as more likely to see a return on investment than they do with offline strategies.
Don't let a poor initial advertising campaign run your business into the ground before it has a chance. Look to online marketing strategies instead.