There was a time when having a website would virtually guarantee that you would be noticed, and that you could capitalize on having an online presence.
To be blunt, those days are long gone. In today's business world you must have a full online marketing strategy if you want to achieve any gains from your website, and yes, every business needs a website.
A lot of people like to spread the myth that traditional marketing and online marketing are the exact same thing.
To be fair, many of the principles are the same, but the application of these principles varies so widely that they are not synonymous.
There is no question that the medium used for advertising will dictate how you can market using that medium effectively.
For example, you may be able to capture people's email addresses by placing an ad in the newspaper, but it would be much more effective to get their email address from them while they are online.
The point is that an online marketing strategy requires a different way of thinking than traditional marketing, though you my notice some similarities.
Who are you going to sell your stuff to online?
That seems like such a simple question, but every other part of your online marketing strategy is based on it.
It's easy to think that putting up a website will somehow draw people to your offer and that sales will magically start coming in.
Furthermore, due to the global nature of the internet, people often make the mistake of thinking that their market is "everybody". That is far too vague to be even remotely useful.
Knowing your market then gives you the ability to figure out the best way to market to them, and how best to craft your marketing message in a way that they respond to.
Different groups of people congregate in different places online.
Meeting your market where they already are is a more efficient use of your marketing resources, but only if your message causes them to take your desired action. The only way to have the right message is to know your market.
See how it all works together?
If you have all of this stuff in place, and you know it's working well, then you can move to the next level of your online marketing strategy.
This really comes down to getting the word out in as many places as you can, using as many relevant methods as you can (remember to keep your market in mind).
You should also test and track all of your advertising and then make changes as necessary.
Once your income starts flowing in, be sure to reinvest some of it into your marketing efforts.
However, having an online marketing strategy is not enough. You have to put it into action before you start to see all of the positive results.